Despite having traveled a lot in recent years, every destination is always a new adventure, especially when traveling alone. From Ireland to Menorca, I have crossed many of the destinations that I had in my wish list, but without a doubt one of the ones that has marked me the most is Indonesia.
There are things you just can’t miss on your trip to Indonesia no matter how hard the plans turn even if you see yourself in the middle of a torrential rain. And these are some of them.
What to see in Bali
Its center is the most attractive part of the island, in and around Ubud. Ubud is a small city with a center full of historical sites such as Gunung Leba Temple or Taman Saraswati and Imperial Palace.
If you like the action, you can visit the Monkey Forest. A millenary forest in which its owners and lords are the monkeys that live there. It is a nice walk and you can take pictures with the monkeys, if they are in a good mood. Of course, do not leave anything shiny or food at their sight because they will jump directly at you.
If you don’t care too much, or you don’t want to lose your most precious assets, with a walk outside you will find a few monkeys.
The Checking Rice Terraces are another essential. They are just 5 minutes far from the center of Ubud and they are an oasis amidst the chaos of cars and motorcycles. The entrance is down a hillside between terraces of small bars and once you get down, friendly peasants ask for a donation for the maintenance of the area.
Take your time and get lost walking there.
To the south of the island is Kuta, city in which you’ll its international airport. It is a holiday destination for many Australians who visit it just to party. The streets closest to the beach are like those of any other coastal city in Spain, for example. Streets full of shops, restaurants and nightclubs.
Not far away you’ll find two of Bali’s most famous temples; Pura Uluwatu and Tanah Lot. Both are just over 1hr from Kuta, so if you rent a motorbike for a day you can see them both without problem and visit the south coast of the island.
The perfect plan is to watch the sunset in Uluwatu, but in this case I suggest you hire a guide with a car or an escort for 2 fundamental reasons. The first is that somebody local buys you the entrance and tells you where to sit. You will always pay more than a local but less than if you go on your own. The second is that if you travel without company, as was my case, it is safer. Especially because after sunset you’d have to drive at night to Kuta and it’s not the safest option.
What to see in Lombok
Lombok is one of the lesser large tourist islands in Indonesia. Its strengths are natural enclaves and getting to them is not always easy, maybe that’s why it remains a small place.
If you like beaches you can not stop going to Pink Beach. It is about 40 min by motorcycle from Kuta, its capital. On the way you will pass through different roads and landscapes; Villages, beaches, forests etc … on arrival at the pink beach, there is a toll in which you have to pay € 3 to go and after a little road in the slope, you will arrive at the beach parking.
It is a long sandy beach with reddish reflections. It is not as pink as you would expect but as beach is a heavenly place to hang out. Do not forget to take a picture. On camera it looks more pink.
Another of the best places to visit is in the north. The Sedang Gile Falls National Park and Tiu Kelep are must-stop on the island. They are 5 minutes walking from the village of Senaru and after paying the entrance, the first waterfall is another 5 minutes. Walking through the forest, it is no wonder to see monkeys. Take the same precautions as in Forest monkey because, remember, you are in their habitat. If the first waterfall surprises you, you can not imagine the incredible waterfall that is the second.
If you look with spirit and physical background, from there leave the treks to the Rinjani. An imposing volcano of 3,726 meters that promises incredible sunrises from its summit. The excursions are organized with guides and porters of everything that is needed for the camping of 2 or more days. Although it may seem for beginners you have to be in good shape, I could not reach the top by a heat stroke.
What to see in the Gilis
In the Gili there is little to see besides beaches and goldfish swimming between corals. Gili Air, is certainly my favorite. It has an average size to have different restaurants, some of them even with international food. In addition you have different companies of excursions by the sea to the other islands and of equipment rental for snorkel.
Gili Trawangan, is the largest of them all. As soon as you arrive, you will see a street full of shops, bars and restaurants where horses and motorcycles pass. Crazy.
The smallest of all is Gili Meno, in which there are only a few hotels and homestays. As for restaurants there are some beach bars on the beach, but little else.
What to see in Java
The island of Java has lots of temples to visit, volcanoes and one of the most chaotic and large cities in the country; Jakarta.
In the center of the island are the temples of Borobudur and Prambanan. Both are just over an hour from the center of Yogyakarta to the east and west. In Europe they would be enough distance to see them in a day but in Indonesia the most comfortable is to do it in two.
You can take advantage of sleeping nearby, and visit the area, weather permitting.
The usual thing in these temples is to buy the entrance for the dawn or the sunset and although it is something more expensive, it is the most advisable thing.
Back to the center of Yogyakarta, there are thousands of places to visit. If you come after absolute relaxation on the beaches or near the rice paddies of Ubud you will seem crazy. It is the typical Asian city with noise, thousands of cars and motorbikes through the streets, asphalt and I would also say some pollution.
In the midst of all this mess there are many things to visit, including the Malioboro market. It is the perfect place to buy the last souvenirs. There is everything and if you like to haggle, you will buy at a good price.