Few countries in the world are as diverse as Indonesia. Almost 300 languages are spoken across the 17,000 islands making up Indonesia. The country has the fourth largest population in the world at over 260 million people, two thirds of which live on the island of Java (the most densely populated island in the world). Not all the other islands are as busy however – about 9,000 of the islands are unpopulated. Whether you want the hustle and bustle of the city or whether you want to explore the unknown, Indonesia can offer both extremes. Curious to know more about this country? Here are just a few of the amazing activities that Indonesia has to offer.
Relax on the beaches
Familiar with Bali? This popular Indonesian tourist destination is just one of many places where you can relax on the white beaches and stare out into the blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Being made up entirely of islands, Indonesia has no shortage of beaches. In fact, there are beaches for all kinds of holiday-goer. There are beaches lined with bars for those that want nightlife, popular sunbathing spots and hidden beaches where no-one but the turtles go. Surfing is also popular across Indonesia and you’ll find many beaches that get perfects waves all year round.
Shop in the cities
Indonesia has some incredible cities that are well worth booking accommodation in. There are lots of luxury hotels at relatively affordable prices for those wanting a touch of high-end luxury and there are similarly many youth hostels for those travelling on a shoestring. Those staying for long duration may even want to rent an apartment from a site like https://rumahdijual.com/solo/ – rent is relatively cheap, although may be more expensive in the city centres. The cities are great for those that want to shop until they drop. There are huge malls such as the Grand Indonesia Mall in Jakarta and there are rustic and unusual markets such as the Lok Baintan floating market. Whether you’re looking for exotic handmade fabrics or designer clothes, Indonesia has is all.
Trek through the tropics
For a taste of the jungle, why not take a guided trek through the rainforests of Sumatra? The Indonesian jungles are home to all manner of incredible animals from orang-utans to tigers to elephants. You’ll find plenty of multi-day hiking trips which could be ideal as a fundraised charity events or simply a personal challenge. You can also explore the jungle by water. Crocodiles and river dolphins can sometimes be seen swimming amongst the mangroves.
Spot a Komodo dragon
Indonesia is the only place to see Komodo dragons. The largest living species of lizard, these mighty creatures can grow up to 10ft and are known to eat anything in their way (including humans and even each other!). They can climb in the trees and swim. Whilst these creatures are some of the most dangerous on the planet, they’re confined to the island of Komodo, which is only accessible via guided tours. The only human deaths recorded are the result of tourists going there unguided or straying away from tours, so it’s best to always use a guide.
Climb a volcano
There’s a lot of volcanic activity in Indonesia. It’s home to the legendary Krakatoa, which violently erupted in the 1800s and could be heard across the earth (it’s eruption is the loudest recorded sound ever!). Many other volcanoes are worth hiking up such as Mount Bromo, which is known for its eerie white smoke around it’s base. There’s also Mount Batur, which you can trek to from Bali. Some of these volcanoes are still active, so you may even catch an eruption whilst you’re out.
Dive in the reefs
Indonesia has more marine diversity than anywhere on Earth. It’s a hotspot for scuba divers who come from all across the world to see the reefs. Here you’ll find everything from turtles to manta rays to sharks. On top of the sealife, divers can also explore world war 2 wrecks, deep sea trenches and volcanic sea mounts. There’s a huge diving culture in Indonesia and plenty of resorts have bars and hotels dedicated to diving enthusiasts. It may even be a great place to learn diving if you’ve never tried it before. Even if you’re not keen on diving, you can always go snorkelling. Companies such as http://www.dive-the-world.com have more information on diving around Indonesia coasts.
Meet indigenous tribes
Many indigenous tribes still live their basic way of life on the islands of Indonesia. Some keep to themselves, whilst the likes of Mentawai embrace tours from Westerners. Meeting a tribe isn’t something you should do without a guide as some still have tribal wars to this day, which could be a dangerous thing to get yourself caught up in.
Explore the temples
Indonesia is home to a great number of temples belonging to various religions. The Buddhist temple of Borobodur is one of the most impressive in the country and is thought to be the world’s largest Buddhist temple. There are plenty of tours to this temple complex available at sites like http://discoveryourindonesia.com/borobudur-and-prambanan-tour-in-one-day/. There are also huge ancient temples such as Candi Sewu.
Dine on delicious foods
The cuisine of Indonesia is also well worth visiting for. Some of its popular foods include fried rice, satay skewers and oxtail soup. Beef Rendang meanwhile is worth trying for those that love their spice – it’s a beef curry of sorts, but with the broth removed. In fact, there are lots of hot dishes to try across the country for those that want a challenge. Many of the popular tourist destinations will have restaurants serving all types of food, so if Indonesian cuisine isn’t to your fancy, you’ve still got options. The likes of Bali are certain to have many fine dining options, but if you’re backpacking on a shoestring, you’re certain to find lots of great cheap eateries and street food stalls.
Get up close to a glacier
Unbelievably, Indonesia has its own glacier, despite being a tropical country. This glacier is located at the top of Jayawijaya mountain known as Carstensz pyramid. It remains frozen all year around, although due to global warming scientists believe that it may melt away within the next few years. If you want to tell everyone you’ve visited a glacier in Indonesia, it’s worth booking a trip soon.