I’d like to say it started with a lifelong dream to travel to the remote islands strewn across the Indian Ocean and explore the legendary “Island of the gods.” It didn’t. It was actually inspired by a simple google search for the “best places to go backpacking” and indietraveller.co ( https://www.indietraveller.co/top-cheap-places-to-travel/ ) offered a short sweet and enticing description of Indonesia that captured our interest. After reading this we were hooked, and more research only deepened our desire to go.
I still haven’t answered the question I posed at the beginning of this post: Why Indonesia? There are just so many amazing things that might spark an interest in Indonesia: exotic animals, beautiful beaches, intense partying, majestic landscapes, adventurous hiking, holy temples, and that’s only on land. If you snorkel or scuba dive there is a whole other world open to you. That being said, after some initial research, these were the top experiences that caught our eyes.
1.Bali: Probably the most well-known destination in Indonesia, Bali or the “Island of the gods,” is diverse, friendly and beautiful. With the famous party scene near Kuta Beach, the rice terraces in Ubud, the sky-scraping volcanoes of Mt. Agung and Mt. Batur, and of course the holy temples, including the 1000 year-old Mother Temple, there is something for everyone on this island.
2.Nature: Indonesia is made up of over 18,000 islands( depending who you ask and how they count). The breath-taking landscapes and biodiversity of a place like that speaks for itself. However, I will mention the native and endangered species of the islands: the Orangutan and the Komodo Dragon.
3.Beaches: Who doesn’t love a beautiful beach. There are beautiful beaches all over the world. In fact, I spent a few days on one in Samana, Dominican Republic, but there are only a few places in the whole world that have pink sand beaches and Indonesia is one of them. A quick google search will show you why that caught our eyes. The Gili Islands are also famous beaches in Indonesia. There are three isalnds, Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Gili Meno. Depending on what you are looking for, you can find the island atmosphere right for you, but all have beautiful beaches with waves of blue water offering a crystal clear view of the ocean floor.
4.Culture: Like I said above, Indonesia is made up of thousands of islands- not all inhabited mind you, but of those that are, the islands offer their own unique culture, traditions and even language. Part of our love of traveling is experiencing and learning about other cultures ( and food!) so this is a big draw to Indonesia for us.
5.Adventure: Much of Indonesia remains untouched. We love adventure and Indonesia seems as though it will offer exactly that. Depending on the island there are a range of adventure activities one might participate in. The activities listed that jumped out at us include volcano hiking, trekking on Komodo Island, jungle boating and water sports. Not to mention backpacking itself is always a bit of an adventure!
In compiling this list of definite interests, Ed and I went to a couple different sites. We intend to return to these sites as we plan our trip in more detail and figure out whether we can actual finance this adventure. We definitely have to take some real steps financially in order to make this dream a reality or even a possibility.( Check out next week’s post! ) I’ve listed the sites we have found useful so far in planning our adventure below:
1.Nomadic Matt : I like Nomadic Matt because in a addition to giving you a great list of the top attractions in Indonesia, he also outlines what you should expect to pay for different activities, lodging, transportation etc. This is essential for people traveling on a budget. We need to consider what we want to do as well as how much it will cost in order to make the best decision for us and our situation. Also, it is always a good idea to have a general sense of how much say a taxi might cost you so that when you arrive, you won’t be taken advantage of as that typical naive tourist!
2.Bali by hotels.com: This site has all things Bali. I found this site to be useful in getting a general understanding of everything Bali has to offer. They have several Top 10 lists that cater to different interests depending on what kind of traveler you are. Ed and I were of course interested in adventure! It also lists activities and tours and although it is a platform through which you can purchase tours, if you’re not ready to commit (which we aren’t) it at least gives you an understanding of how much day tours, excursions, etc. might cost you. Again this is perfect for the info gathering stage of trip planning.
3. The Blonde Abroad: I liked this blog because she accompanies each post with great pictures. This is a great site if you want to read a little bit about the top attractions and then see what it will look like and if it is something you’re interested in. She also includes some great tips in the post itself, for example, how to get from Point A to Point B and also recommendations based on her actual experience. If you’re not interested in indonesia but have a desire to travel, her other destinations are inspiring as well. Check it out