Indonesia, a sprawling archipelago of more than 15,000 islands, is one of South-East Asia's most diverse treasures. Its remarkable and varied landscape contains innumerable contrasts; from idyllic white sand beaches to fiery volcanoes and from rugged barren landscapes to dense jungle inhabited by exotic animals. With the richness of landscape and culture that Indonesia possesses, the relativelylow tourist population is rather surprising. Despite this, the ever-intriguing, ever-intoxicating land holds some of the last great adventures on earth. Venturing through the islands of Indonesia will show you a land as varied and unusual as the flora and fauna thriving there.
Places to visit:
Java:Of the 34 provinces in Indonesia, Java is the most populous and the area is characterized by great natural beauty. Its central spine is dominated by hundreds of volcanoes,the fertile slopes of which support a landscape of glimmering rice fields spotted with countless small villages. South of this mountainous backbone is the homeland of the ethnic Javanese people and epicenter of their arts, culture and language. Still steeped in traditional dance, music and art, these cities are the mainstay of Java’s tourist industry and offer first-rate facilities for travelers. To the east, the volcanic massif of GunungBromo is another major stop on most travelers’ itineraries, not least for the sunrise walk to its summit. Not to forget, the world’s most famous and destructive volcano, Krakatau, off the west coast of Java.
Sumatra: Sumatra region offers a breath of fresh air for travelerslonging to escape the chaos of Java. An explorer’s paradise, the vast majority of this island remains undiscovered. Most of the highlights are in the north, at places like Bukit Lawang, a jungle-shrouded river, offering the best chance in Indonesia to see orangutans in the wild; Danau Toba, South-East Asia’s largest lake, numerous waterside resorts on the island of Samosir; and the stunning crater lake of DanauManinjau. While most travelers these days fly to North Sumatra in a matter of minutes, those with time on their hands should take advantage of a fast-disappearing phenomenon in South-East Asia: the unbeaten path.
Bali:Bali is a magical and probably the most famous island in Indonesia. It has picturesque mountain scenery and beautiful beaches with warm and friendly people.Also known as the Land of Gods, Bali appeals through its sheer natural beauty of looming volcanoes and lush terraced rice fields that exude peace and serenity. It enchants with its dramatic dances and colorful ceremonies, arts and crafts, luxurious beach resorts and exciting night life. This exotic island has much to offer, from inspirational spirituality to fine dining and meeting experiences, from world-class surfing and diving to exhilarating treks in the wild, there is something for everyone.
Natural Tourist Attractions:
Mount Bromo:Located in East Java, Mount Bromo can be touted as the most iconic among many volcano mountains in Indonesia. It lies in the midst of Tengger caldera, a crater of fine volcanic black sand, foreboding and spewing off white sulfurous smoke. It is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and continues to draw countless travelers from far and wide to wake up at wee hours to hike and catch the sunrise over the ethereal view.
Lake Toba:Lake Toba, the world’s biggest caldera lake is said to be nearly 70,000 years old. It is rumored to be a product of a massive super volcanic eruption known as the Toba catastrophe theory which supposedly killed countless people.
Raja Ampat:Raja Ampat Islands are definitely one of the top tourist destinations in Indonesia, not only for divers but also nature lovers and general travelers alike. Left untouched by development, this diver’s paradise is well known for its riches in wild marine life, pristine reefs and corals that would astound even the most seasoned diver. It is part of the world’s Coral Triangle which is known for housing more than 3,000 species of fish and other extraordinary habitats that breeds the biodiversity of its marine life.
Sites to see:
CandiPrambanan: Prambanan, a Hindu temple situated in Yogyakarta, is a well known tourist attraction in Java. It was built during the 9th century and is one of the largest Hindu temple architecture in South-East Asia and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Great Mosque of Demak: It is one of the oldest mosques in Indonesia.Located in Central Java in Demak, this mosque reveals another fascinating chapter in Indonesia’s religious history. Believed to have been built in the 15th century, the aesthetics of this vast structure highlight key differences between Indonesian mosques and the ones usually found in the Middle-East. It is made up of wooden material and a tiered roof replaces the iconic Islamic domes.
Orangutan at Bukit Lawang:Bukit Lawang became a top tourist attraction solely due to the presence of the Orangutan. This Orangutan sanctuary is also a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site and travelers come from far and wide to catch a glimpse of this rare animal. There alsois an Orangutan viewing platform where feeding is done twice a day, which guarantees a view.
Komodo National Park: Unique to the isles of the Komodo National Park, theKomodo dragons are the world’s largest lizards. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the new Seven Wonders of Nature, the national park is beautiful in itself, spanning 29 islands and holding a range of unique flora and fauna.
Tumpeng: A cone-shaped rice dish cooked in a traditional tampah, a woven conical bamboo container covered with banana leaf, and surrounded by assorted Indonesian dishes. Elevated to the status of national dish in 2014, Tumpeng is cooked using plain steamed rice, uduk rice (cooked with coconut milk), or yellow rice.