5 Reasons Why You Should Visit Indonesia
Indonesia is a spectacular and extremely diverse country. With over 17,500 islands, Indonesia is a country which is well worth taking your time to explore. I spent a month there myself, however, I would of much preferred to have spent longer exploring this beautiful country. From the vast jungles of Kalimantan to the surfers paradise beaches of Bali, onto the rolling hills home to the largest lizard in the world in Komodo National Park, there really is something to suit all tastes across the thousands of Volcanic islands which make up Indonesia.
Here are my personal top 5 reasons why you should get yourself to Indonesia…
Komodo National Park
Komodo National Park is home to the infamous Komodo Dragon (the name probably gave it away). As the largest lizard in the world, it’s not surprising that this national park is becoming more popular than ever before. Indonesia and more precisely Komodo National Park is the only place in the world you will see Komodo Dragons in the wild. These lizards are gigantic, along with the crocodile, these are the closest animals I have seen in person which resemble dinosaurs.
The national park can be reached from the close by town Labuan Bajo. We took a 2 day 1 night boat trip around the park, which I’d definitely recommend. There’s so much to see here as well as the main attraction. The trekking is absolutely brilliant and the snorkelling and diving are up there with the best in South East Asia.
Tanjung Puting National Park
Located in Central Kalimantan, Tanjung Puting National Park is home to a huge array of wildlife. The park – and our main reason for visiting – is best known for its Orangutans. Due to the conservation efforts of the Orangutan Research and Conversation Programme, there’s a huge probability you’ll see a few semi-wild Orangutans during your visit to one of the feeding stations around the national park.
The national park is best explored – in my opinion – on a Klotok. A Klotok is a two story boat which will usually include staff to cater for you during your trip and a guide. The Klotok trips aren’t the cheapest thing you will do in South East Asia, but they are well worth the money. We paid 3,000,000 RP ($230.00) per person, for a 2 night, 3 day trip. This included everything that we needed whilst on the trip. As well as the famous Orangutan population, the national park is also home to plenty of other wildlife species, including, but not limited to; Clouded Leapords, Proboscis Monkey, Malaysian Sun Bears and over 230 species of birds.
As you’d probably expect, a country which is home to over 17,500 islands would also be home to a fair few beaches and by chance it is more than likely, there would be a few of those beaches which make travelling to this country more than worthwhile. Whether you’re into your surfing, water sports or just looking to relax and top up the tan, you will definitely find a beach to suit your wants and needs. If you’re wanting to learn to surf head to Kuta, Bali. If you’re more into relaxing with a drink in an upmarket beach club, just up the road you will find Seminyak beach. Komodo National Park has its very own Pink Beach and my personal favourite, the Gili Islands has some of the most beautiful beaches around.
Prior to my trip to Indonesia, I hadn’t actually had the chance to sample Indonesian cuisine. I was definitely missing out. Due to the sheer diversity in Indonesia, the food across the country, inevitably is so different. My personal favourite food in Indonesia, was Balinese cuisine.
The most popular and well known Indonesian dish is Nasi Goreng (literally means fried rice). However, there were plenty more dishes I more than enjoyed tasting. My favourite Balinese dish had to be Babi Guling (suckling pig), followed closely by Kambing Mekuah (Balinese Lamb Stew). If you get the chance I would highly recommend a cooking class while you’re in Bali. We did exactly that and took a class in Ubud. The class was on a farm where they grew all their fruit and vegetables. We learnt to cook 5 mouth-watering Balinese dishes and even got a cook book, so we could carry on cooking the delicious food in the future.
If trekking is your thing, then Indonesia is the right place for you. The treks I went on in this country were tiring, but the views were out of this world. I mentioned earlier that the treks at Komodo National Park were a particular highlight. The Park is home to rolling hills as far as the eye can see. Once you reach the top of one of the hills, there’s brilliant views across the islands of Rinca and Komodo, where you can catch a look of the lush green hills, pebble and sand beaches and in the distance glistening blue sea.
As well as treks at the national parks across the country, there’s also the chance to ascend plenty of volcanoes (which does make sense due to the country being made up of volcanic islands). The most famous volcano you can climb, is Mount Bromo. Mt. Bromo is an active volcano, located on the island of Java and arguably one of the most scenic destinations in the country.
Indonesia is well known for having the worlds richest and diverse coral reefs. It is said that Indonesian waters probably harbour more species than any other nation, so it is no wonder the diving and snorkelling here is one of the top reasons to visit Indonesia. The sad and unfortunate reality however is that human activities threaten over 85% of Indonesia’s coral reefs. With the highest threats coming from overfishing and destructive fishing techniques. If you’re going to visit Indonesia, I would do your research and dive with dive shops who are environmentally friendly.
Although I didn’t do it myself, the diving in Komodo National Park is supposed to be amongst the best in the world. A fantastic location for snorkelling is off the North East of Gili Trawangan, where we hired snorkels, flippers and a mask from one of the many stalls on the island, then swam out around 10-15 metres. You’re more than likely to see a turtle in this area.
If you’ve been to Indonesia before, what was the highlight of your trip? If you haven’t, are you tempted to make the trip there?
For more information on Indonesia click here.