Places to Visit in Indonesia

Places to Visit in Indonesia

According to Mathgeneral, Indonesia is the world’s largest island nation and, with 255 million inhabitants, ranks fourth among the most populous countries. The national territory comprises a total of around 17,508 islands, which is why a cruise or island hopping are particularly useful when traveling to Indonesia. About 6000 islands of the archipelago are inhabited. However, more than half of Indonesia’s population lives on Java. The main islands are Sumatra, Borneo, Java, Sulawesi and New Guinea. Indonesia is one of the largest rainforest areas and offers fantastic landscapes and extraordinary wildlife. Around 360 different peoples live in Indonesia, some with strong aspirations for autonomy.

With around 200 million Muslims, Indonesia is the country with the largest Muslim population in the world. Although Indonesia does not have a state religion, every citizen has to profess one of the five major world religions. Tourism is an important source of income in Indonesia, especially the island of Bali is very popular as a beach paradise with Europeans and Australians.

Sumatra

Sumatra is home to orangutans, tigers and elephants. On the island you can discover breathtaking natural landscapes in numerous national parks and get to know the cultural riches of different peoples. The massive Bukit Barisan Mountains stretch along the entire island and mainly determine the landscape in the north and west of Sumatra. The island’s 35 volcanoes are impressive, including the highest in Indonesia at 3,805 m (Kerinci).
Gunung Leuser National Park in northwest Sumatra is home to the largest of the endangered orangutan populations. You can also encounter tigers, rhinos and hornbills on a hike through the rainforest. A ride on the back of an elephant through the dense jungle is also possible. Orangutans released from captivity can be seen in Bohorok.
A visit to the Bata people is a very special experience as they keep their own culture, language and rites alive. The capital of North Sumatra and the starting point for numerous excursions is Medan. Some colonial buildings can be admired here, the Great Mosque Mesjid Raja is also a sight. In addition, the Buddhist temple Vihara Borobudur Temple, the Christian Immanuel Church, the Chinese temple Vihara Gungung Timur and the Hindu temple Shri Mariamman are examples of the multiculturalism of the city.
Lake Toba is one of the largest and deepest mountain lakes in the world and the largest lake in Southeast Asia. The village of Parapat on the eastern shore of the lake is the starting point for boat tours and expeditions in the volcanic surroundings of Lake Toba. The island of Samosir in the middle of the lake is the cultural center of the Bataker culture. A unique and marvelous architecture and artistically carved figures of mystical beings.

Another unique culture can be found on Nias, the megalithic culture. The island is also a surfer’s paradise. For Nias: Travel – if possible – with an organized group tour that guarantees respectful treatment of people and nature.
The Kerinci Seblat National Park in West Sumatra is also a true natural gem and highlight for all mountaineers and trekking fans. Here you will not only find volcanoes, the largest flowers in the world, the picturesque Danau Gunung Tujuh crater lake, but also hot springs and raging rivers.
Bukittinggi is a small university town and is located in a fascinating mountain landscape. From the remains of the Dutch fort de Kock you have a wonderful view over the city. The Sianok Canyon is not to be missed, nor the hustle and bustle at the foot of the Jam Gadang bell tower or the magnificent Maninjau Lake.

Bali – Lombok

A must on every trip to Bali is the Pura Luhur temple in Uluwatu on the Bukit Peninsula, because the surroundings are spectacular. But be careful of the many little monkeys that hang around here. Another impressive temple complex is the Melanting Temple at the foot of Mount Pulaki. Those who climb the endless steps to the Puncak Manik Temple will be rewarded with a wonderful view.
In the center of the island is the water temple Tirta Empul, whose holy water is said to have healing powers. The graves of Pura Gunung Kawi should also be visited here. The starting point for this is the cultural city of Ubud, which is surrounded by the famous magical monkey forest. Sensational guided tours in Bali’s hinterland also start from Ubud, or you can stroll through the rice fields on a walk. To the east of Ubud is the Goa Gajah elephant cave in Bedulu. The temple complex Pura Taman is also located here.
Another fascinating temple is the Pura Lempuyang, to which you have to climb a few hundred steps, but are rewarded with a fantastic view of Gunung Agung.
Not to be missed near Lovina are the hot springs in the middle of the jungle. On the way there you pass a remarkable Buddhist monastery, the Brahma Vihara Ashrama.
Pura Besakih is the most important and largest Hindu temple at the foot of the holy mountain Gunung Agung and an absolute highlight in Bali.
Of course, the dream beaches on Bali should not be forgotten and a few beach days should be planned on every trip. Bali is a very popular tourist destination, which is why some destinations are very overcrowded. A real alternative to Bali is the island of Lombok, which has just as many sights to offer and is still a real insider tip.

Java

On Java lies the modern metropolis and capital of Indonesia Jakarta. The Kota Tua, the colonial old town, should definitely be visited here. Souvenirs and other interesting items can be bought at the flea market on Jalan Surabaya Street. The gigantic malls should not be missed either, Thamrin City or Plaza Indonesia are suitable here. In Ancol there is a beach promenade where you can stroll along the shore. The Masjid Istiqlal (Istiqlal Mosque) is the largest in Southeast Asia and can accommodate around 120,000 worshipers. The mosque can not only be admired from the outside, but you can also visit it from the inside – even as a non-Muslim. In the evening you should visit one of the many rooftop bars and take a look at Jakarta from above.
In Yogyakarta, another city worth visiting in Java, you should stroll through the small alleys of gangs and try the typical food. In the Kratons (Sultan’s Palace) there are cultural shows on some days. You should also visit the Sultan’s Watercastles and the underground mosque. In the vicinity of Yogyakarta you can visit the Prambanan temple, an excursion to the Candi Sukuh and Candi Cetho temples, the ascent of the Merapi volcano and an excursion to the Dieng Plateau.
A highlight on Java is the Karimunjawa National Park with its impressive underwater world and paradisiacal beaches. The Bromo volcano is also one of the sights of Java and can be climbed via a staircase.

Borneo

The Indonesian part on Borneo is also called Kalimantan and is an absolute natural paradise and highlight for all outdoor fans. Especially river trips on the long rivers like Kapuas, Barito or Mahakam are spectacular. In the southern part of the island is the Puting National Park, where you can see the famous orangutans and proboscis monkeys that are unique to Borneo. On Borneo you can immerse yourself in the depths of the jungle but also relax on beautiful beaches.

Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat is truly a paradise – it belongs to Papua and is located east of Sulawesi and northwest of Papua New Guinea. This archipelago belongs to Indonesia and consists of 1800 islands. Here you can go snorkeling and diving because the area has the highest biodiversity of corals in the world. The many small mini-islands that create a fascinating picture are particularly interesting.

Places to Visit in Indonesia