Indonesia is made up of more than 17,000 islands, mostly volcanic in origin and has something unique to offer for all sorts of visitors. From lazing on the beaches to exploring the rain forests and rice terraces and hiking in the mountains, Indonesia’s vicinity is assorted and you can constantly stumble on something diverse here. It is highly diverse ethnically, with more than 300 local languages and has a rich and varied culture, with a plethora of temples and old palaces. For all the water sports lovers out there, you will find some of the best snorkeling and diving in the world as Indonesia contains 20% of the world’s coral reefs. Wild orangutans and Komodo dragons are a treat for all the nature lovers. The cherry on top is the exceptionally economical and easy on the pocket local food and economical accommodation making Indonesia a favourite of travellers from around the world. Given below is a list of ten things that will make you visit Indonesia.
- 1. Gili Islands.
The Gili Islands, an archipelago of three small islands: Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air are Lombok’s most popular tourist destination. Unperturbed and blasé with no cars or motorbikes to disturb the peace, the islands are perfect with a myriad of little beachside cafes. The scenic beauty, the picturesque beaches and the laid- back attitude definitely makes the Gili Islands one of the top things that make you visit Indonesia. However, Gili in Sasak means a “small island” and there are many other islands around the coast of Lombok with Gili in their names, so you might end up going somewhere else if you are not careful.
2. Mount Bromo.
Gunung Bromo is an active volcano at Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park, with active and dormant volcanoes to choose from and part of the Tengger massif, in East Java. Although it is not the highest peak of the massif, but it is the most renowned and is the most iconic volcano mountain in the incredible Indonesia. With an amazing unearthly effect, it is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Indonesia and Java and surrounded by black volcanic sand everywhere. With the top of the volcano been blown off, the crater inside persistently belches white sulphurous smoke and the effect it has is unsettling unearthly. The cherry on top, though, is the sunrise. Try hiking and catching the sunrise over the tantalizing view of Mount Bromo, for it will definitely be a view that you will not be able to forget for the rest of your life, making it one of the other things that make you visit Indonesia.
3. Lake Toba.
Located on the island of Sumatra, Lake Toba, also called the Danau Toba is an enormous volcanic lake formed by a gigantic volcanic eruption some 70,000 years ago. Its soft and tranquil beauty mesmerizes you and takes your eyes straight into heaven. Genetic estimates hint that there were only a few thousand individuals that were able to live to tell the tale of this depressing upheaval. The tourist destination that attracts most tourists and certainly one of the things that will make you visit Indonesia is the island in the middle, Pulau Samosir, which is the largest island within an island and contains two lakes. Besides visiting “a lake on an island within a lake on an island” tourists also come here to relax, unwind and swim in the volcanically heated waters.
- 4. Komodo National Park.
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site is the Komodo National Park in Flores Indonesia houses the well renowned Komodo dragon, which is, in fact, the largest living lizard and may as well be the last of the dragons in the world, making it one of the topmost things that will make you want to visit Indonesia. This park is also a shelter for many other wild and untamed terrestrial species, with an extensive range of marine life. Seeing the dragons in their natural habitat is definitely a once- in- a- lifetime experience. However, there have been rare reports of attacks so you need to be careful while you are near them.
5. Raja Ampat Islands.
Raja Ampat islands is a yet another indispensable part of the list of things that will make you visit Indonesia. Best described as a diver’s paradise as it is one of the best diving destinations in Indonesia and the world. Renowned for its riches in untamed marine life, immaculate reefs and corals, this is a remote place left untouched by development. Raja Ampat has approximately over 75% of world’s coral species with more than a thousand coral reef fish fauna, making it a desirable tourist destination just as much for the nature lovers.
6. Baliem Valley.
The Baliem Valley in the highlands of Western New Guinea is the finest place to explore the Papua area in Indonesia. An interesting fact about the Baliem Valley is that it was recently a stone-age world, making it one of the topmost things that will make you visit Indonesia. The valley was unknown to the outside world until 1938 when an aerial reconnaissance flight southwards from Hollandia (now Jayapura) discovered a large agricultural population. You may find tribes, which are still practicing rites and ceremonies from ancient times. Trek and explore the lands of Lani, Dani and Yali tribes where you can be in awe at the mountain views, rivers, green fields and the traditional grass huts.
7. Tana Toraja.
Tana Toraja, or also known as Torajaland, the home of the Toraja people is a highland and the most popular destination in the southern Sulawesi. Visiting this simply unique island engulfed in its rich culture in between mountains would make you feel that you are lost in time. Complete with tall limestone and green lush rice terraces with blue hazy mountains in the background. The focal tourist attraction here is the funeral rites that had been practiced for ages with intriguing ceremonies that would amaze even those who thought they have seen it all. Not including this place in one of the things that will make you visit Indonesia would be a disgrace. It is said that the Toraja people are obsessed with the idea of death, not in a morose and melancholic way but as something that is important to them. After a person’s death, their body is kept, often for quite a few years in anticipation of the actual funeral ceremony, which can last for several days. The deceased is then finally buried in a small cave or in a hollow tree which is why you may find cave graves, hanging graves, life sized wooden effigies called tau tau, baby tree graves and even mass slaughter of buffaloes.
8. Candi Borobudrar.
One of the largest and most famous Buddhist temples in the world and therefore naturally one of the most renowned tourist attractions in Indonesia the Borobudur is located 25 miles northwest of Yogyakarta in the heart of Java. A UNESCO Heritage site consisting of six square platforms with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues with its exceptional construction and carvings this one of a kind temple is surely one of the things that will make you visit Indonesia. Built by the kingdom of Sailendra in the 8th and 9th centuries over a period of about 75 years, it is said that it took an estimated 2 million blocks of stone to complete. It was then abandoned in the 14th century for reasons that are still unknown and for centuries have been lying concealed under sheets of volcanic ash deep in the jungle.
9. Tanjung Puting National Park.
Located on the island of Borneo in the Indonesian province of Central Kalimantan, the Tanjung Puting National Park is a popular ecotourism spot and one of the top ten things that make you visit Indonesia. It features orang-utans, clouded leopards, pythons, crocodiles, macaques, sun bears and gibbons. A number of local tour companies offer multi- day boat tours to view wildlife and visit the research centres. However, unlawful logging and forest clearing for agricultural uses deeply threaten the park.
The Kelimutu National Park is located at the exceptionally beautiful island of Flores which houses the famous Mount Kelimutu volcano with its prominent tri-colored lakes, that are known to have been changing colours. The first lake is called Tiwu Ata Mbupu, i.e. Lake of the Ancestors’ Souls or the Lake of Old People, the second lake is named Tiwu Nuwa Muri Koo Fai, i.e. Lake of Young People’s Souls or the Lake of Young Men and Maidens and the third lake is called Tiwu Ata Polo, i.e. Lake of Evil Spirits, Bewitched or Enchanted Lake. When the Dutch geologists discovered the craters in 1914, the colors were reported to be red, blue and white. In July 2010, the lakes were glorious in various shades of green. Currently, one of the lakes is black-brown, another is green, and the last one is in the process of changing from green to red. A myth suggests that the neglected ancestral souls change the colors of these lakes. However, the scientists believe that it is due to discoloration by sunlight and the altering mineral contents of the water from Kelimutu volcanic activity. The amazing beauty and the tantalizing views of these lakes are without a doubt things that will make you visit Indonesia.
So what are you waiting for? Go pack your bags and get ready for a mesmerizing trip to the amazing islands of Indonesia. Happy Holidays!