Among the thousands of Indonesian islands surrounded by seas, hundreds are perfect for seaside resorts. Thousands of ancient temples and places of worship are hidden in the lush tropical greenery, and the jungle is inhabited by many exotic animals and aboriginal tribes, many of which are at the level of the Stone Age in terms of their level of development. Therefore, here you can perfectly combine active and beach holidays, ethnological and historical excursions, wildlife watching and hiking of the highest category of complexity.
According to Aparentingblog, Java Island is one of the most famous islands in the archipelago. Here, among hundreds of volcanoes and picturesque landscapes of the Dieng Plateau, a wide variety of examples of equatorial flora and fauna are presented, a huge number of temples, shrines, mosques and palaces have been preserved, and original folk crafts are flourishing – batik, silver and gold work, gunsmithing, which attracts thousands of tourists.
Jakarta (until 1949 – Batavia) – the capital and largest city of Indonesia, located on the northwestern coast of Java. It is a city of an original mixture of numerous buildings of the XVII-XVIII centuries, canals and many “national” quarters, each of which has its own unique look. One of the centers of old Batavia is the stone-paved Taman Fatahila square in the Kota region, surrounded by old buildings overlooking the canal. Nearby are the Jakarta Historical Museum in the building of the former city hall (1627), the ancient cannon “Sea Yago”, the museum of dolls and ritual accessories “Wayang”, the drawbridge of the Chicken Market Bridge (XVII century), the Bahari Museum with an observation tower, the ancient port of Sunda Kelapa and the Chinese district of Glodak with the oldest temple of the city – Jine-Yuan (XVII century).
It is also worth visiting the Willelme Church (1835), the Indonesian Maritime Museum, the Presidential Palace, the Penang Gate (1671), the Portuguese Church (1695), the Istiklal Mosque, one of the largest in Southeast Asia, the Church of St. Mary (1630), Tugu (1725) and St. Immanuel (1835-1839), City Council Building (1710), Governor General’s Palace (1760, now National Archives), Palace of Arts ( 1820), the ever-bustling Mangadau shopping center and the Glodok bazaar, ultra-modern business districts with their office and government buildings of the most modern architecture of all styles, the famous Ragunan Zoo in the south of the city, the colossal Taman Mini Park ( “Mini Indonesia”), “Water Palace”, cultural and entertainment complex “Taman Ismail Marzuki”, as well as the largest and most popular recreation park in Jakarta – Jaya Ankol.
Outside of the historical and business centers, the city gives a somewhat dull impression – many poor areas, dirt, open sewers, constant noise and a suffocating atmosphere. Therefore, it is not recommended for foreign tourists to delve into the outlying quarters.
In the west of the island, the most interesting mountain resort is Bandung, famous for its many museums, the Dago waterfall, the picturesque surroundings of the Tangkuban Praya volcano and the well-known Jeans Street, which houses the offices and shops of the largest textile companies. In the vicinity of the city, the prestigious beaches of Anyer and Karang Bolong attract attention, as well as the Kulon National Park and the hot springs of Maribaya, surrounded by majestic volcanic landscapes, considered the best place for trekking in the country. In nearby capital Bogor, which has long been considered one of the best mountain climatic resorts in the country, the Sokarno summer presidential palace with the Zoological Museum, the former residence of the Governor-General of the Netherlands East Indies and the world-famous Kebun Raja botanical garden (80 hectares) are of interest.
Yogyakarta, or as it is more often called – Jogya, attracts attention with the huge palace complex of the Sultan’s Kraton (XVIII century) with the “water castle” Taman Sari, the Jakarta Craft Center and the Agastya Art Institute, the Sono-Badoyo and Benteng Vredeburg museums, as well as the exquisite temple complex Lara Jonggrang (“slender maiden”, early 10th century) in nearby Prambanan. In the dry season, under the full moon, Lara Jonggrang hosts unique performances of the Ramayana ballet., the capital of East Java, the temples of the Malang area and the Bromo volcano are attractive.
In the south of the island, 42 km. northwest of Yogyakarta, there is a unique monument of medieval Indonesian art – Borobudur Stupa(“monastery on the mountain” or “temple of a thousand Buddhas”, 778-856), built in the form of a 10-tiered stone pyramid with a height of 34 m. The walls of the stupa symbolizing the sacred mountain Meru are decorated with 1460 reliefs on the themes of the life of Buddha or illustrating ancient Indian epics “Ramayana” and “Mahabharata”, and in niches and on round terraces there are 504 Buddha statues. The five-kilometer “Procession Road” spirally encircles all this majestic structure, symbolizing self-perfection and the path of cognition of the spiritual principle in man. At the top of the building, in the center of the highest terrace, which offers a delightful view of the surrounding mountain landscape, there is a sanctuary with a diameter of 15 m, symbolizing the highest goal and spiritual freedom. It is the largest monument of Buddhism in the southern hemisphere.
Bali Island, lying between the islands of Java and Lombok, is considered the most developed tourist area in Indonesia. The length of the island is 150 km. from east to west and 80 km. from North to South. Height up to 3142 m (Agung volcano). Total area – 5561 sq. km. The population is 2.9 million people. The capital and administrative center is the city of Denpasar, located in the southern part of the island, is very different from the image of a typical Asian capital familiar to many – an unexpectedly quiet and green city, filled with the aromas of plants and with unusually fresh air. Many small buildings of traditional architecture, the Negen Propinsi ethnographic museum, the Taman Vedi Budaiya Art Center, quiet cozy streets, the constantly shining sun – all this gives the city a special charm. Nearby is the Ngurah Rai International Airport – the main transport hub of the island.
The “Isle of the Gods” itself attracts tourists with its pristine landscapes, tropical forests and the majestic volcanoes of Kintamini, Gunung Batur (1717 m.) and Gunung Agung, as well as temples and excellent resorts with blue lagoons and dense tropical jungles around. Bali is a “Hindu enclave” in the largest Muslim country in the world, so the customs and customs of the locals are softer and more tolerant of foreigners’ way of life, which makes this island a great place for a relaxing holiday.
The main attractions of the island are located on the slope of the sacred mountain Gunung Agung (active volcano!) 85 km. from Nusa Dua, the temple complex of Pura Besakih (Temple of the Mother), towering on the seaside cliff “Temple of the Sea” Tanan Lot, the sacred “monkey forest” Alas Kedaton, surrounded by water “Royal Temple” Taman Ayun in Mengwi, “temple in the middle of the lake” Uyun Danu, the famous handicraft and ethnographic center with the museum “Puri Lukisan” in Ubud, rock temples in Pejeng, Yeh Pulu and Pura Samuan Tiga, the “turtle island” Serangan, the village of Cheluk jewelers , the monastery and sacred spring of Pura Tirta Empul in Tampaksiring, the temple of Pura Panataran Sasi, the royal tomb of Gunung-Kavi (X-XI centuries), as well as the “cave of bats” Goa Lavah, a huge gallery of rock bas-reliefs in Ge-Pulu, Git-Git waterfall (40 m.), “Elephant cave “Goya Gaja with a statue of Ganesha (XIII century), Lake Batur located in the crater of an extinct volcano with a chic botanical garden around, etc. The only national park in Bali is Bali Barat, spread over 20 thousand hectares, known for its variety of plants and animals. But in completely free conditions, the local flora and fauna are combined in the vast forests of Danau Bratan, the Bird Park is located in Taman Burung, the Elephant Safari Elephant Park in Desa Taro, the Water Park in Kuta, and Taman Kupu Kupu- Butterfly Park. There are no bars or enclosures here, but the concentration of living beings is simply amazing.
The main “tourist attraction” of the island is undoubtedly its beaches and seaside resorts. The most popular resorts on the island are Sanur, Kuta, Jimbaran, Benoa, Tuban Legian, Nusa Dua, Candi Dasa, Ubud and Lovina. Luxurious five-star hotels and cozy private hotels, gardens and parks immersed in greenery, numerous small museums and beautiful embankments and beaches are concentrated here. The underwater world near the island is striking in its splendor, and the areas around the islands of Menjangan, Gili Tepekong, Gili Wiah, and Gili Minpang, Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan are widely known for their beautiful landscapes among divers around the world.
Sulawesi (Celebes) is a real “reserve of cultures” and traditions. Inhabited by many scattered tribes, green intermountain valleys attract both lovers of ethnology and fans of active tourism. Cave burials, exotic nature, Buton Island Nature Reserve, beautiful coral reefs in the Manado Bay area, magnificent mountain lakes, magnificent folk ceremonies, Vredenburn Fort and the Folk Art Museum in Ujungpandang – all this attracts thousands of tourists here.
Sumatra is the fifth largest island in the world. Volcanic activity “gave” the island hundreds of kilometers of dark sand beaches and dozens of the purest mountain lakes, and a turbulent historical past – the ruins of ancient temple complexes and palaces. The most interesting are the fashionable Parapat resort on the shores of the magnificent volcanic Lake Toba, the royal graves and the palace of Samosir Island, the Istana Maimun Palace, the Mesjid Raya Mosque and the Bukit Barisan Military Museum in Medan, a crocodile farm near Medan, an orangutan rehabilitation center in Bohorok, picturesque canals Palembanga, Southeast Asia’s largest volcanic lake – Toba, the green mountain valleys of Kerinchi and Danau Ranau, the amazing and legendary capital of the mengkabau people – Bukittinggi (Fort de Kok), the “killer volcano” Krakatau in the Sunda Strait, as well as numerous villages of local residents, as if transferred to the 21st century from a deep middle ages.
In the northern part of Sumatra, there is the country’s largest nature reserve – Gunung-Luser, which protects the habitats of the rarest Sumatran rhinoceros, tigers, wild bulls and orangutans, as well as relic mountain landscapes and unique rock outcrops. And around the volcanoes Gunung Sinabung and Gunung Sibayak, where the climate is much cooler, there are the best trekking areas of the island and many small private mountain climatic resorts along the shores of the purest mountain lakes.
Kalimantan (Borneo) – the place of residence of the famous “headhunters” – the Dayaks, one of the last “wild” tribes of the planet, living according to the laws of the Stone Age. The village of Melak is famous for its orchid garden, the “river city” of Pontianak for its houseboats, canals and the wooden mosque of Mesji Abdurraham, Muara Muntai and Long Iram for its beautiful river routes. And the local rivers are one of the best places for rafting in the country.
Almost all of the western and northern coasts of Lombok are occupied by comfortable resort complexes. The most interesting here are the Jili Islands, famous for their dazzling white beaches, the majestic Rinjani volcano (3726 m.) with a crater lake, Otakokok and Sendang Jila waterfalls, a huge rock-viewing platform in Pantai Segar, Bounty Bay, as well as traditional silk and pottery workshops in the Senggigi area., Mataram and Ampenan.
Flores Island is one of the few places in the world where whaling is allowed. Here, on the Alora archipelago and the island of Solor, you can get acquainted with this ancient and widely forgotten method of hunting. Also on Flores, at an altitude of about 1600 m, there is a unique “tricolor” lake Keli Matu, whose waters are colored with various mineral salts coming from volcanic craters at its bottom. And the villages of Nggela, Voloiita and Yopu are famous for their handmade sarongs and shawls.
Madura Island is famous for its colorful “kerapan sapi” – bull racing, Sumba island – group fights of riders, the islandNias – by jumping over a two-meter stone column. “Penchak silat” – a local version of martial arts and the traditional sports game “sepak takraw” – volleyball, which is played with the feet, is ubiquitous.
The islands of Komodo and Rinka are well-known nature reserves, habitats for the Komodor dragon (lizard) – the largest reptile on the planet. On the small volcanic island of Moyo is located “the most secluded hotel in the world” – the Amanwana complex, built right in the jungle.
The best dive sites in Malaysia are located in the “Thousand Islands” area north of Jakarta (Palau Damar, Palau Tikus, Palau Pari, Palau Putri, Palau Pelangi, Palau Perak, Palau Papa Theo), near the beaches of Mawan, Tampa and Mavi on Lombok, as well as areas north of Kullu, Jimbaran and Lovina in Bali.