ULTRA MARINE: The Indonesian archipelago of Raja Amat has scarcely changed since spice traders passed this way in the eighteenth century - photography: Christ Court - text: Maria Shollenbarger - CNTraveler June 2014
“The islands of Raja Amat form a labyrinth of blue channels, white beaches, and coral reefs.”
When people talk about Indonesia and travel in the same sentence, Bali seems to turn up more often than not. But beyond the rightly popular beaches of Bali, Indonesia is also home to more than 13,000 islands, 12 incredible national parks, numerous dive sites, accessible volcanoes, drool-worthy food and so much more. It’s truly underrated as a destination, and with close proximity and strong SGD currency over IDR, it’s more than a compelling reason why you should visit Indonesia! Here are more reasons why Indonesia is completely underrated as a travel destination.
Indonesia is the hot spot for adventure and intrepid experiences
Forget heading halfway across the world for new experiences. Check out the budget-friendlier places in Indonesia and take your pick from some of these ideas: Pick strawberries in the Lembangand Ciwidey in Bandung; spend the whole day with your family petting farm animals in Kuntum Nurseries Farm Field; bring out your inner adventurer in the Kalibiru National Park in Yogyakarta; reflect on the majestic Brown Canyon in Semarang; fly like a bird in the Abyss Zipline in Ceningan Island Resort in Bali; find excellent shore-based diving surrounded with a view of magnificent volcanoes and lush rice paddy terraces in Bali and more!
Indonesia has one of the world’s best diving sites
Dive sites in Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Gilimanuk in Bali often comes up in the list of favourite dive sites in the world, and for good reasons. Divers can find 75 per cent of the world’s known coral species, around 2,000 species of reef fish and not to mention, special appearances by whales, dolphins, sunfish, sharks, dugong, manta rays and more!
Club, lights and sounds in Jakarta
Jakarta is home to an amazing array of nightlife that can put even Vegas to shame. From popular and dressy Dragon Fly, to the amazing music-fueled ambience of lounge/club, Flow, you’re in for a good time no matter your budget. A blooming Jazz scene also attracts musicians from around the world to perform in the numerous jazz clubs situated within Jakarta, as well as special music festivals in Bali.
Singaporeans are well acquainted with Indonesian cuisine in terms of Nasi Padang, but do you know that Indonesian food are actually cooked and served differently based on regions? Generally, it is split into Padang and Minangkabau cuisine. Both cuisine varies in terms of the amount of spices and coconut milk that goes into the preparations. Wouldn’t you just love to go on a food hunt for the best satay, Murtabak, Ayam Goreng, Ayan Soto, Nasi Campur and more across Bandung, Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Semarang and Bali?
It’s hard not to find spirituality in the cultural capital of SEA
Indonesia is also home to the world’s biggest Buddhist temple, Borobudur, with its intricate lattice stupas set among paddy fields. Ubud in Bali alone provides tonnes of luxury yoga retreats for any yoga aficionados. Alternatively, you can also skip the crowds by heading to the quieter Pawon, Mendut, Plaosan Lor and Kalasan.
The list is simply not exhaustive, and you simply must explore parts of Indonesia yourself for some of the world’s best attractions you’ll ever see – at a fraction of the price you’ll need to fly to a faraway land!
Airasia flies direct to Bandung (2 times daily), Jakarta (4 times daily) , Yogyakarta (daily), Semarang(4 times weekly) and Bali (4 times daily) from Singapore. Grab your flights now.
Derawan Islands is a dream destination for those seeking thrilling adventure, beachside relaxation, and captivating natural surroundings. Located near East Kalimantan, Indonesia, this archipelago of 31 islands offers unique opportunities to explore the underwater life home to manta rays, giant turtles, barracudas, and stingless jellyfish. Watch to learn more about this tropical paradise, and be prepared for the sudden urge to pack your bags and book the earliest flight to Derawan Islands!
Blessed to see this view last weekend. No sunrise is the same, and each time never fails to take my breath away.
The sunrise view point at Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park in East Java, Indonesia is a popular destination that attracts travelers from around the world. The best time to leave is around midnight, to arrive early and find a good spot for viewing. Before the sunrise, travelers are surrounded by a sea of stars, which also adds to the magnificence of the experience.