Indonesia has become one of Southeast Asia’s hottest travel destinations. In the last few decades, Thailand and Vietnam have been THE go to places, but maybe this is all about to change. Like in Thailand or Vietnam, expats from the English speaking world have started working in Indonesia in growing numbers. This has led to better, bigger and more diverse expat communities across the archipelago. What is it that brings everyone to Indonesia? Travel!
Indonesia is diverse both ecologically and culturally. As a worker, traveller, teacher and expat, you could explore almost everything Indonesia has to offer, but make sure you go to the right places.
ENTER THE DRAGON – KOMODO NATIONAL PARK
Dragons have been famous the world over. In ancient Chinese tails, stories of St. George and even modern stories like Game of Thrones, the dragon has been a strong mythical creature that could cause destruction and chaos. In real life, the closest we have come to see such a beast is the Komodo dragon.
The Komodo dragon is a large species of lizard that can be found in the islands of Padar, Gili Montang, Flores, Rinca and of course, Komodo. Although not as big and scary as mythological creatures, the Komodo dragon is still pretty big. They can grow up to 3 meters long and weigh over 70 kilograms. To see these spectacular animals, you would need to visit the Komodo National Park.
The Komodo National Park has been named one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. The islands are well known for their rich biodiversity, and their waters are home to some of the richest corals on earth. While on the islands, you can enjoy a dragon spotting trek, you can go snorkelling in the beautiful waters, or even go scuba diving. The Komodo National Park is the only place on the planet where you can see the Komodo dragon in its natural habitat, to miss this would be a mistake!
Close your eyes for a second. Try and picture the most idyllic beautiful beach that your mind can conjure. Now, go to a search engine and type in “Gili Islands” and you’ll probably find something very similar to what you imagined.
The Gili islands are some of the world’s most beautiful islands. Together, Gili Air, Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan all have beautiful sandy beaches, crystal clear water, and all-around amazing sceneries and atmosphere. In recent years, these islands have become extremely popular with tourists and expats. Hundreds of small businesses have popped up offering excursions, diving and activities.
Despite their popularity, the Gili’s are still quiet and peaceful islands away from the hustle and bustle of some of Indonesia’s more densely populated cities. Spending a few days in the Gili’s can be just what the doctor ordered when working in Indonesia. On roughly $30 per day, you can enjoy delicious seafood, ice cold beers, and snorkel around the islands.
Built in the 10th century, Prambanan is a world-famous Hindu temple compound dedicated to the Brahma (God as the creater), Vishnu (God as the preserver) and Shiva (God as the Destroyer).
As a spectacle, nothing can really prepare you for this awe-inspiring compound. Originally, 240 temples were built, with the tallest temple measuring 47 meters high. Each temple has its own uniquely designed carvings, with the larger temples being home to fine sculptural works all derived from Hindu tradition.
Getting to the Temple has become much easier than in the past. All you have to do is head to Yogyakarta (if you’re not teaching or working there), and jump on the TransJogja which is a relatively new bus service. Buses leave every 20 minutes, and they should all have air conditioning!
OTHER MUST SEE LOCATIONS
Kalimantan – The steamy forests of the Indonesian Borneo are home to stunning rainforests which are the natural habitat of the noble orangutan.
Bali – Bali needs very little introduction. It’s home to stunning beaches, fantastic food and both eastern and western amenities.
Mount Bromo – Mount Bromo is an active volcano and one of the most visited destinations in East Java. The mountain is ideal if you’re looking to go on a unique hike and take some amazing photos.
ARE YOU READY?
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