Seven Reasons to Visit Places Other Than Bali When Traveling to Indonesia

I've never travelled internationally, but it's definitely something that's high up on my bucket list. While there are a ton of d...

I've never travelled internationally, but it's definitely something that's high up on my bucket list. While there are a ton of different places I plan to eventually visit, there are some that stick out in my mind more than others. Asia, in all its massive entirety, seems like an amazing and breathtaking continent to visit. And within Asia, there are so many different places to go. Indonesia is one of those places.

Probably the best known and most popular travel destination in Indonesia is Bali. There are beautiful beaches, great coral reefs to dive in, and amazing religious sites to visit. But that’s only one small part of what Indonesia has to offer. I'd definitely love to visit Bali at some point but don’t want to make the mistake of thinking that there's nowhere else within the rest of Indonesia to venture to. Here are some of the amazing things I'd love to see within the whole country of Indonesia (not just Bali).



Volcanoes make for some of the most awe-inspiring natural features in the world and apparently Indonesia is the place to go to see them. The country sits on the ‘Pacific rim of fire’ and is home to over 150 separate volcanoes. The most popular one is Mount Bromo which you can get a stunning view of from the nearby Mount Penanjakan. It’s a tough climb (that I honestly would be to terrified to make) and it's full of other tourists but it’s seems absolutely beautiful and worth it. Apparently sunset is the best time to go!



Asia as a whole, and Indonesia, are great places to see some incredible wildlife. The island of Borneo spans 3 countries but the majority of it is in Indonesia. This is one of the best places in the world to see the majestic Orangutans. The beautiful rainforests on the island are packed full of these incredible creatures. The best way to explore the island is to hire a boat and take a trip down the Sekonyer river to visit the Camp Leakey reserve. There are some great guided tours through the rainforests that take you to the best areas to see the Orangutans. One of my favorite exhibits at the Atlanta Zoo is the orangutans and I can spend hours watching the babies play, so I know I would be in awe in the wild.

Komodo Dragons


The Orangutans in Borneo aren’t the only incredible animals to be found in Indonesia. There's also the chance to get up close and personal with the almost legendary Komodo Dragon. The biggest living lizard in the world and the closest ancestor we have to dinosaurs can only be found in Indonesia so seeing them up close and personal is a must. The Komodo National Park is made up of 4 islands where the Dragons roam free. They have been known to attack humans in the past, which is pretty scary, but going out with a guide is a good way to stay safe and get pretty close to them. This is an experience that you can only have in Indonesia so it's definitely on the Indonesia bucket list.



Indonesia and, in particular, the capital city of Jakarta, is an amazing place to sample Asian cuisine. And lord, if eating isn't one of my favorite things about travel. The country is a melting pot of cultures with people from Malaysia, China, India and Europe living there. The country has a long colonial history so the mixture of cultures is massive. That means there are so many incredible places to eat! You can find traditional cuisine from all of those different cultures but the best thing about it is the fusion food. Chefs combine all of these different cooking styles to create some truly incredible fusion dishes.



When people think about visiting Asia, they usually picture the backpacking experience. That puts a lot of people off if they’re used to staying in luxury hotels or apartments. I went camping one time and that was not the best experience. But the backpacking experience is only one way to see Indonesia,  since there are plenty of amazing places to stay in the built up areas like Jakarta. There are plenty of great sewa rumah (residential rental) companies in Jakarta that offer some incredible luxury apartments that you can stay in while you’re traveling. There are also a lot of great high-end hotels in the area as well. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you have to stay in cheap hostels with no amenities when you’re visiting Asia.


Travel is about discovering new cultures and having adventures, but it’s also about getting away from all of the stresses of modern life and relaxing for a few weeks. If that’s what you’re after, Indonesia is a great place for it. There are so many great spas in the country that offer pretty much any treatment that you can think of. You can have seaweed wrap treatments or fish spas where small fish will nibble away at the dead skin on your feet (which definitely sound interesting and I've heard it's actually better than it sounds). The masseurs are well trained in all sorts of different massage styles from around the world but the aromatherapy massage is apparently the one to go for if you’ve only got time for one. A lot of the big hotels have spas on site but you can also get treatments on the beach for the ultimate relaxation experience.

Buddhist Temples


The rich cultural and historical heritage is one of the most amazing things about Indonesia. The country is filled with so many beautiful Buddhist temples that you can visit. Borobudur is the biggest Buddhist temple in the entire world filled with over 500 impressive statues of Buddha. This impressive monument is one of the most popular attractions in the country so be prepared for crowds if you go during the day. If you want a more serene experience, you should visit at dawn so you can avoid the crowd and watch the sunrise from the top of the temple.

The Candi Plaosan on the island of Java is another great highlight. This massive collection of 248 temples with ornate carvings all over is incredibly impressive. You get a very authentic experience as you explore the temples and pass the guardians of the temple wielding snake staffs to ward off any evil. While you’re in Indonesia, there are so many great modern attractions but the historical heritage is much more important to me! I want to do things I've never experienced before and can't experience anywhere else.

Bali would definitely be very cool to visit but going there and nowhere else in Indonesia would really only scratching the surface of such an incredible country.

Have you ever visited Indonesia? Where have you traveled abroad to?

*This is a collaborative post

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  1. Fun share Kayla. I hope you get there soon. I think probably the main reason people don't travel outside of Bali or the designated main place in any country for that matter, is that the logistics of doing so can be very difficult, but not impossible. Hopefully, this gets people more inspired to make the extra effort.

    1. Agreed! And I think people may be weary of traveling to lesser-known or less-touristy areas because of fear of the unknown! I know you travel a lot, so you've probably got more knowledge behind the schematics than I do!