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10 Tips for the Ultimate Indonesian Vacation

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Indonesia is an exciting destination full of cultural marvels and natural wonders. But despite its size, it may be a bit unfamiliar to a lot of travellers. Luckily, we’ve got first-hand experience when it comes to travelling in Indonesia. And we’ve come up with a list of 10 tips that will help you have the ultimate Indonesian vacation whenever you do visit.

1. Go on a bike tour through Bali

A bike tour on Bali. (Credit: Michael Ropar)

Hopping on a locally-guided bicycle tour through the countryside villages of Bali gives you an ideal opportunity to meet locals. You’ll see the exuberant smiles of the Balinese schoolchildren, catch a sly grin of the farmers who have been tending to rice paddies for decades, and enjoy a glimpse of everyday life on this famous vacation island.

2. When in the jungle, leave your passports and jewelry at home

When you’re visiting Ubud’s Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, leave your easily-snatched valuables at home. The monkeys are curious and like to get close, which can lead you to leaving the forest with a lot less than you arrived with.

3. Take the time to explore the grounds of Lempuyang Temple

Nusa Penida’s own “Gate of Heaven.” (Credit: Michael Ropar)

Lempuyang Temple is one of the most famous spots in Bali, largely for its Instagram-famous Gate of Heaven. The gate itself certainly draws crowds, but you should take the time to enjoy the grounds of the temple in addition to the gate. It has a unique hilltop architecture and amazing panoramas.

4. Explore the beaches on a 4×4 vehicle

Although a high-speed ferry to Nusa Penida may not be for the faint of heart, exploring Angel Billabong, Broken Beach, and Kelingking Beach in a 4×4 vehicle offers a bumpy road in paradise with gorgeous cliffside views. It’s an exhilarating way to explore a beautiful spot.

5. Don’t skip out on Central Java

The highlights around the city of Yogyakarta, namely Borobudur Temple and Prambanan Temple, are absolute must-see landmarks. Yogyakarta is a quick 50-minute flight from either Jakarta or Denpasar, making for a great overnight or 2-night extension to your trip to Bali. It offers an adventure steeped in history and architectural delights.

6. Head to Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak Beaches for the nightlife

If you’re seeking some seaside nightlife during your time in Bali, these spots will not disappoint. If you’re looking for a more serene spot to spend the night, Nusa Dua and its coastline is dotted with luxury resorts, including The Mulia Resort & Villas, which offer quiet days at leisure on the island.

7. Go on a sunrise trek up Mt. Batur

Hiking the mountainside. (Credit: Michael Ropar)

Despite the moderately-challenging terrain, and the abundance of pebbles you will inevitably bring home as unplanned souvenirs in your shoes, you should hike Mt. Batur to see the sunrise. The trek up this active volcano on Bali is exhilarating and affords you epic views and an experience you’ll never forget, regardless of whether you’re a novice or avid hiker.

8. Don’t take “We will be arriving shortly” literally

In Bali, the term “we will be arriving shortly” doesn’t mean what you think it does. It’s closer to “We will be there in an hour” than the literal meaning of the phrase. Just be patient.

9. Being a millionaire doesn’t mean the same here

The Indonesian Rupiah will literally make you a multimillionaire during your time in Indonesia. The exchange rate is about 15,000 rupiah for $1 USD. So it doesn’t take much to make your “first million.” Just don’t expect too many perks because being a millionaire isn’t all that rare.

10. Enjoy a cup of Kopi Luwak

If you are a coffee connoisseur, a cup or two of Kopi Luwak is a must. You just may not want to know how your cup of “Java” came to be. Hint: it involves “previously enjoyed” coffee beans.

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Michael Ropar
Michael Ropar
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