Deciding which part of Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago, to visit can be a little bit puzzling. If you only have a 2-week vacation and you would like to get the best out of your Indonesian trip, where should you go?
Home to more than 17,000 islands, 300 distinct native ethnicities and 700 different languages, truly exploring Indonesia will take a lifetime! However, don’t let these numbers scare you away. You can still experience the best of Indonesia if your trip is well planned.
According to the Indonesian Ministry of Culture and Tourism, more than 6 million foreigners visited Indonesia in 2008. This remarkable number increased enormously from 2007. Despite the recent negative media coverage of Indonesia’s situation, tourism in Indonesia has never lost its value.
Here are some of the top tourist destinations in Indonesia:
- Bali – The Island of Gods Bali has now become one of the top WORLD destinations for its white sand beaches, blue sky, magnificent waves, tropical weather and friendly locals. For several years, the International Travel Magazine awarded Bali as the world’s best island. There were more than 1.4 million tourists to Bali in 2008. You have to wonder, what makes Bali as the most popular tourist destination in Indonesia? First of all, the island is located 8 to 9 degrees south of the equator with the Java Sea to the north and the Indian Ocean to the south, which gives Bali a wonderful tropical weather all year long! If it is rich cultural experience that you are looking for, Bali has it all for you. Balinese people have very strong Hindu beliefs. This is depicted through the statues and temples that you can visit all around Bali. One of the most popular art form is “Tari Kecak” or the Ramayana Monkey Chant. A fact that most people doesn’t know about “Tari Kecak” is that this art form was originally a traditional trance ritual.
- Bunaken – A Marine Paradise on Earth It is said that Bunaken Marine Park has one of the highest levels of marine biodiversity. The park covers 89,065 hectares of warm tropical waters. It is a paradise of magnificent coral reefs. Many tourists come to this site to dive or snorkel to see the corals firsthand. Bunaken has received much international recognition for its marine park preservation. For instance, The International Coral Reef Action Network (ICRAN) has chosen Bunaken as its single Asian demonstration site for sustainable reef tourism. You are guaranteed to have a spectacular diving experience here! Staying on the marine park is also a relaxing one. Its laid-back lifestyle provides tourists with an enjoyment that they don’t usually get in big city life. Here, everything flows gently and you need not to worry. Start your day by going for a morning dive, then come back for a quick lunch and nap before going for an evening dive.
- Jakarta – A Metropolitan City in Indonesia Jakarta, the capital and the largest city in Indonesia, is home to 8 million people. It is the twelfth largest city in the world. You might wonder what you can see in Jakarta. There are actually many places that you might not expect to see in Jakarta. If it is museum experience that you are looking for, Jakarta is home to more than 22 museums with their own distinctive specialties. For instance, National Museum displays historical aspects of Indonesian culture through its extensive collections of artifacts and relics that date as far back as the Stone Age. The museum has one of the most complete collections of Chinese ceramics dating back to the Han, Tang and Ming Dynasties, as well as bronze and gold collections from the Indonesian classical period. On the other part of the city, Museum Wayang collects thousands of shadow puppets from all parts of Indonesia. There are many other things that you can do when you visit Jakarta. One thing for certain, culinary adventure is a must! Jakarta has a wide selection of traditional cuisines because of the unique blending of Indonesian ethnicities in Jakarta. At the end, you may fully taste Indonesia’s culinary adventure just by staying in Jakarta!