Indonesia is a nation rich in social assorted variety, home to around 300 ethnic gatherings and 700 dialects. It is one of the biggest nations on the planet, checking around 17,500 heavenly islands, some of which are as yet unexplored. Our guide investigates the best 5 spots to see while you are bridging the nation.
Lombok Island, West Nusa Tenggara
Similar in density and size to neighboring Bali, and sharing some cultural heritage, Lombokhas developed as one of the main tourist destinations in Indonesia. It is around Senggigi that most facilities have developed, and it also from there that the very popular Gili Islands – Gili Trawangan, Meno and Air – are most commonly accessed. The Gili Islands have enough diversity to provide for all tastes: from luxury resorts, to laidback backpackers’ retreats, the islands have it all. Other tourist spots south of Lombok include Kuta Beach, famous for its quasi-deserted white sand beaches, and as one of the best surfing spots worldwide, and Mount Rinjani, an active volcano.
Manado, North Sulawesi
Formerly used as a Dutch stronghold and cultural center of the Minahasa ethnic group, Manado was for a long time a prosperous city trading with neighboring Philippines, and the rest of the world when it came to spices. However, most of the older buildings did not make it through WWII. The city is still worth a visit though as it is home to the biggest and most important churches in the region. Contrary to the rest of Indonesia, which is predominantly Muslim, Christianity here is the main religion. Other interesting sights include the impressive Lake Tondano and Lake Linow, the nearby volcanoes, and the Christ statue in a flying posture in the Citraland Park.
Raja Ampat, Papua
Situated in Papua, the archipelago of Raja Ampat, comprising more than 1,500 small islands, is a diver’s dream destination. The underwater scenery is incredibly beautiful, and includes one of the richest coral reef ecosystems on earth. It also includes around 1,300 different species of fish, 530 species of coral, and around 700 species of mollusk. The islands remain remote, and are hard to access, which makes them relatively undisturbed by human activity and expensive to get to. But for divers, this place is highly recommended.
Pontianak, West Kalimantan
The second longest in the world and the longest in Indonesia, the Kapuas River in the jungles of Borneo brings you all the way into the hinterlands, home to the indigenous Dayak people. Deep in the rainforest, traditional ways of life have survived throughout the years. In an incredible natural setting, rich in diversity, boat rides starting from Pontinanak are the ideal way to explore the region. You can also experience the Dayak way of life by staying in traditional longhouses. In the villages, elders still use traditional medicine, perform rituals, mark bodies with intricate tattoos, and wear heavy earrings. Borneo is also the best place to spot black orchids, orangutans, and fresh water dolphins.
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Komodo Island, East Nusa Tenggara
Close to Timor Leste, the Komodo Island is home to one of the most fascinating creatures on earth: the Komodo dragon. The dragon is native to Indonesia, and these islands are the only place where they can be found living in the wild. It is the largest lizard in the world, sometimes growing as tall as three meters long and weighing up to 70 kilograms, with sharp claws and poisonous saliva. Their natural habitat is the tropical forest where they live in groups. The Komodo National Park is a protected site in Indonesia, and it has become illegal to hunt or harm these deadly dragons. With the permission of the local government, local and foreign tourists alike visit the islands every year.