Live an adventurous life of work + travel

5 places to fall in love with Indonesia

5 places to fall in love with Indonesia

This post has been submitted by Marie, founder of Miles of HappinessShe lived in Indonesia for a year and absolutely loves the country, so the details below are the words from an (ex) long-term traveler in Indo.

5 spots to fall for Indonesia / Sumbawa

Sumbawa, Nusa Tenggara 

Sumbawa is an island in the middle of the Lesser Sunda Islands chain, between Lombok and Flores.

If you want to escape the crowds and enjoy the serenity of a remote destination, this is your place. In Sumbawa, most of the locals don’t speak English, some don’t speak Bahasa Indonesia either –they have their own dialect. You wanted to feel lost in the wild? Be my guest!

It’s all volcanic ridges, terraced rice fields, jungled peninsulas, sheltered bays and incredible waves. In fact, lots of travelers come to Sumbawa to surf. But even though you don’t surf, you’ll enjoy perfect white sandy beaches for yourself, gorgeous sunset on the sea and stunning scenery all around. The best way to discover the island is to rent a scooter. As the territory is very wide, you can plan a few weeks road trip there.

It’s a whole different kind of place than anything you’ll see in travel guides.

5 spots to fall for Indonesia / Ubud

Ubud, Bali

Ubud is located among rice paddies and steep ravines in the central foothills of Bali. It’s the heart of Bali.

With time, it certainly became very touristic, but it still has unique spiritual vibes. From hundreds of lovely temples with the permanent odor of incense, the monkey forest, the wide rice terraces and the craft shops, to the traditional Balinese dance shows, this town is artful, creative and serene in the meantime. There is always something happening. If it’s not a live indie concert, it’s an artist hand-painting the landscape on an easel…

This destination is hard to leave. It’s one of those places where you feel so good that days become weeks, and weeks become months.

5 spots to fall for Indonesia / Gilis

Gili Islands, Lombok, Nusa Tenggara

It’s not only in the movies. The perfect relaxing island does exist in real life. Actually, there are even three of them. They’re called the Gili Islands, and belong to Lombok, Nusa Tenggara.

Picture three tiny islands, fringed by white-sand beaches and coconut palms, sitting in a turquoise sea. The Gilis are a heaven. I specially enjoyed my stay there after my four days trek in Rinjani: cocktails, snorkeling, sunbathing, massages, a bike ride, swimming with the turtles… What else?!

That’s also the destination if you’re having a nervous breakdown at home.

5 spots to fall for Indonesia / Yogiakarta

Yogiakarta, Java

If most cities of Java I visited were a mess, Yogiakarta was the exception. A beautiful surprise.

Yogiakarta is the cultural capital if Java, home of its artistic and intellectual heritage. I’ve been from discoveries to discoveries during my trip there: batik art school, traditional markets, night parade of tuktuk decorated with neon lights (!), awesome rooftop bars, magnificent Sultan palace… It’s colorful and very lively, with very friendly people.

It’s also an ideal base to explore nearby attractions, including the most important archaeological sites of Indonesia, Borobudur and Prambanan. They are both absolutely breathtaking sites, respectively at sunrise and sunset.

5 spots to fall for Indonesia / Pangadaran

Pangandaran, Java

In South Java, I’ve seen the beach that has been in my imagination a long time! The one I saw when I tried to picture Indonesia. Bamboo bar, ‘handmade’ wooden bridges, palm trees on the beach, tiny fishing boats, reggae concert at sunset, bed & breakfast hippie style, couples riding tandems, surfers with dreadlocks…

Pangandaran is the place to meet locals with a few Bintangs, to surf or just relax, and, the most important: to take it eaaasy.

You might also like:

Latest posts by Marie Pottiez (see all)

12 Responses to “5 places to fall in love with Indonesia”

  1. Lizzie

    Love Marie’s drawings! Such a nice accompaniment to the article. I haven’t been to Indonesia yet but it looks absolutely stunning 🙂

  2. Stephanie Rogers

    The drawings in this post are beautiful. I had the pleasure of visiting Bali last August and most definitely realised how much I loved it there after visiting Ubud. It’s a must for anyone who visits Bali! Really lovely post.

    • Ashlea Wheeler

      Aren’t the drawings amazing! Marie has some serious talent. Did you draw the header for your blog Allane? I really love that image!

  3. Alex Conomos

    With the bad press that certain parts of Indonesia receive I had always sidelined it as a place to go but this post has got me thinking otherwise, thank you!

    • Ashlea Wheeler

      Indonesia is funny like that, there are certain parts that get a bad rep and may not be worth visiting, but there are other parts that are unbelievably beautiful and cultural. I guess it all depends on where you decide to go. Lucky we have Marie to put together lists like this for us! 😀

  4. Danni @Two Peas in a Pack

    Beautiful Illustrations. I rue the day I took my mini watercolor set out of my pack.
    I’ve never been to the Gili Islands but this definitely makes me want to go.

  5. Miles of Happiness - Marie

    Thanks everybody, I really appreciate the kind words. This is a really personal list, of course there are tons of places to see in Indonesia, and even in months there, I’ve seen only a tiny part of this beautiful country… I definitely want to go back there. Next spots: Borneo, Wakatobi and Togian Islands :))


Leave a Reply

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS