Indonesia is a much-visited country, offering a mix of culture, beaches and a favourable exchange rate. With so many islands to explore, and each with its own culture and identity, it's far too easy to get weighed down by choice.
Below are some of our favourite places to go in Indonesia, and where to head when you've come to the end of your visa.
Where to go in Indonesia
Ubud is the spiritual centre of Indonesia, with a number of meditation and yoga retreats found in the town. Ubud also has a number of local markets, art galleries, Buddhist temples and its Sacred Monkey Forest, which is exactly what it sounds like.
Found on the island of Java, to the east of Jakarta, Yogyakarta is to Indonesia what Angkor Wat is to Cambodia or Sukhothai is to Thailand. Its 18th century kraton, located in the grounds of the modern sultan's palace, is the star attraction, but Prambanan and Taman Sari are also worth a visit.
While the beaches at Kuta may be the most popular with tourists, those at Lombok are much more relaxed. Lombok's seas are also favoured by those who travel with a surfboard or scuba diving kit. For thosewho want an even more tranquil spot, Lombok is the gateway to the Gili Islands, a trio of small hideaways famous for their lack of motor vehicles.
Where to go after Indonesia
The island of Borneo is shared by three countries – Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia – and Kota Kinabalu, in the Malaysian section, is one of the best areas to visit for nature lovers. It's not far from both an orang-utan and a proboscis monkey sanctuary, and you can also visit Mount Kinabalu for all your hiking needs.
Indonesia and the Philippines have much in common – huge, bustling capitals and an abundance of beautiful islands – but if you're pushing your visa limit in Indonesia it's a great way to extend your holiday in a similar vein. Manila has much to see and do, but after a few days you may prefer to hop on a domestic flight and see some the smaller islands to relax on the pristine beaches.
Perth is often neglected by New Zealand holiday makers simply for the time it takes to get to the west coast of Australia. From Indonesia, however, it's a lot closer, making itmuch easier to explore the charms of the city. With its numerous beaches and historical buildings, as well as the appealof Rottnest Island and the lure of the many nearby vineyards, there's plenty to keep you occupied.
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Please note: all information is correct as of November, 2016.
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