Written by Dawn Pillay
Co-written by Matin Firas Harahap
So you’ve read our Nusa Islands guide, and probably the Gili Islands one too. Did you know that there are at least 5 other places in Indonesia you may travel to from Bali?
Especially if you’re getting tired of the more popular (read: crowded) areas like Seminyak and Ubud in Bali, then you should check these other fun destinations out.
With lesser people around these quieter and lesser-known areas, these places have a more private feel to it – allowing you to vacation in peace and have fun while you’re at it!
There’s much to explore, so go ahead and read on for the highlights of these 7 alternative travel destinations!
Always wanted to visit Africa’s savannah grasslands? Lodged at the North Eastern coast of Java Island is an alternative not as far and not as costly. (It is also often called the ‘Africa’ of Java!)
Photo via tapaksruntul
Photo via deboranita
Photo via tn.baluran,-littlew00dy
Stretching over hundreds of hectares, the Baluran National Park displays several varieties of forests vegetation found across the Indonesian Archipelago.
Photo via angga_jap
The coolest thing about Baluran National Park, is that animals still roam freely. There are a variety of animals including panthers, leopards, primates, mangrove cats making their home here.
Photo via fahmiluthfillah,-tn.baluran
1-a. Highlights at Baluran National Park
Just like the African wilderness, a collection of mammals including panthers, foxes, deers, buffalos, and primates roam freely in their natural habitat – not to mention the several hundred species of bird that conquer the skies.
Photo via farisangger,-dimas_arya1919
Truly a rarity in today’s fast-paced development across the nation.
Photo via insightz99
There are also two beaches to choose from in the park; the Bilik Sijile Beach in the North Coast, with calming white beaches that juts out into the ocean during low tide, which is also a coral reef hotspot with plenty of colourful fish.
Photo via Zulfikar-Aleksandri
Or the Bama Beach on the East Coast, where a series of mangrove forests are home to several species of primates and biawaks.
With the successful return of dinosaurs in blockbuster movie Jurassic World, people all over the world are rekindling their love for these long extinct monstrous beauties. But wait – are you sure dinosaurs are really extinct? Really?
Photo via remotelands.com
Tucked away in Flores, Indonesia, is the often-forgotten Komodo island, where our modern day dinos – the Komodo dragons – live.
Dinosaur enthusiasts, are you getting excited? And guess what, giving these man-eating lizards a home visit doesn’t actually require too much effort – with some tips, you’ll be able to have the time of your life (and yes, actually return in one piece).
2-a. Highlights at Komodo Islands
The Komodo and Rinca islands are well-known as the home to some of the most ferocious lizards in the world – the Komodo dragons. These carnivorous creatures can grow up to 2.6 metres in length, and can run at speeds of up to 20km/h! That’s why it’s so important to be very careful when you’re on the islands.
Photo via airheads
If well-fed Komodo dragons don’t tickle your fancy, then challenge yourself by heading to the neighbouring Rinca Island. It’s often said that it’s easier to spot the dragons there, as the island is smaller.
However, the dragon inhabitants of Rinca island are also rumoured to be more ferocious; apparently, they were relocated there because they killed too many people on Komodo island.
Next, have you ever seen pink sand? It may sound unbelievable, but they truly do exist; at a different side (literally) of Komodo island. In fact, the crystal clear waters of the sea and baby pink shade of the beach make the Pink Beach seem as though it belongs in another place altogether.
Photo via ninoyap
However, this little beach on Komodo island is where tons of snorkelling fanatics stream to in a bid to catch sight of the wonderful underwater life available – from dolphins and turtles to manta rays, it almost feels like another world!
Photo via marshallsastra-and–nyamangroup
And another sight you have to catch at least once is found on Padar island, the third largest island in the park. It’s right between Komodo and Rinca island, so you’ll have to pass by it during your tour.
Photo via Asoka-Remadja
Don’t miss out on the lifetime opportunity of experiencing such a unique aspect of Indonesia’s culture and nature through a hike up Mount Ijen.
It’s suitable for the mountain buffs and hikers, and the travellers who love nature, and natural phenomena but are not afraid of nature’s unpredictability. If you consider yourself one of them, or someone with a passion for adventure and exploring unique and unusual experiences – including the harshness, dangers and inconveniences…
Then Mount Ijen will make a great experience for you.
4-a. Highlights of Kawah Ijen
Imagine mesmerising electric blue fire, streaming down the mountain during the night – and a turquoise and tranquil, but highly toxic lake with a sunrise that leaves you in awe with various shades of pink and purple as a backdrop.
Photo via jmprophoto
Photo via mifuguemiraison
(If you want to see the blue fire, trek during the night as it will be gone by 5am in the morning.)
Photos via Marc.wegner
At Mount Ijen, this is what you’ll get, along with being enrobed in sulphur clouds and breathing into a gas mask, making you look like a soldier on a mission. All this, while passing men carrying up to 90 kilos of sulphur in baskets on their shoulders for hours.
One highlight of climbing Mount Ijen, is getting to watch a mining operation close up. Watching the real life sulphur mining operation is not only an interesting experience, but a humble one that will make you feel grateful for your life.