Indonesia is an interesting place to spend some time. The country consists of over 13,000 islands that are spread out over 735,358 square miles of sea. This means that many of the islands have their own indigenous culture that evolved independently of their neighbors. Although parts of the country have turned into must-see tourist destinations, such as Bali, there are other places to visit that haven’t been so heavily marketed. This doesn’t mean that Bali should be entirely discounted – just that the six places here are less touristy and are better for people who want to go slightly off the beaten path.
1) Mount Bromo
Although Mount Bromo is an active volcano, this doesn’t mean that it can’t be visited by tourists. Obviously, no one should go there during an eruption, but if you’re there at the right time, then Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park is a must-see. The park is a nature preserve, and its possible to take a Jeep tour that leads you not only the viewing station on Mount Penanjakan, but you can actually visit the volcanic Mount Bromo as well. How many people can say that they’ve stepped foot on an active Indonesian volcano? Not many. Once you get to the Mount Penanjakan viewpoint, you’ll be able to see the destruction around Mount Bromo. The area around it has been flattened thanks to the magma and ash that emerge from it. The view is really not quite like anything else in the world.
2) Komodo National Park
Home to the incredible Komodo Dragon, this park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Komodo Dragon is the world’s largest reptile, and it makes its home here in Indonesia. The park is located in the Lesser Sunda Islands area of the country, and it consists of not one island, but a number of them. Some of the other sites found in Komodo National Park include macaque monkeys, water buffalo, the orange-footed scrubfowl (a type of non-flying, ground-dwelling bird), wild boar, and Timor rusa deer. There is clearly no shortage of wildlife to gawk at while visiting.
3) Tana Toraja
This island in the Southern Sulawesi section of Indonesia is known for its indigenous culture. You’ll see traditional villages and ceremonies, as well as Tongkonan houses, which are built with extremely sloping roofs that provide them with spaces to store their food. Parts of the island are designed for tourism, but if you venture off a bit, you’ll have no trouble finding the traditional sections of each village. One thing to note when visiting Tana Toraja – the native people in this part of Indonesia celebrate some interesting funerary practices, including ritual dances, buffalo fights, and animal slaughters. They end several days later when the deceased ends up in his or her final resting place – a local cave. If you can, make sure to be present during part of the funeral rituals.
4) Lake Toba
Lake Toba is an ancient lake on the Indonesia island of Sumatra. It is approximately 62 miles long by 19 miles wide. According to estimates, Lake Toba is a whopping 1,657 feet deep. It formed in the crater of an ancient supervolcano that may have erupted around 66,000 years ago. The area around the park is very scenic, with green rolling hills as far as the eye can see. Visitors can take boats out on the lake, which has a number of natural fish species. It’s definitely worth heading out on the lake, even if you don’t like to fish since the surrounding tropical pine forest is worth looking at.
Lombok is a part of the Lesser Sunda Islands in the West Nusa Tenggara region of Indonesia. The island depends largely on tourism and is inhabited primarily by the Sasak people. Of the many things to do in Lombok are seeing the Buddhist and Hindu temples, as well as the many mosques on the island. The area is an unusual blend of religious beliefs, although the Sasak are mostly Muslim. The tourist developed sections of Lombok have plenty of restaurants, places to stay, and cultural institutions to visit, although the beaches and natural vistas on the outlying areas shouldn’t be overlooked.
6) Gili Islands
Although the Gili Islands are actually a part of the Lombok Regency, they are technically in a world of their own. The islands provide you with plenty of things to explore, from rice paddies and a turtle sanctuary to scuba diving spots. In fact, scuba diving around the three islands is the main thing to do. There’s no shortage of underwater sites, including the bounty wreck, the air wall, frogfish point, the coral fan garden, and the mikro reef. Plus, if you don’t feel like scuba diving, you can always rest on one of the pristine beaches.
Author Bio : This guest article is a work of John Smith in support of Bali Ferry.