Tourists have been flooding Bali, and Indonesia might have become popular today because of that but friends, there is more to Indonesia than just Bali. Yes! There are other 17000+ islands in Indonesia waiting to be explored. No two islands are the same and people in remote islands are culturally completely different than people in Bali.
I had booked my flight tickets to Indonesia not once but twice before. Not only did Divin & I lose out on tickets both the times, but our dream of staying in the infinity pool villas and the dreamy panoramic view of Nusa Penida beaches were shattered. Just when I thought Indonesia was jinxed & decided to never plan a Bali trip again, I got an invite from The Indonesia Ministry of Tourism & Malindo Air to visit Indonesia for a Bloggers Trip. I jumped on the opportunity & man what fun I had!
It was a well-organized trip to Jakarta & nearby islands that I never knew existed. For the first time, we all flew in Malindo Air with a transit in Kuala Lumpur. We landed in Jakarta, Indonesia’s massive capital.
We took time to explore the historic mix of cultures in Jakarta and also visited some of the islands around Jakarta which can be reached by a speedboat.
Good To Know: Indians get a free visa on arrival for 30 days. No questions asked.
Islands To Visit In Indonesia That are Not Bali!
1. Thousand Islands
You might fly to Jakarta on work and want to escape from the city skyscrapers on weekends, or you simply want to unwind on an Island with family or friends, but then, Bali is too touristy. However, Pulau Macan will come to your rescue. You will definitely thank me later.
So, there are not thousands but somewhere around 120+ islands north of Jakarta. Of which few are open to tourists & Pulau Macan (Tiger Island) is one of them.
You will have to sail for about 90 minutes to reach Pulau Macan from Jakarta in a Speedboat. As we docked I was completely mesmerised and so will you be. Pulau Macan is a small private island with just one resort that occupies the complete island.
Pulau Macan Eco Village & Resort has private sea front cabanas, cabin rooms, tents and camp sites. Water activities here include kayaking, scuba diving and snorkelling. Board games, Frisbees and Table Tennis are also available. They have taken coral conservation and natural building way too seriously. A 5 minutes’ walk will take you from one end to the other end of the island. Spend a day or 1N/2N in the pristine islands.
The best thing you could do is just laze around and stare at the sea. Nothing can calm your mind and soothe your soul like the sea does. Wouldn’t you agree?
Walk or hop on to a boat to visit the nearby unhabituated islands. With white sand beaches and crystal-clear water, you would not want to go back home once you reach here.
Once in a while, take some time off to do little things like catching a sunset, meditating on the beach, lay back on a hammock, read a book or simply chill while listening to music. And what better place to do that than Pulau Macan Eco Village & Resort in Pulau Macan island.
2. Raja Ampat
Closer to Papua New Guinea, Raja Ampat is a true tropical paradise. Underwater world is full of life with excellent coral reef. Most people come here to snorkel & dive.
3. Komodo Island
Visit Komodo National Park to see Komodo Dragons which is an endangered species and how about enjoying the sunset at Pink Beach? A boat ride from here would take you to Pulau Padar for a hike and you will not mind the distance travelled for the view is simply spectacular.
4. Java Island
Visit Yogyakarta if you want to wander around ancient temples and ruined cities. Don’t miss the temple complexes of Prambanan and Borobodur very close to Yogyakarta. Hike to Mount Ijen to see the electric blue flames and Mount Bromo, an active volcano. Indonesian capital Jakarta sits on the northwest coast of Java.
5. Nusa Islands
A thirty-minute boat ride from Sanur, Bali will take you to cliff tops and picturesque coastlines surrounded by pristine waters. While Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Lembongon are separated by a yellow bridge and have more guest houses, it is Nusa Penida that is the most instagrammable and biggest of the three.
6. Gili Islands
Three tiny islands with white sand beaches and great dives of which Gili Trawangan is the liveliest. It takes 2.5 hours to reach Gili T from Bali via speedboat while the boat from Lombok takes 30 minutes. Hop on to smaller boats from Gili T for a short ride to Gili Air & Gili Meno which are smaller and calm.
7. Be a Wanderlust
Don’t go by the books or read plenty of blogs, just go & explore other islands that’s unheard of.