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An update from Evaneos

Best places to visit in Indonesia

A volcanic archipelago consisting of 13,466 islands, 6,000 of which are inhabited, the most populous Muslim country in the world offers the visitor a safe environment and a range of attractions and activities to suit all tastes. What can you expect from a trip to Indonesia? Temples inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage on the island of Java; vibrant, lively festivals and a Hindu ambiance and atmosphere on Bali; pristine beaches on Lombok; impressively majestic lakes on Sumatra; Komodo dragons on the island that shares their name; the deep, dense forests of Kalimantan on the islands of Borneo and Sulawesi, and, located at the very edge of the archipelago, Papua New Guinea.

Religion is much in evidence across the whole archipelago and plays an important role in everyday life. Be respectful towards local customs and take pleasure in accepting Muslim and Hindu hospitality and this will enable to get a better sense of the different religious strands that underpin life in this country. Visiting Indonesia therefore demands deliberate choices and proper organisation. There is no need to panic however: the reviews provided by Evaneos' travellers will guide you in this.

Let's head first to Java. Jakarta is basically nothing more than a sprawling capital city; so head instead to Yogyakarta, where you will have the opportunity to see a Wayang Kulit show, a form of Indonesian shadow puppetry, contemplate the Mount Merapi volcano or the magical Mount Bromo, or descend into the crater of Ijen in search of the damned of the earth, who are obliged to carry many pounds of sulphur on their backs. Visit the Buddhist temples of Borobudur and the Hindu temples of Prambanan, and, if you happen to find the equatorial temperatures suffocating, head to Malang, which is famous for its cool climate.

Or perhaps you would prefer a stay on the Island of the Gods, Bali, for the opportunity to visit Ubud, a primary centre of Hindu culture and the island's culinary capital. Or how about a trip to Sidemen, a village that sits surrounded by rice fields, or even a spot of scuba diving at Pemuteran?

Hop across by boat to Lombok, which is a new destination not yet affected by mass tourism. Climb up to the summit of Rinjani, the secret volcano, spend some time enjoying yourself on Gili Meno, or do a spot of surfing at Kuta Lombok, which is still just a fishing village.

To get even further off the beaten track, head off to Flores and explore the crater lakes of the Kelimutu volcano, or spend some time visiting the islands of Komodo and Rinca. And if you have the time, don't miss the opportunity to tour North Sumatra with an English-speaking guide, or take a flight tour over Kalimantan and its primeval forests.

Gaëtan MOLENE
The Pura Tanah Lot is a Hindu temple built on an islet in Bali.
A good "spot" from which to prepare the climb up the south face of the Rinjani volcano. Far from the bustle of the south, Tetebatu is an authentic and peaceful Indonesian village.
Wonosobo is a small city encircled by mountains in the centre of Java and overlooked by Mount Sindoro.
A fishing village that's been turned into a money-making machine. A typical example of tourism gone wrong. 
Lovina is in the north of Bali and tourists go there for the black sand beaches and trips to see the dolphins.
Celuk is a village located between Denpasar and Ubud in Bali. The village is considered as the centre of gold- and silver-smithery on the island.
Denpasar is the main city of Bali island, it is to and from here that domestic and international flights land and take off.
Medan (Indonesia)
Medan
2/5
The third biggest Indonesian city, located to the north of Sumatra.
Nusa Dua is on the island of Bali and is a seaside resort dedicated wholly to tourists who love its paradisaical beaches.
Kuta (Indonesia)
Kuta
1.5/5
Ultra tourist-oriented town of Bali, Kuta is known for its beaches, its waves and its many Australian tourists.
In the north of Sumatra, rises this city that is full of noise and life.

Best time to visit Indonesia

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