The Jakarta Post
A sunset casts a rosy hue over the cliffs of Uluwatu in southwestern Bali. (Shutterstock/File)
Throughout 2018, The Jakarta Post has visited nine destinations across Indonesia to provide essential travel information and insightful recommendations for those seeking to explore the country.
Through Jakpost Explores, we recommend places to visit and give tips that allow holidaymakers, as well as business travelers, to get the most out of their journeys, whether in Bali with its myriad of tourist opportunities or in Sumba, East Nusa Tenggara, an area that is largely untouched by modern civilization.
As we plan for new adventures in 2019, here is a recap of where we have been:
Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, a Hindu temple on the shores of Bratan Lake, at sunset. (Shutterstock/File)
Bali is always a good idea. With its exotic landscape, unique culture and blend of the old and the new, the Island of the Gods offers an endless amount of experiences for all its visitors, especially family travelers and foodies.
A trendy area is Canggu, a surfing destination just north of Seminyak. In the mornings, the beaches are popular among joggers and others who like to exercise with a seaside view. Although laid out similarly to Kuta, with numerous cafes, restaurants and hotels, Canggu is comparatively quieter and recommended for frequent visitors who are seeking to avoid the crowd.
Borobudur temple in Magelang, Central Java. (JP/Ni Nyoman Wira)
Popular as a hub for intellectuals and filled with historical sites, Yogyakarta has its own charms that attract local and foreign travelers alike.
For first-timers, one of the best ways to enjoy the scenery in Yogyakarta is by riding a bicycle. There are many places to rent bicycles and they usually offer travel packages for those who do not know where to start their journey.
Giant boulders line the shores as iconic geographical features of Batu Berlayar Island (Belitung Island). (JP/Jessicha Valentina)
Having first gained in popularity after it was used as the backdrop for 2008’s award-winning Laskar Pelangi (The Rainbow Troops), Belitung Island is an idyllic escape from the hustle and bustle of city life thanks to its empty asphalt roads, white sandy beaches and lush environs.
Especially for food enthusiasts, the island offers a wide array of must-try fish delicacies, such as berego (steamed rice flour with fish curry), pempek (fish cakes) and gangan (fish soup with pineapple).
The customary village of Ratenggaro lies in Southwest Sumba. (JP/Liza Yosephine)
Sumba is not your typical tourist destination as some areas are still underdeveloped, especially in its western region. The island's particular charm is that it allows one to get lost in its ancient culture and untouched nature.
A visit to Sumba is not complete without venturing into one of its customary villages, such as Ratenggaro, which lies off the coast of Kodi, welcoming its visitors with megalithic tombs that line a path to the village.
White ash exits Mount Bromo's crater. (JP/Ni Nyoman Wira)
Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park (TNBTS), Mount Bromo, East Java, is a popular tourist destination that should not be missed out on.
Hiking, trekking to the local villages and picking fruit when they are in season are among the recommended activities offered by this destination. Tourists can also expect great views of sunsets and the Milky Way from viewpoints like Penanjakan 1.
Pulau Kemaro is a popular tourist destination in Palembang, South Sumatra. (JP/Jessicha Valentina)
As the co-host of the recently held 2018 Asian Games, this South Sumatra city has built various tourist-friendly facilities, such as a light rapid transit (LRT) service that goes from Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II International Airport to Jakabaring City Stadium and the airport's Tourist Information Center.
Ulu is currently an up-and-coming area in Palembang, where visitors can find various newly built attractions, such as Jakabaring City Stadium, Kampung Kapitan, Kampung Arab and the Palembang Bird Park.
NuArt Sculpture Park stretches out into an outdoor area. (JP/Liza Yosephine)
Situated near the densely populated capital of Jakarta, Bandung has been the choice weekend getaway for many Jakartans looking for a quick escape. As a city destination, it boasts plenty of tourist options, making it an appropriate choice year-round.
Visiting museums and art galleries are among the top things to do when in Bandung, as the urban landscape has witnessed some of Indonesia's most important historical events and over the years and has grown to be one of the nation's buzzing creative hubs.
Goa Peteng (Dark Cave) at the Sunyaragi Cave in Cirebon, West Java. (JP/Ni Nyoman Wira)
Located near the border between West Java and Central Java, the port city of Cirebon in West Java has maintained its Islamic historical influences.
Being adventurous in trying out the local cuisine is recommended for travelers. Tahu gejrot (fried tofu in sweet and spicy sauce), nasi jamblang (teak leaf-wrapped rice with sides), empal gentong (aromatic beef soup with coconut milk-based broth) and empal asam (soup cooked without coconut milk but mixed with sour starfruit) are recommended dishes.
Awal Mula coffee shop in Bogor, West Java. (The Jakarta Post/Donny Fernando)
Located a 1.5-hour drive from the capital, Bogor in West Java is a suitable destination for those looking for a different ambiance within driving distance of Jakarta.
Besides enjoying the fresh air at the Bogor Botanical Gardens, it is recommended that travelers visit Bogor's trendy coffee shops and sample its local cuisines on Jl. Suryakencana, also known as Bogor’s Chinatown. (kes)