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Costs, Tips and Places to See

Jakarta - a common first stop while backpacking in Indonesia

This submit was initially revealed in Might 2015 and up to date in February 2019 after my huge journey to Bali (and close by islands) in 2018

With over 17,000 islands (I’m positive a few of these are simply rocks that disappear at low tide although) to select from, planning a visit to Indonesia could be a daunting prospect. There’s no method to see all of it on one journey, so should you’re considering of going backpacking in Indonesia  it’s greatest to decide on a few areas and discover them properly. Listed here are the locations I’ve been (throughout over three months in Indonesia on a number of totally different journeys) and a few recommendation on lodging, transport and budgeting.



The capital metropolis is a spot most individuals attempt to keep away from, and whereas it’s undoubtedly not the perfect place in Indonesia it’s not the top of the world if you find yourself caught there for a few days. There’s a crumbling previous city to discover, a number of the greatest (and least expensive) road meals in Indonesia and an fascinating vintage/craft market. Take a look at my publish about one of the best issues to do in Jakarta.


Probably probably the most fascinating massive metropolis in Indonesia, Jogjakarta is a perfect place to base your self for excursions in central Java. The city itself has a pleasant little backpacker space – the again alleys crammed with guesthouses, cafes and eating places present a pleasant respite from the chaotic streets.

Jogjakarta - a relaxing stop on the backpacking in Indonesia trail


These historic Buddhist and Hindu temples are a throwback to a time earlier than the unfold of Islam in Java. You possibly can simply do these on day journeys from Jogjakarta and are well worth the costly entry charges. Learn extra about my journey to Borobudur and Prambanan.

Borobudur - the best ancient temple I saw while backpacking in Indonesia

Dieng Platue

The Dieng Platue, certainly one of my favorite spots in Indonesia, doesn’t see loads of vacationer visitors and I nonetheless can’t perceive why. It’s house to the oldest temples in Indonesia, vibrant volcanic lakes, steaming craters and superior mountain surroundings. It’s a little bit of a journey from Jogjakarta however is certainly value it.

Dieng Plateau - an uncommon backpacking in Indonesia destination

Mount Bromo

Seeing this smouldering volcano at dawn doesn’t truly require a lot strolling, however you’ll should put up with loads of different individuals on the viewpoint. It’s value it although; it truly is a shocking sight. Take a look at a full article on my week in Java, together with extra in-depth accounts of my time at Dieng Platue, Mount Bromo, Jogjakarta and Borobudur/Pramadan.

Mount Bromo at sunrise - a must do tour while backpacking in Indonesia


I solely stayed in Surabaya for an evening as I had a flight to Kupang the subsequent morning. It appeared like an honest sufficient place however you don’t journey to Indonesia to spend your time in cities like Surabaya – transfer on as quickly as potential!



That is the place I began my voyage throughout Flores; it’s not probably the most fascinating of cities however the individuals actually made it particular. They don’t see too many vacationers in these elements so everyone seems to be eager to have a chat and get a photograph taken with you. I arrived right here on the in a single day ferry from Kupang, West Timor – in a single day ferries in Indonesia are nice (though they sometimes sink) – attempt to expertise one should you can!

Locals in Larantuka - an interesting stop on my backpacking in Indonesia trip


If you wish to loosen up in Flores your greatest guess might be Maumere. The seashore I stayed at wasn’t something particular, however the tempo of life, the pleasant locals and the superb sunsets made it the right place to calm down for a couple of days.

sunset at Maumere - seen while backpacking in Indonesia

Mount Kelimutu

Kelimutu is considered one of Flores’ largest vacationer points of interest, and I can affirm it does stay as much as the hype. You’ll need to go to the colorful crater lakes at dawn, and regardless that it was cloudy once I was there it was nonetheless superb.

Mount Kelimutu - a must see volcano when backpacking in Indonesia

17 Islands, Riung

The city of Riung is the definition of a sleepy seaside city, besides all of the guesthouses are situated a superb 5 or 10 minute stroll from the coast, which I nonetheless don’t actually perceive. The 17 Islands Marine Park is simply off shore and is the primary purpose to go to Riung. The islands are house to a number of the greatest seashores I’ve seen in Indonesia. In case you’re sick of island hopping with large crowds in Thailand, make your option to Riung!

17 Islands, Riung - the best beaches I saw while backpacking in Indonesia

Komodo Nationwide Park

The islands of the Komodo Nationwide Park are about as rugged and unspoiled as you’ll see anyplace on the planet. Most are uninhabited and a couple of of them are house to large man consuming lizards; AKA komodo dragons. The one approach to see the park is by boat – sleeping beneath the celebs on a small boat surrounded by unique islands is an expertise you’ll always remember. A Komodo Nationwide Park tour can also be nice for people who find themselves into snorkeling and diving.

Komodo National Park - a must see for nature lovers who are backpacking in Indonesia

Kanawa Island

A personal resort island surrounded by electrical blue water teeming with sea life, staying on Kanawa Island must be much more costly than it’s. It’s situated simply outdoors the Komodo Nationwide Park, when you take a tour of the park you possibly can organize to be dropped at Kanawa on the best way again to Labuan Bajo.

Kanawa Island - a romantic place to spend a few days while backpacking in Indonesia

Labuan Bajo

That is the primary vacationer city in Flores and is an honest place to spend a couple of days both earlier than or after your journey to the Komodo Nationwide Park. There are some nice eating places and the sunsets may be spectacular, however the city is a bit tough across the edges and after a number of days you’ll in all probability need to go someplace extra peaceable.

Gili Islands and Lombok

Gili Trawangan

Gili Trawangan (or Gili T to most individuals) is called a little bit of a celebration island, nevertheless it’s nonetheless received some nice seashores and loads of enjoyable spots. There are some superior seashores on Gili T — this submit will let you understand the perfect ones to go to!

Gili Meno

Gili Meno is far more laid again than Gili T and is aimed extra at couples on a romantic getaway. The seashores on Gili Meno are superb and the water is obvious — for those who’re in search of a romantic cease whereas backpacking in Indonesia then Gili Meno is a superb choice.

Gili Air

One other beautiful island within the Gili Islands “chain”, Gili Air options some nice seashores and a laid-back vibe. It’s sort of a center floor between Gili T and Gili Meno.

READ MORE: The Gili Islands, Indonesia: Which is the Greatest Gili Island for You?

Where are the best beaches on Gili Air, Indonesia?

Kuta, Lombok

This little seashore city on Lombok is rising in reputation. It’s straightforward to succeed in from Bali and there are some good seashores scattered across the Kuta space. There was a little bit of a garbage drawback once I visited however hopefully that’s getting sorted.



I visited Ubud on a weekend journey whereas I used to be nonetheless dwelling in Singapore. It’s a pleasant little city in central Bali; removed from the crowds of drunken Australians that beachside communities like Kuta are famend for. The Monkey Forest is a particular spotlight, however there are heaps of different issues to do in Ubud.

Mount Batur

A reasonably troublesome climb results in the highest of Mount Batur, the place (if it’s not too cloudy) you’ll see a shocking dawn.  You possibly can organise a tour right here from Ubud and in case you love good views and aren’t afraid of a little bit of train (and actually early mornings) you must critically contemplate doing it.

Want a great view while backpacking in Indonesia - climb Mt Batur, Bali


This little city up within the mountains of Bali is a cool spot to spend a day or two. There are some good waterfalls in Munduk and it’s an excellent base for exploring different sights within the inside of the island.

Hiking to waterfalls in Munduk, Bali, Indonesia

The Seashore Cities

In case you’re spending a while in Bali you’ll probably keep (for a minimum of a few days) in one of many seashore cities / resort areas. My favorite is Seminyak, however Kuta is OK as properly (sort of like a tackier model of Seminyak). Padangbai is an effective choice in addition to that’s the place a lot of the boats to the Gili Islands arrive / depart from.

READ MORE: 32 Enjoyable Issues to Do in Bali: Bali Journey Inspiration

The “Nusa” Islands

These three beautiful islands near Bali are good for both day journeys or if you’d like a quieter various to the seashore cities on Bali. Nusa Penida is legendary for its beautiful viewpoint over Kelingking Seashore whereas Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan have some nice seashores and surreal coastal sights just like the Blue Lagoon.


Lake Toba

Lake Toba is one my favorite locations on the earth – I can’t consider a greater place to chill out anyplace on the planet. Samosir, the island in the midst of the lake, is residence to a number of the most laid again individuals in Indonesia and the surroundings actually is superb. It’s additionally one of many least expensive locations I’ve been in Indonesia, so in the event you’re wanting spend a couple of days someplace lovely with out spending a lot cash, head for Lake Toba; the one hazard is that you simply’ll keep for too lengthy and abandon plans to see all the different wonders that Sumatra has to supply. I had deliberate to go to Bukit Lawang, the Mentawai islands and Pulau Weh, however then I acquired lazy and simply stayed at Lake Toba! Learn the complete submit right here.

Lake Toba - make sure you go if you're backpacking in Indonesia!


Medan is likely one of the most unappealing cities I’ve ever visited. You actually solely want to return right here en path to some place else – it’s undoubtedly not a vacationer vacation spot in itself (which in all probability makes it sound actually interesting to some individuals).

Rote Island

Situated simply off the coast of West Timor, Rote Island (Pulau Rote) is residence to the laid again surf city of Nembrala. There are some nice seashores there and they’re virtually solely abandoned, so even in case you’re not into browsing I’d nonetheless advocate going. Pulau Rote isn’t a standard vacation spot whereas backpacking in Indonesia however it’s a fantastic probability to get away from the standard vacationer path.

Pulau Rote - an uncommon stop on the backpacking in Indonesia trail

Kupang, West Timor

I had deliberate to spend longer on this space however then I came upon about Pulau Rote! I additionally heard that to actually see West Timor correctly you want a information/driver which I couldn’t afford. I’m positive there’s some superb issues to see there and I’ll undoubtedly return sooner or later. Kupang itself is an honest sufficient city however once more, there are extra fascinating locations to spend you time in Indonesia.

Raja Ampat

If you wish to get method off the vacationer path in Indonesia it is best to take a look at Raja Ampat. Situated simply off the coast of West Papua, Raja Ampat is a shocking chain of islands which might be well-known for diving and delightful, abandoned seashores. I spent a couple of days in Raja Ampat and liked it, though in the event you’re a price range backpacker it’s in all probability not one of the best place to go to because it’s costly to get to and is usually geared in the direction of travellers with a bit extra money.

Transport in Indonesia

Indonesia is a simple place to get round. You’ll be able to take native buses or vacationer mini vans to most locations on the vacationer map, and travelling between islands on the ferries could be enjoyable.  Transport in Indonesia is pretty low cost however distances are lengthy and the roads are sometimes tough. In some areas it’s potential to take a shared taxi between cities, however they actually cram individuals into them (together with placing 2 individuals on the entrance passenger seat), so it’s not all the time the nicest strategy to journey.

READ MORE: In search of an awesome map to assist plan your backpacking in Indonesia journey? Take a look at this one over Nationwide Geographic

Prices whereas backpacking in Indonesia

Indonesia is pretty low cost place to journey, so long as you keep away from the actually touristy locations like Gili T. You possibly can typically get all inclusive packages on small islands (like Rote Island) which features a room and three primary meals for round 100,000 IDR – not a nasty deal in any respect! Should you’re overlaying a number of floor your transport invoice will begin to add up; the ferries and vacationer buses aren’t all that low cost. You possibly can simply journey Indonesia on $1000 USD a month and quite a bit lower than that for those who’re prepared to remain in sure locations for longer.

Have you ever been backpacking in Indonesia? The place would you advocate Indonesia first timers to go? Let me know!

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Jon Algie

A journey blogger from New Zealand who hates speaking about himself within the third individual and has no creativeness with regards to naming web sites.

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