Top things to explore in Indonesia

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Comprising of 17,000 magnificent islands and several tiny islets, Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world. Famed for its tranquil beaches, quasi-active volcanoes, hidden reefs, cascading waterfalls and tropical mountains, this stunning coastal paradise is an ideal holiday destination in the Far East. Blessed with the best of nature’s wonders, this beautiful island is packed with numerous fascinating attractions and interesting things to do. Those of you heading to Indonesia on your next holiday, here is a list of things the island has in store for you:

Beaches

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Lying between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, Indonesia is blessed with some of the most pristine and stunning beaches in the world. Ideal to enjoy the best of sun, sand and surf, these beaches are a major highlight and a prominent attraction in the country. Nusa Dua beach, Kuta beach, Senggigi Beach, Plengkung Beach, Pangandaran Beach, Parangtritis Beach, Dreamland Beach and Parai Tenggiri are few of the best known beaches on the island. Surfing, scuba diving, snorkelling, rafting, sea walking, flyboarding, kitesurfing and wakeboarding are among the popular water sports on the island.

Attractions

Preserving the treasures of prosperous cultural past, attractions in Indonesia are outrightly amazing and fascinating at the same time. Whether it is the ancient architectural wonders or prominent temples or Chinese pagodas or the volcanic mountains, each site and structure on the island is beautiful in its own unique way. Lake Toba, Ubud Monkey Forest, Mount Rinjani, Mount Merapi, Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, Mount Batur, Garuda Wisnu Kencana, Kawah Putih, Semeru, Tangkuban Perahu and Ancol Dreamland are a few of the must visit attractions on the island. With the top of the volcano blown off and the crater emitting continuous white smoke, Mount Bromo is simply an astonishing attraction in Indonesia.

National Parks

Whether it is the king of lizard (Komodo Dragons) or the smallest buffalo (Anoa) , the Sumateran Tiger or Merak, the Javan Rhinoceros or Orangutan or Kijang or sea turtles, Indonesia is home to a vast population of birds and animals including a few endangered ones and a perfect heaven for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. Komodo National Park, Ujung Kulon National Park, Bogani Nani Wartabone National Park, Kerinci Seblat National Park, Way Kambas National Park, Tanjung Puting National Park and Lorentz National Park are few of the most popular national parks and wildlife preservation sites in Indonesia.

Temples

templesFeaturing a long cultural and traditional history, Indonesia is home to some of the largest and oldest Hindu temples. Preserving the legacy of an era bygone, these temples in the island are a major attraction among tourists. Borobudur, Plaosan, Sewu, Candi Jawi, Penataran, Surawana, Mendut, Pawon, Sojiwan and Batu Jaya are few of the prominent temples and Buddhist sites in Indonesia. The architecture and design of most of these structures is quite fascinating. Pura Besakih is the most ancient temple in the country.

Food

A perfect blend of traditional and modern flavours, Indonesian cuisine is simply a delight. Prepared using exotic ingredients and natural spices, food in the island is definitely a must try. Sambal (hot sauce or paste typically made from a mixture of a variety of chilli peppers), Satay (dish of seasoned, skewered and grilled meat, served with a sauce), Bakso (Indonesian meatball), Soto (soup mainly composed of broth, meat and vegetables), Gado-gado (salad of slightly boiled, blanched or steamed vegetables and hard-boiled eggs, boiled potato, fried tofu and tempeh), Nasi Uduk (Indonesian Betawi style steamed rice cooked in coconut milk dish), Ayam goreng (dish of chicken deep fried in coconut oil), Bakmi goreng (spicy fried noodle dish), Rawon (beef black soup) Opor ayam (Mie ayam are) a few of the dishes that you must try on the island.

Shopping

Whether it’s antiques or art, jewellery or paintings, carved jewellery or woven and dyed fabrics or stone carvings or masks and ceramics, Indonesia is a shopper’s paradise. Featuring an array of exclusive handmade goods and items, shopping in the island is a major highlight. Although there are several big malls in the country, shopping at Pasar (traditional markets) is a unique experience. Also, you can try on your bargaining skills with the merchants and craftsmen in these markets. Sanur Night Market (Pasar Malam Sindu), Gianyar Night Market, Kuta Art Market, Garlic Lane and Taman Sari Market are few of the popular night markets on the island.

Festivals

Featuring diverse religions and customs, Indonesia is a country packed with ceremonies, festivals and cultural events. Celebrated round the year and offering a glimpse to the rich cultural legacy of the country, all festivals are celebrated with a great pomp and show. Independence Day of Indonesia, Bau Nyale Fishing Festival, Toraja Funeral Ceremony, Waisak, Bali Arts Festival, Bau Nyale Fishing Festival, Asmat Cultural Festival, Baliem Valley Festival, Nyepi and Galungan are among the popular festivals in the country. Besides the traditional festivals, the island also hosts a range of contemporary music events and shows throughout the year.

Culture

Home to diverse religions and traditions from across the world, Indonesia is a cultural melting pot. From Buddhism to Hinduism to Islam to Christianity to Confucianism, the country has equal tolerance for all religions. From religious practices to music and dance and from theatre to festivals, everything about Indonesia’s culture is fascinating. Minangkabau Tari Piring (plate dance), martial arts, paintings, sculptures and architecture in the country beautifully highlight the cultural aspect of the island.