Where to Go in Indonesia Other Than Bali

Ever wondered why Bali is so famous compared to the other Indonesian islands? The lovely Indonesian culture, pristine beaches, gorgeous rice paddies and lip-smacking food, sure there are prime reasons. But it is also more spoken about, as the other counterparts are, unfortunately (or fortunately?!) less spoken about!
 
Zero Dean has right quoted, "We never learn what hidden gems lay along the paths we fear or are too lazy to take.” This couldn’t hold any truer in Indonesia’s case. Filled with a treasure of serenity and tranquility, there are so many destinations in this archipelago nation than the apparent ‘paradise’ synonym Bali! 
 
  
Image source: flickr.com/csm2mk RTW  
 
As you read on, may we suggest that you shed away all your preconceived notions about Bali, a massive island (yes! Not your small tropical Indonesian paradise) with a considerate population of a whopping 4.6 million! So if you are looking for tranquil, quiet zones, here’s a bummer, you might perhaps be in the wrong place! But don’t contemplate canceling your Indonesian sojourn just yet, cuz’ the best is yet to come!  
 
Given the fact that this is the largest archipelago in the world, you will find some of the richest natural wealth, cultural diversity, distinct culinary and so much more here. You should behold any and every opportunity you get to travel here. But, where to go in Indonesia besides Bali, you ask? We have your back and so we bring to you these best places to visit in Indonesia, that deserves more hype than Bali!

1. Surfers’ favorite destination, Lombok

  

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With millions of tourists attracted to Bali every year, Lombok that lies to the east of Bali remains untouched. The only few who knew about this place are surf connoisseurs and watersport fanatics. Expect to meet many friendly, interesting people here. The Gili islands, Mount Rinjani - second highest volcano in Indonesia, Pemenang (from Senggigi) and the pink beach are must-visits here. Renting a scooter to explore the mosques, Hindu temples, numerous waterfalls in the northern part of the island and a few traditional markets will keep you delighted. A sunrise yoga to begin the day, would be perfect!
 
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2. Nusa Lembongan, your dose of serenity

  

Image source: flickr.com/Jimmy McIntyre  

An island that spans across a mere 3 miles, will surprise you with its dose of serenity. A day trip from Bali can easily be accommodated, however, a stay is definitely advisable. With an industry like sea farming as the island’s main industry, you can imagine how picturesque this island can get! The Jungut Batu is perfect to watch the sunsets and locals wrapping up their daily chores, as you sip on some beer. With so much tranquility, it’s not surprising, that this island is also one of the best places to visit in Indonesia for a honeymoon.
 
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3. Flores, the perfect contrast to Bali

  

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Easy to get from Bali, Flores is simply stunning! Contrasting to Bali, Flores is wilder, greener and lusher, may we mention a different religion too that is followed here. This island is in fact, Indonesia’s ‘Next Big Thing’, given the rate at which it is attracting travelers on the quest to taking the off-beaten path. Smoking volcanoes, verdant rice fields, undefiled lakes, exotic culture and secret beaches are what build up the beautiful Flores! The must watch here are, Kelimutu three colored lake, Egon volcano, Hot spring and the Babi island for watersport activities.
 
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4. Java, one of the best Indonesian islands

  

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Stay ready to be stunned by spectacular Indo-Javanese architecture, that was created from the 3rd to the 16th century! An island of other remarkable cities, Java is mesmerizing and magical. What is more amusing is the fact that this ‘most populated island on earth’ is equally slow-paced and laidback with several hidden beaches! Sitting peacefully amidst a chain of volcanic mountains, Java is a smooth mélange of vivid ecosystems. This undoubtedly is one of the best places to visit in Indonesia.
 
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5. Sulawesi, the spidery-looking island

  

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Popular as the spidery-looking island, Sulawesi has spindly arms spinning outwards! As bizarre as this island looks, this is also the most interesting Indonesian island. With a striking formation derived out of the evolution of different landscapes, cultures, and ecosystems, this island is nothing short of a wonder. There is something for everyone here, from impressive Dutch colonial architecture to a thumping nightlife! Hiking is the best way to explore this island.
 
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6. Menjangan, an Indonesian classic destination

  

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This classic Indonesian island, perfect for that peaceful retreat you have been longing for. Located in the heart of the Bali Barat National Park, the island derived its name from local population’s observation of wild deer herds swimming to the island every spring. Home to one of the best-preserved coral reefs in the area, the island is being considered as an important aspect of the national tourism industry. Hot springs, great scuba diving and placidity at its epitome, Menjangan is a gem in every way.
 
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7. Complete wilderness of the Sumatra island

 

Image source: flickr.com/Marc Veraart  

Surrender to complete wilderness engulfed across the island of Sumatra. With wild and rugged terrains, Sumatra is one of Indonesia's largest islands. Beaches, highlands, lakes, mountains and national parks form the diverse terrains here. Nature in full bounty, there are umpteen things to see and do here, from jungles to volcanoes and activities ranging from hikes to scuba diving. This is your chance at being the closest to nature.
 
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8. Kalimantan, a place with little bit of everything

  

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Credited as the third largest island in the world, Borneo is closely located to the other big islands of Indonesia. An interesting fact - the island is politically divided among three countries of Malaysia and Brunei in the north, and Indonesia to the south. 
 
Kalimantan is the Indonesian part of the island. Having the distinctive characteristic of the other Indonesian islands, Kalimantan too has tropical forests, rich natural resources, and exotic flora and fauna. however, having its own unique characters, the island manages to be an unexplored world of its own. Rivers are the most striking feature of this island, unlike any other. Thus, community life revolves around these in the form of activities and residences. Also disparate from other islands’ activities, Kalimantan has rafting!
 
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9. Komodo, amidst corals and blue waters

  

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The Pink Beach, Merah Beach, Batu Bolong, Tatawa islands and the Komodo National Park give you the opportunity to indulge all your senses in the surroundings, as you get the best of this island. Sit back and relax as you revere the blue waters and admire the marine beauty of amazing corals. And of course, the Komodo dragons, cannot go unmentioned!
 
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10. Yogyakarta, the center of education in Indonesia

  

Image source: flickr.com/nedim chaabene  

This is a must on your visit to Java. Renowned as a center of education, Yogyakarta fosters the skills of classical Javanese fine art and culture such as batik, ballet, drama, music, poetry, and puppet shows. On your visit here, explore its various attractions of - Tugu Monument, Benteng Vredeburg, Kota Gede, Imogiri, and the Kotabaru. 
 
While your dilemma about where to go in Indonesia besides Bali is solved, note that the above-mentioned islands are also the best places to visit in Indonesia.
 
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If you are planning to visit Bali here is Bali Itinerary 6 Days  
 
Here's more about interesting places in Indonesia:
 
 
 
Featured image source: pixabay.com  
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
SEEMA NANDE SEEMA NANDE

A deep-dyed Piscean, Seema is a dreamer. This extends to the fact that she is seldom in another world of her's or dreaming of the place she would rather be. A wild-child at heart and a keen observer otherwise, Seema's free-spirited psyche is eternally quenching for new experiences. There is no poison for her as restorative as Life, she is the one who will give you the cliched 'I-am-high-on-life', should you offer her a drink. She gets hungover on the feel of a new place, food and conversations with strangers! All this adding to the way she feels and writes!

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