Crystal Compass

Travel Today in Indonesia

Explore Indonesia

Enjoy opportunities of being in the right place at the right time

 

Have a rest and relax

Get out of a daily routine

Seek for peace and simple resting while introducing yourself to new horizons.

Top Activities

Half-day Tours

Bus Tours

Full-day Tours

Top Attractions

Spa

Anika Spa

Anika Spa in Kuta is the place to go to relax and unwind. Offering everything from volcanic body scrubs to chocolate massages, and every health and beauty treatment in between, the Anika Spa is a one-stop shop for pampering and well-being when visiting this part of Bali. Said to be inspired by Bali’s natural environment, Anika Spa aims to revive, energize, refresh, and pamper within their luxury treatment rooms, outdoor plunge pool, and expertly manicured gardens. Specific treatments on offer at the spa include hair and beauty treatments, hand and foot treatments, body scrubs, facials, treatments for sunburnt skin, plus seaweed and volcanic treatments. The spa also offers full body massages that combine aromatherapy oils with the acupressure and stretching techniques associated with the Balinese style of massage.

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See different sceneries

See different sceneries worldwide

Discover a vast number of beautiful places in our planet that you may not even know about yet.

Top Activities

Nature and Wildlife Tours

Bus Tours

Full-day Tours

Half-day Tours

Top Attractions

Places of Natural Beauty

Mt. Agung (Gunung Agung)

Hikers love the challenging mountain trails of Mount Agung, the tallest active volcano in Bali. Its most popular routes—one starting from Besakih, and the other from Pura Pasa Agung—take trekkers through mountain temples and truly rugged terrain. Loose pebble paths and steep cliffs end with epic views of Bali countryside, and a view that visitors argue may be the best place to watch the sunrise in the country. Guides are recommended—as well as sturdy hiking boots and a warm coat—since navigating the daylong hikes on these uneven vertical trails can be difficult. And with no water along the routes, following an expert beats getting lost.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Lake Batur (Danau Batur)

The lush volcanic hillsides of Mount Batur and Mount Abang surround the crystal-clear—and bitter cold—waters of quiet Lake Batur. Travelers can spend their morning soaking up sun and scenic views along the shores of this chilly lake that was formed by an ancient eruption. Hop a boat across the river to Temple of the Dead, or spend the afternoon canoeing in the placid waters of the lake. Avid hikers can navigate the trails of Mount Batur and enjoy epic views of the countryside from the volcano’s peak, while cyclists can tour the black lava fields by bike.

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Gardens & Parks

Komodo National Park (Taman Nasional Komodo)

Komodo National Park, located in the middle of the Indonesian archipelago, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986 due to its biodiversity and most famous inhabitants, the Komodo dragon. The world’s largest lizard -- sometimes reaching more than 9 feet (3 meters) in length -- are found only on these beautiful and desolate volcanic islands of Komodo, Rinca and Padar. No matter which of the three islands in the park you visit, you’re almost guaranteed to see a dragon or two, but you might also spot Timor deer, water buffalo, wild boar, Rinca rats, wild horses, fruit bats or long-tailed macaque monkeys. The islands also represent one of the riches marine environments in Indonesia, and the diving opportunities on the reef just off the coast are top notch. Outdoor enthusiasts will find hiking trails (though you’ll need a guide) and smaller islands only accessible by kayak.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Gitgit Waterfalls (Air Terjun Gitgit)

Gitgit Waterfall is not only one of the most well-known attractions in Bali, but is also considered to be the most beautiful waterfall on the island. Those who want to visit Gitgit on their journey through Bali, will also find the cascade to be easily accessible. Just off the road between Singaraja and Denpasar, a narrow hiking path disappears into the forest, leading past a small ticket booth, rice fields, clove trees, coffee shrubs and a couple stalls selling drinks, sarongs and souvenirs. From carvings and crafts to t-shirts and postcards, everything a tourist’s heart may or may not desire is available.

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Sights & Landmarks

Kawah Putih (White Crater)

Kawah Putih (or White Crater in English) is a natural phenomenon situated near the market town of Ciwidey, 50 kilometers south of the city of Bandung. This unique lake crater is one of two created by the dormant volcano, Mount Patuha. Kawah Putih has a striking, almost surreal, appearance to it; the lake transforms from a bright white to a light green or turquoise color, depending on the amount of sunlight present, while the soil surrounding it is completely drained of color due to the water’s high sulfur content. In addition, on cloudy days, the entire crater can often be found shrouded in a cloak of mist. The altitude here (around 2500 meters) brings with it low temperatures of around 10 degrees Celsius, making it a pleasant respite from the heat and humidity of the cities from which most visitors travel.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Mt. Merapi (Gunung Merapi)

With a name that means 'mountain of fire,' it’s no surprise that Mount Merapi is Indonesia’s most active volcano. Its treacherous peaks, impossible views and steeply graded trails have made it a destination for travelers looking to explore the outdoors and taste some high-altitude adventure. While climbing with a guide isn’t required, experts say it’s highly recommended. Trail markings can be difficult to see, particularly in early and late hours, making navigation particularly difficult. Several shelters exist along the path for hikers who need to wait out storms or take lunch in the shade. The most popular time to start climbing is 1 a.m., since the 5:30 a.m. view of sunrise from the mountain’s peak is said to be spectacular.

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Learn while traveling

Educate yourself while traveling

Witness diverse culture of people and learn history on the go.

Top Activities

Classes & Workshops

Half-day Tours

Full-day Tours

Bus Tours

Top Attractions

Religious Sites

Sukuh Temple (Candi Sukuh)

Built in the 15th century, this ancient temple sits atop the rolling hills of Gunung Lawu, some 900 meters above the Solo plain. It’s a destination for travelers looking to venture into an unfamiliar world where mysterious fertility cults once practiced sacred rituals and ornate carvings and life-like statues prove unlike those in Java’s more traditional Hindu and Buddhist temples. Visitors will find three statues of turtles upon entering Sukuh, as well as a giant phallus that reiterates the temple’s focus on birth and sexuality. The ground’s central pyramid is the tallest of the three located on site. While typical Hindu gods, like Ganesha, are stationed around the site, relief work, carvings and statues at Sukuh more often depict intercourse and genitalia, making it a truly unique stop on a tour of typically more conservative temples.

Learn More

Religious Sites

Besakih Temple (Pura Besakih)

Some 22 separate temples dot the hillside of Mount Agung, where the Mother Temple of Besakih has been perched for more than one thousand years. This complex of Hindu temples is the largest, holiest and most important in the city. Travelers can wander the stepped terraces, and brick gateways that line the rocky crags of this active volcano and explore the ancient temples where Hindu people still come to pray. Although this site remains a popular destination for visitors to Bali, many travelers choose to avoid the Mother Temple due to aggressive touts who try to force guests on “compulsory” tours for unfair fees and local “guardians’ who request payment at every road and pass.

Learn More

Religious Sites

Prambanan Temple Complex (Taman Wisata Candi Prambanan)

Though not quite as large as nearby Borobudur, the ancient Hindu temples that make up the impressive Prambanan are spectacular in their own right. Built by the Mataram Kingdom in Central Java around 860 CE, the first temples here were meant to honor Lord Shiva. While many of the later temples erected on this site fell to ruins in an earthquake curing the 16th century, Prambanan still attracts visitors from across the globe seeking to experience walking through one of the Hindu religion’s most prized sites. Prambanan is divided into three main zones, which include an outer open space, a middle zone housing rows of 224 identical shrines, and an inner zone where eight temples and small shrines dedicated to gods are located.

Learn More

Religious Sites

Borobudur

Visitors will be consumed by the sheer scale of Borobudur, an 8th-century temple that’s recognized not only as a UNESCO World Heritage site, but also the largest Buddhist structure on earth. Towering stone stupas stretch into the skies and a breathtaking natural backdrop of volcanoes and lush landscapes lends an even more impressive air to this already memorable site. Borobudur consists of six square platforms decorated with more than 2,500 relief panels and some 500 Buddha statues, making it one of the most decorated temples on earth. Visitors can hire a guide to explain the life-like graphics that cover the walls of Borobudur, which locals say tell the stories of achieving Nirvana, karma laws, the birth of Buddah and other essential Buddhist teachings. Two museums are also located on the park grounds and admission is included in the price of a temple ticket.

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Religious Sites

Ubud Monkey Forest (Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary)

The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary is a Balinese Hindu site at the bottom of Monkey Forest Road and populated by cheeky long-tailed macaques. It's a popular site with visitors to Ubud who come to see the monkeys and the temples within the sanctuary. There are hundreds of monkeys living in and around the monkey forest. You can purchase food for them at the entrance gate but be warned that the monkeys are aggresive opportunists - particularly in their pursuit of food. They will think nothing of climbing on you or raking through your bag in search of something edible. There are 3 temples within the forest, Pura Dalem (death temple), the Holy Bathing Temple and Pura Prajapati (funerary or cremation temple). All 3 of these temples are sacred, as is the forest and the monkeys, who are believed to protect the area from evil spirits.

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Religious Sites

Pawon Temple (Candi Pawon)

Pawon Temple is a Buddhist temple situated at the midway point between the Borobudur and Mendut temples, approximately 40 kilometers from the city of Yogyakarta. It features a square-shaped, tiered roof adorned with small stupas and ratnas, which is hidden among the houses that surround it. This slender temple structure sits on a rectangular platform and features a chamber inside with vents. Architecturally, Pawon Temple is similar to the temples Borobudur and Mendut, with its mix of classic Javanese Hindu and Indian art symbols. Notably, there are reliefs of the Kalpataru tree (the tree of life), as well as of mythical birds and human figures, on the temple’s outer walls.

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Museums & Exhibitions

Agung Rai Museum of Art (ARMA)

Ubud’s Agung Rai Museum of Art, or ARMA as it’s more popularly known, is a museum, gallery space and cultural center founded by Agung Rai, a Balinese entrepreneur who got exposed to the world of Balinese art while selling souvenirs in Kuta. Inspired by visits to the Puri Lukisan and Neka museums, Agung Rai began collecting paintings to which he felt a spiritual connection, including works by Balinese and international artists. Today, that collection makes its home in ARMA, a series of traditional buildings in a vibrant garden setting. It is divided thematically into four sections: Kamasan, Pre-war, European Living in Bali and Modern Traditional. Of particular note is the collection by Russian-born German painter Walter Spies, who came to Bali in 1927 and greatly influenced the 1930s Balinese art movement with his primitivism-style paintings. Also on display are works by Raden Saleh, a pioneer of modern Balinese painting.

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Religious Sites

Taman Ayun Temple (Pura Taman Ayun)

The Royal Temple of Mengwi is one of the most important temples in Bali. Built in 1634 by a King of the Mengwi dynasty, this impressive complex stands on an island in a river, its inner temple surrounded by a moat. Its Balinese name Pura Taman Ayun literally means ‘Garden Temple in the Water’. Part of a network of directional temples that protect Bali from evil spirits, Pura Taman Ayun was built as a series of garden terraces with courtyards on different levels. The entire complex was designed to symbolize the mythological home of the gods, Mount Meru, floating in the sea of eternity. An eleven-tiered meru (at the far end, in the right-hand corner of the complex) is dedicated to the rice goddess Dewi Sri. The third bale on the left is believed to be the abode of several different gods. Pura Taman Ayun was enlarged in 1937, making some of its structures the most modern temple architecture in Bail.

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Museums & Exhibitions

National Museum

The National Museum in Jakarta sits on the western side of Merdeka Square. After various incarnations under a number of different names, the National Museum was opened in 1868. Often referred to as the ‘Elephant Building’ due to the bronze elephant statue at its entrance, this impressive museum houses a huge collection, providing an in-depth insight into Indonesia’s fascinating cultural heritage. The National Museum essentially takes visitors on a journey through Indonesia’s history, from prehistoric times right up to the present day. There are almost 150,000 artifacts on display here, with prehistoric, archaeological, ceramic, ethnographic, numismatic/heraldic, geographic, and colonial collections to explore. A new wing was added to the museum in 2007, with four levels dedicated to the neo-classical colonial era and the origins of mankind in Indonesia, including a model of the Flores ‘hobbit’.

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Sights & Landmarks

Indonesia National Monument (Monas)

The National Monument sits in the center of Jakarta’s Merdeka Square and was built to commemorate Indonesia's struggle for independence. The tower’s construction began in 1961 under President Soekarno, and the monument – also known as Monas – was finally opened to the public in July 1971. The tower stands at more than 130 meters tall and is topped with a burning flame, symbolizing that the spirit of the Indonesian people will never be extinguished. The flame is made from bronze metal and coated with gold foil, while the main structure symbolizes a rice pestle and mortar, thereby representing Indonesia’s agricultural history. These objects are also said to symbolize fertility by representing the male and the female. A lift on the southern side of the monument takes visitors up to the viewing platform at 115 meters above ground level. The National Monument is surrounded by a well-kept park, often used for sports and recreational activities.

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Religious Sites

Uluwatu Temple (Pura Luhur Uluwatu)

With a name that loosely translates to “something divine at the end of the land”, Uluwatu Temple has become a destination for travelers seeking incredible views of the Bali countryside. Perched on the edge of an ocean cliff, the temple overlooks some of the country’s famous surf breaks and is considered one of the six most important structures of its kind in Bali. Wander the well-kept grounds and take in the beautiful picturesque views, but do all you can to avoid the wild monkeys, as they can get aggressive quickly. Stay until sunset and enjoy one of the nightly traditional Kecak dance performances before heading back into town.

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Religious Sites

Mendut Temple (Candi Mendut)

The eldest of three Buddhist temples situated in Central Java, around 40 kilometers from central Yogyakarta, Mendut Temple was thought to be built in the early part of the ninth century by King Indra of the Sailendra Dynasty. Mendut Temple stands at almost 37 meters tall, with the main structure set on a platform that also serves as a walkway. Stairs adorned with sculptured panels lead to the door of the temple, which features a corbelled roof and reaches as high as the roof of the main structure itself. It’s fair to say that the star attraction of Mendut lies inside the temple, in the form of three intricately-carved stone statues. The main statue within the temple’s chamber depicts the Buddha facing west with hands in the ‘Dharmacakra mudrā’ position, also known as ‘the turning of the Dharma Wheel.’ On either side of this huge central statue sit two Bodhisattvas.

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Buildings & Structure

Imogiri Royal Cemetery (Pemakaman Imogiri)

Perched atop a hill not far from Yogyakarta, Imogiri Kings Cemetery is the official burial place of the royal descendents from Yogyakarta and Surakarta. Built in the mid-­17th century, this grand cemetery consists of three main courtyards: Prabayasa, Kemandungan, and Srimanganti. The graveyard is a peaceful spot with some beautiful views. The main tomb houses many of the kings of the Mataram Kingdom, from Sultan Hamengku Buwono I to Hamengku Buwono IX. Some of the rulers’ immediate family members are also buried here, and the smaller courtyards are where the princes were laid to rest.In order to reach the tomb where the kings reside, visitors must climb hundreds of steps and, once inside, must adopt the traditional Javanese dress, which can be hired for a modest fee.

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Experience fun and excitement

Have a good time

Travel long distances just for fun and explore places where being happy is a way of life.

Top Activities

Fun & Games

Top Attractions

Places of Natural Beauty

Jomblang Cave (Goa Jomblang)

This unique cave was caused by a geological shift that created a massive sinkhole that stretches some 300 vertical feet below the surface. Travelers who wish to explore the rocky crags and impressive natural light shows this destination is famous for must navigate a well-worn path using a single rope line, which may prove challenging for some. Not for the faint of heart, visitors must wear coveralls, boots, a helmet and headlamp on their journey into Jomblang. While vegetation above ground is mostly barren and dotted with hardwood trees, adventurers will find lush green landscapes and fertile fields visible from one of the cave’s most popular vantage points, which makes this trip a truly memorable experience. Those in the know recommend hiring an expert guide since the descent can be rather technical, and local operators will also be able to point out rock, crystal and fauna to interested travelers.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Elephant Cave (Goa Gajah)

One of Bali’s holiest Hindu sites (and one of its most popular attractions) is a grotto with a history dating back more than 1,000 years. Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave) has uncertain origins, but it's believed that it once served as a sanctuary for Hindu priests to meditate or even sleep. Goa Gajah's entrance makes a menacing first impression, carved in the likeness of a gaping mouth of a demonic creature. The façade of the cave entrance features several relief carvings of various mythological creatures, and while no one is sure what they represent, local lore says that an elephant was the protagonist of the drama depicted in the carvings; hence, the nickname Elephant Cave. The courtyard just outside the cave has more recently excavated decorative bathing pools, adorned with carvings of partially clad females pouring water from urns. The cave itself is rather small, a T-shaped space with several small ledges and a statue of Ganesh, added after the cave was excavated.

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Go for a new adventure

Discover top adventure travel spots

Reward yourself with an opportunity to explore the nature in different and more radical way.

Top Activities

Outdoor Activities

4WD Tours

Nature and Wildlife Tours

Extreme Sports

Climbing

Top Attractions

Places of Natural Beauty

Kintamani

Two hours by road from Denpasar in Bali’s north-east lie several villages on the rim of the Batur caldera in an area known simply as Kintamani Volcano. At 1,500 meters (4,921 feet) above sea level, the villages (Penelokan, Batur amd Kintamani) have impressive views of the active volcano Mount Batur and the crater lake (Lake Batur). Many visitors opt for a moderate climb to the summit of Mount Batur to watch the sunrise but less physically-able individuals can still get a good view of the surrounding countryside from the crater rim. As well as the lake and the volcano, Kintamani is home to Pura Ulun Danu Batur, one of Bali's most important temples.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Mt. Batur (Gunung Batur)

While Bali is best known for it beautiful beaches -- and rightly so -- the inland portion of the island has its own kind of beauty. Nowhere more so than at Mt Batur. Located in the highlands of Kintamani, Mt Batur rises some 5,633 feet (1,717 meters) above sea level and is one of the region’s most active volcanoes. To best appreciate the Mt Batur experience, sign up for an early morning trek to the summit. Such excursions typically depart from Ubud at 2 or 3 am and arrive at the base of the volcano while it’s still dark. Trekkers make the two-hour journey to the top of the volcano using headlamps and the light of the moon, an effort rewarded by an amazing sunrise from the top. Since Batur remains so active, visitors to the peak get to experience a very unique breakfast of eggs boiled on lava-heated rocks. After you’ve made the ascent and descent, nearby Lake Batur offers hot springs perfect for relaxing tired muscles.

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Celebrate a special occasion

Go for a romance travel

Escape from home routine and find a romantic place to celebrate your special occasion.

Top Activities

Half-day Tours

Full-day Tours

Top Attractions

Places of Natural Beauty

Bintan Island (Pulau Bintan)

Bintan Island is the largest of the Riau Islands in Indonesia, which are spread out from the Straits of Malacca all the way to the South China Sea. Bintan Island’s main attraction is its stretch of unimaginably white sandy beach and the crystal-clear waters that surround it. The resorts on Bintan Island inevitably revolve around this star attraction, with a variety of luxurious waterside retreats offering some stunning vistas out to sea. Away from the picture-perfect beaches to the north of the island, the capital of the Riau province and the main port town of Tanjung Pinang offers a more authentic and local way of life. Situated along Bintan’s southwest coast, Tanjung Pinang has a busy harbour and features traditional houses built on stilts over the water.

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Fun & Games

Pejaten Village

Formerly known as the Pejaten Mall, Pejaten Village is a shopping and entertainment center located in South Jakarta. While not the largest shopping mall by Southeast Asian standards, Pejaten Village nonetheless features a wide range of leisure, retail, and eating options. It’s also a pleasant, often uncrowded, place to visit. Pejaten Village offers al fresco dining, a children's playground, a fitness center, and a cinema, along with a wide range of restaurants, department stores and smaller retail outlets. The large Hypermarket here is popular for grocery shopping among locals, with plenty of fresh vegetables, meats, and fish sold at reasonable prices.

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Try exciting meals

Experience a variety of food on the trip

Escape from ordinary everyday meals and reward yourself with delicious and special gourmet dishes.

Top Attractions

Market

Jalan Surabaya Market (Pasar Antik Jalan Surabaya)

Jalan Surabaya Flea Market is tucked away in the affluent suburb of Menteng in Jakarta. Established in the 1970’s, the market was initially only open on the weekends, when vendors would walk among the locals with their wares, selling mainly household items. At some point in the 1980s, one of the stallholders began to sell antiques, and seeing its popularity, the other vendors soon followed suit! This half-kilometer stretch of shops and stalls now offers everything from old gramophones and vinyl records to art, woodcarvings, furniture, and textiles, along with a whole range of antiques (both of the genuine and slightly more dubious variety). Haggling is expected, of course, with good-natured vendors starting transactions with high prices in the expectation that buyers will drive a hard bargain.

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Indonesia

25 Featured Attractions

Religious Sites

Sukuh Temple (Candi Sukuh)

Built in the 15th century, this ancient temple sits atop the rolling hills of Gunung Lawu, some 900 meters above the Solo plain. It’s a destination for travelers looking to venture into an unfamiliar world where mysterious fertility cults once practiced sacred rituals and ornate carvings and life-like statues prove unlike those in Java’s more traditional Hindu and Buddhist temples. Visitors will find three statues of turtles upon entering Sukuh, as well as a giant phallus that reiterates the temple’s focus on birth and sexuality. The ground’s central pyramid is the tallest of the three located on site. While typical Hindu gods, like Ganesha, are stationed around the site, relief work, carvings and statues at Sukuh more often depict intercourse and genitalia, making it a truly unique stop on a tour of typically more conservative temples.

Learn More

Religious Sites

Besakih Temple (Pura Besakih)

Some 22 separate temples dot the hillside of Mount Agung, where the Mother Temple of Besakih has been perched for more than one thousand years. This complex of Hindu temples is the largest, holiest and most important in the city. Travelers can wander the stepped terraces, and brick gateways that line the rocky crags of this active volcano and explore the ancient temples where Hindu people still come to pray. Although this site remains a popular destination for visitors to Bali, many travelers choose to avoid the Mother Temple due to aggressive touts who try to force guests on “compulsory” tours for unfair fees and local “guardians’ who request payment at every road and pass.

Learn More

Places of Natural Beauty

Jomblang Cave (Goa Jomblang)

This unique cave was caused by a geological shift that created a massive sinkhole that stretches some 300 vertical feet below the surface. Travelers who wish to explore the rocky crags and impressive natural light shows this destination is famous for must navigate a well-worn path using a single rope line, which may prove challenging for some. Not for the faint of heart, visitors must wear coveralls, boots, a helmet and headlamp on their journey into Jomblang. While vegetation above ground is mostly barren and dotted with hardwood trees, adventurers will find lush green landscapes and fertile fields visible from one of the cave’s most popular vantage points, which makes this trip a truly memorable experience. Those in the know recommend hiring an expert guide since the descent can be rather technical, and local operators will also be able to point out rock, crystal and fauna to interested travelers.

Learn More

Religious Sites

Prambanan Temple Complex (Taman Wisata Candi Prambanan)

Though not quite as large as nearby Borobudur, the ancient Hindu temples that make up the impressive Prambanan are spectacular in their own right. Built by the Mataram Kingdom in Central Java around 860 CE, the first temples here were meant to honor Lord Shiva. While many of the later temples erected on this site fell to ruins in an earthquake curing the 16th century, Prambanan still attracts visitors from across the globe seeking to experience walking through one of the Hindu religion’s most prized sites. Prambanan is divided into three main zones, which include an outer open space, a middle zone housing rows of 224 identical shrines, and an inner zone where eight temples and small shrines dedicated to gods are located.

Learn More

Places of Natural Beauty

Mt. Agung (Gunung Agung)

Hikers love the challenging mountain trails of Mount Agung, the tallest active volcano in Bali. Its most popular routes—one starting from Besakih, and the other from Pura Pasa Agung—take trekkers through mountain temples and truly rugged terrain. Loose pebble paths and steep cliffs end with epic views of Bali countryside, and a view that visitors argue may be the best place to watch the sunrise in the country. Guides are recommended—as well as sturdy hiking boots and a warm coat—since navigating the daylong hikes on these uneven vertical trails can be difficult. And with no water along the routes, following an expert beats getting lost.

Learn More

Religious Sites

Borobudur

Visitors will be consumed by the sheer scale of Borobudur, an 8th-century temple that’s recognized not only as a UNESCO World Heritage site, but also the largest Buddhist structure on earth. Towering stone stupas stretch into the skies and a breathtaking natural backdrop of volcanoes and lush landscapes lends an even more impressive air to this already memorable site. Borobudur consists of six square platforms decorated with more than 2,500 relief panels and some 500 Buddha statues, making it one of the most decorated temples on earth. Visitors can hire a guide to explain the life-like graphics that cover the walls of Borobudur, which locals say tell the stories of achieving Nirvana, karma laws, the birth of Buddah and other essential Buddhist teachings. Two museums are also located on the park grounds and admission is included in the price of a temple ticket.

Learn More

Religious Sites

Ubud Monkey Forest (Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary)

The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary is a Balinese Hindu site at the bottom of Monkey Forest Road and populated by cheeky long-tailed macaques. It's a popular site with visitors to Ubud who come to see the monkeys and the temples within the sanctuary. There are hundreds of monkeys living in and around the monkey forest. You can purchase food for them at the entrance gate but be warned that the monkeys are aggresive opportunists - particularly in their pursuit of food. They will think nothing of climbing on you or raking through your bag in search of something edible. There are 3 temples within the forest, Pura Dalem (death temple), the Holy Bathing Temple and Pura Prajapati (funerary or cremation temple). All 3 of these temples are sacred, as is the forest and the monkeys, who are believed to protect the area from evil spirits.

Learn More

Places of Natural Beauty

Lake Batur (Danau Batur)

The lush volcanic hillsides of Mount Batur and Mount Abang surround the crystal-clear—and bitter cold—waters of quiet Lake Batur. Travelers can spend their morning soaking up sun and scenic views along the shores of this chilly lake that was formed by an ancient eruption. Hop a boat across the river to Temple of the Dead, or spend the afternoon canoeing in the placid waters of the lake. Avid hikers can navigate the trails of Mount Batur and enjoy epic views of the countryside from the volcano’s peak, while cyclists can tour the black lava fields by bike.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Kintamani

Two hours by road from Denpasar in Bali’s north-east lie several villages on the rim of the Batur caldera in an area known simply as Kintamani Volcano. At 1,500 meters (4,921 feet) above sea level, the villages (Penelokan, Batur amd Kintamani) have impressive views of the active volcano Mount Batur and the crater lake (Lake Batur). Many visitors opt for a moderate climb to the summit of Mount Batur to watch the sunrise but less physically-able individuals can still get a good view of the surrounding countryside from the crater rim. As well as the lake and the volcano, Kintamani is home to Pura Ulun Danu Batur, one of Bali's most important temples.

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Religious Sites

Pawon Temple (Candi Pawon)

Pawon Temple is a Buddhist temple situated at the midway point between the Borobudur and Mendut temples, approximately 40 kilometers from the city of Yogyakarta. It features a square-shaped, tiered roof adorned with small stupas and ratnas, which is hidden among the houses that surround it. This slender temple structure sits on a rectangular platform and features a chamber inside with vents. Architecturally, Pawon Temple is similar to the temples Borobudur and Mendut, with its mix of classic Javanese Hindu and Indian art symbols. Notably, there are reliefs of the Kalpataru tree (the tree of life), as well as of mythical birds and human figures, on the temple’s outer walls.

Learn More

Museums & Exhibitions

Agung Rai Museum of Art (ARMA)

Ubud’s Agung Rai Museum of Art, or ARMA as it’s more popularly known, is a museum, gallery space and cultural center founded by Agung Rai, a Balinese entrepreneur who got exposed to the world of Balinese art while selling souvenirs in Kuta. Inspired by visits to the Puri Lukisan and Neka museums, Agung Rai began collecting paintings to which he felt a spiritual connection, including works by Balinese and international artists. Today, that collection makes its home in ARMA, a series of traditional buildings in a vibrant garden setting. It is divided thematically into four sections: Kamasan, Pre-war, European Living in Bali and Modern Traditional. Of particular note is the collection by Russian-born German painter Walter Spies, who came to Bali in 1927 and greatly influenced the 1930s Balinese art movement with his primitivism-style paintings. Also on display are works by Raden Saleh, a pioneer of modern Balinese painting.

Learn More

Religious Sites

Taman Ayun Temple (Pura Taman Ayun)

The Royal Temple of Mengwi is one of the most important temples in Bali. Built in 1634 by a King of the Mengwi dynasty, this impressive complex stands on an island in a river, its inner temple surrounded by a moat. Its Balinese name Pura Taman Ayun literally means ‘Garden Temple in the Water’. Part of a network of directional temples that protect Bali from evil spirits, Pura Taman Ayun was built as a series of garden terraces with courtyards on different levels. The entire complex was designed to symbolize the mythological home of the gods, Mount Meru, floating in the sea of eternity. An eleven-tiered meru (at the far end, in the right-hand corner of the complex) is dedicated to the rice goddess Dewi Sri. The third bale on the left is believed to be the abode of several different gods. Pura Taman Ayun was enlarged in 1937, making some of its structures the most modern temple architecture in Bail.

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Museums & Exhibitions

National Museum

The National Museum in Jakarta sits on the western side of Merdeka Square. After various incarnations under a number of different names, the National Museum was opened in 1868. Often referred to as the ‘Elephant Building’ due to the bronze elephant statue at its entrance, this impressive museum houses a huge collection, providing an in-depth insight into Indonesia’s fascinating cultural heritage. The National Museum essentially takes visitors on a journey through Indonesia’s history, from prehistoric times right up to the present day. There are almost 150,000 artifacts on display here, with prehistoric, archaeological, ceramic, ethnographic, numismatic/heraldic, geographic, and colonial collections to explore. A new wing was added to the museum in 2007, with four levels dedicated to the neo-classical colonial era and the origins of mankind in Indonesia, including a model of the Flores ‘hobbit’.

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Sights & Landmarks

Indonesia National Monument (Monas)

The National Monument sits in the center of Jakarta’s Merdeka Square and was built to commemorate Indonesia's struggle for independence. The tower’s construction began in 1961 under President Soekarno, and the monument – also known as Monas – was finally opened to the public in July 1971. The tower stands at more than 130 meters tall and is topped with a burning flame, symbolizing that the spirit of the Indonesian people will never be extinguished. The flame is made from bronze metal and coated with gold foil, while the main structure symbolizes a rice pestle and mortar, thereby representing Indonesia’s agricultural history. These objects are also said to symbolize fertility by representing the male and the female. A lift on the southern side of the monument takes visitors up to the viewing platform at 115 meters above ground level. The National Monument is surrounded by a well-kept park, often used for sports and recreational activities.

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Religious Sites

Uluwatu Temple (Pura Luhur Uluwatu)

With a name that loosely translates to “something divine at the end of the land”, Uluwatu Temple has become a destination for travelers seeking incredible views of the Bali countryside. Perched on the edge of an ocean cliff, the temple overlooks some of the country’s famous surf breaks and is considered one of the six most important structures of its kind in Bali. Wander the well-kept grounds and take in the beautiful picturesque views, but do all you can to avoid the wild monkeys, as they can get aggressive quickly. Stay until sunset and enjoy one of the nightly traditional Kecak dance performances before heading back into town.

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Sights & Landmarks

Glodok (Jakarta Chinatown)

Located in the Taman Sari neighborhood of the city, Jakarta’s Chinatown is in an area known as Glodok. It lays claim to being the largest Chinatown in Indonesia, and one of the largest in the world. Dating back to the Dutch colonial era, Glodok is best known for its markets, architecture, and temples, as well as being one of the biggest centers for electronics in Jakarta. Amid the traditional houses and such impressive temples as Da Shi Miao and Vihara Dharma Bhakti, shopping and food are at the heart of Glodok. Visitors can take a stroll through the streets, passing historic buildings and ancient temples, while visiting shops selling modern-day electronics next to those touting traditional Chinese medicines.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Elephant Cave (Goa Gajah)

One of Bali’s holiest Hindu sites (and one of its most popular attractions) is a grotto with a history dating back more than 1,000 years. Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave) has uncertain origins, but it's believed that it once served as a sanctuary for Hindu priests to meditate or even sleep. Goa Gajah's entrance makes a menacing first impression, carved in the likeness of a gaping mouth of a demonic creature. The façade of the cave entrance features several relief carvings of various mythological creatures, and while no one is sure what they represent, local lore says that an elephant was the protagonist of the drama depicted in the carvings; hence, the nickname Elephant Cave. The courtyard just outside the cave has more recently excavated decorative bathing pools, adorned with carvings of partially clad females pouring water from urns. The cave itself is rather small, a T-shaped space with several small ledges and a statue of Ganesh, added after the cave was excavated.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Mt. Batur (Gunung Batur)

While Bali is best known for it beautiful beaches -- and rightly so -- the inland portion of the island has its own kind of beauty. Nowhere more so than at Mt Batur. Located in the highlands of Kintamani, Mt Batur rises some 5,633 feet (1,717 meters) above sea level and is one of the region’s most active volcanoes. To best appreciate the Mt Batur experience, sign up for an early morning trek to the summit. Such excursions typically depart from Ubud at 2 or 3 am and arrive at the base of the volcano while it’s still dark. Trekkers make the two-hour journey to the top of the volcano using headlamps and the light of the moon, an effort rewarded by an amazing sunrise from the top. Since Batur remains so active, visitors to the peak get to experience a very unique breakfast of eggs boiled on lava-heated rocks. After you’ve made the ascent and descent, nearby Lake Batur offers hot springs perfect for relaxing tired muscles.

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Sights & Landmarks

Denpasar

Denpasar, Bali’s biggest city and home of the major airport, tends to see visitors depart for other locations on the island almost as soon as they arrive. It may not appear to have much to offer a tourist to the island, but take a closer look, and you’ll find a multicultural city brimming with excellent restaurants, shopping, temples and friendly residents. Nearly 800,000 locals call Denpasar home, and while sprawling city doesn’t look it, it’s quite pedestrian friendly in the most interesting central area. The city’s temples and museums offer an off-the-tourist-path way to get to know the Balinese culture a little better. The Bali Museum, located just off Puputan Square, contains four pavilions, each dedicated to a different aspect of Balinese history and culture. Nearby Jagatnata Temple is one of the few without any entrance restrictions for non-Hindus, so you’re free to enter and see the white coral shrine within.

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Gardens & Parks

Komodo National Park (Taman Nasional Komodo)

Komodo National Park, located in the middle of the Indonesian archipelago, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986 due to its biodiversity and most famous inhabitants, the Komodo dragon. The world’s largest lizard -- sometimes reaching more than 9 feet (3 meters) in length -- are found only on these beautiful and desolate volcanic islands of Komodo, Rinca and Padar. No matter which of the three islands in the park you visit, you’re almost guaranteed to see a dragon or two, but you might also spot Timor deer, water buffalo, wild boar, Rinca rats, wild horses, fruit bats or long-tailed macaque monkeys. The islands also represent one of the riches marine environments in Indonesia, and the diving opportunities on the reef just off the coast are top notch. Outdoor enthusiasts will find hiking trails (though you’ll need a guide) and smaller islands only accessible by kayak.

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Sights & Landmarks

Kota Gede (Kotagede)

Kota Gede is a historic suburb within the city of Yogyakarta, Indonesia. It was once the capital of Mataram and is home to an ancient mosque that holds the remains of the first sultan, Panembahan Senopati. Senopati’s graveyard can be found in the grounds of the mosque, which is located to the south of the neighborhood’s central market. Kota Gede is made up of a labyrinth of narrow streets, lined with mosaic-tiled houses that were once home to the upper-class. The neighborhood is also known for being the main hub for the city’s silver industry; Jalan Kemasan is the main street leading into town and this is lined with silver shops, where everything from handmade bowls to modern jewelry are made, bought, and sold.

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Gardens & Parks

Bogor Botanical Gardens (Kebun Raya Bogor)

Situated about 35 miles (60 kilometers) south of Jakarta at the foothills of Mount Salak, the 215-acre Bogor Botanical Gardens provide a natural haven right in the center of the bustling city of Bogor. Officially opened in 1817, these are the oldest botanical gardens in Southeast Asia, having thrived over the years under the leadership of a number of renowned botanists and serving as a major center for botanical research. A scenic place to visit, the gardens feature streams and ponds interspersed along meandering avenues and pristine landscaped lawns. The gardens are also fronted by the regal Bogor Presidential Palace, with the mighty Mount Salak as the backdrop, which only adds to the aesthetic appeal.

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Buildings & Structure

Fatahillah Square (Taman Fatahillah)

Fatahillah Square (or Taman Fatahillah) is located in Kota in North Jakarta. It was the town square for the Dutch settlement of Batavia, and as such features some well-preserved buildings from that era. Today, this cobblestone square is a bustling hive of activity, particularly at the weekends. Locals come to socialize and visitors come to marvel at the colonial buildings and tour the museums. In the evenings and weekends, the square comes alive with street vendors, artisans, jugglers, and international tourists. Three of the city’s best museums can be found at Fatahillah Square. Wayang Museum, with its huge collection of Javanese puppetry, sits on the west side of the square. The old Jakarta History Museum is located on the north side, while the Fine Art and Ceramic Museum sits to the east of the square.

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Market

Jalan Surabaya Market (Pasar Antik Jalan Surabaya)

Jalan Surabaya Flea Market is tucked away in the affluent suburb of Menteng in Jakarta. Established in the 1970’s, the market was initially only open on the weekends, when vendors would walk among the locals with their wares, selling mainly household items. At some point in the 1980s, one of the stallholders began to sell antiques, and seeing its popularity, the other vendors soon followed suit! This half-kilometer stretch of shops and stalls now offers everything from old gramophones and vinyl records to art, woodcarvings, furniture, and textiles, along with a whole range of antiques (both of the genuine and slightly more dubious variety). Haggling is expected, of course, with good-natured vendors starting transactions with high prices in the expectation that buyers will drive a hard bargain.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Gitgit Waterfalls (Air Terjun Gitgit)

Gitgit Waterfall is not only one of the most well-known attractions in Bali, but is also considered to be the most beautiful waterfall on the island. Those who want to visit Gitgit on their journey through Bali, will also find the cascade to be easily accessible. Just off the road between Singaraja and Denpasar, a narrow hiking path disappears into the forest, leading past a small ticket booth, rice fields, clove trees, coffee shrubs and a couple stalls selling drinks, sarongs and souvenirs. From carvings and crafts to t-shirts and postcards, everything a tourist’s heart may or may not desire is available.

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