This beautiful destination is especially known for its unique island Bali, to which many digital nomads and other travellers have lost their hearts.
But Indonesia is not only about Bali. There are so many other stunning places worth to explore. In this post, I’m sharing my 4-week Indonesia experience and top places with you.
My first destination in Indonesia was Flores Island. I’ve heard about the Komodo Islands in that area, where you can see wild Komodo Dragons, which was on top of my bucket list!
➳ To get to Flores Island you can take a small plane from Bali. It takes 1 hour until landing in Labuan Bajo.
Must do on Flores Island: Padar Island.
The boat ride won’t take too long from Labuan Bajo to arrive at this natural beauty. You can book tours to the island in Labuan Bajo. It’s more common to book a combined package where you visit several famous spots around Flores within one day by boat.
The main reason for coming to Padar Island are the views. Rugged savannah hills dominate the islands and create a beautiful contrast with the azure waters.
Views from Padar Island.
The viewpoint on top of Padar Island has become one of the most iconic views in Southeast Asia. The hike up to the top is challenging but worth it!
Flores is the only place on earth where you can encounter the Komodo Dragons in the wild! That’s what makes visiting Flores in Indonesia so special.
Komodo Dragons are the largest living species of lizard in the world. Some of them reach up to 3 metres length and weigh more than 140 kg, which is why they are also referred to as the modern-day dinosaur. Not to forget their venomous saliva that is deadly to their prey and humans!
When coming to Komodo Nationalpark, you’ll have the chance of spotting them in wild nature. For that, you need a trained tour guide who will also give you some information about these extraordinary creatures.
Don’t get too close to this one. It could literally kill you with its venomous saliva!
Next stop: Pink Beach. And yes, the beach really is PINK!
That’s because certain microscopic animals have pink shells and live in the coral reefs surrounding the beach. In the end, the beach is a mix of shells, coral, and calcium carbonate.
This is a really unique phenomenon as there are only a few pink beaches in the entire world. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a good picture anymore in my memory collection, but you can get some impressions here.
Snorkel & Scuba Diving
To get to Pink Beach from our boat, we chose to snorkel exploring the reef. At this spot, we couldn’t see much special underwater life, but usually, the Komodo Islands are known for having some of the best dive sites in Indonesia with unique marine wildlife like dolphins, reef sharks, turtles and colourful coral reefs.
Later, when we stopped at Manta Point, we got sooo lucky!
We spotted several Manta Rays swimming right next to our boat. A few guys from our boat were quick enough to grab their snorkel gear and jump in the water to follow them for a while.
Waterfalls & Caves
After the exciting boat tour with so many impressions, me and a girl from my hostel decided to take a trip around Labuan Bajo by car. Our hostel organized a shuttle driver for us that would drop us off at some sightseeing spots.
After driving through tropical nature for a while, our first stop was Cuncan Wulang Waterfall. It’s a calm and simple place, nothing too exciting, but we enjoyed swimming a little in the refreshing water. However, the current is really strong and it’s important not to get too close to the waterfall for safety reasons.
Exploring Cuncan Wulang Waterfall.
After refreshing our guide dropped us off at Batu Cermin Cave. We got equipped with helmets and entered the low entry into the darkness of the cave. With our flashlights, we spotted a few bats, massive scorpion spiders that were really just uugh, and interesting rock formations. That was cool!
Ever seen a scorpion spider? They live inside caves and are massive!
➳ Good to know: Labuan Bajo is way less touristy and less developed than other parts in Indonesia, like for example Bali. You have to be more careful, especially when travelling alone as a girl. Don’t walk alone by night and always try to connect to other groups when exploring attractions and the island.
After a few days in Flores, I was very excited to get to know another part of Indonesia. I made my way from Labuan Bajo straight to Lombok by plane.
Lombok is known for exquisite beaches, fascinating landmarks, including the country’s second-highest mountain, and top quality surf. Because it’s way less touristy than Bali it offers a far more peaceful and relaxed experience too.
I spent 2 days in this beautiful place in Lombok cruising along all the white sand beaches and loved it! I and my rental scooter were a really good team and managed to tick off Tanjung Aan, Pantai Mawan and Selong Balanak, a beach famous for surfing (also for beginners), where I drank several coconuts and refuelled with Vitamin D.
Beach marathon in Lombok & my favourite activity: drinking coconuts on the beach!
Senggigi was the place I was most looking forward to in Lombok. Why? Because my best friend was coming all the way from Germany to spend the next days with me together! We explored the area by scooter and visited several waterfalls.
Senggigi is known for its scenery landscape and waterfalls. Good to explore by scooter!
➳ Tip: La Boheme Hostel is an awesome accommodation to stay at. They offer the best Banana-Honey-Coconut Pancakes in this world!
Senggigi also is the perfect gateway to the Gili Islands. It’s located only 20 minutes from Bangsal, where the ferries depart.
With turquoise waters fringed by white sand and coconut palms, the Gili Islands are a vision of paradise and perfect for a few days of relaxation. They consist of 3 different islands that all have their own “personality”. While Gili Trawangan (Gili T.) is the biggest and most lively island of the three, also known as the party island, Gili Meno is the smallest one known for its romantic atmosphere with honeymoon vibes and the best beaches. Gili Air on the other side is a mix of both with some fun activities and bars, a bit more quiet than Gili T.
We chose to visit Gili Air and Gili T, which in the end was a great combination!
Spending our days with relaxing on the beach and walking around the palm-fringed island, having a glimpse inside some cute souvenir shops and beach bars, we really enjoyed every minute here.
➳ Tip: Check out Bedagang Hostel on Gili Air. It’s a very cool social hostel offering a pool if you should get sick of beach views (well, can you ever?!).
Coconut trees everywhere.
After 2 days of several sunny hours, cocktails and sunsets, we ended our time on Gili Air with an open-air cinema. How amazing to watch a movie on the beach under a sky full of stars!
The sunsets on the Gili Islands won’t disappoint you! You’ll find the famous ocean swings on Gili T.
The first thing we realized when arriving on Gili T. was the many more tourists around. Compared to Gili Air it’s way more busy and full, but this couldn’t paint out the beauty of the island.
Once we checked into our private bungalow, we directly booked a snorkel tour to dive into Gili’s underwater world. On the program: visiting the famous underwater sculptures created by a well known underwater sculptor named Jason De Caires Taylor. The sculptures can be found close to Gili Meno and it takes only a few minutes by boat to arrive.
Ready to jump in & see Indonesia’s famous underwater sculptures?
Many travellers come here to see the piece of art. Therefore it was really crowded and everyone tried to get the best pictures. Anyways, it was an awesome feeling being underwater seeing these mysterious sculptures underneath covered by several colourful fish.
Besides the sculptures, we also saw another highlight: a turtle!
Back on Gili T. we explored the island by renting bikes and cruised along paradise beach views stopping a few times for sunbathing and having lunch in a cute beach cafe. The evenings on Gili T. can be well spent in one of the many bars/clubs for some drinks and dancing through the night. Reggae Bar & Jiggy Bar was one of our favourite places.
Dinner with feet in the sand.
After 5 days on the Gilis, it was finally time to visit Bali. We had planned to stay here for another 12 days exploring the different parts of the island and making the most of it.
Bali can also be described as one island with many destinations as there are so many diverse things to do and see. The landscape is fascinating with active volcanoes, rice terraces, beaches and tropical rainforest, not to forget Bali’s rich culture!
Ubud was by far one of my favourite spots in Indonesia. It’s the heart of Bali, a place where the culture of the island is most accessible. The cute oasis is surrounded by rainforest and many rice terraces. Besides that, Ubud is known for its magical temples, amazing cafes & restaurants and Yoga retreats.
Ubud is a place full of calmness and the perfect place to reconnect to your inner body.
Monkey Forest Sanctuary
The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud is a MUST DO! This is one of the funniest memories I have during these travels, to see all those clever and sneaky monkeys jumping around.
We spotted so many monkeys with their babies- how adorable?!
You can buy bananas inside the park to feed the monkeys, but watch out! As soon as they see you with food they’ll jump and climb all over your body to reach their prey, not caring if they accidentally pull your hair or have one hand inside your face. This experience can be fun & a great option to get close to the monkeys, but don’t forget that after all, they are wild animals.
➳ Tip: The monkeys are not shy of contact with tourists at all. That means you literally have to watch out that they won’t steal your food, favourite earrings or expensive cameras. Make sure you pack everything inside your bag and keep it safe. Besides that, you should keep calm when they climb on your shoulders or head. Avoid touching them, quick movements or direct eye contact with a monkey which can make them aggressive.
Goa Gajo Temple
The best way to explore Ubud’s attractions is by scooter, even though the traffic in Indonesia can be terrifying and everyone literally just drives in the most chaotic way I’ve ever seen. Every time we safely arrived, I was glad that we made it to the next stop alive. 😀
My faithful friend bringing me safely from A to B.
Goa Gajo Temple is one of Bali’s most famous sights. It’s an amazingly beautiful place & we enjoyed its energy and impressions.
Goa Gajo Temple is a must in Ubud!
The 25 metre high Tegenungan Waterfall is about 10 kilometres outside of Ubud next to Tegenungan village. On the way, you’ll pass a few restaurants and souvenir shops.
➳ Tip: The earlier you come here the better! That way you avoid the rush hour of tourists.
Tegenungan Waterfall close to Ubud.
Usually, you can also swim here, but it was raining a lot the day before we went, which is why the waterfall was too strong. Therefore, it was forbidden to go inside.
No swimming allowed today, but that doesn’t change the beauty of the view!
Probably one of the main reasons why you should come to Ubud and visit Indonesia- the rice terraces! They are so beautiful in their full green surrounded by tall lush green palm trees.
One of the most known rice terraces in Ubud: Tegallalang Rice Terrace.
It’s beautiful scenes of rice paddies and coconut trees offer amazing lookouts. Additionally, you can walk along the terraces or try the famous Bali Swing for a stunning view.
We were really amazed by this place! On the other side, there were a lot of tourists and the souvenir sellers and farmers seemed very pushy. Almost every 5 minutes, when you arrived at another lookout, you had to pay a small fee. That’s why we just walked a small part, which was not giving us the full impression but was still satisfying.
What a view!
➳ Tip: Interested in Yoga? The “Ubud Yoga Palace” is surrounded by rice terraces and an awesome place for some Yoga & Meditation lessons.
Another must-Do when coming to Indonesia is to climb Mount Batur. To be exactly, Mount Batur is an active volcano and the second largest one in Bali!
Our shuttle picked us up at 2 AM in the morning. That’s a really early start, but it’s worth being on the top for a golden sunrise. You start hiking up in the dark with flashlights and the way up is very steep, but worth it!
Sunrise on Mount Batur.
On the top, we met several monkeys and the view was breathtaking. Later on, our tour guides showed us other parts of the volcano and we touched the volcano rocks- you could feel the heat underneath, which was a crazy feeling! When we arrived at the crater, we watched massive clouds of smoke arising from the bottom, the abyss only a few meters away from us. What an insane feeling to stand on the top of an active volcano!
After several days of green landscape views, we were in the mood for beach. There is no better place for beach vibes in Indonesia than in Canggu!
Already in the first minutes after our arrival, I fell in love with this place. With its laid back vibes, the many cute souvenir shops and cozy cafes, Canggu reminded us of a lot of Byron Bay in Australia.
We rented a scooter for the next 3 days and explored the beaches around Canggu. One of our favourite ones was Berawa Beach, where a lot of surfers enjoy the waves and chilled Live Music gives the perfect sunset vibes. You can also enjoy great food in one of the beach restaurants.
Dinner with a view. Dreamy sunset at Berawa Beach.
Canggu is a great place for surfing, especially for those who have never tried before! Of course, we didn’t want to miss our own chance to try surfing. That’s why we took a private surf lesson at Batu Bolong Beach and headed inside the waves (that I found quite high for the first surf lesson…) to try our luck. It was so much fun & I was really proud when I managed to stand on my board catching the first wave! After a couple of hours, I was already super exhausted and realized that surfing really is a hard workout for the entire body. Fact is that I slept like a baby that night.
On our last night in Canggu, we went to an amazing beach party, where a live DJ was casting a spell over the crowd. With Mojitos in our hands and feet in the sand, we danced through the night with the ocean sounds surrounding us. What a life!
Uluwatu is located in the south of Bali and especially known for great waves, cliff landscape and temples. Again, renting a scooter is the best option to explore the area.
Our favourite way to explore the island.
The beaches is Uluwatu really are paradise! We enjoyed this area of Bali a lot and spent most of the time on the beach. Make sure you visit the hippie beach Bingin and Padang Padang Beach which both are perfect to relax.
Another well known beach is Pandawa Beach that is more touristy but its white sand and turquoise water impresses everyone! Here you can rent sun loungers, have lunch and spend the day sunbathing.
Pandawa Beach in Uluwatu.
Pura Luhur Uluwatu Temple
Don’t miss visiting this unique temple in Indonesia! The small temple is located in 70 metres height on the top of the cliffs and offers a stunning scenery, also known as one of Bali’s most beautiful views.
Views in Uluwatu.
Pura Luhur Temple on the top of the cliffs.
➳ Tip: Watch out for the monkey’s that are running around trying to steal people’s sunglasses and cameras. They are cute but can be really sneaky and you don’t want to get into a fight with them. Besides that, the temple is really popular and it gets really full, which is why you should be here as early as possible or for the sunset to avoid the crowds.
In Uluwatu Helen’s time came to an end here in Bali and it was time to say goodbye again. We had such an amazing time together in Indonesia and I was going to miss her a lot!
One last photo together before it was time to say goodbye again…
Before I was going to fly back home to Melbourne, I had one last stop in front of me: Kuta. I’ve heard very different opinions about Kuta from other travellers, some good and other bad ones.
Kuta is especially known to be the party scene in Bali, often compared to the “Mallorca” of Indonesia. Besides shopping centres and restaurants, you can find dozens of clubs and bars. However, most travellers think it’s too full here. During my time in Kuta, this image could only be approved… parties everywhere, drunk people on the streets and several people offering drugs. Not my kind of travelling and I don’t recommend you to stay here if you’re not specifically looking to party.
That’s why I spent my last day on the beach reading my book in the sun. After I ate my last Mie Goreng (I love this dish) at a “Warung”, I prepared my bags and it was time to say goodbye to wonderful Indonesia.
➳ Must Read: Top Things to Do in Singapore.
Feeling inspired to travel to Indonesia? Which part of the country are you interested in the most? Let’s exchange our thoughts below! 🙂