29 September 2016

 

Amazing things to do in
Indonesia

Indonesia

Sights and sounds of Indonesia

Customers voted these their favourites

Village Cycling
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Village Cycling

On your bike for the best of Bali

Take to two wheels and discover the glorious Balinese countryside by mountain bike. Using branded bikes and equipment, your adventure begins with a vehicle transfer to the start point of your desired route and will include the services of an English speaking guide throughout. The group size is no larger than 20 and there are two exciting options to choose from.

Either ride to Kintamani Volcano, the best spot for views of Mount Batur, an active volcano which sits alongside Lake Batur passing scenic countryside and small villages and stopping at the artisan’s colony at Ubud for lunch or take the trip to Jatiluwih Rice Paddy which offers superb vistas in all directions and are a marvel to behold. This adventure ends with a sumptuous lunch overlooking the stunning scenery.



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Jimbaran Seafood Rijstaffel
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Jimbaran Seafood Rijstaffel

Seafood at sunset

A seductive crescent of white sand and blue sea, Jimbaran Bay has a reputation for having some of the best seafood restaurants on the island and during this magical evening you will have the chance to dine in one of the best Beach Clubs in the bay. The delicious seafood rijstaffel (selection of dishes) and stunning beachside location provide the perfect end to a perfect day.

Jimbaran is just south of Kuta and was just a tiny fishing village with a daily market. That all changed in the 1980s and it is now home to several world class five star beach resorts and lots of high-end villas. This has resulted in monikers such as the "Beverly Hills of Bali" or "Millionaire's Row". The clusters of seafood restaurants on the beach are a major tourist draw in the evenings, as is the stunning sunset.

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Ayung Whitewater Rafting
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Ayung Whitewater Rafting

Whitewater and white knuckles

This Bali experience will simply take your breath away. Meeting strict safety and service standards, the Ayung River rafting trip will challenge you every step of the way. The thrilling adventure begins in the foothills of the sacred Mount Agung and from the moment you drop into the first set of rapids with your experienced guide your heart will be racing and adrenalin pumping.

In a continual spray of white clear water, you will rush past steep banks while rafting straight through cascading waterfalls of cold natural spring water. The guides will give you instruction and work with you to safely navigate the raft through torrents, twists, tight turns and rapids. And when its over there are modern showers and changing facilities complete with fresh towels.

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POD Chocolate Plantation and Factory Visit
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POD Chocolate Plantation and Factory Visit

Chocs away for a tasty day out

You don't have to be a chocoholic to appreciate this fascinating tour which takes you through lush countryside to the unique Pod Chocolate Factory and Cafe, which is located within the grounds of the Bali Elephant Camp.This morning’s excursion gives you the opportunity to learn about all the processes of making chocolate.

Beginning with a visit to a nearby farm to see how the cacao bean is organically grown and cultivated, you then move on to the process of harvesting, fermenting and drying. Enjoy refreshments in a farmer’s house before returning to the Pod’s boutique factory to create your own chocolate masterpiece, with plenty of tasting opportunities along the way. Enjoy a cacao-inspired lunch before returning to your hotel.

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Picturesque Central Bali
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Picturesque Central Bali

Visit the heart of the island

This excursion begins with a drive into Central Bali to the small town of Mengwi. Long associated with the Balinese Royal Family, Mengwi is home to the superb temple complex at Taman Ayun. Translating as ‘beautiful garden’ Taman Ayun is considered by many to be one of the island’s most attractive temples and is still used today by people from all over the island for special ceremonies and events.

Then drive further north to Bedugul Regency, known for its stunning beauty and three caldera lakes and stop first at the market at Candi Kuning. The iconic Ulun Danu Temple is the next destination and this important Hindu Shivaite water temple is located on a small jut of land on the calm waters of Lake Beratan. After lunch return south stopping to view the rice terraces at Jatiluwih where endless paddies offer superb vistas.

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Kintamani - Monkey Forest Tour
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Kintamani - Monkey Forest Tour

Monkey magic in the forest

This special day starts with a fascinating performance of Barong Dance then you continue your exploration of the Balinese arts with a stop at three villages near Ubud known for their crafts. Visit Gunung Kawi, a Hindu temple complex north-east of Ubud which comprises 10 rock-cut shrines carved into the cliff face. The countryside is lush and the footpath leading to the temple passes through terraced rice fields.

Travel on to the village of Kintamani for the best views of Mount Batur, an active volcano which sits alongside Lake Batur and enjoy a buffet lunch in a restaurant overlooking the volcano. On the return journey, stop at Goa Gajah in Bedulu, often called the Elephant Cave, and the final stop is Ubud Monkey Forest, a nature reserve and temple complex home to hundreds of crab-eating macaque monkeys.

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Bedugul and Tanah Lot Tour
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Bedugul and Tanah Lot Tour

See the top two temples

Drive north to the island’s central highlands region renowned for its stunning beauty and three caldera lakes and your first visit is to the iconic Ulun Danu Temple. This important Hindu Shivaite water temple is located on a small jut of land on the calm waters of Lake Beratan. Then continue to the village of Asah Gobleg for fine views of more lakes before heading to Alas Kedaton Monkey Forest, home to lots of macaque monkeys.

Later head south to Bali's most famous temple complex at Tanah Lot. With its spectacular location, Tanah Lot is an integral part of Balinese mythology and one of seven sea temples that are said to form a ‘chain’ around the island. The temple is only accessible at low tide but despite its off-shore location in the Indian Ocean, it features a fresh water spring at its base which is said to contain holy water. You arrive in time for sunset.

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Batur National Geopark Tour
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Batur National Geopark Tour

Hot views and hot springs

This tour takes you via a local coffee plantation to the village of Kintamani, the best spot for views of Mount Batur, an active volcano which sits alongside Lake Batur. Scanning the horizon here you see that Kintamani sits on the caldera rim of the huge volcano, and Mount Batur, directly in front of you, is merely a ‘small’ mountain that has been created by thousands of years of volcanic activity.

Visit Batur Volcano Museum to discover the historic and religious significance of the mountain as well as detailing the history of its eruptions. Enjoy a buffet lunch in a restaurant overlooking the volcano while you ponder on the mighty forces that created this vista. Toya Bungkah Hot Springs is the next stop, which is located in the village of Penelokan. Enjoy a relaxing one hour massage and a soothing dip in the pools.

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Off Road Bali
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Off Road Bali

Take the roads less travelled

Using customised Land Rovers this excursion goes off-road and into the superb countryside surrounding Gunung Batukaru, Bali's second-highest mountain. The goal is the bamboo forest restaurant, which is set deep in this mountainous region of the island and where you have lunch. There is so much to see and take in en route as this is the heartland of Bali where rice paddies, traditional villages and friendly Balinese await.

Highlights include the seemingly endless UNESCO-recognised rice terraces at Jatiluwih and the dramatically located 11th century Hindu temple of Batukaru. This is an adventurous but not strenuous trip and your 4X4 Land Rover is equipped with air-conditioning and comfortably seats a maximum of just six people plus the guide and expert driver. Photo opportunities abound as you explore little-visited temples and small villages.

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Rainforest Trekking & Canoeing
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Rainforest Trekking & Canoeing

Take a trek and a canoe

This excursion begins with a drive north to Bedugul Regency, part of the island’s central highlands region renowned for its stunning beauty and three caldera lakes. The first stop is the iconic Ulun Danu Temple, an important Hindu Shivaite water temple located on a small jut of land within the calm waters of Lake Beratan. On some days it looks like this temple is floating on the water.

After your visit, head towards Lake Tamblingan and begin a gentle trek down through the tropical rainforest admiring the flora and fauna and take in the clean mountain air as you hike through a region that has remained at one with nature for many centuries. Reaching the shore of the lake after an hour, you continue your journey by boat, as you are rowed across its waters in a traditional dug-out canoe.

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Bumbu Bali Cooking Class
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Bumbu Bali Cooking Class

Learn to cook the Bali way

Enjoy a cookery class that offers an insightful introduction to the unique culinary heritage of Bali and the exotic ingredients it uses. The class starts with an early morning visit to the local vegetable and fish markets in order to select the freshest ingredients for your menu. The market will be bustling with activity as local residents usually complete their daily shopping by 8am.

Arrive at the class venue with full shopping baskets and enjoy a traditional Balinese breakfast of fruit and cakes made from rice and palm sugar. It’s then time to enter the kitchen to begin your masterclass, in which you will be guided through the techniques and flavours required to produce a range of mouth-watering dishes. Then sit down and enjoy the sumptuous feast you have prepared.

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West Bali Jeep Adventure
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West Bali Jeep Adventure

Take a jeep into the park

Using 4WD vehicles, on this excursion you get off-road and head into West Bali National Park. Located on the northwest coast of the island and covering a huge area, the park is known for its diverse habitat including savanna, mangrove swamps and coral islands. Begin your exploration with a visit to Tegal Bunder, a tropical forest where a pre-release centre has been established to study and monitor the beautiful Bali mynah bird.

Continue to Tanjung Pasir, a region of stunning coastline with wonderful views of Gilimanuk Bay and beyond to the island of Java, then on to Prapatan Agung which is one of the most important and protected parts of the national park. Here you may spot some of Bali’s rarest animals, including deer, monkeys and wild pig. Around five hours is spent discovering the park, including time for a picnic lunch that will be prepared by your guide.

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Bandung Mountain Leisure
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Bandung Mountain Leisure

Bandung, capital of the province of West Java, has a relatively cool climate. Because of this, Dutch colonial planters made it their retreat from the hot plains and in its heyday the city was known as the “Paris of Java”. Today, it plays an important role in Indonesia’s booming garment industry and is known as the clothing capital of Indonesia. Visit nearby Cihampelas city, dubbed the Blue Jeans Centre, where you can shop until you drop at the numerous factory outlets selling clothing and other local goods.

Next stop is Lembang fruit market, a lively trading place where you can sample some of the huge variety of tropical fruit grown in this region, such as bananas, pineapple, mangosteen, mango, papaya, rambutan and durian. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, with great views of the surrounding area.

Continue to Mount Tangkuban Prahu, a dormant volcano 30km north of Bandung. The summit resembles an upturned boat (‘Tangkuban Prahu’ roughly translates as ‘upturned boat’ in Indonesian) and there is time for exploration before continuing to nearby Ciater, a small town located at the base of the mountain known for its revitalising hot springs. Locals inhabitants and visitors alike believe the mineral-rich hot waters are good for healing and nourishing the skin.

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Best of Eastern Bali Day Tour
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Best of Eastern Bali Day Tour

See the best of the East

The first stop is at Kerta Gosa, the former Courts of Justice in Klungkung which date back to the 18th century. Then continue along the east coast to the fishing village of Kusamba. Here the beaches are made up from black lava sand which sparkles in the midday sun and along the beach the colourful fishing boats are standing at the ready for their daily trips.

Visit the eerie bat caves of Goa Lawah where the walls are covered with thousands of bats. The caves are considered to be holy and are protected with a shrine and temple at the entrance. Then stop at Tenganan and see villagers weaving the famous gringsing sarongs, which are said to have special powers for the wearer. After lunch in Candidasa stop at the royal bathing pools of Tirtaganggad.


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Best of Northern Bali Day Tour
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Best of Northern Bali Day Tour

See the best of the North

On this comprehensive tour you leave the lowlands and relatively flat rice fields of Tabanan and drive into the steeper mountain region of Bedugul. The vegetation changes as you continue to the alpine countryside and stop at Pacung amid beautiful rice terraces and also visit the colourful fruit market of Candi Kuning and watch the locals haggling over the produce.

On reaching the mountain resort of Bedugul and Lake Beratan, you visit the delightful Ulun Danu Temple dedicated to the Goddess of the waters before travelling north along the winding roads which lead to Gitgit waterfalls for a short walk through jungle paths to the falls. Pass clove and coffee plantations and Lovina's black lava sand beaches and after lunch the return journey is through the stunning rice terraces at Pupuan.

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Bogor – Puncak Countryside Tour
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Bogor – Puncak Countryside Tour

Approximately 60km south of Jakarta, Bogor is a temperate city known for its Botanical Gardens.

Established in 1811 by Sir Stamford Raffles as the private garden of the Governor-General’s summer residence, the extensive grounds are home to more than 15,000 species of trees and plants and are also a haven for local birdlife. Spend time enjoying the estate, from which you can also see the opulent 18th century Presidential Palace. Built as a retreat for the Dutch Governors and later used by the British administration, the palace is noted for its distinctive architectural style. Unfortunately it is not open to the public.

Continue to nearby Punak, an attractive spot outside of Bogor known for its tea plantations and magnificent mountain vistas. After some time taking in the fresh air and mountain scenery, return to your hotel.

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Half Day Bustling Denpasar Tour
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Half Day Bustling Denpasar Tour

See the city highlights

Denpasar is the largest city in Bali, with an attractive main square in the centre. On one side of Puputan Square is the impressive Bali Museum with its art collections which range from prehistoric finds to early 20th century art and also displayed are scale models depicting the ritualistic Balinese tooth filing, marriage and cremation ceremonies.

Then visit the colourful local market where villagers sell their products with much haggling over prices. As a contrast, you also visit one of the modern supermarkets or department stores. Before returning to your hotel you are taken to the Bali Art Centre, a traditional building which houses an exhibition of modern paintings and wood carvings and is also the central stage for Balinese dance performances and drama.

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Jakarta City Tour
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Jakarta City Tour

Start the day with a sightseeing tour of Jakarta, the capital of and largest city in Indonesia. The first stop-off is at the National Museum, located in central Jakarta in what is popularly known as the Elephant Building after the imposing statue of an elephant at the entrance. The museum was established in 1778 by the Dutch Batavia Association of Arts and Science, and offers an excellent display of history, archaeology, ethnological and religion related to Indonesia’s colourful past. It is easy to become entranced and even lost in the many rooms inside the museum.

Very close to the museum you will see the 132 metre Indonesian National Monument (Monumen Nasional – Monas) symbolising the struggle for independence from the Dutch in the 1950s. At the top is the bronze Flame of Independence, 3 metres in height and weighing over 13,000 kg. The bronze structure is covered in gold foil and visitors can get to within 17 metres by travelling up to a viewing platform.

Add further to your knowledge of Indonesian history by visiting the National Archives Building constructed by the Dutch East India Company Governor General, Reyner de Clerk, in 1760 as his mansion. The mansion later functioned as the central location for the city’s Department of Mining before taking on its current role holding the records of the Dutch East India Company and charting its distinctive contribution to the development of modern-day Indonesia.

Finish the day with a unique shopping experience in the biggest shopping mall in south-east Asia, Taman Anggrek Mall, the Orchid Garden Mall. Teeming with over five hundred speciality shops, many fancy restaurants, ten exhibition areas and even an indoor ice rink, there has got to be something to intrigue, attract and even part you from your money in this fascinating seven-storey shoppers’ paradise.

Note: All museums are closed on Mondays and Public Holidays. Alternative sites to visit are the Istiqlal Mosque, the largest mosque in south-east Asia; the neo-gothic majestic Roman Catholic Cathedral built in 1901; and the always-open Antique Market at Jalan Surabaya street where you can haggle for an almost infinite variety of items from Indonesia’s Dutch colonisation days (but be careful of clever fakes!)

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Miniature Indonesia Park Tour
19

Miniature Indonesia Park Tour

For those who want to get a taste of Indonesia’s enormous cultural, geographical and ethnic diversity, a visit to Taman Mini Indonesia Indah will give you just that.

Covering an area of just over one square kilometre, this “miniature Indonesia” features exhibits for each of Indonesia’s 33 provinces with displays of life-sized traditional houses, regional handicrafts and local clothing.

With everything Indonesian including the unique houses of Toraja land, the opportunity to learn about the former cannibal tribes of Papua and even a mini-scale Borobudur, Taman Indonesia Park gives a fascinating glimpse into the lives of Indonesians across the country.

Note: the park is closed on Mondays.

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Mt Batur Cycling Day Tour
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Mt Batur Cycling Day Tour

Ride down the mountain

Escape from the tourist centres to the cooler climates of Bali's Mountain region on this super cycling tour. Using brand new mountain bikes and safety equipment, the downhill trail from Mount Batur will lead you through sleepy villages along little-used roads and tracks. Frequent stops are made along the way giving you the opportunity to view ancient temple compounds and shady plantations bearing a variety of crops.

See women carrying festive offerings of fruit and flowers to appease the Gods, while village ducks are herded in humorous orderly processions. Young boy’s cut grass to feed the family cow and weathered old men gossip at the roadside stall sipping glasses of aromatic mountain ground coffee. An escort vehicle is on standby at the end of your trip to take you to enjoy a buffet lunch before returning to your hotel.

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Old Heritage Batavia Tour
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Old Heritage Batavia Tour

After breakfast, begin your tour of the capital with a visit to Glodok, the largest Chinatown district in the country. Small streets are lined with numerous shops and vendors selling all manner of commodities and much of the architecture is still traditional in style.

Next visit the Sunda Kelapa, the old harbour of Jakarta and one of its most recognisable sights. Dating back to the 17th century, the harbour has a rich and varied history but today it is mainly used to accommodate the traditional Indonesian two-masted sailing ships known locally as Pinisi.

Continue to two of Jakarta’s most interesting museums. First, the Fatahillah Museum, was originally built by the Dutch in 1710 as the Jakarta City Hall, or Stag Huis. Today, the building displays many antiques, fine ceramics, ancient maps and paintings from the colonial era.

Proceed to the Puppet Museum, located in an old Dutch colonial house and showcasing an excellent collection of Javanese leather puppets used in Wayang Kulit, the ancient Indonesian art of shadow play.

Note: All museums are closed on Mondays and Public Holidays. Alternative sites that will be substituted on these days are Istiqlal Mosque, the cathedral and the antique market.

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Ubud & Bird Park Visit
22

Ubud & Bird Park Visit

Colourful art and bright birds

A trip to Ubud is an excellent way to gain an understanding of art and culture in Bali. And on this fascinating tour you will visit the galleries of prominent Balinese and European artists. Before arriving in Ubud, you will be taken to visit Bali Bird Park, where you can see the colourful birds that make the Indonesian archipelago their home.

From here you drive along the back roads, passing rice terraces in Tegallalang and finally reach Tampaksiring with its holy spring waters. And on the return journey you make a stop at Batuan village to visit one of the traditional houses. A final stop is made at Tohpati village to see the wonderful art of the hand painted batiks.

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