10 things to do in Indonesia for young travelers

We have just made it through the first half of the year and if you are still waiting for a sign to book that flight to your dream destination, say to the largest archipelago in the world called Indonesia where more than 13,000 islands can be relished, then this is it. Go for it, buy that return ticket, pack your things with your favourite CabinZero bag, hop on a plane, and tick off everything on this list of things to do in Indonesia that we have narrowed down just for you.

Ride the waves and get stoked

It’s not a secret that Indonesia is home to world-class waves. Surfing has even become one of the greatest contributors to its tourism industry as it entices many surf enthusiasts from all over the world to ride and get stoked on its surf breaks such as G-Land, Sumatra, Lagundri Bay, Southern Java, Bali, Lombok, and Nusa Tenggara, among others. Whether you are a beginner or a professional surfer, you will surely have a place to catch some good waves here. And oh, did we mention that they have pretty proficient instructors too?

The best time to go surfing in Bali is approximately from the months of May to September where towering waves awaits your arrival.

Party into the tropical oasis of Motel Mexicola

If Motel Mexicola sounds familiar to you, then you have probably seen this tropical oasis on your Instagram feed in the summer. It is a Mexican restaurant located in Bali where a wild combination of interior designs will welcome you. There are retro and rustic touches, golden arches, neon lights, walls filled with frames, murals, geometric-patterned tiles and everything else that will satisfy a millennial’s dream Instagram feed. The two-story restaurant also hosts regular parties fueled with Latin music for an extra fun-filled night with your new and old friends.

Be sure to snap a photo or two while you’re enjoying your tacos, quesadillas and tequilas here!

Grub on some Nasi Goreng

While ticking off everything on your list of things to do in Indonesia you should never go hungry and miss Nasi Goreng, the country’s national dish. It is a fried rice cooked with a sweet soy sauce called kecap and topped with acar or pickled vegetable. Recharge yourself and get a handful of this at Menteng Plaza.

Hike to the volcano complex of Mt. Ijen

Mt. Ijen is an active volcano complex and here are five things you ought to know before checking it off on your list of things to do in Indonesia: 1) You would need to do a two-hour hike to reach the mouth of the crater, 2) Highly acidic turquoise waters are found on its crater lakes, 3) Blue sulfur flames that could heighten at about 16 feet are evident in the place, 4) The Gunung Merapi stratovolcano is the highest point of the complex, and 5) It is the site where sulfur mining operation happens.

Let the kid in you rejoice in this 24-hour amusement park

Located in Jakarta, Ancol Dreamland or Dream Park (Taman Impian Jaya Ancol) is the place to be when the need to awaken the child in you arises. It is a 24-hour amusement park where you will get to revel in rides, water adventures, animal shows, art markets, bowling, golfing, and paintball, to name a few. Ancol Dreamland also does not fall short with selections of restaurants for when you get tired and hungry.

It is best for families or maybe for a great escape from heavy workloads at the office.

Walk your way up to Bukit Pergasingan in Lombok

One of the most cinematic views you can lay eyes on Indonesia is found in Bukit Pergasingan in Lombok. The trek up to this wonderland requires a four-hour trek where you can witness mosaic-like pads of rice fields surrounded by Toblerone-like peaks of Mount Rinjani from atop.

Here’s a pro tip: pitch a tent on the summit, catch-up with friends over some food and drinks and watch as the sky turns to gold for a more rewarding scenery.

Dive into the life below water in Raja Ampat

Indonesia holds one of the longest coastlines in the world and it wouldn’t be included in the Coral Triangle if it doesn’t have an amazing underwater world where the abundance of marine life can be witnessed, under the support of your trusty oxygen tank, of course. And while the country is brimming with dive sites, one of the most explored depths is in Raja Ampat. It is an archipelago with about 1,500 islets, 1,200 species of fish, a number of Hawksbill turtles, coral reefs, occasional sightings of whale sharks or the biggest fish in the world, and a lot more.

It is normally suitable to dive in Indonesia all year round, but the best time to experience the life below water is from the months of April to December.

Score great finds at Pasar Baru

Pasar Baru is one of the oldest shopping districts in Indonesia where affordable clothes, shoes, bags, tailoring products, and anything else you could think of can be bought here. Just be sure to bring extra cash for a total shopping experience for you and your family back home and to always be mindful of your belongings as the place can get jam-packed most of the time.

Watch the sunset show in Borobudur Temple

Borobudur Temple is an iconic 9th-century Buddhist temple located in Magelang, Central Java that has been Indonesia’s most visited site up to date. It is built in three layers, which represents Kamadhatu or the desire realm, Rupadhatu or the form realm and Arupadhatu or the formless realm. This UNESCO World Heritage Site also happened to be the world’s largest Buddhist temple where breathtaking sunset shows can be watched.

Experience the unique death culture of Tana Toraja

Little did we know, an ethnic tribe in the far-flung province of South Sulawesi called Tana Toraja practises a unique death culture. The people of Tana Toraja keep the bodies of their deceased loved ones at home and intact for weeks, months, years, or until the whole members of the family have visited the dead body. Corpses are well taken care of, dressed and basically treated like they are still alive. On another note, their village has an interesting boat-shaped roof on their traditional houses.

Tours are available and can be arranged on this thought-provoking side of the country. Make sure to include this on your list of things do in Indonesia to experience, learn and understand their unique death culture for yourself.



Mikee Pascual is a Filipino travel and lifestyle writer who is gradually shifting from a sedentary life to a nomadic one. She dreams of travelling to all 81 provinces in the Philippines, and having her own book, hostel, and restaurant someday. Keep track of her world through her words at World In My Words.

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