6 Week Itinerary in Indonesia

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I remember including Indonesia on my itinerary when I had my first long holiday while working in Korea. I planned to do Malaysia and Indonesia – two places that seemed so exotic and so off the map I could not wait to get my hands on them.

Plans changed slightly, and instead I stayed in Malaysia for three weeks and did Singapore for a couple of days.

I made it to Indonesia a year later on a random scuba diving trip to celebrate my 25th birthday on Pulau Weh, a small island off Sumatra. The simplistic beauty, white sand beaches and glowing water of that little island stole my heart and started my love affair with this diverse nation of more than 17,000 islands.

I would sit at work and on a daily basis and distract myself by looking up pictures of and things to do in Indonesia. I read travel blogs and the same Lonely Planet descriptions over and over again.

To be honest, I only wanted to get back to go to Sulawesi and Rinca, the second of which is an island I soon discovered that you can not really stay on but instead make a day trip to. Nothing else was on my radar.

Then I came across a travel blogger who had hiked Mount Rinjani, and I added that to my Indonesia bucket list. It grew bigger and bigger – hiking through Papua, a live aboard through Komodo, cruising the islands from Lombok to Flores.

A month just would not do. A lifetime would not even make a dent, but I would do my best.

I knew that whenever I got around to my next big trip, revisiting Indonesia would be high up on the top of the list.

And so I budgeted Indo in after New Zealand, hoping that I would have enough money to carry me through for a month. Looking back, I am so happy I made this decision, not only because I have always wanted to come back but also because I was close enough to take the offer to get back to Australia for an assignment. Everything worked perfectly.


My Indonesia Itinerary 

As I mentioned above, Indonesia is a country of more than 17,000 islands – each of which is drastically different from one to the other. With a population of 245 million people (give…not take), it is the fourth most populated country on the planet, and it definitely feels like it 100 percent of the time.

Just about three-quarters of Indonesia’s population is Islamic, making it the world’s most populated Islamic country; however, the strength and strict adherence differs from island to island – as does the tourists’ respect for it.

On Sumatra, for example, I needed to be covered at all times to respect the locals; in Bali, Western girls walked around in a bathing suit top on and shorts, the same applies for the Gili islands. These are all very different islands.

Indonesia operates on a currency called the Indonesian Rupiah (Rp), and 1 USD gets you about 11,500 Rp; however, I am traveling on the Australian dollar, which gets a rate of 1 AUD to about 10,600 Rp. Damn Aussie dollar and its crap exchange rate.

It seems best to stick to islands and explore them thoroughly, but I think I will be doing a little bit of island hoping with one domestic flight thrown into my six weeks  traveling the country.

2 WeeksGili Islands / Lombok
What to do: Scuba diving and trekking Mount Rinjani

4 daysKomodo Boat: sailing from Lombok to Flores
What to do: Snorkelling, soaking up the sun on undiscovered beaches, see Komodo Dragons (and survive to tell the tale)

7 days – Flores
What to do: Explore waterfalls, traditional villages and Kelimetu Volcano

4 days - Wicked Diving Komodo Live Aboard
What to do: Four days of non-stop diving through one of the world’s best marine parks

2 weeks  - Bali
What to do: Everything!

This is my momentary plan, but it is open to change.

I will be doing a review of the Komodo live aboard, so I am really looking forward to this first-time and golden experience. I was also assigned to write a Bali Guide as part of my freelance work, which is one of the reasons I will spend quite a bit of time on the island exploring it. Two weeks pales in comparison into what I should spend there to write a proper guide, but make the most of what I am given, right?

The problem with this itinerary is that it does not see me visit Sulawesi, an island that I have been dreaming of visiting for so long.

I still have yet to book a ticket out of Australia, but it is looking like I will fly out around the 12th of June. That leaves me with having to decide whether I want to fly home or fly back out to Indonesia and watch my bank account sink into the negatives before figuring out if it is possible to hitch hike my way onward.

Oh, life. Here goes nothing.

Category: Asia, Backpacking, Indonesia

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