Why choosing Indonesia as destination for your honeymoon?
If you are already planning your honeymoon and you feel exhausted with so many exotic destinations to visit, in this post I bring you Indonesia, the land of 17.000 islands, the country of ethnic and religious diversity, the 4th most populated country in the world… the country you will be touched by, whether you seek for adventure whether you prefer getting lost in the luxurious Asian.
Two summers ago, I was living a personal moment of reflection and so I did this wonderful journey with my friend Rhode, rambling about life, about seizing the moments and opportunities. Before anything, I will tell you this is a long post, as it is impossible for me to sum up in a few lines 21 days of adventures, fun, laughes and thrilling. Besides, I want to show you in detail everything this destination can offer you and some advice useful for your planning.
Useful advice to plan your trip
First thing you should think is the time of year to go; although there is a tropical climate and an average temperature of 28-30º degrees all along the year, summer months (June, July and August) are the most appropriate, as it is dry and free monsoon season. Once there, what you also have to consider is that the sun is usually out at 6am and it also goes at 6pm in the afternoon. Impossible to forget the magical sunrises and sunsets of this country!
The dilemma usually comes with baggage: suitcase or backpack, that is the question. It depends on the type of traveler you are, if you are more independent and like going on your own, you can choose the backpack while if you like everything pre-organized or for example have back problems, the suitcase will be your choice. Personally, considering that in Indonesia, you will make many transfers and changes of islands, I recommend taking backpack.
Regarding the airline company, we flew with Emirates and the flight was great, was not too heavy for me, but I do not know how many movies I saw. I give you some low cost airline companies to change from one island to other: Garuda Indonesia, Citilink, LionAir, Sriwijaya Air, Indonesia Air Asia, Jetstar Airways and Tigerair.
Further to the clothes, try to take the finest fabrics you have, a pair of long trousers, and in general, very comfortable clothes, closed sandals (in Decathlon you can find them), runners and a windbreaker type jacket, just in case you do an excursion to the volcanic area, where the temperature is lower. We took a bar of soap to wash clothes by hand (little things you learn making El Camino de Santiago) and this way, you bring less weight. Think you will want to buy souvenirs and things for your home decor, everything is very cheap there and after bargaining, a typical practice there, prices are lowered by half.
Vaccines are not usually requested, but you can vaccinate of yellow fever, hepatitis… especially the vaccine is recommended if you visit the Tanjung Puting National Park, which is in the jungle. You can also take some pills that make the same effect but often induce vomiting. One important thing is to be ready for mosquitoes bites because they are relentless, buy sprays there (the ones from your country will not work there, checked) and lotions to repel.
About gastronomy, the main food is rice, it is like bread for them, they eat lots of vegetables, meat and fish, and use sauces and spices. Indonesia is also the ideal destination for seafood lovers, it is fresh and you can find it at a very reasonable price.
As a general recommendation of the trip, I would advise not to try to book everything in advance because there are better prices there, I mean the accommodation and transfers, but it also depends on how adventurous you are. Also, if you do not have everything organized, you will find more surprises and adventures along the way, you will probably enjoy the trip more.
The land of 17,000 islands
Indonesia is a country with over 17,000 islands, 6,000 of them uninhabited, so you can imagine that with so many islands, you have to choose what to see and visit. It is a journey that can be arranged on your own or through a travel agency. Depending on the number of days of your honeymoon, you have to look at different combinations, study them and prepare the tour. As a tip, it is better not to cover everything and see little but seeing it well and leave the last days to rest in the Gili islands. Here you have my essentials:
Java Island: where the International Airport of Jakarta is, a chaotic traffic and crazy city that we did not even touch. On this island, we were in Yogyakarta, where the two most impressive temples in the world are, the Hindu Temple of Prambanan and Borobudur Buddhist Temple. I suggest you to get local guides because they tell interesting things about history and you can understand better the significance of temples. Yogya is a city for walking and there is a huge main street full of places and shops for souvenirs, clothing, food… moving here means feeling the daily life of the city.
Bali Island: this is one of the most popular destinations with exotic beaches, but it is also obliged to visit the central area and Ubud, where the best rice fields are, and it is less crowded. The best option in this island is to rent a car with driver and then move away and to the south to the beaches of Kuta, Jimbaran. They usually charge 40€ for a day, take you wherever you want and also during the trip, they explain things about the island (because renting a motorbike, which is also an option, it can be crazy, they drive pretty bad). Bali is the only Indonesian island of Hindu religion, there is a temple called Tanah Lot, near the sea where I lived one of the best sunsets of the trip.
Gili Islands: 100% recommended and in the most TOP positions, there are 3 islands (Gili Air, Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan) and the access there is by boat from the port of Pagand Bai (Bali). They are the typical paradisiac islands where you would stay all summer. Also, if you like diving or snorkeling, for the bargain price of 10 € / person, you can admire the coral reef, watch turtles and have a bath surrounded by a million of different colors fishes, the seabed is amazing!
Flores Island: it is a huge island where you can visit the Kelimutu volcano, which changes of colors and it is a pure show. From here you can also go to Komodo Island, a natural park where the famous dragons of Komodo are. By the way, the main religion in Indonesia, except on the island of Bali, is Muslim, so do not be surprised if you wake up at 3am in the morning listening the Muslim chants, you will get used to it.
Borneo Island: another great part of tre trip, the National Park of Tanjung Puting and one os the last orangutans’ refuge. Here the only way to visit it, as there are no roads, is by renting a klotok (typical Indonesian boat). During three days, we went into the deep forest by the river Sekonyer, we were stopping to see orangutans and we slept listening to the most genuine sounds of nature, certainly a great experience. I will never forget the moment Percy grabbed my arm to touch her head, I confess that I was a little afraid, but feeling the hand of an orangutan was something unforgettable. If you decide to do this tour, I recommend to book it in advance, because in summer availability runs out soon, we took it with Exploredesa.
But of all this experience, I choose the people I met, Americans, Canadians, Germans, Koreans … when you do these trips, you get to know travelers from all over the world, who have the same dreams as you and to share with them, to learn, to be inspired, it is for me, the most rewarding part of the trip. I can’t either forget Indonesians; they are very kind and respectful, always with a smile on their face. I still remember how they are came to me and asked Hello, where are you from? and then asked you to make a photo with them. That hospitality, that gratitude, the innocent eyes of children, conquered me forever, terima kasih (thank you) Indonesia!
I am very happy for having remembered the trip, I could write for hours about Indonesia, but I would rather to tell you to let yourselves go and to live it intensely, as this be one of your unforgettable trips, your honeymoon. If you have any question about the country, do not hesitate to write me because I will be happy to help you.
All pictures in this post are taken by best fellow traveller: Rhodelinda Julián
To finish this post, I leave you with a video of the great A&Y Video that will surely make you decide for Indonesia as a destination for your honeymoon.
Have you ever been to Indonesia? Did it like you? I will be very happy to read your experience!