Let’s be real – we’re all dreaming about our next vacation. Whether it’s a month-long tour around Europe or a quick getaway in Bali, we are all checking our calendars and planning to make full use of our leaves for a well-deserved break.
And there’s no better time than now to pamper yourself with some R and R.
If you’re looking for somewhere close by to kick back, preferably somewhere with beautiful beaches, stunning views and ancient architecture, then look no further than Indonesia. We’re all familiar with the tourist favourite, Bali. But there are many more places in our neighbouring country that are just as spectacular and rewarding.
From the mist-drawn peaks of Mount Bromo to the pristine waters of Lake Toba and ancient history-steeped temple of Borobudur, there’s much to explore. Here are a few places you can start with.
Formed by a volcanic eruption 70,000 years ago, the 100km-long and 30km-wide lake sits 900m above sea level, so visitors get to enjoy a cool climate.
The Silangit Airport will be upgraded later this month into an international-class airport, with its maiden international flight arriving from Singapore on Oct 28.
Photo: Chasing Io/ Instagram
Toll roads connecting Tanjung Lesung and Jakarta are being built, while there may be plans to construct a new airport in Pandeglang, Banten.
Photo: Tanjung Lesung Tourism
Better known as Thousand Islands – although really only a cluster of about 150 islands – the area is the hub of marine conservation efforts in Jakarta and attracts visitors seeking a break from the bustle of life in the capital.
The government plans to build 10 new docks by 2019 to make it easier for tourists to reach the islands.
Aside from its shallow and clear waters, the white sand beach has a series of unique granite formations.
A consortium of companies is developing a special tourism economic zone in the regency, while the runway and passenger terminal at the H.A.S. Hanandjoeddin Airport are being expanded for wide-body aircraft.
Photo: Wulan Anggraini/ Instragram
Built in the ninth century, Borobudur Temple was buried in volcanic ash for centuries until it was rediscovered in 1814, due to efforts initiated by Stamford Raffles when Java was under British administration. It is one of the most visited historical sites in Indonesia today.
A new airport, which can handle 50 million passengers a year, is being built in Kulon Progo regency to replace the Adisutjipto International Airport.
The Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, which covers 800 sq km, is the largest volcanic region in the province.
The government plans to integrate visitors’ infrastructure there with other areas, including the city of Malang, to boost tourism.
A main draw of this hidden gem in southern Lombok is a 7.5km stretch of beach facing the Indian Ocean.
The Indonesia Tourism Development Corporation plans to raise US$65 million (S$88.6 million) in investments to develop Mandalika into a premier ecotourism destination, with potential for Mice activities.
Photo: Rdtlisn/ Instagram
The Komodo National Park, a Unesco World Heritage Site, where one can find komodo dragons in the wild, is located in one of three major islands in Labuan Bajo.
A commercial zone being developed there since April has drawn 400 billion rupiah (S$40 million ) in investments.
Photo: Indonesia Juara Trip/ Instagram
The number of reef and fish species across more than 50 dive spots in waters off Wakatobi is second only to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
Plans to upgrade its airport and develop a marina, hotels and restaurants are under way.
One of Indonesia’s northernmost islands, Morotai offers rugged forest terrain for trekking, as well as beautiful beaches and diving spots.
Indonesia plans to build resorts on the island in cooperation with Taiwan, as well as turn it into a trade hub for seafood.
Photo: Asoka/ Instagram
This article was first published on The Straits Times.