Today’s post is something slightly different to usual, I’ve asked Elliott from See Outside to write a post about his time in Indonesia..
It appears that Indonesia, and more specifically Bali has become the new Thailand over the past few years as the go-to destination for travellers. This cluster of islands in the Indian Ocean has been a long time favourite for surfers thanks to the number of world class reef breaks; and for Aussies due to the low cost of partying in paradise. But it’s now become the hottest destination for travellers from all over the world searching for affordable luxury, and for good reason.
Indonesia is essentially a group of volcanic, tropical islands. The nation is famed, in part, for its beaches. Some of the beaches are breathtaking – similar to scenes from a film. Dreamland beach (aptly named), located on the Bukit peninsula, just north of Uluwatu in Bali is one of the most idyllic. You can see why.
Just one cove further south lies Bingin beach- quickly becoming Bali’s favourite beach. Wooden huts built into the cliff side are the perfect, if not basic place to stay on bingin, and for less that £5 per night. As a rule of thumb, the closer you get to the beachfront, the fewer amenities you can expect. Personally, I chose to stay right on the shore line at Sally’s. The view from our bedroom window definitely made up for the lack of aircon! The sunsets aren’t too bad either.
As a tropical nation, Indonesia receives its fair share of rainfall. The weather in Indonesia is split into two seasons: wet and dry. The dry season runs from May to October, and wet (rainy) season spans from November to April. Rainy season doesn’t necessarily mean that it rains all the time, however when it rains, it really rains! I was in Indonesia during the wet season and I actually prefer it – the islands aren’t as busy as during the dry season, the locals are more receptive, and finally, the waterfalls are at full flow.
For me, the most impressive waterfall is Tiu Kelep on the island of Lombok. Located on the north of the island near Senaru, this waterfall is well worth the trip. A short trek through the jungle, past another, equally impressive falls (Sendang Gile) brings you out at an opening to Tiu Kelep.
On the island of Bali, Teganungan falls near Ubud is another waterfall well worth visiting. It can get very crowded though!
As previously mentioned, Indonesia is famed for its surf. From mellow beach breaks, to gnarly reef breaks a mile out, there is something for everyone. For beginners, try the beach breaks in Seminyak ior Canggu. Board rental is available at all the main beaches for a couple of quid for the hour. Be wary of the current though; it is strong and the waves can get heavy!
For seasoned surfers in pursuit of the infamous Indo tube in Bali, the Bukit peninsula is the place to go. Padang Padang, Impossibles, Bingin and Uluwatu are all guaranteed to be pumping. Just beware the razor sharp reef that lies below. I came away with some lifelong souvenirs after surfing at Bingin!
The Food & Drink
Indonesian cuisine is one of the most colourful in the world, and one of my favourites. Think Nasi Goreng, Satay, Curry, Ayam Goreng. Still not sure? Take it from me, it’s all delicious.
Coupled with a good selection of new wave, vegan and healthy eateries established by westerners, the food in Indonesia is incredible. There are also a number of high end restaurants worth checking out- Barbacoa is one of my favourites.
As far as drinking goes, Bintangs on the beach are an every-day thing! In terms of bars; Old Man’s at Echo Beach in Canggu, Single Fin in Uluwatu on a Sunday, Pretty Poison in Canggu, Deus in Canggu all have the same sort of vibe; fairly laid back and surf. Single Fin Sundays are renowned for getting rowdy, especially after a few Arak cocktails!
Luxury beach clubs are also in abundance in Bali; Potato Head Beach Club and Mosaic are two of the best. Grab a lounger and spend the day drinking cocktails to the soundtrack of lo-fi house. Expect to pay over the odds in these places though!
Thanks to the tropical climate, much of Indonesia is covered by dense, lush rainforest. The jungles in Lombok are teaming with wildlife- when trekking to Tiu Kelep waterfall we were followed by a family of monkeys who wanted the food from my bag. The Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud, Bali is the most popular jungle in which you can see hundreds of monkeys. Just don’t look at them in the eyes!
All of the images used in this post were taken by Elliott. If you would like to inquire about using any of them, then please contact Elliott directly – firstname.lastname@example.org