Not sure where to go? Try one of these suggested itineraries, or mix and match destinations to make your own.
1. Indonesia Overview
Approximate Time: 3 or 4 Weeks
This trip itinerary takes you through the islands of Sumatra, Java, Borneo, and Bali. It offers a good overview of the area but requires at least three or four weeks to fully experience everything. It also involved many flights and lots of travel time, so if you're short on money, this may not be the best route for you. The trip begins in Medan from which you can make your way to Tangkahan. In and around Tangkahan you can visit an elephant sanctuary, hike through the rainforest, see waterfalls and visit local tribal villages. Continue on to Bukit Lawang. Be warned that the roads can be rough. In Bukit Lawang National Park you might see orangutans, thomas-leaf monkeys, and gibbon. Return to Medan from the national park and relax for the night before moving on to the island of Java. You can catch a flight from Medan to Yogyakarta via Jakarta.
In Yogyakarta visit the temple of Borobudur. It is best to visit at sunrise when the lighting is beautiful. There are also many rural villages nearby which you can explore.
From Yogyakarta make your way to Semarang and then catch a flight to Pangkalan Bun on the island of Borneo. From there visit the Tanjung Puting national park where you can see orangutans. Explore the park for several days before catching a flight to Surabaya in eastern Java and on to Ubud on Bali. Ubud has many cafes and restaurants, as well as some great arts and crafts. From Ubud make your way to Sanur, which has a nice beach and many different restaurants. After some good relaxation, go back to Denpasar to catch a flight home.
2. Bali Itinerary
Approximate Time: 2 or 3 Weeks
Bali is one of the most famous destinations in Indonesia. It has a range of landscapes including hills and mountains, dramatic coastlines, and beautiful beaches. There are rice terraces, and volcanic hillsides. There are also countless activities including surfing, diving, temples, and festivals. This tour gives you an overview of the island in two or three weeks.
Begin your trip by arriving in Denpasar and then making your way to Ubud. Ubud is a town in central Bali and it is seen as the cultural center of the island. It's a popular place for its arts and crafts and there are many villages that are close enough to visit. From Ubud make your way to West Bali National Park. This is the only national park on the island of Bali and offers many trails to explore and things to do. You should pick up a guide before you begin venturing far into the park.
From West Bali National Park, continue to Munduk. There are many interesting activities and places to explore here. Take a bike ride or visit some of the local plantations. From Munduk you can go to Sanur where you can relax at the beach for however long you wish. Sanur has many restaurants worth trying and it offers a quieter atmosphere than many beaches in Bali. It does have an upscale feel. After pampering yourself in Sanur for a few days, head back to Denpasar where you can catch a flight back to Kuala Lumpur and home.
3. Java Itinerary
Approximate Time: 1 or 2 Weeks
Java is a large island, and travel times can be longer than you might expect. While you can do this trip in one week, if you're hoping for a more relaxing stay with less time on the road, then consider doing it in two weeks. When you arrive in Java, it's possible to catch a bus directly from the airport to Bogor. You can bypass Jakarta completely, which is recommended if you want to skip out on the chaos that is the capital city. Bogor has a beautiful botanical garden which is worth a visit, but you don't really need more than one day in this city. From Bogor you can go to Pangandaran, about eight hours away. Pangandaran is on the southern coast of West Java. It's a seaside town with a beautiful beach. There's also a nearby national park where you can see wildlife. Stay for one night if you're on a tight schedule, otherwise consider staying two nights. Make your way from Pangandaran to Yogyakarta. Most people go to Yogyakarta to visit the Buddhist temple of Borobudur. Other sites in the area include the temple complex of Prambanan, a water palace, and the Sultan's palace. Spend a few days in Yogyakarta as it is worth it. Then make your way to Gunung Bromo, a ten hour trip away. Gunung Bromo is a popular tourist destination because of its active volcano. Although many people choose to skip this stop and fly directly from Yogyakarta to Bali, this is not recommended if you have the time to spare.