Made up of over 17,000 islands, the charming country of Indonesia is a land born in the cradle of nature. From exotic nature and inexpensive cuisines to adventure and temples, Indonesia is rich in diversity and the unique blend of people add to the beguiling nature of the country. This also makes Indonesia hugely popular among the travellers. If you are one of the many travellers visiting Indonesia, here is how you can let your wallet breathe and get more of Indonesia for less. Presenting you the top 10 free things to do in Indonesia.
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When you think about Indonesia all you can imagine is nature. But the shopping scene in Indonesia is something you shouldn’t miss out on your visit.
The oldest shopping centre of Pasar Baru – a perfect blend of Indonesian, Indian and Chinese cultures – is a great first stop. You will find everything under the Sun here but the most famous are fine quality fabrics, watches, leather footwear and cosmetics. On the way out, taste some delicious Chinese noodles and Indian food.
How about the floating market in Banjarmasin? These early morning traditional markets which are referred to as Pasar Terapung carry fresh produce from the riverboat traders.
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Love anchor is the most instagrammable market of the lot. The compact boutique complex is decorated with dreamy lights and is an excellent place to hang out for after-dinner drinks. The hippie complex overflows with pop-up bazaars during Sundays.
One other cheery, hippie destination is the Old Man’s market in Canggu. The lively marketplace has over 150 stalls and the aura soon catches with you.
For the art enthusiast, there’s Sukawati Market.
Beaches in Indonesia offer a wonderful escape to your otherwise occupied day. There are a plethora of beaches to choose from. So you might be a little overwhelmed with the options.
A hidden gem of Indonesia, Nyang Nyang is a great change of scene from the regular overcrowded attractions in Bali. Take a walk along the dirt-ridden track of Uluwatu and climb down the flight of 500 stairs to come in contact with the tranquil beach, beautified with shipwrecks. Collecting the seashells and posing beside the shipwrecks are a popular pastime.
Visited by a baffling number of visitors, the immensely popular Kuta beach is a wonderful place to spend your time in leisure. Over the years, the beach has grown multi-fold as a tourist spot and if you are a beachcomber, Kuta beach is ideal or you.
For decent surfing options, Padang Padang beach is the place to go. And there are no seasonal restrictions as such. The beach is wonderful all year round. Regardless of you being a beginner or an expert, the surf breaks here will get you excited. There are coconuts and fresh seafood as well.
Talking about surfing spots, Suluban beach – hidden under the cliffs of Uluwatu – is a surfer’s paradise. Consisting of an array of caves and tiny slits, the otherworldly destination is a real treasure.
3. Rumah Bambu Pengalon
Initially founded as a venue for the Bali Unite music festival, Rumah Bambu Pengalon is an incomplete bamboo structure in Bali. The dome-shaped bamboo house is surrounded by a crystal clear lake and tall coconut trees elevating the overall atmosphere. The unique attraction is rarely known to the outside world and can be a great location for photo hunting. Click a dozen photos exploring Rumah Bambu Pengalon and enjoy the splash of Instagram likes. The incomplete bamboo-house attraction is situated in the district of Karangasem.
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Closely intertwined with nature, Indonesia is a haven for hikers and trekkers. And the most amazing part is you can experience all of these breathtaking scenes for free!
Topping the list of hiking wonderlands in Indonesia is the Tegallaland rice fields in Ubud. Painted in the best possible version of green, the view of layered rice terrace is everything that you need during your vacation. Amidst the green foliage are stunning vantage points where you can try artistic poses that guarantee ever highest views. Beware of souvenir sellers and farmers.
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Campuhan Ridge walk in Ubud comes with sweeping hilltop views. Go hiking along the paved trail early in the morning and you will be soon be swayed away by the lush greenery on both the sides. Stop by the quaint Karsa Cafe for a quick breakfast and continue your journey.
What’s the best place to catch a sunrise? It is from the summit of Mount Batur. The active volcano draws tourists in huge numbers and while the trek is actually challenging, the unparalleled views from the top will more than make up for that. Always remember to carry all the hiking essentials.
5. Taman Festival Bali
While ‘festival’ is a part of the name, Taman Festival Bali isn’t one. It is actually an abandoned theme park, now taken over by nature. Surrounded by splendid greenery, the unlikely attraction was deserted even before it opened. Inside the disarrayed structure is a chapel, crocodile pit, a huge swimming pool, a cinema and few restaurants – all abandoned.
The place is both eerie and interesting at the same time. Take a peek inside and you will be amazed to see the colourful graffiti on the walls. Yes, Taman Festival Bali is now a breathing ground for photographers and artists. There is no entry fee as such, so if you are confronted with any, just ignore. On the other hand, you might be charged for parking.
6. Chinatown Jakarta
Chinatowns around the world are popular and so is this in Jakarta. Steeped in history, the neighbourhood is populated with 19th-century houses, food court, temples and markets. Take a stroll across and you will be immediately drawn to the sound and the smell that emanates from the rich Chinese delicacies.
Interesting read: Your Ultimate Guide for Shopping in Bali
A melting pot of culture that Chinatown Jakarta is, a day well spent here is a feast for your senses. Wear something comfortable and showcase your haggling skills. While you can always window shop, the exotic sights here will definitely tempt you into reaching for your wallet.
7. Desa Tumukus
In close distance to the Besakih temple is a sea of bright orange. Welcome to Desa Tumukus. The flowerbed of marigold (locally referred to as gemitir) is enticing and to be in the midst of this beauty is just blissful. Now, this is a refreshing way to start your day in Indonesia. When you have had enough orange, do walk further to find the Kasna flower field.
Unlike the Desa Tumkus, the flower field here calls out to you with snowy white petals. Look beyond the floral wonderland and you will be presented with scenic views.
Make sure to seek the permission of the local residents before diving into the field and the best time to visit both these flower fields is just before the harvest season.
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It is a known fact that Indonesia is naturally splendid and the waterfalls in the country are one of the perfect places to be in. They offer an escape from the everyday mundanity of finding your way through the crowds.
On top of the list of best waterfalls to see in Indonesia is the Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep waterfalls. Tucked away in the Senaru village, Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep waterfalls are tranquility personified. Camouflaged by greenery on all the sides, getting to these waterfalls is an adventure in itself.
Travel 40 kilometres North of Denpasar to the idyllic village of Nungnung to come in sight with the namesake waterfall. The cool breeze and the scenery here are an immediate hit with the tourists.
For lesser-known sensational waterfalls in Indonesia, check out Desa Musi and Jembong. Finding the location can be a bit challenging but you can always reach out to the locals to guide you to these gems.
9. Turtle Conservation and Education Centre
Baby Turtle Release is a wonderful conservation programme and a must thing to do in Kuta. Sea turtle nesting season is from approximately March to September each year. Sea turtle hatching season is from approximately April to October each year. If you want to have big opportunity to join the baby turtl release come on June to August. You may also can see the mother turtle laying eggs! The team relocate sea turtle eggs from the beach to a central hatchery to protect the eggs and increase hatching rates. The eggs take between 45-60 days to develop and hatch. This is a natural process and can not predict when the eggs will hatch. The team is busy working hands on with the turtles and patrolling the beach at night, they do not always have time to respond to each persons messages asking for release dates & times. Get there early to hear about the programme and grab a free ticket, or give a small donation to help save these beautiful creatures. #mybalitrips #bestinbali #baliturtle
Laden with a whole range of activities, Turtle Conservation and Education Centre at Serangan island is both educative as well as a whole lot fun with your family. Get involved in collecting eggs from the busy tourist beaches, feed the turtles, learn everything about turtle conservation, and release the hatchlings into the sea. There is also a program to adopt a turtle.
10. Salt Making in Amed
The traditional way of making a livelihood in the remote area of Amed in Bali by making salt. Despite the entire salt making process being complicated and time-consuming, the tradition is carried out even now. Take some time off your busy itinerary and go on a visit to the fishing village of Amed to catch the process of salt making in real.
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