Skip Bali And Go To These Other Indonesian Destinations Instead

By Parker Diakite


Just search the hashtag Bali on Instagram and you will stumble upon tens of millions of photos capturing Bali’s beauty.

From its beaches, the infamous Bali Swing, flower baths outside, and so much more, let’s just say you don’t have to scroll long to envy those visiting.

The problem is that these destinations can become so oversaturated with people and posts *side-eyes Instagram* that it’s easy to forget what truly makes Indonesia one of the greatest places on earth: it’s made of more than 17,000 islands.

Here are five other destinations you should visit in Indonesia:

Bukit Lawang

Just three hours west of Medan is a small tourist village on the bank of Bahorok River known as Bukit Lawang.

Bukit Lawang is the entry point to the Gunung Leuser National Park.

This destination is all about adventure, so you should be prepared for the jungle.

Locals will guide through the jungle to the island’s most famous inhabitants: the Sumatran orangutans. You can also make the journey to Lake Toba, the world’s biggest volcanic lake.

Orangutan in the jungle in Bukit Lawang, Sumatra, Indonesia | Canva

Gili Islands

You haven’t experienced paradise until you visit the Gili Islands. The Gili Islands are a group of three islands: Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air, near the coast of northwest Lombok Island.

It’s where you will find some of the most stunning beaches in Indonesia and luxury villas perfect for relaxation.

If you need a vacation that involves turning off and seclusion, the Gili Islands is your best option.

Beach weddings pavillion in Gili islands, Indonesia | Canva


Ubud is a northern town of Bali, but it can be an afterthought to most visitors, even though it serves as the cultural hub of the island.

It’s perfect for those who are not interested in venturing too far from Bali.

The museums, palaces, and temples in Ubud are worth a visit alone.

Ubud is known to be the arts and dance hub of Indonesia, so be sure to book a ticket to the Bali Agung Show.

Kanto Lampo in Ubud area | Canva


Located on the island of Java is Yogyakarta, known for its traditional arts and cultural heritage.

This hidden gem, like Ubud, is known for its arts culture, temples, mountains, forests, and waterfalls.

You don’t want to miss the Borobudur Temple during your visit. This 9th century Mahayana Buddhist Temple is the largest Buddhist Temple in the world and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Even better? It’s a destination that goes under the radar by tourists.

Borobudur Temple at sunrise. Yogyakarta, Indonesia. | Canva

Thousand Islands

Located in Jakarta is a cluster of more than 100 islands referred to as “The Thousand Islands.”

Made up of crystal sands, turquoise waters and palm trees, this is a great place island to the six island-hop to the following surrounding islands: Ayer, Bidadari, Putri, Kotok, Sepa and Pantara.

Aerial view of the small island of Nusa Batumategan and Nusa Batupadasan Island from the Atuh Rija Lima shrine on Nusa Penida Island near Bali, Indonesia. | Canva

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