I get teased a lot by the friends I make when I travel. “Let me get this right – you don’t eat seafood, you’ve never been to Bali and you’ve only just visited Thailand.” I nod along in agreement. They’ll continue, “… and you have a British accent and aren’t blonde. Are you sure you are Australian?” They’ll wink and rib me and I’ll play along but it’s true, I don’t fit the Aussie stereotype you’ll see in movies.
Last year I finally made it to Thailand and today, I’m finally in Indonesia. I’m going to be hopping around Indonesia for the best part of the next month, with a few side trips to other countries in between. Sure, I’ll be trying to catch the Asia exclusive Farfetch’d on Pokemon Go but there’s so much more I want to see and do!
Here’s a little of what I’m up to for the next two weeks…
I landed in Jakarta yesterday and am ready to rock ‘n roll! After getting a bit of work done today at the gorgeous Doubletree by Hilton – the perfect place for a bit of luxury before travelling with my budget travel friends – I’m going to hit Jakarta running. Places I’m going to visit include;
- Celebrate Indonesia’s Independence Day – it’s on August 17th so I’ll be out seeing how the locals celebrate and maybe even participating in a game or two
- Kota Tua – a visit to ‘old town’ with its colonial era Dutch buildings is a must, or so I’ve been told
- Hello Kitty Cafe – because I can never say no to a bit of kawaii!
- Museum Nasional – to check out ancient treasures from Java and colonial era history
- Tugu Kunstkring Paleis – one of the few remaining and restored Dutch buildings which house a restaurant and art gallery.
- Bogor Botanical Garden – the oldest botanic garden in South East Asia which was opened by the Dutch.
- Be a tourist! – It’s my first time here so I’m going to visit Merdeka Square, Monas (the National Monument), Istiqlal Mosque, Jakarta Cathedral, Pasar Baru, and Glodok (Jakarta’s Chinatown)
- Eating all the food – because Indonesian food is some of my favourite (and they have Pokemon inspired foods – who can say no to a Pikachu ice cream?!)
After a short flight from Jakarta, I’m headed to Bintan. Indonesia is really pushing Bintan to become the next Bali being so close to Singapore (just a 45minute boat ride!) and Jakarta. The island has a rich history as a trading post for the Chinese, British and then Dutch which I’m hoping to explore, and meant to have some of the nicest beaches!
While I’m there I’m going to be:
- Exploring mangrove forests by ATV
- Swing in a hammock
- Discover some of the animals who call the island home
- Visit Senggarang Village, a traditional Chinese village
- Visit the 500 Louhan Temple, one of the most famous on the island
- Practice my Indonesian cooking skills with friends (I hope they’re better than me…)
The most exciting stop on my trip may have to be Labuan Bajo. Once a small fishing village the town is known as the gateway to Komodo Island, home to Komodo dragons!
While in Labuan Bajo I’ll be:
- Searching for Komodo Dragons!
- Tasting the famous Flores Coffee – ash from active and inactive volcanoes have created fertile grounds ideal for organic coffee production!
- Visiting the famous Pink beach
- Discovering more about the inhabitants of the island at Melo Village
Eventually, I’m going to make it to Bali where I’ll be able to finally call myself a real Aussie and don a Bintang singlet and thongs. Okay, I joke. I wouldn’t be caught dead in a Bintang singlet, but I will be doing plenty while I’m in Bali!
While I’m in Bali I’m going to be;
- Take a VW Safari of Ubud
- Enjoy afternoon tea overlooking the river
- Release sea turtles back into the sea!
Finally, I’m heading back to Jakarta for the PATA conference where I’ll be presenting case studies about successful blogger campaigns. I’m super excited to be there as the lone Aussie representative on the panel and showing people the power of quality bloggers!
Of course, it won’t be all work, I’ll be exploring more of Jakarta with local friends, perhaps heading back to Bali to hang out with friends for a day or two and keep eating all the nasi goreng and gado gado I can find!
Follow along the journey!
If you want to follow the adventure, be sure to follow me on Instagram (@NicoleTravelBug), Twitter (@NicoleTravelBug) and Facebook (Bitten by the Travel Bug). To see what other travellers are doing all around Indonesia, check out the #WonderfulIndonesia hashtag on Twitter and Instagram.
Also, if you have any tips for Bali or Jakarta please let me know! I have a week in Jakarta and maybe heading back to Bali while friends are there relaxing after wedding celebrations!
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I’m travelling to Indonesia as a guest of Wonderful Indonesia
but will spend the majority of the time travelling by myself and with friends!
All thoughts and opinions are, as always, my own.