The Indonesia Story
Indonesia is a vast archipelago characterized by huge numbers: 17,000 islands of which 8,000 are inhabited; 250 million people speaking over 300 languages; and 25% of the earth’s active volcanoes. These numbers also describe a uniquely harmonious modern nation with an astonishing variety of culture and beauty.
The incredible diversity in Indonesia holds enormous potential for exploration. Imagine clambering up steep stone terraces to view the ancient Borobudur Temple or spotting an endangered orangutan high up in the forest canopy. Island hopping or traveling from place to place means encountering people as different as the land they inhabit–anything from graceful Balinese dancers to remote tribal people practicing Animist traditions. Sulawesi has world class diving and snorkeling destinations while Sumatra has trekking through dense jungles to the rim of a volcanic caldera.
It would take a book to describe all of Indonesia’s intriguing attractions. Java is the heart of the nation and location of the the mega metropolis of Jakarta. With a population over ten million inhabiting a concrete jungle, this modern city also has profound traditions in art, dance, spiritualism and learning.
The word “Bali” evokes thoughts of paradise. It’s more than just a destination; it’s a mood or an aspiration. With its verdant rice terraces, pulse-pounding surf and truly charming people, travelers can enjoy world-class cuisine, browsing art galleries, or an epic night out – Bali has it all!
Quieter and less crowded Lombok is also blessed with tropical allure, the sparkling beaches of the Gili Islands, a lush forested interior, and biking trails through tobacco and rice fields. Increasingly remote, the Islands of East Nusa Tenggara provide a glimpse of the huge and elusive Komodo dragon monitor lizard. Flores Island is famous for Mount Kelimutu, where the chemistry and water color of the crater lakes is constantly changing.
Can you imagine a world where travelers reject the wastefulness of using disposable plastic water bottles? Khiri Travel endorses this simple but powerful attitude promoted by Travelers Against Plastic (TAP), a worldwide non-profit organization. TAP’s goal is to educate travelers about using reusable containers instead of buying and disposing of plastic bottles. The following link is a list of hotels Khiri Travel recommends in Indonesia that use glass water bottles.
Ujung Kulon National Park – Java
Take a cruise to the white sandy beaches of Peucang Island. Explore the calm and quiet coral reef shores that host fascinating marine life. The island also has an abundance of wildlife in its impressive forest habitat, and due to the lack of predators, Javan wildlife is well preserved. Explore beaches where sea turtles are known to lay their eggs and trek stealthily through luscious rainforests for a chance to spot other unique wildlife. From Peucang Island there is also the opportunity to visit the island of Krakatau Volcano to hike this famous landscape.
Wildlife highlights: The protected forests of this park have the best-preserved habitat for Javan wildlife including coral reefs, marine life, sea turtles, wild cattle, peafowl and rhinoceros.
Bukit Lawang – Sumatra
Visit the village of Bukit Lawang, home of the largest sanctuary for rescued Sumatran orangutans. Trek through the jungle of Gunung Leuser National Park, part of a UNESCO recognized Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra site to see orangutans, interesting birds and several species of monkeys.
Wildlife highlights: There is excellent bird watching and several species of primates in the jungle as well as rehabilitated and wild orangutans deeper in the forest.
Ketambe, Gunung Leuser National Park – Sumatra
Gunung Leuser is one of the largest and oldest national parks in Indonesia and home to several Sumatran species of animals. Ketambe is located on the Alas River, which rises in the central highlands of Aceh and flows through the national park. There is river rafting or travellers can embark on a multiple day trek through the jungle that includes sleeping in the wild for a good opportunity to spot orangutans and other wildlife.
Wildlife highlights: This is the best opportunity to see some fun loving Sumatran orangutans, elephants, tigers and rhinoceros.
Camp Leaky at Tanjung Puting National Park – Kalimantan (Borneo)
Take a boat to Camp Leaky and pass underneath thick forest canopy to observe primate species and many colorful birds. Hike through the Borneo rainforest to search for wildlife such as orangutans and other primates. There is also a jungle feeding station that aids rehabilitated orangutans.
Wildlife highlights: There are lots of colorful birds including rhinoceros hornbills, kingfishers and flycatchers. You may also see macaque monkeys, the rare proboscis monkey (found only on the island of Borneo) and orangutans.
West Bali National Park – Bali
Visit the beautiful Tanjung Kotal Bay with its extensive white sand and exotic marine life. Explore the uncrowded West Bali National Park for the opportunity to see rare and endangered endemic species and birdwatch.
Wildlife highlights: See the rare Java buffalo, the endangered Bali starling (also known as Bali myna or Rothschild’s Myna) as well as several species of deer.
Pulau Menjangan Marine Reserve – Bali
Just off the northwest coast of Bali lies the tiny island Pulau Menjangan (Deer Island), an uninhabited island surrounded by excellent coral reef. The island is situated in the protected marine reserve of the Bali Barat National Park and has very diverse ecology. Most visitors rate this as the best snorkeling spot in Bali and divers place it high on their list too.
Wildlife highlights: Observe marine life in the coral reefs as well as seabirds.
Komodo Island, Komodo National Park – East Nusa Tenggara
Explore Komodo Island, the only habitat on earth where the rare Komodo dragons still exist. View these intimidating creatures from the Jurassic Period from a safe distance. In addition to the famous dragons, Komodo offers some of the world’s most spectacular snorkeling at Pink Beach, named after the red coral that washes ashore.
Wildlife highlights: Observe the Komodo dragon in its natural habitat and explore vibrant marine life and beautiful corals.
Seventeen Islands Riung Marine Park – Flores
Take a boat to the Riung National Marine Park with its 17 special coral islands. The place is well-known for its reefs, tropical fish and thousands of large fruit bats also known as flying foxes. Snorkel around and see the beautiful underwater world.
Wildlife highlights: These islands offer a great chance to see huge fruit bats and tropical fish.