When you think of Indonesia what do you think of?
Probably Bali, right.
Maybe Jakarta comes to mind. If you know your mountains you might have said Mount Bromo.
But in a nation that spans more than 17,000 islands, there’s a lot more going on than just those. With so many options, how do you decide where to start?
Meet Firsta from Discover Your Indonesia! Your virtual guide to Indonesia.
Discover Your Indonesia is a project I started to fulfill my passion in traveling, and I hopes at the same time this can contribute to promoting Indonesia’s tourism to the world. This travel blog also document my love of writing and photography. [More]
Discover Your Indonesia by the Numbers
1 friendly travel blogger (Firsta!)
4 handcrafted items available for commission
5 interviews with travelers
7 months writing on DYI
40 islands visited so far
95 photos on Instagram
17,000+ islands in Indonesia
Interview with Firsta of DYI
What makes Indonesia unique?
Indonesia is one of the world’s largest archipelagic country/state. The country is an exceptionally interesting and unique place, due to its size, beautiful nature, ethnic diversity, rich culture & history. There are around 300+ ethic groups and 17,000-ish islands in Indonesia and offers more to see than most people can fit into a lifetime.
What do you want to get across to people who are thinking of traveling to Indonesia?
I have no doubt that Bali is such a beautiful island and incredible place to explore. Remember that Indonesia is not only Bali (I’m sure some people do not even realize that Bali is a part of Indonesia), there are a lot of other islands that are also interesting to discover. Try to learn some basic Indonesian words, locals are very kind and like to (try) communicate with foreigners.
How many of Indonesia’s islands have you been to so far?
For the big five, I’ve traveled around Java and Sulawesi, touched a little bit of Sumatera and Papua. Never been to Kalimantan though, but looking forward to visit it in the near future. Let me see, probably around 40 islands in total from 17,000-ish islands in Indonesia, oh my god I still have a lot more to go. 🙂
Have you traveled outside of Indonesia?
Yes, I’ve been exploring around Southeast Asia, such as Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore and Thailand. I’ve tasted a little bit of Europe (Rome, Athens, Geneva, Barcelona, Somerset, Bath and London).
What are the most popular hiking destinations?
Bromo is definitely the most popular hiking destinations in Indonesia. With an easy hike (if you are reasonably fit), the landscape around Bromo is beyond beautiful. The contrast between the dry sandy area with the green and fresh savanna is unbeatable. Another tip, if you are looking for a challenge and beautiful scenery try to hike Mount Lawu on the border Central East Java, Mount Rinjani in Lombok is also a nice climb.
Do you go diving? If so, what is your favorite location?
Yes, I have a hard time picking my favourite dive spots as there are so many. I have written here about my top three dive spots in Indonesia, but the list is growing and probably soon I need to change it to my top five dive spots in Indonesia. All the dive sites have their own charm and excitement when you dive there.
If someone only had 2-weeks to travel in Indonesia but they wanted to avoid the main tourist locations, where would you recommend they go? (let’s assume they like a mix of activities)
I would recommend to go to Flores island. Tourists who come to Flores will surely be amazed to see the hills and mountains throughout the region. There is a lot of beautiful things to see and interesting place to visit. You can start from Maumere or Ende and climb up Kelimutu mountain to experience a sunrise from the famous 3 coloured lakes, which is in my opinion the most beautiful sunrise I have ever seen.
From Ende, take a road trip down to Labuhan Bajo. Don’t forget to make a stop at Riung island, which is not touristy. On your overland trip in Flores, you will pass several traditional village, such as Wologai, Bajawa, Bena and many more. Don’t forget to buy some locally produced handicrafts in Bena village, which is really famous for its crafted ikat/traditional fabric. Going down more, you can see the traditional houses in Waerebo.
Once you have arrived in Labuhan Bajo, you can sail to Komodo Island and do trekking around to see the famous komodo dragon. Diving or snorkeling in Komodo island are also activities that you can’t miss. Chill out around Kanawa island (stay over night there for 2-3 days is also fun) and climb to the hill to enjoy the sunset (or enjoy it from the pier!). Btw, if you have the chance to attend a wedding on Flores, don’t miss it! Flores weddings are an exceptional experience. You will dance all night long and have fun in the Flores way with friendly locals. After this, you can fly to Bali and try out the night life there. It is the perfect way to wrap up your trip in Indonesia.
Thailand is known for pad thai, Korea is known for kimchi and BBQ, what is a famous meal in Indonesia?
Nasi goreng/Fried Rice and Sate/Satay. Though that kind of food is also famous in Singapore and Malaysia. However, they are considered as Indonesian national dishes. Fried rice is a mixture of rice with ingredients such as veggies, chilli, some seafood/chicken/goat/beef – occassionally they can add a fried egg on top of it all.
Satay is a dish of cut up pieces of meat that is skewered, usually on a piece of bamboo. Satay may consist of diced or sliced chicken, pork, buffalo, goat, beef, fish and other meats. My favourite is Sate Klatak, which is goat cooked with a bit of salt without other seasoning. Usually satay is served with either a peanut sauce or a spicy sauce made from soy sauce and sliced pieces of chillies, tomatoes and garlic.
Want more food info and pictures? Check out this article that Firsta wrote about Indonesian Cuisine
Is there anything else you’d like to add about either Indonesia or your website?
One more time.. Indonesia is not only Bali, but Bali is in Indonesia. 🙂 Explore the other islands which offered a lot of interesting and different stuff. Visit my blog to find more about Indonesia and feel free to drop question(s) about travelling around Indonesia.
Firsta, thank you for answering my questions. I can’t wait to travel to Indonesia.