Skip to Content

The Best Things to See, Do and Eat in Indonesia

A Food Fun Travel Guest Post

Before you go anywhere, its best to check out the recommended sights to see and must do activities and create an itinerary before you head out. This avoids being overwhelmed when you get there, which could easily be the case in Indonesia – there are so many islands to visit, containing different landmarks, experiences and amazing foods to try, that you could end up sailing among them forever.

Once you’ve got your travel practicalities out the way, like switching on your phones data roaming and sorting out your foreign money situation (its recommended that you use a trusted online money transfer system), you’re free to focus on the amazing time you’re about to have in Southeast Asia.

We’ve discovered the top experiences you should add to your Indonesia checklist to make the very best of your time in this beautiful country.

Things to See:

The Gili Islands

Indonesia is made up of numerous volcanic islands, including the Gili islands: Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air. Gili Trawangan, in particular, is flocked to by travelers and holidaymakers for its white-sand beaches, coral reefs, and sea turtle sightings –basically what you imagine when the word paradise springs to mind.

The islands have recently introduced their very first ATM machines, but still, do not allow any type of motorized transport! Still, they are small enough to get around on-foot (which makes the best of the beautiful views) or enjoy a ride on a pony cart. A trip to one of these islands, even for the day, is highly recommended. Its only a 30-minute boat ride from the mainland of Lombok.

For more on Food Fun Travel’s stay on Gili Air Click Here

Ubud rice paddies

food fun travel - bali

This town on the island of Bali features terraced rice paddies that look like an ancient tropical paradise, and nestled among them are forests of palm trees, rivers and Hindu shrines and temples. It includes the ancient holy site of Goa Gajah, or Elephant Cave, which is carved with patterns on the outside and has a looming stone head guarding the caves mouth. These sights are the kind of picturesque postcard views you will have traveled to Indonesia for.

Looking for more things to do in Ubud? Click here for our 5 unmissable experience in Ubud

Things to Do

Visit Prambanan

These towering Hindu temples date back to the 9th century and are found in Central Java. The intricately carved, pointed exterior of the temples is truly a sight to see. Visiting the temples offers a wealth of learning about the several Indonesian gods, viewing majestic architecture incorporating traditional mandalas, and gaining historical knowledge.

Waterbom Bali

To break up your visits to historic monuments (which you should make the most of in Indonesia), a trip to the waterpark will never go amiss. This one in Kuta, Bali, is highly rated and is sure to be a hit with kids and adults. Cool off from the tropical heat on waterslides and chill on the river rapids. Waterbom have also devised a ͚salt chlorination technique that is gentle on your skin and the environment –a worthy cause to support.

Things to Eat

Based on only the freshest herbs and spices, Indonesian food is so flavorsome and delicious you’ll never want to leave, but when you do, you’ll be 10lbs heavier and scrabbling for recipes to replicate at home. Here͛s a roundup of some of the most heavenly traditional dishes you must taste in Indonesia: Indonesian Sate: sate (which you may know as satay) is a classic in Southeast Asia, but many will claim that Indonesian is the best. It͛s cooked as chicken or goat in sweet soy sauce over an extremely hot charcoal grill which leaves the meat delectably juicy and smoky.

Ikan Bakar: grilled butterfly-cut fish, cooked over a charcoal fire in a sambal marinade sauce. Served with rice and chilies, this is wholesome, heartwarming and spicy.

Ayam Goreng: for a fresh take on a home favorite, try this fried chicken dish. In Indonesia, the chicken is lightly battered in garlic and shallots, then deep fried, so the flavor is embedded into the meat. It͛s served with a side of sambal chili sauce for dipping.

Gudeg: you may find it difficult eating in Indonesia as a vegetarian– the vast majority of dishes are based on chicken, beef, and goat. However, this national dish is a delicious sweet stewed jackfruit recipe, cooked with palm sugar, coconut milk, and lemongrass usually served with rice as a kind of curry.

Gulai Otak: there are many wild card dishes you’ll come across in Indonesia, that you’ll have to try as a once-in-a-lifetime thing. This brain curry is one of them – described as richly creamy, with the consistency of pannacotta. You’ll find many types of initially unappealing curries in Indonesia – cow skin, organs, and fish head curries are delicacies – but cooked in a creamy spice blended sauce, you’ll forget the contents and be asking for seconds.

Looking for info on where to eat in Bali? Check out our Bali Restaurant Guide