Indonesia Backpacking Route

Komodo dragon

Before you decide upon an Indonesia backpacking route, you need to get one thing straight. Indonesia is a very large country which covers a vast area with thousands of islands on both sides of the equator. While it is frequently classed as part of Southeast Asia, many of those islands are a world away from the main SE Asian backpacker trail with much of Indonesia closer to Australia than Thailand, Cambodia or Laos.

If you were to visit a new Indonesian island every day, it would take you a little over 49 years until you had seen them all! Presuming you haven’t got half a century of your life to spare on the trip, you will need to pick and choose where you would most like to visit. Below you will find our suggestions for some of the best backpacking places in Indonesia.

Table of Contents

Backpacking Indonesia – Route Info


The route outlined below could be squeezed into an Indonesia 1 month itinerary by skipping a few destinations or reducing your time in Bali or the Gilis. However we suggest 5-6 weeks for this itinerary and there are loads of options for extending your trip further.

POSSIBLE BUDGET – £850 | €1000 | $1100

Indonesia is very cheap for backpackers on the whole, although costs are perhaps a fraction higher than some of the very cheapest countries in the region. The above budget is designed for shoestring travellers willing to watch what they spend, although it should still allow you a bit of freedom to do any trips or excursions that really appeal.

Figures are based on doing this route for around 6 weeks. However please don’t take this as anything more than a very rough guide! Read more on the cost of travel in Indonesia.


The cost of travel insurance isn’t included in the budget figures above. You can get a quote in less than a minute from Heymondo who provide well reviewed international travel insurance for longer, backpacking trips. Use our Heymondo promo code to get 5% off.


One way to save money and potentially learn a few new skills whilst travelling in Indonesia is to look for work exchanges or short-term jobs. Sign up to Worldpackers to get access to work exchanges in Indonesia. You can get $10 off the annual membership fee by using the Worldpackers promo code “MYFUNKYTRAVELWP”.

Check out our list of the best travel jobs for a bit of inspiration if you’re looking for paid work.

Indonesia backpacking 2019

Backpacking Indonesia – A 6 Week Itinerary

1. Jakarta, Java

The Indonesian capital is a chaotic mega-city home to more than 10 million people with another 20 million living in surrounding towns and villages. It’s an urban jungle with many problems and it may not really be worth staying much more than a day or two unless you happen to be a really dedicated city lover and many travellers opt to skip it altogether with the more enchanting destinations as you head east.

Starting your Indonesian adventure in Jakarta is more akin to being thrown into the middle of the Pacific Ocean than the deep end of a swimming pool but it does have some charms. As the capital, there are many important museums where you can educate yourself on Indonesian history and culture.

As well as its cultural attractions, Jakarta also boasts possibly a surprisingly active nightlife scene, one of the biggest in the Islamic world. The best tactic is to accept the madness of the place and try to understand the day to day lives of local people who for the most part are friendly and eager to engage with you.

2. Dieng Plateau, Java

As your train or bus heads east from Jakarta, you begin to get a better feel for the real Java. The island is home to roughly 65% of Indonesia’s 275 million population but is still dwarfed in size by the neighbouring islands of Sumatra and Borneo. However it is not too difficult to get away from the hot modern cities and the Dieng Plateau couldn’t feel more different than the bustling capital.

At 2,000 metres above sea level, the Plateau is much cooler and the scenery includes some mysterious lakes, hot springs as well as temples that offer insight into early Javanese religion and culture. Wonosobo is the main town on the Plateau and from there, cheap trips can be organised or you can rent a motorbike and see it alone.

3. Yogyakarta, Java


Jogja, as locals call it, is in many ways the cultural capital of Java. A lively city in its own right with a thriving arts scene and a busy little district that caters for the hordes of travellers that come through these parts. The vast palace known as the Kraton Complex is home to the fabulously named Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono and is the main attraction in the town.

However, the reasons why Jogja has become such a popular travel hub lie an hour or so bus ride outside the city. The temples of Borobudur (pictured above) and Prambanan are easily among the most spectacular in all of Southeast Asia and can all be visited in one day, although prepare to go over your daily budget. Read our article on what to see in Yogyakarta for more.

4. Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park, Java

A popular stopping point on the lengthy trip from Yogyakarta to Bali. Java is an island full of highly active volcanoes and Mounts Bromo and Semeru are two of the most accessible. Both volcanoes constantly spew out steam and smoke with major eruptions not an uncommon occurrence.

The surrounding landscape is spectacular and at times truly unworldly. There’s plenty of budget accommodation available around the park and it’s probably best to base yourself in a village such as Cemoro Lawang or Wonokitri. Camping is possible inside the park but it does get rather cold at night.

Island Hop – JAVA to BALI

From the national park, head to Banyuwangi on the Eastern tip of Java. This port has ferries to Gilmanuk in Bali that run every 20 minutes, 24 hours a day, during normal times. The ferry crossing is only about half an hour. There is little to do in Gilmanuk so it’d be a good idea to get on a bus somewhere.

5. Bali

Bali is a relatively small island and you can reach any point in the space of two or three hours, however you can easily end up spending weeks on the island. Most travellers base themselves in the South with Kuta Beach the most popular and liveliest choice, although it may be some time still before the really party atmosphere of old returns. For many visitors to the country, Bali is all they see and if you only have one week in indonesia, you may just want to head straight here.

Away from the beach resorts and surfing locations in the south, Bali has many different faces. There are numerous laid back traditional fishing villages and sleepy bays. There are diving and snorkelling opportunities on Nusa Lembongan, a beautiful small island just off the coast of Bali. Although most foreigners think of Bali as a beach destination, the central region is really the cultural heartland and where most of the action happens for locals. Unlike other parts of the country, Bali is dominated by Hindu culture and customs, and there are many fascinating markets, arts and crafts shops, Balinese temples and museums to visit in the mountainous towns and villages.

Island Hop – BALI to GILIS & LOMBOK

Regular fast boat services run from Benoa, Serangan Island, Padang Bai and Amed on Bali to the Gili Islands during normal times, although it’s possible there may be some reduced services depending on the Covid situation when you visit. If you don’t want to visit the Gilis, the boats continue onto the coast of mainland Lombok.

6. Gili islands

Gili Islands
Gili Islands via Jorge Lascar, CC BY 2.0

The Gilis are small and extremely laid back and a contrast to the mass tourism witnessed in parts of Bali. Gili Trawangan has been a huge hit with backpackers since the early 1990’s and continues to attract a steady flow of budget travellers.

Diving is popular in the Gilis and Trawangan is your best bet for this. Of the three, this is the main party island and is somewhat notorious for the absence of a permanent police presence which has led to it attracting many travellers looking for weed, mushrooms and other drugs. Be warned though, that if you misbehave on the Gilis, you may be forced to take the Walk of Shame and paraded as a criminal in the island’s unique and controversial form of justice.

The quieter islands are Gili Meno, a peaceful and idyllic desert islet and the perfect place to spend a few lazy days. Gili Air, the closest to the Lombok mainland is similar but with more local residents.

7. Senaru (for Mount Rinjani National Park), Lombok

Senaru is a pleasant village on the fringe of the Mount Rinjani National Park and has probably the best choice of budget accommodation in the area. Here you can learn about the unique cultural beliefs on the island of Lombok. Close by are beautiful waterfalls and for the brave you can take on the challenge of hiking up Mount Rinjani which, as the second highest volcano in Indonesia, looms large over the entire island.

8. South Lombok

The quiet beaches and bays of South Lombok are the perfect retreat after an active few days on the North of the island. Surfing is popular here and you won’t have to battle with anything like the crowds you find on Bali. Kuta and Tanjung Aan are decent places to base yourself but budget accommodation may be hard to find as even during busier times, the area doesn’t attract that much of a backpacking crowd.

Island Hop- LOMBOK to FLORES

This can be the most troublesome of the trips between the islands. In between Lombok and Flores lies the island of Sumbawa which is very remote and receives very few visitors. There are some options for organised trips from Lombok to Flores such as this one outlined on Southeast Asia Backpacker. They typically include a few sightseeing stops including the Komodo National Park, which is the next stop on our Indonesia itinerary. Alternatively you can make the trip yourself by a combination of ferries and buses but be prepared for a lot of travelling.

9. Komodo National Park, Flores

Komodo dragon
Komodo dragon via Heather Smithers, CC BY-SA 2.0

For many travellers, a trip to see the menacing looking Komodo dragons is an essential part of backpacking in Indonesia. The dragons are fast, can jump to quite a height, are capable swimmers and are not unknown to have a taste for human flesh so it’s best to seek a guide who will show you around or find a more organised tour.

The Komodo national park consists of three islands just west of the main island of Flores and is home to an abundance of animal life. As well as the famous dragons, the area is home to wild horses, boar, deer, water buffalos, monkeys and some very dangerous snakes. The tropical waters are inhabited by whales, dolphins and various other forms of marine life so diving, kayaking and snorkelling trips are also popular. The nearby town of Labuan Bajo is probably your best bet for budget accommodation from where you can easily reach the islands that make up the Komodo National Park.

10. Ende (for Mount Kelimutu), Flores

Ende is the biggest city on Flores and has a fair bit of history both in town and in the surrounding areas. Nearby there are various caves, hot water pools and lakes, many of which hold bizarre ancient myths and beliefs. The highlight of a visit to these parts is Mount Kelimutu and its incredible crater lakes which regularly change colour and apparently can appear anything from bright turquoise to red and even chocolatey looking brown. Nobody is quite sure why this natural phenomenon takes place but it is likely to have something to do with volcanic activity.

11. Maumere, Flores

This is the main transport hub on Flores and isn’t far from Ende. There are some decent restaurants and the opportunity to do water-sports but there isn’t much to hang around for. The airport has regular flights to other parts of Indonesia including flights to Denpasar on Bali which is likely to be your best bet for flying home or continuing your travels in a different part of Asia.

Indonesia Map & Itinerary Overview

Indonesia Backpacking Route Map
Copy this trip and start planning!

The Indonesia backpacking itinerary outlined above begins in Java, the beating heart of the nation before heading east to the islands of Bali, Lombok and Flores. It includes ancient temples and fiery volcanoes on Java before experiencing the stunning beaches, great nightlife and thriving Hindu culture of Bali. After that things get more chilled out on the lazy Gili Islands and Lombok before getting up close and personal with the famous Komodo Dragons and volcanic craters on Flores.

Indonesia Backpacking Route – How long to spend in each place?

OrderDestinationSuggested Time
1Jakarta1-3 Days
2Dieng Plateau2 Days
3Yogyakarta2-3 Days
4Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park2-3 Days
5Bali1 Week
6Gili Islands1 Week
7Senaru/Mount Rinjani National Park2-3 Days
8South Lombok2-3 Days
9Komodo National Park3-4 Days
10Ende (for Mount Kelimutu)2-3 Days
11Maumere1 Day

This is just a suggested time-frame and obviously you will want to adapt it according to what your primary interests are and what places appeal most. You should also factor in that some days may be largely spent simply getting from A to B as island hopping and getting from place to place can be time consuming, but overall it should be worth it as backpacking Indonesia is a great experience.

Of course this route misses out very large chunks of the country. You could easily spend several weeks or even months in Sumatra, which features in our rundown of the best June destinations. The same goes for the jungle paradise of Borneo with both islands enormous. For the most part, they are wild and relatively rarely visited by travellers and with something like 18,000 islands making up Indonesia, it isn’t hard to get off the beaten track.

If you’ve had enough of Indonesia then from Denpasar you can fly to numerous international destinations including many major cities across South East Asia and the Far East. If you have six months to a year on hand, then you could easily combine this trip with our backpacking route for Southeast Asia or alternatively our ultimate Thailand Itinerary.

If you’re from Europe or North America and haven’t been to Australia or New Zealand, then you’ve probably never been closer to it than you would be at the end of this route. Bali is very well linked up to Australia by air so you can often get good deals on flights and therefore it’d be easy to combine this with our Australia route. Nature lovers will certainly be tempted to head yet further from home and our backpacking route for New Zealand should provide some inspiration.

Check out our other Asia itineraries!

southeast asia | thailand | myanmar | vietnam | laos | indonesia | cambodiaphilippinesindia | taiwan | sri lanka | japan | malaysia

This article was last updated in March 2022. However specific information regarding the current situation regarding the backpacking/travel industry in many of these destinations is hard to verify given, at the time of writing, relatively few travellers have returned to the country following the pandemic.

Indonesia Backpacking Route

64 thoughts on “Indonesia Backpacking Route

  1. Hey! Thank you for this post! I was hoping you could give me some advice. I’m currently planning my first solo trip to Indonesia, I expect 4 to 6 weeks, could be extended. I have flexible budget too but would like to keep at the lower end of costs. My type of desired trip is nature, landscapes, forests, beaches and both relax and partying/meeting people/adventures. Would you advice to explore Bali/Gili islands etc in depth and leave Java or is your itinerary from Java and spend less time in Bali etc still ideal for what I am looking for?
    I’d be so grateful if you could help me out with this.
    Thank you so much!!

    1. Hey Alba!

      I think Bali would definitely be the best destination for what you’ve described. It has a little bit of all the things you are looking for and you could easily spend several weeks or more just in Bali. Adding in a bit of time in the Gilis and Lombok, you could plan a 4-6 week trip just in that area of Indonesia and it’d probably work out cheaper as you’ll save on transport and can probably just do a return flight to Bali.

      I’m not sure from your comment if it’s your first solo trip anywhere or just your first trip to Indonesia? I would say that Java is probably not the best place for a first solo adventure as it’s very busy, particularly in Jakarta, and gets relatively few travellers passing through by comparison to Bali. So I’d possibly advise a first-time solo traveller to head to Bali first where it’ll be easier to meet other travellers and where there’s more travel facilities and help/information available should you need it.

      So unless there are any destinations in Java that particularly appeal to you, I think my advice would probably be to focus on Bali/Gili Islands/Lombok and you should get a really nice mix of nature, beaches, partying, meeting people etc.

  2. I am going to Indonesia by myself for 6 and a half weeks, from April 29-June 15. This is my first solo trip and second out of the country. I am flying in and out of Bali and what to spend the majority of my time in between exploring other parts of indonesia. I should note that I am much more attracted to less touristy areas such as flores, however really want to see Borobudur and Ijen crater .I only plan to stay in Kuta due to its convenient location and to see Uluwatu, not my scene. Flying is not an option, I am on a backpacker budget.

  3. Hi! I am travelling to Indonesia in November and I’m going to take the boat from Java to Bali. After getting there where would you recomend to go first? Anywhere up north or going directly to ubud, canggu…?

    1. Hi Ana, I’d probably say Central Bali – Ubud and around would be a good idea! The area is among the most beautiful on the island from a nature perspective. It’s also one of the most interesting areas for culture. If you like the idea of quieter beaches more than more busier, party-orientated ones then the North might be a good option too but it probably depends what kind of trip you want to have.

  4. Hi, on applying for visa from uk it says I have to give detailed itinerary. How do back packers manage this? I will be backpacking and want to have a bit of freedom to choose while I’m over there.

    1. Hi, Just do your best to fill out a rough itinerary if you’re asked for it. It’s better than saying ‘I don’t know’! As you long as you know where you will be entering Indonesia, the rest doesn’t matter too much.

      Once you’ve got the visa and are in the country, you’re free to do as you please.

    2. Hi there,

      Ive just been grated a 60 day visa all i did was gave them my intended itinerary of where i planned to visit (without dates) and proof of my hostel booking in my first destination.

  5. Hey there, really great advice in your blog! I’m a solo traveller planning to spend 10 weeks in Southeast Asia/Indonesia this July-early September. It’s my first time going travelling solo and I’m getting a bit overwhelmed as to where to spend my time and wondered if you had any advice?
    My plan so far is to fly into and out of Singapore and I know that I really want to visit Malaysia, Thailand and Bali but not sure what the most efficient route would be. I would love to see as much as possible and if there is chance to also see Cambodia/Vietnam/Laos/Sumatra I would, but don’t want to stretch myself too thin and feel rushed. My budget excluding my return flight is £1200 – is this doable for 10 weeks in several different areas? Many thanks!!

    1. Hi Eleanor,
      I wouldn’t say it’s impossible but I think very few backpackers in SEA these days get by on that kind of budget, which seems to work out about £17 or $22 per day (if my maths is right!).

      In terms of a route, you could probably look at doing flights between Singapore and Denpasar (Bali) and then onto Bangkok before travelling by land in Thailand and Malaysia (plus perhaps the odd place in Cambodia and/or Laos). I think that order would work best weather-wise as the rains are most intense in mainland SEA in July but have eased a bit by August. You might at least be able to get better deals on accommodation at that time. I would suggest spending as little time in Singapore as possible if you’re to have much chance of sticking to that budget.

      Overall, I’d suggest trying to find at least an extra £200-300 from somewhere if you want to visit both Bali and the main parts of SEA. You’d be really limited in terms of not having much money for activities/trips/nights out otherwise. I’d suggest skipping Sumatra either way as although it’s cheap there, you would probably need to add an extra two flights to your trip to do that.

      If you are totally restricted to that budget then I think I’d be tempted to just choose either Indonesia or mainland SEA rather than trying to visit both. 10 weeks would be a nice amount of time for a big trip in either.

      Hope this helps! Happy to answer other questions/doubts.

      1. Hi, thanks so much for your advice!

        I am on quite a tight budget so my max budget for the trip is probably £1300 excluding my main return flight. I am thinking of maybe going for 9 weeks instead of 10 so would have around 60 days of travelling after flight times.

        And yes, I’ve taken out Sumatra and maybe will do that next year, so am looking at arriving in singapore (only planning to spend 2 days there) then going onto malaysia, up through thailand and then onto cambodia, vietnam and maybe laos.

        I do really want to go to Bali, but will take this out if it is too costly. Would you recommend any country in particular for a first time solo female traveller?

        Also, if I were to do 9 weeks on £1300, it would come to around £20 per day – would you say this is doable? (I wouldn’t be spending much at all on alcohol/nights out etc)

        Thanks so much!

        1. Hi Eleanor, Yes I think that sounds reasonable enough. £20/day is a decent figure to aim for. Maybe keep an eye on the exchange rates though as your trip nears, as Brexit stuff I guess could lead to more big changes to the value of the £ which could have an effect.

          The whole region is pretty safe by global standards for solo female travellers so I don’t think I’d particularly recommend one country over another. I think Sumatra and anywhere in Indonesia besides Bali is a bit more challenging as a first-time traveller though as there’s not really a ready-made backpacking trail as such to follow. So probably it’s a good idea to look at doing that in the future and sticking to the mainland SEA countries first time.

          With Bali, I’d perhaps suggest waiting until you are a few weeks into your trip and see how much you find yourself spending before you make any decision. It looks to be about £50 each way from Singapore to Bali for example plus any baggage fees. It doesn’t look like it is much more expensive to book last minute so you should be able to go with the flow to some extent on that.

          1. Yes I’ll definitely keep an eye out with Brexit, who knows what will happen!
            Thanks so much for all your help and advice!!

  6. Wonderful post.
    Your route is an efficient trip.
    The map also describe how it flow, it’s smart idea.

    Just info. Here the backpacking guidance in Bali:
    It provide a lot of information you need such as entrance fee, public transport, itineraries, etc.
    Thank you Myfunkytravel! 🙂

  7. Hi, great blog you got there!
    I am planning on backpacking somewhere in Indonesia for 3 weeks (for the first time!!). I’m looking for recommendations on where to go. I want to see incredible nature, and/or(local) culture. I’m aiming for not spending more than €1000 during my visit, so flight and pre-parture costs are excluded. Where do you recommend me to go? Which airport do I pick?

    1. Hi Axelle, If you have only 3 weeks, I’d suggest maybe starting in Bali (book a return fight to Denpasar Airport) and then head East to the end of the route and fly back to Denpasar via one of the local airlines. Certainly you could do that section and not spend more than €1000 and you could probably do it all in 3 weeks at a push.

      It would mostly be a nature kind of trip but there’s plenty of culture in Bali although it’s distinct to the rest of Indonesia.

  8. Definitely worth the journey is Sumatra! Enjoying the peaceful atmosphere of Lake Toba, trekking in the jungle surrounded by orangutans in Gunung Leuser National Park, swimming in the sea of Banyak-islands and going diving in Pulau Weh. Had a lovely experience with Orang 2 Utan ( which help organizing trips, but also are just open for tips on accommodations and so on.. The good thing in Sumatra is that everything is equally very affordable like Java. In Bali and the eastern areas you will spend a bit more.

  9. First: What a great blog you got!
    Second: How did you fly back home after you’ve reached Flores? Did you go by a domestic flight back to Java or what did you do?
    Thanks in advantage,
    Freja from Denmark

    1. Hi Freja, thanks for your kind words.

      Was heading out to another part of SE Asia so did something slightly different but to head back to Europe, you’d probably be best taking a flight from Flores to Denpasar, Bali which is the closest with major connections out of the country. You could maybe try to book a flight in to Jakarta and home from Bali (if you’re only doing Indonesia and roughly following this route).

  10. Hi I am planning visit Indonesia this Christmas holiday , anyone wanna join ?
    I will start form Lombok , then go to nusa lembongan,Sulawasi bunaken and jaya Ampat .

    1. hello I’m Indonesian,
      Don’t worry to come here ..
      Every people looks very friendly and kind with tourists.
      And you can find many cultures from every island, foods, stories, and others..

      Happy enjoy for come here soon

    1. Plenty of boats between all the main islands in Indonesia and certainly on this route and pretty cheap. Don’t have any up-to-date info on the latest costs though so if anyone has done something similar to recently be great to know!

      There are direct boats from Bali to the Gilis but they are pretty exclusively used by tourists/travellers so it might be cheaper to go first to lombok and then head to the gilis from there.

  11. Really enjoyed your blog about Bali. Planning on going for about 12 days in Jan. I know its not much time, but that is all the time we have. We are lookng to enjoy the beach, hike, explore, and enjoy the culture most of all. Not looking for high end places to stay. We want the most of our stay there and don’t know what places to see in that short amount of time. Any suggestions?

  12. Great post you have here. I plan to travel Indonesia for few weeks or a month this December. I will probably start from Bandung and take train to somewhere else. Been to Bromo last month, I love that place 🙂 It’s a amazing.

    1. hey I’m going to travel indonesia aswell in december for a month!! Im traveling on my own…let keep in touch if u want some company

      1. Change of plans. I’m still stuck at work. Won’t be able to travel until early next year 🙁 hope you have a great trip in Indonesia!

  13. Hi Rebecca, did you get the info you need? I’m also travelling to Indonesia from UK on 17th Sept (first time travelling and going solo!) so am looking for fellow travellers to poss meet up with. Let me know if you fancy meeting up if our paths cross, if there’s a way to pm I can forward you my facebook name so you can check out some info about me 🙂

  14. Hey, I’m travelling to Indonesia later in December and would love to hear about your experience. How did it go?

    1. Hi Gumji! I just love Indonesia!! How much time do you have? Don’t spend too much time in Bali, exept if you go to less touristy places… Kuta bali is good for partying only. Ubud is nice (actually, around Ubud it’s nice) but so many tourists… You will see only shops in Ubud. The rice terraces are impressive!
      You should Spend more time in Lombok! It is more beautiful than Bali, cheaper and less touristy! I went back a second time at the end of my journey just because I fell in love with this island! Kuta-lombok (not bali!!) has manyyy awesome and not crowded beaches! It is worth staying at least 3-4 days if you like beaches!
      The Gili islands are very close to Lombok (10 minutes of boat, US $1!) if you want to party, you can go to gili T and if you want to relax, you can go to gili Air. Both islands are really nice. I dont party too much (but still a bit) so I got a private room in Gili T so I could sleep well when I wanted. It is beautiful and peaceful as there is no cars or scooters on the islands… If you like diving, then you must dive in gili 🙂
      Do you plan to go to java? I was supposed to travel in Java for 11 days but after being on the road for 16-18 hours to get to Bromo, I got tired and bought a ticket back to Lombok. Java is time consuming… If you dont mind being on the road with night buses/trains… Go for it. Java has many beautiful things to see! Yogyakarta, bromo, pangandaran (green canyon) are great places to go.
      Hope this helps… I plan to go again next year! I fell in love with this country and the people <3

      I didnt have time to do the Flores and Komodo islands but I heard a lot from it! People say it's worth the détour! Have fun

      1. Ah that sounds amazing!! Thanks so much for that Karyne 🙂 Yeh I was tossing between java and lombok – so torn that I can’t visit both! At the moment my rough itinerary is Tulamben – Gili T – Gili A – Lombok – Ubud. Any places to stay you would recommend?

        1. As you are gonna travel in December, you will have plenty of choices for accommodation! Don’t worry. I went back to Gili T in peak season without a booking and found myself a room in 10 minutes 🙂
          In Ubud, I stayed in “In Da Lodge” its cheap, clean and it has a pool! A lot of backpackers go there.
          In Gili T, it depends if you wanna have a private room or you wanna go for hostels. You can find many on
          I staying in a homestay (pondok Hadi Homestay). It was simple and clean!
          In Lombok, if you go to Kuta, you will not be able to book something online but dont worry, when you arrive by bus, people come to you and they take you to their homestay. In Kuta Lombok, that’s where I found the cheapest room in Indonesia! A room with 2 beds and breakfast included for $10 US… For 2 people!!! In peak season!! 😀 of course, they started at $20 but went down to $10. So I’m sure you will have a lot of fun… Try to meet with local people… They are awesome!

          1. Hi Karyne, I am going to Indonesia on the 5th of Oktober until the 5th of November.
            I am starting in Jakarta, my plan is to fly back from Bali to Jakarta when I leave. I am 17 years old (almost 18), do you think you meet enough people who are young like me? I am looking forward to go but I am also a bit scared because I am alone haha.
            My plan is: Java – Bali – Lombok (Gili Islands). Are there things I must need to do?
            I am also going for my Padi on the Gili Islands.

          2. Hi! well… The age average is a bit older for sure but maybe you’ll recognize and see the younger travellers more than me. Make sure to sleep in dorm rooms to meet more people 🙂
            Jakarta is not worth seeing so much so don’t waste your time there. Bali is nice but make sure to visit less touristy places. I made the mistake to go to Kuta for wayyy too long in the beginning of my trip!
            If you have time, go to Lombok island!! This island is awesome, still so much cheaper than Bali and moreee beautiful!!! Go to Kuta Lombok (yess there is a kuta bali AND a kuta lombok) kuta lombok has the most beautiful beaches i have seen in my life! And believe me, i have seen plenty! Enjoy your holiday and please, connect with the locals: they are awesome 🙂

  15. Hey Karyne, is it really possible to teach in China without a degree? I heard its illegal/dodgy and that if you don’t have a degree, you end up getting crappy teaching jobs that don’t pay well/treat you like crap

    1. Hi Eda! It is illegal to teach without a degree but everybody does it. I worked in a private school, 25 hours per week, and I had one day off each week. I made $1500 per month (which was 3 X what I needed to live comfortably). They also paid my appartment, bought bran new furniture, paid for my visa, etc! They also treated me really well! The only reason I didnt stay there another year was because i was starting my studies in Canada. The name of the school is DDDragon English School (they have many everywhere in china), if you are interested 🙂

    2. Hi Efa! It is illegal to teach in China without a degree but everybody does it… I had a student-visa. The school paid my university so that I could learn mandarin while working in China. I made $1500 per month, with apartment, visa, wifi and $1000 bonus at the end of my contract included. They treated me really well… The only reason i didnt stay more than a year was because I wanted to go back to school in Canada. But seriously, I have nothing bad to say about my experience. The school’s name is DDDragon English School. They have schools everywhere in China. You can also find many (thousands) jobs on this website:
      That’s where I found the job 🙂

  16. Hi I’m looking at traveling to Indonesia in sept from the UK but I’m finding hard to find accommodation price or websites does any one have any advice

    1. Hi, i’m planning a week travel to East Java (Semeru) to Lombok starting July 25. Later in September to mt. Rinjani. Am a native Indonesian and would be glad to help with the information you need. Hit me up at jakdev1@yahoodotcom

  17. Ive spent 10 months in Indonesia alone and heading back again soon .. Indonesia is really like 100 countries in one pretty much more diverse than Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam combined together.

  18. Hello! If I start in Bali heading to Jakarta, how many days should I at least allocate for that? What would be the break down of days that you can recommend? Thanks!

  19. Thanks for this post! I am planning my trip to Indonesia. I will be travelling for 6-7 weeks this summer. I am just starting to look for the things I don’t wanna miss! Is it difficult to find transportation between islands? Is it expensive too? That was pretty much my only concern as there are so many islands!!

    1. Not too expensive or difficult as given the country is just a huge collection of islands transportation between the islands is very important and it’s easy to get between the main ones although the Lombok to Flores bit of this route can be tricky. Often flying can work out cheaper. lion Air is the main budget airline and they have an extensive network and cheap flights.

    2. Hello karyne, I’m an IndonesiAn.. I’m excited about your trip, how if we travelling together, since I’m Indonesian I think it would help you in many things also I didn’t have a friend to travel Yet..

        1. i think i’m going back this summer, but i still didn’t know the date exactly maybe july or august.. would you like to chat about this via email or facebook..

    3. Hey Karyne, I’m travelling from Canada to Indonesia this summer as well. Would love to hear about your plans and perhaps meet up to visit a few places. I am heading there in July.

      1. Hi Lovey! I’ll be travelling there from July 14 to August 24. Add me on facebook and we can talk about our itinerary 🙂
        Karyne corbeil (I have an orange and black dress)

        1. hi karyne, im indonesian woman stay at central java. ask me whenever you need information about java island, will try to help u

  20. i lived in manado for 2 months with my ex fiancé/gf and her family … I had a magical time there and it was very friendly …I now owe money bcos of the loan I took out to finance this trip but I really am getting itchy feet to be there again …I really would love to know how or if its possible that I could get there again for next to nothing or working my way across there then trying to find work when I am there or I could wait and save and do a TEFL course here in England then volunteer and see if I can teach at an international school … I would love to go anywhere in this location …Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, I would even see if any missionary work needs done there if I knew any sites that would take help of any kind ???

    1. TEFL is a decent idea… If you worked in somewhere like Korea, Singapore or Hong Kong you could save quite a lot of money to travel and explore the region. It’s possible in Thailand and the other countries too but you wouldn’t earn so much. Don’t have any info on missionary work sorry!

    2. I taught English in China 2 years ago and loved it! I made 3 times the money I needed to live comfortably. I didn’t have a degree (only a TESOL certificate). I saved $1000 monthly. Not so bad… I know some people who have a degree and earn a lot more! Go check out this website:
      It’s awesome. That’s how I found my job! Good luck 🙂

  21. Visit krakatoa (west java), kiluan bay (lampung-sumatera), meru betiri national park, sempu island (east java), moluccas (maluku), raja ampat papua, bunaken (north sulawesi), macassar (south sulawesi), mentawai big waves would be be nice. As mentioned, travel all Indonesia can not be in a short time. So you must make your priority: big waves, diving, beaches, mountain, culture, or other?

  22. What a great introduction to destinations in Indonesia, it must be hard to make a short list for Indonesia. I first travelled to Indonesia in the late 1970’s and have been back multiple times since, on my own and with children, some short trips other extended trips. While the sights and attractions of Indonesia always amaze, my one suggestion is to take time to stop at any location and strike up conversation with a local. These experienes are the most memorable. If you try to rush things, you will get frustrated and the Indonesians will loose respect for you. Also dress modestly and neatly, make the effort to learn just a few words of Bahasa, smile and laugh, you will gain much respect and leave with fond memories and a desire to return.

    1. It is possible but you wouldn’t be able to see all that Bali has to offer. Might be worth catching a flight from Denpasar (Bali) —Labuan Bajo as you are a bit pushed for time and it would be fairly cheap.

  23. This itenerary looks really great! I imagine you haven’t mentiined a timeline as of course it depends on the pace and plans of the traveller. That said, would you be able to suggest a number of weeks that would be ideal to cover this route?

    1. As a rough guide:

      10 days to 2 weeks on Java (only a few real highlights but it takes a long time to cross)
      2 weeks on Bali/Gili Islands (if you are a beach lover then more, if not then less)
      2 weeks for the rest

      So maybe 5-6 weeks would be about right but you could certainly do it in a month or less if you are pushed for time.

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