Why we think the Emerald of the Equator won’t lose its shine
Indonesia, also hailed the Emerald of the Equator is where mother nature lives and breathes amongst the diverse Indonesian people. Much of this enchanting nation remains unseen by the human eye - as the world’s largest archipelago, it is composed of 13,466 both big and small tropical islands many of which are unnamed and untouched. Stood astride the continents of Asia and Australia, and between the meeting point of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, Indonesia is a spellbinding place.
"the thing that unites the Indonesian people is their natural and contagious friendliness."
The national language in Indonesia is Bahasa Indonesia, although with more than 200 ethnic groups the spoken language and customs of Indonesians are as diverse as the country itself. From the tiered paddy fields of Java and Bali, the lively rainforests of Kalimantan and Sulawesi, to the snow-topped peaks of West Papua, mother nature endows the nation with her many faces. In fact, the thing that unites the Indonesian people is their natural and contagious friendliness.
In this stunning emerald nation wildlife flourishes - it is home to the beloved orangutang and fierce Komodo lizard, as well as the rare Java rhino. Indonesia’s cultural panorama is as rich as its wildlife, captivating with ancient temples, music, and rituals unique to each region and each island. Just as it is teeming with ancient awe, Indonesia is also a place of modern luxuries including one of a kind hotels that have been noted as some of the finest in the world. Sitting cheek by jowl with pristine white beach stretches, atop secluded mountains, or in the buzzing capital Jakarta, you won't miss out on a quiet retreat alone or with loved ones after a plentiful day.
Indonesia’s most visited islands are Java, Sumatra, Bali, Sulawesi, Kalimantan, the Maluku Islands, and Papua. Each with a totally different personality, it’s hard to decide where to begin!
Why not start in the Land of the Gods? Whether you’re an Indonesia first-timer or frequenter, you can discover your own paradise in Bali. The island is a hub of natural beauty and thrilling opportunities. With iconic rice paddies that cascade like waterfalls and imminent forested volcanoes, the island is never short of stunning sights. Celebrated for its vibrant dances and rituals, Bali boasts a distinct style of art and crafts. The peaceful ambience that graces the island is thanks to the intricate temples found at every turn.
The tropical weather in Bali makes it a popular destination for beach resort loungers, party goers, and sun deprived families, couples, and solo travellers alike. The most well known Balinese beach to top up your tan is Kuta which transforms into a huge disco spot by evening. Enjoy calmer evenings at Jimbaran beach where you can also sample fresh seafood. For the ultimate extravagance, Nusa Dua is the place to go for privacy and luxury hotels. For souvenir scavengers, the choice is endless in Sukowati market - or shop till you drop in Denpasar and Ubud.
8 Divine Balinesian EXPERIENCES
Exhilarating and safe, Ayung rafting is great for the whole family. Guided by expert staff, you make your way through the Bali rainforest enjoying unspoilt natural sights including rapid waterfalls and the brightly coloured Blue Javan Kingfisher. Experience a unique side to Ayung river over the course of a 10km route and take a dip in its gloriously fresh water.
White Water Rafting at Ayung River - Ubud
Watch a captivating story unfold in flames, dance, and rhythmic music as the sun dips into the sea. The Kecak story is an excerpt from the Hindu epic Ramayana - developed in the 1930s the dramatic show is popular with tourists. Performed by the Taman Kaja community, the chanting chorus plays musical backdrop to a riveting, death defying performance.
Kecak Fire dance
Gunung Kawi is one of Bali’s most impressive, and largest complex of ancient temples. Made up of many intricate Candi, or shrines which are carved to magically recess from the face of a rock cliff, the temple is a beloved and sacred spot for the Balinese. A staggering 8 metres high the shrines resembling door frames mimic genuine buildings, but are in fact meticulously carved from a vertical cliff face. Within the complex, pocket like stone caves make for meditation spots in which Buddhist monks once mused. Shrouded in the air of ancient legends and mystery, the Gunung Kawi Temple is a window into the soul of Bali.
Gunung Kawi Temple
Once you ascend the highlands of Bali, you cannot help but be totally transfixed by the sight and smell of endless stretches of thick paddy fields laboriously sculpted as if to effortlessly flow down the face of mountains. Picturesque Jatiluwih is a prime example of Bali’s cultural landscape, or Subak irrigation system which has been titled a UNESCO world heritage site. Vivid green steps descend from mountain peak to sea - a humbling experience and sight to behold.
Jatiluwih Rice Terraces
In the north of Bali away from the noise of the south, Lovina Beach embraces a chilled out attitude. Home to coastal villages, Lovina extends over 8kms of serene coastline. Unlike the characteristic white sand beaches found all over Bali, Lovina Beach sports grey and black volcanic sand. Perfect for those who seek something slightly different to the usual Bali, the northern coast is also known as a popular playing field for Bottlenose dolphins. Hop onboard a Jukung, a traditional boat and cruise alongside these affectionate creatures at the break of dawn for a fascinating encounter.
Bottlenose dolphins at Lovina Beach
Raised 14 metres above the vast Indian Ocean, Rock Bar is nestled atop the rocky coastline of Jimbaran - a prime spot for watching the sun seamlessly set into the sapphire sea. Coupled with a glamorous sultry ambience and chilled cocktail, the luxurious hang out’s panoramic views are absolutely breathtaking. As part of luxury resort AYANA, the exclusive spot can only be accessed via a complimentary cliff side cable car. Slip on your glad rags, and relish in a special gathering or fairy-tale date at Rock Bar.
Rock Bar at Jimbaran
COST OF A PINT
iconic rice terraces at Jatiluwih