The 9th century Borobudur temple is the most famous building in all of Indonesia and the largest Buddhist complex in the world. This huge temple is located on Java and is built from two million blocks of stone and has the shape of a huge stupa (bell-shaped Buddhist structure). The complex consists of nine terraces and is intended to represent the Buddhist view of the cosmos, which starts at the bottom in everyday life and ends at the top in Nirvana. A visit to this ancient structure is very impressive and for the best experience you can even visit the temple during sunrise or sunset. You’ll get the best views and less crowds.
Raja Ampat is an untouched tropical paradise. Hundreds of islands are found in this area and they rise out of the water like jungle-covered rocks. The water is crystal clear everywhere. You can see many fish, turtles, sharks, and with a bit luck, manta rays when snorkeling. This area is known as one of the most beautiful underwater areas in the world and it has the largest variety of fish species. Snorkel between the reefs and mangrove forests. And in the forests further in the islands, it is possible to search for the endemic bird life including birds of paradise, cockatoos and parrots. A visit to Papuan villages should also not be missed out on.
There are only a few places on earth where you can come face to face with wild orangutans, and the island of Kalimantan is one of them. The Tanjung Punting National Park is home to more than 6000 wild orangutans, making it the largest population in the world. These great apes are endangered, but here they can still swing to their heart's content through the protected forests. In addition to orangutans, you also have the chance to spot other wildlife, such as crocodiles, hornbills, bears and other species of monkeys. The only way to visit this park is by local boat. You’ll travel up and down the Sekonyer river, looking for animals along the banks. Sleeping in the middle of the rainforest in a boat on a river is an experience you’ll never forget.
If you visit Sulawesi during your Indonesia trip, you must be sure to visit Tana Toraja, the "Land of the Divine Kings". As soon as you arrive you will see that this is one the most scenic parts of Sulawesi. This area is located in a mountain and forested landscape and wherever you go you’ll see beautiful rice fields with grazing water buffaloes. Another reason to visit this area is to dive into the unique Toraja culture. They have a unique culture which is expressed through their architecture and ancestor worship. The people are welcoming and you could even join in one of their funeral festivals, which are like celebrations that can last for days.
The Gunung Leuser National Park in North-Sumatra is with its 950,000 hectares one of the largest national parks in Indonesia. Endangered animals such as orangutans, gibbons and a host of other monkey species live in the park. But also different species of bats, Sumatran tigers, leopards, elephants and Sumatran rhinos live here. It is also a birdwatcher's paradise. There are more than three hundred different types of birds. You can do single or multi-day treks through the forest. Overnight stays in the jungle are also possible, where you spend the night in a tent camp by the river. The most common are two or three day treks. During the multi-day treks all you have to do is carry your camera and binoculars and enjoy the scenery.