Indonesia is becoming more and more popular with backpackers. According to Visit Indonesia , this is because backpackers, with their flexible travel style, hop easily and quickly from one island to another. There is more than the well-known Java and Bali.

Indonesia still has countless hidden paradises and small islands for both the novice backpacker and the experienced adventurer that are worth visiting. The country consists of more than 15,000 large and small tropical islands, located between the continents of Australia and Asia.

The island of Samosir in Sumatra : in the north of Sumatra the island of Samosir, in the middle of Lake Toba, is a popular backpackers destination. Lake Toba is a clear blue-green crater lake, created after a volcanic eruption. The Samosir peninsula is the heart of the traditional tribes (the Bataks) and loved for its history and beautiful views. This place is one of the highlights of Sumatra in my opinion.

Samosir can be combined well with Bukit Lawang or West Sumatra (Bukittinggi) for an encounter with the Minangkabau people. The Gunung Leuser National Park near Bukit Lawang is a tropical forest where the orangutans live in the wild, yet in a protected environment. Within the reserve is the Bohorok Orang Utan Center, the rehabilitation center for orangutans. The captive Orangutans are prepared here for their return to the wild. Sumatra is unspoilt, adventurous and easy to combine with the islands of Java and/or Bali. Also worth a visit is the northernmost tip of Sumatra, the island of Weh (Pulau Weh). The white sandy beaches and clear blue sea make it a fantastic place to relax, dive and snorkel.

Hotspots for surfers : Pelabuhan Ratu Beach in Sukabumi, West Java, has become a growing spot among surfers in recent years. The location on the Indian Ocean means that the waves can reach heights of 3 to 5 meters. The whole area around the beach, with its steep, wooded hills and long palm fringes, is a beautiful location. The touristic Kuta on Bali and Senggigi Beach on Lombok are also a magnet for surfers because of the high waves.

The Gili’s : backpackers who are in for a party should definitely not miss the Gili islands . They are three paradisiacal coral islands off the coast of Lombok. The main island, Gili Trawangan, is known as the place-to-be for partygoers. Travelers party here for a few days and enjoy the beautiful beaches and the beautiful underwater world. There is always a cafe or bar open late into the night. On the other two Gili islands, Gili Meno and Gili Air, it seems as if time has stood still: no internet, no ATMs, no cars and no neighbors.

Boats depart daily from Gili Trawangan to Komodo, the island of dragons. Komodo National Park is world famous for its Komodo dragons. It is the oldest animal species in the world. Because of their aggressive behavior and appearance they are also called “Komodo dragons” or Komodo dragons. You can therefore ideally combine Gili with a visit to the beautiful unspoilt Sunda islands. Here you will discover the authentic, less traveled part of Indonesia. This area has more than five hundred islands, many of which do not even have a name. The well-known islands of this area “Nusa Tenggara” (the Lesser Sunda Islands) are Flores, Timor, Rinca, Komodo, Sumbawa, Lombok and Bali.

Borneo : the more experienced backpacker looking for adventure should definitely take his backpack to Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo. Here are several national parks to visit and there is the possibility to trek through the jungle for a longer period of time. It is one of the few places on earth where orangutans still live in the wild. Here you will find the real authentic Indonesia with a tropical rainforest that is difficult to penetrate. One of the few ways to travel around Kalimantan is by boat on the many rivers. In the interior the Dayaks (this tribe is better known as the “headhunters”) still live their traditional life in longhouses. Do you also want to experience Borneo? Local Mike helps you put together your ideal trip in Borneo .

We have just returned from a fantastic three-day trip on a boat through Tanjung Puting NP , a large park, established to protect the orangutans. We flew as the only tourist with some locals (and a lot of roosters) from Surabaya to Pangkalan Bun Airport and went with a guide on a traditional wooden klotok. Some of the orangutans used to live in captivity and are fed at special feeding places. So you have the certainty that you will meet them!

Sulawesi : the former Celebes also seems to be a real dream island. On the unspoilt island you will find high mountains, lavish tropical nature, beautiful rice fields, green bamboo forests, beautiful lakes, volcanoes, hot springs… And you can get acquainted with the many ethnic groups such as the Torajas, Bugis and Minahasas. The Toraja have impressive rituals and beautiful Tongkonan houses. Not many tourists visit this fascinating island, so you may find yourself sleeping fairly easily for a few nights.

On Sulawesi you can get acquainted with the animistic religion of the Toraja, characterized by death dolls in rock walls and rock tombs, impressive funeral rites, tau tau dolls and the beautiful Tongkonan houses.

On Sulawesi you can get acquainted with the animistic religion of the Toraja, characterized by death dolls in rock walls and rock tombs, impressive funeral rites, tau tau dolls and the beautiful Tongkonan houses.

New Guinea is the second largest island in the world and it is one of the most remote and primitive places on Earth. In the interior of West Papua (the former Irian Jaya) there are high mountains with dense jungle, so that the people have preserved their unique culture for a long time. About 800 languages ​​are spoken in New Guinea, because the rugged terrain meant that people had little contact with the neighboring villages.

The Baliem Valley was not discovered until 1938. The inhabitants, Dani and Lani peoples, still lived in the Stone Age. However, the Dani and Lani’s lives have hardly changed since then. Their villages consist of walled compounds, which contain a cooking hut, a men’s and a women’s house and a pigsty. With the exception of a penis sheath (horim), men sometimes still walk naked and the women only wear a grass skirt and a crocheted shopping net on the back. The children are generally naked, although boys often wear a string around their waist. A trekking through this area is a true adventure!

In addition to the overwhelming nature and relaxed atmosphere, the low prices also make Indonesia extremely attractive for backpackers. A meal with fried rice easily costs fifty cents and you can spend the night from as little as five euros. For backpackers there is a wide range of cheap accommodations such as hostels or nice basic huts. As a backpacker in Indonesia it is relatively easy to visit various hotspots. To hop from one island to another, it is best to take a ferry or domestic flight. For transport on an island itself, public transport or a taxi is recommended.

From the Netherlands, Indonesia can be reached by KLM (via Singapore or Kuala Lumpur), Garuda Indonesia (via Dubai), Cathay Pacific (via Hong Kong), Singapore Air (via Singapore) and Malaysian Air (via Kuala Lumpur). Prefer a stop half way? Nowadays you can also go via Dubai with Emirates, via Doha with Qatar Airways or via Abu Dhabi with Etihad Airways. If you want to fly via Guangzhou, choose China Southern or travel via Istanbul with Turkish Airlines.

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