Indonesia, the World’s largest archipelago with over 300 tiny islands making up the Asia country, is an incredibly diverse blend of history, culture and landscape. Tourism in Indonesia is a huge source of income for the country with cities such as Jakarta and Yogyakarta receiving an incredible amount of tourism each year. There are however many cities in Indonesia that don’t receive anywhere near enough credit for how good they are. If you are heading to Indonesia this year then here are 5 cities that you should consider visiting to truly explore this wonderful nation.
The large city of Bandung presents it’s visitors with a cool city that sits at a high altitude and offers some fantastic art-deco and colonial architecture that was influenced heavily by the Dutch settlers. The city is based in between sprawling volcanoes and lush green the plantations which give the city a truly magical landscape. Bandung has become something of a shopping destination for many tourists as there are several large fashion outlets based inside the city which contrasts perfectly with the traditional Indonesian way of life in Bandung. If you are unsure where to stay in Bandung then consider the Bukit Dago Hotel, I stayed there last year and had a fantastic time in a great location.
The capital of the Northern Sumatra, Medan is a city that blends the influences of both European design and architecture with that of the Islamic World. The city is largely dominated by the Great Mosque and the enormous Maimun Palace. Medan has become pretty popular in recent years for it’s fantastic ethnic street food, the city is heavily influenced by religion with several large and ornate churches residing in Medan. The city has a very relaxed and traditional feel to it and is a great place to stay for a few days on your trip to Indonesia.
Malang is the second largest city in East Java and despite it’s size and appeal is very much underrated by tourists. The city sits in between two mountain ranges giving it a fantastic backdrop, tourists in Malang can expect to find a city with a truly historic feel as many of the statues and buildings have retained their original design and charm. Within the city are several centuries old temples, some dating back as far as 1300AD. If you are looking to enjoy some of Indonesia’s great history then Malang is where you should be heading.
Batam is Indonesia’s third largest city and is a thriving, modern hub of industrial and commercial activity, the city is advancing at a rapid rate and many parts of the city feel like New York or Tokyo. Batam sits in close proximity to Singapore (just 12 miles)and Malaysia (15 miles) and as such has a real mixture of influences on the culture and design of the city. The city sits on the waterfront which gives visitors plenty to see and do and getting around is incredible easy via the city’s Metro service. Batam is a thoroughly modern city that still retains it’s mixed cultural roots and historical identity.
The beautiful city of Samarinda lies on the banks of the grand Mahatma River on the island of Borneo and despite being the most populated city on the island, it has an incredibly laid back and laissez-faire feel to it. The street food on offer in Samarinda is some of the best in Indonesia and the River provides visitors with countless activities to do, trips to partake in and scenery to digest. If you are looking for a relaxing break in one of Indonesia’s more interesting and traditional cities, then Samarinda is where you should be headed.