[updated August 2018]
After the success of the two-weeks in Vietnam post, I thought you guys would find my two week Indonesia itinerary useful. Having visited a fair amount of Southeast Asia now, I can safely say Indonesia is probably my favourite of those countries so far, magnificent wildlife, incredible diving, rolling mountains, this diverse country has SO much to offer and even though in two weeks we did cover a lot of ground, I am already desperate to go back and see more of the less visited places.
Despite being one of the furthest South East Asian countries from the UK, flights are regular and can be found for a very decent price, travel inside the country is also surprisingly easy and quick with multiple internal flights available meaning a two week trip on annual leave is possible without stress. As always we used Skyscanner to find the quickest and best value flights.
Our two weeks in Indonesia
Fly into Denpasar airport
We chose the fly into Denpasar from London as the flights worked out cheapest and most convenient for the location which we wanted to visit. However, Jakarta is also a good option from the UK, so I would advise researching these flights as well to see what works for your two-week trip.
Day 1-3 Ubud
Located about an hours taxi drive (£15) from Denaspar Airport, Ubud is a must. The spiritual town is known for its many ancient temples, countless yoga Barns and never-ending supplies of coffee and smoothie bowls, spend time wandering the streets and exploring the treasure trove stores.
Stay: Ojek’s Homestay
Places to visit:
The Monkey Forest
The Telang Rice Fields
Goa Gajah ‘Elephant Cave’
Jungle Fish – Expensive but a relaxing treat day out
Spend time eating at the many independent cafes and restaurants around town ( Average meal price £2-£7 each). Read Best places to eat in Ubud, Bali. Ultimate Must-Do Hiking Mount Batur at sunrise, book when you arrive to receive the best price. Read my guide to climbing Mount Batur here.
Top Tip – You can pay for a Taxi who will drive you around all the main tourist attractions for a set price while waiting for you in between but be sure to haggle and not accept the first price.
Avoid – The Luwak coffee plantations. Bali is known for its Luwak coffee, traditionally the coffee beans are collected after being digested by the Luwak in the forests, however, now these plantations realised that they can make a lot more money by keeping the Luwaks in small cages, overfeeding them on the beans and collecting them this way to meet the demands. They are kept in poor conditions and not treated well, please do not support this. Read here for more information on being a responsible traveller in regards to wildlife tourism
Day 3-7 The Gili Islands
In Ubud you will be able to book a transfer (car and ferry) from your accommodation to one of the three Gili Islands (Trawangan, Air and Meno), booking is about a third of the price you will find online so it is completely worth waiting until you get there to book this part of your trip, and booking is widely available throughout Ubud. On our trip we based ourselves on Gili Trawangan and visited the other islands from there, it is the cheapest of the three islands but is considered the ‘loudest’, we visited in November and the island was pretty empty and the noise was not an issue. Gili Air is a lot less visited in comparison but this is reflected in the accommodation costs.
Stay: Little Coco’s bungalows
Things to do:
Visit the turtle hatchery
Go diving at one of the many incredible dive sites. I 100% recommend Blue Marlin dive shop.
Hire a bike and cycle around the island
Snorkel with the wild Turtles at Turtle Point
Watch the sunset and get that standard Gili T swing photo
Spend an evening playing beer pong at Jiggy Jigs
Have a massage on the beach
Take a trip to Gili Air and Gili Meno
Relax! – As you will be taking this trip as part of your annual leave be sure to leave some time to chill out, the beaches of Gili T are the perfect place to do this.
Need a final push to visit Gili T? 12 photos that will make you want to visit Gili T right now.
Day 8-9 Seminyak, Bali
After your return ferry back to Bali, head to Seminyak for one night, in my opinion, this is all that is needed there, I found this area extremely busy, more touristy and a lot more westernised than the other areas we visited.
Stay: GrandMas Hotels
Things to do:
Grab a smoothie bowl at the Instagram famous Nula bowls
Head to the beach to watch the many surfers or have a go for yourself
Join a traditional Balinese hands-on cooking class
Get yourself someone off clothing in the many boutique clothing stores.
Visit the Waterbom Bali waterpark
Day 10-11 Semarang (or Jakarta)
Not an obvious choice but it is one of the only two airports (the other being Jakarta) that fly to Pangkalan Bun airport (Borneo). Semarang is a city in Java that is yet to be touched by tourism and does not have much to do there but from here you can book a two-hour journey to the Borobudur Temple, we didn’t actually do this and it is my one regret from our trip.
Stay: Louis Kienne Hotel
Eat: Marugame udon
Day 11-13 Tanjung Puting National Park, Borneo
Fly from Semarang Airport to Pangkalan Bun airport using Kelstar Aviation
This was my favourite part of the whole trip, a three-day private Orangutan cruise which can read all about here and book here. Your trip includes return transfers, food, accommodation and nation part entry. In my opinion, it is a must for any trip to Indonesia and I really urge you to add it to your itinerary, you will spend three days of a private boat taking in the wildlife of the jungle and seeing wild Orangutan up close.
This itinerary only touches the tip of the huge country of Indonesia but in these two weeks you will cover a lot of ground and see how much diversity it has to offer. As we had just over two weeks annual leave we actually added on a layover in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as well, so this could an addition for your trip as well if time permits.
If you are considering visit KL you may find this post helpful – 72 hours in Kuala Lumpur
Looking to travel more within your annual leave?
Use my link to receive £15 off of your hotel choice on booking.com: www.booking.com/s/samnth00