For once in our travels we decided to slow it down when we reached Indonesia. We were considering cramming in many more islands than we eventually managed, but I for one am glad we decided to minimise our itinerary. There is so much to see in Indonesia that you’d need a lifetime or at least many months to explore it anywhere near properly, but really who has that amount of time on their hands! If you’re looking for a fairly relaxed break with a couple of decent adventures you can’t go far wrong with our two week Indonesia itinerary.
We skipped over the excitements of Java, Lombok and the Gili islands and decided that we would spend a full ten days in Bali, as well as taking a trip over to Flores and the eastern islands in search of Komodo Dragons. This was the best choice ever, if I do say so myself.
I’ll be honest, we had a couple of concerns about Bali – it’s gaining a reputation as party paradise for young backpackers and holidaymakers and several people we’ve met have been less than impressed. We were even warned that it would be the most touristy and least authentic place that we’d visit. Spending ten days of our two weeks in Indonesia just on Bali was a bit of a risk given what we’d heard.
Luckily our experience of Bali was the complete opposite and we loved every minute we were on the island – splitting our time between a beautiful guesthouse in Ubud and a homestay near Canggu so we could experience both beaches and the countryside.
I really don’t know what’s not to love: the food is awesome, hospitality is second to none, there’s loads to see and it’s still super affordable. If you’re thinking of visiting I would 100% recommend a trip here – we’re already thinking of returning with family next year.
Bali Part 1: Six Days In Ubud
We decided to spend the bulk of our time – six days – based in Ubud, in the heart of the countryside a short distance from the town.
Here we splashed out on a small guesthouse that cost around £30 per night and enjoyed the best accommodation we’ve ever stayed in on our travels. Seriously. Five star service for rock bottom prices – a beautiful quiet location, accessible to town, home cooked breakfast on our terrace each morning and even a nightly turndown service. I cannot recommend Nyoman Sandi Guesthouse enough. Honestly, I would have spent our whole two weeks in Indonesia here given half the chance!
In Ubud we had an amazing time whizzing about on our battered pink moped (£3/day) and soaking in all the local sights. Another awesome thing about Ubud is the number of great places to eat and drink – despite its rural setting it’s full of brilliant restaurants and bars to check out – from traditional warungs to hipster cafes. Some places you should definitely try are:
Watercress Ubud – this does the best eggs benedict I’ve probably ever had, not cheap but really good food and a great spot to relax and people watch.
Fair Bale Warung – a restaurant with a good cause, this is fantastic Balinese food that’s great value and 100% of profits go to good causes such as supporting medical care programs for young people in Bali.
White Orchid – home of the largest coconuts I’ve ever seen (not a euphemism) and delicious traditional Balinese rice pudding
Atman Kafe – a slouchy, hipstery cafe that serves about hundred varieties of all day breakfasts as well as lots of other healthy goodness, chilled out and comfortable.
Adventures with Komodo Dragons
After flying to Labuan Bajo on Flores Island we joined our three day Komodo Island adventure tour where we had one of our all time favourite wildlife adventures.
In short we spent three days enjoying boat life as we sailed around the eastern islands of Indonesia, spending nights in wooden huts on the remote desert island of Sebayur. We managed to see plenty of Komodo dragons as well as snorkelling with manta rays, sea turtles, stingrays and about a million other incredible tropical fish.
If you’re spending two weeks in Indonesia I can’t urge you enough to visit the islands around the Komodo National Park – our favourites were Kanawa, Mawan and Rinca, while the diving and snorkelling at Manta Point and Batu Bolong are world class.
Labuan Bajo is a cool little town as well, less developed than Bali, Flores is a less touristy island that has plenty to see and do in itself. Try to stay at Pirates in town, where they also have a great restaurant and rooftop bar and we recommend Cafe.In.Hit for the best coffees and frappes.
Bali Part 2: Four Days In Canggu
Our next base, for the four remaining days of our two weeks in Indonesia, was spent back in Bali – this time in a small homestay not far from Canggu. Staying in the south west of the island rather than centrally as before gave us time to explore some different local attractions, as well as allowing us to laze on the beach for a few days.
I have to be honest, we definitely weren’t as productive during these four days as we were in the first six. A lot of time was spent at the beach which suited us just fine – and to be honest, if you’re in Bali you can’t go far wrong with a few beach days. The beaches here are gorgeous, there’s loads going on and if you’re a surfer, it’s a world class surfing destination.
Sorry it’s not the most detailed or active itinerary we’ve ever listed for you – but we think it’s a pretty good way to spend two days getting an introduction if you have just two weeks in Indonesia. Next time we’ll add an extra couple of weeks and explore Java, Lombok and the Gilis as a slightly more extended adventure!