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Like a path of breadcrumbs leading you from Asia to Australia, Indonesia is spread across a chain of thousands of islands. TNT urges you to follow the trail...

First-time travellers to Indonesia usually head straight for Bali. It is Indonesia’s doe-eyed beauty and the undoubted star; a real boon for tourism. But Indonesia is an incredibly diverse archipelago, with no less than 17,000 islands, each with their own identity. So next time you head home, be sure to make a stop off at one or more.

Here we offer you a nifty little overview of this expansive and beautiful country, giving you an insight into the popular travel hotspots, and revealing one or two incredibly valuable travel tips (it’s our speciality in case you didn’t know).This is an adventure that’s affordable and increasingly accessible – although half the fun is travelling in tiny, fragile planes, rusty boats and back-firing buses. It’s worth noting that if you only have a few days or even a couple of weeks, you’ll have a better time if you restrict yourself to exploring a small area; don’t try to island hop over 3,000km to see your top 10 sights. It’ll be a nightmare! 

Itinerary ideas

IN 2-3 DAYS If you have limited time, it’s admittedly best to head straight to Bali, which most tourists do. Hotels are a dime a dozen, from five-star luxury outfits to budget $2-a-night rooms without a fan or fly screen (goodbye sleep). Spend your time surfing the reef breaks, feasting on cheap seafood, sampling the unique nightlife, shopping ‘til you drop and exploring mystical Hindu temples.

IN A WEEK With a week up your sleeve, there is a bit more time for you to get to know Bali a little better. Explore the Bukit peninsula and head into the misty mountains at Ubud. In your last few days, catch a ferry across to Nusa Lembongan or Lombok, or consider flying to the island of Sumbawa. These places are slightly off the radar, offering a more traditional experience and an insight into the simpler Indonesia, away from the neon tourist districts of Bali.

IN TWO WEEKS+ After exploring Bali and stopping in at Lombok or Sumbawa, head west to the islands of Java or Sumatra. Java has the capital, Jakarta, along with the peaceful mountain hideaway of Yogjakarta. Meanwhile, Sumatra is home to verdant rainforests chocka with bird life and orang-utans. Alternatively, head east from Bali and explore the oft-overlooked islands of Roti and Timor.

Only a flying visit? Click 'NEXT'  to find out what to do on a stopover in Bali... 


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