In 2-3 days


First time travellers to Indonesia usually head for Bali, which offers all the thrills of an Asian destination and is well set up for tourists. Hotels are a dime a dozen, from five-star luxury outfits to budget £2-a-night rooms without a fan or fly screen. Spend your time surfing the reef breaks, feasting on cheap seafood, sampling the unique nightlife, shopping till you drop and exploring mystical Hindu temples.


In a week

With a week up your sleeve, there is time 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 off the tourist 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 chock-full of birdlife and orang-utans.

Alternatively, head east from Bali and explore the oft-overlooked islands of Roti and Timor.