Over three months of my Indonesia trip I keep this travel diary and would like to give you valuable tips for a great time on Bali, Lombok & Co. about the preparation of your Indonesia trip, tricks to save money to the most attractive sights of Indonesia with the hand.
It should be said that of course I can not be everywhere in Indonesia. So if you have any additional tips & tricks or breathtaking experiences on your trip to Indonesia, feel free to share them in the comments. Info about my plastic waste CleanUps in Indonesia you can get from in the parallel CleanUp diary in Indonesia.
Here is still a brief table of contents of the article 🙂
- Indonesia trip preparation
Vaccinations for Indonesia
Finance and save money in Indonesia
Language in Indonesia
Mobility in Indonesia
Packing List for Indonesia
- My experiences
Rice terraces in Tagalalang
Hindu temple Pura Tanah Lot
Co-Working Space Hubud
Gili Trawangan (Gili Islands Lombok)
Mount Rinjani (volcano)
Tanjung Ann Beach
The Nusa Islands
Snorkeling at Nusa Ceningan
Trash Walk Ubud
Danau Buyan Lake
Aling Aling Waterfall
Batu Bolong Beach
Preparation of the Indonesia trip - visa, vaccinations, packing list & Co.
Before your trip to Indonesia can begin, there are still some preparations to be done so that your trip to the breathtaking islands of Indonesia can begin smoothly. Last but not least, there are the visa, the vaccinations to be done beforehand and of course your flights. In the following I will give you my best tips for the preparation of your trip to Indonesia. But one thing in advance: If you really want to save money, do NOT book every single tour or transfer in advance and rather be a little more "risk-averse". Your wallet will thank you!
The visa for Indonesia is basically available in 4 different forms:
- Visa Free Entry (up to 30 days stay, free of charge, not renewable)
- Visa on Arrival (up to 30 days stay, 35 USD and renewable)
- Visit Visa (60 - 180 days, about 50 EUR, exit ticket required)
- Social Visa (same as Visit Visa, but a "sponsor letter" required).
Depending on what exactly you want to do in Indonesia, of course, a different visa comes into question for you. You can either apply online (e.g. at 1avisum.com/indonesia) or directly at the Indonesian Embassy in Berlin (located in Lehrter Straße near the main station). I applied for the visa at the embassy and everything went smoothly. All you need to apply for the visa is the following:
- Passport (must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the return date)
- 1 completed application for the Indonesia visa (available online or at the embassy)
- 2 colored passport photos
- Flight ticket/flight data in copy (outbound and return flights)
- 50€ fee for the visa
You can get a detailed report about the visa for Indonesia at here at my friends from IndojunkiesIf you need more detailed information, please contact us.
Vaccinations for Indonesia
Opinions differ on the subject of vaccinations for Indonesia. According to experts, the following vaccinations for Indonesia should be available 2 weeks before the start of the trip:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Typhoid fever (every three years)
I had myself vaccinated at the Institute for Tropical Medicine and International Health in Berlin (Augustenburger Pl. 1). There one is also honestly advised and does not have to worry so much about which vaccinations are really necessary for Indonesia (Bali etc.).
In consultation with the Tropical Institute, I decided against the following two vaccinations:
- Rabies: Danger from dog and monkey bites, but you have at least one day to go to the hospital.
- Japanese encephalitis: Vaccination very expensive, I prefer to invest in mosquito repellent
In the end, everyone must decide for themselves what to invest in vaccinations. With some caution against monkeys & dogs, as well as a good protection against mosquitoes (this mosquito spray and if required also this mosquito net), you can therefore save a little money on vaccinations. Often, the insurance companies also cover the vaccinations, of course, this is to be checked individually for each. I hope that I could give you a small overview for the necessary vaccinations for Indonesia.
Indonesia - Flights and Airport
In Bali, Denpasar is your destination airport. In Indonesia you can also fly from island to island for little money, but please choose the more environmentally friendly option and make the island transfer by boat if you want to "island hop". I flew from Berlin via Doha (Qatar) to Denpasar (Bali). In each case about 7 hours flight, in each case at night. Cost point for outward and return flight is about 700€. If I had booked a one-way, I would have paid close to twice as much. So always book round trip in one. If you want, you can keep your ticket flexible for a fee. From Germany you have to stop over once in any case. But this is really quite pleasant for the duration of the flight. You can check in your luggage in Germany and get it back in Denpasar. So no stress during the stopover. If you have further questions about the flights, just write me a comment below.
Finance and save money in Indonesia
Basically, Indonesia is very very cheap. But if you are recognized as a tourist, it can happen that you have to pay more than a local. If you know this in advance, you will have no problems with finances during your trip to Indonesia.
ATM/Card: Basically, you will find at least one ATM in every town where you can withdraw up to IDR 2,500,000 million (about €150). With a credit card you usually have the possibility to withdraw this amount 5 times in a row, so that you can get about IDR 12,500,000 million per day. It can happen that the ATM does not work. To be on the safe side, you should always have enough cash with you. With your bank card as well as with your credit card you can usually withdraw money everywhere. With your card you can almost certainly pay in modern accommodations. If you are going on a low-budget trip to Indonesia, then you should rely more on cash.
Scooters: Cost on all islands in Indonesia about 60,000 IDR (about 3€) per day for rent. A tank of gas costs about 1.80 (about 25,000 IDR). You realize, with the scooter you get the cheapest from A to B.
Food: In tourist regions, the food is of course a bit more expensive, but still cheap. Especially the Balinese food is very cheap. For a normal meal you can expect about 30 - 60 IDR (about 1.50 - 3.20 €).
Language in Indonesia
If you want a great and above all sustainable journey want to do, then it is also always nice to adapt to the culture and language of the country you are traveling to. With the language in Indonesia differ Indonesian (spoken almost everywhere in Indonesia) and Balinese (is the language of the Hindu population on Bali and Lombok).
It is always very good to know a few words of the local language. The following is a small overview of the most important words in Indonesian, as this is usually sufficient in Bali.
|Hello||Halo! / Shark!|
|Good morning||Selamat pagi!|
|Good day||Selamat sore!|
|Good evening / Good night||Selamat malam!|
|Bye||Dahh! / Mari! / Yuk ah!|
|Goodbye||Sampai jumpa! / Selamat tinggal!|
|Thank you||Terima kasih!|
|Cheers!||Tos! / Pros!|
|My name is ...||Nama saya ...|
|I come from Germany||Saya dari Jerman|
|I would like to have ...||Saya mau ...|
|Numbers please||Saya mau bayar|
|Toilet||Kamar kecil / WC|
|I do not speak Indonesian||Saya tidak bisa bahasa|
|I come from Germany||Saya dari Jerman|
Mobility in Indonesia
To get from A to B on Bali and other islands in Indonesia, I like to separate my tips according to whether you are traveling alone or with several people.
- When you travel alone... you should definitely rent a scooter, because for the distance from North Bali to the south you need about 5 hours. You can reach all destinations wonderfully by scooter. Besides, a taxi/driver for one person is a bit expensive and the scooter makes you so super-flexible and allows you to change places depending on your mood. Cost of the scooter: 60,000 IDR/day = about 4€. One full tank of gas (enough for about 50 km) costs 25,000 IDR = 1.80€. As you can see, driving a scooter is really cheap. Be sure to use the Google Maps offline maps so that you can easily find your way on the roads even without internet.
- If you're traveling with more than one person.... you can share either a scooter or the cost of a driver to the respective destination. Because divided by two or more people, the cost of a cab or a driver is very manageable. What is lost is, of course, the wonderful feeling of freedom to ride the scooter across the island 😉.
- From island to island... To get from island to island, you can travel very cheaply by boat. If you want to go faster, there is often a speedboat. You can easily book the ticket through your accommodation or ask other people. Everybody will help you. For comparison: A good price for a speedboat from Bangsal (Lombok) to Nusa Lembogan (Bali) is for example 500 IDR = about 32€.
- Basically: The scooter is the cheapest way to travel and fuel is available at every corner at very low prices. Often in small bottles at the roadside.
Travel Packing List Indonesia
There are a lot of things to think about when you travel to Indonesia. I just want to point you to my travel checklist This list will make sure that you don't forget anything before your departure. Of course, you can do without some of the things on the list, depending on your needs. Tip: Take sunscreen with you in any case, because in Indonesia you can quickly spend 10€ for sunscreen.
Experiences on my Indonesia trip
Of course, everyone has their own preferences and plans for their Indonesia trip. Depending on the duration of the stay, you often have to think about exactly what you want to experience so everything nice on Bali, Lombok and Co. Since I am in Indonesia for the purpose of my Beach CleanUps and this can be wonderfully combined with a trip to Indonesia, I make a three-month hybrid vacation out of it, so to speak. Work & Travel so to speak. I started in beautiful Ubud, about an hour north of Denpasar airport. From Ubud you can reach pretty much everything in Bali wonderfully. Whether by scooter or a driver. I personally use AirBnb because I think it is the most personal form of accommodation and at the same time I get directly in contact people on the spot and support them. If you feel like it, I give you here 30€ for your start with AirBnb. I stayed for a week with a very nice couple at Pangkung House Ubud. In front of the road you can also book very cheap day trips.
Following I would like to share with you something my Instagram profile along and introduce you bit by bit the beautiful things that I was able to experience during my trip to Indonesia. Note: On my Indonesia trip I have of course made many Nature & Beach CleanUps. You can find them in my separate Beach CleanUp Diary Indonesia. 🙂
Ascent of Batur Volcano (Bali)
For me already one of the highlights of my Indonesia trip. In my homestay I could book this tour directly. Cost 350,000 IDR = about 22€. The only downer of the volcano tour: getting up at 2 o'clock at night! Because if you want to see the sunrise, you have to get up at this inhuman time. At 2:30 a.m. I was picked up by a driver to collect more participants. On the drive to the north to the volcano Batur I could catch up on some sleep, but also already get to know my really cool fellow drivers.
Arrived in front of the volcano and equipped with flashlights, we went in about 2 hours in the darkness towards the top. Every day about 500 people from all over the world climb up here. Very touristy, but still worth every penny. You can perhaps already guess that from the picture.
Rice terraces and tea tasting in Tagalalang
The rice terraces in Tagalalang are only about 20 minutes drive from Ubud. As already mentioned under the point Mobility in Indonesia mentioned, it is always worthwhile for backpackers traveling alone to rent a scooter. Arrived at the unique rice terraces of Tagalalang, I was still invited to a small sample of the locally handmade tea. I can only recommend this. Please do not take advantage of this shamelessly and give' here also a little tip 😉
Then we went on to the trekking trail of the rice terraces. I have seen the first time rice terraces and find them really impressive. Of course, there are also a lot of tourists here. I recommend you in principle, your tours always very early to start to the Mass tourism something out of the way. Mind you, that you yourself of course also only Touri is 😉 At the rice terraces I was about for 4 hours and have again met great people. The entrance was free, only on a stopover of the trekking path was some tip required.
Tegenungan waterfall in the south of Ubud
At 8 o'clock in the morning it went for me with the motorcycle to the Tegenungan waterfall in the south of Ubud. with Google Maps offline maps at my side, it was no problem to find there in 30 minutes. Cost of admission: I mean it was 25,000 IDR = 1.60€ entrance fee. Affordable, as actually everything here on Bali or in Indonesia. On the few meters walk to the waterfall I discovered another smaller waterfall, to which I went a bit later, when the first tourists arrived at the waterfall around 9 o'clock.
In some areas you'll spot these stone figures. They have a religious and cultural background - They should protect hikers against trolls and mark the best way. Near the water, the stones are suggesting to take care. 1TP3Stonemen #stonefigures #stones #religion #culture #stone #stonefigure #stonefigures
Down by the waterfall you can also find many stone figures stacked on top of each other. These cairns have a religious origin and also serve as an indication of danger. This excursion of the Indonesia trip you really do not have to book. Grab your scooter and drive de scarce 30 minutes to the waterfall. It is worth it!
Hindu temple Pura Tanah Lot & sunset
This tour I have booked simply times in my homestay. The Hindu temple Tanha Lot is located in the south-west of Bali and is supposed to offer the most beautiful sunset of Bali. The temple was built directly on a rocky peak and can only be reached at low tide if you don't want to get wet. The temple was built by a Javanese Hindu priest who fled Islam to Bali and meditated on the small rocky island. He felt the energy of this place and built the Hindu temple.
To witness the perfect sunset in Bali, the sky should be clear, of course. Not always you have this luck. Nevertheless, it was a cool experience. Around 7pm, thousands of bats came out of the caves and provided us with a great natural spectacle. I still know this phenomenon from my Sri Lanka trip and therefore assume that this spectacle also happens here every day.
Bali Swing in the west of Ubud
Bali Swing a "swing park" created for tourists where you can take really cool photos. The atmosphere on site is great and the big swing gives you a little adrenaline rush. However, the cost is about 25€. For that you can spend the whole day there and get the best pancakes of Bali and free drinks for free. The approach from Ubud is relatively easy by motorcycle, just use the GoogleMaps offline maps again.
Green School in the west of Ubud
I will write a separate article about the Green School Bali. It is great what has been created here in the west of Ubud since 2007. This school should be a role model for all western schools, because children learn here from an early age how to live environmentally conscious and natural. Especially with regard to the fight against plastic waste in the environment, this school is the perfect long-term alternative. You can see that the students have fun and enjoy going to school.
The Green School raises its own animals and grows food. Every day, plastic waste is collected in the surrounding area. However, the school also deals with the normal subject matter that we are also familiar with. With the difference that the children in this bamboo village really have fun. If you like, you can book a tour and have a look at the Green School. The cost is 190,000 IDR = about 12€.
Co-Working Space Hubud in Ubud
Co-working spaces are not just for digital nomads! It's worth it for everyone to think outside the box at Hubud and see modern ways of working from completely different entrepreneurs. At Hubud, you can book in for the equivalent of about €50 a month and work on site every day. The co-working space is built out of bamboo wood and provides a very fast internet connection. I like this place, which is also made unique by the people you meet there. If you are looking for motivation and inspiration for your own project, stop by Ubud.
Gili Trawangan (Gili Islands Lombok)
The three Gili islands (Lombok) can be well thematically divided into party (Gili Trawangan), couples (Gili Meno) and switch off (Gili Air). For me, however, Gili T has everything connected, because here you can party, experience something and also switch off well. In about 35 minutes you can walk once around the whole island and choose the most beautiful corners. There are no scooters here. If at all, you can see an electric scooter from time to time. Otherwise, you can get around here well by carriage or bicycle. I liked that very much on Gili T. But here again I started a CleanUp, because the "party island" is of course already quite a bit of garbage on the beaches.
After a short period of acclimatization I did my diving course (Open Water) at UBER SCUBA on Gili Trawangan. The course went over three days and now I am allowed to dive almost everywhere in the world. I have seen manta rays, turtles, scorpion fish, an ostopus and many more great sea creatures. Snorkeling is already cool, but scuba diving opens you up to a new world and unique experiences.
Mount Rinjani (volcano on Lombok)
After I have now made this tour once alone, I would also come up without a guide. For the first time, however, you should definitely get a professional guide or just book the climb as a tour. I paid about 1.7 million IDR (= about 110€) for a 2-day tour with food and one night in a tent camp, 3 hours before the top of the volcano. This was the view from my tent after about 8 hours of climbing with many great people.
This is the beautiful view on the lake in rinjani volcano ? on Lombok. Every step you take to reach the top is worth it, when you get this view. #beautifulnature #beautifulnaturephotography #lake #rinjanilake #volcano #volcano #rinjani #3726 #nature #indonesia #indonesien #lombok #traveller #careelite
During the night we went up to the top of the Rinjani volcano in about 4 hours. The climb was really hard, but it was really worth it. Because we were exactly at 6 o'clock in the morning on the volcano and could see the unique lake in the crater at the onset of sunshine.
We finally made it ?to the?of Rinjani. At our second day of hiking we started at 01:30 a.m. and were on point at 06:00 a.m at the top, to enjoy the beauty of sunrise ? at Rinjani. ? it was icecold, but awesome. And I'm proud to finish that experience with our ????-Connection and many others I met while these days. All the best to you, hope to see you again sometime! #rinjani #vulcano #3726mdpl #lake #lombok #beautifulnature #cold #volcano #indonesia #adventure #limit #vulcans #3726
It was really super cold up there. Without jacket, gloves and long loose you really do not need to start there. On the top we were about 10 minutes, then we went back down. The descent is not as easy as you might imagine. But the motivation was breakfast at camp. I met great people and climbed the Rinjani volcano at 3726m. If you feel like doing this tour, you can also book it through an accommodation. Make sure you do it on the spot and not on the internet. There you can't bargain. Notice: With knee problems I would rather not start this tour, because the descent is quite a strain on the knee joints.
A visit to the beach of Kuta Lombok
With the scooter I drove around the whole island of Lombok and experienced a lot. It was also really cool on the beach of Kuta in the south of the island. The beach is cleaned every day and attracts many tourists to the south of Lombok. Here everything was still a bit cheaper, whether accommodation or cost of living. The only problem for me as a digital nomad: With every drop of rain, there was a power outage in the entire south. No electricity, no internet. Therefore, I had to move on again relatively promptly. Nevertheless, Kuta is a great place, with really nice people. Recommended is the beach "Tanjung Ann" about 15 minutes from Kuta.
Tanjung Ann Beach (Lombok)
If you are in Kuta Lombok anyway, you can also visit the beautiful Tanjung Ann beach. The beach is about 15 minutes away from Kuta by scooter. Unfortunately, the road there is anything but easy to drive on, but it works. Just drive carefully. As you can see in the picture, the sand is gorgeous white and the water is really nice and blue. Enjoy half a day with a cool coconut and take a cool picture at the swing overlooking the sea.
The islands of Nusa Lembongan / Ceningan / Penida
So for every nature fan the islands in the south of Bali are the absolute paradise. Here I had my most beautiful day in Indonesia so far. Nusa Lembongan has super beautiful beaches and here you can do diving and surfing courses. The people are, like everywhere on my Indonesia trip, unique and super nice. With the boat we went over to Nusa Penida, the largest of the islands. Here I can already give you four unique recommendations. Crystal Beach, Angels Billabong & Broken Beach, and Kelingking Beach. We booked a driver, who drove us for about 170 IDR per person, the whole day to the most beautiful corners on Nusa Penida. On the photo above you can see Angels Billabong, a naturally formed pool. Feel free to look at Google a few more photos, it is unique.
Crystal Beach (Nusa Penida)
Crystal Bay is unique. Here you can go snorkeling and see for sure some manta rays, but depending on how much time you have brought with you on the day, you should spend a maximum of 1-2 hours there. Because more great destinations await you on your Indonesia trip on Nusa Pendida.
Angel's Billagbong and Broken Beach
You can see the natural pool Angel's Billabong on the first photo above. In the pool you can take really nice photos. Like almost everywhere, the same applies here: The earlier you are there, the sooner you can enjoy this beautiful place alone and in peace. A few meters further you will find Broken Beach. You can see Broken Beach on the photo above. This is basically a naturally formed bridge to a beautiful beach. Unfortunately you can only look at it, because you have no chance to get down. Depending on how much time you have left in your luggage, you should plan about 2-3 hours for these two natural wonders.
Because with the Kelingking Beach one of the most beautiful destinations of Indonesia is waiting for you. For me, it was the highlight so far. The Kelingking Beach is located at the foot of a huge cliff, which you can climb, but it should avoid for safety reasons. We did it anyway, as did many others. It is very strenuous, but there is a relatively safe, quiet path leading down to the beach. The water blue, the sand white. Plus the steep, leafy cliffs. Kelingking Beach is a unique natural experience and definitely belongs on your list of destinations for your Indonesia trip.
Snorkeling at Nusa Ceningan
Nusa is not only unique on land. We treated ourselves to a snorkeling tour at Nusa Ceningan, with really great people. One of the three spots was Buddha Point, which you can see in the photo. Accompanying our boat were dolphins. With a little luck we could see manga rays at the other spots besides the fantastic corals. Unfortunately, luck was not on our side this time. The snorkeling trip is certainly worthwhile here but still!
Ubud Trash Walk
I was back in Ubud for a few days and there I participated 2 times in the Trash Walk of the Bambu Indah Hotel. Founder of the hotel is John Hardy, who also built the Bali Green School. The hotel is unique, but that's not the point. I think it is also a really cool travel experience for tourists and therefore currently still a real insider tip for Bali travelers. Every morning at 7 o'clock the CleanUp starts, you don't have to bring anything, just be there. With spears it goes through the jungle, hunting for garbage. John Hardy is a positively crazy guy and usually he is also present at this trash walk.
Danau Buyan Lake (North Bali)
On the way to Lovina, I passed the Danau Buyan Lake. A really beautiful sight that I enjoyed for an hour. The lake is huge and in the middle of the mountains, over which the only road in this area leads to the highest north of Bali. For anyone who goes to the far north of Bali anyway, I can recommend a side trip here!
The Aling Aling waterfall is for me the highlight of my Indonesia trip and in my opinion also the most beautiful waterfall on Bali. Here you can go swimming and cliff jumping. In this place you can also find other waterfalls, all just a few meters away from each other. And now I'll show you why the waterfalls here are the highlight of my Indonesia trip for me.
One thing in advance: you don't have to do that! 😀
I met at the waterfalls an older, at first seemingly crazy man. He asked me if I would like to slide down one of the waterfalls. A cliff jump costs me already overcoming, but I really thought that was crazy. As I had to grin a little bit, went on the waterfall and plunged headfirst on the stones into the depth. When he emerged at the bottom, he laughed his head off. And so did I. Not 2 minutes later but I also threw myself down the waterfall. Nothing happens except you have a unique experience and are overjoyed. Try it out!
Batu Bolong Beach Canggu
In Canggu I was a large part of my Bali trip, because I think it's just great there. One reason is the Batu Bolong Beach. Here you can surf, eat very well and also see a unique sunset. This was the last day of my Indonesia trip and I know I will be back here soon.
So that was it! Back to cold Germany!⛄
It was a great time in Indonesia! I am grateful for all my hosts, the support I got from all of you during the time, the people I met and the experiences I was able to gain! Feel free to write me with your own experiences during your Indonesia trip and also with questions, tips and suggestions!
PS.: In the CleanUp diary about Indonesia you can find all my Plastic Waste CleanUp Events in Indonesia.