With permission and without using real names or faces, I’ve taken a page out of the Facebook of some very well-connected and well-traveled Indonesians and expats, most of them journalists.
Somebody asks –where should I go when I’m in Indonesia? What’s the coolest thing to see and do?
Responses include: train ride through Java with stops at Borobudur and Bromo. Sulawesi scores big. I’ve seen a lot of the snaps these cats brought back from that majestic island group shaped like a swastika. It’s far out, exotic stuff.
The road trip through Sulawesi makes perfect sense. It starts at Makasar, goes through Rantepao (the Toraja area), Poso and ends in Manado. And diving Bunaken in Sulawesi; the Komodo in East Nusa Tenggara; and Raja Ampat in West Papua. Like! Naturally Komodo and the Gilis are on the list.
Naturally Bali isn’t. Almost everyone hits it on their first trip to Indonesia.
And anyway Lombok (including the Gili islands) is the new Bali–a little more central to the offbeaten track –and you’d often pass through, anyway, on the way to Lombok.
Jakarta isn’t on the list either. But to get to Indonesia, chances are you’re going to fly through Jak, Bali or both.