As most of you know, I am always thinking of where I want to explore in this world next. Like, right now I’m in Jamaica, which is great, but I still wonder about so many other places and adventures.
Of course it’s me, so there have to be some requirements: warm weather, good food, beautiful scenery and decent beer. Excellent outdoor activities are also priorities. A ‘few’ years ago (read: 10 years ago), I was in Southeast Asia with the lovely Lindsay Manko, and we did a 6 month grand tour (3 days in Singapore, and then many months in Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia). Unfortunately, we missed Indonesia, the Philippines, and Myanmar. I’ve made it back to SEA and travelled to Myanmar, but I’m still itching for Indo.
With curiosity fuelling my Google searches, I checked out an Indonesian Travel Guide plus some hiking in Indonesia, like climbing Mount Bromo. But then I read a bit about places to visit in Pandeglang, a region in Western Java a couple of hours from Jakarta. And just like that, my list got even longer!
Reasons to Visit Indonesia?
I studied Asia in university. I literally have a university degree called “Pacific and Asian Studies”. It’s right up there with philosophy and art history in terms of real world utility, but far more interesting (in my opinion, of course). Indonesia has literally hundreds of islands, cultures, languages, and religious sects, so must do Indonesian travel experiences are many. There is world class scuba diving, trekking, and beach laying opportunities and I have heard such great things about Bali, Yogyakarta, and the Gili Islands. There are so many places to visit in Indonesia it is almost overwhelming!
Plus… food? Yes please! Indonesia has long been the crossroads of Asia. In the days before airplanes, ships would go through the archipelago on their way from China back to Europe and India. Of course this means all kinds of things for global trade blah blah blah, but for my purposes it means that humans were moving through the islands like mad, swapping food as they went. This makes Indonesian food a true mosaic of flavours and culinary delights! And nasi goreng is just the beginning! My friend Alifa loves gado gado, an eggplant dish that she says is pretty great, and Alifa has excellent taste!
Finally, I have no desire to climb Everest, but climbing Kalimantan, the highest peak in Southeast Asia has tempted me for years. See, I’m all about the achievable successes, with some adrenaline, but not true life risking behaviours. All of these things to do in Indonesia, I knew about. But learning about Pandeglang, Indonesia just got even more tempting!
Best Activities in Pandeglang Indonesia
Climb Mount Karang
Everyone knows I dig a good volcano, and Mount Karang is the second highest peak in the area. You can hike this classic cone in a day, with 4 hours up and then a descent via the same trail. There is a mosque on top, which sounds like an engineering marvel, and the trail takes you through farmlands, so the chance of bumping into local farmers and friendly kids is all but guaranteed.
Hike Mount Pulosari
As a warm-up for Karang, I would try hiking Mount Pulosari. It’s easier and shorter, plus there is the Curug Putri Waterfall along the way for a quick dip! This waterfall is one of the top sights in the area, and who doesn’t love a natural bath after a hike? The one drawback to Pulosari?… Apparently there are monkeys. We all know how I feel about monkeys. Never trust an animal with opposable thumbs.
An Escape to Liwungan Island
A true off the beaten path spot in Indonesia, Liwungan Island is a quick 35 minute boat ride from the Tanjung Lesung Coast. This small, practically uninhabited island boasts amazing beaches, pristine marine life and views of the Krakatau Volcano and the ‘Child of Krakatau’, two volcanoes sticking out of the Sunda Straight between Bali and Java.
Coconut Island Carita Water Park Beach Resort
The Coconut Island Water Park is a brand water new park that newly opened right on a gorgeous stretch of Carita Beach. How do you not dig a place where you can stay in bamboo style bungalows, watch the sun go down over the Sunda Straight in the evening and ride a bunch of waterslides all day long? That hotel booking goes a long way! The last time most of you have been on a waterslide, you were probably years younger and pounds lighter, I know. But after a trip to the Cultus Lake waterslides a few years ago with Morgan, Kyle, and Glynis (before her first pregnancy), I’m back hooked on waterslides for all ages!
Hit up Carita Beach
This beach seems like it has really been cleaned up in the last few years. I do love a good beach to lay on, but even more I’m intrigued by what is going on under the water. Carita Beach has scuba diving and snorkelling spots, and since the reefs in Indonesia are renowned, I would give it a shot in a heartbeat!
Climb and Dive Krakatau Volcano
Speaking of diving, there are some amazing sites out further in the Sunda Straight around Krakatau. Diving in such a volcanic environment, the geography of the dives look like floating through a volcano itself with towering pinnacles and swim throughs. If you take a day trip to dive the Krakatau Volcano, you will also get the chance to actually climb the volcano. Not everybody can say they have explored a volcano from both below and above in one day!
Get off the Beaten Path in Indonesia
I love to explore new places away from the typical tourist trail, it’s led me to some great nooks of the world, and some rather shady taxi rides. When planning my trip to Indonesia, dream status that it is right now, I had never even known about Pandeglang. I know Bali, I know the Gili Islands. But I never knew about so many cool things to do within 3 hours of Jakarta!
Maybe a trip to Indonesia is in order to complete the rest of my South East Asia map…
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