2018 means a whole new year with more reasons to celebrate! More birthdays, anniversaries, destination weddings, honeymoons – and of course, so many more reasons to travel!
For Pakistanis, the top holiday destinations are almost always places like Dubai, Istanbul, Bangkok, Singapore, New York, and London.
While these hotspots are absolutely amazing, it’s time to visit someplace new.
Indonesia is seldom on the list and even when it is, Bali is often the only go-to spot for avid travelers.
With temperatures reaching 30°C in December, escape the winter this year! The world’s 4th most populous country with 260 million people and 18,000+ islands, Indonesia is the ideal destination for the shehr walai – city lovers, shopping walai – shopaholics and nature walai – outdoor enthusiasts!
Dubai’s shopping, Istanbul’s food, Maldives’ beaches, London’s culture and New York’s skyscrapers – they have it all. Whether you’re a lone traveler or a family man, here is why you need to go to Indonesia this winter!
Indonesia has the most delicious khana peena…
We all love Chinese Manchurian, Thai Curry, and New-York style pizza but few have tried Indonesia’s finger-linking dishes. Nasi goreng, mie goreng, satay, and Indonesian fried rice are some of the most popular dishes in this island country, home to the largest Muslim population in the world. So yes it is all halal. YUM!
… the most grandiose buildings.
As the most populous country after China, India and United States, Indonesia ranks 14th in the number of buildings constructed over 150m. Skyscrapers are most commonly found in the nation’s capital – Jakarta. Another city of lights!
City Center, Jakarta
You can shop your heart out…
Bags, Shoes, Make Up! Indonesia is home to some of the largest malls in the world – Yes Dubai jaisai! Pacific Place, Taman Anggrek Mall, Grand Indonesia, Pondok Indah Mall, Plaza Senayan and the list goes on. For example, the Orchid Garden Mall (Mal Taman Anggrek) offers more than 500+ stores, 4,000+ car parking spots and 20+ activities, such as ice skating rinks and swimming pools, across 7 floors.
Indonesian malls also offer a wide variety of brands – inexpensive brands and high-end boutiques. Sastai sai sastai aur mehngay sai mehngay!
Taman Anggrek Mall, Western Jakarta
…and end the day at one of their many breathtaking hotels.
With beautiful resorts throughout the country, Indonesia offers tourists a wide variety of indoor and outdoor activities. One such resort is the famous Hotel Niagara, giving guests breathtaking views of Lake Toba, the world’s largest natural lake. This resort is built right next to the popular lake and around a crater of a super volcano – the size of Singapore!
Lake Toba, Sumatra
Tour active volcanoes and lakes…
Given its unique geographic position, Indonesia has 400+ volcanoes and lakes! While the majority of volcanoes are not active, the country still has the largest number of active volcanoes in the world. Slightly-active volcanos are popular tourist destinations. For example, the tri-colored crater lakes of Kelimutu are a local favorite. Each a different color – usually green, blue and black – locals have even named them! Tiwi Ata Mbupu (Lake of Old People), Tiwu Nua Muri Kooh Tai (Lake of Young Men and Maidens) and Tiwu Ata Polo (Lake of Evil Spirits, or Enchanted Lake).
Kelimutu, Flores Island
…and if you’re tired of sightseeing, go for some Yoga shoga.
The country has something to do for everyone! If you’re not too crazy about shopping or sightseeing, relax in one of the countless Yoga retreats in Indonesia. Ubud in Bali is often called the “Yoga capital of the world” with scenic open-air views of forests, rice terraces, and temples.
Oh, and don’t forget to visit the mosques in the world’s largest Muslim country!
It is no surprise that being the largest Muslim-majority country, Indonesia has some of the biggest mosques in Asia. Like Turkey, the mosques represent artistic representations of Islamic architecture. Mostly built in the 15th century, these masjids are rich in color, texture, scripture, and history. WOW!
The Great Mosque of Tuban, East Java
So yes there is a lot more to do in Indonesia than the Bali beach scene! If you don’t believe me, go there and share your thoughts and experiences.
Would you want to go to Indonesia?
cover image via: shershegoes.com