Photo by CC user Michael Gunther on Wikimedia Commons
Love what you have found in Indonesia so far, but looking for some off-the-beaten-track destinations to escape the tourists? Below, we will describe some alternative spots to travel to in this very diverse country.
Samarinda, East Kalimantan
Photo by CC user Hidayat008 on Wikimedia Commons
Located on the island of Borneo, Samarinda is the largely unknown capital of East Kalimantan. Known mostly for coal mines and the palm oil plantations that lie in the countryside just outside the city, Samarinda does have a few attractions of note.
The first of these is the massive Masjid Islamic Center Samarinda, which dominates the skyline of the city from the river.
While it is not clear whether tours are available or not, those that dress respectfully and ask a local may find it easy to tour its expansive campus outside of prayer times.
Additionally, the markets in this city are lively given the amount of tropical fruit that is available from the surrounding farmland, and there are tons of modern malls available to help you stock up on supplies before heading into the Borneo wilderness on a trek.
A place like Samarinda isn’t on the main tourist grid, which makes planning accommodations ahead of time a smart plan. Through traveloka.com, one can book a comfortable hotel like Aston Samarinda to relax after a hectic day spent traveling on Indonesian Borneo’s rough roads.
Those seeking to see a part of Indonesia that has changed little even in modern times will want to check out the islands of the Alor archipelago.
While the going here is tough due to the lack of infrastructure present in other parts of the country, seasoned travelers will be rewarded with some of the best diving in the region, people that are untainted by mass tourism, and traditions that have endured the relentless march of 21st century modernism.
Traveling to the very fringes of Indonesia will take you to the province of Papua. Consisting of the western half of the island of New Guinea, this is a place where the indigenous people still hunt for their food with bows and arrows, and where a complete lack of roads means that much of your travel will be completed by plane and boat.
Their cultures retain much of their authenticity as a result of their isolation, making the expense of a journey here well worth the money you’ll shell out to get here.
Photo by CC user 124569475@N05 on Flickr
If you’d like to push your travels to the edges of Indonesia without having to venture into the jungles of Papua, Raja Ampat is a destination that will appeal greatly to you.
Representing one of the few true paradises left untainted by mass tourism in the world, this archipelago is populated by karst-like Islands that resemble mushrooms in shape, has beaches that are bleach white and cotton soft, and marine life that is among the most diverse of any tropical marine destination in the world.
Situated in the southern portion of Sulawesi, the burial caves of Londa have attracted a bit more attention in recent years thanks to the investigative reporting of leading travel blogs, but as far as off-the-beaten-track destinations go, this place is one of the best for culture hunters in Indonesia.
In this place, the local people have buried their dead in crypts built into the side of a cliff for generations.
Photographers will love this place, but be sure to ask permission before photographing anyone you find here.