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Things to Do in Indonesia - page 4

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Gitgit Waterfalls (Air Terjun Gitgit)
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64 Tours and Activities

Gitgit Waterfall is not only one of the most well-known attractions in Bali, but is also considered to be the most beautiful waterfall on the island. Those who want to visit Gitgit on their journey through Bali, will also find the cascade to be easily accessible. Just off the road between Singaraja and Denpasar, a narrow hiking path disappears into the forest, leading past a small ticket booth, rice fields, clove trees, coffee shrubs and a couple stalls selling drinks, sarongs and souvenirs. From carvings and crafts to t-shirts and postcards, everything a tourist’s heart may or may not desire is available.

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Mendut Temple (Candi Mendut)
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57 Tours and Activities

The eldest of three Buddhist temples situated in Central Java, around 40 kilometers from central Yogyakarta, Mendut Temple was thought to be built in the early part of the ninth century by King Indra of the Sailendra Dynasty. Mendut Temple stands at almost 37 meters tall, with the main structure set on a platform that also serves as a walkway. Stairs adorned with sculptured panels lead to the door of the temple, which features a corbelled roof and reaches as high as the roof of the main structure itself.

It’s fair to say that the star attraction of Mendut lies inside the temple, in the form of three intricately-carved stone statues. The main statue within the temple’s chamber depicts the Buddha facing west with hands in the ‘Dharmacakra mudrā’ position, also known as ‘the turning of the Dharma Wheel.’ On either side of this huge central statue sit two Bodhisattvas.

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Lovina
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39 Tours and Activities

Where Kuta is busy, fast-paced and even a bit raucous at times, Lovina, located on the northern side of the island, is quiet, laid back and low-key. Resorts scattered along this 7.5-mile (12-kilometer) stretch of coast tend to cater to families and couples, and everything from the waves on the beach to the nightlife tend to be calmer than their counterparts to the South.

The town itself is actually a string of seven coastal villages, with the largest concentration of restaurants and shops in Kalibukuk. Travelers don’t come here for the towns, however. They come here -- like in much of Bali -- for the beaches. Unlike the southern coast, the beaches of the northern coast have black sand and tranquil waters safe for swimming.

If you’re interested in doing some dolphin watching while in Bali, these trips often depart from Lovina. You’ll also find diving, snorkeling and a few inexpensive and reputable spas.

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Pawon Temple (Candi Pawon)
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42 Tours and Activities

Pawon Temple is a Buddhist temple situated at the midway point between the Borobudur and Mendut temples, approximately 40 kilometers from the city of Yogyakarta. It features a square-shaped, tiered roof adorned with small stupas and ratnas, which is hidden among the houses that surround it.

This slender temple structure sits on a rectangular platform and features a chamber inside with vents. Architecturally, Pawon Temple is similar to the temples Borobudur and Mendut, with its mix of classic Javanese Hindu and Indian art symbols. Notably, there are reliefs of the Kalpataru tree (the tree of life), as well as of mythical birds and human figures, on the temple’s outer walls.

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More Things to Do in Indonesia

Jomblang Cave (Goa Jomblang)

Jomblang Cave (Goa Jomblang)

38 Tours and Activities

This unique cave was caused by a geological shift that created a massive sinkhole that stretches some 300 vertical feet below the surface. Travelers who wish to explore the rocky crags and impressive natural light shows this destination is famous for must navigate a well-worn path using a single rope line, which may prove challenging for some. Not for the faint of heart, visitors must wear coveralls, boots, a helmet and headlamp on their journey into Jomblang.

While vegetation above ground is mostly barren and dotted with hardwood trees, adventurers will find lush green landscapes and fertile fields visible from one of the cave’s most popular vantage points, which makes this trip a truly memorable experience. Those in the know recommend hiring an expert guide since the descent can be rather technical, and local operators will also be able to point out rock, crystal and fauna to interested travelers.

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Komodo National Park (Taman Nasional Komodo)

Komodo National Park (Taman Nasional Komodo)

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Komodo National Park, located in the middle of the Indonesian archipelago, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986 due to its biodiversity and most famous inhabitants, the Komodo dragon. The world’s largest lizard -- sometimes reaching more than 9 feet (3 meters) in length -- are found only on these beautiful and desolate volcanic islands of Komodo, Rinca and Padar.

No matter which of the three islands in the park you visit, you’re almost guaranteed to see a dragon or two, but you might also spot Timor deer, water buffalo, wild boar, Rinca rats, wild horses, fruit bats or long-tailed macaque monkeys. The islands also represent one of the riches marine environments in Indonesia, and the diving opportunities on the reef just off the coast are top notch. Outdoor enthusiasts will find hiking trails (though you’ll need a guide) and smaller islands only accessible by kayak.

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USS Liberty Wreck (USAT Liberty)

USS Liberty Wreck (USAT Liberty)

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21 Tours and Activities
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Kemenuh Butterfly Park

Kemenuh Butterfly Park

25 Tours and Activities
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Bogor Botanical Gardens (Kebun Raya Bogor)

Bogor Botanical Gardens (Kebun Raya Bogor)

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Situated about 35 miles (60 kilometers) south of Jakarta at the foothills of Mount Salak, the 215-acre Bogor Botanical Gardens provide a natural haven right in the center of the bustling city of Bogor. Officially opened in 1817, these are the oldest botanical gardens in Southeast Asia, having thrived over the years under the leadership of a number of renowned botanists and serving as a major center for botanical research.

A scenic place to visit, the gardens feature streams and ponds interspersed along meandering avenues and pristine landscaped lawns. The gardens are also fronted by the regal Bogor Presidential Palace, with the mighty Mount Salak as the backdrop, which only adds to the aesthetic appeal.

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