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Things to Do in Indonesia - page 5

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Kawah Putih (White Crater)
14 Tours and Activities

Kawah Putih (or White Crater in English) is a natural phenomenon situated near the market town of Ciwidey, 50 kilometers south of the city of Bandung. This unique lake crater is one of two created by the dormant volcano, Mount Patuha.

Kawah Putih has a striking, almost surreal, appearance to it; the lake transforms from a bright white to a light green or turquoise color, depending on the amount of sunlight present, while the soil surrounding it is completely drained of color due to the water’s high sulfur content. In addition, on cloudy days, the entire crater can often be found shrouded in a cloak of mist. The altitude here (around 2500 meters) brings with it low temperatures of around 10 degrees Celsius, making it a pleasant respite from the heat and humidity of the cities from which most visitors travel.

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Amed
10 Tours and Activities

Amed Beach is a 14-kilometer long stretch of coast in East Bali incorporating several fishing villages. It has been on the radar of keen divers for a while due to the vast coral reefs, which are following the coast line closely. Just a few meters away from the shore, hundreds of colorful fish meander gracefully over dazzling corals, some of which can be admired only two meters below the water surface. Further out, divers can enjoy big reef formations and coral gardens teeming with marine life, such as sea turtles, reef tip sharks, rays and a variety of vibrant tropical fish. Amed Beach is also a popular base for visitors learning the extreme sport freediving or wanting to dive to the Liberty, a US cargo ship wreck in Tulamben.

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Batu Cermin Cave (Mirror Rock)
10 Tours and Activities

Located on a rock formation just east of central Labuan Bajo, Batu Cermin Cave (Mirror Rock) gets its name from an impressive natural display that takes place inside. The tunnel-like cave carved into the dark stone of the island has a hole at the top, and for about an hour each day, the sun shines through the hole and reflects off the slick, mirror-like rock surfaces within.

Even when the light isn’t shining, visitors to Batu Cermin Cave can observe bats fluttering around inside, take in the panoramic views of the surrounding island or walk through the surroundings forests, where it’s possible to spot long-tailed monkeys and wild boars. You can hire flashlights from the rangers at the cave entrance, but they’re not always in the best condition, so consider bringing your own.

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Anika Spa
10 Tours and Activities

Anika Spa in Kuta is the place to go to relax and unwind. Offering everything from volcanic body scrubs to chocolate massages, and every health and beauty treatment in between, the Anika Spa is a one-stop shop for pampering and well-being when visiting this part of Bali. Said to be inspired by Bali’s natural environment, Anika Spa aims to revive, energize, refresh, and pamper within their luxury treatment rooms, outdoor plunge pool, and expertly manicured gardens.

Specific treatments on offer at the spa include hair and beauty treatments, hand and foot treatments, body scrubs, facials, treatments for sunburnt skin, plus seaweed and volcanic treatments. The spa also offers full body massages that combine aromatherapy oils with the acupressure and stretching techniques associated with the Balinese style of massage.

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Sukuh Temple (Candi Sukuh)
10 Tours and Activities

Built in the 15th century, this ancient temple sits atop the rolling hills of Gunung Lawu, some 900 meters above the Solo plain. It’s a destination for travelers looking to venture into an unfamiliar world where mysterious fertility cults once practiced sacred rituals and ornate carvings and life-like statues prove unlike those in Java’s more traditional Hindu and Buddhist temples.

Visitors will find three statues of turtles upon entering Sukuh, as well as a giant phallus that reiterates the temple’s focus on birth and sexuality. The ground’s central pyramid is the tallest of the three located on site. While typical Hindu gods, like Ganesha, are stationed around the site, relief work, carvings and statues at Sukuh more often depict intercourse and genitalia, making it a truly unique stop on a tour of typically more conservative temples.

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More Things to Do in Indonesia

Borobudur

Borobudur

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5 Tours and Activities

Visitors will be consumed by the sheer scale of Borobudur, an 8th-century temple that’s recognized not only as a UNESCO World Heritage site, but also the largest Buddhist structure on earth. Towering stone stupas stretch into the skies and a breathtaking natural backdrop of volcanoes and lush landscapes lends an even more impressive air to this already memorable site.

Borobudur consists of six square platforms decorated with more than 2,500 relief panels and some 500 Buddha statues, making it one of the most decorated temples on earth. Visitors can hire a guide to explain the life-like graphics that cover the walls of Borobudur, which locals say tell the stories of achieving Nirvana, karma laws, the birth of Buddah and other essential Buddhist teachings. Two museums are also located on the park grounds and admission is included in the price of a temple ticket.

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Bedugul

Bedugul

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4 Tours and Activities
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Denpasar

Denpasar

5 Tours and Activities

Denpasar, Bali’s biggest city and home of the major airport, tends to see visitors depart for other locations on the island almost as soon as they arrive. It may not appear to have much to offer a tourist to the island, but take a closer look, and you’ll find a multicultural city brimming with excellent restaurants, shopping, temples and friendly residents.

Nearly 800,000 locals call Denpasar home, and while sprawling city doesn’t look it, it’s quite pedestrian friendly in the most interesting central area. The city’s temples and museums offer an off-the-tourist-path way to get to know the Balinese culture a little better.

The Bali Museum, located just off Puputan Square, contains four pavilions, each dedicated to a different aspect of Balinese history and culture. Nearby Jagatnata Temple is one of the few without any entrance restrictions for non-Hindus, so you’re free to enter and see the white coral shrine within.

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Singaraja

Singaraja

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3 Tours and Activities
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Klungkung (Semarapura)

Klungkung (Semarapura)

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Mt. Merapi (Gunung Merapi)

Mt. Merapi (Gunung Merapi)

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With a name that means 'mountain of fire,' it’s no surprise that Mount Merapi is Indonesia’s most active volcano. Its treacherous peaks, impossible views and steeply graded trails have made it a destination for travelers looking to explore the outdoors and taste some high-altitude adventure.

While climbing with a guide isn’t required, experts say it’s highly recommended. Trail markings can be difficult to see, particularly in early and late hours, making navigation particularly difficult. Several shelters exist along the path for hikers who need to wait out storms or take lunch in the shade. The most popular time to start climbing is 1 a.m., since the 5:30 a.m. view of sunrise from the mountain’s peak is said to be spectacular.

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