When I took up the decision to begin working on my business full time I knew I needed to go somewhere I could travel around on a budget to hold me over as I got everything in place. I knew I wanted to do some traveling around South East Asia not only because it was a cheap destination great for budget travel but a well known region where I could meet plenty of backpackers and digital nomads along the way. I pulled up a map like this one below to choose the best place to start.
I am the type of traveler who personally likes to travel by land and because besides the Philippines; Indonesia was disconnected from the mainland of the rest of South East Asia I figured I should start there and get it over with since I was going to have to take a flight regardless at some point in time. I have nothing against flying, I actually love skydiving. However none the less, traveling by land gives you a more in depth experience when you travel. Not much is going on up in the sky if you think about it. Early December there I was on a flight from Los Angeles to Bali to begin my new lifestyle not knowing where I was going to even start in Bali with in minutes of landing I opened up my Lonely Planet guide book looked at the map and kind of intuitively chose Kuta as my first destination on my list.
Kuta seemed like one of the closest destinations to the Denpensar Airport and according to Lonely Planet, it was worth a stop and who does not trust LP? Coming from the western world culture shock hit me like a storm. Indonesia was the first time I was going to be traveling around a country for a long period of time where no one spoke English so you can imagine this was going to be a tough travel experience. By the way did I mention I had cooked up this crazy idea to WALK the country throughout my stay on foot with my two backpacks on during the dry period in Indonesia? You can check out more of the story in my new eBook HERE but for now I just want to focus on where the adventure are in Indonesia. Kuta was honestly one of my least favorite around Indonesia. Very filthy, overcrowded with tourist and a bit dodgy I would say. If your looking to party or surf it be a great place to stop by but adventure wise besides exploring around a bit I would not say there is much to do here until you head down to the South of Bali. I got to meet these awesome people though.
(South Bali) Uluwatu Beach
For starters, if this is your first time driving around a foreign country on a motor bike I would NOT recommend it in Kuta! Not to scare you but the driving around Indonesia is PRETTY CRAZY like seriously I thought LA had a problem until I paid here a visit. Many backpackers I meet here in Asia who all went driving on motor bikes for the first time all have gotten into pretty bad accidents including myself which was not as bad as others which I am really grateful for. Luckily I had my friends above to drive me! Uluwatu is a small beach that is tucked away on the coast. There are two things that make this worth a adventure stop. The first would be to see the crazy monkeys of Bali. They are really mean so try not to mess around with them or stare them directly in the eye. Still its worth a stop to see them in their environment. The next would be the rocks you can climb to do some cliff jumping which is pretty fun! The scenic drive over from Kuta is pretty nice not to mention.
Padang Padang Beach
I would recommend here a stop to see a wonderful sunset. You can do a hike to a top of the hill from the beach. Not only that but if your lucky you might be able to witness a Balinese wedding hands on which is a great culture experience. Great for surfing as well!
Jimbaran/ Nusa Dua
The journey here was interesting in itself. Everyday I was walking and camping somewhere I would not be disturbed. The first day I ended up at some swamp near the airport and the next day on Jimbaran Beach! After the long distance walking I ended up getting rid of many things before arriving in the town of Jimbaran. Jimbaran is just a small town and not worth much of a stop unless you need to sort out any visa issues. If you do stay however I would recommend to stay at the best accommodation in town, Palmas Bed & Breakfast you can book cheap accommodation. Nusa Dua is not really a backpackers haven but more for families traveling filled with nothing but resorts along the coast. The only adventure you will find here is the same you will find at any beach.
The Gili Islands are a group of 3 islands right off the coast of Lombok, Indonesia. If your looking for adventure this is the place to be! For starters, you ride in boats like the one above where the ride over could be absolutely horrendous yet adventurous in themselves. You have between Gili Air, Gili Meno and Gili Trawangang also known as Gili T to choose from. Gili Air is great if your looking for something more quiet and relaxed. Still you can explore around the island and do water activities like subwinging, you can check out on my blog about Subwinging here . Gili Air is good for the super young 18 through 40 years young around. I did not visit Gili Meno but I do know it’s aimed more for newly weds and even more quiet than Gili Air, so not your ideal spot for a solo traveler. Gili T on the other hand is a party backpackers island. You can pretty much find the same activities on all three islands but Gili T brings in the most crowds and is thus more active. I actually spent new years here last year!
After the Gili Islands I decided to head back to Bali on my way up to Ubud. Ubud is known for it’s gorgeous rice fields like these above. It is actually also a good hub spot for digital nomads due to the cafes and co working spaces you can find in the town. I was not in Ubud very long but you will have no problem finding tour companies in the main center to find many adventures from cycling around the countryside to canyoning activities around Ubud.
Mt. Ijen & Mt. Bromo
Next your going to want to leave Bali and head over to Java. There are two places I would recommend any adventure seeker to see if your headed over to Java. The first would be Mt. Ijen. Mt. Ijen is a active volcano in Indonesia but is most known for it’s special unique blue flames that you can only see at night. The gates actually open at 1 am and if you arrive after sunrise you will miss the flames.The hike itself is nice and you be surprised how many people are there everyday to see it. The next stop would be Mt. Bromo, another active volcano but amazing place to visit none the less. Camping at Bromo at one of the viewpoints is a great idea I like to share to begin with. There are hikes you can do around Bromo but the highlight would obviously have to be climbing the volcano yourself and staring down into the crater that can blow at any moment!
Yogjakarta by Train
This is the only time I remember taking a train in Indonesia but I have to say the ride over was scenic and wonderful. There is something I just love about train rides in general that are just adventurous and intriguing. Although Bromo left me with a bad case of food poisoning I was able to explore the town but not so much capable on going on any adventures before I left to Jakarta next for a few days.
After I arrived in Jakarta for a few days I ended my trip in Indonesia and continued on to Singapore . Jakarta was just a city so not much a WOW on the adventure scale but my journey through Indonesia I noticed the adventures did not come from the tours but the experience itself WALKING THE COUNTRY. Camping out in the middle of nowhere at times, passing through rural communities in the mountains and villages I came across and getting lost and finding my way back countless times is where the adventure was. Each day came with new places and new steps. New steps attracted new lessons and new lessons manifested new experiences. I learned how to overcome language barriers. Have you ever dealt with the frustration of it and want to know a fun way to overcome it? I also learned more helpful tips I knew I could share as a solo traveler and that is EXACTLY WHAT I DID IN MY NEW EBOOK,”Adventure Travel In a Backpack” I actually had the idea of creating a eBook to help other travelers or people who want to travel since early 2016 but did not execute it into action until this journey on foot. I am so happy to share all this knowledge with you and would like to offer you the first 3 chapters for free once you subscribe! If your ready to buy simply just head over to the store HERE Thanks for reading! Happy and safe travels! – The Archatek.