Image: Shutterstock

Experience a stunning year at five of Indonesia’s spectacular priority destinations namely Lake Toba, Borobudur, Mandalika, Labuan Bajo and Likupang.

These destinations were announced by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy of Indonesia in November last year to promote other areas of tourism in the country.

Speaking with The Bruneian during the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) held at the BRIDEX International Conference Centre recently, Director of Tourism, Human Resource and Inter-institutional Relationship, Wisnu Bawa Tarunajaya said the destinations were chosen for their scenic views, crystal clear underwater life, pristine beaches and historical sites.

“Bali has always been a top destination chosen by tourists and travelers alike. But we’d like for everyone to visit other parts of Indonesia, hence why we have prioritised these destinations.”

“Each destination has its own unique pulls and cultures ready to welcome and mesmerize tourists,” he added.

The breath-taking view of Lake Toba, Sumatra. Image: Shutterstock

Lake Toba
Located in the middle of the northern part of Sumatra, the large natural lake is over 1,145 square km with a depth of 450 meters and occupies the caldera of a supervolcano.

One of the best ways to explore and enjoy the gorgeous lake is by kayaking.

Visitors can also go camping or even glamping around the Lake Toba attractions with natural wonderland with modern touches.

Apart from the pristine and relaxing scenery, visitors can immerse in the beauty of two traditional Batak villages namely Tomok and Simanindo showcasing authentic Indonesian culture.

Those interested in its history can check out the fascinating museum by the lake: the Batak Museum and the Silalahi Centre dedicated to the preservation of the cultural values of the indigenous ethnic population of North Sumatra: the Bataks.

Don’t forget to have a taste of Lake Toba’s Arabica coffee beans called the Sumatra Mandheling.

The mesmerising Borobudur in Jogjakarta, Indonesia. Image: Shutterstock

Borobudur
The magnificent ancient Borobudur temple is one of the greatest cultural icons of Southeast Asia comprising of a wide structure topped by three engraved circular platforms with more than 2000 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues.

Watch as the temple bathes in the golden rays of the sun during the sunrise or if you’re a late riser, pay a visit during sunset.

After the Borobudur, go around the beaches, caves and reservoirs surrounding the temple and learn the ancient history of the Sailendra dynasty that built the temple.

Mandalika located in Lombok, Nusa Tenggara Barat. Image: Shutterstock

Mandalika
Right in the heart of Lombok, Mandalika is the ultimate paradise with a wide stretch of beautiful white sandy beach facing the crystal-clear Indian ocean.

Home for island-life relaxation and leisure with vibrant and luxurious feels, it equals to its neighbouring island, Bali, but with its own unique attractions.

One of the best things to check out at Mandalika, according to Indonesia Tourism is the beaches including Mandalika Beach, Tanjung Aan, Kuta, Gerupuk, Serenting and Seger Beach.

For the best bird’s eye view of Lombok, visit the Merese Hill and Batu Payung Beach.

Relax in the day or night by going to the various luxurious spas or have a fun-filled day snorkeling and fishing around the area.

The iconic landmark of Labuan Bajo located at the western end of the large island of Flores in the Nusa Tenggara region of East Indonesia. Image: Sghutterstock

Labuan Bajo
Albeit being popularly known for the Komodo Island, Labuan Bajo has much more to offer.

Visitors can explore the famous Padar island, a piece of Heaven on earth as you’ll be spoiled with the amazing landscapes consisting of hills and virgin beaches.

The shining gem of the Island of Flores also offers island hopping activities from Padar Island to Kelor Island and Gili Laba.

Learn about the local culture in the exotic village of Wae Rebo, the deep megalithic history of Bena Traditional village or check out the magnificent rice field at Cangar Village.

With a gorgeous pink beach to the magical Kelimutu Lake and the hidden Rangko Cave, Labuan Bajo is not to be missed!

The green waters of Likupang. Image: Shutterstock

Likupang
Another stunning location is located just 48km away from Manado, the northern-most part of Sulawesi.

Here, visitors are recommended to island-hop all around Likupang as its filled with many beautiful beaches and crystal-clear blue waters with relaxing vibes and nature, making it a great place to rejuvenate.

For a panoramic view of the waters, take a trip to Pulisan hill also known as Pulisan beach.

Those feeling adventurous can visit the Lihaga or Gangga islands to enjoy snorkeling and aquatic life.

Better yet, come see mangrove forests, colourful fishes and untouched corals at a fisherman village in the western part of Likupang: the Bahoi Village Ecotourism.

The Director of Tourism, Human Resource and Inter-institutional Relationship said the chosen locations are hoped to cater to every tourist and travelers needs.

According to Indonesia’s statistics bureau, more than 17, 200 Bruneians visited Indonesia in 2018.

“There’s a consistent number of Bruneians frequenting Indonesia specifically Bali for a holiday. It is hoped that they will explore the five priority destinations next.”

“We welcome everyone to visit Indonesia, explore its beautiful sights and immerse in the wonderful culture,” said Wisnu.

The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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