Robert Schrader in Indonesia

30 Pictures That Will Make You Want to Visit Indonesia

I owe a great debt to the people of Indonesia. Their kindness, coupled with the beauty, expanse and diversity of their country, has made the past month one of the best of my life. I was anxious prior to arriving in Indonesia four weeks ago, but my experience has been a sublimely calming one.

And sublimely exhilarating. I navigated the hustle-bustle of a megacity, came face-to-face with wild orangutans in the jungle, explored the residence of an imperial sultan (then saw his city covered in ash), hiked into a volcano that spews blue fire, attended one of the world’s most elaborate funeral ceremonies and relaxed in what is perhaps the most isolated paradise in the world.

Whether you’re looking for places to visit, things to do or simply a few great reasons to travel to Indonesia, these captivating photos of my recent trip will make you want to board the next flight to Jakarta.

Need help planning your trip to Indonesia? Hire me as your Travel Coach!

Jakarta’s Urban Jungle

Conventional wisdom might advise you to stay away from Jakarta, but I thoroughly enjoyed the two days I spent exploring the Indonesian capital.


Whether you stick to popular attractions like Monas (National Monument), Istiklal Mosque and the Dutch colonial port of Batavia, or interact with locals on the megacity’s hectic streets, alleyways and Transjakarta bus network, you’re sure to enjoy at least 48 hours in Jakarta.

Wild Orangutans in Borneo

Borneo and its orangutans have been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately – namely, that exponential increases in palm oil production have led to a primate genocide unprecedented in history, to say nothing of the dwindling rainforest.


In spite of this destruction, which I looked down upon with great sadness from the plane, I managed to spot five wild orangutans, as well as dozens of macquaqes, gibbons and other native wildlife.

The Sultan’s Dominion

Although Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia, the city of Yogyakarta, which sits near the southern coast of central Java, is the cradle of the country’s history.


From the Kraton, an imperial palace where the local sultan still lives, to the Tamansari “water palace” where his predecessors bathed with virgins, to ancient Hindu and Buddhist temples like Prambanan and Borobudur, get in a becak cycle rickshaw and go back in time in Yogakarta.


I woke up my third morning in Yogyakarta with the intention of visiting a nearby silversmith’s village, but it was not meant to be: While I slumbered, a nearby volcano by the name of Mt. Kelud had erupted.


The good news is that the photos I captured of the ashy aftermath raining down on Yogyakarta proved much more interesting, no offense to the craftspeople. They even ended up in The Jakarta Globe!

The Blue Fire of Kawah Ijen

If parading around like a Japanese tourist as the sky pisses volcanic ash sounds crazy, you’ll never believe what I did next.


After traveling 13 hours by train to the very eastern tip of Java, I hiked six kilometers into the crater of Mt. Ijen, one of Mt. Kelud’s siblings, whose sulfur-rich innards produce a blue glow at night, with only the moon to guide my way.

Birth and Death in Tana Toraja

Continuing my bizarre trajectory, I traveled to Indonesia’s star-shaped Sulawesi island for my birthday – and celebrated by attending one of the most bizarre, elaborate funeral ceremonies in the world.


In addition to the funeral itself, I passed my time in Tana Toraja traipsing amid hanging cliff graves, circling a tree with babies buried inside of it and exploring the enchanting countryside of the region.

Raja Ampat’s Lonely Paradise

Just like Vanessa Williams did during her short-lived singing career, I saved the best of my Indonesia trip for last.


I took a boat – well, actually two flights, a huge ferry and then a rickety speedboat – to Raja Ampat, which is one of the most isolated patches of paradise in the world, but also the most spectacular.

Read More About Indonesia

About The Author

is the author of 1088 posts on Leave Your Daily Hell. Robert founded Leave Your Daily Hell in 2010 so that other travelers would have an entertaining, reliable source of information, advice and inspiration at their fingertips. Want to travel more often? Subscribe to email updates today!


informs, inspires, entertains and empowers travelers like you. My name is Robert and I'm happy you're here!


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Danpapua August 31, 2015 at 10:35 am

And Papua.

Dimas September 3, 2015 at 8:27 am

Hello, I’m from indonesian…. nice trip btw. Don’t forget to visit the great Wall of koto gadang in Sumatra :). it’s the smaller version of great wall China. Come back again to indonesia 🙂

Cyntia Lim September 13, 2015 at 3:05 am

Hi! Thankyou for visiting Indonesia! Hope to see u again. FYI, there is Lake Toba in North Sumatra. Come and witness its beautiful nature! ☺️

Robert Schrader September 16, 2015 at 8:04 am

I will come to Sumatra next year!

Putri Permata September 16, 2015 at 11:47 pm

Hi Robert. Your story is really awesome! I’m Putri, from Pontianak, West Kalimantan. I wonder if you ever come here. There’s a lot of places to go in here. We’ve got Kapuas River which is the longest in Indonesia, and you can enjoy the Kapuas River Cruise.You should come! let me know if you’re interested.

Robert Schrader September 21, 2015 at 5:19 pm

I didn’t come to Pontianak city, but I did go to Kalimantan.

Elles Sitompul January 13, 2016 at 1:20 am

Hey Robert! Thank you for visiting Indonesia. Really appreciated it! Indonesia has 17,504 island and I even didn’t think we could spend our (short) time to take a visit around Indonesia. Somehow, Indonesia is a worth place to visit. It is nice if you could come back in the future and reach other (secret) destination in Indonesia … Cheers 🙂

Elles Sitompul January 13, 2016 at 1:22 am

Hey Robert! Thank you for visiting Indonesia. Really appreciated it! Indonesia has 17,504 island and I even didn’t think we could spend our (short) time to take a visit around Indonesia. Somehow, Indonesia is a worth place to visit. It is nice if you could come back in the future and reach other (secret) destination in Indonesia … This one was taking from Umang-umang Island, Lampung. Cheers 🙂

Robert Schrader January 13, 2016 at 7:28 am

That’s beautiful Elles!

Carmen B July 5, 2016 at 12:52 pm

Fantastic post!
I backpacked in Indonesia for 3 weeks, hitting many of these spots plus some other awesome ones. I would definitely recommend adding Kelimutu and Gili to your Indonesia itinerary.
Check out our blog for more inspiration, pictures and tips:

Wanderlust Chloe September 21, 2016 at 7:14 am

I’m leaving for Indonesia tomorrow and I’m so excited. We are visiting Raja Ampat. I’ve heard it’s like paradise and it looks so totally remote! Can’t wait. Lovely pics by the way!

Robert Schrader September 21, 2016 at 8:53 am

Have fun!

Aprie October 3, 2016 at 4:07 am


Robert Schrader October 6, 2016 at 5:03 am


Wanderlust Chloe October 22, 2016 at 5:39 am

Thanks Rob – it was an awesome trip!

credit December 26, 2016 at 1:13 pm

HI there,

In the first picture it looks like you have been kidnapped and you are trying to send us signs for help. Are you still in trouble? Put up a photo with the thumb in your mouth while mooning. This way I will know you need help without alerting your kidnappers.

Robert Schrader December 27, 2016 at 3:26 pm

LOL you’re funny

Ahmed May 31, 2017 at 7:38 am

I just came back a month a backpacking in Indonesia and I can confirm that that’s exactly how Indonesia look like! A must visit!

Cristina August 1, 2017 at 2:19 pm


Great pictures, the nature is so beautiful but the people seem a bit wired. Are they laughing in the picture with the funeral? Here we are crying when a person dies…
“credit” is right, you seem a bit uncomfortable in the first picture 🙂

Tourism In Indonesia August 13, 2017 at 2:52 pm

All You Want To Know About Tourism In Indonesia,Bali,Jakarta,Bandung,Sumatra,

Robert Schrader October 28, 2017 at 8:07 am

Terima kasih 🙂

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