The Best Places to Take a Sabbatical in Indonesia

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Whether you're after a relaxing and adventure-filled holiday in Bali, Lombok, or Java, Indonesiainfo-icon is an exotic destination perfect for a sabbatical holiday. With its varied landscapes, gorgeous beaches, and majestic temples, there is a wide range of experiences to have on your sabbatical journey in this magnificent Southeast Asian country. 

Here are some of the best places to take a sabbatical in Indonesia.

Lombok

You may have heard of Bali, Indonesia's most popular tourist destination. If you want to escape the tourist crowd of Bali on your sabbatical trip, visit the neighbouring island of Lombok. Like Bali, Lombok has beautiful beaches, epic surfing spots, and scenic hiking trails, but without a crowd of tourists. 

You'll spend most of your time at the beach on your sabbatical trip to Lombok. After all, the island has incredibly gorgeous beaches, such as Pink Beach and Tanjung Aan Beach. As the name suggests, the Pink Beach has a unique rosy pink sand, offering the perfect spot for an Instagram-worthy shot. Meanwhile, Tanjung Aan Beach has powdery white sand and is an ideal place to chill out and enjoy water sports.

Lombok is home to majestic waterfalls you can discover on a hike around the island. Some of the most famous waterfalls in Lombok are Tiu Kelep and Sendang Gile. Those fond of hiking mountains should conquer Mount Rinjani, an active volcano over 3,000 metres tall. Most hikes require camping overnight in the mountains. If you don't fancy camping, you can join a sunrise trekking tour that begins at midnight, and you'll arrive at the summit in time for sunrise.

Ubud

As the spiritual healing centre of Bali, Ubud is an ideal destination for a sabbatical holiday in Indonesia. In addition, Ubud features the stunning greenery of lush rice paddies and the majestic Mount Agung. Given what Ubud can offer, it's easy to see why many would come here for healing and self-discovery. 

Ubud has some of Bali's most visited attractions. The famous Monkey Forest is a must-visit. For an entry fee of only $3, you can spend the entire day roaming around the complex. Be mindful of the long-tailed macaques roaming freely through the sanctuary. They have a great sense of smell, so avoid bringing food and keep your precious belongings away. 

One of the things that Ubud is renowned for is its lush rice fields. The most famous is the Tegalalang rice field, about 20 minutes from the town centre. But because of its popularity, expect to share the place with crowds of tourists. For a quieter and less-crowded option, visit Jatiluwih Rice Terraces. It's a bit farther away from the town, but the scenic area with verdant rice terraces is worth travelling to.

Bali

Since Indonesia is an archipelago of thousands of islands, visitors often travel here by cruise. It's a convenient way to see more of Indonesia in one trip. These cruises will take you to Indonesia's most popular destinations, including the famous island of Bali. Despite the touristy vibe, Bali is worth visiting on your sabbatical trip for many reasons.

Bali's tropical climate makes it a year-round destination. The island boasts breathtaking scenery of stunning beaches and majestic temples surrounded by lush rice paddies. Many hiking trails around the island offer spectacular hikes, including those leading to gorgeous waterfalls. Trekking enthusiasts can hike Mount Agung, Bali's Highest Point. And if you're into surfing, you can catch waves on the beaches of Kuta or Canggu. You will also find surfing schools on the island if you want to hone your skills.

Your sabbatical trip to Bali is incomplete without visiting its stunning beaches. With over 300 to choose from, you could spend most of your days chilling at the beach. Aside from swimming, these beaches are a haven for water sports activities. While surfing is the most popular, you can try parasailing, kitesurfing, and more!

Another thing that makes Bali worth visiting on your sabbatical is its vibrant and unique culture. The island is home to friendly and welcoming Balinese, happy to share their rich heritage and culture with tourists. If you want to immerse in the local culture, witness local dance performances or visit local temples and markets.

Sumbawa

Sumbawa may not be as famous as Bali, but it can offer many things for your sabbatical trip. Although it's less developed, the massive island is three times the size of Bali. Getting to Sumbawa requires effort, but the spectacular views and excellent surfing spots will welcome you. Sumbawa is best known for its waves, pristine beaches, and wild terrain.

In some parts of Sumbawa, traditional living still exists. You'll find local villages that still hold ritual events of old ways, such as buffalo races and ritual box matching. If you want to discover a unique culture on your sabbatical trip to Indonesia, Sumbawa is a must-visit.

Sumbawa is home to local Sumbawanese people who are very conservative. Many of the locals follow the religion of Islam, although traditional ways of life are very much in existence in the more remote parts of the island. 

Java

Java is a geographically impressive island home to over half of the Indonesian population, making it one of the world's most populous islands. As Indonesia's cultural and economic heartland, Java offers numerous things for all visitors, including those on sabbatical trips.

Java's spectacular scenery consists of the stunning Mount Penanjakan and Mount Bromo volcanoes. Both are popular trekking destinations. It's also possible to climb Mount Penanjakan by car. At the summit, you'll enjoy a spectacular view of the island. 

Another thing that makes Java a popular tourist destination is its numerous heritage sites. It's home to four UNESCO World Heritage Sites, offering a glimpse into the island's past. Visit the Borobudur, Indonesia's most visited tourist attraction. Most visitors would come here at sunrise as part of a group tour. It can get crowded, so be sure to arrive early. Another thing worth seeing in Java is the Prambanan Temple, the country's biggest Hindu complex, consisting of hundreds of temples. To the west of Java is the Ujung Kulon National Park, a spectacular rainforest home to the endangered Javan rhinoceros.

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