Indonesia: Going beyond Bali
Some areas of Indonesia have experienced a tough few months but new developments elsewhere are making Indonesia’s hidden gems more accessible, says Tamara Hinson
Three days into my visit to the Indonesian island of Gili Air and I’ve slipped into an easy routine, which starts with breakfast at one of the wonderfully ramshackle beach bars.
Then, after a sprawl on the dazzlingly bright white sand, I slip on my snorkle and step into the sea, where rainbow-hued fish (along with harmless sea snakes and turtles) drift through the calm waters.
Later, I do a lap of the island on foot, admiring the enormous monitor lizards as they scamper across the sand.
The Gili Islands’ close proximity to Bali – it takes just over an hour to get from Padang Bai in Bali to Gili Trawangan – is a reminder of Indonesia’s all-round accessibility.
Another example? The highlight of a recent visit to Singapore was the two nights I spent on the Indonesian paradise of Bintan. It took just one hour to hop from Singapore to the island, known for its luxury resorts and a magnet for water sports fanatics who come to dive its waters and jet-ski, kayak and aqua-jet across one of the world’s largest manmade lagoons.