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

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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.

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