It’s fair to say that, for most people outside of Southeast Asia, Indonesia is known for little more than Bali and news stories about terrorism or natural disasters. But in-the-know travelers can tell you that Indonesia is home to plenty of hidden gems and breathtakingly beautiful destinations beyond Bali’s shores. And on the recommendation of what is arguably the world best known travel guide publisher, a lot more travelers may be coming to the archipelago to seek out its secrets next year.
Yesterday, Lonely Planet released its Best in Travel 2019 recommendations, including their picks for the top 10 countries to visit next year. Topping that list is Sri Lanka but coming in at number 7 is Indonesia.
That’s certainly a win for the country’s tourism industry, which has felt the impact of several natural disasters this year — the most recent, of course, being the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Central Sulawesi last month — that may have scared off potential tourists.
As Lonely Planet’s entry on Indonesia notes: “Earthquakes recently struck some parts of Indonesia, which is located on the volcano-lined Pacific Ring of Fire. The response to these natural disasters is ongoing, but much of this sprawling country remains safe for visitors.”
As for why the world famous travel guide brand chose to recommend Indonesia now: “Thanks to substantial investment in new air, land and sea connections, plus recent visa-free access for nationals of 169 countries, it has never been easier to explore this tropical country.”
The Indonesian government has indeed made significant investments in improving accessibility and infrastructure in a number of destinations recently as part of President Joko Widodo’s plan to create “10 New Balis” in locations including Labuan Bajo in Flores and Mount Bromo in Java.
Lonely Planet urges its readers to visit Indonesia now, “… before all its secrets are uncovered.” As much as we’d like to keep Indonesia and all of its secrets to ourselves, we have to admit that’s good advice.
For more good travel advice, be sure to check out our CocoTravel homepage!
- Sri Lanka
- São Tomé & Príncipe