Indonesia is a gigantic country with much to see.
I was constantly impressed with the country and a lot of the sites were great.
But not everything is special.
In this post I have 7 attractions that were not worth my time or money.
I went to Indonesia 5 times in a 12 month period.
The major islands I visited were Sumatra, Java, Bali, Lombok, Sumbawa, and Flores.
That’s a lot of ground to cover and a lot of attractions visited.
After 5 months of sightseeing throughout the country I have a pretty good idea of what’s worth seeing and what’s not.
7 tourist attractions in Indonesia you should avoid:
Ratu Boko in Yogyakarta is worthless.
It’s just a sunset spot.
There are parts of ruins lying around, but hardly anything worth taking a photo of.
Plenty of locals go there for sunset and the views are actually nice.
But the locals only pay 40,000 rupiah($2.65) to enjoy the view.
Foreigners however are asked to pay 337,500 rupiah($22.34).
That’s an insane price jump just for a hill to watch the sunset from.
This is the biggest waste of money in Indonesia and quite possibly all of Asia!!
Almost none of the temples in Indonesia are worth your money.
The only 2 that I thought were good are Borobudur and Prambanan in Yogyakarta.
Those 2 are exceptional.
Mostly because they’re drastically different from the rest of the temples in the country.
A lot of the temples in Bali all look the same and there’s nothing special about them.
Once you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all.
The same even goes for Uluwatu Temple in Uluwatu, Bali.
It’s 30,000 rupiah to enter the grounds and there’s some good views of cliffs.
Aside from the view I have no idea what I even paid for.
You wanna go to the shittiest place in Bali?
Go to Kuta.
I only went there because people said it was the worst place in Bali.
It look me about 15 minutes to realize how right they all were.
Bad traffic, packed with tourists, and everyone is trying to sell you something.
There’s drunk people everywhere and you can find drug dealers in seconds.
There’s also enough prostitutes to make parts of Thailand feel like they need to step up their game.
If you’re going on vacation to have a run-in with the law and get a new STD, Kuta is where you go.
Welcome to the Whitest Place in Asia.
Once you walk outside I guarantee you’ll see more westerners than Indonesians.
If you want to travel Asia to experience something different from your westernized home DON’T go to Ubud.
It IS your home.
Ubud is 100% catered to tourism.
You can find every type of western restaurant there.
The prices aren’t much different from back home either.
To sum up Ubud in 3 words I’d say: Touristy, Pricey, and Westernized.
The only thing worth seeing in Ubud was the Monkey Forest.
And those little monkeys are dickheads.
Ubud might be the your favorite place ever.
For me it was not.
Do you like to see sandals in every store? This place is perfect for you.
Do you have dreadlocks and bad tattoos? You’ll fit right in.
Ironic mustaches and man buns.
Colon cleanses and craft beer.
Yoga and vegan burgers.
Gentrification like you’ve never seen.
Ubud is so white and gentrified you might mistake it for a city in Washington.
It’s a hipster paradise.
Get me the fuck out!
Nothing to do, nothing to see.
Not even worth your time.
If you’re going to southern Bali I’d suggest you stay in the west, in Uluwatu.
That was one of my favorite parts of Bali.
There’s plenty of beaches, good and bad.
A decent variety of people and restaurants.
And a few areas to party at night.
Nusa Dua might have some of that if you look really hard.
I didn’t find anything interesting about the place and I was there for 2 days.
This was a difficult one to put on the list.
Because it’s not too bad.
But it’s not that good either.
If you have limited time in Indonesia and want to see small beautiful islands, Gili T is not one of them.
The neighboring island of Gili Air is nicer.
Nusa Penida, Bali is one of my favorites.
And the islands of Flores, near Komodo, also have great options.
Gili T is worth skipping because I’m pretty sure the “T” stands for Trash.
This island does an OK job hiding their trash around the outside of the island.
Near the beaches and resorts things look decent.
But if you walk through the middle of the island you’ll think you’re walking in a landfill.
The middle of the island looks like it’s made of plastic.
It’s a sad reality to the fact that Indonesia is the 2nd largest ocean polluter behind China.
This tiny island might be the most honest look at the trash epidemic in Indonesia.
MOUNT IJEN’S BLUE FLAMES(Java):
Mt. Ijen is known as the volcano with a sulfur lake and blue flames.
It was one of my most anticipated attractions to visit in Indonesia.
The more people I met that had already been said I should lower my expectations a lot.
They were right… partly.
You have to begin around 1-2 am to hike and see everything before the sunrise.
There will be THOUSANDS of people there at that time.
And the hike is BRUTAL!!
Not gonna lie, it’s a real ass kicker.
Hiking to the crater rim is the worst part.
Hiking down into the crater isn’t that bad.
Unfortunately you’ll be surrounded by people who normally don’t hike.
They’re usually slow, clumsy, and choking on sulfur fumes.
The sulfur smoke can be a real issue if the wind is blowing in your direction.
If it isn’t, it’s not too bad.
Once you’re at the bottom and you’ve had your share of blue flames(which are hardly visible) you’ll have to go up the way you came.
Which is the same way a bunch of people are coming down.
This whole part of the hike gets really congested.
What makes this hassle worth it is the sunrise over the mountain and the view above the sulfur lake.
I would go back to Mt. Ijen, but only for the sunrise.
The blue flames are not worth visiting.
Indonesia was my favorite country in Southeast Asia.
I loved most of the sites, activities, and nature I saw.
It’s a country I will definitely return to time and time again.
Yet, I can skip these attractions and cities and not be sad about it.
Any places and sites that you didn’t like in Indonesia?
Did I bash one of your favorite attractions in Indonesia?
Let me know in the comments below.
My name is Jeremiah and I'm a photographer from Arizona.
I'm always in search of picturesque landscapes and adrenaline pumping adventure.
Follow me as I show you What and What Not to do when visiting new places in search of Cheap Travel and Cheap Thrills.