Indonesia Driving Guide - Spend less, do more
With over 18,110 islands, Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelago. Only 6000 of these islands are populated, with around 240 million people living on them. This makes Indonesia the fourth largest country in the world in terms of population.
Sumatra, Bali and Jakarta are the most famous of all the islands in Indonesia. They are visited by millions of tourists annually. Attractions include incredible beaches, surfing spots, brilliant shopping opportunities and numerous cultural places of interest.
Although there are not many motorways, it is possible to see these beautiful islands by rental car. Don’t expect the rules of the road to be obeyed as you know them and be prepared for pedestrians, cyclists and motorbikes… lots of them! However, a little bit of traffic stress is more than worth it to see some of the most incredibly scenic drives in the world.
Bali — Kintamani Mountain Road (travelling from Singarjara up to the Mount Batur crater)
2 hours 15 mins (40 km) (24 miles)
A twisty mountain pass up the Mount Batur crater, this road is one of the most beautiful in Bali. Not only will you be afforded some incredible views of the surrounding area, but there are many villages and temples to explore.
The route is also line with clove orchards and during their growing season, the smell of the fresh cloves adds another dimension to your travels. Notable stops along the way include the only pine forest in Bali, the Puri Penulisa (the highest temple on the island) and the town of Kintamani in the Batur crater itself.
Bring your camera because once in the Batur crater, the panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, the crater itself and Lake Batur are breathtaking.
Bali - Amlapura to Amend
2 hours (45 km) (28 miles)
Situated in the north of the island, this coast road is fairly remote, but well worth a slow meander as follows the eastern side of Mount Seraya.
Not only is the road a little twisty, but there are large changes in elevation while some parts are extremely narrow. There are many Indonesia villages to be found along the route, so take your time and explore. The sounds in this area are amazing, with nature providing an incredible audio backdrop.
Take some time out to listen to the sea along the coast, the sound of the villagers, the variety of animals in the area and the bird mating songs as they call out to each other.
Now that you have seen two beautiful scenic drives on Bali, you might wish to stay longer to discover a few more of your own. Accommodation options in Bali include guesthouses, hotels, resorts and backpacker lodges.
Padang to Kelok Sembilan, Payakumbhu, Sumatra
3 hours (120km) (74 miles)
It doesn’t matter if you travel from Pedang or any other part of the Indonesian island of Sumatra, just be sure to make your way to the Kelok Sembilan highway bridge. This bridge, which connects the West Sumatra Province with the Riau province, is found outside the town of Payakumbuh.
The views along Kelok Sembilan are some of the best in Indonesia. There are two roads here, the old and the new. Both can be driven although the old road is steep and scary!
The new road, a series of bridges built over the ravine, is a little less scary but still provides stunning views of the surrounds.
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