Bali is home to a thriving expat community and it is not surprising considering the breathtaking natural scenery and slow, simple pace of life of the Indonesian island that American actor Christopher Meloni described as the favorite place that he has ever visited. Despite living in one of the most picturesque destinations in the world, you might still desire a change of scenery every once in a while. While it is easy enough to jet off to an exotic foreign destination, there is no reason to travel that far when there are a number of places within a stone-throw of Bali, such as the following, that are well worth a visit.
If you miss living in the city but aren’t quite ready to face the disorder of Jakarta, consider hopping on the plane to Surabaya, the second-largest city in the country. Surabaya has plenty to offer visitors ranging from popular landmarks such as the world-renowned House of Sampoerna Cigarette Factory and the Suramadu National Bridge to top-class eateries and shopping destinations. Being a big city, you don’t have to fret about finding suitable accommodation and reliable public transport. A quick online search will provide you with the names of countless hotels, lodges, and guesthouses you can choose from while also providing you with relevant, up-to-date reviews based on actual visitor experiences.
Merely a 25-minute long flight from Bali, Lombok offers expats everything from the hustle and bustle associated with popular tourist attractions to secluded fishing villages such as Kuta that are enveloped in an air of mystery. Not only is Lombok home to some of the most idyllic beaches in all of Indonesia, but it also boasts Mount Rinjani, the second-highest volcano in Indonesia. Kuta is a surfer’s paradise but even if you are not the sporty type you can simply lounge around and observe the locals going about their daily chores which range from fishing and tending to their rice paddies to herding buffalo and harvesting vegetables. There are various accommodation options available in Lombok, ranging from lavish hotels to humble guesthouses, all boasting varying amenities. If you plan to visit during a quieter period of the year you may end up saving some money by opting to make use of lodgings that have special out-of-season rates.
Tucked away in East Java, Banyuwangi is an absolute treasure just waiting to be discovered by expats wanting to escape Bali for the weekend. Although Banyuwangi is definitely remote, it has plenty to offer an ardent adventurer. If you enjoy trekking and have a fondness for volcanoes you can hike up to Indonesia’s notorious blue-flamed volcano, the Ijen Crater. Alternatively, spend a day visiting the coffee plantations in the area or explore one of the many waterfalls or hot springs of the region. If you are more of a beach lover, be sure to visit Pantai Plengkung which boasts pristine beaches and excellent surfing conditions with waves as high as 6 meters during the wet season.
Living in Bali as an expat, chances are good that you will never feel the need to escape the laid-back beauty of your new home. It is good to know though, should the need ever arise, that there are so many beautiful destinations to choose from within a stone-throw of your home.