Drying Coffee in ndonesia ADare Photography
Can you spare a share?

Now that we’re starting to explore Asia more, we’ve decided to make a list of the countries or sights to see all around Asia.  Chris travels to China for work from time to time and he always gets to add a little stop-over or weekend trip to a neighboring country, but as a family we haven’t all been.  Time to change that.  We’re going to start (hopefully) with a trip to Indonesia!  There are so many Asian destinations to explore, but yeah, Indonesia.

Jakarta, Indonesia is at the top of our bucket list for a few reasons, mainly for being the gateway to food, coffee and amazing nature. 2traveldads.comOur method for determining where to do family travel in Asia is going on a couple of things: 1.) where has one of us been that we want to take the other three  and 2.)  where can we be guaranteed cultural sites, activities and hotel deals that aren’t going to turn an affordable trip into the impossible.

Our past travels in Asia

So, I’ve been all over the Shaanxi province of China, from the cities of Xi’an and Yan’an to the rural areas and mountains.  Wow.  Every place was so amazing and not at all what I’d have expected.  Chris is all about Shanghai and can deal with the crowds and towers like none other.  The first time he came back he explained it as “people mountain, people sea…”  Seas and mountains of people… and he loved it.

He’s also had some lengthy stop-overs in Japan (he loved the food) and South Korea (again with the food).  And then there was that time he went to Thailand without us…  Anyways, we’ve had our own adventures to different Asian destinations and now it’s high time we all go together.

Tip:  it’s okay to return to a destination with kids if you’ve already been there.  True, there is a lot of world to explore, but it’s okay to share your favorite memories and create new ones.

What’s put Indonesia at the top of our Asian destination list

Flowers and Food in Jakarta Indonesia ADare Photography

Photo: Alissa Dare, Photographer

While I’m excited to take the kids back to Shaanxi province and to show them the fascinating world of Buddhism and art, we more often elect for primarily outdoor experiences.  Indonesia is perfect for this.  This fall we (just the adults) are planning on getting our SCUBA certifications, so we’ll be needing to do some diving in Indonesia ASAP.  

Tip:  if you’re into diving or want to learn a bit about SE Asia and the likes, check out Sarah at Coffee With a Slice of Life.  She seems to have loved Indonesia for snorkeling.

Also, both being huge coffee fans and having kids that are into food and farming, we’ll need to see where some of our favorite coffees are grown.  And one of our friends was just on the island of Lombok, Indonesia and she totally sold us on it.  PS:  Bali – we need to see what all the hype is for.

Note:  we’re always seeing amazing accommodations from people traveling to Bali.  We checked out Hotels Combined and found their suggestion for the 7 Best Value Hotels to Relax in Bali and it’s really tempting us.

Since Indonesia is at the top of our bucket list, we’ve started our research for when the day comes.  Finding reputable hotels is where we’re starting.  Being formerly in the hotel industry I have my thoughts about what brands I trust without fail.  For a home base and since I’m sure we’ll want to experience metropolitan Indonesia as well, we’re looking at the Intercontinental Jakarta as well as a few others that are international brands.  We look for hotels that are within our price range, are family appropriate and have a reputation that they’ll strive to keep.  Hence why we’ll probably start with the Intercontinental Jakarta; so that we start our Indonesian adventure on a good foot.  

As we branch out beyond Jakarta we’ll most likely opt for a mix of resorts and smaller accommodations so we can see both sides our what it’s like to tour Indonesia.  Maybe we could even stay on a coffee farm!?!?!?  A lot more research will be going into this, but just to share where our minds are going…

Our current Asian bucket list

Statue in Bali Indonesia ADare Photography

Photo: Alissa Dare, Photographer

Even though Asia is so vast, our list of destinations is mostly in the southern parts and islands.  Life is long though and if we cross off everything (or if plans change) we’ll be flexible, cuz that’s how we roll anyways.  Now, for our list:

Indonesia – Jakarta, diving, coffee, Bali and so much more.  We’re excited for the day we get to visit, but are also cautious about being LGBT travelers in a strongly Muslim country.

Sri Lanka – experiencing a different side of Asia, Sigiriya and other cultural/natural wonders.  Few places for us seem quite as mysterious and still off-the-beaten-path.

Vietnam – beaches, jungles, and FOOD.  Our buddies at 2FoodTrippers, Daryl and Mindi, have gotten us completely sold on Vietnam.

China – Ning’Xia and the Gobi desert.  This was initially on the schedule from the last China trip but it got pulled at the last moment.

China – Chengdu and the pandas.  Do we even need to explain this?

Taiwan – we’ve heard from friends that it’s beautiful and amazing, but we need to research more.  And we must experience the food and really critically analyze where its influences are coming from and eat as much of it as possible.

Cambodia – we have some friends who came to America from Cambodia and visiting would be a great way to understand them and their past.

Jaipur Rajasthan by Ami Bhat, Thrilling Travel

Photo: Ami Bhat of Thrilling Travel

India – State of Rajastan to visit Udaipur and Jaipur (and more of India, of course)

India – State of Kerala.  We have to experience the backwaters that we so often see other travelers gushing about.  Beaches, culture, and silent house-boat filled rivers.  It’s too amazing to be true and the Kerala tour packages we’ve researched sound perfect.

China – everything that we haven’t yet seen in all of colorful, surprising China.  Can you tell that we have loved each of our trips to China and can’t wait to return and show the kids this amazing land?  

Until we’re booked into our Jakarta/Bali/Lombok, Indonesia trip, we do have other family travel on the calendar, but gosh it’s difficult to stay focused on the destination in front of you when you already have grand plans in the works for the future.  We’ll keep on enjoying our travels in the meantime and hopefully get our SCUBA certifications without a problem so soon we’ll be able to have an amazing adventure exploring Indonesia as a family!

Update:  we still don’t have our SCUBA certs.  Anybody want to inspire us to start those before we head off to warmer waters??

Can you spare a share?


  • October 18, 2016

    A customised tip for you 😉 Go to Toraja on Sulawesi island Indonesia: this is the place where they have the best coffee of the World! They mix robusta and arabica to prepare it and it’s wow wow wow.
    Plus Toraja has a rich traditional culture, especially around funerals, mummies, etc. It’s a mix of religion, both animist, Christian.
    Plus the landscapes (rice terraces, mountains) and typical houses (look like boats, painted and ornamented with buffalo’s horns) are magnificent.
    Plus some of the most beautiful dives of the World. There’s especially Taka Bonerate: the biggest atoll of Indonesia and the third one of the World.

  • Jennifer

    October 18, 2016

    Rich and I fell in love with Indonesia when we first visited in college and we are looking forward to returning with our kids some day soon. It’s an amazing place!

  • October 18, 2016

    The closest I have gotten to Asia is the European part of Turkey. You have some great plans!

  • October 18, 2016

    Indonesia looks wonderful! Will be jealous once you guys get over there! There is so much to explore in Asia, but all the cultures are so amazing to experience!

  • October 19, 2016

    I would love to see you add Flores to your Indonesia list. We liked Lombok and Flores better than Bali.

  • October 19, 2016

    I’ve never been to any of those places! The sea of people would not be for me! I can handle it but much prefer quiet nature:) I’ve loved your stories of China, I’m sure you will have amazing adventures under water once certified!

  • October 19, 2016

    Yes yes yes! Indonesia look so amazing! We are seriously thinking about taking a side-trip there when we visit the Philippines!

  • October 20, 2016

    That is awesome! Thanks for sharing your travel plans with us and good luck on the scuba certification. You have already made a great start with Asia (unlike me) so now you know what else you would like to add. For me, a newbie, I would just go to any of them but Vietnam, Cambodia and Bali would be my top picks. Best of luck! I know you will end up with a fascinating trip to share with your readers. 😉

  • October 25, 2016

    Absolutely agree! I travelled around Asia during my GAP year abroad but my German husband and half British – half German son had never been to “real” Asia at all.

    My Asian introduction to them was Thailand and Indonesia – 2 weeks in each. They loved it and can’t wait to go back. Go for it!

  • Annika@457 Australia

    November 7, 2016

    Yes, Based on my two years experience as a traveler I would definitely accept that Indonesia is one of the most amazing countries in Asia and perfect for all travelers.

  • November 12, 2016

    Yeah! Indonesia is amazing! I’m looking forward to visit it.

  • December 6, 2016

    I will be traveling to Indonesia next week and this is very helpful! Indonesia is amazing! 🙂

  • March 20, 2017

    Indonesia, apart from being scenic and beautiful, doesn’t seem very costly – in comparison to Europe, for example. So this post has definitely helped add it to my bucketlist… Thanks buddy 🙂

  • January 3, 2018

    Really Indonesia is awesome Tourist place in the world. thanks for sharing for sharing this great article. I am planning to visit Bali for honeymoon tour.

  • Undefined Journey

    April 12, 2018

    I will be traveling to Indonesia next month and this is very informative! Indonesia is really amazing

  • Harry

    April 3, 2019

    Wondefull Indonesia is Tourist place. thanks for sharing this great blog. I am planning to visit indonesia.Thanks

  • Ajay Shastri

    May 8, 2019

    Wow! Indonesia looking so wonderful! I am planning to visit Bali for honeymoon tour.Need Some more information Bali.Like Hotel ,Culture and other places.

    • Raaj Rajput

      March 3, 2020

      I have gotten to Asia is the European part of bali. Good Blog and nice information for bali culture.Thanks for share that information.Keep it up.
      Golden triangle information :

  • angelsaratomy

    May 17, 2020

    good post


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