IF you are a food enthusiast, particularly one with fondness for Asian flavors, you will know Indonesia through the two foods that are known around the world for their unique taste :

Indomie, the perfect staple for college students living on a budget and a plate of nasigoreng. Of course, nasi goreng translates simply to fried rice in Bahasa Indonesia, but there is nothing simple about it.

Armed with sunscreen and the determination to spend my nights walking down food streets and relishing the different flavors Indonesian cuisine has to offer, I arrived with ten-others for a  week-long excursion to the land of great food and great beaches. I ended up discovering a lot more.

Indonesia has a well-kept secret. A vast archipelago quite possibly the biggest in the world. It has an overwhelming number of islands [17,800 to be exact]; with Bali one of the biggest magnet for tourists around the world.But that's  not the secret.

When asked from our tour guide what were the three things that would describe Indonesia, he immediately responded :
Our food, our beautiful scenery, and our smiles!

The third is the  secret ingredient that separates Indonesia from many other tourist countries.

Whether you are walking on the street, at your hotel, or sitting on the pavement, you will encounter smiling locals. You constantly come across local people showing warmth and hospitality while language and cultural barriers do not effect their welcome behavior.

To our surprise this experience lasted across nearly  10 days  we spent on the different islands of the country.

*Bali bound : Love you to the beach and back*.

Our first stop had to be Bali. Located on the east of of Lambok, the island is a kaleidoscope of art and culture, even if it's mostly known for its beaches.

With a predominantly Hindu population, the city is dotted with stunning sculptures, idols and temples, quite the haven for photographers, art lovers and cultural enthusiasts.

Our hotel overlooked the great Kuta Beach which is popular for swimmers and surfers. Tourists head over in the early hours of the morning to a relatively secluded beach for surfing or just to bask in the early morning breeze against the cool. quiet waves.

A trip to Bali is incomplete without a  6:00 am morning walk across the a sea that is itself preparing for the day, Night time is equally : if not more fascinating.

Just across the street is a stream of hotels, lodging, resorts, restaurants and shops brimming with tourists. There is something for everybody and accommodation options are aplenty.

My fellow tourists mentally reviewed the list of things they wanted to buy from the small markets near our hotel as we headed to the Jimbaran Beach. Aside from its sights, this beach is one of the best local sites to try fresh seafood caught earlier in the day.

Dines and restaurants have set up shop along the coastlines, the entire place lit with bright orange lights complimenting the whiteness of the moon high above.

This beautiful Operational Research publishing on Indonesia, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Huma Sattar.


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