Viktorija Panovaite
First time in Indonesia

First time in Indonesia

I think Indonesia is a country of adventures and opportunities. Just you need to open eyes and heart, have a will to see, taste, discover, try new things, get out from your comfort zone and be curious.

I found out that during my stay in Indonesia some of the things I did or some of them happened first time in my life. No matter what, but all of them gave me new colors in my daily life. So, here is my list of things “first time in life – in Indonesia”:

First of all – Indonesia is the first Asian country which I visited in my life

And being in Indonesia gives me more opportunities to travel in Asia. Other Asian countries now are much closer than if I would travel from Europe.

I met eye to eye orangutans in Borneo island (Kalimantan)

Couple days in a jungle, living in a boat, meeting wild monkeys, birds, other animals and of course orangutans – was experience that I will never forget.

I took selfie (never before I did that)

It was on motorbike, when I was bringing mattress on my back to first home in Yogyakarta, Java island.

First time in Indonesia - selfie
Friend Otong helped me to take mattress to a new home

I learned how to drive automatic scooter

Driving scooter in Indonesia it means – I can drive now scooter anywhere in the world.

I tried trekking to a volcanoes

Even if mount Merapi defeated me  but at least I tried. But the second time was more successful. I went to Mt. Batur in Bali for sunrise. And even if in the trek beginning I was thinking why I do it, in the end I was happy that reached the top.

Batur sunrise trek in Bali


I was a “model” for the Yogyakarta sketchers community members

They wanted to practice and not every time it’s easy to find people who would like to spend their time doing nothing, just pose for a while.

First time in Indonesia - "model"

took a bath” under the waterfall and was walking in the volcano crater

It was in Dieng Plateau, Java island. Never before I saw the waterfall and volcano crater in real. What to say about bathing under the waterfall? It was a powerful feeling.

First time in Indonesia

I tried sandboarding in “grey” sand beach Parangtritis

Never before I try snowboarding, so experience with sandboarding was amazing. Just sand in the mouth when you felt down doesn’t “taste” so nice as snow. I got this opportunity while I was shooting in a video.

I celebrated New Year in October with Javanese Royal family members

New year in the middle of autumn? Something new, especially when you are invited to do that with Javanese Royal family members and have the honor to walk in a parade through the city with traditional Javanese clothes.

Javanese New Year

I eat fruits which I never tried before

Even I didn’t know that such fruits exist: “salak”(“snake fruit”), “jambu” (“guava”), “buah naga” (“dragon fruit”), soursop (“sirsak”) and many others.

First time in Indonesia - fruits

I try scuba diving first time ever

I really scared to be in deep water places so this experience was one of the biggest challenges for me but I faced my fears in Bali.

I was a witness of Ramadhan and Lebaran celebrations

I heard before a bit about Muslim main celebrations Ramadhan, Lebaran but never knew how it looks like in real. But only staying in Indonesia I had this opportunity.


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I eat cobra meat and I liked it

I tried “Burger cobra”, “Sate cobra bakar”, ”Steak cobra saus cina” and drink “Ramuan empedu cobra” (traditional medicine from cobra gall and marrow). I was celebrating 6 months living in Indonesia anniversary.

First time in Indonesia - cobra meat

I was bitten by a bee

Never in my life before nowhere I was bitten. Probably it was Indonesian style of “farewell” before my trip to Vietnam.

First time in Indonesia - bitten by bees

I drink the most expensive coffee in the world – Kopi Luwak

First time in Indonesia - kopi luwak

I got a first job offer – to be a guide in Vietnam

I have never been a tour guide before, but probably my organizational skills can be used in any area. I liked it, that’s why till now I accompany people during their trips to Indonesia as well.

I was walking on the black sand beach

First I saw the grey sand beach in Yogyakarta, Parangtritis beach but soft black sand I enjoyed in Bali, Tulamben beach. When all my life I saw only yellow beaches, see black – something unreal.

I try rafting

I’m quite scared of all water activities but I wanted to try rafting. I did it in Bali when the rainy season started. And it wasn’t so dangerous, even more, easier than I thought.

Rafting in Bali

I had the unique experience

I participate in Balinese sacred purification ritual which aimed to purify a human body and soul in order to prevent havoc, bad luck and sickness (also achieve self-purification).

Hindu purification

One of my dreams come true

I always wanted to see dolphins in their natural surrounding and I did it, in Lovina, Bali.

I started to write articles and blogging

I would never believe that one day I will start to write and blogging. But it happen exactly in Indonesia.

I’m willing to add more things in the future to this “first time in life – in Indonesia” list.

First time in Indonesia
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  • Have you tried something for the first time in Indonesia?
  • Maybe you tried something for the first time in other Asian countries?
  • What you would like to try in Indonesia?



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49 thoughts on “First time in Indonesia”

  1. It’s such a honor for me as indonesian that you’ve written this about my country, we really love when there’s a tourist that enjoy living or exploring our country. But can i ask u something ? Why did u choose Indonesia as the first Asian country that u visited first? :)

    1. I believe Indonesia chose me :D Honestly, my friend was here before and told me many nice things about Indonesia, so when I found out about Darmasiswa scholarship in Indonesia I decided to apply :) And I was selected. Like before I never traveled in Asia – Indonesia became my first country that I visited in Southeast Asia :)

  2. I am planning to visit Bali in 2017. As someone who is willing to try out the local cuisine, I was wondering where you were able to eat Cobra meat? And how was it? :)

    1. I tried it in Yogyakarta city, Java island but I believe in Bali you can find it as well but maybe more often here is snake meat :) You can try google search and there are some suggestions :)

  3. Hi Viktorija, your Indonesian itinerary is quite awesome. I’d like to encourage you to visit the Philippines too, I’m pretty sure you’ll love the place. El Nido Palawan and Siquijor are my favorite places.

  4. Indonesia is a beautiful country. I was able to jike Mt Ijen. I love Bandung and Im planning to go back nztyr to visit yogya. Soend 5 days in bali and komodo island for 3 days

  5. The swelling on your hand from the bee bites is huge. It’s nice to see you do a lot of first in Indonesia. I’m planning to do a hike next year there.

  6. It sure sounds like you had a great time in Indonesia! I really appreciate travelers who really immersed themselves in the culture of places they go to. I can sincerely see that you loved your stay and that the country already left it’s mark on you. I’m from the Philippines and we do have black sand beaches as well haha! I hope you can visit them too :)

  7. Indonesia is a beautiful place, I’m glad you had a great time there and you did a lot of things too! Traveling is all about being adventurous anyway! You’re very brave eating that cobra meat!

  8. I really love the peacefulness of Indonesia but I’m not a fan of traveling in hot countries. So beautiful though! :D

    1. :D Asian countries not for all for sure :) But maybe raining season would be more suitable for you? Of course not the biggest pleasure travl when it’s raining but it’s much cooler weather :)

  9. Aw that was an awesome trip you had! You sure did a lot of things and immersed well in the community. Felt sorry for your hand, that looks like a bad sting yikes. Hope you visit more Asian countries in the future! Philippines is just around the corner! :D

  10. Indonesia must be a very beautiful country. In Singapore context, whenever Indonesia is mentioned, all I remember is terrible haze that we get due to burning farms in dry season in Indonesia!!

  11. what a great experience you had!.. it must be really rewarding to experience their culture, witness the beauty of their place and taste their amazing cuisine! Indonesia has been on top of my bucket list and I hope I will get a chance to explore this wonderful place someday! Thanks for sharing us your journey!

    1. You are right :) If you will plan your trip to Indonesia, if you will have chance plan not less than 2 weeks, 1-2 months would be much better. As well try to visit different islands, then you will see and understand more about Indonesia, like each island is so different :)

  12. Your adventures in Indonesia as an Article to your readers is sweet to the soul and appealing to the heart, which serves as an invite to journey and explore the beauties in reality you witnessed in different places in Indonesia. A worthwhile trip. Keep basking in the euphoria….

  13. I love reading first time stories! I definitely agree with you that if you can survive riding a scooter in Southeast Asia, you can do it anywhere in the world. I love dragon fruit, but I’ve always hated guava. My mom loves it, but I can’t ever seem to eat it. Lol. Your first time selfie looks great, by the way! :D

    1. Thank you for good words about selfie – in general I’m not that person who likes to be in a pictures, so this is like challenge for me :D I love guava and did you know that it’s very good to prevent dengue fever? :)

  14. Very very nice report on your first time experiences in Indonesia. I live nearer Indonesia but I have only been there once to Bali, and I did not get to do everything you did. Hope you consider visiting our country soon and try out adventures here.

  15. So exciting! You got to experience so many amazing and new things , I have to admit I’d be scared of most. I have to learn how to embrace better my fears and I admit your first time in Indonesia has inspired me.

    1. I think we all a bit scared of first time things but that “adrenaline” can sometimes be really good inspiration :) Sometimes we just need to close our eyes and do it! :) Hope in near future you will have your “first time” in any country you are traveling as well :)

  16. Amazing experience, I must say. Looks like you get to experience their culture while you’re at Indonesia. We’ll be looking forward to your future posts regarding your future experience and etc. Good luck! :)

  17. That’s the beauty of travelling. You get to experience many first times!! I hope to see Indonesia one day. Wanted to see the black beach up close too! hehe. and lucky you for having a job offer to be a guide in vietnam. Vietnam is a very nice country. Especially the food! Their food is so filling, healthy, and yummy. Good luck on blogging! It’s a nice decision you created one. Cheers!

  18. Seeing orangutans would be amazing! I’d like to do that in Indonesia ^^ Also, we have black sand beaches in New Zealand! In fact all the beaches in my hometown have black sand, and I found white sand very strange for a long time haha.
    It looks like you’ve made good use of your time in Indonesia, you’ve done so many things!! I hope I can do even a fraction of those.

  19. This is a lovely post about your trip to Indonesia. So good to see that you traveled in Yogyakarta. I absolutely love that city, so much to do and see, and the people are really lovely. I can’t wait to read more about your adventures around Asia.

  20. Awww! looks like you had an awesome time in Indonesia! I am from the PH and Indonesia is near us but we’ve never been there before! I have a few Indonesian friends and I hope I could attend one of their weddings someday and be able to visit that beautiful country. My mom stayed there for months and I she had a great time.

  21. I have a growing team in Indonesia and could certainly appreciate this post and I look forward to reading more posts about Indonesia. I super love your post because it is … let’s say it is easy to read and you delivered your message very nicely, and if I may, eloquently, in a manner that is pleasing.

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