With 2019 just around the corner, it’s high time to update your holiday plans and let the travel bug take control! Going overseas is always an adventure but there’s always the struggle of figuring out just where it is you want to go. That’s where we come in with an incredible list of places to visit, things to do and amazing scenery to chase around the globe! And if you’re from Indonesia, you can even travel to these 11 incredible countries VISA-FREE!
Without further ado, let’s begin our list of the Top 11 Amazing Visa-Free Destinations From Indonesia!
1. CambodiaCredit: @joerahardjo on InstagramEnjoy Visa-Free Access for 30 Days
Cambodia is a pleasant yet mystifying country filled with friendly people, gorgeous coastlines, rich history and delicious food! It’s a place where the ancient and modern worlds collide, making it possible for visitors to experience a truly authentic adventure. The current state of Cambodia is derived from the once mighty Khmer empire, which, during the Angkorian period, ruled much of what is now Laos, Thailand and Vietnam ?.
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If you adore controlled chaos and want a little bit of excitement on your trip, then you’re going to absolutely adore Phnom Penh ?! The capital city of Cambodia has a sort of ‘anything goes’ attitude that ensures that visitors are never bored! Besides that, it’s also home to some amazing sites such as the Royal Palace, The National Museum, The Silver Pagoda and the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue.
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If you’re more of a history buff and want to unleash your inner Tomb Raider, then a trip to Siem Reap to visit the Angkor Wat is definitely for you! The Angkor Wat was an ancient city in Cambodia that was also at the centre of the Khmer empire. Once the civilisation went extinct, their amazing temples and buildings ended up being reclaimed by the jungle for hundreds of years ?.
Also, for those of you who are worrying about finding halal food and accommodations in Angkor Wat, have no fear as Siem Reap actually has a sizeable Muslim population and even a ‘Muslim Village’ located in Phum Steung Thmey; west of the Siem Reap River and the town’s main tourist market, Psar Chas ?.
2. ChileCredit: @chiletravel on InstagramEnjoy Visa-Free Access for 90 Days
When it comes to travelling, sometimes it's go big or go home. If you’re seeking a thrilling adventure on a colossal scale, then a trip to Chile will most definitely do the trick! Located on a long, narrow strip of land between the Andes and the Pacific Ocean, this South American country has a Mediterranean climate and diverse landscapes which span over 4,300 km ?.
They have everything including cosmopolitan cities, parched deserts, lush valleys, stunning volcanoes, ancient forests, massive glaciers and enchanting fjords! Chile guards some of the most pristine natural landscapes on the planet and you’d regret not visiting them if you have the chance!
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The main way to get into Chile is by plane via the Arturo Merino Benitez Airport (SCL) which is located in Santiago, Chile’s capital city. Founded in 1541 by the Spanish conqueror Pedro de Valdivia, Santiago has been the capital city of Chile since colonial times and is steeped in rich cultural and architectural history ?.
It's an amazing place for strolling around and doing a little sightseeing as each neighbourhood has its own unique flavour and tone. Here, you can take your time and visit the various museums, grand architecture and pedestrian malls of the Centro before going on an afternoon picnic at one of the gorgeous hillside parks that punctuate the city's landscape. If you’re curious about the local Muslim communities, you can even visit the Mezquita As-Salam. This mosque was the first mosque built in Chile and was completed in 1989.
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Of course, if you want to go for something a bit more historical and enigmatic, why not plan a trip to the world-famous Easter Islands (Rapa Nui)! Here, visitors can come face to face with the planet's most logic-defying statues, the moai!
Additionally, Easter Island is also a great eco-tourism spot and has an abundance of great beaches; perfect for those of you who enjoy snorkelling, diving and surfing ?!
3. FijiCredit: @escape_your_life on InstagramEnjoy Visa-Free Access for 4 Months
Blessed with 333 tropical islands, Fiji is home to some of the happiest people on earth! Known for its luxurious private islands, all-inclusive resorts, white sand beaches and crystal-clear waters, this place is perfect for those of you who are seeking a place to really relax and connect with nature ?.
Additionally, Muslims visitors will be pleased to note that finding mosques and Halal food in Fiji is actually pretty easy considering that 7% of the local population are Muslim. It might not sound like a lot but it’s made enough of an impact that the McDonald’s there is Halal-certified ?.
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Besides the amazing resorts and stunning beaches, Fiji also has its fair share of lush jungles and majestic waterfalls. The Taveuni island, Fiji’s third largest island, is known worldwide as the Garden Island of Fiji. It is home to the Bouma National Heritage Park and is well known for its diverse flora and fauna, making it the perfect eco-tourism destination.
Still not quite convinced that Fiji is for you? Well here are 8 Reasons That’ll Convince You Fiji Is Perfect For Budget-Friendly Muslim Travellers
to help you change your mind!
4. Hong KongCredit: @saschabaumann_photography on InstagramEnjoy Visa-Free Access for 30 Days
Next on our list is big, beautiful and bustling Hong Kong! With its iconic skyline, rich cultural history, amazing architecture, and fantastic restaurants, Hong Kong has become a popular tourist destination for Muslims the world over ?.
Besides attractions such as museums, shopping complexes and skyscrapers, Hong Kong is also home to five gorgeous mosques; the stunning white Kowloon Masjid and Islamic Centre on Nathan road being the biggest while the historic Jamia Mosque on Shelley Street being the oldest.
The other mosques include Masjid Ammar & Osman Ramju Sadick Islamic Centre on Oi Kwan Road (where you can find delicious halal dim sum), the Chai Wan Mosque on Cape Collinson Road, and the Stanley Mosque on Tung Tau Wan Road.
With a such a strong Muslim community, of course halal food can also be found in abundance! Even Hong Kong Disneyland offers Halal Food options so that their Muslim visitors don’t miss out on anything (and apparently they’re the only Disney Park in the world to do so ?!)
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Additionally, Hong Kong has also got some stunning scenery for all of you shutterbugs out there. If the vibrant neighbourhoods don’t strike your fancy, you can take the tram up to the famous Victoria Peak; the highest point of Hong Kong island that stands at 552 m and capture some spectacular views to brighten up your Instagram feed ?!
On that note, if you need a little help in planning for your trip to Hong Kong, we’ve got you covered! Check out our 4D3N Muslim-Friendly Hong Kong Itinerary
5. MalaysiaCredit: @rudebwoytrvl on InstagramEnjoy Visa-Free Access for 30 Days
Of course, we can’t leave Malaysia off the list! Known for being a melting pot of cultures, Malaysia is a vibrant country filled with dynamic cities, delicious delicacies, beautiful beaches, idyllic islands and lush, green national parks with rainforests that are chock-full with wildlife ?.
Being a Muslim-majority country, finding Halal food, prayer facilities and other Muslim-friendly activities are certainly a no-brainer.
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Depending on what activity you’re most interested in, Malaysia has plenty of spots that will tickle your fancy! Some of the usual suspects include Kuala Lumpur for those of you who prefer to stick to the city, Penang Island for those of you who want a more relaxed vibe for your vacation and Sabah or Sarawak for those of you who are more of the rough and tumble types. Additionally, if you want to explore some places that are a little less mainstream but equally gorgeous, check out these 10 Stunning Spots In Malaysia
for inspiration ?!
6. MoroccoCredit: @msidd21 on InstagramEnjoy Visa-Free Access for 3 Months
Okay, real talk. How many of you know that Morocco is NOT in fact in the Middle East, but is actually located in North Africa? Filled with ancient cities, expansive deserts, epic mountain ranges and dizzying diversity, a trip to Morocco is an adventure you don’t want to miss ?!
And to sweeten the deal, Morocco is also a Muslim-majority country so be rest assured that you’ll definitely be able to find halal food and Muslim-friendly amenities during your trip.
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If you like history and leather goods, why not stop by the old capital of Morocco, the Medina of Fez? Despite it being the 21st
century, many of the buildings here still retain their original designs (even after being renovated to keep up with modern usage). Still, the earthen facades, crooked alleyways and bustling, traditional tanneries will make you feel like you’ve just been transported back in time ?!
If your interests have been peaked, make sure you check out our First-Timer’s Guide To Morocco
7. SingaporeCredit: @visit_singapore on InstagramEnjoy Visa-Free Access for 30 Days
Another hit-list destination has got to be Singapore! With its futuristic skyline, mind-boggling green spaces and super-efficient public transport systems, getting around to all the cool and fantastic places are a total breeze ?.
Singapore is also a harmonious, multi-racial country that is quite accommodating to people of different religious beliefs. Together with Buddhism, Christianity and Hinduism, Islam is one of the four main religions in Singapore; therefore, halal food is easy to come by as well as other Islamic amenities such as mosques and musollahs.
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When it comes to activities, there’s honestly so much you can do in Singapore that you’re going to be spoilt for choice! For starters, you can drop by the Merlion Park and take pictures with the legendary Merlion statue or pay a visit to Gardens by the Bay, a 101-hectare, futuristic botanic garden that is equipped with space-age bio-domes, high-tech Supertrees and quirky sculptures.
If you’re feeling a little bit more fanciful, you can take a trip to Universal Studios Singapore and enjoy thrilling rides, fabulous shows, and tasty treats ?!
Alternatively, opt for these 12 Unique Experiences In Singapore Even Locals Don’t Know About (With Prayer Spaces Nearby!)
8. ThailandCredit: @viktoria_brovchenko on Instagram ‘Enjoy Visa-Free Access for 30 Days
With an abundance of beautiful beaches, exciting cities, glittering temples and mouth-watering food, Thailand is the perfect place for an adventurous soul to visit and explore during the holiday season. The people here are famous for being friendly, fun-loving and eager to help tourists should they require it. Plus, they’ll even share with you the best spots to go shopping or have a meal so you can experience the country like the locals do ?!
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You’d be surprise to note that there are surprisingly quite a number of halal restaurants around Thailand if you know where to look, especially around the mosques and Muslim-populated areas. There are also plenty of roadside stalls that are run by Thai Muslims ?.
You’ll definitely want to check out the bustling city of Bangkok (one of the most visited cities in the world) where the exotic and familiar collide to provide a unique and exciting adventure! If you need any help, check out our Bangkok Insider’s Guide
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If it’s a tropical getaway you’re looking for, then look no further! Thailand is a veritable paradise that offers a diverse range of unique island experiences! Want to learn how to surf? Visit Ko Lipe. Want to go diving with whale sharks? Ko Tao is where you want to go! Just want to relax and forget about the usual chaos that comes with life? Then the health resorts in Ko Samui are definitely your best bet! And if you’re not keen to visit some of the more mainstream islands, Here Are 8 Stunning Islands In Thailand You Probably Never Knew About
9. VietnamCredit: @dronenature on InstagramEnjoy Visa-Free Access for 30 Days
Next on our list is the gorgeous and culturally complex country of Vietnam. With staggering natural beauty and an eclectic mix of lively cities and rural villages, Vietnam is a country that is both striking and captivating ?.
Despite being predominantly a Buddhist country, there is a small Muslim population in Vietnam; mostly located in Southern Vietnam, with at least 5,000 Muslims living in Ho Chi Minh City alone.
Additionally there are about 15 mosques and Muslim places of worship in the capital city with at least 3 of them frequented by Muslims from Malaysia, Indonesia, India and Pakistan respectively.
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Vietnam will have you falling head over heels over all the things it has to offer. From scenic hikes through the cave systems in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park to kitesurfing in the oceanic waters of Mui Ne or getting lost in the culturally rich streets of Hoi An, this country will sure to leave you with unforgettable memories ?!
Still not convinced? Well here are 10 Reasons To Fall In Love With Vietnam
! Hopefully it’ll inspire you to get packing and give this amazing country a visit!
10. PhilippinesCredit: @trvlr5276 on InstagramEnjoy Visa-Free Access for 30 Days
Consisting of around 7,100 islands and islets, the Philippines is a gorgeous archipelago that has numerous sprawling cities, dazzling beaches, lush forests and smouldering volcanoes. Coincidently, the second largest religion in the Philippines also happens to be Islam, so finding halal food, mosques or Muslim-friendly accommodations is not too difficult.
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If you’re the active type and enjoy spending time in the great outdoors, you’ll probably love the fact that in the Philippines, there’s an island to suit your every whim. Whether you want to go kiteboarding in Pagudpud, or go ziplining in South Cotabato, you’ll soon find yourself absolutely enamoured by the country’s sheer charm ?.
For more cool things to do, check out these 10 Extreme Adventures For The Adrenaline Junkie In The Philippines
11. JapanCredit: @emfocoturismo on InstagramEnjoy visa-free access for 15 days (only available for regular ICAO-compliant e-passport holders that have registered with Japanese embassy/consulate in Indonesia)
Topping off our list is the land of the rising sun itself, Japan! There’s an ever-enduring perception that Japan is a timeless place where the old and traditional can coexist harmoniously with the modern and futuristic, and rightly so. Despite the country’s almost arresting modernity, Japan has managed to maintain a rich cultural heritage that is still very relevant even today ?.
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Also known for being the land of fashion, anime, food and technology, Japan has something for literally everybody! Yes, even the most jaded of travellers would be in awe of the sheer variety of things to do. From a variety of museums, shopping districts and theme parks to shrines, stunning bamboo forests, bubbling hot springs and amazing halal eateries (check out our Ultimate Guide to Halal Japanese Food in Tokyo
for more details), rest assured you’re never going to get bored ?!
Plus, the influx of Muslim visitors to Japan over the years has also prompted the Japanese government to start providing more Muslim-friendly amenities for visitors. For example, in Narita, Haneda and Osaka airports, you can find prayer rooms while Narita Tokyo and Kansai Osaka airports even have Halal-certified restaurants.
That concludes our list of the Top 11 Amazing Visa-Free Destinations from Indonesia! In summary, there’s plenty of fun, gorgeous and exciting countries our Indonesian readers can visit without having to go through the absolute nightmare that is Visa Application. That being said, you should really take this chance to expand your horizons and visit some exotic new countries on your next holiday getaway ?!