Jakarta, a big and busy city. That’s where I am writing this last blog post for our group. This also means that the end of our unbelievably amazing trip is coming close. Yesterday, we arrived in Jakarta and I do not really like the city. It is smelly, there is so much traffic and seems as if there are practically only big buildings in the entire city. But also, when I compare it to the two islands we have been to in the past three weeks, it definitely is a world of difference.

Our adventure, as I would call this trip, started 3.5 weeks ago on the island of Sumba. I did not really know what to expect from this trip, since I had never been to Indonesia before. But it turned out to be an amazing experience. The island had so much to offer, culturally as well as naturally. For our research, the island was really challenging since there are no tourism activities in the coastal areas so far. But for seeing beautiful landscapes, meeting kind people and getting knowledge about the culture, the island was a perfect destination.

Our last week of research we spent on the island of Belitung. This island was more convenient for our research, because tourism is already bigger on the island and they do provide activities in the coastal area. It was really sad that we had only one week on Belitung, because also on this island you could find beautiful landscapes, such as white sandy beaches, blue seas, coral reefs, but also mangroves. We did not see all of these things because of our short time there, but it was totally worth being there.

When I think of Asia, I always create an image of a paradise in my mind with its white beaches and blue seas. In my experience, these things you can actually find on Sumba and Belitung and I really felt like being in paradise when spending time on these islands. I am really sad that this trip is ending so soon, but I know that after this great adventure I would definitely return to Indonesia one day. And then especially to Sumba and Belitung to explore the islands even more and see how our research may have contributed to the development of tourism.

Written by: Nynke