Why Travel To Indonesia

Geographically and politically speaking, Indonesia is a country. But culturally and spiritually speaking, Indonesia is like an entire continent. This unlikely nation – the world’s 4th most populous – consists of thousands of islands, hundreds of languages, and tens of religions. Indonesia is a cultural goldmine, a culinary mosaic, and an unrivalled natural beauty…

Bali has been an Indonesia vacation highlight for decades, from the rocking beaches of Kuta to the peaceful and culture orientated Ubud. Java is the country’s most varied island, with the world’s largest ancient Buddhist temple at Borobudur and country’s most charming ancient city, the sultanate of Yogyakarta. Sumatra is an island for adventurers, as you can observe Orangutans swinging from the trees in the jungles around Bukit Lawang or hike up the active volcanoes surrounding Berastagi.

Land of adventure 

Unusual, exciting and adventurous destination.

17,000 islands

Over 17,000 islands with beaches and volcanoes.

Tea plantations

Lush tea plantations and Javan coffee hills.

Inspiring Trip Ideas

Recommended Places & Senses


Indonesia Travel Guide

Capital: Jakarta
Population: 260.5 million
Languages: Indonesian
Currency: Rupiah (IDR)
Time zone: GMT +7
Electricity: 230V
Dialing Code: +62
  Indonesia, is a very diverse and beautiful country, made up of over 17,000 islands, many volcanic, and numerous ethnic groups. It is known for its beaches, volcanoes and forests which contain elephants, tigers and the remarkable Komodo Dragon. On the island of Java lies Indonesia's vibrant, sprawling capital, Jakarta, and the city of Yogyakarta, known for gamelan music and traditional puppetry.
  • During January and February the rains are widespread, and although it is difficult to find some sun, you can still be lucky at this time of year. For guaranteed sunshine, it's best to head further north.
  • March to May: Bali and Lombok receive some of their best weather for the year and beach goers flock to the area, making the most of the glorious sunshine and clear blue skies. The country continues to see hot and dry weather throughout, although the occasional shower is to be expected in some areas.
  • June to September: This is peak season and the whole of Indonesia experiences hot, dry weather. With the school holidays in full swing and the sun nearly always shining, accommodation tends to get booked far in advance and beach locations can feel a little crowded. Humidity in Kalimantan can make travel a little uncomfortable.
  • October: Enjoy the last of the sunshine before the wet season takes hold. Warm and sunny weather still dominates most of the region, although regular showers can be expected in some areas, worsening in intensity as the month draws on..
  • November and December: The rains return throughout Indonesia, but you may be lucky and experience the occasional burst of sunshine, particularly in Bali and northern Sulawesi. Temperatures still average around 30°C in most areas, but the rains mean that road conditions can be poor and the humidity can be stifling.
Indonesia, the world's fourth most populous nation, is 86 percent Muslim, and the largest Islamic country, though it is a secular state. Indonesians are separated by seas and clustered on islands. The largest of these is on Java, with some 130 million inhabitants (60 percent of the country's population) on an island the size of New York State. Sumatra, much larger than Java, has less than a third of its people. Ethnically, the country is highly diverse, with over 580 languages and dialects, but only 13 have more than one million speakers.
Indonesia is a vast equatorial archipelago of  over 17,000 islands extending 5,150 kilometers (3,200 miles) east to west, between the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The largest islands are Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo), Sulawesi, and the Indonesian part of Papua/New Guinea (known as West Papua or Irian Jaya). Islands are mountainous with dense rain forests, and some have active volcanoes. Most of the smaller islands belong to larger groups, such as the Moluccas (Spice Islands).
  1. Ojek. Ojeks (or ojegs) are motorcycle riders who take pillion passengers for a negotiated price. They are found at bus terminals and markets, or just hanging around at crossroads. They will take you around town and go where no other public transport exists, or along roads that are impassable in any other vehicle.
  2. Bus. Large buses aren not used much as a means of city transport except on Java (although there is a small system on Bali). There is an extensive system of buses in Jakarta and these are universally cheap, but  beware of pickpockets.
  3. Taxi. Metered taxis are readily available in major cities. If a taxi has a meter, make sure it is used. Where meters do not exist, you will have to bargain for the fare in advance. Offers of 'transport' are almost always more costly than using a metered taxi.
  4. Becak. These are three wheeled carts, either peddle or motor-powered. The becak is now banned from the main streets of some large cities, but you'll still see them swarming the back streets, moving anyone and anything.
  1. Domestic Flights: While there are ferries between Indonesia's main islands, flying is almost always the faster and more reliable way to cover distances of any note. But be aware that as firm as ticketed itineraries may seem, plane schedules, particularly on smaller airlines and to less visited destinations can be unreliable and infrequent. Internal carriers include: Air Asia, Lion Air, Garuda, Merpati
  1. Hotels and Guesthouses
The popular tourist resort areas like Bali, Lombok, Lake Toba, Tanatoraja and the Manado area have a great selection of places to stay from five-star hotels for the rich holidaymakers to beach-huts for backpackers. In all categories, prices tend to be very competitive by international standards.
  1. Staying in Villages
There are plenty of places where you can experience village life from the relative comfort of tourist oriented homestay accommodation. You can usually count on at least minimal comforts, decent food, and will be charged a fixed, but typically low rate for the room and board. On the other hand in really remote regions, and on islands without formal accommodation, it may be necessary to arrange a stay in a simple local home. Obviously, this is only really an option if you speak at least some Indonesian and are familiar enough with the local culture not to become a head ache for your hosts.
  1. Rice is an important part of the national diet for most of the archipelago, but in the eastern islands, corn, sago, cassava and sweet potatoes are more common.
  2. The enormous wealth of the surrounding sea, as well as fresh water fisheries, provides an abundance of sea food which can be traditionally served in a number of exciting ways, including baked in banana leaves.
  3. As the population of Indonesia is predominantly Muslim, pork is usually not served with the exceptions of Chinese, international restaurants, and non Muslim regions such as Bali and Papua.
  4. An extensive assortment of tropical and sub tropical fruit and vegetables can be found year round to tantalize your taste buds.
  1. Most water that comes out of taps in Indonesia has had very little treatment, and can contain a whole range of bacteria and viruses. Drink only bottled, boiled or sterilized water.
  2. Indonesian coffee is among the best in the world, and drunk with copious amounts of sugar and, occasionally, condensed milk.
  3. Alcohol can be a touchy subject in parts of Indonesia, where public drunkenness may incur serious trouble. There’s no need to be paranoid about this in cities, however, and the locally produced beers, Anker and Bintang Pilsners, are good, and widely available at Chinese restaurants and bigger hotels.
  1. Relax in Bali. Bali is probably the most famous of Indonesia’s islands and for good reason.  Although often crowded with travelers, there is no escaping the fact that this place is beautiful. Try some surfing at Bingin Beach or visit the Pura Besakih, the Mother Temple, which is a truly stunning building. Bali is more expensive than the rest of Indonesia. Make sure you see some traditional Balinese dancing in Ubud.
  2. Dive in the Gili Islands. For a true sense of an island paradise, head to the Gili Islands. You will not find any cars on these islands, so bike travel or horse and cart are the ways to see all that Gili has to offer. You will find excellent scuba and snorkel facilities, as well as nightlife on the party island of Gili Trawangan.
  3. See Komodo Dragons. The subject of more nature documentaries than pretty much any other lizard, the Komodo Dragon is a force to be reckoned with. They are fierce creatures. Komodo National Park is a UNESCO site and is the only place to see the world’s largest lizard in the wild.
  4. Have a Spa Day. When you are in a place like this, it only seems right to treat your body to some probably much needed, deep pampering treatments. Getting a massage is basically a given, but why not do it on a beach. Body wraps, facials, manicures, and pedicures are also a nice bonus.
  5. Broaden Your Taste Buds. With so many islands, there is a huge range of different cuisine to try. Do not  get stuck eating the same thing over and over again. Javanese, Sundanese, Padang, and Balinese food are just a few to get excited about.
  6. Explore Village Life in Kalibaru. Kalibaru is a small village on the southeastern side of Java. It is quiet, secluded, and a great place to tour a local cacao plantation or one of the many other types of plantations in the area on your way to or from Bali.
  1. Night travel
Driving at any time of day can be risky in Indonesia, but is it especially dangerous at night. Poorly lit areas, little use of headlights, and unexpected objects on the road are just a few of the obstacles you’ll encounter. Use extreme caution and avoid driving when it is unnecessary.
  1. Drug
You should never engage in drug use in Indonesia. The penalties are severe for anyone found to be in possession, using, or trafficking drugs. Regardless of your U.S. citizenship, you will be subject to Indonesian law and penalties, which can include death.
  1. Malaria
When traveling in Indonesia, you should avoid mosquito bites to prevent malaria. You may need to take prescription medicine before, during, and after your trip to prevent malaria, depending on your travel plans, such as where you are going, when you are traveling, and if you are spending a lot of time outdoors or sleeping outside. Talk to your doctor about how you can prevent malaria while traveling.
  1. Rabies
Rabies can be found in dogs, bats, and other mammals in Indonesia, so we recommends this vaccine for the following groups:
  • Travelers involved in outdoor and other activities (such as camping, hiking, biking, adventure travel, and caving) that put them at risk for animal bites.
  • People who will be working with or around animals (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, and researchers).
  • People who are taking long trips or moving to Indonesia
  • Children, because they tend to play with animals, might not report bites, and are more likely to have animal bites on their head and neck.
  1. Baliem Valley Festival August  This uniquely Papuan festival has its roots in the belief held by the various local tribes that war is not only a conflict of power and interest, but also a symbol of fertility and prosperity. It is a rich celebration of the Baliem Valley’s diverse indigenous cultures.
  2. Bau Nyale Fishing Festival February or March - Hundreds flock to catch a glimpse of Lombok’s first nyale (wormlike fish) at this huge fishing festival.
  3. Pasola February or March – Ritual warfare marks Nusa Tenggara’s harvest festival.
  4. Waisak May – Buddha’s birth and enlightenment are celebrated by thousands of monks and pilgrims in Borobudur.
  5. Festival Teluk Kendari April – Partying and dragon-boat races in Sulawesi’s Kendari Bay.
  6. Yogya Arts Festival June to July – A month long smorgasbord of shows and exhibitions in Java’s cultural capital.
  7. Bali Arts Festival June to July – A celebration of Bali’s enigmatic dance, music and crafts.
  8. Tana Toraja Funeral Festival July to September – Toraja from all over Indonesia return to Sulawesi to celebrate these annual funeral rituals.
  9. Bidar Race August – Dozens of vivid bidar (canoes) race on Sumatra’s Sungai Musi.
  10. Ubud Writers and Readers Festival October – An internationally acclaimed writers’ festival.
  1. Entering a Temple
    • DO wear a Sarong or long clothes when entering a temple. The Balinese are very serious about their spirituality, so please be respectful.
    • DON'T enter a temple menstruating. Also if you have an open wound you should not enter.
  1. Mind the Head
    • DO wear a helmet when driving a scooter, both for protection and to avoid getting stopped by the police. Insider tip: Wearing an “udeng” (The traditional Balinese headwear) exempts you from wearing a helmet.
    • DON’T touch people’s heads. That goes for kids too, even if they are really cute. The head is considered the most sacred part of the human body.
  1. Drinking Water
    • DO drink bottled water, Bali is hot all year around and you don’t want to dehydrate.
    • DON'T drink tap water. It does not taste good and will almost certainly give you stomach problems.
  2. When Giving and Receiving
    • DO use both hands when giving or receiving. It is a compliment to use both hands when you give or receive things like money or a business card.
    • DON'T hand over something with your left hand. It is considered impolite. Using both hands is still ok.
  3. Getting Attention
    • DO wave with your palm facing down. When asking someone to come by, stretch your hand out, palm down and move your fingers toward yourself.
    • DON'T point with your index finger. That is considered offensive. Use the entire hand if you want to point out something.
  4. Partying
    • DO enjoy an ice cold Bintang, Balis’ No. 1 beer and it comes in large bottles!
    • DON'T do drugs!  Indonesian drug laws are extremely strict.
  5. Watch Your Feet
    • DO take off your shoes when entering.  When entering a home or temple take of you shoes. Helpful tip: Whenever you see a row of flip flops outside a building, you should take of yours too before entering.
    • DON'T touch or point at someone with your feet. It is considered very offensive.
Asia Journey Planner

My motto is “Don’t be a tourist, be a traveler”. Ever since I graduated in Travel Administration, I’ve been working first as tour guide and then in the office planning tours logistics. After 12 years of working in the industry, I now realize that my passion for travelling will never end. For this reason I

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“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page” – St. Augustine. People read the book in different ways, some only glance at the cover; some skim through the pages; and some read between the lines to find hidden meanings… My personal thought, “read the book” then use senses



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