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Indonesia is a destination of astounding diversity. The “Emerald of the Equator” comprises of 18,000 islands and not even half of them of them inhabited, it offers never-ending opportunities to explore. Hop from island to island, partaking of the breathtaking beauty of pristine beaches and volcanic summits. Discover elephants, leopards, tigers, and other creatures in some of the most diverse ecosystems in the entire world. Get to know the locals, who speak more than 700 languages, and whose cultures weave astonishing threads through a colorful tapestry. Wherever you go, Indonesia is a microcosm of adventure.Help Me Plan My Trip
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Indonesia is officially named the Republic of Indonesia. It is the world’s largest island country, with over 18,000 islands and just 8,000 islands are inhabited. The archipelago nation is located mainly in Southeast Asia with some territories in Oceania. Its capital is Jakarta, which is also the island with the biggest population.
Indonesia markets itself as Wonderful Indonesia and the acclaim is totally true. For travelers who can only visit a single destination in Asia, Indonesia is a prime option because it feels like many destinations rolled into one. With over 300 ethnicities and a great diversity of landscapes, ecologies, languages and cultures; it’s a enchanting country offering endless adventures that only few can rival.
The Wonders of Indonesia Are Beckoning
Because of Indonesia’s rich ethnic and ecological diversity, it is a guarantee that any traveler who plans an odyssey here will discover endless wonder and adventure around every corner. This makes it a fabulous destination for groups or families, but means that it also provides endless fascination for the solo traveler as well. Plan a trip to Indonesia, and you will find yourself wanting to return again and again to explore more of this spectacular island chain.
More than 237 million people call Indonesia their home, with more than half living on the crowded island of Java. The barriers of the sea and the mountains have protected the characters and traditions of hundreds of ethnicities scatterly living in the archipelago. So there is no unified Indonesian culture although you will find numerous traditional faiths and myths permeating everyday life and myriad of arts and rituals to experience and explore, including music, dance, ceremonies, and festivities.
In here we have traditional Balinese dances which are famous throughout the world, and Wayang, the famous puppet theatre shows of the Balinese, Sundanese and Javanese peoples. Be sure to enjoy these amazing folk traditions on your Indonesian journey.
With 719 languages for 360 ethnicities, it is important to not bias any community. So the national language here is Bahasa Indonesia, which has been used as a lingua franca and for centuries.
Indonesia is also renowned for its beautiful architecture as well as its handicrafts and textile arts. Tourists may shop for baskets, natural fabrics, carved wood, and more. Particularly famous around the world is “batik,” a technique used in textile art design which results in colorful, elaborate patterns on cloth.
Wherever you go in Indonesia, one thing is certain, and that is that you will be welcomed with open arms. Indonesians may speak more than 700 different languages, but in the language of welcome and warmth, the entire population is fluent.
Landscape & Climate
Locating on the equator, Indonesia is sultry with the average temperature being 28°C. It has only two seasons: rainy and dry. While there is significant regional variation,generally, the dry season is from April to October and the wet season is from November to March. It is generally considered ideal to visit during the dry season, but you may find good prices off-season.
The rains in Indonesia are seldomly constant; they come in the form of short, intense cloudbursts. That means that your activities may be rained out for a couple hours, but generally not for a full day.
Because Indonesia is a part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, there are over 167 volcanoes across the islands and many are active and capable of erupting. If you are on your own, better keep an eye out when choosing the next island to visit.
Passport and VISA
There are three ways of entering Indonesia:
- Visa waiver (non-extendable). Show your passport, get stamped, that’s it. Applies to citizens of 169 countries.
- Visa on arrival (extendable). Pay 35 USD on arrival, get a visa in your passport and get it stamped.
- Visa in advance. Obtain a visa at an Indonesian embassy before arrival.
A minimum of 6 months validity must be available in your passport and it must contain at least one or more blank pages. This same rule applies to any visa extension that may be sought whilst in the country.
The unit of currency used in Indonesia is the rupiah (Rp). Coins of 50Rp, 100Rp, 200Rp, 500Rp and 1000Rp are in circulation. Notes come in 2000Rp, 5000Rp, 10,000Rp, 20,000Rp, 50,000Rp and 100,000Rp denominations. For change in amounts below 50Rp, expect to receive a few sweets.
Try to carry a fair amount of money in bills 20,000Rp and under as getting change for larger bills is often a problem.
Tipping a set percentage is not expected in Indonesia, but if the service is good, you can leave 5000Rp or 10% or more (this is expected on Bali)
Health and safety
Security issues in Indonesia are often exaggerated by the foreign media, who portray rambunctious protest rallies and minor incidents of civil unrest as nationwide pandemonium. Foreign governments add to the hype with heavy-handed, blanket travel warnings. While it’s true that small sections of Indonesia experience flashes of conflict, overall the archipelago is safe.
Outside of reputable bars and resorts, it’s best to avoid buying arak, the locally produced fermented booze made from rice or palm. Deaths and injuries happen – especially on Bali and the Gilis – when unscrupulous vendors stretch stocks with poisonous chemicals.
In Indonesia, nature scenery is as diverse as the people living here. In a nation of 18,000 islands, the beach options are almost endless. Hopping from island to island is like hopping from world to world. And with literally thousands of islands to explore, both inhabited and otherwise, Indonesia is like a universe of travel unto itself. Here are some destinations for those who’s planning a trip to Indonesia.
Java is the most populous and also the cultural hub of Indonesia. Much of Indonesian history took place on this ancient center of powerful Hindu-Buddhist empires, the Islamic sultanates, and the core of the colonial Dutch East Indies in the past.
Flores has the most famous park in Indonesia – the Komodo National Park. Considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, this park incorporates 26 small islands as well as the nearby reefs. It was established specifically to protect the exotic Komodo dragon and man.
- With its long history of Hindu and Buddhist influences rooted in local religious practices – is an intriguing destination: the whole island is adorned by beautifully kept temples (pura). Visitors to Bali should never miss the charismatic Balinese dance performances, or the iconic gastronomy here.
- Ubud is a town in the uplands of Bali, is known as a center for traditional crafts and dance. Surrounding Ubud are rainforest and terraced rice paddies, dotted with Hindu temples and shrines, which makes it one of Bali’s most famous landscapes.
- Nusa Dua is is a hive of world-class hotels with golden-white beaches. Being the most developed area in Bali, it can still preserves various temples, museum, and many cultural attractions. It is an idyllic place for honeymooners or the entire family.
- Kerobokan is located in Bali’s southwest, more urbanised than neighboring areas with some of the island’s best restaurants and shopping areas. Most visitors know Kerobokan due to the black sand beach and popular surf breaks at Berawa. Still you can find patches of rice fields, and rural traditional Balinese villages in some areas interwoven with commercial buildings.
- Karangasem district comprises the majority of East Bali. There you will find the holy mountain Gunung Agung. On its slopes is the Besakih temple complex or the ‘mother’ temple which is the most important temple of Bali.
Tulamben is a little village in the northeast coast of Bali with black sand beach covered by small rocks. Especially, US Liberty shipwreck ite is among the best and most popular dive sites in Bali and has publicize many more diving sites of this village.
Because Indonesia has so many beautiful handcrafts, it is an exciting shopping destination like no other. Visit the famous ARA boutique in Jakarta for trendy local fashion labels, or visit the Threads of Life Indonesian Textile Arts Center in Ubud to shop for handmade fabrics. If you are in Mataram, do not miss the bustling market of Pasar Mandalika.
While in Indonesia, tourists can stay at swank urban resorts, serene beachside resorts, and imaginative rustic hotels featuring traditional architecture. Whatever your travel style, whatever ambiance you are seeking, you will find magical accommodations to cater to your every desire.
Indonesian food is an vague term covering a wide variety of local cuisines found across the nation, but more often, it refers to the cuisine of Java – the most populated island. Javanese gátronomy is a collection of simply seasoned dishes with the predominant favor being peanuts, chillies and sugar. But overall, Indonesian food is known for its bold flavors and colorful presentation:
- Nasi Goreng: is Indonesian most common fried rice.
- Papeda: made from sago palm tree starch, it has a texture and consistency similar to glue and is usually served with a yellow fish soup.
- Rendang daging: This meat dish may be made with beef, goat meat, or mutton cooked in coconut milk.
- Tauge goreng: This fried bean sprout dish is a great option for vegetarians. Along with the sprouts, it includes tofu, rice cake, yellow noodle, and a spicy sauce. You will find it all over Bogor and Jakarta.
- Ketoprak: Another dish for vegetarians in Indonesia is ketoprak, which includes tofu, veggies, rice vermicelli, and rice cake with peanut sauce.
In Indonesia eating with your hand (instead of utensils) is very common. There’s one basic rule of etiquette to observe: use only your right hand to eat, and the left hand is to clean yourself later.