Adventure, romance or luxury - Indonesia's islands promise something for everyone.
Review and Ratings (2)
A bachelorette and heady mix of nightlife and culture.
A GREAT EXPERIENCE
Food, sight-seeing and shopping: Animal safari n botonical garden r a must see in bogor in jakarta the water world n the museum r a great experience food wise we can have mcdonals n also kfc. local hotels go for nasin goreng (spelling not sure) a rice dish with something in the side veg, non-veg shopping in the mall near the botanical square was great.
Activities & things to do: Go for the beaches in bali too
Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: Language is a major issue, u have to pay for water too in the restaurants so always carry your water or go for drinks.
I am heading to Indonesia
Getting to Indonesia
Transit time: 8hrs from major cities
Cost ₹10,000 per person
The exotic group of islands that make up Indonesia has the best of two worlds, quite literally! Situated strategically between Asia and Australia, bordering the Pacific and Indian Oceans, Indonesia has everything you need for a memorable holiday—from beaches to volcanoes to wildlife and natural wonders to adventure activities.
Archaeological evidence suggests that the Indonesian archipelago was inhabited more than a million years ago. Austronesian people who make up a majority of the country’s population are believed to have originated from Taiwan and made Indonesia their home sometime in 2000 BC. Hindu and Buddhist dynasties held sway over the land up to the 13th century. Islam became the dominant religion of the nation by the end of the 16th century.
In the early 17th century, the Dutch began to make their presence felt and controlled parts of the archipelago till World War II when the Japanese upstaged them. During this period, the Indonesian independence movement also gained momentum. In August 1945, Sukarno Declared independence and became the first president of Indonesia. But it was only in December 1949 that the Dutch buckled under international pressure and formally recognized Indonesian independence bringing to an end the armed and diplomatic struggle to reassert control.
A military coup by General Suharto in 1968 ousted Sukarno and the new regime had the support of the U.S. government. The country’s first direct presidential election was held in 2004 and each term lasts for five years. President Joko Widodo of the Indonesian Democratic Party-Struggle was elected in 2014.
Why You Should Visit
The beauty and diversity of the thousands of islands that make up Indonesia is what attracts visitors to this country by the hordes.
Blessed by nature’s bounty, Indonesia has pristine beaches that offer you a variety of water sports such as scuba diving, snorkeling, surfing, and parasailing. Soaking up the glorious sun on these sandy beaches is also something you might want to try out.
The many active volcanoes on the archipelago offer plenty of exploration and backpacking opportunities. Quite a few of the tropical forests here figure on the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Steeped in history and culture, the country has plenty of ancient monuments, landmarks, and religious places. The different islands offer a wide range of accommodations to suit every kind of traveler. From budget travelers to luxury-seekers, there is something for everyone.
A melting pot of various ethnicities makes for a diverse cuisine and exotic dishes for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. Don’t forget to taste a famous ‘cup of Java’ from the place of its origin, the Indonesian city of the same name!
Jakarta, Bali, Sumatra, and Java are the preferred tourist destinations in Indonesia.
Bali is a great mix of spirituality and the good life. With numerous luxurious resorts and hotels along its famed beaches, excellent dining options, plenty of shopping, cultural experiences, terraced fields and volcanoes, and spectacular dive sites, this region is the perfect tourist haven.
Known as the most populous island in the world, Java is a hikers’ paradise with a dozen national parks to explore. It is also home to the largest Buddhist Temple of Borobudur.
The adventure capital of Indonesia, Sumatra is the place to spot orangutans in the wild and spend time with magnificent elephants. You might also be able to glimpse some tigers and the Sumatran rhino, dive with whale sharks, hike the lunar craters of volcanoes, and go surfing.
Jakarta, the sprawling capital city of Indonesia is where the varied cultures and cuisines of Indonesia come together. Remnants of a colonial past rub shoulders with towering skyscrapers, shopping malls, bars, and nightclubs.
Legian Road or Jalan Legian is one of Bali’s happening areas. Close to the beach, it is lined with shops, restaurants, bars, and clubs. It is also a great place for some bargain shopping.
The Buddhist shrine of Borobudur which has survived for 1,200 years is in Java. The intricate lattice stupas that dot the temple complex set amidst the backdrop of paddy fields is a sight to behold.
Bukit Lawang or Lawang Hill in Sumatra is the spot to head for if you wish to go wild! The Bohorok Orangutan Centre where you can learn more about these primates and the Mina Elephant Training Centre are fun places for the entire family.
The National Monument, located at the heart of Jakarta city, commemorates the country’s struggle for independence. Built over a period of 14 years, the obelisk has a height of 132 m (433 ft).
Favourite Local Foods
Nasi Goreng has been called the national dish of Indonesia and rightfully so. A type of fried rice, it is made with a kind of soy sauce known as kecap. Garnishes include carrots and pickled cucumber.
Sambal is a spicy sauce or dip that is a must at every Indonesian meal. Made from chilies, fermented shrimp paste, lime juice, sugar, and salt, some versions may also include tender mango, durian, or mushrooms.
Soto is a simple meat broth that can be made with chicken, goat, or beef. The Soto Betawi of Jakarta is known for its sweet and creamy coconut milk base. Usually served with shallots and fried garlic not to forget the omnipresent sambal.
A vegetable salad coated with the signature peanut sauce, Gado-Gado is made from long beans, spinach, potato, corn, egg, and bean sprouts. It also contains cucumber and tofu and is also served with cashew sauce in some restaurants.
Satay or Sate Ayam is Indonesian barbecued chicken served on skewers. It is accompanied with the famous peanut sauce of the region.
Ayam Goreng is the Indonesian version of fried chicken and the secret ingredient here is small village birds. It is believed that the lip-smacking taste is due to the use of these farm grown chickens.
Es Teler is an Indonesian dessert that can be found in most supermarkets and food stalls. Made from avocado, shredded tender coconut, and slices of jackfruit topped off with shaved ice, it is a must on hot days.
Vegetarian restaurants abound in Indonesia and you can also find a good number of Indian restaurants in the country. Kayumanis Resto in Jimbaran, Sweet Orange Warung in Ubud, and The Spicy Coconut in Seminyak are some good restaurants.
Favourite Local Things to Buy
The traditional arts and crafts of Indonesia are something you might want to take home with you. Leather puppets and wooden puppets known as Wayang Golek make for great souvenirs. The best wooden puppets can be found in Bandung, Java. The characters that the puppets are based on include those from the Hindu texts of Ramayana and the Mahabharata.
Indonesia is renowned for its Batik products with their beautiful patterns and intricate details. Batik designs are of two types – batik cap and batik tulis. The latter are more expensive as they have hand drawn motifs.
Organic soaps, creams, and incense are made from ingredients found in most local gardens. Indicative of the strong bond that the Balinese have with holistic healing, Bali Herbal is one place to shop for these.
Celuk jewellery also makes for great keepsakes and gift items. Made by skilled silver craftsmen, these pieces feature intricate designs and are quite affordably priced. Rings, bracelets, earrings, and brooches alongside traditional Balinese ceremonial accessories can be bought. Celuk Village is the best place to find all these and more.
Cushion covers, handbags, shoes, and t-shirts are some things you will come across when street shopping in Indonesia. Spice and coffee powder are some other things you might want to look at.
Things to Do in Indonesia
There are plenty of interesting activities to keep you busy while in Indonesia.
Komodo National Park is just a boat ride from Bali where the fearsome and toxic Komodo dragons live and thrive. Rinca,Flores,Gili Motang, and Padar are four other islands where these creatures can be spotted.
Visit the spectacular temples and shrines which have a story to tell. The Tanah Lot and the Sacred Monkey Forest are just some of these.
Ubud is known for its artistic and cultural heritage. Go on a culture tour or take a few painting or dance classes from one of the talented local artists.
Go on a culinary tour on offer or come up with your own version to experience the best of cuisines that Indonesia has to offer. You can even take up a few cooking classes and learn how to make some of the exotic dishes back home.
Ideal Tour Package
About two weeks is an ideal time to see Indonesia without having to rush things along. The Bali-Sumatra – Jakarta Pjava is a good way of covering all the major attractions with ease. In Java, trains are the best means of transport as also buses. Bali also has a small bus system but most other regions don’t. Dokars which are horse carts that can seat upto four people are commonly found across the archipelago as are taxis.
VISA and Travel
Tourism plays a significant role in the economy of Indonesia and is a major source of foreign exchange revenues for the country. The government is seeking to double the tourism contribution to the GDP to eight percent by 2019. Easing of travel restrictions is a move aimed in this direction. Around 262,000 Indian tourists visited the country last year and this figure is expected to touch 350,000 in 2016.
Effective from September 2015, India citizens as well as nationals from 75 countries and territories qualify for the Tourist Visa Exemption. This type of visa is granted for 30 days and cannot be extended or converted into any other type of visa. The visa exemption is applied only at certain specified immigration checkpoints including airports in Sumatra, Bali, Surabaya,Jakarta, Batam, and Medan amongst others.
There is also visa on arrival (VoA) facility available of certain countries at 20 international airports, 18 seaports, and 1 border post.
The VoA is valid for a period of 30 days and requires a payment of USD 25.
It can be extended once for another 30 days.
In order to apply for a VoA, your passport should be valid for a minimum of six months from your date of entry into Indonesia.
A confirmed return ticket is also mandatory.
Note: IDR or the Indonesian Rupiah is the currency of Indonesia. The current exchange rate is 1IDR= .0051 INR.
Best Time to Visit
The climate in Indonesia is quite similar to that on the Indian subcontinent. The proximity to the Equator ensures that the days are hot all through the year with some cooling down occurring from November to March. This is the time when rains lash the archipelago, especially the southern parts. The best weather in Indonesia is from April to October which is a great time for all kinds of water sports as well as beach hopping.
Sumatra gets the lowest rainfall in the country and by the end of February rains here subside. March is when the rains start to taper off and you might be able to catch a bit of sun in some parts of the country. It is also a good time to find bargain prices on luxury resorts and flights. April is when tourists start trickling in especially from India and May is perfect for some orangutan spotting. Early June is perhaps the best time to be in Indonesia as the weather is perfect and the crowds at a minimum
The peak tourist season is seen in July and August when room rates can be at their highest. The weather is also dry and at its hottest but not something that is likely to be intolerable for Indian travelers.