Travel Guide
Indonesia 2024

Travel Guide
Indonesia 2024

Travel Guide Indonesia

Indonesia is one ouf our favourite countries to travel. Friendly people, rich nature and a diverse landscape that will take your lifetime to discover. If you like eating as much as we do, you will have even more to discover.

FAQ Indonesia

Dry Season (May to September): Best for most regions, ideal for beaches, diving, and hiking.
Bali and Java: Sunny days, minimal rainfall, great for cultural visits and outdoor activities.
Sumatra: Perfect for trekking and wildlife spotting.
Sulawesi: Optimal for diving, especially around Bunaken National Marine Park.

Raja Ampat: Best for diving between October and April.

Peak Tourist Season: Coincides with the dry season; expect crowds and higher prices.

Shoulder Months (April and October): Less crowded, potentially better deals, still good weather.

Indonesia offers a rich culinary diversity. Some must-try dishes include Rendang (spicy braised meat), Ayam Geprek (Crispy chicken with hot sambal), Babi Guling (Crispy grilled pigling), Nasi Goreng (fried rice) and Satay (skewered meats with peanut sauce)

The Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) is the currency used. 1 USD is roughly 16.000 IDR.

Bali is the most popular for its cultural heritage and beautiful beaches. For a less touristy experience, Lombok, Flores, or the Gili Islands are excellent choices.

Indonesia is home to hundreds of local languages, but the official language is Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia). English is widely spoken in major tourist areas.

The capital city is Jakarta, known for its bustling city life, historical sites like the old town of Batavia, and shopping at markets and luxury malls.

Indonesia is famous for its stunning beaches, jungles, diving in places like Raja Ampat, surfing, volcanic hiking trails, and vibrant cultural festivals.

Indonesia is located in Southeast Asia and is spread across the equator between the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is part of the Malay Archipelago.

Top destinations include Bali for its beaches and temples, Jakarta for its urban experience, Yogyakarta for culture and history, and Komodo National Park for its unique wildlife.

Indonesia comprises over 17,000 islands, with about 6,000 of them inhabited. The largest and most well-known islands include Java, Sumatra, Bali, and Kalimantan.

About Indonesia

Table of Contents

Why Indonesia Is a Unique Destination

Diversity of Islands: Over 17,000 islands, each with unique traditions, languages, and landscapes.

Rich Cultural Heritage: A vivid display of dance, music, and art, reflecting a history of Hindu-Buddhist empires, Islamic sultanates, and colonial influences.

Natural Wonders: Iconic landscapes including volcanoes, tropical rainforests, and beautiful beaches, offering outdoor activities like trekking, diving, and wildlife watching.

Culinary Delights: A vast array of cuisine, with each island offering its own flavors and ingredients, from spicy rendang to the classic nasi goreng.

Warm Hospitality: Known for the friendliness and welcoming nature of its people, enhancing the travel experience with genuine warmth and hospitality.

Preparing for Your Trip to Indonesia
Best Time to Visit: Dry and Rainy Season

Dry Season (May to September): Ideal for outdoor activities, beach holidays, and exploring temples. This is the peak season for popular destinations like Bali and Java.

Rainy Season (October to April): Characterized by short, heavy showers, mainly in the afternoon. It’s a great time for those who prefer fewer crowds and lush, green landscapes. Some regions, like Maluku and Papua, are best visited during these months due to their opposite weather patterns.

Visa Requirements and Entry Tips for Indonesia

Visa on Arrival (VoA): Available for citizens of many countries, valid for 30 days and extendable for another 30 days.

Online Application (eVoA): You can apply for your visa on the official page of the Indonesian Immigration Molina


    • Ensure your passport is valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry.
    • Keep a return ticket and proof of accommodation handy for immigration checks.
Health Care: Recommended Vaccinations and Travel Pharmacy

Vaccinations: For Indonesia, it is often recommended to receive vaccines for Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid, Tetanus, and Diphtheria. Malaria prophylaxis may be advised if you’re visiting certain regions. Additionally, a Rabies vaccine is recommended, especially if you plan to spend time in rural areas or anticipate close contact with animals. Please note, that we are no health experts and consultation with your doctor or healthcare provider is essential. 

Travel Pharmacy: Pack a personal medical kit with essentials like antimalarial and antiallergic medication, insect repellent, sunblock, motion sickness pills, and basic first-aid items.

Packing List: Essentials for the Tropical Climate and Island Hopping

Clothing: Lightweight and breathable fabrics, including casual wear and modest attire for temple visits.

Footwear: Comfortable walking shoes and water-resistant sandals for varied terrain and activities.

Gear: Snorkeling or diving gear for exploring marine life, and a waterproof bag for wet conditions.

Protection: High SPF sunscreen, insect repellent, and a lightweight rain jacket or poncho for weather protection.

Electronics: Universal adapter compatible with Indonesia’s 230V outlets (mostly EU-type C & F) and a power bank for device charging.

Additional Useful Items: Waterproof phone case for water activities, and a hat and sunglasses for sun protection.

Arriving in Indonesia
Airport Transfers: Jakarta, Bali, and Other Destinations

Official Taxis and Rideshares: Use official airport taxis or app-based rideshares for safe and reliable transportation.

Pre-booked Transfers: Consider pre-booking a private transfer, particularly for late arrivals or less accessible destinations.

Private Hiring: After using an official airport transfer, you might hire the driver privately for future transportation needs if they’re reliable and communication is good.

Tips for Saving on Flights and the Best Times for Deals

Advance Booking: Secure the best flight deals by booking well in advance and staying flexible with travel dates.

Travel During Low Season: The rainy season can offer lower airfares and fewer tourists, making it a great time to travel.

Airline Promotions: Keep an eye on promotions and use comparison tools to find competitive rates.

Alternative Airports: Flying into less popular airports could lead to savings, followed by domestic flights or other transportation to your final destination.

Accommodations in Indonesia
From Luxury Resorts to Cozy Homestays:

Range of Options: Indonesia’s accommodation spectrum spans from opulent beachfront resorts in Bali to quaint homestays in Yogyakarta, catering to all tastes and budgets.

Island Specifics: Luxury resorts are prevalent in areas like Bali and the Gili Islands, while cozy homestays are more common in cultural heartlands like Ubud and Yogyakarta.

Booking Tips: Popular Areas and Value for Money:

Early Reservations: Secure the best deals and ensure availability by booking your accommodations well in advance, especially in popular destinations during peak seasons.

Location Research: Consider staying in less touristy areas for better deals. Places just a short distance from major attractions often offer better value for money without sacrificing convenience.

Staying Authentic: Experiencing Local Hospitality:

Homestays and Guesthouses: Opt for locally-owned homestays or guesthouses to experience genuine Indonesian hospitality and immerse yourself in the local culture.

Private Hiring Tip: Similar to hiring drivers, building a rapport with homestay owners can lead to personalized travel tips and insights into local life that enhance your travel experience.

Getting Around Indonesia
Inter-Island Travel: Flights, Ferries, and Speedboats:

Flights: For quick and convenient travel between islands, domestic flights connect major and minor airports across Indonesia.

Ferries and Speedboats: Essential for reaching islands without airports, these options vary in speed, price, and comfort. Plan ahead for schedules and availability, especially during peak travel times.

Local Transport: Bemos, Ojeks, and More:

Bemos: Minivans or small buses serving as communal taxis, perfect for affordable travel within towns or between villages.

Ojeks: Motorcycle taxis ideal for solo travelers aiming to swiftly navigate through traffic. Always confirm the fare before the ride.

App-Based Services: In urban areas, platforms like Gojek and Grab offer convenient, safe transport and food delivery services.

Car Rentals with Driver: For those preferring comfort and convenience, renting a car with a driver is a popular choice. This option not only eliminates navigation and parking concerns but also provides local insight, enhancing your travel experience. While more costly than public transport, it offers personalized flexibility and safety, especially for group travelers or those exploring remote areas.

Renting Cars and Scooters: Tips for Safe Driving:

International Driving Permit: Ensure you have an International Driving Permit (IDP) along with your national driver’s license if you plan to rent a car or scooter.

Familiarize with Local Laws: Indonesian traffic laws and driving customs may differ from what you’re used to. Be cautious and respectful of local driving practices.

Safety First: Always wear a helmet when riding scooters and seatbelts in cars. Be especially cautious when driving in more rural areas where road conditions can vary.

Sights & Activities
Temples, Volcanoes, and Beaches: Indonesia’s Wonders:

Temples: Marvel at the spiritual serenity of Borobudur and Prambanan in Java, ancient temples that stand as testaments to Indonesia’s rich Hindu-Buddhist heritage.

Volcanoes: Embark on a trekking adventure to active volcanoes like Mount Bromo or Mount Batur for sunrise views that are truly once in a lifetime.

Beaches: From the pristine shores of Bali to the hidden gems of the Gili Islands and Raja Ampat, Indonesia’s beaches offer paradise for sunseekers and divers alike.

Adventures Off the Beaten Path:

Lesser-Known Islands: Explore the untouched beauty of Flores or the cultural richness of Sulawesi, islands that offer unique landscapes and experiences away from the crowds.

Wildlife Encounters: Visit Sumatra for a chance to see orangutans in the wild or snorkel with manta rays in Komodo National Park.

Cultural Highlights: Batik, Gamelan, and Traditional Festivals:

Batik: Discover the art of Batik making in Yogyakarta or Solo, where this UNESCO-listed fabric painting technique has been perfected over centuries.

Gamelan: Experience the mesmerizing sounds of a Gamelan orchestra, a traditional musical ensemble that plays an integral role in Indonesian cultural performances.

Traditional Festivals: Participate in or witness vibrant festivals like Bali’s Nyepi or the Pasola Festival in Sumba, offering deep insights into Indonesia’s diverse cultural practices.

Indonesian Cuisine
Culinary Characteristics

Rich and diverse, blending spices, flavors, and techniques from its many islands.

Predominantly spicy and aromatic, with a balance of sweet, sour, and savory elements.

Often rice, accompanied by a variety of meats, seafood, vegetables, and legumes.

Typical Foods

Nasi Goreng: Indonesia’s iconic fried rice, seasoned with kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) and mixed with meat, seafood, or vegetables.

Rendang: Slow-cooked, spice-infused beef dish from West Sumatra, known for its tender texture and rich flavors.

Sate: Skewered and grilled meats, served with peanut sauce or sweet soy sauce.

Babi Guling: Balinese specialty of spit-roasted pork, seasoned with local herbs and spices.

Soups: Various regional soups like Soto Ayam (chicken soup) and Sayur Asem (sour vegetable soup).

Vegan and Vegetarian Options

Tempeh and Tofu: Soy products used in a variety of dishes, offering protein-rich options for vegetarians and vegans.

Gado-Gado: Vegetable salad drenched in peanut sauce, a fulfilling meal by itself.

Sayur Lodeh: Coconut milk-based vegetable stew, often flavored with lemongrass and galangal.

Nasi Campur Vegetarian: A vegetarian version of this mixed rice dish, featuring a variety of vegetable sides and tempeh or tofu.

Culture & Etiquette in Indonesia
Insights into Indonesian Culture and Traditions

Community and Harmony: Strong emphasis on community and social harmony, influencing daily interactions and social conduct.

Religious Diversity: A mosaic of religions with Islam being predominant, alongside Hinduism in Bali, Christianity in parts of Sumatra and Papua, and indigenous beliefs.

Cultural Celebrations: Vibrant festivals and ceremonies, such as Bali’s Nyepi or Java’s Borobudur ceremony, reflecting Indonesia’s rich cultural heritage.

Dos and Don'ts: Respecting Local Customs

Do: Dress modestly, especially when visiting temples or rural areas. Use your right hand for eating and giving or receiving items.

Don’t: Point with your finger (use your thumb instead), place your hands on your hips (seen as confrontational), or touch someone’s head (considered sacred).

Communication Tips: Bahasa Indonesia and Local Dialects and Languages

Bahasa Indonesia: The national language, a unifying factor across the archipelago. Learning basic phrases can greatly enhance interactions.

Local Dialects: Each region has its dialect; showing interest or using local phrases can endear you to residents.

Non-Verbal Communication: Pay attention to non-verbal cues; Indonesians may communicate displeasure or agreement subtly to maintain harmony.

Sustainable Travel in Indonesia
Eco-Friendly Travel Practices

Protecting Coral Reefs: Engage in responsible snorkeling and diving practices. This includes using reef-friendly sunscreen that lacks harmful chemicals, not touching or stepping on coral, and selecting eco-certified tour operators.

Avoiding Plastic: Reduce your plastic footprint by utilizing refillable water bottles, bringing reusable bags for shopping, and avoiding single-use plastic items whenever possible.

Water Conservation: Be mindful of water usage, especially in areas where water is scarce. Shorter showers and reusing towels can make a significant difference.

Wildlife Respect: Always maintain a respectful distance from wildlife, never feed animals, and choose wildlife tours that respect animal welfare and natural habitats.

Cultural Respect: Show respect towards local customs and traditions. This includes dressing appropriately, especially in religious or traditional settings, and seeking permission before taking photos of people.

Supporting Local Economy and Communities

Patronizing Local Businesses: Boost the local economy by dining in local eateries, shopping from local artisans, and opting for accommodations owned by residents.

Choosing Sustainable Tours: Select tours that prioritize the environment and contribute positively to the local communities. Look for experiences that offer genuine interaction with local traditions and support community projects.

Safety & Emergencies
Safe Travel in Indonesia: Practical Advice

Stay Informed: Regularly check local news and weather updates, particularly for alerts on earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis, which Indonesia can be prone to.

Secure Valuables: Always keep important documents and valuables in a secure place on your person, especially in crowded areas to minimize the risk of theft.

Travel Insurance: Opt for comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, theft, and unforeseen trip interruptions.

Local Laws and Customs: Acquaint yourself with local laws and customs to ensure respectful and law-abiding behavior during your stay.

Emergency Numbers and Healthcare

Emergency Numbers: Dial 112 for general emergencies in Indonesia. For specific services, use 110 for police, 118/119 for ambulance, and 113 for fire.

Healthcare Facilities: Urban centers like Jakarta and Bali offer high-quality medical care, but facilities in remote areas may be limited. Keep a list of nearby hospitals and clinics handy when traveling off the main routes.

Medical Kit: Bring a basic medical kit for common issues and ensure you have an adequate supply of any prescription medicines, which might not be available in all locations.

Pre-Departure Checklist for Indonesia
Checking Documents

Passport: Ensure your passport is valid for at least 6 months beyond your intended stay in Indonesia.

Visa: Check the latest visa requirements for your nationality. Many visitors can get a visa on arrival or enter visa-free for short stays, but this depends on your country of origin.

Travel Insurance: Confirm that your travel insurance is up-to-date and covers your planned activities in Indonesia, as well as health care and emergency evacuation.

Health Care

Vaccinations: Consult with a travel health clinic or your doctor for recommended vaccinations well in advance of your trip. Common recommendations include Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid, Tetanus and Rabies.

Medications: Pack a supply of any prescription medications you need, along with a copy of the prescription. Include a basic travel health kit with remedies for common travel-related ailments.

Packing List

Clothing: Lightweight, breathable clothing for the humid climate, plus a rain jacket for sudden downpours. Remember to pack modest attire for temple visits.

Footwear: Durable, comfortable footwear for walking and hiking, as well as sandals or flip-flops for the beach.

Sun and Insect Protection: High-SPF sunscreen, insect repellent, and a hat to protect against the sun and mosquitoes.

Electronics: A universal travel adapter for Indonesia’s outlets and a power bank for charging your devices.

Miscellaneous: A reusable water bottle to stay hydrated, and a dry bag to keep your valuables safe during water activities or rain.

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