Full of effervescent energy and simmering sunlight, Indonesia’s islands are sprinkled across South-East Asia like a collection of colourful spices. This ancient archipelago takes its rightful place among Asia’s darling destinations and beyond the resorts there is a nation full of rich contrasts waiting to be discovered. Sensational Sumatra, boisterous Bali, joyful Java – with over 17,000 islands to explore, Indonesia has plenty to keep you coming back for more.
Indonesia Tours & Travel
All our Indonesia trips
Articles on Indonesia
Bali: beyond the bogans
Posted on Tue, 04 Jun 2013 by Sue Elliot
"Why go to Bali when in other parts of Asia you can scale the Great Wall, explore the temples of Angkor or indulge in ramen in Kyoto?..."Read more
At a glance
- Trips Available:
- Capital city:
- Jakarta (population 9.2 million)
- 242.9 million
- Time zone:
- (GMT+07:00) Bangkok, Hanoi, Jakarta
- Type C (European 2-pin) Type F (German 2-pin, side clip earth) Type G (Irish/British 3-pin)
- Dialing code:
Best time to visit Indonesia
Indonesia’s close proximity to the equator ensures consistently hot and humid weather in all seasons; however, its tropical climate means many areas are prone to periods of heavy rainfall. The wet season takes place from May to October and flooding can make road travel difficult at times. Popular holiday spots like Bali tend to receive large crowds during Christmas and school holidays but are significantly less crowded in shoulder seasons. Also worth keeping in mind are Indonesia’s various religious holidays. With a large population of practising Muslims, Ramadan results in the closure of many services, so expect a quieter experience when travelling during Ramadan.
Geography and environment
Top 10 Bizarre Creatures of Indonesia
1. Sumatran Rhino
Appearing almost prehistoric, the Sumatran rhino is smaller in both size and number than its African cousins. Covered in a reddish brown fur, the Sumatran rhino is a solitary animal, and has been quietly grazing the grasslands for thousands of years.
2. Sulawesi Giant Squirrel
Living deep within Sulawesi’s rainforest canopies, this enigmatic and shy rodent can be tough to spot, so stay quiet and alert if you want catch a glimpse of one.
3. Sun Bear
A perennial favourite, the sun bear can be found on many of Indonesia’s islands. Perhaps suffering from ‘small bear syndrome’, these fiery characters are often quite aggressive, defying their nickname as the ‘Honey Bear’.
4. Sulawesi Macaque
Native to the island of Sulawesi, these crafty primates are known for being exceptionally social creatures. With family groups usually led by dominant females, Sulawesi macaques are a prime example of 'girl power' in action.
5. Sumatran Tiger
A noble predator with an almost mythical status, the Sumatran tiger stalks its prey deep within the jungles of Sumatra. With some estimates putting their numbers at just over 300, an international effort is underway to protect this incredible animal.
6. Javan Slow Loris
Slow in name, slow in nature. Don’t be fooled though, this super-cute creature packs a deadly punch – it is the world's only poisonous primate!
7. Long-Beaked Echidna
Inhabiting the island of New Guinea, this crazy critter snuffles about the forest floor using its large snout. Don’t expect to see many of these guys though; they are classified as ‘critically endangered’.
8. Komodo Dragon
The fearsome Komodo Dragon is the world’s largest lizard, often weighing up to 70 kilograms. Described as the ‘perfect predator’, this stealthy beast makes for an exhilarating sight.
9. Moluccan Flying Snake
Scared of snakes? Now you'll have to search the ground and the air as these aerodynamic reptiles have found a novel way to move between the treetops, by becoming airborne and gliding for up to 30 metres.
What do you get when you cross a pig and a deer? The odd looking Babirusa: a short and stocky animal with large, curled horns. Native to Indonesia, populations of these bizarre beasts are sadly in decline due to poaching and habitat loss.
FAQs on Indonesia
Street food snack = 2,000 IDR
Fresh juice = 5,000 IDR
Bottle of beer in a bar = 20,000 IDR
Souvenir sarong = 25,000 IDR
Dinner in a restaurant = 40,000 IDR
For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
Jan 24 Milad un Nabi (Birth of the Prophet)
Feb 10 Chinese New Year
Mar 12 Hari Raya Nyepi (Hindu New Year)
Mar 29 Good Friday
May 9 Ascension
May 25 Waisak Day (Buddha's Birthday)
Jun 6 Lailat al Miraj (Ascension of the Prophet)
Aug 8 Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan)
Aug 17 Indonesian Independence Day
Oct 15 Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice)
Nov 5 Islamic New Year
Dec 25 Christmas Day
Please note these dates are for 2013. Estimates are given for some holidays as many religious festivals are timed according to lunar movements, making exact dates difficult to predict in advance. For a current list of public holidays in Indonesia go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/Indonesia/public-holidays
Australia:Yes - on arrival
Belgium: Yes - on arrival
Canada: Yes - on arrival
Germany Yes - on arrival
Ireland: Yes - on arrival
Netherlands: Yes - on arrival
New Zealand: Yes - on arrival
South Africa: Yes - on arrival
Switzerland: Yes - on arrival
United Kingdom: Yes - on arrival
USA: Yes - on arrival
Visas on arrival are valid for 30 days, cost US$25 and are available upon arrival by air in Bali, Jakarta, Medan and a few other international airports, or by ship at a limited number of Indonesian sea ports.
No extension of these visas can be made, they will be issued to arriving passengers at a counter set up prior to immigration processing. Payment for the visa can be made in all major currencies or by VISA/Mastercard.
Entering Indonesia without any visa is now possible for nationals of the following countries and territories: Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Morocco, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Citizens of these countries will be issued a stay permit on arrival for 30 days free of charge, upon presentation of a passport which is valid for at least 6 months. This stay permit cannot be extended or converted into another type of visa.
Citizens of all other countries should check with the relevant consulates as to whether a visa is required. Citizens of countries who aren't on the visa on arrival or visa free lists are required to apply for a visa overseas before travelling to Indonesia.
Nationals of all countries planning to stay for more than 30 days in Indonesia have to apply for the appropriate visa at an overseas Indonesian consulate or embassy before their departure.
Health and Safety
Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:
From New Zealand?
Go to: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/
Go to: http://travel.state.gov/
Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/
The World Health Organisation
also provides useful health information:
Go to: http://www.who.int/en/
Indonesia Travel Tips
Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.
Top responsible travel tips for Indonesia
1. Be considerate of Indonesia's customs, traditions, religion and culture.
2. Dress modestly and respectfully. Shoulders to knees should be covered, especially when entering places of worship.
3. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.
4. Choose to not support businesses that promote cruelty towards or exploitation of endangered species.
5. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.
6. When bargaining at markets, stay calm, be reasonable and keep a smile on your face. It's meant to be fun!
7. When on community visits or homestays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.
8. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water instead.
9. Ramadan is the fasting month for all Muslims. During this month no food, drink or smoking is permitted during daylight hours. While non-Muslims aren't expected to fast, it's recommended to try to avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public during daylight hours.
10. The precious reefs off the coast of Indonesia need to be preserved and protected. By all means, admire the coral, but never touch or remove coral from reefs. Also, avoid buying souvenirs that have been illegally removed from the reef.
The Intrepid Foundation
The Intrepid Foundation provides travellers with an opportunity to give something back to the many wonderful communities we travel to. By donating to The Intrepid Foundation you can make a difference in local communities - in health care, education, human rights, child welfare and the protection of wildlife and the environment.
In Indonesia, The Intrepid Foundation proudly supports:
This free maternal health clinic located in Bali assists economically-challenged local women with health services, nutrition advice and education programs.
Image supplied by Bumi Sehat.
To learn more or donate, go to: www.theintrepidfoundation.org
|A House in Bali||Colin McPhee|
|A Short History of Bali: Indonesia's Hindu Realm||Robert Pringle|
|A Little Bit One O'Clock: Living with a Balinese Family||William Ingram|
|The Year of Living Dangerously||Christopher Koch|
|This Earth of Mankind||Pramoedya Ananta Toer|