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Destination: Indonesia. An essential travel guide.

WHY TO VISIT INDONESIA

There are strings of islands in the Indian Ocean, mosaics of cultures and religions, jungles with exuberant wildlife; everything is fascinating and dazzling in Indonesia.


Hindu Bali offers beautiful beaches, mountains and rice fields, villages and temples, and great surf spots for the surfers.

Jakarta is no longer the poverty stricken megalopolis despite the slums that remain. You can visit the old port of Sunda Kelapa and the National Museum, the Chicken Market Bridge or the Lapangan Banteng square.

In Sumatra you can choose between the famous Krakatoa gray volcano, Bukit Lawang with its orangutans, and the huge lake of Danau Toba, the largest volcanic lake in the world.

The Lesser Sunda Islands are places of great interest: Beautiful beaches in Sumba, handicrafts in Lombok, the famous Komodo dragons, the beautiful and colourful lakes of Keli Metu in the volcanic island of Flores.

Finally, Celebes (Sulawesi) will fascinate you with stunning landscapes inhabited by extraordinary animals and with some exceptional diving sites.
Natural Resources and fascinating cultures make Indonesia a memorable destination, where dreams of adventures can come true like nowhere else.

Source: http://www.thebesttimetovisit.com/

WHAT TO SEE IN INDONESIA

Top destinations in Indonesia are:

  • Gili Islands
  • Bali
  • Lombok
  • Yogyakarta
  • Jakarta
  • Borobudur
  • Raja Ampat
  • Komodo
  • Bandung
  • Bukit Lawang
  • Labuan Bajo
  • Samarinda
  • Surabaya
  • Tana Toraja
  • Mount Bromo
  • Lake Toba
  • Baliem Valley

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WHEN TO GO TO INDONESIA

Best period to visit Indonesia is from May to October.

The climate is equatorial, hot and humid with a rainy season between October and April, which reaches its peak in January/February, there is a dry season from May to September.

To find cooler temperatures, it is necessary to go to higher altitudes. The humidity can reach 75%.

A visit to Indonesia is therefore more pleasant during the dry season between May and October. Bali is also very popular in January.

Indonesian people play the tourists in June/July, when the resorts get very crowded. Therefore, choose May and June or September if you want the best conditions.

Following a list of typical festival and celebrations of Indonesia.

  • Galungun: Bali. Takes place for ten days every 210 days and celebrated for the coming of the gods and the ancestral spirits to dwell in the home of their descendants. During this festival, Hindus will drive off evil spirits with incantations and firecrackers, while express gratitude to their Gods by inviting them down to earth by celebrations of offerings, dancing and new clothes.
  • Kesodo (Kasada) Ceremony: Hundreds of thousands of Tenggerese will gather at the famous Mount Bromo, an active crater in East Java, Indonesia, during the month of August. In order to ask for blessings and another year free of eruptions, the people will present offerings of rice, vegetables, fruits, animals and other local produces to the God of the Mountain.
  • Asmat Cultural Festival: In order to preserve the cultural heritage of Asmat tribe from Papua, this festival that is recognized and listed as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites is an important event for the culture of the entire country. During this festival, you can explore the art of woodcarving and get some impressive insights related to this spiritual artistic expression that will guide you through the history of the people of this interesting tribe. If you visit this amazing event, you will also be able to enjoy original dances, traditional musical performances and also participate in the auction of the woodcarvings and other artistic works.
  • Java Soul Nation Festival: This festival is a must visit Indonesian festival for all of the people who are lovers of soul, hip-hop, R&B and rap sounds. It is an international event that doesn’t only gather some of the most popular musicians from Indonesia but also a wide variety of artists in mentioned genres from all over the world. The ratings of Java Soul Nation Festival are really high and interest for this manifestation has been increasing that much that it won the JJK Awards in the year of 2012 for Best Music Festival.
  • Balinale Film Festival: Non-profit and non-government charity organization named Balinale Film Festival was established in the year of 2007 and since then it represents an internationally accepted and popular event held in Kuta that provides chances for moviemakers from Indonesia to present their works to the wider auditorium. However, this Festival does not only have the promotional character, but it is also an important educational event in the area of movies since it has organized numerous free workshops, presentations, lectures, and seminars. Many of them were held by winners of other important film festivals, such as Oscar, Emmy, Cannes and BAFTA.
  • Mawlid festival: This manifestation has the religious character and it represents the celebration of the birth of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. This festival is held on the twelfth day of the third month in the Islamic calendar. The name of this holiday originates from the Arabic word that means to give birth.
  • Ramadan: This religious holiday takes part in the ninth lunar month of the Muslim calendar and starts with the appearance of the moon at the end of the eight months of the Islamic lunar calendar (approximately during August and September). During these 30 days and until sunset, believers must abstain from eating and drinking and having sexual intercourse. During the night, when the fast is ended, the temples are often hosting a large number of believers. The fast is ended by the Eid al-Fitr celebration.
  • Galungan Festival:is one of the important Hindu festival in Bali. This is the time when the people pay respect to their ancestors with prayers and offerings. Most Balinese will try to make their way back to the family place to visit their ancestral home and graves. Also, they will have a visit to the temple to make offerings. They will also visit homes of other families who may have helped their family in any way. The day after, they will visit their friends in their best attire and enjoy festive spirits in the streets. Galungan is also to celebrate the victory of good over evil.
  • Kuningan Festival: marks the last day of the 10 days Galungan period. On this day, it will be spent with family in prayer and offering to the ancestors’ return to heaven. It is usually done in the privacy of the family home and temple. After Kuningan day, Balinese people will go out and have fun with their friends again.
  • Saraswati: for the Goddess of Wisdom, Art and Literature.
  • Banyu Pinaruh: day after Saraswati where Balinese go down to beaches/rivers to clean themselves and pray for wisdom
  • Tumpek Landep: to bless all metal creations like tools, kitchen utensils and vehicles
  • Tumpek Uduh: for the God of all food, plants & vegetation
  • Tumpek Kadang/Uye: day to worship the God of cattle & livestock
  • Tumpek Krulut: to celebrate arts
  • Tumpek Wayang: ceremony with leather puppets
  • Siwaratri: this is time where Balinese do not sleep for a night to contemplate and purify themselves

HOW TO REACH AND TRAVEL THROUGH INDONESIA

You can get there by air via Singapore and land in Jakarta or Bali. Several airlines serve different areas. There are few trains, except in Java and Sumatra, but buses are very numerous though sometimes dilapidated! You can also rent a motorcycle if you feel up to riding on bumpy roads and tackling various obstacles...

by plane, main airports are:

by train

by car

GENERAL INFORMATION ON INDONESIA

country entry requirements: passport + visa (check your visa requirements)

health tips & vaccination: drink only bottled water and avoid ice. Vaccine against hepatitis A and B and malaria prophylaxis are recommended.

local currency: Indonesian Rupiah

local time zone: GMT+7-9

electricity: type C and F (220 V, 50 Hz)

mobile phone operators:

WHAT TO DO IN INDONESIA

typical food in Indonesia

  • Rijsttafel: A Dutch-invented smorgasbord of 12 various meat, fish, vegetable and curry dishes
  • Nasigoreng: Considered the national dish it consists of fried rice, flavoured with spices and usually eaten with accompanying vegetables
  • Ayam goreng: Fried chicken, a national staple
  • Soto: Traditional soupy broth with rice cakes and noodles, often with chicken or beef
  • Sambal: A fiery chilli sauce condiment served with every dish
  • Bakso: Indonesian meatballs usually made from chicken or beef
  • Sate: Skewers of beef, fish, pork, chicken or lamb, cooked on hot coals and dipped in peanut sauce
  • Rendang: A speciality of Sumatra; a densely spiced coconut curry with lime leaves and buffalo meat
  • Gado-gado: A Javan salad of raw and cooked vegetables with peanut and coconut milk sauce
  • Babi guling: A roast suckling pig, a delicacy from Bali

souvenirs from Indonesia

  • batik cloth (a kind of patterned fabric)
  • ikat fabrics (textile made using a sort of tie-dye technique)
  • woodcarvings and sculpture
  • silverwork
  • woven baskets and hats
  • bamboo articles
  • krises (small daggers)
  • paintings
  • woven cloth

SIMPLE DICTIONARY

Hello: Halo

Goodbye: Selamat tinggal

How are you?: Apa kabar?

Thank you: Terima kasih

What is your name?: Siapa namamu?

How much is it?: Berapa harganya?

Sorry: Maaf

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