Indonesia is an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. The country is located between Indian and Pacific oceans. As an archipelago, Indonesia has more than 13,000 islands, some of them are uninhabited.
Jakarta is the capital city and located in Java Island and the most populous city in this country since it is the central of government and economy. The city has been a melting pot of cultures.
Indonesia has 34 provinces with heterogenous culture. The country consists of diverse ethnics, languages and religions. Bhinneka Tunggal Ika is the national motto which means Unity in Diversity.
These are the five largest islands in Indonesia:
Sumatera Island is located on the western of Indonesia and divided into 10 provinces.
Located on the western tip of Indonesia, Banda Aceh is boasting incredible natural beauty. There are many beautiful beaches such as Lhok Nga Beach. Located in the center of the city, The Grand Baiturrahman Mosque is one of the main attractions of Banda Aceh. This survived building will remind you of the 2004 tsunami disaster.
Batak is the natives in Medan. The most famous tourist attraction in the city is Maimoon Palace. This city also know for its tropical fruit called durian. This fruit shaped like a hedgehog with creamy flesh and taste so good.
Padang is famous for its delicious cuisine like rendang and soto Padang. Aie Manih Beach and Siti Nurbaya Bridge are the most visited tourist attraction in the city.
Palembang has many rivers across the city, you can say that Musi River and Ampera Bridge are the iconic landmark of the city. Pempek is a delicious traditional culinary of the city.
Java Island is the most populous island in Indonesia and divided into six province.
As the capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta has better infrastructure than the other cities. The city became a melting pot for various cultures in Indonesia. Traditional culinary from various regions can be found easily in Jakarta.
Much like Jakarta, Surabaya is also synonymous with shopping centers and office buildings. Known as the City of Heroes, you can see monuments and statues in some points of the city. You should eat rujak cingur and pecel semanggi since they are the most famous Surabaya’s traditional culinary.
Yogyakarta is the soul of Java. The city keeps the Javanese culture and tradition, something you will hardly find in the modern era. The most famous tourist attraction is Jalan Malioboro which is the one stop shopping in Yogyakarta.
The island belongs to three countries: Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam. Borneo has the largest forest area in Indonesia. Here some popular cities in Borneo:
Balikpapan known as ‘Oil City’ due to the abundant oil reserves. The city is also a gateway to East Kalimantan since Sepinggan International Airport, the biggest airport in Kalimantan located here.
Floating market in Banjarmasin is the unique market where all the buying and selling process is done from a boat. You can visit some floating market that still exist in the city.
Sulawesi is the fourth largest island in Indonesia and shaped like the K letter if you look it from above.
Located on the shore of Sulawesi makes Makassar has many beautiful beaches, like Losari Beach. Losari become the most favourite destination in Makassar. Pisang epe is a must eat dishes in the city.
Manado is famous for its marine tourism potential. Bunaken Marine Park is known as one of the best dive sites in Indonesia and the world.
Papua is the most eastern island of Indonesia and divided into two provinces of Papua and West Papua. The island has lots of natural tourism potential.
Raja Ampat Islands currently got a lot of attention. Raja Ampat is a district in the form of islands that has breathtaking natural beauty.
In addition to the five major islands in Indonesia, there are other must visit islands:
Bali Island has very beautiful natural attractions ranging from the coast to the mountainous areas such as Kuta and Ubud rural areas.
The two most visited area in the Nusa Tenggara Islands are Lombok and Komodo Island.
As an archipelago with abundant natural reserves, Indonesia was the target of many Asia and European invaders came from Portuguese, Spain, Dutch, French, English and Japan.
On August 17, 1945, Ir. Soekarno and Mohammad Hatta read a proclamation to declare the independence of Indonesia. Both of them later served as the first president and vice president of the Republic of Indonesia.
There are more than 27 international airports in Indonesia. The most popular international airports are Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (CGK) in Jakarta, Juanda International Airport (SUB) in Surabaya and Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport (UPG) in Makassar.
Singapore - Batam Ferry fare:
Adult passenger: $23.00
Child passenger : $19.00
(All prices are subject to change without notice at any time)
Use bus from direct land bordering countries such as Malaysia, Brunei and Papua New Guinea for heading to Indonesia by road.
The nationalities of ASEAN member countries are allowed to enter Indonesia without visa. Besides those nationalities, visa exemption is is valid for several nationalities of Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Morocco, Macau SAR and Hong Kong SAR. Citizens of these countries can enter and stay in Indonesia up to 30 days.
However, there are some countries that require Visa on Arrival (VoA). VoA can be filed by foreigners at the airports and ports that have been determined before. The visa is valid for business travel, international seminars, transit to go to another country, tourism and some other reasons for a brief visit.
VoA is valid for 64 nationalities. Here are the requirements for filing VoA:
Passport with at least 6 months periode of validity.
Return ticket to home country
VoA is valid for 30 days and can be extended for another 30 days.
VoA application fee: 35 USD
(All prices are subject to change without notice at any time)
Indonesia has lots of public transportation types, some areas even have the unique one that can not be found elsewhere.
Plane is reliable transportation to travel from one island or city to another in Indonesia.
As an archipelago, Indonesia is separated by oceans. To reach the island, you can use boat or ship. Sea transportation in Indonesia is managed by PT. PELNI (Persero).
Bus is a common type of ground transportation in Indonesia. You can find the bus almost in every city of Indonesia.
Train is a jam-free transportation. Train can only be found in the two islands of Java and Sumatera because only those islands that have suitable condition for the railway.
Angkutan kota (angkot)
Angkot has different names from one region to another such as bemo, minibus, taxi and pete-pete. In some cities like Padang, angkot is decorated with various additional accessories to get more passengers
The taxis in Indonesia are not always be metered, sometimes the drivers ask you for a certain amount to take you to a place.
Ojek sepeda motor
Ojek sepeda motor is a motorcycle taxi which the fees are subject to the distance your destination
Andong is a a wooden wagon and pulled by horses. Just like angkot, andong also has unique names in some areas like wagon and cikar.
Pedicab does not use any fuel but paddled by the drivers.
Indonesia has two seasons: dry and rainy season. Dry season normally starts in April and last until September, and rainy season lasts from October to March.
Bahasa Indonesia is the official language used in Indonesia. However, there are more than 700 local languages in the country because of the ethnic and cultural diversity. Almost every tribe or region have their own languages.
‘How are you’ in Bahasa Indonesia and several local languages:
Bahasa Indonesia: Apa kabar?
Javanese: ‘Piye Kabare?’
Sundanese: ‘Kumaha Damang?’
Komodo Island is a member of Komodo National Park along with other islands around. In 1986, the park was listed as one of the world heritage sites by UNESCO. In 2011, the island won a prestige award as a member of the New Seven Wonders of Nature.
Not only seeing the komodo in their natural habitat, you can also enjoy other activities such as diving and snorkeling. Komodo Island has extraordinary beauty both onshore and underwater nature.
The island also has Pink Beach. This is one of seven beaches in the world with pink sand.
Lombok also has Mount Rinjani, the third highest mountain in Indonesia. Standing on the peak will make you feel like being on a rug made of clouds.
Bali is the trully beauty that is worth a visit. As ‘The Heaven on Earth’, This island has breathtaking panoramas from the underwater marine life to the onshore. The influence of Hinduism is very strong here. Bali has lots of temples and cultural attractions that be held at certain occasions.
Jayawijaya is the one and only peak in Indonesia that has the eternal snow. The mountain itself has elevation of more than 5,000 meters above sea level and listed as a member of Seven Summits.
As an archipelagic country, Indonesia has many beautiful underwater attractions. One of the remarkable underwater attractions is Bunaken Marine Park. Known as one of the best dive sites in the world, you will be amazed by superb view of the various types of coral reefs and other marine life such as fish and colorful seaweed.
Raja Ampat is a group of islands that located off the western tip of Papua. The group of islands is famous for islands hopping, diving, snorkeling and surfing. Besides those activities, you also can visit Sauwandarek, a tourist village that the natives make and sell woven hats for a living.
Tana Toraja has outstanding natural beauty, the row of mountains and green hills will make you gasp at the panorama. Besides the beauty of the landscape, Tana Toraja also known for the rituals and traditions.
The most famous one is the funeral ceremony called ‘Rambu Solo'. This ceremony be held for days and costs very very much money. The buffalo slaughter is the most exciting part of this ceremony. The more wealthy or high-caste family who died, the more buffalo were slaughtered.
If you have the guts, go visit Londa which is the hanging tombs in Toraja. Toraja tribe has a unique way of burial, after the ‘Rambu Solo' ceremony, the coffin was hung in a cave in the cliff.
Located in Central Java, Borobudur Temple known as a worldwide recognized cultural heritage. There are more than 500 statues of Buddha in this temple complex.
Borobudur temple was buried by volcanic ash from the eruption of Merapi Mountain. Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles found this historic site in 1814.
Every year when Vesak, Buddhists from other countries such as Cambodia, Tibet, India and China, gathered at Borobudur. At that moment, the temple was so crowded by both domestic and foreign tourists. What is interesting about this ritual is the release of lanterns ritual into the air.
Each region has a typical meal and it makes culinary in Indonesia get richer. Here are some of the famous culinary from several regions in Indonesia:
Aceh: mie Aceh.
Bali: ayam betutu.
Gorontalo: binte biluhuta.
Jakarta: kerak telor.
Makassar: pisang epe.
Medan: bika ambon.
Surabaya: rujak cingur.
Women should avoid visiting Komodo Island during menstruation because the komodos are very sensitive to the smell of blood.
Give sweets to the Raja Ampat’s natives. They assume that sweets from strangers are a gift and symbol of friendship.
Use your right hand to eat and everytime you give or receive something from people. In Indonesia, using the left hand is considered as a bad attitude.