Indonesia is one of the most incredible places visited during my trip around SEA. Made up of 17,508 islands (6000 of these are inhabited), extending 5,150km (3,200 miles) east to west, between the Indian and Pacific Oceans in Southeast Asia, Indo is the largest archipelago in the world. Of these islands, the five largest include, Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo), Sulawesi, and the Indonesian part of New Guinea (known as Papua or Irian Jaya), with about 30 other smaller groups. Comprising of 35 provinces, it shares its borders with neighbouring countries of Papua New Guinea, East Timor, and the eastern part of Malaysia.
The country's capital, Jakarta, is the second-most populous urban area in the world.
Indonesia has many high mountains, the highest of which are over 4000 metres. Many of them are active volcanoes. There are tropical rainforests and jungles, as well as swampy mangrove areas. Indonesia’s most fertile land is on the island of Java.
Whether your heading for the island of Bali, visiting the dragons of Komodo Island, trekking to the peak of the Kelimutu volcanic lakes, exploring the island of Lombok or scuba diving throughout the Gili Islands and Raja Ampat. Indonesia has some of the most pristine underwater landscapes and marine life—if you like diving (whether avid or advanced), Indonesia is bucket-list status.
The local currency of Indonesia is Rupiah (Rp). Foreign currencies are easily exchanged at banks and money changers in major tourist destinations, but be careful, some are a scam so mack sure you do your research before and count your money after! Credit cards are accepted at most hotels and restaurants in main cities. It is advisable to carry sufficient amounts of Rupiah when travelling to smaller towns or outer provinces.
Different countries have different visa requirements, some you are able to get a visa on arrival whereas others need purchasing before you travel. It is important you check this before you turn up at the airport to avoid any unexpected costs of denied boarding! If your travelling from the UK you get can a free tourist visa
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
INDONESIA TRAVEL GUIDE
The best time to travel to Indonesia is during the dry season. From May to September the days are hot, dry, and there’s not a rain cloud in sight!
You’ll have excellent weather for scuba diving, hiking and lazy days at the beach.
Indonesia’s wet season is from October to April. While there are intense tropical downpours almost daily, the showers only last an hour or two and won’t ruin your entire day.
If you don’t mind the less than perfect weather, you’ll find cheaper hotel rates, airlines drop their prices, and there are fewer crowds at the top attractions.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Language: The official language in Indonesia is Indonesian.
Currency: The currency in Indonesia is the Indonesian Rupiah. 1 USD is equivalent to about 14,124 IDR.
Credit Cards and ATMs: You’ll be able to pay with your credit card at upscale restaurants and hotels in tourist areas. However, if you’re going shopping at the local markets, the vendors only accept cash. There are plenty of ATMs in popular destinations like Bali and Jakarta, but you’ll struggle to find machines in more remote areas.
Plugs: The plugs in Indonesia are type C. The standard voltage is 230 V, and the standard frequency is 50Hz. I recommend buying a universal adapter (make sure it has surge protection) and using a converter for hair dryers and hot tools.
Safety: Indonesia is one of the safest Southeast Asia destinations for solo female travelers. But it’s always a good idea to take extra precautions and keep your eye on your belongings. You’ll also want to avoid buying arak, a locally produced alcohol. It can contain poisonous methanol so only buy your drinks from reputable bars and resorts.