Indonesia or officially known as the Republic of Indonesia is the largest island state in the world situated in Southeast Asia. The island covers the Malay Archipelago and the New Guinea Island. It has the coastal zones of the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. The capital city is Jakarta.
The climate in the country is equatorial. The tourist season lasts all the year round, but if you are planning to try water sports, come to Indonesia from March to April.
The official language is Indonesian. The majority of the population worship Islam.
Indonesia is mainly known for its fantastic beach resorts. Those who love to spend lazy time on the beach prefer to come to a famous island Bali, Sumatra, Java or Maluku islands. Sea resorts on the Mangole island and Lembongan island are also popular among the tourists. The fans of diving, snorkeling, kitesurfing, windsurfing and yachting usually gather on the beaches and coral bays on the Moyo island, in Labuha and Kalimantan province.
Country and ecological tourism are also popular in Indonesia. The tourists can visit the city of Kau, the Komodo island and the Sulawesi island. You cannot miss the chance to visit the mangrove forest on the Timor island. The excursion to the Komodo National Park is also of a great interest for the tourists.
On the Batam island and Bintane island, there are good fields for playing golf. The national souvenirs can be bought on the Lombok island. Anyone can try mountain trekking on the Bangka island or in the Papua province. And on the Flores island, the tourists can see the everyday life of the aborigines and whale hunting.
Each resort offers cultural and historical monuments and underwater object. These all attract the tourists from all over the world to this country.
There are direct flights from Paris to Waingapu by Air France, from London to Waingapu by British Airways and from Amsterdam to Jakarta by Garuda Indonesia.
The citizens from CIS countries have to take transit flights with a stop in Singapore, Istanbul, Abu Dhabi and in some European cities. Emirates Airlines, Air Asia, Turkish Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Qatar Airways offer flights from CIS countries to Indonesia.
The ferries from Singapore and Malaysia regularly stop in the port on the Sumatra island.
The tourists from the European Union and the Russian Federation can get a visa for 30 days on arrival at the Ngurah Rai Airport, Soekarno-Hatta Airport, Juanda Airport, Kualanamu Airport, and Hang Nadim Airport.
The tourists from other CIS countries have to obtain a visa beforehand at the Consulate or the Embassy. The tourists must personally come and submit the documents. The time for processing the documents for a visa is within 4-5 working days. The tourist visa is valid for 30 days and it is necessary to enter the country within 90 days from the visa issue date.
To travel to Irian Jaya province, a special permit is required, which you can obtain in Jakarta, Jaipur or on the Biak island.
The Customs legislation of Indonesia does not restrict the import of foreign currency. The sum exceeding 11.000 US dollars must be declared. The import of national currency without a special permit is limited to 100.000.000 rupees.
The tourists can bring in Indonesia the following goods duty-free:
- a limited amount of alcohol and tobacco;
- personal belongings and perfume;
- souvenirs and gifts (the total cost should not exceed 250 US dollars per person or 1.000 US dollar per a family);
- declared players, photo cameras, binoculars, and sports equipment.
It is prohibited to import:
- food, fruits and vegetables;
- plants and animals;
- medications (without a doctor’s prescription) and Chinese medications;
- printed material in Chinese.
The tourists are not allowed to export:
- art objects and items having historical value (without a permit);
- rare animals.
The Indonesian cuisine is a unique mix of local, Indian and Chinese cooking traditions. The staple food is rice, sweet potato, grains and seafood. The main peculiarity of the local cuisine is spices and herbs used in large amounts.
The tourists should try hot grilled mutton, Satay, chicken Ayam bakar and roast duck Bebek goren. If you crave for more exotic dishes, try fried grasshoppers, chicken with liver and devilfish with rice.
On the sea resorts, the tourists can choose from a great variety of seafood dishes. We recommend Cakalang Fufu (smoked roasted tuna), Ikan Bakar (grilled fish), Pempek (fish pie) and Sambal goreng teri (hot salty anchovies).
The vegetarians will want to try the Gado Gado salad, a vegetable dish Karedoc and rice with vegetables and nut sauce Nasi pecel.
Soups are also very popular in Indonesia, for example, a noodle soup Mie Rebus, a broth from shark fins, Laksa Jakarta soup with rice noodles and dried shrimps.
A traditional side dish is rice Nasi and Nasi-based dishes with sauces, spices, vegetables, meat or fish Bubur Ayam, Bubur Manado and Nasi Campur.
Thos who have a sweet tooth should try fried bananas Pisang Goreng, rice pudding with coconut cream Bubur Injin, exotic fruits, a dessert Tahu from soy milk cottage cheese, pies Bakpia Pathok and a cake Lapis Legit.
Tea or coffee is usually served with the meals. In Indonesia, the tourists can try the most expensive coffee Kopi Luwak.
The official currency is the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) sens. In circulation are the banknotes from 5.000 to 100.000 rupiahs.
On the big resorts, the tourists can pay for products and services with US dollars and Euros. The old bank notes are not willingly accepted. Be aware that the exchange rate is not the best.
The tourists can exchange money at the airport, in hotels, markets and at banks. The best rate is at the Indonesian banks. There are ATMs in all touristic areas. Outside big cities, it is not that easy to withdraw the money from the card.
At such resorts as Bali, credit cards and traveler’s checks are accepted virtually everywhere. Outside the districts with well-developed infrastructure, cashless payments are almost never accepted.
Details of interest
Sightseeing in Indonesia
In Indonesia, there are 8 UNESCO sites so you will not get bored in this country.
The lovers of nature will enjoy the flora and fauna in the Komodo National Park, which is situated on several islands. A pride of the park is relict monitor lizards. The Ujung Kulon National Park on the Java island will also make a great impression on the tourists. In the Papua province, there is the largest protected reserve in the Asia-Pacific region the Lorentz National Park. Many zones of this reserve are still not studied and mapped yet. The ecological tourists should visit the untouched Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra, which is under UNESCO protection.
In addition to the natural sights, Indonesia has many world heritage sites. On the Sangrian Early Man Site, the lovers of archaeology and history will learn more about the life of modern human ancestors. Of great value is the Cultural landscape of Bali province with its Pura Taman Ayun Temple and irrigation system Subak which reflects a philosophical concept of the union of the spirit, nature and people. Those who like religious architecture will be delighted by the Borobudur Temple Compounds and Prambanan Temple Compounds in the Central Java.
In Indonesia, there are many UNESCO candidate sites. Of greater interest are the national parks Betung Kerihun and Bunaken. The latter is very popular among the divers. The tourists will surely like a trip to the Taka Bonerate National Park and Wakatobi National Park. Visit Raja Ampat Islands, Banda islands and Derawan islands. The Tana Toraja Traditional Settlement is a must-see. The tourists usually go to the Bawomataluo Site, the Muara Takus Compound Site, Muarajambi Temple Compound, the city of Trowulan and the Prehistoric cave Sites in Maros-Pangkep. You will surely be impressed by the magnificent old towns Semarang, Jakarta, and Swahlunto Old Coal Mining Town.
In Indonesia, the tourists buy:
- carved stone, bone or wooden figurines;
- painted clay cats;
- songket fabric and batik;
- furniture made from rattan, palm leaves and grape vine;
- natural Indonesian cosmetics;
- silver jewelry.