Indonesia is an awe-inspiring archipelago home to sea dwelling people, mountain clans and jungle tribes whose homes are located in rainforests, on rivers, next to beautiful oceans and aside active volcanoes. From the tourist magnet of Bali to the cultural heart of Java and the dragons that live on Komodo, Indonesia is enigmatic, exotic, breathtaking and unforgettable every step of the way.
Indonesia offers travelers the opportunity to explore an untouched natural world, discovering obscure cultures and fascinating rituals while playing in an underwater world teeming with life. The Island of the Gods, a traveler’s paradise, however we term the island, Bali never fails to inspire and remains the most popular tourist destination in Indonesia. The scent of incense drifts from temples, lush green rice paddies glisten in the sun and volcanoes rise from the jungle mist to create the island’s notorious image. The most populous of Indonesia’s islands, Java is blessed with majestic mountains and volcanoes rising from serene plantations, evoking a mystical atmosphere with inviting sceneries to explore. Ancient Buddhist and Hindu temple complexes, vibrant cities, tropical islands, hidden beaches and cultural gems await discovery all over Java. Lombok and Flores offer a quieter alternative to nearby Bali, with a slower pace and access to some of the country’s finest beaches. Sulawesi’s 4 spreading arms each offer different experiences and encounters. The island offers less explored mountainous regions, unique cultures and world class diving.
Indonesia has a tropical climate that varies slightly between the islands. Even within an island, the highlands can experience variants from the coastal towns. In general, June to September is the driest period while from December to March the monsoons bring heavy rains on and off throughout the day. During this time of year there are fewer crowds and the rice paddies are a stunning deep green, so if you can brave a few showers throughout the day and are not set on returning with a suntan this is an extremely enjoyable time to visit. Daytime temperatures hover around 25-300C but higher elevations are much cooler. Indonesia celebrates a number of religious holidays and although unlikely to cause disruptions to travels, holidays such as Islam’s Eid in September and the Christian Good Friday in April may be busy with local travelers.
MONEY : The Indonesian Rupiah (Rp or IDR) is the official currency of Indonesia. ATMs and Moneychangers are found throughout the country and credit cards are accepted at major hotels and some restaurants. As of Aug 2012: 1USD = 9400 Rp
VISAS : Visas are required for most travelers to Indonesia. A 30 day Visa on Arrival is available for travelers of 65 countries who arrive in the major airports or seaports, including Denpasar on Bali and Jakarta and Yogyakarta on Java.
ELECTRICITY : Indonesia switched to 220V but some areas 110V is still used. A two round pin plug, similar to continental Europe,is used throughout the country.
DIALING CODE : +62
TIME ZONE : GMT/UTC +7 on Java and Sumatra, GMT/UTC +6 on Bali, Lombok and Sulawesi, GMT/UTC +5 on Maluku and Irian Jaya.
GETTING THERE & AWAY : Bali’s Denpasar airport is serviced by direct flights from several international destinations and dozens of regional airports. Java has several international airports with Solo, Jakarta and Yogyakarta receiving long-haul and regional arrivals. Sumatra is accessible through Medan with flights from Singapore and Jakarta.
PUBLIC HOLIDAYS : The yearly official public holiday calendar incorporating many religious holidays such as Islam’s Eid in August and the Christian Good Friday in March. Tourist sites remain open although they may be busy with local travelers. Bali is a Hindu island and celebrates many more holidays including
the unique ‘Day of Silence’ in March. These religious ceremonies are colorful spectacles but should be respected by travelers.
LANGUAGE : Bahasa Indonesia is the official national language. There are dozens of regional dialects and variations in speech from island to island, but the basic words remain the same. A large majority of the population, especially the youth, speak English.
Hello: Halo, apa kabar?
- Hello : Halo, apa kabar?
- Thank you : Terima kasih
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Ms Nicola Gardiner and Mr Duncan Andrew