Spanning an eighth of the circumference of the planet, Indonesia is one of the world’s most diverse countries. From the stunning sunrise over Borobudur, a UNESCO world heritage site, to the extraordinary sea life off the coast of the islands to the east of Bali, the archipelago has an amazing richness on offer.
The sights exceed superlatives, but what I loved most was wandering around some of the less visited areas, for example Malang, in East Java. There I indulged in one of my favourite pastimes, watching the world go by in, of all places, a pet shop. I was only browsing but the owner was so accommodating that we were soon nattering like old friends, despite not speaking a word the other’s language.
Some of the more historically inaccessible regions have now opened up to the discerning traveller, meaning that it is now possible to explore even more of Indonesia in comfort. I’ve always found the highlight of any trip here is in the friendliness of the people, complementing the sights and sounds of this faraway land.
For the pure pleasure seekers, Indonesia has fantastic beaches, wonderful surfing and diving and, of course, fabulously luxurious hotels. However, every second hotel now brands itself in the five-star bracket, so it’s difficult to know what to trust and online research can be a minefield. Speak to us and we’ll give you our objective view.
Need to Know
– Flying into Bali takes about 16 hours in total with flights via Bangkok, Hong Kong, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur among others. There are no direct flights from London.
– Getting around generally involves internal flights, car journeys and the occasional boat. Some journeys are more reliable than others and for some routes a private charter is recommended.
– Generally Indonesia’s climate is most pleasant and dry from April-September but March and October should still be lovely; other times of year are still warm, but carry a greater risk of rain. However, you’d be unlucky to be rained out.
Visa/ entry requirements
– Visas can be obtained ahead of travel or on arrival.
Events (festivals, wildlife migrations)
– It’s such a huge country combining so many different religions, tribes and cultures that it’s impossible to begin to list the options here. If you want to experience a festival of some sort during your trip, talk to us about seasons and we’ll advise the best way of doing it.
When to go:
April–October are the sunniest and driest months. January/February are the wettest.
From about £2500 per person for a two-week trip. £3500 is more comfortable.
"An Outcast of the Islands" by Joseph Conrad
Flip flops. You’ll rarely change out of them.
Did you know?
Indonesia's national motto is 'Unity in Diversity'.