Few countries in the world spell out diversity in the same way that Indonesia does. Lush rice fields, fertile plains, scores of volcanos, some of the world’s best diving spots, tribal villages, century-old traditions, spectacular beaches, wildlife and so much more.

Indonesia has really got it all and it is likely that you may find your paradise several times over in this archipelago with over 18,000 islands.

Check the latest accommodation prices on Booking.com or Agoda.
Having trouble booking flights to Indonesia? Try using Nusatrip!
Book your Bus, Rail or Ferry tickets in Indonesia online with Easybook or 12Go Asia.
Worried about being hacked during your travels? Stay connected and secure with ExpressVPN.
We always promote independent travel, without the need of an organised tour, but if you have difficulty planning your own trip, or you are short on time, we suggest that you take a look at the trips by Viator and G Adventures

Some facts about Indonesia

  • Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world but is officially a secular state
  • It is the largest country in Southeast Asia
  • The currency in Indonesia is the Indonesia Rupiah (IDR)
  • Indonesia’s Lake Toba in Sumatra, is the largest volcanic lake in the world and Borobodur Temple in Java is the largest Buddhist temple in the world
  • Java is the world’s most populous island
  • Indonesia is one of the world’s largest producers of nutmeg, native to the Banda Islands
  • The world’s largest lizard, the Komodo Dragon can only be found in Indonesia
  • The volcanic island of Krakatoa has emitted what is considered to be the loudest sound ever heard
  • The Dani tribe in Papua amputate one or two joints of a woman’s finger when a close relative dies
  • Indonesia is home to more volcanos than any other country in the world
  • Tana Toraja is Sulawesi is home to some very complex death rituals

Best time to travel to Indonesia

Different parts of Indonesia are subject to different climatic and weather conditions. The western and more popular side of the country is best visited during the dry season (April to October) and best avoided during the wet season (November to March). Maluku does not follow this pattern with April & May, October & November probably being the best time to visit the province, whilst Raja Ampat is best visited in between October and April.

Time in Indonesia

The country is divided into three time zones as follows:
GMT +7: in Sumatra, Java and part of Kalimantan
GMT +8: in Bali, some of Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Nusa Tenggara
GMT +9: in Maluku and Papua

Language in Indonesia

The formal language in Indonesia is Bahasa Indonesia, but hundreds of other languages and dialects are recognized in the country. We strongly advise you to learn some basic phrases before traveling to remote parts of the country. Bahasa Indonesia is written in the Latin Alphabet and learning the numbers is especially important!

The view from the Cilu Bintang Estate in Bandaneira, Spicing it up at the Banda Islands Maluku Indonesia

The Visa situation in Indonesia

Visa requirements and conditions are subject to frequent changes.  Always check the latest requirements with your Indonesian embassy or consulate to determine which type of visa (if any at all) is the most suitable.

  • Visa-free entry: granted to citizens of the majority of countries for a maximum of 30 days.
  • Visa on arrival: granted for a maximum of 30 days for a fee, and can be extended once for a further 30 days.
  • Visa before arrival: available from an Indonesian embassy outside of Indonesia. Some embassies do not issue a tourist visa for longer than 30 days.
  • Social visa: issued for 60 days and can be renewed for a total stay of 6 months. Sponsorship by an Indonesian citizen is required.

Traveling in Indonesia

Flights and ferries are the most convenient ways of moving from island to island. Many airlines do not allow the use of foreign credit cards when making online bookings, however most flights in Indonesia can be booked with Nusatrip, using a foreign credit card.

Buses are commonly used to travel long distances on the same island, whilst angkots/bemos/mikrolets are used for shorter distances. Ojek (motorbike) taxis are very common whilst renting a scooter is easily (in our opinion) the best way of exploring the country.

Food in Indonesia

Local food such as soto ayam (chicken soup), bakso (meatball noodle soup), mie goreng (fried rice), nasi goreng (fried noodles), cap-cay (stir-fried vegetable), gado-gado (vegetables in peanut sauce) are available in most parts of Indonesia at very affordable prices, whilst different islands are home to their own regional specialties. Root vegetables such a sweet potato, cassava and taro are staples in the Papuan diet.

Anora Beach - All about traveling to Karimunjawa Island in Java Indonesia


Light and comfortable clothing is usually fine, but remember always carry a suitable rain jacket on your travels. Unexpected downpours are frequent! Wear long clothing during jungle treks, and use mosquito repellent containing DEET. Some areas of Indonesia carry a high risk of malaria and dengue fever.

Suitable clothing such as a thick jacket is required when trekking at higher altitudes or on volcanos where temperatures can plummet.

Electricity sockets

The most common socket in Indonesia is the 2-pin round plug. A universal adaptor will allow you to use the socket to charge your electronic devices when abroad.

Don’t forget to pack:

Read our packing list of essential items! <coming Soon>

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  1. Willem Jan Keizer

    I ran into your website and blog, roaming the internet for destinations I have visited in the past. between 2000 and 2012 I travelled extensively through Indonesia (and other parts of the world). Indonesia means all islands except Java and Bali. I must give you a huge compliment for the respectful way you described the different Indonesian destinies like West-Papua and Tana Toradja, the Batak region on Sumatra and Flores / Komodo. Also, your observations on how to move around, where (not) to go are pretty precise (apparently you missed the one, flee infested hotel in Moni, Flores – be happy with that, it still itches).

    Thanks for the medical info on diving with diabetes. I’m a certified MSD with a form of pre-diabetes. Not very problematic, but thanks for the warnings. I’ll take extra care now.

    Since you seem to be still on your way, have a safe journey, India and surrounding countries can be pretty challenging at times. Wishing you perjalanan yang bagus!

    • Cheeky Passports

      Hi Willem, we’re happy that that you enjoyed reading our various posts about Indonesia! So glad to have missed that hotel in Moni 😀 We actually can’t wait to return to Indonesia and to explore more of it. It is definitely one of the most exciting destinations we have ever travelled in! 🙂 Happy travels to you too, if you’re planning any!


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