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Padar Island, Indonesia
Padar Island, Indonesia by Killian Pham on Unsplash.

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Indonesia Travel and Tourism on Travel Notes


Indonesian culture and traditions offer a rich tapestry of experiences for travellers, from traditional dances and music to unique rituals and national costumes.

About Indonesia

Indonesia offers a diverse blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and warm hospitality; a wonderful part of the world to explore, with its semi-active volcanoes, jungles and deserted beaches. 

Indonesia 's stunning landscapes, vibrant traditions, and welcoming people make it an intriguing destination for travellers seeking unique experiences.

From the vibrant batik patterns of Java to the intricate carvings of Bali, every region in Indonesia has its distinct art, dance, music, and cuisine.

Countries neighbouring Indonesia: Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste.

Travel Map Mapping Indonesia

Map of Indonesia

Map of Indonesia

Indonesia shares land borders with Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, and East Timor, while its maritime borders include Singapore, the Philippines, Australia, and India's Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Jakarta, located on the island of Java, is the capital and largest city of Indonesia.

Indonesia Overview

Indonesia is a South-east Asian country located between the Indian and Pacific oceans.

It is the world's largest archipelago, consisting of more than 17,000 islands, with Java, Sumatra, Borneo (Kalimantan), Sulawesi, and Bali being the most well-known ones.


Indonesia is recognised as a megadiverse country with diverse ecosystems and abundant wildlife.

The country is part of the Coral Triangle, known for its remarkable marine biodiversity.

It is home to various species, including orangutans, tigers, elephants, and the world's largest flower, the Rafflesia.

Capital and Major Cities

Jakarta is a bustling metropolis with a vibrant mix of modern skyscrapers, historical landmarks, and cultural attractions.

Other major cities include Surabaya, Bandung, Medan, and Yogyakarta.


Indonesian cuisine is diverse and flavourful, with influences from Chinese, Indian, Arabic, and Dutch culinary traditions.

Some popular dishes include nasi goreng (fried rice), satay (grilled skewered meat), rendang (spicy meat stew), gado-gado (vegetable salad with peanut sauce), and nasi padang (Sumatran rice dishes).

Indonesia is also famous for its rich coffee, such as Sumatran and Java coffee.

Culture and Diversity

Indonesia is known for its rich cultural heritage, influenced by various indigenous tribes, Hindu and Buddhist empires, Islamic sultanates, and Dutch colonial rule.

The country is home to over 270 million people from different ethnic groups, with Javanese being the largest.

Islam is the predominant religion, but Indonesia also has significant Christian, Hindu, and Buddhist populations.


Indonesia has the largest economy in South-east Asia and is a member of the G20 group of major economies.

It has a mixed economy, with significant contributions from sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, mining, and tourism.

The country is rich in natural resources, including oil, gas, coal, and palm oil.


Indonesia spans a vast area, with diverse landscapes that range from pristine beaches and coral reefs to dense rainforests, active volcanoes, and terraced rice fields.


The official language of Indonesia is Indonesian, also known as Bahasa Indonesia.

It is a standardized form of Malay and serves as a lingua franca across the country.

There are also hundreds of regional languages and dialects spoken by different ethnic groups in Indonesia.

Political Challenges

Indonesia faces various challenges, including poverty, infrastructure development, environmental issues (deforestation, pollution), and occasional natural disasters like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

The government continues to focus on addressing these challenges and promoting sustainable development.


Indonesia is a popular tourist destination with a wide range of attractions.

Bali is renowned for its stunning beaches, lush landscapes, and vibrant arts scene.

The island of Komodo is home to the famous Komodo dragons, while Raja Ampat is a paradise for divers with its vibrant coral reefs.

Other highlights include Borobudur Temple, Prambanan Temple, Mount Bromo, Lake Toba, and the cultural city of Yogyakarta.

Visiting Indonesia

Visiting Indonesia offers a wide range of exciting experiences, from exploring ancient temples and lush rainforests to relaxing on pristine beaches and immersing yourself in vibrant local cultures.

Indonesia's diverse landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and warm hospitality make it a captivating destination for travellers seeking adventure, relaxation, and cultural immersion.

Some destinations and attractions you might consider when planning a trip to Indonesia.

Remember to check travel advisories, weather conditions, and necessary permits before visiting certain destinations.


Start your Indonesian adventure on the island of Bali, known for its beautiful beaches, lush landscapes, and vibrant arts scene.

Visit iconic temples like Tanah Lot and Uluwatu, explore the terraced rice fields of Ubud, and indulge in spa treatments and yoga retreats.

Don't miss the chance to witness traditional Balinese dance performances and sample delicious local cuisine.

Gili Islands

Escape to the picturesque Gili Islands, located off the coast of Lombok.

These three small islands (Gili Trawangan, Gili Air, and Gili Meno) offer pristine white sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and a laid-back island atmosphere.

Snorkel or dive in the coral gardens, relax on the beaches, or enjoy the vibrant nightlife.


Explore Indonesia's bustling capital city, Jakarta.

Visit historical sites like the National Monument (Monas) and Jakarta Old Town (Kota Tua).

Immerse yourself in the vibrant street markets and shopping districts, and savour the diverse culinary delights that the city has to offer.

Komodo National Park

Embark on an unforgettable adventure to the Komodo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Witness the incredible Komodo dragons, the world's largest lizards, in their natural habitat.

Enjoy snorkelling or diving in the crystal-clear waters around the park, where you'll encounter vibrant coral reefs and diverse marine life.

Mount Bromo, Java

Witness the breathtaking sunrise over Mount Bromo, an active volcano located in East Java.

Trek through the otherworldly landscapes of the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park and experience the awe-inspiring beauty of the volcanic region.

Raja Ampat Islands

Escape to the pristine paradise of the Raja Ampat Islands in West Papua.

With their crystal-clear waters, vibrant coral reefs, and stunning biodiversity, these islands are a haven for divers, snorkellers, and nature enthusiasts.

Tana Toraja, Sulawesi

Experience the unique culture and fascinating funeral traditions of the Tana Toraja region in South Sulawesi.

Visit traditional Torajan houses, witness elaborate funeral ceremonies, and explore the lush landscapes and intriguing burial sites of the area.

Ubud, Bali

Immerse yourself in the artistic and spiritual ambiance of Ubud.

Visit the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, explore the traditional art markets, and indulge in rejuvenating spa treatments.

Discover the nearby Tegalalang Rice Terrace and explore the cultural villages surrounding Ubud.


Discover the cultural heart of Java by visiting Yogyakarta.

Explore the magnificent Borobudur Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and admire the intricate architecture of Prambanan Temple.

Dive into Javanese arts and traditions by watching traditional shadow puppet shows (wayang kulit) or taking batik-making workshops.Explore hidden lagoons, hike through lush jungles, and discover remote indigenous communities.

Around Indonesia

Indonesia is the world's fourth largest nation with over 17,000 islands, according to some, and 200 Million people of various cultures and languages.

During the days of the early sea traders, it was the Dutch who had the upper hand around these islands and remained in control for 350 years; until the Indonesians gained independence in 1945.


Yogyakarta is one of the main tourist destinations in Indonesia, with the great Sultan's Palace, Parangtritis Beach, Borobudur and Prambanan Temples, Merapi Volcano as well as the performing arts like Ramayana Ballet and Wayang Kulit among its famous attractions.

Indonesian Embassies

Embassy of Indonesia, in Canada:
​55 Parkdale Avenue, Ottawa, ON K1Y 1E5 Canada​​.

Wonderful Indonesia

Indonesia is a country blessed with countless wonders.

What makes this country unique is its diverse culture and magnificent nature, which should be celebrated and preserved by everyone.

The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy of the Republic of Indonesia presents Wonderful Indonesia, with the aim to make Indonesia a place where everyone can enjoy its natural and cultural wonders.

Where to Stay in Indonesia

Hotels in Bali - Hotels in Jakarta - Hotels in Lombok - Hotels in Surabaya - Hotels in Yogyakarta.

Beautiful Bali

Situated in the middle of the world’s largest archipelago, Bali is Indonesia’s most well-known island.

Map of Kuta

Map of Kuta

Seminyak, the Saint-Tropez of Bali, is a former tiny fishing village with more than 300 Bali villas for rent; all located around the famous Jalan Oberoi, the shopping and fashion street of Bali.

Getting To and Around Bali

The gateway to Indonesia is the Sukarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta (also known as Cengkareng CKG).

A number of international airlines also offer direct flights to Bali.

Getting around Bali is easy and cheap enough using public transportation; bemos or buses.

Regions of Bali

For a relatively small island there are plenty of contrasts on Bali.

North Bali

Visit Singaraja, with its Dutch influences.

Lovina Beach is a group of small villages west of Singaraja. The beach resorts here are not as crowded as Kuta.

East Bali

Eastern Bali is the most mountainous part of the island; with the highest Bali, Gunung Agung (also know as Holy Mountain).

The Besakih Temple is located at the foot of Mount Agung.

Central Bali

Central Bali focuses on the area around Ubud, the art centre of Bali.

Two excellent art museums are located here: Puri Lukisan Museum (Palace of Fine Arts) and Museum Neka.

Smaller galleries, showcasing the work of local artists, are practically everywhere.

South of Ubud, Celuk is where the intricate silver and gold jewelry is produced, and Mas is where the masks for Bali dances and other performances are made.

Further North, you can enjoy the views of highland of Bali, in Kintamani (Lake Batur) or in Bedugul ( Lake Bratan).

South Bali

South Bali is the area from Denpasar to Kuta and Nusa Du.

Beautiful, tranquil beaches can be found not far from the luxurious hotels of Nusa Dua.

Kuta is famous for being Kuta.

West Bali

To get away from other tourists, try Gilimanuk, at the Western tip of Bali; the gateway to Java.

Also visit Bali Barat National Park.

Indonesia Experiences

Choose The Best Bali Region to Suit Your Taste and Budget

Around Kuta

The most happening tourist area in Bali, accommodations in Kuta range from a modest home stay for a few dollars a night to luxurious, five-star, international hotels costing several hundred to several thousand dollars a night.

The Sunset in Kuta is breathtaking and there's plenty of bars and restaurants for budget travellers.

Around Nusa Dua & Peninsula

This area in the south of Bali is full of 5 stars hotels and resorts like the Ritz Carlton, Four Season, Westin, Grand Hyatt, Bvlgary hotel, Nikko hotel and many others.

This is the region for you if you like living the luxurious life with high class standards and top level services.

Around Ubud

Try the inland mountain areas of Bali as an alternative to the beaches. Visitors are increasingly splitting their stay between the two areas.

The hills offer spectacular scenery, intact culture, tranquillity and a cooler climate.

Named for the medicinal plants that grow wild here - ‘Ubad’ means medicine in Balinese - Ubud has long served as home to painters and artisans.

The arts scene in Ubud means this is the place to go for Balinese paintings, wood carving, and other handicrafts. The place overflows with rustic tradition and the unique religious heritage of Bali's Hindu culture; with everything from local temple ceremonies to a Kecak fire dance.

Where to Stay in Ubud

Most of the accommodation in Ubud is of the villa style, where visitors can experience a more romantic atmosphere in beautiful natural surroundings.

Many overseas honeymooners choose Ubud as the place to stay and appreciate each other.

COMO Uma Ubud

COMO Uma Ubud Hotel, Bali

COMO Uma Ubud Hotel: Jalan Raya Sanggingan, Banjar Lungsiakan, Kedawatan, Ubud.

The luxury villas, suites and rooms provide the perfect base from which to explore the wonders of this culturally rich region of Bali.

The COMO Uma Ubud is an intimate resort with private, plant-rimmed pools that make you feel like you're in the heart of nature.

Villa Bali Gita

Villa Bali Gita

Positioned on a riverside bluff in the mountainous area around Ubud - a cosy romantic village famous for it's palaces, temples, restaurants, artists, expatriate celebrities and stunning scenery - Villa Bali Gita embraces it's guests in luxury.

Hotels in Ubud.

Bali Travel Tips

Health Regulations

Officially there are no vaccinations required. Malaria prophylactics is recommended as well as having a tetanus and polio booster if necessary.


During the day, light cotton clothes are recommended. For mountain excursions you should take along some warmer clothes.

Customs and Traditions

Shorts and mini-skirts are not allowed in and around temples. It is a custom to take off shoes in temples, on festival grounds and in private houses. It is strongly recommend following these custom to show your respect for the religious traditions.

You should never touch someone's head (including children) or point your finger at someone, as this is considered impolite. For the same reason you should avoid standing with your head above someone you are talking to. In doubt you should rather squat or sit.

Shaking hands is not customary, except on farewells or congratulations. Intimate touches or embraces are absolutely inappropriate.

Nude or topless swimming and sunbathing is forbidden. If you see Balinese taking a bath in the rivers along the streets you should discreetly overlook them and resist the appeal to take pictures.

When handing over, or taking something, from someone only the right hand is to be used. The left hand is considered unclean.

The Balinese love to bargain; especially in the markets, where it is usual to haggle over the prices. You can do so too but, so as not to be disappointed, please inform yourself in advance about the realistic prices.

Attending Ceremonies

Remember these are serious occasions and should be treated as such.

Religious Guidelines

Always wear a sarong and sash. Do not walk in front of people praying. Do not use flash cameras or push your camera into the priest's face. Never sit higher than the priests, or the offerings.

At a cremation, do not get in the way of the attendees - however important that photographic opportunity is.

Women are not allowed to enter temples during menstruation.

When attending special ceremonies or anniversary celebrations, as a guest or onlooker, small donations are gratefully received. Your donations will help in paying for the offerings and upkeep of the temple.

Car Rental

Indonesia has left-hand traffic. We advise you not to drive by yourself unless you have already some experience with the Asian way of driving. Traffic conditions are completely different to what you know from home and traffic rules are not easily comprehensible for a foreigner.

Motorcycles and bicycles without lights are an additional hazard in the dark. In Bali always expect the unexpected; keeping your eyes open and your mind on your driving.

It is best to rent a car with a local driver or charter a van, if there are a group of you travelling together around Bali.

Car Rentals Online:
If you prefer to drive yourself, book your car before you travel to save time and money.

Dangerous Sports

Make sure you either have personal insurance or travel insurance that will cover any accidents.

Drinking Water

Do not drink water from any taps. Bottled mineral water is highly recommended for your health.

Petty Crime

There have been a few cases of handbags being snatched after tourists have changed money at banks or money changers. Put your money away in your 'bum-bag' or hold onto your handbag tightly.

When changing large amounts of money please check each note carefully as there are a number of (noticeably) fake notes in circulation.

When trying on garments do not take your jewellery off and leave it lying around - give it to a friend or leave it in the hotel safe.

Swimming in the Sea

Currents and undertows can be strong. Always swim between the red and yellow flags. Do not swim too far out and do not leave your belongings unattended on the beach.

Tips for Taking Taxis in Bali

It is always best to order a taxi by phone; especially at night. If you must hail a taxi on the street, be sure that the name of the taxi company is clearly marked on it and insist on using the meter. Don’t fall for a driver who bargains or claims that his meter is broken.

In the taxi, note the taxi's number and the driver’s ID. This may come in handy if you want to register a complaint or trace belongings left behind. In places such as Ubud, Sanur and Kuta there are many people who offer you transportation services. If you must take any of their services, make sure you establish the price up front.

There are licensed taxis at Bali’s airport. Avoid taking services from 'brokers' who offer you transportation.

Some taxi companies and their telephone numbers:
Bali Taxi : 701111
Praja Taxi: 289090
Ngurah Rai Airport Taxi:724724
Pan Wirthi: 723366

Street Vendors

Can be overbearing at times, however they are trying to make a living, so please be understanding but firm. If you would like to lodge a complaint, please do so by taking down their vendor-card details and reporting it to the nearest police post or police station. If you don't want to be pestered, it is best not to look at the wares and avoid all eye contact.

Remember, in Indonesia, if you ask the price, you must want to buy!


Thirty-five kilometres (22 miles) east of Bali at its closet point, or a mere 20 minute flight between airports, Lombok is considerably different from Bali both physically, culturally, linguistically and historically.

It also has less tourist facilities, unspoilt beaches and a more laid-back atmosphere.

Lombok's charm lies in its century-old, tranquil coastal areas with virgin white beaches and green mountains, outside showers at your lodging and, in some cases, no electricity.

Once you arrive in Lombok, you'll think you've stepped back to the more pleasant, leisurely time of beautiful tropical villages and horse-drawn carts.

Here in Lombok, people live as they always have in a bustling cultural mix. The crafts of Lombok are steeped in local tradition and the fabric weaving and ceramics are famous around the world.

Stretching some 89 km, east to west, same distance north to south with a population of 3,2 million, the fascinating and unspoiled island paradise of Lombok is a great place for those who need a complete escape.

Scuba Diving in South Lombok

As I've been living and diving in South Lombok for 7 years now, I've read numerous articles, blogs, and forum posts about our region and many people seem to think South Lombok is only for the 'rough and ready' adventure diver, so I feel the need to clear up a few misconceptions about the south coast of Lombok.

South Lombok, in general, presents itself as a relaxed place (some people compare it to Bali 20 years ago), and travellers of all interests (not only divers) can find a very tropical and enjoyable region to visit. One will find beautiful white sandy beaches, simple to more luxurious accommodations, friendly locals, and lots of nature and relaxation.

There are three unique regions in the south of Lombok; Sekotong, Belongas Bay, and Kuta Bay.


Sekotong is a tropical little place with not much topside activity other than maybe renting a motorbike and exploring the coastline, snorkelling, swimming, or of course scuba diving.

It's quite perfect for couples and families who just want to relax and enjoy themselves. There isn't much touristic infrastructure (although it's developing fairly quickly), but most accommodations have an adjacent restaurant so no one will need to go hungry (or thirsty). The scuba diving is relaxed, colourful reef diving at very intact reefs and lots of macro life can be found.

Belongas Bay

Belongas Bay, the place where the misconceptions actually come from, is truly only for the more adventures traveller and diver.

The region is basically in the middle of nowhere, and the locals don't see very much tourism there. So don't be surprised if you are approached in a quite curios manner, for some this might even feel a little disturbing.

The diving around this region can prove to be very challenging (especially during the dry season, from July till October), but also can be very rewarding in a sense of pelagic life. Most certainly I would only recommend diving there for the experienced diver.

Kuta Bay

Kuta Bay is comparable to Sekotong (from the diving aspect), but offers more infrastructure and topside possibilities such as, cafes, restaurants, and accommodations. The diving there is well suited for all levels of experience, and the dive shops there also have pool facilities available for all levels of courses.

It should be mentioned that Kuta is best for diving during the rainy season (November to April), as during the dry season it's subject to wind and waves (hence the time surfers love the place).

There are two or three dive shops located in South Lombok, and I'm sure they'll be happy to give you some more detailed info about the general conditions for the particular regions.


A small percentage of the Sulawesi population continue to practice animist rituals.

The best known are the death rites of the Toraja people, which are undertaken to ensure the safe passage of the deceased into the next world.

PATA North Sulawesi

The North Sulawesi Chapter of the Pacific Asia Travel Association lists among its members some of the finest resorts, hotels, restaurants, dive centres, airlines, and service providers in the region.

Indonesia Maps and Travel Guides

Lonely Planet Indonesia (Travel Guide) Bali & Lombok (Travel Guide)

Indonesia Travel Guides - Indonesia Maps.

Weather in Asia:
Local weather forecasts for destinations around Asia.

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