When you think of warm tropical beaches, what comes to your mind first? Hawaii? Miami? Well, what if we told you that Indonesia not only has beaches, but SO MUCH MORE to offer? We’re talking adventure around every corner, delicious food, and fabulous weather just to name a few! Since we travel back and forth from Indonesia often, we’ve decided to write about what we love about Indonesia, and why you should visit ASAP!
Berty and I are also returning to Indonesia in June to attending a family wedding! We are going to explore more of the island of Bali, as well as travel to East Java. Our trip will be short compared to others in the past, but that won’t stop us from making a bucket list for our next visit!
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10 Reasons To Make Indonesia Your Next Destination
You Get More For Your Money
The current exchange rate (As of March 2017) is 13,327 rupiahs for ever dollar. (You can check the current rate here). Now, places like Bali will be more expensive than other islands, but as a whole, you will probably be saving tons of money regardless. Examples: a regular meal (chicken, fried rice, veggies) roughly converts to about $2.00 per person. Hostels in Bali can be $10/night, transportation is easy, and activities are cheaper too!
The Weather is Awesome
If you are a fan of sunny days and the occasional huge thunderstorm (but mostly sunny days) Indonesia is your place. Indonesia is split by the equator, which means it’s an entirely tropical climate across all its islands. There are two general seasons: dry season goes from June – September and rainy season from December to March. Make sure to pack a raincoat for the occasional surprise rain dump! The temperature averages in the 70s-80s making a comfortable warm all-year round.
The People Are Friendly
Indonesian people are known for welcoming nature and accommodation attitude. Every person we met was so hospitable! In the picture below, we stopped on the side of the road to take a picture of someone’s home – a grass hut. We offered them some food we had, and ask permission to take some photos. They were so excited to have visitors they nearly begged us to stay for dinner with them!
Also pictured below – Berty began to fly his drone on a secluded beach in Kupang. Kids came out of the trees from all directions to see what was flying in the sky. We ended up playing on the beach for over and hour laughing and chasing the drone across the sand.
When you arrive in Indonesia your tastebuds will get a whole new experience too. Indonesia has a plethora of new food and drinks to try. If you are a foodie, Indonesia will not disappoint! Some highlights include rendang (dark beef soup) soto ayam (tumeric chicken soup), bakso, satay, kopi luwak (poop coffee!), not to mention the vast assortment of tropical fruits too! Hello Acai bowls!
Because of it’s geographic location (set in-between several trade routes), Indonesia a multi-religious country with active practices of Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, and local religions. This means you can find all kinds of beautiful temples across the country. The biggest mosque in Indonesia, named Istiqlal Mosque is located in Jakarta. There are also several ancient Hindu/Balinese temples on the island of Bali. However, the most well-known temple in Indonesia is called Borobudur and is located in Central Java. This temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and also the largest buddhist temple in the world! Your trip to Indonesia is not complete without experiencing at least one of these magnificent structures. Bonus points if you are able to go during a festival time, and respectfully watch a ceremony take place!
There are lots of outdoor activities to do in Indonesia to please everyone’s interests! Our friends Esther and Jacob (from their blog The Local Adventurer) went swimming with seat turtles in Derawan and other adventurous things in Indonesia. Last trip, Berty and I hunted for waterfalls, explored the countryside, and went zip lining through the trees in Bali. On our next trip, we really want to figure out how to get to Mt. Bromo in East Java. (Which is an active volcano!) If you want more location-specific activities, we’ve tagged Lonely Planet’s activity guide here so you can take a look.
Indonesia is serious about their waterfalls. We were lucky to explore Git Git (Which is a 115 foot drop!) in Bali with our friends. At the base of the falls we could swim in the cool water, and there was a changing station nearby. We also explored Coban Rondo in Batu, East Java. Have you gone to any waterfalls in Indonesia? We’re currently making a list of where to go next! Send us an email!
With Indonesia consisting of ~18,000 islands, you can only imagine how many miles of sandy beach front exist here! When you leave the beachfronts of Kuta, there are actually many wonderful places for solitude and peace! This particular beach required quite the drive, but if having a beach all to yourself is a priority, it’s worth every mile you drive. 🙂
If you want to get a large dose of modern Indonesian culture today, spend some time in any large city! In the city of Jakarta alone, the population is 10 million residents! The second largest city is Surabaya with nearly 3 million people. The cities of Indonesia are worth a visit because of the large number of monuments, history, and activities (like theme parks!) in the surrounding area. However, prepare yourself with a good book or playlist because traffic can get pretty bad!
The Language Is Easy To Pick Up
I, Emily, am a total language nerd. I love connecting with the culture through words, conversation, and learning about how things get their names! Bahasa Indonesia is an easy language because there is no tense, which means you only describe things in the past, present or future by clarifying it. Example sentences: Yesterday I eat bread. Today I eat bread. Tomorrow I eat bread. See? Easy to pick up, and fun to speak! We would encourage everyone to pick up a phrase book and practice small sayings like please and thank you to give the locals a pleasant surprise!
Have you been to Indonesia? What is your favorite thing about this country? Share in the comments below!
Thanks for reading!
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