Colourful and exotic, the vast archipelago of Indonesia encompasses more than 17,000 islands spread across 3,000 miles (5,000km) of ocean in Southeast Asia, including popular tourist destinations like Bali, Sumatra and Java as well as roughly 6,000 other relatively unknown but inhabited islands.
Indonesia Travel Guide
The mysterious islands of Indonesia each hold their own charms: the resorts of Bali offer nightclubs and beaches; the sprawling metropolis of Jakarta is a melting pot of Indonesian language, food, and architecture; the jungles of
Sumatra are home to elephants, tigers, orangutans and other wild creatures; and the palaces and monuments of Yogyakarta offer a glimpse into an ancient civilization.
Ongoing unrest in Indonesia has had a negative impact on tourism in recent years, but many adventurous travellers still dream of a holiday in Indonesia.
Best time to visit Indonesia
Although the weather is pleasant for most of the year, the best time to visit Indonesia is in the dry season, between May and September. Monsoons can make more remote areas all but inaccessible in the wet months, but tourist hotspots like Bali, Java and Sumatra are always enjoyable. The least ideal time to visit Indonesia is the period immediately following Ramadan, when the resorts are crowded and prices are high.
What to pack
Be sure to pack layers for a holiday in Indonesia: the cities and jungles can be swelteringly hot, while higher elevations will require a warm coat in the cooler months.
What to buy
Batik or songket fabric.
Nasi goreng (fried rice).
A final word
A combination of sunny beaches, dense jungle, colourful traditions and rich history combine in Indonesia to form an ideal holiday destination.
DISTANCE FROM AIRPORT TO CITY CENTRE: Jakarta: 28 kilometres, Bali Denpasar: 5 kilometres
TIME ZONE: Western: GMT +7 hours, Central: GMT +8 hours, Eastern: GMT +9 hours
CURRENCY: Indonesian Rupiah (IDR). Credit cards are widely accepted throughout the country and ATMs can be found in major towns and cities
LANGUAGES: Bahasa Indonesian is the official language. English is widely spoken in Java and Bali.