Top events in Indonesia

December
31

A big night in Jakarta with street festivities counting down to the changing of the year.

February
10

Celebrated by Indonesia's Chinese communities, the annual Lunar New Year celebrations is the biggest and most popular event in the Chinese social...

March
04

Attracting bands and performers from all over the world, the annual Jakarta International Jazz Festival (JJF) is one of the biggest music...

Rica terraces in Bali, Indonesia
Pin This
Open Media Gallery

Rica terraces in Bali, Indonesia

© 123rf.com

Indonesia Travel Guide

Key Facts
Area

1,922,570 million sq km (742,308 sq miles).

Population

251.2 million (2013).

Population density

130.6 per sq km.

Capital

Jakarta.

Government

Republic. Declared independence from The Netherlands in 1945.

Head of state

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono since 2004.

Head of government

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono since 2004.

Electricity

220/250 volts AC, 50Hz but 127 volts is still used in some areas. Plugs used are European-style with two circular metal pins.

Draped languidly across the equator, the charismatic archipelago of Indonesia is a smattering of diverse island jewels bobbing around in tropical seas. A visit is a great adventure in waiting – it’s truly one of the last intrepid destinations left on the planet. The third most populous nation on earth has an incredible legacy of peoples, cultures and geography just waiting to be explored.

Visitors will soon be tripping over pristine, white-sand beaches fringed by dramatic volcanic ranges towering over verdant green terraced hillsides and lush rainforest. A kaleidoscope of sealife including huge sunfish, manta rays, porpoises, turtles and blindingly colourful beds of coral await beneath the waves.

The island of Bali is the picture-postcard paradise: stunning scenery, gentle sarong-clad people and sunsets of legendary glory. No wonder it’s the most popular spot in the archipelago. Set inland, the hilly town of Ubud is where visitors can get a sense of Bali’s traditional culture, through the art galleries, temples and museums which dot the area. For the opposite experience, head to Kuta one of the most popular tourist resort areas. Brash and busy and overrun with backpackers as it may be, if you’re looking for a party, this is most likely where you’ll find it. The same goes for surfing as the area has a long history of attracting surfers to its great breaks. Still, there’s a lot more to Indonesia than Bali – there are over 13,000 islands just waiting to be explored.

Hop on a flight to neighbouring Lombok, and here’s where the pace of life settles down to languorous rhythm. Glorious beaches play host to surfers who have moved on from Kuta’s charms, whilst the towering volcano of Gunung Rinjani on North Lombok is the perfect place for trekkers to push themselves to the limit.

Squeeze in a trip to catch a sight of Komodo dragons (also known as ‘living dinosaurs’) feeding on Komodo Island. It will astound as will Borobudur's architectural treasures, which include 5km (3 miles) of Buddhist relief carvings. Adventure-seekers head for Kalimantan's remote jungle interior or explore Sumatra, with its teeming wildlife and wealth of tribal groups.

Travel Advice

Last updated: 20 December 2014

The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

Around 220,000 British nationals visit Indonesia every year. Most visits are trouble free.

There is a high threat from terrorism.

Terrorist groups continue to plan attacks and have the capacity and intent to carry out these attacks at anytime and anywhere in the country. You should be particularly vigilant during holiday periods such as Easter, Christmas, New Year, Nyepi (Balinese New Year, in March) and Independence Day (17 August).

You should exercise caution when travelling to Aceh, Central Sulawesi Province (especially Palu, Poso and Tentena), Maluku Province (especially Ambon), Papua and West Papua Province due to potential for violence or violent conflict.

Clashes in late July 2014, resulted in the death of security service personnel and civilians in the Lanny Jaya regency of Papua province. If you’re travelling in the region you should exercise extreme caution.

Following the abduction of a British national in the Aceh region of Northern Sumatra in June 2013, you should exercise caution in the area. While the risk of abduction is not high, you should be aware that 1 French and 5 Chinese nationals were abducted in separate incidents in 2008.

Possession, trafficking and manufacture of drugs are serious offences in Indonesia. Some offences carry the death penalty. Don’t get involved.

Indonesia sits along a volatile seismic strip called the ‘Ring of Fire’. Volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur regularly and tsunamis are possible. Flash floods and more widespread flooding occur regularly.

During the rainy season (usually around October to April) widespread flooding can occur. Keep a stock of food and bottled water, monitor local media and follow the advice of the local authorities. Walking and driving in flooded areas can be dangerous due to uncovered drainage ditches that are covered by water. There is a higher risk of waterborne diseases in flooded areas.

With the exception of Garuda Airlines, Mandala Airlines, Airfast and Ekspres Transportasi Antarbenua (operating as PremiAir) and Indonesia Air Asia, all other Indonesian passenger airlines are refused permission to operate services to the EU because of safety concerns.

There have been a number of deaths and cases of serious illness of tourists in Indonesia, caused by drinking alcoholic drinks contaminated with methanol.

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.

Newsletter