Indonesia consists of more than 14,000 islands, so you need a lot of time to see everything. The most visited islands are Sumatra, Java, Bali, Lombok, and Flores. Each island has its own characteristics and Indonesia offers something for everyone.
Don’t forget to enjoy the local food. You will find satay and other specialties on every street corner.
Before you go
Indonesia has a Visa on Arrival that allows you to stay up to 30 days. Pay attention to your entry point to see if it qualifies. There is a free version that doesn’t allow for extension. If you buy a VOA you can extend it for a stay up to 60 days.
Things to keep in mind
Indonesia has a lot of ATMs but they don’t work with all cards so you might have to try a couple before you’re able to take out money. And if you want to feel rich Indonesia is your country! Paying millions for something, who knew it was possible?
The Indonesian rupiah has both coins and notes. The coin series consists of 100, 200, 500, and 1000 rupiah. The banknote range consists of 1000, 2000, 5000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000 and 100,000 rupiah. The colors make it easy to see which note has which value.
Your mode of transport depends on the islands you decide to go to. On Java, we took the train a lot because it’s cheap and comfortable. But on other islands, you might be restricted to local buses or taxis.
On most islands, you’re able to rent a scooter, which is basically a motorcycle. A great way to get around, but if you don’t have a license for a motorcycle you take a big risk to get in trouble. We’ve seen people in accidents so be aware.
Our route through Indonesia - 1 month
We start our journey through Indonesia in Jakarta with a dive into Dutch history. We continue by train to Bandung, where Kenji’s father was born. We make a trip to Kawah Putih, the white crater, and the hot springs. We get back on the train and continue to Yogyakarta, where unfortunately we don’t get to the famous temples. Fortunately, there is plenty to do in the city itself. Because we like the train, we continue this way to Malang where we are treated to a rainbow of colors in the slums of the city. We also make a trip to the Bromo volcano, but during the day for more space and tranquility. The last leg by train takes us to Surabaya.
We fly from Surabaya to Denpasar to discover Bali. By car, we continue to Amed, our base for a week. In this region, you can dive excellently, but the rice fields and the volcano are also worth a visit. A month is way too short for Indonesia and we will definitely come back here again!
Jakarta -> Train (4,5 hours) -> Bandung -> Kawah Putih -> Train (8 hours) -> Yogyakarta -> Train (8 hours ) ->
Malang -> Bromo -> Train (2 hours ) -> Soerabaja -> Airplane (1,5 hours) -> Denpasar -> Amed -> Denpasar
Our 3 favorites things to do
Take a day tour from Bandung to Kawah Putih to get a taste of Indonesia. We stopped amid the tea plantation fields and visited hot springs. Kawah Putih is a crate lake and has those distinct volcanic colors. A lot of locals visit this as well because it’s cooler due to its location. You’re able to walk around the lake and just enjoy the unusual scenery.
In Malang, they transformed a former slum into a colorful village. Definitely worth a visit to see all the artwork throughout the village. You’re also able to buy local products to support the people living there. It’s easy to reach by foot and only takes a couple of hours to go through all the streets. This was definitely the most colorful place we saw during our world trip.
Standing on top of an active volcano is something you need to experience at least once. The drive to mount Bromo is something special, the area is desolate, and there is nothing alive in the radius around the volcano. We took a day trip from Malang, but there are several options to hike mount Bromo and see the sunset or sunrise.
Where to stay
If you travel to Indonesia you have a lot of options of where to stay. From luxury resorts to simple hotel rooms and hostels, there’s something for every budget. It all depends on where you’re going.
Some of our favorites:
A great place to go diving or just simply enjoy the beach. The bungalows offer everything you need and there’s a pool as well.
When you stay at ECLIPSE Hotel in Yogyakarta, you’ll be in the historical district, within a 10-minute walk of Batik Plentong.
Located in Riau, Hummingbird Guesthouse is a perfect starting point from which to explore Bandung.