While for many tourists Indonesia is known mainly as home for Bali, the country has thousands of other things to offer. As a start, it has an astonishing number of islands reaching more than 17,000; about 8,000 of them are inhabited. The country is home to many different ethnic groups and more than 300 languages are spoken in Indonesia. It does not only offer beautiful natural sceneries, but also a bewildering plants and animals diversity.
There are 5 major islands including Java, Sumatera, Sulawesi, Kalimantan (Borneo), and New Guinea. Java Island is the most developed one, and it is well connected to other islands; however, none of the island is currently connected to any other by land transportation, so you have to travel by plane or boat. Indonesia offers all kinds of adventurous journeys across its archipelagos. From the natural beauty of Sumatera, the wilderness of Kalimantan and Sulawesi, the intriguing beauty of Bali, great underwater spectacles in Lombok and Flores, the abundance of cultural forms in Bali, to the beautiful Birds of Paradise in New Guinea. More than that, thousands of small islands offer myriads of adventures.
Venturing through the islands of Indonesia, you will encounter countless things you have never seen before, especially if you come from the Western hemisphere of the Earth. Landmarks as diverse as the people who live upon them, sublime volcanoes with some of them are still capable of erupting at any moment, temples that still hold to their ancient greatness, and of course, the people. In many places in all islands, dramatic sights are even considered the norm. For examples, the endangered Orang Utan is hanging on branches of a gigantic tree in Kalimantan, Balinese dancers making precise movements better than any pop dancer, and plenty of other art and culture exhibitions.
Travelling to Indonesia
Indonesia is well connected to other parts of the world by many airlines. Some international flights make stop at Singapore before they continue to Bali due to runway restrictions. However, you can land on other airports in other big cities such as Jakarta and Surabaya (both are in Java Island) before you begin your journey by land and water transportations. There are also three possible land crossings to Indonesia including from Malaysia to Kalimantan, from Papua New Guinea to Papua Province, and from East to West Timor. Unless you are full-time traveler, it is almost impossible to visit all that Indonesia has to offer within a single holiday.
It is easy to find a place to spend your holiday in Indonesia regardless of your tourism taste. In case you need the usual crowded party with the touch of tropical atmosphere, Jakarta and Bali will serve you well. Even when you need to experience the wildlife or the quietness of remote life, the country has the right islands for you such as Lombok, Gilis, East Nusa Tenggara, and certainly Komodo Island, the only place where you can see Komodo Dragons in their natural habitat. Unless you are spending most of your time in those remote islands, you will not find any difficulty to deal with transport in Indonesia. Those islands are, however, quite small and they have only few tourism resorts. The good thing is that you can reach most of the places by foot, so transportation is not really an issue.
Rich Culture Diversity if Indonesia
Indonesia is the fourth most populous country inhabited by at least 245 millions of people. This is a country which has so many different cultures, artworks, plants, animals, beaches, foods, and ethnic groups; it seems that hundreds of countries meld into one. It is difficult to describe the culture of Indonesia completely. The differences between ethnic groups are not merely about choices of foods, clothing, or accents. Many ethnic groups are radically different from each other as if each of them came from a separate continent. Every island is a unique blend between the people, the architectures, and deep cultural beliefs. Javanese people are totally different from Asmat, en ethnic group in Papua; Balinese are also not in any way similar to Batak, an ethnic in North Sumatra; Madurese (an ethnic in Madura Island) is also different from Dayak people in Kalimantan.
Accommodation and Transport in Indonesia
When you are travelling in Indonesia, you will mostly use land transportation on any island. To get between the islands, you have to use a plane or boat. While some parts of Indonesia have been well-developed, others are still quite unexplored. Due to this difference, tourists must be ready to face challenges in finding hotels, restaurants, and other accommodations in some remote islands. Accommodation in Indonesia varies greatly depending on demographic conditions; some places offer luxurious hotels, drivers, scuba diving caters, fancy restaurants, while others only have cheap street meals and simple rooms.
People, especially those from Western countries who spend their vacation in Indonesia, must also be ready to find out that the people can be too friendly. It is customary in the country that people are greeting each other on the road; not doing so is considered rude. Indonesians are eager to start a conversation even when they don’t know who you are. While people in big cities such as Jakarta and Denpasar are probably more Western-influenced, the same thing cannot be said in more traditional places such as villages. In general, Indonesians, regardless of the ethnics, are very friendly people. Each ethnic also has great respect toward each other, and it seems to be one of the great things that keep the country as one.