Once known as the “Dutch East Indies,” Indonesia is a country that has long been open to the rest of the world, and offers a fascinating mix of cultures and people. The country is actually a series of small islands, and this in itself makes for a beautiful vacation destination. Visitors from the West should have no trouble getting around here. Although Indonesian is the dominant language, both English and Dutch are commonly spoken, especially at major tourist sites and hotels.
Indonesians are quite friendly people, and welcome visitors from all over the world. When meeting people from Indonesia on your trip, keep in mind that it is a predominately Muslim country, and you should dress modestly, and avoid touching people, outside of a handshake. The Islamic religion in Indonesia has taken on a unique character, sometimes incorporating traditions from Buddhism and animism, and typically being far less rigid than Middle Eastern Islam. And if you’re worried about having a drink with dinner, there’s no problem there, alcohol is allowed. You may however, not wish to travel during the month of Ramadan, as tourist opportunities will be somewhat more limited.
Cities and Jungles
Starting off in the bustling big city of Jakarta, you’ll find plenty of hotels ranging from the low budget, to the elegant. Public transportation there is easy to use and inexpensive. If you brought your kids with you, they’ll enjoy Dunia Fantasi, a very large amusement park. But if you’re in Indonesia, there’s a lot more to see than the big cities, and you’ll soon want to move on to some of the more exotic destinations.
For high adventure, there’s nothing like Indonesia, and you can hop between islands and go between big cities and dense jungle. Bali is perhaps one of the most exciting and sought-after vacation spots in the world, and one of the most exotic tropical paradise spots there is. Bali’s beaches are second to none—clean, sparkling sand and warm water, comfortable hotels, and bubbling hot springs make this a place to remember forever. Don’t forget the Bali Bird Park, with one of the best collections of rare and tropical birds in the world. And while in Bali, you can enjoy the finest cuisine there is. Indonesian cuisine is quite varied, and Balinese food differs from that of the rest of the country. It tends to be spicy, and because most people in Bali are not Muslim, one of the island’s specialties is roast suckling pig, which is a sheer delight.
For wildlife, Komodo National Park, created to conserve the strange-looking Komodo dragon, is a great wonder—in fact, it is one of three spots in Indonesia that are part of the “New 7 Wonders of Nature” campaign. Besides the unusual Komodo, you will be able to see a vast array of protected wildlife.