The many islands of Indonesia provide a wide variety of traveling experiences.
- Bali – traditional island, great surfing, partying, sights such as Ubud
- Gili Islands – paradise islands off the coast of Lombok. Amazing snorkeling.
- Java – the cultural heart of Indonesia; rugged landscapes and a wide range of places to visit.
When to go
Lying close to the equator and firmly in the tropics Indonesia is about 30 degrees Celsius everyday. It’s always humid (70% +), but highest during the wet season (Oct to April).
May to September is the dry season and sees the most visitors. Days are dry, surf is great.
October to April is the wet season and there are heavy rains on most days. Sunshine does break through, but this is not the season for sunbathing. Surfing is possible in the wet season, but strong winds effect most places.
Visas and official stuff
Technically you need an onward flight to enter Indonesia. In reality this is rarely the case. Most visitors get their visa without being asked about how they are leaving. However, it is a good idea to buy a cheap AirAsia or other flight (about U$20) out of Indonesia before you arrive, just in case the airport officials are having a by-the-book day.
There are plans to make changes to visitors visas for Indonesia. It is proposed that free 60 day visas are available upon entry. There are also plans to allow this to be extended for 30 days for US$25.
Transport in Indonesia
Buses in Indonesia
Major buses run between all of Indonesia’s major towns, often with a choice of non-AC and slightly more expensive AC. These are generally good and reliable ways of traveling. To get to more remote towns, and some tourist destinations you’ll have to take smaller bemo mini-buses. These are more expensive but are often quicker. Tourist routes have many privately owned bemo traveling everyday, for which travel agents can make arrangements. These bemo often take you door-to-door, and whilst they are the quickest and most convenient option, expect to pay 2-3 times as much as the regular public buses. Busy routes often have night buses, and bemo often run overnight. However, you may find yourself being dropped somewhere remote early in the morning, so make sure you know when you expect to get to your destination and what facilities will be open. Buses often run late and bemo are often early if the traffic is good. At many places, such as Probolinggo and Pangandaran, bemo will drop you off at 4am outside of a travel agents. These agents are normally very good and will arrange immediate onward travel or accommodation for you. Indonesian people are generally very helpful and most travel agents rarely exploit travelers, but check your prices and ensure you understand what you are paying for.