A tropical archipelago with over 17,000 islands, Indonesia is the largest country in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by Papua New Guinea, East Timor and Malaysia. Indonesia is a multicultural country that consists of hundreds of ethnic and linguistic groups. Because of this, there is a diverse mix of religious celebrations and occasions, most notably the holy fasting month of Ramadan between June to July.
The climate in Indonesia is warm like Singapore’s, with only two seasons – rainy and dry. However, travellers should be mindful of unpredictable weather; rainfall still occurs during the drier months, between April to October.
Besides its fascinating mix of culture, language and ethnicity, Indonesia’s appeal lies in its lush rainforests. In fact, the country is proud to have the second-largest tropical forests in the world after Brazil. Trek through Bukit Lawang, one of the last few places on Earth where you can get to see Orangutans living in the wild, and be amazed at the high levels of biodiversity that thrive amidst the wilderness.
Besides this, cloud-topped mountains and beautiful shorelines also form part of the landscape that draws in tourists from all walks of life. Indonesia is dotted with volcanoes, the most famous being Mount Bromo in Java and Mount Rinjani in Lombok where spectacular sunrise views await at the peak. Take a swim in crystal clear Lake Toba, the largest volcanic lake in the world, measuring at 1,707 sq. ft. in diameter.
Diving enthusiasts also flock to Indonesia for some of the most beautiful diving spots in the world, such as Raja Ampat and the Togian Islands. Snorkeling is also another popular activity. Explore the cerulean waters rich in marine life, off pristine sandy islands like Karimunjawa or Gili Islands in Lombok. Bali, Lombok and Mentawai are among the islands that boast the best surfing spots in Indonesia.
Having travelled through Indonesia, you might also want to visit some of its neighbouring countries:
Malaysia – A must-visit attraction in Malaysia is the Petronas Towers, which are the world’s tallest twin towers with the highest two-storey bridge. Feast your eyes on the breathtaking view of the Kuala Lumpur skyline. You could also immerse yourself in nature with a visit to Taman Negara, one of the world’s oldest tropical forests that are estimated to be around 130 million years old. Kinabalu Park in Sabah, a World Heritage Site, is also not to be missed.
Palau – Perhaps a lesser-known island country located in the Western Pacific Ocean, Palau is made up of 250 islands. It is home to the Blue Corner, a renowned dive site. You’ll not be able to resist swimming with dolphins in this island paradise at Dolphins Pacific, one of the world’s largest marine conservatories!
Indonesia has over 200 airports that cater to domestic and international travel. The main airport for outbound flights is Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, which serves the greater Jakarta area. You can compare and find cheap flights flying out of Indonesia on Skyscanner.
Images by Flickr\John Yavuz Can
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