Indonesia, Land of Variety and Enchantment
With its rich and varied landscapes, vibrant cities, and ancient culture, this Southeast Asian nation offers visitors an abundance of places to go and things to do. The good news is that cheap flights to Indonesia make a visit very affordable. An archipelago of over 17000 islands, Indonesia boasts a rich diversity of cultural, natural and man made wonders. Java, the largest island, is home to the capital, Jakarta, a city of glitzy shopping malls, swank spas, chic cafes and clubs, tangled traffic, and all the other trappings of a major metropolis. Most flights to Indonesia arrive here and it makes a great introduction to the country.
Head out to central and eastern Java to discover a rich natural landscape of green forests, volcanoes, ancient temples and palaces. Yogyakarta (Jogja) in Central Java is the island's cultural capital and a centre for the art of Batik making. It's also the gateway to the magnificent ruins of Borobudur and Prambanan Buddhist temples. To the east lies the fabled island of Bali, home to ornate Hindu temples, stunning emerald green rice fields, a rich exotic culture, and some splendid surfing. With a cheap flight to Indonesia just a click away, it's a great time to visit.
Facts about Indonesia
A population of 255 million makes Indonesia the 4th most populous country in the world. Stretching 5,120 kilometres from Banda Aceh on the tip of Sumatra in the west to New Guinea in the east, it's also the most culturally diverse in the region with over 300 languages spoken. The local currency is the Rupiah (Rp) with the exchange rate currently hovering around 18800 to a pound (13220 Rp to one $US).
Getting Around in Indonesia
The most convenient way for visitors to get around cities is by metered taxi. Fares range around 4000 Rp per kilometre with a 7000 Rp flag fall so a trip of 5 kilometres costs around 27000 Rp or 1.50 pounds. Adventurous travellers will enjoy the public minibuses known as bemo and the cycle rickshaws called becak. Just book a flight to Indonesia to experience it all.
The Indonesian Climate
Indonesia lies along the equator so the climate is tropical monsoon. Temperatures average 28 degrees Celsius with humidity ranging from 70 to 90 percent. Coastal regions and mountainous areas tend to be cooler. The wet season in Java runs from November to March. Expect daily rainfall during January and February. The dry season runs from May to September.
Fun Things to do in Indonesia
For some serious relaxation, visit Lake Toba on the island of Sumatra, the largest volcanic lake in the world. If you like wildlife, take a ferry to Kalimantan to view the astonishing Komodo lizards, head to Indonesian Borneo to view the orang-utans in Kalimantan, or visit the Ubud Monkey Forest on Bali to check out the simians. Culture buffs will love Jogja and Bali, famed for gamelan music, elaborate classical dancing, and traditional puppetry, while clubbers will thrive in the vibrant nightlife scene in Jakarta and Bali. With so many cheap flights to Indonesia available, you can afford to experience it all.
Shopping for Souvenirs
Along with happy memories and impressive sun tans, most visitors take back some unique souvenirs from their Indonesian trip. A perennial favourite is Batik. These traditional Javanese paintings and textiles are best bought in the markets of Yogya near where they're made. Other splendid gifts and mementos include cotton garments, leather goods, wayang golek puppets and topeng masks. If you're visiting Bali, be sure to pick up some organic soaps, cosmetics and herbal body products. Other good buys include Endek Balinese sarongs and silver jewellery. With a cheap flight to Indonesia, you'll have plenty to spend.
Exotic Dining in Indonesia
As is standard in Southeast Asia, Indonesian meals are based around rice. In fact, the national dish is Nasi Goreng, meaning 'fried rice'. Another national treasure is satay, the barbecued mini kebabs covered with a piquant peanut sauce. Markets (pasar) are great places to sample local delicacies as are the ubiquitous food stalls where you can dine well for just a few pounds. Most hotels and restaurants serve boiled water with meals. Juices made from the luscious tropical fruits are a favourite as is local tea and coffee. Though an Islamic country, alcohol is widely available including the excellent Bintang beer. Just book an affordable flight to Indonesia to enjoy it all.