The Magic of Indonesia

Travel Advisor Anne Elisabeth Bisgaard in a black floral dress.
Curated By

Anne Bisgaard

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  • Indonesia

  • Active Travel

  • Adventure Travel

  • Outdoors

  • Relaxation

  • Sightseeing

lush fields
Curator’s statement

People should visit Indonesia for a multitude of reasons, as it offers a diverse range of experiences and attractions that cater to various interests. This guide includes some compelling reasons to consider visiting Indonesia.

The Fora Difference

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Insider knowledge

Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there

Where to stay In Indonesia

Alila Seminyak

Modern architecture and faultless service meet at this seaside resort, popular with families and couples alike, near Seminyak town.

Fora Perks
  • $X food / beverage credit

  • Welcome amenity.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out, whenever possible.

Alila Ubud

Hillside resort set along the banks of the Ayung River with luxe rooms and villas and an infinity pool.

Fora Perks
  • Hotel / resort credit.

  • Welcome amenity.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out, whenever possible.

Hotel Indonesia Kempinsky

Experience refined luxury and historical significance at Hotel Indonesia Kempinski, where elegant accommodations, world-class amenities, and a central location in Jakarta offer a sophisticated and unforgettable stay in the heart of Indonesia's capital city.

Travel Advisor Anne Elisabeth Bisgaard in a black floral dress.

Unlock perks by contacting Anne to book your trip.

Things to do In Indonesia

temple

Breathtaking Natural Beauty

Indonesia is renowned for its stunning landscapes, including pristine beaches, lush jungles, active volcanoes, terraced rice fields and crystal-clear waters. Iconic destinations like Bali, Komodo Island, Raja Ampat and Java offer unparalleled natural beauty.

Cultural Diversity

The country is home to a rich tapestry of cultures, languages, and traditions. Visitors can immerse themselves in the unique customs of various ethnic groups, witnessing colorful ceremonies, dances and rituals.

World-Class Diving and Snorkeling

Indonesia is a paradise for underwater enthusiasts, offering some of the world's best diving and snorkeling opportunities. Coral reefs, diverse marine life and shipwrecks create unforgettable underwater experiences.

Ancient Temples and Historical Sites

Indonesia boasts ancient temples that provide insight into the region's history and religious practices. The Borobudur and Prambanan temples in Java, for example, are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Adventure Activities

Whether it's hiking up active volcanoes like Mount Bromo or Mount Rinjani, trekking through jungles or surfing in renowned spots like Bali, Indonesia offers a plethora of adventure opportunities.

Warm Hospitality

The Indonesian people are known for their warmth and friendliness toward visitors. Engaging with locals can provide a deeper understanding of the culture and create memorable interactions.

Unique Wildlife

Indonesia is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including the famous Komodo dragons in Komodo National Park, orangutans in Borneo and Sumatra and a variety of endemic bird species.

Affordable Travel

While some tourist hotspots can be expensive, Indonesia is generally an affordable travel destination, making it accessible to a wide range of budgets.

Island Hopping and Diversity

With over 17,000 islands, Indonesia offers endless opportunities for island hopping and exploration. Each island has its own unique character, landscapes and attractions.

Spa and Wellness Retreats

Many resorts and wellness centers offer traditional Indonesian spa treatments, yoga retreats and meditation experiences, making it an ideal destination for relaxation and self-care.

Rich Art and Handicrafts

Indonesia is known for its intricate crafts, including batik textiles, wood carvings and silver jewelry. Visitors can shop for souvenirs that represent the country's artistic heritage.

Day trips

A fun thing to do is to take the train from Jakarta to Yogyakarta. You see the countryside and how people live, through Java in the comfort of a train. In Yogyakarta, do the Borobudur Temple at sunrise. It's a magical experience. If you want to see the orangutans fly to Kalimantan and go on a riverboat to Camp Leaky and Tanjung Puting. And what about the Komodo Dragon? For beaches there is of course Bali, but also places like Lombok and the Gili Islands.

Places to eat & drink In Indonesia

people walking through city of temples
  • Nasi Goreng: A popular Indonesian fried rice dish typically made with rice, vegetables and protein (often shrimp, chicken or beef), all stir-fried with sweet soy sauce and spices.

  • Rendang: A sumptuous and flavorful slow-cooked beef stew, originating from Padang, known for its tender meat infused with coconut milk and a blend of aromatic spices.

  • Sate: Skewered and grilled meat (chicken, beef or goat) served with a rich peanut sauce. Sate is a staple street food and can be found throughout the country.

  • Nasi Padang: A feast of Minangkabau cuisine, featuring an array of dishes served with rice, including rendang, curries, fried fish and spicy chili sauces.

  • Gado-Gado: A refreshing salad of blanched or steamed vegetables, tofu and tempeh, topped with a savory peanut sauce dressing.

  • Soto: A flavorful soup made from a variety of ingredients such as chicken, beef or seafood, often served with rice or noodles and a combination of herbs and spices.

  • Bakso: Indonesian meatball soup usually made with beef, served in a flavorful broth with noodles, vegetables and often garnished with fried shallots.

  • Nasi Campur: A mixed rice dish that combines a variety of small portions of different dishes, showcasing a range of flavors and textures on a single plate.

  • Martabak: A savory or sweet stuffed pancake, often filled with minced meat, vegetables and eggs, or sweet variations with chocolate, cheese or condensed milk.

  • Pisang Goreng: Deep-fried banana fritters, a popular snack or dessert often enjoyed with a sprinkle of powdered sugar or chocolate sauce.

  • Rujak: A spicy fruit salad made with a mix of tropical fruits, vegetables and a sweet and tangy dressing made from palm sugar and tamarind.

  • Soto Betawi: A hearty Jakarta-style soup made with beef, potatoes and tomatoes, flavored with coconut milk and aromatic spices.

  • Sambal: A spicy chili sauce or paste that accompanies many Indonesian dishes, adding an extra kick of flavor and heat.

  • Ikan Bakar: Grilled fish, marinated with a variety of spices and served with rice and sambal, often enjoyed by the seaside.

  • Desserts: Don't miss out on Indonesian sweets like klepon (rice cake balls filled with palm sugar and coated in grated coconut), bubur sumsum (rice flour pudding) and dadar gulung (green pancake rolls filled with coconut and palm sugar).

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out my guide, Oslo: The Most Underrated City in Europe.

Travel Advisor Anne Elisabeth Bisgaard in a black floral dress.

Travel Advisor

Anne Bisgaard

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Indonesia and our continuing series on sustainable travel.