We Brits have a thirst for travel. Whether we’re backpacking through Australia and New Zealand, kayaking in South America, taking in a show in New York City, trying to navigate the beautiful chaos that is Tokyo or simply lounging on a beach in a mediterranean resort town like Cod or Gran Canaria, we do so love to get away. Sure, we love our country, sure we’ve got some beautiful places on our doorstep, and perhaps we get a little bit edgy when we can’t get a “proper” cup of tea overseas (the struggle is real, as I’ve not had a real cup of tea in 2 months because I’m traveling!) – but as a nation we’re a right bunch of travel bugs.
The great thing is that the world is such a huge place that whatever our tastes, preferences or budget with the explosion in online travel even the most cash strapped of us can find a great place to holiday when we’ve had a little too much of the gloom and drizzle of dear old blighty. Every now and then, however we may fall in love with a holiday destination that is truly unique in its sights, sounds, tastes, scents, culture, politics and national identity.
Infinitely beautiful and exotic, Indonesia can be an intoxicating place for tourists to fall in love with. As a growing economic hub, many westerners travel to Indonesia for work, while its many gorgeous sights continue to draw tourists from all over the world. Whether you’re staying for the long haul or just for a fleeting visit here are just of the wonderful things about staying in Indonesia and why it remains one of my favourite countries in the world…
Gorgeous scenery and wildlife
There’s absolutely no doubt that Indonesia is one of the most gorgeous places on the planet. Even if you’re staying in one of the country’s major conurbations like Jakarta, Surabaya or Tangerang, you won’t have to far to spend some time amongst lush greenery and breathtakingly beautiful views.
If you need to take a holiday in your down time you’ll find that you’re only a couple of hours from somewhere stunning like Kepulauan Seribu, the Thousand Islands where you can chill for a few days in a glorious overwater hut. It’s the perfect antidote to the cosmopolitan hustle and bustle of the nation’s capital, yet just a short two hour boat ride away. Animal and bird lovers will also find a plethora of gorgeous and fascinating wildlife. There’s literally nowhere else in the world where you can see a komodo dragon in their natural habitat.
Affordable and luxurious accommodation
If you’re used to paying the exorbitant rents of major cities in Britain like Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester or even London itself, you’ll likely be astonished at how affordable good quality, even luxurious accommodation is across Indonesia. Just take a look at this link and see for yourself; https://www.rumah.com/rumah-dijual/di-area-pakuwon-city-idji29033.
You’ll see a range of luxury homes at the tiniest fraction of what their equivalents would cost here in blighty. In fact, private rent is an estimated 74% lower than in the UK, while aggregate cost of living is estimated at just under 50% lower. If you’re planning on moving to Indonesia with work, investing in property or starting your own business, you’ll find that your opportunities are bolstered by great living at affordable prices.
We stayed in this place, and it was $15 a night and SERIOUSLY beautiful 👆😱😱😱😱
Amazing street food
If you think you’ve tasted real Indonesian street food because you’ve been to Wagamamas or Tampopo, think again! Indonesia’s street food is legendary and oh-so-cheap. You’ll never have a bad meal while you’re there!
Try the rendang curry which can be made with meat of veggies, gado-gado for guilt free vegetarian deliciousness or nasi goreng (fried rice) and mie goreng (fried noodles) if you like your tastes simple and spicy.
Incredible coffee culture
If you have a passion for coffee, you won’t find a better place to indulge your habit. Coffee culture is absolutely massive all over Indonesia and while you may find all the familiar coffee chains in the big cities, the best drinking is to be found in the lesser known areas.
If you’re up for a trek in the Sumatran highlands you’ll find some of the world’s most legendary coffees including the kopi luwak coffee made famous by the film The Bucket List in which Jack Nicholson’s character is mortified to find that his beloved and expensive beverage is made from coffee beans that have been eaten (and defecated) by the local Indonesian mountain goats. While it’s not the most savoury of thoughts, it does lend the beans a unique flavour that all coffee aficionados should try at least once.
Friendly and welcoming locals
The people of Indonesia are uniformly friendly, warm and compassionate, and pride themselves upon treating visitors as if they were their own guests. As such, you’ll find an extremely warm welcome wherever you go.
Whether you’re visiting for business or pleasure, take the time to read up on local traditions, customs, etiquette and culture and you’ll find yourself a firm favourite among the local populace. Also, don’t forget to take the time to learn a little Bahasa Indonesian, however, and you’ll find that people really appreciate it.
Vibrant art and culture
Culture vultures are often drawn to southeast Asia for its unique art and culture and Indonesia is absolutely no exception. Historically, the country has often been a trading post that bridged the far and middle east. As such, a wide range of cultural influences have shaped the art, culture, religion and politics of Indonesia.
While predominantly Islamic, the culture has also been shaped by Hindu, Buddhist and Confucianist influences to create a style of visual art, literature, music, dance and theatre that are unique and breathtakingly beautiful.
Check out the National Gallery of Indonesia in Jakarta (it’s on my bucket list!) to see a comprehensive overview of the nation’s art, culture and tradition or the Art1: New Museum to get a sample of some of the vibrant modern offerings produced by the nation.
Whatever brings you to Indonesia, and however long you plan to stay for, you’ll find plenty to enjoy in this richly diverse country.