Indonesia’s massive, sprawling capital of Jakarta sits on the northwest coast of the island of Java. The city’s historic mix of cultures – Javanese, Malay, Chinese, Arab, Indian and European – have all played a role over hundreds of years in shaping it into one of Asia’s most exciting and interesting cities. Combined with the rest of the country’s vast tracts of wilderness, Jakarta and Indonesia offer travellers a lifetime’s worth of adventure…
From exploring its green parks and historical buildings and landmarks, to cosmopolitan shopping, sampling exotic Jakarta cuisine and enjoying the city’s café culture; investigating the city’s burgeoning art scene, staying at one of Jakarta’s ultra-luxurious hotels, and enjoying some of the of the hippest and most happening nightlife scenes in Southeast Asia; there are plenty of things to appreciate in Jakarta.
A city of this size however, is guaranteed to have its share of problems. With an estimated 12 million people using the city’s roads every day, the amount of traffic congestion and traffic jams is at times laughable. Jakarta also has its overcrowding problems, as well as a disparity between the rich and the poor that is something that first time travellers to the city might find quite shocking. But despite these odds, the people of Jakarta are renowned for their friendliness and positivity, and it seems Jakarta cannot help but keep moving forward.
Of course, Jakarta is also the gateway into the rest of the Indonesian archipelago. With over 17 000 islands, and now well over 250,000 million people living on them, and a massive diversity of animal life, plant life, and marine life spread out over the archipelago, Indonesia seems like it is its very own continent at times. There are six broad regions in Indonesia that offer a world of endless experiences and adventures for the modern day traveler…
There’s Sumatra, with its majestic (and still smouldering) volcanoes, lush jungles, exotic wildlife, and dream-like deserted beaches scattered around the island rugged coastline. Then there’s the giant island of Java – home to the capital Jakarta itself – which besides being Indonesia’s political and economic epicenter, also has mesmerising natural beauty, and a fascinating array of cultural traditions.
Then, occupying three quarters of the island of Borneo, is Indonesia’s Kalimantan region, which harbours vast tracts of thick jungle, inhabited by native peoples like the Dayak tribes, who have coexisted in harmony with their forest lands for thousands of years, and who remain somewhat of an enigma and mystery to the modern-day world.
The island of Sulawesi is another spectacular, relatively untouched region of Indonesia. There are pristine beaches and coral reefs to explore along Sulawesi’s coastline, along with volcanic mountains and exotic fauna and flora.
On the tourist paradise of the island of Bali, as well as West and East Nusa Tenggara (and the island of Lombok), you will find the Komodo National Park, along with lush, green rice terraces, excellent surfing conditions, and the chance to experience some of the best of Indonesia’s cultural traditions. Finally, at Maluku and Papua, travellers can explore huge expanses of unspoiled beach and corals reefs, jungles, rivers, waterfalls, and mountains.
With the distance between the western and eastern part of Indonesia being around 4 000 kilometres, it’s been said that the country is almost unimaginably vast. Where do you start exploring? It’s a tough question! You’re guaranteed to have a lot of fun in Jakarta, but you’re also guaranteed to see some of earth’s most spectacular natural treasures (and cultural treasures) throughout the rest of the country. The only solution would be to make not just one trip, but to return many times!
Indonesia: Travel Info
Languages: Bahasa Indonesia/Indonesian is the official language of Indonesia, and widely spoken in Jakarta. (Many Indonesians are very fluent in English).
Currency: The Rupiah (IDR/Rp) is the official currency of Indonesia. Frequently used banknotes include the Rp1000, Rp2000, Rp5000, Rp10000, Rp20000, Rp50000, and Rp100000. Frequently used coins include the Rp100, Rp200, Rp500, and Rp1000.
1 Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) = 0.000029 Omani Rial (OMR)
1 Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) = 0.000075 United States Dollar (USD)