Indonesia is one the best places to go to. With its rich natural resources, scenic views, multicultural traditions. Being one of the top go-to destinations in the world, Indonesia also has an image of being dangerous for westerners.
The archipelago of the 4th highest number of population around the world, Indonesia is also a home of the largest Muslim population. Because of the recent news of terrorism done mostly by Muslims, it is unfortunate that nightclubs, hotels and bars across Java and Jakarta are susceptible to terrorist attacks. This has in fact decreased the number of foreigners and tourists in the archipelago.
However, much to the relief of the tourism department, the Australian Government has downgraded the level of its warning to parts of Indonesia. When the neighboring country has advised its citizen to “reconsider traveling”, many Aussies have heeded, thinking of the possible high risk of going to the country.
According to Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours, travel reviews of the country has dropped low on 2010 but has slowly regained its momentum at the start of 2012. Since then, Indonesia’s record is slowly recovering its rank on top tourist spot once again.
Despite it, cultural differences may also be an issue to many western foreigners visiting the country regardless of terrorism attacks. The extreme diversity of Indonesian beliefs and openness to foreigners may result to confusion. Tourist should still be careful about what they do, where they go and what they say.
The terrorism department of Indonesia also released their own list of places that non-locals should be careful of.
1. Aceh - The northernmost province of the largest island of Sumatra, Aceh is known for its strict Islamic Sharia law and for its desire to become an independent country. Political attacks in this region are preeminent and have been religious in nature. This is why it is imperative to pay respect to their laws. Women should keep their heads covered, and men should wear long pants and not show too much skin.
2. Papua - Despite its rich biodiversity and beautiful natural surroundings, Papua is currently under heavy Indonesian military occupation due to past and present political uprisings among the people for independence. The situation is such that tourists need to apply with the Indonesian government for a travel permit indicating pressing need or desire to visit
3. Sulawesi – this island is particularly violent during election time. You are also required to acquire travel permits to visit due to increased sectarian and ethnic violence.
If you have happened to read our previous articles, you may have noticed that Indonesia is one of our most favorite places. Well, it shouldn’t be that surprising since we really find the archipelago of 17,000 islands a source of thousands of fun, literally.
We will not be disappointing you. This time, Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours gathered the top things that you need to do in Indonesia.
Surprising at it might sound, unknown to many travelers, there are actually many things to do in Indonesia, and some of them are unique to only in Indonesia. Be it from swimming in the largest natural volcanic lake to shopping in one of the major cities in Asia to immersing in culture and histories and having adventure and activities on sea to something different like sitting the becak around soaking in the environment. Indonesia is the place for every independent traveler, promising many experiences and adventures to those who seek them.
Shop and Bargain
Indonesia is known to be one of the most go-to place when it comes to shopping and if you are in Asia, it is usual to bargain. You may find from international brands in the big shiny malls of Jakarta to affordable and cheap bargains in the markets and smaller malls. Just be careful of pick pocketers though. We are always warning our readers that such fraudulent acts are also being done in the city.
Use one of the becak (trishaw) in cities like Yogyakarta or Malang, and just let it take you around the city in style. It can wind through narrow streets and let you immerse in the environment better. With wind in your face, you feel the place and let sights and smells sink in from all corners of the city.
Learn About History and Culture
Indonesia itself host two of the most beautiful ancient wonders in the proximity of Yogyakarta – the famous Borobudur temple and the revered Prambanan temple. Be wow by the well preserved remains of the two great kingdoms of two very different religions – Buddhism and Hinduism and then look around you to find that currently the majority of the people here is Muslim. Now this is the epitome of religions and cultures experience.
Indonesia is widely known to have the best spa and massage centers in Asia. Take time to experience this. You know you deserve to relax and take a slow time.