Indonesia is a country in Southeast Asia, which is the biggest archipelago in the world with 18,330 islands, about one third of them inhabited. The third biggest island in the world Kalimantan or Borneo is shared with Malaysia and Brunei. Another island partly owned by Indonesia and partly by Papua-New Guinea is Papua. Indonesia's capital Jakarta and a significant part of country’s population are located on Java island which is the main cultural and economic center of all Indonesia.
With the population of more than 260 million, Indonesia is the biggest Islamic country in the world which is rapidly developing. For tourists Indonesia offers a wide cultural diversity, wonderful nature of tropical islands and all this for really reasonable prices.
Indonesia was home to Hindu and Buddhist empires Srivijaya and Majapahit. Grand religious monuments of these empires such as Borobudur and Prambanan still remain on the island of Java. From XIII to XVI century the islands of Indonesia gradually adopted Islam which was brought to the archipelago by Muslim traders. In the colonial era for most of the time Indonesia was the Dutch colony. During World War II Indonesia was occupied by Japanese but later on in 1945 the country finally gained independence.
Places to visit in Indonesia
Jakarta - Indonesia’s capital and the largest city, often excluded from travel itineraries as it is just one more huge and still growing Southeast Asian metropolis with terrible traffic, leftovers of colonial architecture and little places of interest.
Yogyakarta (Jogja) - the historical city in the central part of Java famous for the nearby Buddhist and Hindu temples Borobudur and Prambanan.
Borobudur Temple - the world's largest Buddhist temple built from 2 million stone blocks. This massive structure (118m x 118m) is built on a small hill in the form of a symmetrical stupa. More than 500 Buddha images can be seen in open chambers and latticed stupas on terraces of the temple.
Prambanan – the largest Hindu temple complex in Indonesia with the remains of 244 temples. The highlight of Prambanan is its 3 central temples - the largest and finest of the temples Candi Shiva Mahadeva (temple dedicated to Shiva) and twin temples Candi Brahma and Candi Vishnu.
Mount Bromo — a picturesque active volcano in East Java. With its 167 active volcanoes, Indonesia is among the most volcanically active countries in the world and Mount Bromo is the most popular volcano to visit in the country.
Bali — the most popular between tourists island of Indonesia which is a worldwide famous beach destination. Here you will find everything you need for a perfect tropical vacations...
...wide sandy beaches and blue sea…
…unique Balinese culture and temples…
…picturesque rice fields in the surroundings…
…various dishes and snacks of local and international cuisine…
…wide range of shopping opportunities…
…a big number of bars…
...and other nightlife venues…
…and last but not least – wonderful sunsets…
Lombok – the island with divine beaches, spectacular marine life and steep volcanic peaks.
Citizens of 169 countries are allowed to stay in Indonesia for up to 30 days without a visa. Free entry is granted at most airports, seaports, and land border crossings. This type of Indonesian visa cannot be extended.
If you want to stay in Indonesia for more than 30 days, you need to get a Visa on Arrival or visa in advance from any Indonesian embassy or consulate. Visa on Arrival is issued for a stay of up to 30 days and costs 35 USD, but it can be extended once for an additional 30 days at an immigration office in Indonesia for a fee of 250,000 IDR.
Indonesian Single entry visa is valid for 60 days and can be acquired from any Indonesian embassy or consulate. Indonesian visa costs about 50–100 USD depending on the country and embassy. Normally, visa processing takes 3-4 working days.
Getting to Indonesia
If you want to get to Indonesia from Thailand, your travel options are limited to air travel, as the only other way is to travel by bus or train to Singapore via Malaysia and then take a ferry to Indonesian Bintan Island.
Flights to Indonesia
From Thailand you can take direct flights to Jakarta, Denpasar (Bali) and Medan.
Most international flights land at Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (CGK). There are directs flights to Jakarta from both airports of Bangkok – Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) and Don Mueang Airport (DMK). From Bangkok to Jakarta you can fly directly with low cost airlines AirAsia, Thai Lionair as well as full service carriers Garuda Indonesia, Bangkok Airways and Thai Airways.
Another airport in Indonesia which is easy to reach from Thailand is Denpasar Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS) in Bali which has direct connections with both airports in Bangkok. Route Bangkok – Bali is served by AirAsia and Thai Airways.
Medan International Airport (KNO) receives direct flights from Bangkok. The route is served by low cost carrier AirAsia.
Weather in Indonesia
Indonesia's climate is tropical and tends to be relatively even all year long. The country has only two seasons - the dry season and the wet season. For most of Indonesia, seasons fall at the same time. The dry season in Indonesia lasts from April to October and the wet season in most parts of the country rules between November and March.
The temperatures in Indonesia remain quite constant during the year and average around 28 °C, with the exception of higher mountainous regions, where the average day temperature might not exceed 23 °C.
Useful tips for traveling in Indonesia can be found here: Indonesia Travel Tips.