Traveling in Indonesia
Made up of tens of thousands of islands, Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world. With over 90% of its population practicing Islam Indonesia is also the world’s most populous Muslim nation. Many of the archipelago’s smaller islands however still practice animism, and these are some of the few places in the world where you can find true tribal cultures. This makes Indonesia one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world, and going from one island to another can feel like you’ve left the country. In addition to its culture, Indonesia is also home to some of the most amazing scenery and unique wildlife on the planet!
Indonesia’s capital is one of Southeast Asia’s largest cities, and has several districts that sprawl out for miles in all directions. Most visitors will need a lot of time to see the city, not because it has some much to offer but mostly because it has some of the worst traffic in the world! The central district is where you’ll find all the national monuments, government buildings and the Presidential Palace. Other districts hold all the museums, nightlife and endless shopping!
Yogyakarta a city and the cultural capital city of the island Java. Java is famous for its ancient temples, culture, and of course Java coffee! As a matter of fact, the world’s most expensive coffee comes from Java, which is often served for up to $50 a cup in western countries. Regarding temples, some of the most famous ones include the Mahayana Buddhist temple or Borobudur; an icon of Indonesia.
Standing out from the rest of the country, Bali is actually well over 90% Hindu. The relaxed Hindi culture has given Bali an international reputation for its liberal laws, beach front villas, the country’s best bars and night clubs as well as all types of accommodations for both backpackers and the rich. The island is full of adventure with volcanoes to climb, elephant rides and even white water rafting.
Lombok is similar to Bali in that it’s another tropical paradise with beautiful beaches and plenty of outdoor activities. Bali’s population is mostly Hindu and the island is known for its night clubs, bars, and parties. Lombok however has a majority Muslim population and though there are plenty of nice bars and places to enjoy nightlife, the island is much quieter than its counterpart. Lombok is most famous for some of its tiny islands with amazing beaches, and its scuba diving.
West Papua is Indonesia’s turbulent province that is slowly being assimilated into Indonesia. West Papua forms the western half of the island of New Guinea, and has been occupied since 1960. The natives are actually believed to be descendants of Australian aborigines, though their tribal culture is much more violent than their Australian ancestors. Frequent declarations of Independence by the locals and other problems often lead to martial law, military skirmishes and other issues. Though far from being stable, West Papua is one of the most unique places in the world, with the natives still living as they did hundreds of years ago, and is the home to many endemic plants and animals.