In my part of the world if people think holiday in Indonesia, they almost certainly think of Bali – certainly an idyllic place to relax and unwind. On the Women Travel the World Website, there are over 30 tours for women in Bali – Indulgence tours, Yoga tours, Surfing tours even golfing tours. Bali is predominantly Hindu, compared to the mostly muslim areas elsewhere. This helps to colour the landscape differently.
But Indonesia is so much more than Bali. It is the largest island country in the world with more than 13,000 Islands, and is the world’s fourth most populous country.
Did you know that at the time Darwin was exploring the Galapagos Islands and coming up with the idea of evolution, that Alfred Russel Wallace was doing almost exactly the same thing in the area in and around Indonesia.
This story was celebrated in Bill Bailey’s Jungle Hero TV Series.
Jakata is the bustling capital city of Indonesia on the island of Java. West Jakarta is an rich older area of the city, with some of the surviving dutch colonial buildings, with streets thronging with hawker food, crafted good vendors. Nearby is the Fatahillah Museum or Jakarta History Museum. here you will find Jakarta’s Chinatown called “Glodok” and Indonesia’s largest shopping mall “Mall Taman Anggrek”(Orchid Garden Mall).
Off shore from Jakata there is the Thousand Islands (Kepulauan Seribu) some of which are inhabited, but many are not and some are part of Marine National Park. Look for the less touristy islands to find the better diving spots. To reach the islands, simply go to Muara Karang Port where scheduled passenger boats leave every 7am in the morning.
Getting into the City from the Airport: If you book from the counters right outside Customs, you’ll get a nice car, jump to the head of the queue and pay around Rp 175,000 (about $15US) for a trip to the city centre. These counters can also sell you SIM cards and refills (pulsa).
The Traveloka Travel App offers Le Meridien in Jakata some good reviews as a place to stay, especially for the business traveller.
Lonely Planet names these as the Top 10 experiences in Indonesia
- Komodo National Park: this is home to the fabulous Komodo Dragons and one of the New Seven Wonders (www.n7w.com) of nature encompassing the rich marine ecosystem Komodo, Rinca, several neighbouring islands.
- Gili Islands: 3 small islands with white sand beaches and coconut palms – island paradise
- Bukit Beaches: the beaches of Bali
- Cross Borneo Trek: Head for serious trekking in Borneo
- Tana Rogaja: Welcome to Rantepao
- Banda Islands: 10 picturesque islands with fantastic snorkelling and diving.
- Tanjung Puting National Park: a popular tourist destination in Kalimantan – with wandering orangutans and a winding river to explore.
- Raja Ampat Islands: 1000 steep jungle covered islands off Sorong – a simply stunning island chain.
- Jakarta Nightlife: This dynamic city is pulsing with life and flavours – a work in progress not without challenges such as traffic and slums. But crime is low, and the people very good natured and positive.
- Candi Sukuh: Built in the 15th Century – one of Java’s most striking Temples set below a volcano.