As a tourist, it is important that you respect the local beliefs of the Indonesians. The country has a high population of Muslims, owing to which it is not advisable to dress scantily in public places or wear shorts in the mosque.
If you are planning an exotic Asian holiday this vacation, the sultry archipelago of Indonesia may be one of the best choices for you. The fourth most populous country in the world features a unique kaleidoscope of people, cultures, traditions, flora and fauna, climates, topography, cuisines, and so on. It’s like several different nations blending together to form a single, organic whole, and in turn, evolving to form a rich and fascinating cultural landscape. It is perhaps this radical difference(s), yet oneness of the country and its people, which has made it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
Planning a Trip to Indonesia
Despite its uniqueness, it needs to be noted that Indonesia is a country of odds. If you are planning to visit the country, there are numerous things that you will have to consider before you actually embark on your journey. This Buzzle article is a small guide that will help plan your vacation properly and with more ease. All you need to do is to consider the following pointers.
Best Time to Go
✦ Indonesia seems welcoming all round the year as there are no seasonal extremes; however, it needs to be decided whether you want to go during the wet or dry season; both have their own pros and cons.
✦ The peak season to visit Indonesia is the dry season that falls between the months of May and September. While one can escape heavy rains and muddy roads during this time, it is also slightly hotter, with certain regions experiencing droughts.
✦ The wet season that falls between the months of October and April is the off-season, but it is ideal if you wish to enjoy the tropical rains. However, it may also rain continuously for days together, thus, causing extreme conditions such as floods. Also, muddy roads, especially in the rural areas, may be a deterrent.
✦ If you want to experience and enjoy the festive spirit in the country, visit the place during the holidays―end of Ramadan and Christmas. This is the time when all the hotels and resorts are crowded with tourists, and prices are also high. Make it a point to book well in advance to secure a desired accommodation and a good deal in that.
✦ However, if you want to save money, visit during the off-season―the hotels and resorts decrease their prices, and the airfares are also cheaper.
Plan an Itinerary
✦ This is very important while you plan your Indonesian vacation, owing to the fact that the country is huge. It is practically impossible to see it entirely in a single trip, unless you have a lot of time at your disposal.
✦ Consider the total duration of your vacation, and accordingly, list out places you would like to visit. Also, keep in mind the amount of time you wish to allot to each place.
✦ Refer to travel magazines, read travel books, browse the net, purchase maps, and speak to your travel agent, and/or the people you know. All this will help learn more about the country and narrow down the places you may want to see.
✦ Indonesia has a plethora of experiences to offer to tourists. So, determine precisely where your interest lies―nature, wildlife, history, and so on. You can then plan your itinerary in accordance to your interest(s).
Note: If you are going to Indonesia for the first time, it is advisable that you hire a tour operator who will take care of all the things for you, right from booking tickets and accommodations, to organizing your trip there. You can then give your rough itinerary to the tour operator, and he/she will refine it to make it more workable for you. However, if you are going independently, see to it that you carry out an in-depth research.
The Overall Budget
✦ Indonesia is cheap and can be considered as one of the budget vacation destinations in Asia. However, the overall budget of your trip will depend on your itinerary.
✦ Accommodation usually grabs the lion’s share of your overall expenses, but you can always go for the budget and mid-range ones, and save some money.
✦ Transport is still cheap in terms of US dollars, although a hike in the fuel prices has led to a considerable increase in the cost of public transport.
✦ If you visit places, which are tourist hubs, such as Bali, Sumatra, Borobudur, and Sulawesi, you will be able to find a lot of competitive offers, especially on accommodation and food. So, book only after you have compared a number of offers.
✦ If you are visiting off-beat locations such as Papua or Maluku, which are still developing into tourist destinations, you may have to pay higher prices of accommodation, food, and transport.
✦ Domestic flights are the most expensive modes of transport in Indonesia. So, if you are traveling on a budget, do not opt for them unless absolutely necessary.
✦ For every traveler who visits Southeast Asia, the WHO has recommended a set of certain vaccines. These include:
✔ Measles, mumps, and rubella
✔ Hepatitis A and B
✔ Adult diphtheria and tetanus
✔ Varicella (if you haven’t taken a chickenpox vaccine in the past)
✦ If the duration of your stay is one month or more, you will also need to take vaccinations for tuberculosis, rabies, meningitis, and Japanese B encephalitis.
✦ Moreover, yellow fever vaccination is required if you have recently visited a country in the yellow fever zone. If you are traveling to Indonesia from South America or Africa, you may also have to present a documented proof of your yellow fever vaccination.
✦ Consult your local physician or one of the specialized travel medicine clinics, which will be able to advise you regarding the immunization shots you will need to take and the time to take them.
✦ It is a good idea to ask your physician to give you an International Certificate of Vaccination, which will list all the vaccinations you have taken.
✦ Make sure that you do not travel without buying an appropriate travel insurance. It should ideally cover all contingencies, which you might face during your trip.
✦ Apart from covering for thefts and/or lost baggage, it should also cover for emergencies relating to your health.
✦ Consider the worst possible scenario, and buy a travel insurance that best suits your needs. You can also buy a separate health insurance, if necessary. Also, make sure you carry your medicines along, if you have been prescribed any special ones.
So, what are you waiting for? Book your tickets, pack your bags, and head to one of the most enchanting and intriguing places on earth.