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Blick auf Labuan Bajo in Indonesien, Bild: Creativa Images / shutterstock

Indonesia – Land of Superlatives

The Southeast Asian island state of Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world with a population of over 250 million inhabitants. In general, Indonesia is a country of superlatives: The largest island state on our planet is home to the largest Muslim population in the world and also extends over more than 17,000 islands. So it’s no wonder that the country is extremely diverse and also has a lot to offer for tourists.

Basic knowledge about Indonesia

Jakarta
Jakarta, Image: Andreas H / shutterstock

The official language of Indonesia is Bahasa Indonesia, which translates as “language of Indonesia”. In addition, there are numerous other local languages, about 700 in total, including Balinese, Sasak or Javanese.

Due to the Dutch colonial period, some words have also found their way into everyday language use that are very similar to German. For example, to search for medicines, all you have to look for is a sign with the inscription “Apotek”. Bali is considered the center of country tourism, which is why English is widely understood here. If you want to explore more remote areas of the island state, you should have at least a basic knowledge of Indonesian or even a local language.

In the tropical state, temperatures are usually between 25 and 35 degrees, and there is also permanently high humidity. The ideal time to travel is the dry season from April to November.

Indonesian cuisine

Most Indonesian dishes are based on rice, including the national dish Nasi Goreng. Curry, mixed vegetables, chicken, fish or sambal, a chili sauce, are usually added to the rice.

Other typical dishes of the country are, for example, Gado Gado, various vegetables with peanut sauce, Ikan Asam Manis (fish in sweet and sour sauce) or Soto Ayam, a yellow chicken soup with noodles.

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The ideal opportunity to feast to your heart’s content is offered by the so-called “warungs”. These are street restaurants that offer generous portions at low prices. So you can dine outside Bali with only two euros. In Bali, on the other hand, you have to reckon with prices of five to ten euros, and the taste palette is also more similar to the western one.

Indonesia is also a true paradise when it comes to fruits. It is particularly worthwhile to taste papayas, mangoes, dragon fruits, rambutan, soursop and the small bananas, called pisang. Durian is also a must-try, as this mallow plant comes from Indonesia and leaves no one cold: Either you love the intense taste of the fruit – or you detest it!

Sights and Islands in Indonesia

Image: Thrithot / shutterstock

To reduce such a diverse and gigantic island state as Indonesia to a top 10 list of sights would hardly do justice to the magic of the country.
Rather, every tourist can discover their own kingdom here, where they will find exactly what they enjoy most when traveling.

Sumatra

If you want to explore areas that have hardly been developed for tourism so far, Sumatra is the right place for you: Untouched nature, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and numerous national parks where orangutans can be observed in the wild know how to inspire every adventurer. The north of the island also offers spectacular attractions: the island of Pulau Weh and the volcanic crater lake Toba provide photo motifs that are still quite unknown despite their very own magic.

If you long for civilization again afterwards, you should head to the metropolis of Padang, whose beaches are a true paradise for surfers.

Java

More than half of all Indonesians live on Java , even though the island is comparatively small. The center of Java is undoubtedly the Indonesian capital Jakarta, one of the largest cities in the world. However, due to the overwhelming traffic and air pollution, many tourists simply use Jakarta as a hub to get to other places. The capital can boast some fascinating sights, including Independence Square, the Sejarah Jakarta Historical Museum or the Taman Impian Jaya Ancol amusement park.

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The city of Bandung is considered particularly representative of Indonesian culture and is also the starting point for exploring the surrounding forests.

The temples of Borobodur and Prambanan in the south of the island are also worth a visit and are ideal for a stopover on the way east.

Bali

Bali Beach
Bali, Image: Cocos.Bounty / shutterstock

In the east of Java lies the island of Bali, which is considered the most famous island and the best developed in terms of tourist infrastructure. It enjoys the reputation of being a mecca for vegans and yoga fans, which is understandable given the extensive rice fields and paradisiacal beaches.

Another classic of Bali is the volcano Mount Batur, from the top of which an impressive view over the valley and the associated lake is revealed at sunrise. Beach vacationers and divers will find what they are looking for in the south of the small island; it also offers the richest entertainment.

If you are enthusiastic about Bali , but want to avoid the tourist hustle and bustle, the surrounding islands are the right place for you. On Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Pendia or Lombok you can experience the typical Bali experience in miniature, less touristy and commercially exploited.

Result

Indonesia is a fascinating pearl that will captivate every traveler. Whether you’re the type for outdoor activities or lavish parties, you simply want to relax on the beach or immerse yourself in the local culture, the Southeast Asian island nation more than satisfies every traveler.