Colourful and exotic, the vast archipelago of Indonesia encompasses more than 17,000 islands spread across 3,000 miles (5,000km) of ocean in Southeast Asia, including popular tourist destinations like Bali, Sumatra and Java as well as roughly 6,000 other relatively unknown but inhabited islands.
The mysterious islands of Indonesia each hold their own charms: the resorts of Bali offer nightclubs and beaches; the sprawling metropolis of Jakarta is a melting pot of Indonesian language, food, and architecture; the jungles of Sumatra are home to elephants, tigers, orangutans and other wild creatures; and the palaces and monuments of Yogyakarta offer a glimpse into an ancient civilization.
Ongoing unrest in Indonesia has had a negative impact on tourism in recent years, but many adventurous travellers still dream of a holiday in Indonesia.
Best time to visit Indonesia
Although the weather is pleasant for most of the year, the best time to visit Indonesia is in the dry season, between May and September. Monsoons can make more remote areas all but inaccessible in the wet months, but tourist hotspots like Bali, Java and Sumatra are always enjoyable. The worst time to visit Indonesia is the period immediately following Ramadan, when the resorts are crowded and prices are high.
What to see in Indonesia
- Visit Borobudur, the largest Buddhist temple in the world
- Get a feel for traditional Indonesian architecture at Indonesia Miniature Park
- Hike to the colour-changing lakes of Mount Kelimutu on Flores
- See the fierce stone carvings in Batubulan. Read more about Indonesia Attractions
What to do in Indonesia
- Swim with dolphins off the coast of Lovina
- Party in the busy nightclubs of Bali
- Go whitewater rafting in Sidemen Valley
- Spot long-tailed Macaques in the Sacred Monkey Forest of Padangtegal
Take a short drive to the north of Yogyakarta and you’ll find the Borobudar Temple – one of Buddhism’s most important sites. The temples are exquisite and the statues beautiful, but against a backdrop of volcanoes and lush green paddy fields, the site becomes an absolute must on anyone’s itinerary. Be sure to visit at sunrise or sunset for a visual and spiritual feast.
Yogya is an impressive city in its own right, but within Yogya is the palatial walled city of Kraton. Home to the sultans of Yogya, this self-contained conurbation dates back to 1790, and is today home to over 25,000 people. You’ll find amazing Javanese architecture, museums packed with treasures and even live dancing, singing and poetry recitals.
With SilkAir offering superb coverage between Yogyakarta and Singapore, Yogya is rapidly gaining a reputation as one of Java’s most essential provinces for an authentic taste of Indonesia. Excellent hotels, great-tasting food and simply staggering manmade and natural wonders will make this trip live long in the memory of anyone lucky enough to visit.