Welcome to Indonesia! In this enchanted land, white-sand beaches, rare wildlife, rugged mountains, lush jungles, and endearing locals await. Indonesia is an archipelago country lying between the Indian and Pacific oceans. The Southeast Asian nation comprises more than 17,000 islands, which are home to a staggering 255 million people. The majority live on the world’s most populated island, Java.
.The country’s dynamic capital, Jakarta, is an important trade and cultural hub. The city’s variety of languages, food, and architecture results in a colorful mix of Javanese, Malay, Chinese, Arab, Indian, and European cultures—just take a walking tour of Jakarta to see for yourself. Indonesian cuisine borrows from both indigenous and foreign cultures. With its bold and unique flavors, it’s a treat for any food lover! Some of our favorite dishes to look out for are nasi goreng, gadu-gadu, satay, and sambal.
The official language of Indonesia is Bahasa Indonesian. It’s a fairly easy language to learn and you’re sure to pick up a few words. Here are some basics to get you started:
Halo = Hello
Tolong = Please
Terima Kasih = Thank You
Indonesia has a Muslim majority and consists of hundreds of native ethnic and linguistic groups. Fittingly, Indonesia’s national motto, “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika” (“Unity in Diversity,” or literally, “many, yet one”), describes the colorful medley of people that shape this beautiful country. Indonesia offers something for every type of traveler, including volcanic lakes, monkey forests, tranquil beaches, and charming local villages.
Indonesia is a deeply spiritual country with elements of indigenous animism that still live on. When Hinduism and Buddhism were introduced to the Indonesian islands, they blended over time with animistic rituals and folklore. Today, the performing arts of Java, Bali, and other islands often depict epic tales of Hindu or Buddhist deities.
In Bali in particular, Hinduism is alive and well. With roughly 90% of the population identifying as Balinese Hindu, it is the most predominant religion on the island. In Bali, you can really see Hindu practices all around you, in the countless shrines and temples to the colorful offerings on street corners. Every day, the Balinese put out flowers and food on banana-leaf platters as gifts to the gods. For another fascinating glimpse of a Balinese Hindu tradition, head to Tirta Empul Temple, where locals go for ritual purification in the hoy spring waters there.
In addition to all that this incredible country has to offer, we’re sure the welcoming locals will be a highlight of your holiday in Indonesia. Our on-the-ground Travel Specialists are local Indonesians and are happy to give you an insider’s take on this amazing country. To start planning your tailored vacation in Indonesia, tell us what you want to see and where you want to go. To get some ideas, browse our Indonesian Tours. From everyone at Backyard Travel, Perjalanan Aman (safe travels)!