Indonesia, a nation of 17,508 islands making Indonesia the world’s largest archipelago state. With a population of over 200 million, it is the world’s fourth most populated country and the majority of the Indonesian people are of a Muslim faith. Indonesia is the world’s third largest democracy after India and the United States. Indonesia has a turbulent history and has suffered countless natural disasters in recent years, the tsunami in Aceh in 2004 and the Yogyakarta earthquake in 2006 being some of the worst seen in modern history.
Getting Around Indonesia
Bus Travel in Indonesia
Probably the cheapest way to get around but also probably the slowest and most trouble. A lot of tourist offices offer to book your buses for you, all they do is charge you more than it would cost if you just turned up and put you on the worst bus possible.
The other option is a ‘tourist shuttle’ bus, this will cost you more but you’ll hopefully be picked up from you hostel and dropped off where you want all trouble free. Obviously its not as character building as haggling your bus ticket, being lied to, ripped off, crammed in, sharing your with chickens and bags of onions and finally your bus setting on fire.
To make your way to a bus station it will usually mean you’ll need to hop in a bemo. Bemos are little mini buses and each one is customised to their owners tastes often with ridiculously loud sound systems installed.
Bemos will fly around the cities and towns, one guy hanging out the open door touting for customers. The problems arise when you need to get in one with your backpacks, Bemos are very cramped for a westerner anyway but with a large bag (and guitar) its pretty awkward. With taxis costing comparably so much more they are you only real option when on a budget. The guide books give you costs for bemo rides but you’ll nearly always have to pay twice as much. This is probably due to the backpack taking up space.
Cheap flights can be found fairly easily. In some locations it can be hard to find somewhere to book a flight but it’ll save you a lot of time. We traveled overland from Bali to Flores and flew back with Merpati as the overland trip took days. The trip overland was one of the best experiences but very tiring.
Travel by Ferry in Indonesia
If you’re traveling overland you’re going to have to get a ferry if you want to hop between the thousands of islands. There are many ferry routes going from many times a day to monthly. Ferries are a great experience, there not very comfortable (we spent one night sleeping on the concrete floor as cockroaches rang around us) but you will see some memorable things.
Check out highlights and Things to do in Indonesia below
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One of the better things to in Jakarta, in front of the presidents last erection, watch the kids fly kites as the sunsets.
This shot was taken after a very early morning trip to see the 3 coloured lakes of Kelimutu. The fairly…
Exploring the delights of Bajawa on the Indonesian island of Flores required us to hire a Bemo for us and…
Looking down over the small village of Moni, Kelimutu truly is a sight to behold. The incredible 3 lakes coloured…