Year-end travel: Have ₹1 lakh? Check out Indonesia | Travel

Not many know that ‘Indonesia’ stems from the Greek words Indos and Nesos (literally, Indian islands). For very long, the country was known as the Malay Archipelago and it was in 1850 that James Richardson Logan first mentioned the term ‘Indonesia’ as a synonym for Indian Archipelago in the Journal of the Indian Archipelago and Eastern Asia.

Year-end travel: Have 1 lakh? Check out Indonesia (Unsplash)

Now, Indonesia with its pristine beaches, glorious mountains, sacred holy temples, lively nightclubs is a popular tourist destination known for the beaches in Bali, diving sites in Bunaken, Lake Toba, Mount Bromo in East Java, national parks in Sumatra, temples in Borobudur and Prambanan, among several other scenic locations.

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Here is a quick guide to Indonesia, a country that can be explored within a 1 lakh budget.

Important cities: Jakarta, Bali, Bandung, Surabaya, Beden, Sumerang, Makassar, Bekasi, Bogor, Ubud.

Must-see/do: Udjo’s House of Angling (Sundanese art & culture); Pasar Baru Trade Center (Historical marketplace in Bandung); White Crater; Pekalongan, Java’s artistic & cultural delight; Borobudur Temple, Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, Tanah Lot, Ciater Hot Springs; Majestic cliffs of Tebing Keraton; Tangkuban Perahu (volcanoes); Cave of Virgin Mary in Ambarawa; Tegalalang Rice Terraces, Bogor Botanic Garden. Samosir Island. For surfers & yoga lovers, Bali is the place to be.


• Rendang: Tender beef cooked with flavourful herbs and spices.

• Pempek: Fish cake

• Ketoprak: Tofu salad.

• Simony: Steamed fish dumplings

• Gudeg: Made from unripe jackfruit combined with thick coconut milk and palm sugar

• Iiwet: Deliciously-seasoned rice dish cooked with coconut milk, chicken broth, bay leaves, and lemongrass

• Lumpia: Spring roll

• Bakso: Beef or chicken meatballs served with fried wontons in a warm broth

• Satay Lilit: Street food made from minced meat.

• Must try: snake fruit.

What to buy: Batik fabric, Ulos fabric (Batak), Noken bag (a type of woven bag that is not carried in hand but worn on the head), wooden masks, Wayang Kulit (puppets used in the art of puppet dance), Indonesian coffee, Celuk jewellery.

Where to buy: Jakarta: Mangga Dua Mall, Plaza Indonesia, Mal Blok M (Jakarta). Bali: Art Market Kumbasari, Ubud Traditional Art Market, Beachwalk Shopping Centre, Discovery Shopping Mall, Bali Collection.


Bali Loaded: 4 nights/5 days. Cost 18,000+.

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Essentials of Bali: 4 nights/5 days. Cost 25,000+.

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Memorable Indonesia: 8 nights/9 days. Cost 46,000+.

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Explore Indonesia: 7 nights/8 days. Cost 48,000+.

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Return Flight (Economy): Vistara is the only airline offering direct flights from New Delhi to Bali. Return flight costs INR 61,000+. One/two stop return flights of other airlines start at INR 33,000+.

Visa: Get an e-visa before departure. Indian nationals can obtain a visa on arrival for a maximum stay of 14 to 30 days and can extend their stay for an additional 30 days. Note that visitors must hold a return/onward journey tickets.

Good to know:

Currency: Rupiah. 1 Rupiah = INR 0.0054

Language: Bahasa Indonesia is the official language of Indonesia. Most people associated with the hotel/tourism sector speak English.

Local transport: Transport is different in rural and urban areas. In big cities, you can find exclusive rides like the Metro bus or Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT) system. In rural areas, you can get Ojek (motorcycle taxis) and becak (tricycle rickshaws). Intercity + commuter trains/buses are very frequent. Mini buses are called Angkutan Kota or Angkot. Hailed taxis are also very common.

Wi-fi: Indonesia has a lot of free wifi spots. To know/connect, download the WiFi map app. WiFi Map Pro costs $3.99 per month, while Secure VPN starts at $4.99 a month.

Earthquakes and Volcanic Eruptions: Indonesia is on the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’ and prone to volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. If you’re new to quakes and tremors, the government recommends:

Staying inside — but if you’re outside already, head to a clear area away from trees and power lines

Dropping to your hands and knees — Drop under heavy furniture such as a table, desk, bed or any solid furniture

Covering your head and torso (and entire body, if possible) your head and torso to prevent being hit by falling objects

Holding on to your shelter and being prepared to move with your shelter if the shaking shifts it around.

Security/safety tips:

• Indonesia has capital punishments for possession and trafficking of illegal drugs.

• Smoking is prohibited in public places. Travellers can bring a maximum of 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 100 grams of tobacco and a reasonable amount of perfume per adult.

• Avoid tap water.

• Always keep mosquito/insect repellent handy.

• Check insurance, license before renting a motorcycle. Be careful of unlicensed companies offering bikes on rent.

• Avoid drink spiking by keeping an eye on your mates and buying your own drinks.

• Don’t drink and swim.

• Petty crime, including pickpocketing, bag snatching and forced cash withdrawals from ATMs, is a significant problem.

• Keep your valuable safe – wearing a backpack or a satchel bag makes it more difficult for thieves.

• Use cash when you can, but if you do need to use your card make sure it’s only used in front of you (for example, do not handover your credit to the server in a hotel).

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