***November 2017 update***
In anticipation of our upcoming family trip to Indonesia, I thought I would re-post this blog post and hopefully inspire you to visit Indonesia for the new year break!!
I love Indonesia, I enjoy the country everytime I visit. Below are some of my personal reasons, as to why I love traveling to Indonesia.
Most Indonesians you meet will be able to speak more than one local language!! Amazing right? That immediately tells me that an Indonesian possesses greater motor skills than your average person. Hence the country is full of linguistic geniuses!!
No, seriously people are genuinely friendly and welcoming throughout Indonesia.
Indonesia is a perfect fusion of Animalistic, Hindu, Islamic and Asian, stirred into one perfect culture.
Nowhere else in the world will you be able to meet a devout Muslim who is also Asian, believes in the premise of Karma and takes national pride in Hindu temples like Borobudur.
There’s a reason why the Dutch colonised Indonesia. It was because of the spices!! Europeans flocked to Indonesia to help provide flavour to their foods, and in return colonised the crap out of Indonesia (no intention to guilt trip here if you’re European).
If you want a flavoursome experience then Indonesia should be on the top of your list.
The street food option can be at times be a lottery for your stomach (and toilet), but the taste experience will be worth the drama. My favourites always consist of sweet and savoury martabak, lamb fried rice and my personal favourite any Padang restaurant!!
There is also countless juice options. If it is a fruit, there is sure to be a form of it in juice form.
You can go from bargaining with a vendor for a discount on a fake Gucci bag, to actually buying a real Gucci bag in the next shopping centre. Moral of the story don’t buy designer goods in Indonesia and stick to the traditional option of buying fashionable batik (traditional Indonesian patterned garments) and well-designed wood carvings (which you can hopefully get through customs).
Indonesia has many malls for all required tastes. Indonesians are proud of their big and open planned shopping centres. If going through every Zara in Jakarta is your thing, then Indonesia is a great option.
Alternatively if trying to outwit street vendors is your idea of fun, then Indonesia is the place for you (if this describes who you are, then yes, consider yourself a narcissist).
Cheap beauty treatments!!
In Australia, I pay $60 per hour for a massage. In Indonesia, I pay 70,000 Rp ($7-8) for one hour. It takes no mathematical genius to figure out, that this is AWESOME!! The kids running around causing you stress? Don’t worry get a foot reflexology treatment for $5!!
Also, have you heard of a creambath? Seriously you should try this, you will not regret it. Think of it, as a head and upper body massage fused with a shampoo hair treatment leaving your hair smelling like roses. I just can’t fathom how relaxed I already feel just writing about this!!
Haircuts, facials, in fact, any beauty treatment you can think is at least half the price if your currency exchange rate is stronger than the Rupiah.
Indonesia has a diverse range of nature adventures. You can hike through the mountains of Java, dive in the crystal blue waters of Raja Ampat, meet the fearsome Komodo Dragon on Komodo Island, trek the forests of Borneo and explore the natural wonder of Grand Indonesia Shopping Centre (if you are paying attention, guess which example is not a nature adventure? Your answers in the comment section below).
I hope this has swayed you to visit Indonesia. So what are you waiting for start booking your Indonesian trip!!
Chris & Ariana
P.S this blog is a series of blogs about Indonesia, stay tuned for my next blog regarding a transport guide for Indonesia.