Indonesia is the divider between the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean. It has borders with Malaysia to the north & East Timor and Papua New Guinea to the east. It also neighbours Australia to the south, Palau, the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, and Thailand to India.
Religion in Indonesia is mixed and an exciting field to be investigated by the more culturally conscious visitor. 82-88% of the population of Indonesia state their religion as being Islam (Sunni), making it numerically the largest religion in the nation. Indonesia officially remains a secular state. Indonesia the largest Muslim-majority country in the world. Nevertheless, and Indonesia the largest Muslim-majority country in the world.
Upon reach and disembarking from the plane, you’ll immediately notice the sudden rush of warm, wet air. Indonesia is a friendly place. This destination has no spring, summer, autumn, or winter, just two seasons: rainy and dry, both relative. While there is significant variation, in most countries (including Java and Bali), the dry season is April to October; the wet season is November to March.
In the highlands, temperatures will naturally be more relaxed, and there are even snow-covered peaks in Papua, whose mountains can soar above 5000m. Bring a jacket and plan to visit, for example, Mount Bromo on Java or Tana Toraja in Sulawesi.
Since the country is vast, Indonesia is divided into three time zones:
GMT +7: Western Indonesian Time
Sumatra, Java, west/central Kalimantan
GMT +8: Central Indonesian Time
Bali, south/east Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Nusa Tenggara
GMT +9: Eastern Indonesian Time
The three main international airports are Banten, Soekarno-Hatta (CGK) at Tangerang, near Jakarta, Bali and Juanda, Ngurah Rai (DPS) at Denpasar, (SUB) at Surabaya, East Java. However, many cities have air links with Singapore and Malaysia, exciting and convenient entry points into Indonesia.
Ferries connect Indonesia with Malaysia and Singapore. However, there is also a ferry service between Malaysia’s Sabah state with East Kalimantan on Borneo.
East Timor: The major crossing is at Mota’ain between West Timor, Batugade in East Timor and Atambua,
From Malaysia: The only official way to enter by land from Malaysia is at the Entikong-Tebedu crossing between Sarawak and West Kalimantan, Malaysia, on Borneo. The corner is on the main route between Kuching (Sarawak) and Pontianak, the capital (West Kalimantan), as the formal crossing is listed only as a visa-free entry point.
From Papua New Guinea: The only formal crossing is at Wutung, between Jayapura and Vanimo in Sandaun Province in Papua New Guinea, the capital of Indonesian Papua. It is not guaranteed that you will be able to enter Indonesia through these crossings. Non-Indonesians are mandatory to apply for visas at the nearest Indonesian Consulate or Embassy.
PT Kereta Api runs trains across most of Java and some parts of Sumatra. The Dutch initially built the network, and few new lines have been made since independence. Double-tracking of the most congested lines has been done, though, and is still ongoing. Maintenance is spotty, and derailments and crashes occur occasionally.
The best time to visit Indonesia in May, June and September, during the shoulder months of the dry season (outside Maluku and Papua). You’ll get clear days, but the islands won’t be as crowded or expensive as during peak season (July and August), nor as hot and humid, so ideal for long hikes and cycle rides.