Indonesia is the world’s largest island country with many thousands of islands within its boundaries. Many of them are uninhabited and some of them are safe places for wildlife, but there are more than 900 of them with a permanent population, and they all make great places for a vacation. Some of the islands are very popular tourist destinations, such as Java and Bali, but they are all beautiful places to visit. The culture is different though, so here are a few tips on making the most of a holiday in the Indonesian Islands.

Indonesia offers an electronic visa on arrival (e-VOA) or visitor visa for travelers from eligible countries who wish to visit for tourism, business, or social/cultural purposes. The e-VOA can be applied for online and must be done at least three days before departure. The visa is valid for a maximum stay of 60 days and is a single-entry visa. The fee for the e-VOA varies depending on the length of stay and the purpose of the visit. It’s important to note that travelers must have a passport valid for at least six months and a return ticket to be eligible for the e-VOA. Additionally, travelers must comply with all entry requirements, including health and COVID-19 protocols.

traditional vegetarian curry with brown rice in bali indonesia
traditional vegetarian curry with brown rice in Bali Indonesia

Street Food

The stalls that sell food on the streets of the islands are very highly regulated for hygiene. The food is usually freshly prepared from the finest products and it is renowned for how delicious it is. Often, for less than $2 you can eat as much as you want, and no one should visit the Indonesian Islands without at least trying this local cuisine once.

The vendors serve hot soups, noodles, and meals with rice, as well as fritters and dumplings. They usually have fresh fruit too, which they will happily turn into a juice if you prefer it that way.

hotel in Indonesia


The islands have accommodation at all levels, from hostels to top-class hotels. If you are hoping for a luxurious experience, check out 7Boutique Hotels, which are affordable without compromising on service. There are several of them to choose from in Indonesia, some of them offering private villas just a short distance from a beach. If you prefer to be more inland, perhaps by the forests, they offer that opportunity too.

Tirta tirta water palace on Bali in Indonesia
Tirta Tirta water palace on Bali in Indonesia

Traveling Around an Island

Some of the islands have public transport systems with timetables but don’t expect them to stick to these. Usually, they will wait till a bus or train is full before moving off, even if that means they are an hour late. The best bet is to try and board at the terminus, as once they are on the roads, you will probably find standing room only.

Apart from public transport, cycles are popular but there are also taxis and motorbike taxis. If you decide to take the taxi option, it is a good idea to agree on the fare first, as then you can be sure they will take the quickest route. Then, of course, there are tuk-tuks. These might give you a bit of a bumpy ride, but they are a great way to get around to see the island you are on and are one of the cheapest ways to travel around.

Always Have Tissues

One of the things you will have to get used to when you are out and about is squat toilets. The toilets themselves are usually very clean, but often they do not have any the luxury of toilet paper or handwashing facilities. You should always carry tissues and some hand wipes with you.

Traditional Indonesian clothes.
Traditional Indonesian clothes.

Keep Cool and Covered

The climate of the Indonesian Islands is very hot and humid, and you need to be prepared for that. It is best to wear light cotton clothing whenever possible and always have a hat to protect your head. The sun can be strong all year round so sunscreen is a must too. The weather can change very quickly, and you can suddenly find yourself in a torrential downpour of rain that will only last a few minutes. It is far too hot to be venturing out in a rain jacket but keeping one in the bottom of a bag is a good idea.

Legong Keraton dancers, Bali, Indonesia
Legong Keraton dancers, Bali, Indonesia

Show Respect for the Culture

You should always show respect for the culture no matter what country you are in. Just as an example, if you are visiting a temple you need to make sure you remove your shoes and cover your shoulders and knees, no matter whether you are male or female. You also need to be aware that different temples have their own rules, and you should always check what they are and adhere to them.

Monkey eating stolen bananas at Uluwatu temple in Indonesia
Monkey eating bananas at Uluwatu temple in Indonesia

Take Care with the Wildlife

Some of the wildlife will look wonderful from the window of your chosen mode of transport but be aware that some of it will fool you. Small monkeys are a typical example of a creature that can look very cute and cuddly but get too close to them and they become nasty and aggressive. They will try to take anything that sparkles and will think nothing of stealing the food from your plate. You just have to remember that although they are beautiful, they are wild animals that have not been taught any manners.


Don’t go to the Indonesian Islands expecting to have a holiday similar to one in the USA or Europe because that won’t happen. The people are said to be some of the friendliest in the world and they will help to make your stay in this wonderful part of the world, an experience never to be forgotten.