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DESCRIPTION A free Indonesia travel guide by Exotissimo Travel. This travel guide includes information about Indonesia's famous attractions such as Bali, Ubud, Java, Sulawesi and Sumatra. The travel guide also provides some information about visas, currency, weather and transportation.


Page 1: Indonesia Travel Guide by Exotissimo Travel

Exo Travel Guides


Experts in Asia - in Asia

Page 2: Indonesia Travel Guide by Exotissimo Travel

Introducing IndonesiaThank you for choosing Exotissimo Travel Indonesia to

organize your travel arrangements in the Republic of

Indonesia. This document will give you some more in-

formation about the country, the different destinations

within Indonesia, useful information for travelers, a

listing of the Exotissimo preferred hotels and the reser-

vations and booking procedures.

In Indonesia, Exotissimo has been very successful at of-

fering tours which show a little bit more of the country

then just the beaches and the mass tourism places. We

believe it is very important to show you the unknown

treasure of the real Indonesia. Of course we will take

you to see the highlights, as no visitor should miss the

spectacular coastlines and towering temples, but we

are also pleased to show you lesser known sites. Some-

thing which is often promised but not always delivered.

treasure of the real Indonesia. Of course we will take

you to see the highlights, as no visitor should miss the

spectacular coastlines and towering temples, but we

are also pleased to show you lesser known sites. Some-

Where should I go in Indonesia?

thing which is often promised but not always delivered.

When should I go?

Indonesia has a tropical climate that varies slightly

from island to island. Even within an island, the high-

lands can experience variants from the coastal towns.

In general, June to September is the driest period while

from December to March the monsoons bring heavy

rains on and off throughout the day. During this time

of year, the crowds are very light and the rice paddies

are a deep green, so if you can brave a few showers

throughout the day and are not set on returning with a

suntan this is a surprisingly enjoyable time to visit. Day

time temperatures hover around 25-30 degrees Celsius

but higher elevations are much cooler.

Indonesia is a mix of religions and thus the public holi-

day is dotted with religious celebrations. Although un-

likely to cause disruptions to traveling, holidays such as

Islam’s Eid in September and the Christian Good Friday

in April may be busy with local travelers.

Known as the ‘Island of the Gods’, Bali lives up to its di-

vine reputation and is an integral part of most travelers’

itineraries. The island is blessed with warm weather

year round, endless beaches and a varied interior ter-

rain. Despite its development as a popular tourist des-

tination, the island retains its unique culture and soul

and seems impervious to the influences of the modern


We recommend moving beyond the beaches to experi-

ence the real ‘soul’ of Bali. Due to the small size of

the island it is possible to use the beach and another

town, such as Ubud- the arts capital, as bases and do

day trips around the island. Or opt for a round trip

for a more in-depth look at the island. Whichever you


choose, we recommend at least 5 days exploring the is-

land. Our Bali Travel Guide below can help you to make

your decision.

Bali’s coastline boasts a diverse range of beaches from

jungle-shrouded sands in the northwest to pristine

white beaches in the southwest. This section of our Bali

Travel Guide outlines the different beach areas as well

as our favorite hotels in and around that area.

The north coast is marked by quiet, sleepy beaches of

black volcanic sand while the east coast also offers a

laid-back island atmosphere but with white sands and

abundant diving opportunities. The main beach on the

north is Lovina, one of the first resort towns on Bali,

and now feels more like a small town with a handful

of restaurants and hotels. Moving eastwards, you ar-

rive at Tulamben and Amed, the former being a popular

spot for scuba diving and the later noted for its charm-

ing, welcoming atmosphere. Curving further down the

coast, you reach Candidasa and Padangabai. Overlook-

ing Lombok Island, these two towns are ideal for fami-

lies or those seeking to get away from the buzz of other

southern beaches.

Bali Beaches

North and East Coast

Western area and Coast

To experience a blend of outdoor and indoor living, try

the beachfront Puri Bagus hotel, just a short stroll from

the center of Lovina. Consisting of 40 spacious villas,

with simple yet stylish interiors, this tropical paradise

lures guests to the natural outdoor beauty of the prop-

erty. Alternatively head east and enjoy the intimacy of

the Alila Mangiss, where traditional Balinese influences

can be found running throughout the sleek and design-

led features of this luxurious property.

Often overlooked, the west coast offers more than a

handful of beaches that are appealing for their rugged

coastlines, cliff formations and solitude. Take time to

explore one of Bali’s more remote regions and delve

into a true ‘local’ experience. A fantastic choice for

nature lovers, this part of the island is home to Bali

Barat, a national park covering 70,000 acres, famous for

the white starling and Indonesian wild bull.

Negara, the capital of the region and relatively unex-

plored by tourists, is host to the annual bull racing

contest. Southwest of Negara, can be found one of

Bali’s most important temples, Pura Lulur at Uluwatu.

Built in the eleventh century, the temple sits on a cliff

top overlook one of the regions isolated beaches. “Ulu”

means head and “Watu” means rock, the temple stands

at the “head of the rock” and commands some of the

Page 3: Indonesia Travel Guide by Exotissimo Travel

The legendary southwest coastline of the island of Bali

has been attracting visitors and locals alike for years.

With a medley of beaches and areas, each offering

unique personalities, this part of Bali truly has some-

thing for everyone.

South and Southwest Coast

What can I do?

most breathtaking views in Bali 200m above the Indian


Famed for their waves, these beaches attract surfers

from all over the island looking for first-rate surf. There

are some unique places to stay throughout this ex-

panse of Bali, in keeping with the character of the west-

ern region. We recommend looking at Puri Taman Sari,

built in a traditional Balinese compound owned by a

member of the royal family. For an intimate experience

filled with the warmth of Indonesian hospitality, Gaja

Minah houses just nine villas nestled amongst scenic

gardens and rice paddies. Set just a short stroll from

a 30km stretch of deserted beach guests will experi-

ence a veritable escape from the hectic pace of normal

life. Those seeking a remote getaway will find peace

and isolation at the WakaGangga Resort. Relaying on

ecologically sound products and local materials for its

construction, WakaGangga has received several distinc-

tions and awards for its eco-friendly ethics

Dip your toes into the sea at Seminyak, whilst listening

to the soft beats of mellow music filtering out from

some of the islands trendiest bars. Home to the re-

nowned Oberoi Hotel, chic Seminyak beach echoes the

style and class more usually associated with Miami or

South Beach, Los Angeles. A laid back surfing beach by

day, be ready to get out your glad rags as dusk comes,

and fall onto one of the beach sofas at the well-known

Ku De Ta bar, one of the island’s best spots for people

watching and sundowners.

Whilst the crowds and surfers head to the lively area

of Kuta, looking for a party, we recommend you ven-

ture beyond this teeming beach, a backpackers haven

for many years. Head south from Seminyak and Kuta,

down to Jimbaran Bay, the island’s prime spot for a

seafood beach barbeque. As you meander down the

sand you will be overwhelmed by the range of delights

for you to enjoy whilst sitting at these informal, relaxed

eateries. Some of the islands most opulent properties

can be found at Jimbaran Bay including the grand, lav-

ish villas of the Four Seasons hotel, where pure luxury

meets the highest levels of experience.

If you are travelling as a family, look to Nusa Dua, on

the southeast side of the peninsula and just across

from Jimbaran Bay. Here you will find miles of glorious,

golden sandy beaches that meet a calm, deep ocean,

very safe to swim in and great for kids. On offer you

will find a variety of accommodations and restaurants

ranging from the Laguna Resort and Spa, a deluxe op-

tion with fantastic facilities for adults and kids alike, to

the smaller Balinese, where family style villas are set in

lush, tropical gardens.

The coastline of Bali is not only home to some of In-

donesia’s finest stretches of beaches but the area also

has a multitude of activities and past times if you are

looking to interrupt the down time with something a bit

more energetic. On offer are plenty of ways to while

away your time, whether on land or water.

We suggest taking some time to explore the Bukit pen-

insula, where Bali’s most ancient temple, Pura Luhur

Uluwatu perches majestically on a cliff edge. Regarded

as one of the six most important temples in Bali, it is

said to protect the Balinese from the evil spirit of the

ocean. Viewing the sunset from Uluwatu is one of the

must-dos whilst on Bali, and a nightly performance of

the indigenous Kecak dance takes place here for all to

enjoy. The Kecak dance derives from an ancient Bali-

nese ritual and is a trance dance driven by repetitive

chanting of the participants. The spiritualistic elements

of the dance are no longer prevalent in the current

day version but the effect of the rhythmic chanting of

30 bare-chested men is certainly trance inducing. The

performance cumulates in a spectacular fire show set

against the backdrop of the Balinese sunset.

Whether you are a slave to the surf or a first time boogie

boarder, jump into the ocean and ride some of Asia’s

best waves. Depending on your levels of experience

and confidence, there is a beach for everyone, with surf

lessons widely available throughout the island.

Our Indonesia day trips enable you to explore Bali in

a multitude of ways, whatever your interests may be.

Take a tour around the island in a retro VW convertible

with a professional guide by your side. We will lead

you to some of Bali’s main attractions but our knowl-

edge and expertise will enable you to avoid the crowds

and see the island in a way most don’t. Alternatively

escape from Bali and take a day cruise to Nusa Lem-

bongan Island. Relax on board a luxurious vessel whilst

cruising to one of Indonesia’s most spectacular areas,

where you will have the opportunity to snorkel amongst

a plethora of tropical sea-life, take an educational ma-

rine walk or join in the ‘mangrove tour’ for a glimpse

into the lives of local fishing communities.

Page 4: Indonesia Travel Guide by Exotissimo Travel

The interior of Bali is home to one of the most fasci-

nating and intriguing towns on the island, Ubud. The

center for Balinese arts and craft, and a real focus for

those interested in holistic therapies and spa experi-

ences, Ubud truly is the cultural hub of this island. The

town itself emits a slower pace of life to that found

elsewhere, and manages to impart a genuine sense of

well being to those who choose to spend time here. A

relaxed pace of life and an area with a true sense of


Just over an hour drive from Denpasar airport, and

nestled in the lush green paddy fields of Bali’s interior,

Ubud is a great base from which to explore the rest of

this magical island. Wander through the quiet streets

of town and take time to browse the endless art shops

showcasing local works, pick up some ethnic jewelry

or just kick back with a smooth Indonesian coffee in

one of the many cafes and watch the world drift on

by. Ubud is truly a melting pot of all the elements of

Bali that make it such a sought after destination; scenic

rice fields, ancient temples, superb cuisine, palaces and

rivers all come together to create a unique Balinese

experience. To sense the real Ubud look a bit further

than the obvious attractions. Lose yourself in the back-

streets and observe the culture and people that make

this exceptional town tick.

To really get under the skin of Ubud, join our Bali Cul-

ture and Craft tour to discover some of Ubud’s rich tra-

ditions. Stop on the outskirts of Ubud at Singapadu

village, a traditional village is home to some of the is-

land’s most talented artisans and see craftsmen creat-

ing wooden masks and gold-smiths and silver smiths

at work using traditional techniques. The village is also

known for its spectacular Barong dancers. No stay in

Ubud would be complete without indulging in a Bali-

nese spa and enjoying the healing hands of one of the

local masseurs. From hour treatments to whole day

packages, Ubud is the place to indulge and unwind.

The lush surroundings of Ubud are tempting for all lev-

els of walkers and trekkers. Enjoy the rolling paddy

fields on a short stroll, or explore deeper into the coun-

Bali will almost certainly have you digging deep into

your pockets as your wander through the myriad of

stalls and markets. Bali is a treasure trove of fine art,

antiques, jewelry, carved furniture, paintings, dyed

silks and irresistible fabrics. Enjoy some friendly bar-

gaining with the traders whilst indulging in a truly

unique shopping experience. A word of advice, when

bargaining in Bali, think about what value your pur-

chase has to you, and not just about trying to get it

for the cheapest possible price. This will make the

experience more enjoyable for yourself and the vendor.

If you are looking for some more International brands,

head to the shopping Mecca of Seminyak where locally

made Bali designs and more established products meet

to offer some of the best shopping experiences on the


Dining in Bali is certainly seen as one of the highlights

for many a visitor. Authentic Balinese cuisine is some-

times seen as a straightforward affair, consisting of

rice, vegetables and some meat or fish on the side and

accompanied by a range of condiments. The Balinese

eat with their right hand, as the left is impure, a com-

mon belief throughout Indonesia. The offerings of the

island however extend far beyond this simple fare, with

restaurants, cafes and bars catering to all tastes and

budgets. Traditional Indonesian food is easy to come

Shopping and Dining

by on Bali, whether from a street market or a five star

hotel. Local dishes that must be sampled include Gado

Gado, a light salad mix served with peanut sauce which

will often be made fresh to order in front of customers

and the famous Nasi Goreng, a tasty Indonesian inter-

pretation of fried rice.

As previously mentioned, Jimbaran Bay is home to

some of the best seafood restaurants on the island.

Our personal recommendation is the Menega Café at

Jimbaran. This institution offers seafood straight from

the ocean, cooked fresh to order at the water’s edge.

Located just behind the Four Seasons hotel this is a

must try for seafood lovers. For those looking for some

Mediterranean flavors, head to Ultimo in the Semin-

yak area. Here candle-lit tables are scattered through-

out tropical gardens, fresh ingredients used to create

sumptuous dishes and live music can be enjoyed on

Mondays and Thursdays.


What should I do in Ubud?

Page 5: Indonesia Travel Guide by Exotissimo Travel

To really get under the skin of Ubud, join our Bali Cul-

ture and Craft tour to discover some of Ubud’s rich

traditions. Stop on the outskirts of Ubud at Singapadu

village, a traditional village is home to some of the

island’s most talented artisans and see craftsmen cre-

ating wooden masks and gold-smiths and silver smiths

at work using traditional techniques. The village is also

known for its spectacular Barong dancers. No stay in

Ubud would be complete without indulging in a Bali-

nese spa and enjoying the healing hands of one of the

local masseurs. From hour treatments to whole day

packages, Ubud is the place to indulge and unwind.

The lush surroundings of Ubud are tempting for all lev-

els of walkers and trekkers. Enjoy the rolling paddy

fields on a short stroll, or explore deeper into the coun-

try side in this area that was created for trekking. As

Ubud sits at about 250 meters above sea level, the cli-

mate is considerably cooler and more temperate than

the rest of Indonesia, creating perfect conditions for

more challenging trekking.

Our Indonesian Kitchen Tour will lead you on a gastro-

nomic journey to discover the secrets of Indonesian

cuisine. Inspired by the rich blend of peoples and cul-

ture of the archipelago the local delicacies can be ex-

perienced by all under the expert supervision of a local

chef. Visit the traditional food market where you will

learn more about the intricacies of Indonesian regional

cuisines and observe the daily market trade.

Hotels are plentiful in Ubud and cater for all budgets

and tastes. Many of the properties lie slightly outside

of the town center, but will offer regular shuttle buses

into town, so do not let this deter you from staying in

them. The beauty of this location is being surrounded

by rice fields and local farming communities offering

a peaceful environment and uninterrupted views of

the countryside. Those looking for understated luxury

should try the Alila Ubud. Offering contemporary décor

blended with Indonesian influences, this stunning ho-

tel is set a-top the jungle canopy, with the edge of the

infinity pool overlooking the paddy fields below.

Champlung Sari is an enchanting boutique hotel

nestled in the heart of Ubud. Flanked by landscaped

greenery, walled gardens, and with the Monkey Forest

Sanctuary right by its doorstep, the property blends the

sophistication of modern comforts with the charms of

nature in its lush setting at an affordable price. Relax-

ing and unpretentious, Pertiwi Resort & Spa Ubud offers

an inviting stay for nature and culture lovers. Flanked

by rice terraces on one side and the Ubud town center,

guests can experience the culture and artistry the town

try side in this area that was created for trekking. As

Ubud sits at about 250 meters above sea level, the cli-

mate is considerably cooler and more temperate than

the rest of Indonesia, creating perfect conditions for

more challenging trekking.

Our Indonesian Kitchen Tour will lead you on a gastro-

nomic journey to discover the secrets of Indonesian

cuisine. Inspired by the rich blend of peoples and cul-

ture of the archipelago the local delicacies can be ex-

perienced by all under the expert supervision of a local

chef. Visit the traditional food market where you will

learn more about the intricacies of Indonesian regional

cuisines and observe the daily market trade.

What should I do in Ubud?

Where should I stay?

Where should I eat?

is known for while staying in a serene property.

Looking to splurge on super-deluxe accommodation?

We suggest the Ubud Hanging Gardens by the Orient

Express Group. Set deep in the rice terraces of Ubud

this resort has 38 private pool villas, each with heated

infinity plunge pools and uninterrupted views of the

mountain range and winding Ayung river.

For sure Bali is well known for a myriad of shopping

and eating possibilities, but in Ubud these experiences

will be taken to another level. This town is truly the

kind of place where you can let yourself go and enjoy

all the different delicacies on offer for very reasonable


One of our favorite venues is the Café Lotus, in front of

the lily pond at Pura Saraswati. This idyllic spot serves

delectable snacks, and is a great place to grab a cooling

lassi (a local yogurt based drink) or an early evening

beer and admire the temples across the lotus pond.

One of the dishes of the region, Nasi Campur, which

literally translates to mixed rice, can be found at Wa-

rung Nasi Pak Sedan. This neighborhood dining venue

is consistently busy with locals, and is situated at the

back of someone’s house. The beauty of Nasi Campur

is that you never know exactly what you will be get-

ting; it depends on what ingredients have been bought

fresh that day at market. Usually a combination of rice,

vegetable dishes and meat, accompanied by a selection

of sambals and Balinese spicy salts combine to offer a

truly authentic Indonesian meal.

Located on the lower section of Jl. Hanuman is KAFE.

This charming and slightly new-age café draws expats

and tourists alike. With a fusion menu offering healthy

organic fare, this is a great spot to sink into one of the

ever so comfortable cushions and watch the world go


Page 6: Indonesia Travel Guide by Exotissimo Travel

Largely characterized by its volcanic mountains forming

an east to west backbone around the island, Java is the

heartbeat of Indonesia and home to some 130 million

people. With practically every religion having passed

through at some point or other it has a bold mixture of

flavors that amount to a diverse melting-pot of cultures.

The largest province, West Java is blessed with magnifi-

cent natural wonders consisting of volcanic peaks, me-

andering rivers, bottle-green valleys and fertile plains

offering ample opportunity for exploration. Beyond the

immense natural beauty of the region many travelers

visit this area to in order to learn more about the Sudan

culture and language, unique to the province.

Central Java, the most commonly visited province is

home to a number of ancient temples including the

magnificent Borobudur and Prambaman. Within Central

Java is Yogyakarta, generally regarded as the islands

cultural and creative pulse it is a popular choice for

those eager to immerse themselves within the elabo-

rate textiles, music and performances of Java first hand.

Other highlights within this area include the Tamansi-

ri (water palace) bird market and town of Surakarta

(Solo). East Java is best visualized as the spine of the

region it has three of Indonesia most famous volcanic

peaks and is consequently a popular destination for our

hiking and trek tours. This area also encompasses the

island of Madura a notably off-the-beaten-track destina-

tion perfect for those wanting to avoid the tourist trail

and immerse themselves in some untamed adventure.


The Margo Utomo occupies a superb location in close

proximity to Mt Ijien amid sprawling hills and coffee

plantations. Located on the grounds of a plantation this

unique property seeks to provide guests with a ‘vil-

lage like’ atmosphere while offering first-class service

alongside a beneficial introduction to the surrounding

landscape. Consisting of 51 guestrooms each fashioned

Long known as being the centre of Bali’s arts and craft

communities, Ubud is the place to shop local handi-

crafts and arts. Sukawati Market, located on Jalan Raya

Sukowati, is the biggest market in Bali from which to

purchase this genre of goods. Set over two floors, this

bustling hub is the place to buy everything from paint-

ings to woven clothes, wooden carvings to Balinese

ceremonial items, handbags to jewelry. A good tip is

to arrive first thing in the morning when many of the

traders offer discounted prices.

Beyond central Ubud lie several smaller villages that

each offer their own unique wares and crafts. The

woodcarving centre of Mas is situated 5 kilometers

south of Ubud. Typically Mas carvings have a very

individual style; smooth, unpainted and carved from

high quality wood. The workshops welcome tourists to

drop in and observe the craftsmen, a great way to get

watch the local artisans at work. Many of the shops

do accept credit cards so do not worry if you forget to

bring cash. Heading back along the road towards Ubud

will lead you to the village of Celuk, famous for its

goldsmiths and silversmiths. Head off the main road to


What should I buy? take you away from the larger warehouses, and explore

the villages where the craftsman live and work. Not

only will this offer a richer and more honest insight into

their working methods, you might also be able to get a

better price than in the larger outlets.

If time is limited then all of these crafts can be found

on Monkey Forest Road in central Ubud. Home to a

plethora of shopping and dining options, from inter-

national brands to local handicrafts, this is a great one

stop destination for all your shopping needs!

Where should I stay on Java?

with subtle accents of Indonesia, complete with private

balconies enjoying sprawling views. Alternatively, the

centrally located Jorje Village Inn is just a short walk

from Malioboro Street, famous for its shopping. A char-

acteristically quaint boutique hotel, featuring 24 exqui-

sitely decorated rooms; you are ensured a comfortable

stay in these spacious and well-equipped guestrooms.

A consistently good choice can always be found with

the Ibis hotel brand that excels in providing clean and

concise accommodation. Their no fills approach to

providing minimally adorned, centrally located accom-

modation guarantees a convenient choice as well as a

rested evening after a day of exploration.

Page 7: Indonesia Travel Guide by Exotissimo Travel


Offering the grandeur of 1930’s colonialism at even

more attractive rates, this is an ideal choice for those

wanting to step back in time to a by-gone era, while

still enjoying the functioning aspects of a modern ho-

tel. Situated in the upscale residential area of Malang,

the Graha Chakra offers the usual insight into residen-

tial Java, away from the tourist trail and hustle and

bustle of the city. The Java Banana is a classically de-

signed eco-lodge situated in Wonotoro, East Java, el-

evated 200 meters above sea level an attractive feature

of this property of this property is can be found in the

soothing mountainous sub-climate, it is also home to

the highest art gallery in Indonesia. Enjoying sprawling

vistas from every room, this property is ideal for nature

lovers with an appreciation for understated luxury.

Perched on the edge of the rainforest, each of the

guestrooms at the Ijien Mountain Resort looks out over

the lush rice paddies. The perfect choice for those who

desire unparalleled tranquility amid abundant nature

from a holiday, the isolated mountain setting is inspir-

ing, to say the least. Situated near the vibrant Malio-

boro district in the heart of Yogyakarta, The Phoenix ho-

tel is a colonial landmark featuring elegantly adorned

rooms that fuse elements of European and Asian décor.

Built in 1919, the hotel experience is very much one

of immersing guests in an old world charm fused with

the functionality of the modern-era. This property rates

highly for location, design and its wealth of facilities

which include a sensuous spa and popular colonial-

style bar.

Ringed by eight volcanoes, Losari Spa Retreat & Coffee

Plantation’s antique-filled villas are set in 25 hectares

of gardens, coffee plantations and authentic Dutch co-

lonial buildings. Boasting one of Indonesia’s only Turk-

ish hammam baths, the award winning spa is a definite

highlight, as is not so surprisingly the coffee. It should

also be noted that as an active participant in the ef-

forts to preserve Javanese heritage, the company have

developed a foundation assisting community develop-

ment through cultural heritage preservation and envi-

ronmental conservation.


For those looking to splurge on accommodation Tugu

Malang is considered to be one of Java’s quintessential

properties. The hotel is something of a tourist attrac-

tion in itself where half a day could easily be spent

exploring the extensive selection of Javanese art and

antiques. You might even describe it as part museum,

part art gallery and part hotel. Situated in the old town

of Malang there are few distractions here.

However, there is little doubt that when it comes to

the jewel in the crown of Java’s hotels the Amanjiwo

sparkles just that little bitter brighter. A boutique resort

that is almost as memorable as its neighbor, Borobudur,

Amanjiwo has been constructed by the locally hewn

limestone, coral-beige paras yogay. Featuring 36- suites

equipped with everything from IPods to art galleries, to


In his book ‘The Road Less Travelled’ Author Bill Bryson

remarked that Borobudur was the bold traveler’s equiv-

alent to Angkor Wat. Carved from 55,000 square meters

of lava-rock and decorated with 2,672 relief panels and

504 Buddha statues, no trip to Indonesia would be com-

plete without a visit to this spectacular structure. One

of the true wonders of the Buddhist world, it was left

undiscovered until the late 19th century when archaeol-

ogists stumbled across the overgrown monument in the

Javanese jungle hidden under a layer of volcanic ash.

Miss the crowds and take an early morning tour of

Borobudur, when the sun is rising and the flocks of

tourists have yet to arrive. Alternatively, photographers

should venture there in the late afternoon when the

lighting is at its best. As well as this an itinerary should

What should I see on Java?

include the last great monument of the Central Java-

nese period, Prambanam, a temple in the form of the

central world mountain as described in Buddhist cos-

mology. Although much of this work was devastated in

an earthquake in the 16th century, the bas-reliefs that

remain are exquisite and it is well worth teaming a visit

with an early morning visit to Borobudur.

Beyond temple hopping, visiting the smoking and dor-

mant volcanic peaks of Java equate to some of the most

awe-inspiring scenery on the planet. Made up almost

entirely of volcanic origin, the ash produced from these

accounts for the islands immense fertile land, and in

many respects is the lifeblood of the region. The most

famous of the 40 plus volcanoes inhabiting the island

are Mt Bromo and Mt Ijien. Mt Bromo like temple tours

is best frequented in the early morning for sunrise be-

fore embarking on short trek to the crater rim of the

active volcanoes. Alternatively an excursion to Mt Ijien

in east Java incorporates a 1 hour uphill trek which is

rewarded with sensational panoramic views.

Considered to be the cultural heart of Indonesia, Jogja-

karta, is well discovered on one of our tailored itinerar-

ies offering the perfect opportunity to immerse you in

the inherent craftsmanship and artistic sensibilities of

the Javanese.

Page 8: Indonesia Travel Guide by Exotissimo Travel

Each of our tour Itineraries has been crafted to bring

elements of adventure and insight to a trip through

the acts of exploration and experience. Java is an ideal

destination for this, featuring what seems like infinite

opportunities to discover enigmatic landscapes, our

sunrise excursions to volcanic peaks uncover some

of the finest natural spectacles known to man. As the

sun rises at Mount Bromo, it warms the mist shrouding

the Tengger Plateau that runs along the spine of Java

and with this the air clears to reveal of wrinkled indigo

mountains and hulking volcanoes for as far as the eye

can see. It is in large measures the ash released from

the volcanoes that makes Java such a fertile area, home

to abundant plantations including coffee, tea and coco-

What can I do?

Where to Eat?

nuts, to name but a few. Many of the islands restau-

rant and resorts are built into these fertile landscapes

that make for great trekking ground.

The Dieng Plateau consists of a marshy plateau that

forms the floor of a caldera complex created after the

eruption of Mountain Prau. Best frequented at sunrise

or set in order to experience the exceptional views,

renting a push or motorbike is also a great way to ex-

plore the area.

As you might expect Indonesian cuisine reflects the

diverse number of cultures inhabiting the region with

Java’s food being particularly renowned for its sweet-

ness. For those feeling the urge to satisfy a sweet tooth

should head to Café Oen, an ice cream depot in Malang

where the waiters are dressed in waist coats and bow

ties. One of the islands hidden treasures this ‘classic

café’ has been open since 1930 and is now ran by the

great grandchildren of the original proprietors. At the

volcanic fringed Losari Plantation you can choose be-

tween Java Red the casual option offering the perfect

spot to relax over an Italian lunch, or Java Green, the

more upscale choice where classic Indonesian fare is

fused with Mediterranean dishes with mouth watering

results. If you are eager to get a real taste of Javanese

cuisine then the traditional style eatery, Pecel Solo, is

feted as being one of the best in Java. Being the culi-

nary paradox that it is, the best food to be had in Asia

is more often than not the cheapest too!

Offering a subdued alternative to Bali, Lombok is the

most popular destination in Nusa Tenaggara - a prov-

ince in South Central Indonesia that includes the en-

chanting Gili islands. Lombok’s dramatic landscape

comprises a fertile, volcanic and rustic coastline made

up of Imposing cliffs peppered with coconut trees and

pristine beaches fringed by palm groves on one side

and the warm waters of the Indonesian ocean on the

other. Here you can get back to nature in a big way

taking rides in horse-drawn carts (The Gili islands have

no motorized vehicles) trekking through the jungle-

clad interior or ascending up to the dizzy heights of

Mt Rinjani where crystalline crater lakes and stunning

panoramas appear.

With over 35,000 species of marine life inhabiting the

surrounding waters of Lombok, it is something of a

world-class dive destination that caters to both the ex-

perienced diver and novice as you will notice snorkel-

ing is a common within our itineraries. With the allure

of the virginal beaches, epic terrain and endearing in-

digenous culture it won’t be hard to leave a little piece

of your heart on Lombok.

Other IslandsLombok & The Gili Islands

Page 9: Indonesia Travel Guide by Exotissimo Travel

Komodo is best known for being home to the indig-

enous dragon and the UNESCO World Heritage site, both

of the same name. Situated between Flores and Sum-

bawa, it is part of the Lesser Sunda chain of islands and

is relatively baron when compared to its neighboring

islands. However, what it lacks in lush greenery it more

than makes up for in the rich biodiversity of the sur-

rounding marine life. The easiest way to reach Komodo

is to first go to Flores before taking the short boat ride

across. Meaning ‘flower’ in Portugeue, the less well

known area of this 17,000 vast archipelago promises

a kaleidoscopic journey through a colourful paradise

Komodo & Flores


where true to Indonesia’s form the terrain is an exotic

conncotion of rugged mountains, soaring volcanoes,

multi-shaded crater lakes and exotic tribal groups. This

is before we even get started on the unique flora and

forna that engulfs the island.

This is not the sort of place you should come to looking

for a relaxing holiday, the antithesis of the developed

Bali, the island of Sumatra is still as untamed and rug-

ged as it always has been. Basically there is little in the

way of a tourist infrastructure here, usually the type

of traveler visiting will be one in pursuit of a vigor-

ous adventure and that is exactly what they will get.

The fifth largest island in the world stretching from the

foothills of Bukit Barisan mountain range to the island

of Bangka in the east, there are more than 52 tribal

languages spoken here, which should give you some

idea of the diverse ethnicities inhabiting the island.

Travelers should expect rugged mountains and fertile

valleys, untamed jungles where encounters with wild

orangutans are not uncommon.

Sulawesi Kalimantan

Part of the Sunda archipelago, Sulawesi is situated be-

tween Borneo and the Maluku Islands. Our South Su-

lawesi tours explore the existing local cultures within

the region, where you will eat and mingle with locals

before learning about their beliefs and rituals of the

Toraja people, a tribe famed for their funeral ceremo-

nies. Home to the world’s smallest primate, the tar-

sie, this is an ideal choice for nature lovers with hiking

excursions through Tangkoko Nature Reserve leaving

ample opportunity to get better acquainted with the

rich wildlife dwelling here on Sulawesi. Scenic waterfalls

excursion can be contrasted with volcano exploration.

The third largest island in the world, Kalimantan is one

of Indonesia’s least discovered provinces; making it

a great place to venture to if you want to avoid the

tourist magnets of Bali and Java. Occupying two-thirds

of Borneo’s primitive land mass, the terrain is made

up of rivers, misty mountains and untamed jungle ex-

tending across the islands interior amounting to the

perfect destination to discover the primeval beauty of


Southern Kalimantan is split by the The Meratus Moun-

tain the eastern part of the province is engulfed by

mountains covered in dense tropical rain forests, home

to the indigenous people. The Central part of the region

is characterized by the river and orangutan reserves

where rafting excursions are carried out. To the west

of the island you will encounter more beach intensive


Page 10: Indonesia Travel Guide by Exotissimo Travel






International: Major airlines flying to Indonesia include

Malaysia Air, Thai Airways, Air France, British Airways,

Cathay Pacific Airways, Lufthansa Airlines, Qantas and

Singapore Airlines.

Domestic: Indonesia is served by many domestic air-

lines such as Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air, Merpati Air-

lines, Trans Nusa Airlines, Trigana Air and Air Asia.


Airport taxes are excluded from all international and

domestic flight tickets. For international routes, the tax

levied is Rp. 150,000 and for domestic routes, the tax

varies between Rp. 25,000 to Rp. 50,000. All taxes must

be paid in cash and in Indonesian Rupiah only.



Indonesia is an archipelago so air travel is the most

comfortable and efficient way to visit the country and

its islands. Indonesia is one of Asia’s largest air hubs,

Indonesia - FAQsso it is very well-connected to the rest of the world.

Besides Sukarno Hatta Airport in Jakarta, Ngurah Rai Air-

port in Bali is also served by many direct international

flights. Always consult your Exotissimo travel agent for

routings, fares and flight availability to Indonesia or

Bali. Discount websites and flight search engines may

offer some good deals.


Upon arrival in Indonesia, all visitors must complete en-

try/exit and customs declaration forms. It is important

that a copy of these forms are kept safe with your pass-

port while in Indonesia as they need to be presented

to the customs and immigration officials on departure.

If you have arranged for Visa on Arrival, please proceed

to the visa counter. If you have booked a transfer from

Exotissimo we will provide you with the information on

where to meet your guide/driver as well as a 24-hour

phone number to be used in case of emergency.

ATMs for withdrawing Indonesian Rupiah are widely

available in major airports, shopping malls, hotels and

almost all provincial banks in Indonesia. For most banks

there is a maximum withdrawal of 1,250,000 Rupiah per

transaction; however several withdrawals may be made

in a single day. Ask your tour guide for help when you

need to locate an ATM.

Most businesses are open from Monday to Friday. Gov-

ernment offices are open from 07:30 to 16:00 with some

closing for lunch from 12:00 to 13:00. Many retailers and

travel agencies are also open on Saturday and most

shops are open on Sundays.

VISA and MASTERCARD are widely accepted in Indone-

sia, as well as most other major credit cards and US

Indonesia experiences a hot and tropical climate, so

light and airy clothing such as cotton is more comfort-

able for traveling. The dress code is fairly casual as in

most parts of the tropics but it is advisable to cover

arms and legs in the evenings against biting insects.

As Indonesia is a largely Muslim country, it is advisable

to dress more conservatively, especially for women. A

lightweight raincoat is a good idea in the rainy season.

During the winter months from November to February,

warm clothing is needed for visiting the central and

eastern parts of Bali. Visitors should not wear shorts,

short skirts or other skimpy clothing when visiting reli-

gious sites and temples. Waist sashes should be worn

when visiting temples and shoes should be removed

before entering a private home.







Indonesia switched to 220V recently so in some areas

110V is still used. Most hotels use 220 volts, 50 cycles

and a round, two-pronged slim plug. Bathroom shaver

plugs usually have a transformer switch. We suggest

taking an international adaptor plug for your personal


There are plenty of entertainment options in Indonesia

and restaurants, bars and nightclubs open until late at

night or early in the morning. Restaurants offer a wide

variety of cuisine, ranging from Balinese, Thai, Chinese,

Italian to French.

The staple of an Indonesian meal is rice, usually

steamed or fried. The meal is complemented with main

Internet cafes are widely available and are easily found

in major towns and cities. Prices are reasonable but may

vary from Rp. 6,000 - 10,000 an hour. In many internet

cafes, you can buy pre-paid international phone cards

to dial from a computer to a landline or mobile phone

worldwide. Most internet cafés are equipped with web-

cams, headsets and microphones. Wi-Fi hotspots are

mostly available in big hotels and becoming increas-

ingly in public spaces. Many hotels also have Business

Centers with PCs connected to the internet or in-room

broadband access- please note that this service is not

always free and the rates are usually more expensive

then at internet cafes.

Bahasa Indonesia is the official national language. There

are dozens of regional dialects and variations in speech

from island to island, but the basic words remain the

same. A large majority of the population, especially the

youth, speak English.

No vaccinations are required except for yellow fever

if you are coming from an area where the disease is

present. However visitors should be vaccinated against

typhoid, cholera, hepatitis A & B, tetanus and polio.

Malaria is present in most of the region and it is ad-

visable to take precautions especially if traveling off

the beaten track. The standard of medical facilities is

generally good and Bali has an international hospital to

support the tourism industry. Remember to wash your

hands often with soap and water, especially before eat-

ing. It is advisable to take out a good medical insurance

policy before traveling in case evacuation is needed.

Rabies outbreaks do occur from time to time. With the

prevalence of monkeys in and around temples in Bali,

we ask that travelers take precaution to avoid making

contact with them or teasing them.

Dollar traveler’s cheques. Not all shops and restaurants

accept credit cards, so do check with the cashier before

making any purchases. Bear in mind that some places

may pass onto you the fee imposed on them by the

credit card company (approximately 3-4% depending

on card type), so you may want to pay by cash instead

of credit card in some instances.

dishes of vegetables, meat, seafood, egg, fish and soup.

Although Indonesians generally prefer hot, spicy food,

not all dishes are so intense and the hotness can be

modulated to suit most tastes. Indonesia is also the

perfect place to sample a large variety of tropical fruits

such as mango, pineapple, banana, mangosteen, ram-

butan (hairy red skin fruit), salak (snake skin fruit),

jack fruit, as well as the famous durian- dubbed ‘the

fruit of the gods’ for its very special smell and taste.

We have a ‘Restaurant & Shopping Guide’ and free

magazine which showcases our preferred restaurants

and bars in Indonesia

Page 11: Indonesia Travel Guide by Exotissimo Travel








The Indonesian Rupiah (Rp or IDR) is the official curren-

cy of Indonesia. ATMs and moneychangers are found

throughout the country and credit cards are accepted

at major hotels and some restaurants.

Photo developing labs are common in Bali and the rest

of Indonesia, providing normal print films as well as

professional quality films (like slide films). Digital pho-

tos can easily be downloaded and loaded onto a CD-

Rom in case you run out of memory.

Postcards are sold at all main tourist sites and stamps

are available from post offices and some hotel recep-

tion desks. A postcard to Europe costs Rp. 6,000 to send

and can take up to two weeks to reach the country of


The yearly official public holiday calendar incorporates

many religious holidays such as Islam’s Eid in August

and the Christian Good Friday in April. Tourist sites re-

main open although they may be busy with local travel-

In Indonesia, the majority of the population follows Is-

lam but most Balinese are Hindu. Religion plays a major

role in everyday of people life. There are a number

of different religions that are practiced in Indonesia,

which exude a significant influence on the country’s

political, economical and cultural life.

Indonesia is a safe country to visit. As a global rule,

never leave your belongings unattended and always

maintain eye contact or a firm grip on cameras and

shoulder bags. Do beware of scams and touts that re-

main fairly common in popular tourist destinations. As

in any other country, demonstrations do occasionally

take place however they are usually in isolated areas

away from the major tourist sites and has little, if any,

affect on travelers.

Indonesia, particularly Bali, is known as a treasure trove

of interesting souvenirs and handicrafts. A fascinating

array of products, from traditional antiques to the lat-

est quality fashions to ethnic handicrafts can be found








Most hotels have offer international dialing and fax

facilities although be warned that these services are

expensive in Indonesia. The best way to stay in touch is

to buy a local SIM card at a convenience store for your

mobile phone. They cost approximately Rp. 10,000 and

offer international dialing rates as low as Rp. 7,000 per

minute and free incoming international calls. Internet

cafes usually offer cheap web-phone call systems as

well, however the quality is often poor.

GMT/UTC +7 on Java and Sumatra, GMT/UTC +8 on Bali,

Lombok and Sulawesi, GMT/UTC +9 on Maluku and Irian


Tipping for good service is not expected but is always

appreciated in Indonesia. It is customary, though not

compulsory, to tip tour guides and drivers at the end of

a tour. Hotel and station porters should also be tipped

Those possessing a valid international driving license

will be able to rent and drive a car in Indonesia. Road

signs and maps are commonly displayed in English.

Many taxis are not metered so it is always wise to ne-

gotiate the fare before starting the ride. Bemos - pick-

up trucks with rows of seats along each side - provide

a unique and cheap form of local transport. Motor-

cycles can also be hired in many places but special

care should be exercised at all times as road and traffic

conditions can be somewhat hazardous in certain loca-

tions. The safest option is by eco-bike which is read-

ily available for rent. Traveling around Bali is generally

easy because the people are friendly and happy to offer

advice and directions.

Indonesia can be visited year-round. It is located about

six degrees south of the equator and experiences a

tropical monsoon climate with two distinct seasons.

The wet season from November to March brings high

humidity and afternoon downpours which are usually

short-lived. The dry season from April to October sees

low rainfall and warmer temperatures with cool eve-

nings. Throughout the year, Indonesia sees small tem-

perature variations and temperatures average around

86°F (30°C). During the tourist season in July and Au-

gust, as well as the Christmas and New Year period, Bali

can get crowded.

It is not advisable to drink tap water in Indonesia but

bottled mineral water is safe and available everywhere.

Ice in drinks is generally OK in good standard hotels and

restaurants but it is best to avoid it on street stalls or

in the countryside.Most travelers require a visa to visit Indonesia. 30-day

Visas on Arrival are available for travelers of 62 coun-

tries who enter the country through the major airports

or seaports, including Jakarta, Denpasar (Bali) and Yo-

gyakarta (Java). One photo is required and the cost

is approximately 25 USD which must be paid in cash

(Euros and British Pounds are also accepted)

ers. Bali is a Hindu island and celebrates many more

holidays including the unique ‘Day of Silence’ in March.

These religious ceremonies are colorful spectacles but

should be respected by travelers.

January 1 New Year’s Day

February 3 Chinese New Year

February 15 Birth of the Prophet

March 5 Hindu New Year - Balinese Calendar

April 22 Good Friday

May 17 Vesak Day - Buddha’s Birthday

June 2 Ascension Day

June 29 Ascension of the Prophet

August 17 Indonesian National Day - Independence Day

August 30-31 End of Ramadhan

November 6 Feast of the Sacrifice

November 27 Islamic New Year

December 25 - 26 Christmas Day at many local markets, shopping malls and boutique

shops. At smaller shops, bargaining may be necessary

but it often adds to the fun of shopping in Indonesia.

Shopping hours are generally from 10am to 10pm.

for their service.

Page 12: Indonesia Travel Guide by Exotissimo Travel


Sanur - Main OfficeJalan Bypass Ngurah Rai No. 157Sanur, Denapsar, Bali, INDONESIA Tel: +62 (0) 361 288 821 Fax: +62 (0) 361 287 073Email: [email protected]