Indonesia is one of the most fascinating countries in Asia; with its richness of culture, diversity of landscapes, and affordability, it's the ideal place for a backpacking adventure. But to make the most of your experience in this group of 18,110 islands, you should know a few things about the country before you get on your flight.
The visa situation. Australians can pick up a visa on arrival when they fly into Indonesia. This is the easiest way to obtain a visa if you plan on being in the country for a short time. This kind of visa will give you 30 days in the country, and it can be extended for another 30 days once you arrive.
But if you really want to work your away around a lot of islands, two months might not be enough. In this case, you need to apply for a Social Visa when you are in Australia. This is best handled by a travel agency with visa processing services. It will give you 60 days in the country, and this can be extended to six months once you are in Indonesia. You can learn more about your visa options by contacting companies like CLS Capital Link Services.
Ramadan. Indonesia is a Muslim country and one of the most important times of the year for Muslims is Ramadan. This is a lunar month dedicated to fasting, which is one of the five Islamic pillars. People following Ramadan cannot consume food between sunup and sundown.
For travellers unused to fasting and Indonesia's intense heat, this can present a challenge, as many restaurants and cafes will be closed during this month. If you must travel during the month of Ramadan, then you will be able to find food in the more tourist-focused areas such as Bali and Yogyakarta. The dates of Ramadan change each year so look them up before booking flights.
Getting around Indonesia. Once you are in the country, you might feel overwhelmed by all the different ways that you can get from A to B. Metred taxis are always a safe option, just make sure that the metre is turned on. Becak are fun three wheeler rickshaws that the driver navigates from the back. It is important to negotiate a fare before getting in and to ensure the fare is for the journey, not per person.
If your budget is seriously tight, travelling by Ojek is for you. These are motorcycle riders who will let you hop on board, and it is also possible to rent your own motorcycle by the hour for a cheap price.