If there’s one thing that our Travel Experts love, it’s being quizzed about their favorite countries and passing on their industry leading knowledge to those who are looking for a little inspiration. From route plans to restaurant recommendations, places to avoid and hidden gems that can’t be missed, there isn’t a week that goes by when we don’t get a torrent of eager questions that keep our experts on their toes. Recently we’ve been looking through all the questions we’ve been asked about Indonesia with our South East Asia expert, Camilla, and we thought we’d share our answers with you…
Next month we’ll be looking at Japan – to have your question on the website, tweet us @black_tomato and your query might get published…
1.What sets Indonesia apart from other South East Asian countries?
I’d have to say the diversity. There are few countries in the world that nurture such a melting pot of difference. Culture, food, activities and relaxation – on Indonesia you can truly have it all. Another thing that we love about Indonesia is the sheer amount of incredible hotels. We love how so many of them have managed to keep their own identity despite the country becoming increasingly popular. From the stunning Amanjiwo that overlooks the temples of Borobudur in Java, to the peaceful Uma Ubud in Bali, Indonesia is home to some of our favourite luxurious boltholes.
2. Which kind of travellers does Indonesia appeal to?
In a word, everyone. Whether you’re looking to get off the beaten track on a solo adventure near the Komodo Islands, indulge in the blissful beach culture of Bali or treat the family to an incredible island hopping trip, Indonesia delivers. It’s also the perfect honeymoon destination too and is actually one of our most popular destinations for newly-weds.
3. What essentials should I pack for my trip?
It really depends on the kind of trip you’re looking to do. If you’re looking to unwind, you can pack as little as a swimsuit, beach towel and your favourite novel. If you’re planning on taking on Rinjani (Indonesia’s highest volcano) or trekking in the eastern islands, you’ll need your hiking boots and plenty of breathable layers. Whatever kind of trip you’re planning, you’ll need your camera – with some of the most breathtaking landscapes in South East Asia, you won’t want to leave home without one.
4. What’s the best time of year to visit?
As a rule, we like to say that anytime between April and October is best, as this is when you’re likely to miss the rain. But if you’re looking to escape the crowds, it’s best not to visit between mid-June and mid-September as this is when the crowds really flock to the archipelago.
5. What’s the ideal length of time to get the most of out the country?
We always recommend 2.5 weeks if you really want to get under the skin of the country and fit in, Java, Bali, Lombok and the Komodo Islands. Having said that, a week is also a great amount of time if you’re simply looking to luxuriate in Bali and the Gili Islands.
6. What are your favourite experiences and activities in Indonesia?
There are so many. The sunrise trek to Mt Batur in Bali is completely unforgettable, as is the white water rafting experience near Ubud. But as a big food-lover, the cooking classes in Bali always stand out for me. If you’re a water-lover, snorkelling trips around the Gili Islands are a must too and temple lovers simply have to visit the legendary temples of Borobudur.