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Experts in Asia - in Asia


Exo Travel Guides


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.

choose, we recommend at least 5 days exploring the island. Our Bali Travel Guide below can help you to make your decision.

Bali Beaches Indonesia is a mix of religions and thus the public holiday is dotted with religious celebrations. Although unlikely 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.


Introducing Indonesia Thank you for choosing Exotissimo Travel Indonesia to organize your travel arrangements in the Republic of Indonesia. This document will give you some more information about the country, the different destinations within Indonesia, useful information for travelers, a listing of the Exotissimo preferred hotels and the reservations and booking procedures.

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. Something which is often promised but not always delivered.

In Indonesia, Exotissimo has been very successful at offering 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-

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 highlands 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

Known as the ‘Island of the Gods’, Bali lives up to its divine 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 terrain. Despite its development as a popular tourist destination, the island retains its unique culture and soul and seems impervious to the influences of the modern world. We recommend moving beyond the beaches to experience 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

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.

North and East Coast 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 arrive at Tulamben and Amed, the former being a popular spot for scuba diving and the later noted for its charming, welcoming atmosphere. Curving further down the coast, you reach Candidasa and Padangabai. Overlooking Lombok Island, these two towns are ideal for families or those seeking to get away from the buzz of other southern beaches.

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 property. Alternatively head east and enjoy the intimacy of the Alila Mangiss, where traditional Balinese influences can be found running throughout the sleek and designled features of this luxurious property.

Western area and Coast 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 unexplored 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

most breathtaking views in Bali 200m above the Indian Ocean. 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 expanse of Bali, in keeping with the character of the western 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 experience 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 distinctions and awards for its eco-friendly ethics

South and Southwest Coast 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 something for everyone.

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 renowned 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 venture 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, lavish 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 option with fantastic facilities for adults and kids alike, to the smaller Balinese, where family style villas are set in lush, tropical gardens.

What can I do? The coastline of Bali is not only home to some of Indonesia’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 peninsula, 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 Balinese 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 knowledge 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 marine walk or join in the ‘mangrove tour’ for a glimpse into the lives of local fishing communities.

Shopping and Dining 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 bargaining with the traders whilst indulging in a truly unique shopping experience. A word of advice, when bargaining in Bali, think about what value your purchase 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 island. Dining in Bali is certainly seen as one of the highlights for many a visitor. Authentic Balinese cuisine is sometimes 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 common 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

Ubud The interior of Bali is home to one of the most fascinating 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 experiences, 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

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 interpretation 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 Seminyak area. Here candle-lit tables are scattered throughout tropical gardens, fresh ingredients used to create sumptuous dishes and live music can be enjoyed on Mondays and Thursdays.

well being to those who choose to spend time here. A relaxed pace of life and an area with a true sense of spirituality. 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 backstreets and observe the culture and people that make this exceptional town tick.

What should I do in Ubud? To really get under the skin of Ubud, join our Bali Culture 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 creating 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 Balinese 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 levels 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 climate 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 gastronomic journey to discover the secrets of Indonesian cuisine. Inspired by the rich blend of peoples and culture of the archipelago the local delicacies can be experienced 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? To really get under the skin of Ubud, join our Bali Culture 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 creating 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 Balinese 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 levels of walkers and trekkers. Enjoy the rolling paddy fields on a short stroll, or explore deeper into the country side in this area that was created for trekking. As Ubud sits at about 250 meters above sea level, the climate 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 gastronomic journey to discover the secrets of Indonesian cuisine. Inspired by the rich blend of peoples and culture of the archipelago the local delicacies can be experienced 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.

Where should I stay? 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 hotel 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. Relaxing 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

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.

Where should I eat? 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 prices. 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 Warung 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 getting; 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 by.

Java 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 magnificent natural wonders consisting of volcanic peaks, meandering 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.

What should I buy? Long known as being the centre of Bali’s arts and craft communities, Ubud is the place to shop local handicrafts 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 paintings 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

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 international brands to local handicrafts, this is a great one stop destination for all your shopping needs!

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 elaborate textiles, music and performances of Java first hand. Other highlights within this area include the Tamansiri (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 destination perfect for those wanting to avoid the tourist trail and immerse themselves in some untamed adventure.

Where should I stay on Java? Budget 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 ‘village like’ atmosphere while offering first-class service alongside a beneficial introduction to the surrounding landscape. Consisting of 51 guestrooms each fashioned

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 characteristically quaint boutique hotel, featuring 24 exquisitely 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 accommodation guarantees a convenient choice as well as a rested evening after a day of exploration.

Midrange 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 hotel. Situated in the upscale residential area of Malang, the Graha Chakra offers the usual insight into residential Java, away from the tourist trail and hustle and bustle of the city. The Java Banana is a classically designed eco-lodge situated in Wonotoro, East Java, elevated 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 inspiring, to say the least. Situated near the vibrant Malioboro district in the heart of Yogyakarta, The Phoenix hotel 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

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 private-pools.

What should I see on Java?

highly for location, design and its wealth of facilities which include a sensuous spa and popular colonialstyle bar.

developed a foundation assisting community development through cultural heritage preservation and environmental conservation.

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 colonial buildings. Boasting one of Indonesia’s only Turkish 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 efforts to preserve Javanese heritage, the company have

Splurge 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 attraction 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

In his book ‘The Road Less Travelled’ Author Bill Bryson remarked that Borobudur was the bold traveler’s equivalent 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 complete 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 archaeologists 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

include the last great monument of the Central Javanese period, Prambanam, a temple in the form of the central world mountain as described in Buddhist cosmology. 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.

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 before 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.

Beyond temple hopping, visiting the smoking and dormant 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

Considered to be the cultural heart of Indonesia, Jogjakarta, is well discovered on one of our tailored itineraries offering the perfect opportunity to immerse you in the inherent craftsmanship and artistic sensibilities of the Javanese.

What can I do? 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-

nuts, to name but a few. Many of the islands restaurant 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 explore the area.

Where to Eat? 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 between 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 culinary paradox that it is, the best food to be had in Asia is more often than not the cheapest too!

Other Islands Lombok & The Gili Islands Offering a subdued alternative to Bali, Lombok is the most popular destination in Nusa Tenaggara - a province in South Central Indonesia that includes the enchanting 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 jungleclad 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 experienced diver and novice as you will notice snorkeling is a common within our itineraries. With the allure of the virginal beaches, epic terrain and endearing indigenous culture it won’t be hard to leave a little piece of your heart on Lombok.

Komodo & Flores Komodo is best known for being home to the indigenous dragon and the UNESCO World Heritage site, both of the same name. Situated between Flores and Sumbawa, 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 surrounding 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

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.

Sumatra 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 rugged 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 vigorous 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.



Part of the Sunda archipelago, Sulawesi is situated between Borneo and the Maluku Islands. Our South Sulawesi 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 ceremonies. Home to the world’s smallest primate, the tarsie, 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 extending across the islands interior amounting to the perfect destination to discover the primeval beauty of Kalimantan. Southern Kalimantan is split by the The Meratus Mountain 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 landscape.

Indonesia - FAQs AIRLINES 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 airlines such as Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air, Merpati Airlines, Trans Nusa Airlines, Trigana Air and Air Asia. AIRPORT TAX 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. ARRIVAL IN INDONESIA BY AIR 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,

so it is very well-connected to the rest of the world. Besides Sukarno Hatta Airport in Jakarta, Ngurah Rai Airport 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. ARRIVAL FORMALITIES Upon arrival in Indonesia, all visitors must complete entry/exit and customs declaration forms. It is important that a copy of these forms are kept safe with your passport 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 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. Government 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.

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.




Indonesia experiences a hot and tropical climate, so light and airy clothing such as cotton is more comfortable 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 religious 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 appliances.

ENTERTAINMENT 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.



VISA and MASTERCARD are widely accepted in Indonesia, as well as most other major credit cards and US

The staple of an Indonesian meal is rice, usually steamed or fried. The meal is complemented with main

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, rambutan (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

HEALTH 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 advisable 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 eating. 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.

INTERNET 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 webcams, headsets and microphones. Wi-Fi hotspots are mostly available in big hotels and becoming increasingly 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.

LANGUAGE 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.

MONEY The Indonesian Rupiah (Rp or IDR) is the official currency of Indonesia. ATMs and moneychangers are found throughout the country and credit cards are accepted at major hotels and some restaurants.

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

December 25 - 26 Christmas Day

RELIGION In Indonesia, the majority of the population follows Islam 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.

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.



February 3 Chinese New Year

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 photos can easily be downloaded and loaded onto a CDRom in case you run out of memory.

February 15 Birth of the Prophet


May 17 Vesak Day - Buddha’s Birthday

Postcards are sold at all main tourist sites and stamps are available from post offices and some hotel reception desks. A postcard to Europe costs Rp. 6,000 to send and can take up to two weeks to reach the country of destination.

June 2 Ascension Day


August 30-31 End of Ramadhan



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 remain open although they may be busy with local travel-

November 6 Feast of the Sacrifice

Indonesia, particularly Bali, is known as a treasure trove of interesting souvenirs and handicrafts. A fascinating array of products, from traditional antiques to the latest quality fashions to ethnic handicrafts can be found

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

March 5 Hindu New Year - Balinese Calendar


April 22 Good Friday

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 remain 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.

June 29 Ascension of the Prophet August 17 Indonesian National Day - Independence Day

November 27 Islamic New Year

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.

TIME GMT/UTC +7 on Java and Sumatra, GMT/UTC +8 on Bali, Lombok and Sulawesi, GMT/UTC +9 on Maluku and Irian Jaya

for their service.



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 evenings. Throughout the year, Indonesia sees small temperature variations and temperatures average around 86°F (30°C). During the tourist season in July and August, as well as the Christmas and New Year period, Bali can get crowded.

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 negotiate the fare before starting the ride. Bemos - pickup trucks with rows of seats along each side - provide a unique and cheap form of local transport. Motorcycles 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 locations. The safest option is by eco-bike which is readily available for rent. Traveling around Bali is generally easy because the people are friendly and happy to offer advice and directions.

VISAS Most travelers require a visa to visit Indonesia. 30-day Visas on Arrival are available for travelers of 62 countries who enter the country through the major airports or seaports, including Jakarta, Denpasar (Bali) and Yogyakarta (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)

WATER 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.

EXOTISSIMO TRAVEL INDONESIA Sanur - Main Office Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai No. 157 Sanur, Denapsar, Bali, INDONESIA Tel: +62 (0) 361 288 821 Fax: +62 (0) 361 287 073 Email:

Indonesia Travel Guide - Exotissimo Travel  

This Indonesia travel guide will give you some information about the country, the different destinations within Indonesia, useful informatio...