10 Reasons You Should Visit Indonesia

Cailin O Neil February 19, 2013 26

Indonesia is the 4th most populous country in the world and is made up of over 17,000 islands; however, often when people think of Indonesia, all that comes to mind is Bali. Although Bali is awesome in its own right, Indonesia as a whole is a great place to visit and has much to offer. Here are my ten reasons why you should visit Indonesia.

The Komodo Dragons

Komodo Dragon

Komodo Dragon. Photo by Cailin O.

Indonesia is home to Komodo National Park, named after its celebrity residents, the Komodo Dragon. Currently the largest living lizard in the world and the closest thing we have to dinosaurs, these fierce dragons are quite the tourist attraction for the thrill seeker. Indonesia is the only place in the world where they can be found living in the wild on the four islands that make up Komodo National Park. Having been known to eat a human or two, if you visit make sure you do so with a few park rangers as protection to witness this deadly creature in the flesh.


The beaches of Indonesia are perfect for snorkeling

The beaches of Indonesia are perfect for snorkelling. Photo by Cailin O.

Indonesia is home to 20% of the world’s coral reefs and some of the best scuba diving and snorkelling you can find. There are many opportunities available for beginner and experienced divers, with lots of gear rental shops and liveaboard trips and more being offered. Indonesia also has a lot of shipwrecks off its shores, which make for interesting dives. It’s almost a shame to visit Indonesia and not get your feet wet.

Food & Coffee


Gudeg, a tradition in Indonesia. Photo by Cailin O.

You can literally eat for days in Indonesia and always be trying something new. Some popular Indonesian foods are satay (like lamb or chicken skewers), nasi goreng (a fried rice plate with other foods added to it like fried eggs, vegetables, and chicken), gudeg (a dish made from boiled young jackfruit, often served with rice, sambal sauce and chicken) and my favorite, sambal sauce – a spicy sauce that can be added rice and many other dishes. Indonesia is also one of the largest coffee producers in the world – the phrase “a cup of Java” actually comes from Indonesia’s island of the same name, where the coffee comes from. They are also famous for Kopi Luwak, which is coffee made from the poop of the Luwak – aka civet cat – that has eaten coffee beans and pooped them out. Sounds gross but it is actually rare and quite expensive coffee.



Bananas are used in many Indonesian dishes. Photo by Cailin O.

When we were visiting Indonesia, bananas were very popular everywhere we went, which is no surprise seeing that the country is one of the top six producers of bananas in the world. If we weren’t having them at breakfast, we had them as dessert, deep-fried (aka pisang goreng), drizzled with chocolate, or served many other ways.



Borobudur, the largest Buddhist temple in the world. Photo by Cailin O.

Dating back to the 9th century, Borobudur is the largest Buddhist temple in the world and is found in Java, Indonesia. Made up of 2,000+ relief panels and over 500 Buddha statues, this temple is an amazing monument to see. Often crowded in the day, one of the best times to explore the temple is early in the morning when you can watch the sunrise while standing at the very top.

Mount Bromo and other Volcanoes

Selfie at Mount Bromo

Selfie at Mount Bromo. Photo by Cailin O.

Indonesia is located in what is called “the Pacific rim of fire” which is one of the most active volcanic areas in the world. The country alone has 150 volcanoes. It also boasts some of the most gorgeous sunsets in the world with one of the best being seen from Mount Penanjakan overlooking the famous Mt Bromo Volcano. Although to get to the top, you must climb up steep streets and steps covered in tourists and horses really early in the morning in pitch-black darkness, it is definitely worth the effort and the climb.



One of the many beaches of Indonesia, photo by Cailin O.

With over 17,000 islands it’s a sure bet that Indonesia has some gorgeous beaches to lay on. Whether you want to enjoy some water sports like learning to surf, go parasailing, ride a banana boat or just lay out and get a nice tan, Indonesia is definitely a place where all of this can happen. You can hang out on the popular Kuta beach in Bali, or the secluded pink beach as part of the Komodo islands, just to name a few of the thousands of options.

The People

The warm people of Indonesia

The warm people of Indonesia. Photo by Cailin O.

Indonesians are very friendly and welcoming people. In the majority of the places you travel to throughout the country, you will be met with some of the biggest smiles you have ever seen. They are also very proud of their history, culture, wildlife, food and more, and are passionate about sharing it with others.



Orangutan hanging out in the jungle. Photo by Cailin O.

The island of Borneo is occupied by three countries – Brunei, Malaysia, and the majority by Indonesia – and all throughout the rainforests of Borneo you can find wild orangutans. One of the best ways to see them in Indonesia is to rent a Klotok boat, take it down the Sekonyer River and visit the Camp Leakey Orangutan rehabilitation reserve in Tanjung Puting National Park.

Spas and relaxation

Aromatherapy center in Indonesia

Aromatherapy center in Indonesia. Photo by Cailin O.

If you are looking for a place to relax and get a good massage, then Indonesia is a great place to visit. Any spa treatment you can imagine can be found here, from seaweed wraps to fish spas, aromatherapy to the most amazing massage of your life. Many of these services can be offered at your hotel, as a separate business or even on the beach as you enjoy the sun. Now that is relaxation.

Have you ever been to Indonesia? What other reasons might you suggest for people to want to visit?

To see more about Indonesia, check out the highlights from my recent trip in this video!


  1. Lauren Szymanoski February 20, 2013 at 2:36 am - Reply

    These are all the reasons why I fell in love with (and I couldn’t get enough of!) Indonesia some twenty years ago. I was lucky to have experienced everything on your list back then, and more–and they are still the best of reasons to go there now. Thanks for sharing its treasures in your article.

    • cailin February 20, 2013 at 12:00 pm - Reply

      Thanks for the comment Lauren! I’m glad I hit the nail on the head for you! You should go back and visit again now! I bet a lot has changed! :)

  2. Wendy February 20, 2013 at 7:33 am - Reply

    And still many amazing places that need to be anventure, come to Indonesia, We are always welcome

    • cailin February 20, 2013 at 12:00 pm - Reply

      So true Wendy! There is so much more to explore! :)

  3. Shalu Sharma February 21, 2013 at 5:13 am - Reply

    Very good reasons for visiting Indonesia. I would definitely visit it for the food. I am not sure about the komodo dragons, they look scary to me.

  4. The Sanchaya March 12, 2013 at 7:45 am - Reply

    These are excellent reasons for visiting Indonesia. We also think ‘island hoping’ is another great activity. It allows you to explore many of Indonesia’s Islands that are far less traveled for a truly unique holiday.

  5. Rohan Advani April 2, 2013 at 3:17 am - Reply

    The food photographs are good, they look similar to Indian food :) just like traditional Kerala food.

  6. bpras June 19, 2013 at 1:43 am - Reply

    Hi, as Indonesian I am very proud that you are promoting best picture of our country. And it’s true your banana picture makes me drooling .. :))

  7. Robert July 8, 2013 at 6:42 am - Reply

    Definetly my favorite place in the world to visit even thought the trip there and home is very long, I’ve made life long friends there.
    I even got to pet, yes pet a Komodo dragon at Taman mini in Jakarta……after they feed it, they let the tourists and other fools, into the cage, I even got a picture with my nephew and myself.
    I love getting stopped on the streets of East Java, just to be asked where Im from. Then many questions, they are genuinely interested in people. I’ve been invited over to peoples homes for tea on so many ocaasions, and taken them up on it every time I could possibly make it fit in.

  8. halong luxury cruise September 4, 2013 at 11:27 pm - Reply

    The pic very beautiful. I want go to Indo now and explore many of Indonesia’s Islands that are far less traveled for a truly unique holiday.

  9. leo October 13, 2013 at 10:10 pm - Reply

    well lam realy appreciate to gadventures who has to promoting the interesting places of indonesia and l do hope will make some more pictures of the others touris atraction like we have in lndonesia as the place l have seen so for now is ok maiby nex edision will getting more and more.

  10. ellyn November 6, 2013 at 2:50 pm - Reply

    I was bron in Indonesia and it was a long time ago when I was there for the last time. I am going back in the summer of 2014, that will be 10 year ago since my last time. I am so excited and I can’t wait to see my family and old friends. I travel a lot, I went to Spain, France, India, Belgium, Germany, Danmark and more countries but Indonesia is and will be the most beautiful country I have ever seen in my life.

  11. Aribowo November 11, 2013 at 9:52 pm - Reply

    It’s 100% true. There are Raja Ampat, Wakatobi, Derawan and many more places that you can visit. Nice site and articles Cailin.

  12. Liana November 16, 2013 at 1:41 am - Reply

    If you come to Indonesia, please visit Aceh. There are many beautiful beaches here.

  13. annisa February 12, 2014 at 1:59 pm - Reply

    Such a nice post Cailin!
    Indonesia always welcomes all travelers and tourists with hospitality.
    Countless breathtaking places in Indonesia are waiting for you! :)

  14. andi March 13, 2014 at 1:02 am - Reply

    great list and indonesia is such a beautifull country

  15. diah tarin March 24, 2014 at 11:13 pm - Reply

    I proud of my lovely country, especially the people. Indonesian people are very friendly and helpful.

  16. Zaidah Munakib April 2, 2014 at 8:16 am - Reply

    Great post Cailin thanks for promoting Indonesia. You and everyone are always welcomed…..

  17. jadi blogger April 21, 2014 at 4:21 am - Reply

    with over one thousand islands, I think Indonesia will be one of the sought after countries to visit in the near future

  18. Jim June 15, 2014 at 9:06 am - Reply

    Indonesia looks very attractive, with the great and unique attractions. I visited many countries in this great world, and part of the joy is the people. From what I read Indonesia holds some great hostility towards the only free and democratic country in the middle east. This could be due to its Islamic background – I also wonder if it will be safe to visit, since they encourage terrorism, be it indirectly.

    • Neil June 17, 2014 at 3:38 pm - Reply

      Hey Jim,

      I wanted to take a few moments to comment on your post. I work for G Adventures, my father is Indonesian, and I have travelled there to see my extended family. With a population of almost 250 million people, it’s a little unfair to classify the entire country as unsafe or one that “encourages terrorism”.

      What I can tell you is this. Indonesia is no more dangerous than travelling to any country in South East Asia. The people are warm, inviting, friendly and generous. As in all societies, there are small groups of people that get the attention of media, but these are by far a minority.

      The beauty of our brand of immersive travel is that it breaks down these stereotypes and encourages an open mind and heart to the incredible people from different cultures. I encourage you to go. Safety is not a concern, and you will only benefit from the experience.

  19. patrick August 21, 2014 at 4:48 am - Reply

    I am Indonesian and I’m very delighted that you promote my country hidden jewels. I suggest you add 2 more places, the Raja Ampat Islands in Papua and Wakatobi in Sulawesi (Celebes). These places are not crowded and have awesome diving site!
    Besides, Indonesia IS NOT terrorist country, we have banned ISIS recently and we have special force, Densus 88. So, please feel safe in here and come back again ! :)

  20. bambang October 25, 2014 at 11:31 pm - Reply

    even more reasons than ten…may be hundreds…thanks for ‘yelling’ us….

  21. maulana December 19, 2014 at 7:06 am - Reply

    terimakasih orang bule !!!

  22. Indahim January 19, 2015 at 4:18 am - Reply

    Recently went to Jogja. Last time I was there in 1975. People may say Indonesians are friendly. It might be true. However not much has changed in people behaviour. I got followed by small traders trying to sell items and rickshaw men harassing to the point I told them to shut up. This makes my stay unpleasant. As for food what’s so nice about indo food. Too easy to make myself at home!

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