Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago state, consists of over 17,000 islands – almost two-thirds of which are uninhabited (who said there’s nowhere left in the world to explore?). From high-density urban areas to pearly white beaches, ancient temples and magical vistas, Indonesia offers myriad distractions and contradictions. Many parts of the country are easily accessible from Singapore, making them popular weekend getaways or short breaks.
Most foreign nationals require a visa on arrival, the exceptions being citizens of Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei Darussalam, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Macau, Chile, Morocco, Peru and Vietnam.
1 Singapore dollar = 6586 Indonesian rupiahs
When to Go
Although the weather varies throughout the archipelago, the temperature is guaranteed to be hot all year. The best time to visit is May to September, when it is usually dry. October to April is the official rainy season, but areas in the north tend to be wet throughout the year.
Main Language Spoken
The sole official language is Indonesian, known as Bahasa Indonesia. English, however, is widely spoken.
Islam is practised by the country’s vast majority, but Hinduism is followed by the citizens of Bali, who make up about two percent of the total population.
230V, though 127V in some outlying areas. Plug type C (European round two-pin plug).
One hour behind Singapore.
Two to three hours, depending on the destination.
Without doubt, this is Indonesia’s biggest crowd-pleaser, loved by almost everyone who visits its volcanic shores. Young budget travellers flock to Kuta and its bustling nightclubs. Seminyak is more upscale, with slick hotels, bars and restaurants drawing a crowd of sophisticates. Ubud is the place for arts and crafts, and also to find respite from the crowds. The Balinese practise Bali Hindu, their own form of Hinduism, and have a distinctive religious and cultural identity.
It’s noisy, it’s busy – it’s Indonesia’s sprawling capital city. Located on Java’s northwest coast, Jakarta has more than 23 million people living in economic symbiosis. Traffic congestion, high levels of pollution, and political unrest don’t help the city’s cause in attracting tourists. Yet many are still drawn by its rich history and surprisingly cosmopolitan nature.
Dubbed the “unspoiled Bali”, this is a popular spot with independent travellers, and boasts great beaches, a huge volcano and some excellent surf breaks. From Bali, it’s 30 minutes by plane or four to five hours by boat. Unlike Bali, its population is Muslim.
A close neighbour of Singapore’s, Bintan is best known for the strip of resorts along its northern shoreline, with accommodation to suit every budget. The island is ideal for a weekend getaway. In little more than an hour from the Tanah Merah ferry terminal in Singapore, you can be lying on the beach, cocktail in hand. The native population occupies the southern areas and, although there are some tourist zones for shopping, visitors tend to spend most of their time at their hotel resort.
- EVENTS CALENDAR
- Upcoming events, parties, promotions and sales
- READ THE MAGAZINE NOW
- Get Expat Living on your PC, tablet or smartphone
- Baby announcements, items for sale and community news
- JOB LISTINGS
- Local jobs now hiring
- A comprehensive guide to Singapore companies, services and facilities
- Click here for your chance to win great prizes
- A quirky take on expat life