The world’s largest archipelago state, Indonesia consists of over 17,000 islands, only 6,000 of which are inhabited. From high-density urban areas to pearly white beaches, ancient temples and magical vistas, you could spend a lifetime uncovering Indonesia’s myriad contradictions. Many destinations 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, Macao, Chile, Morocco, Peru and Vietnam.
1 Singapore dollar = 7,565 Indonesian rupiahs
Although the weather varies across the islands, the temperature is guaranteed to be hot all year round. The best time to visit, however, is May to September, when it’s usually dry. October to April is the official rainy season, but areas in the north tend to be wet throughout the year.
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 recognised by the citizens of Bali, who make up about two percent of the total population.
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One hour behind Singapore.
Indonesia is a two to three hours flight from Singapore, depending on the destination; otherwise, a short ferry ride or cruise port-of-call away.
Jakarta: Indonesia’s sprawling capital city is located on Java’s northwest coast. Despite being a hot, busy and noisy place with more than 23 million people, many tourists are still drawn by its rich history and surprisingly cosmopolitan nature.
Bali: Indonesia’s biggest crowd-pleaser, loved by almost everyone who visits its volcanic shores. Young budget travellers flock to Kuta; Seminyak is more upscale, with slick hotels, bars and restaurants; Ubud is the place for arts and crafts.
Lombok: Dubbed the “unspoiled Bali”, this spot is popular 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.
Bintan: The closest slice of Indonesia to Singapore, Bintan is best known for the strip of resorts along its northern shoreline, with accommodation to suit every budget – ideal for a weekend getaway.