The Republic of Indonesia, located in South East Asia, is the largest island country in the world, with over 17,000 islands and a population of over 225 million. Spanning over 1.9 million square kilometers, Indonesia stretches all the way from Aceh in the north down to Papua in the south east. Straddling the equator, Indonesia enjoys a tropical climate and is split into dry and rainy seasons, although temperatures and humidity remain high all year round. Indonesia is the most populous Muslim-majority country in the world, but other recognized state religions include Protestantism, Catholicism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Confucianism.
Formerly colonized by the British, Portuguese, Japanese, and Dutch, Indonesia declared Independence in 1945, and Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian) was declared the national language. A form of Malay language mixed with loan words from Arabic, Dutch, and Portuguese, Indonesian was developed in an effort to provide the population with a standardized language as opposed to the hundreds of regional dialects that existed in each province.
Nowadays, Indonesia is famous for its diverse and multicultural islands, from deeply religious Aceh in the north; to the country’s center of government in Java; to the tropical paradise of Bali; and all the way down to the province of Papua on the border with independent Papua New Guinea. The 4th most populous country in the world and the 15th largest according to land mass, there is surely something for every traveler wanting to explore this vast and diverse nation. Let’s have a look at the best things to do in Indonesia.
1. Go surfing in Kuta
Visit the famous Kuta beach, a strip of beach in the south of Bali where the sea rests on a sand bar and provides gentle rolling waves which are perfect for beginners learning to surf. Surfing lessons by the hour are plentiful or visitors can rent a sponge board and ride the waves that way. For those not looking to get wet, crowds flock to the beach at night to take photos of the exquisite sunset and relax with a beer or a soft drink.