Tips on travel
Indonesia is made up of 13,677 islands! Known to anthropologists and naturalists as "The Malay Archipelago" it is the most extraordinary collection of peoples, places, sights, sounds, historic marvels and natural wonders in the world.
Unique geological and climatic conditions have created spectacularly varied tropical habitats - found here are an amazing variety of spices, trees, unusual fruits, the world's largest flower (the rafflesia), the largest lizard (komodo dragon), many rare animal species found nowhere else (like the orangutan, the Javan rhinoceros and the Sulawasian anoa - a dwarf buffalo), thousands of varieties of butterflies, wild orchids and many exquisite birds.
It is best to respect the culture, and dress conservatively. The locals appreciate this. For women skirts or trousers to the knee or below, and shoulders and chest covered up. Typically, men can wear what they want..
The national dish is Nasi Goreng, which is fried rice with vegetables and a fried egg on top. There's always lots of sambal (chilli) if you like or you can ask for it mild (tidak pedas). Noodles, vegetables, curry and chicken satay are delicious, and there are many traditional dishes in all the different areas. Although lots of dishes are fried, palm oil is usually used. We try to discourage palm oil use as palm oil plantations are the biggest destroyers of our rainforest, but this is unfortunately used most places in Indonesia. Indonesians make very tasty snacks and the fruit is fresh and delicious, and bottled water is easily available, and advisable.
Most Indonesians are very friendly and will constantly ask you where you're going. This is not nosiness it's just the same as us asking: "how are you?" It is polite to shake hands and do most things with your right hand, including eating. The left hand is considered unclean. Indonesians love to chat and will ask you all about yourself, and your life story in the first five minutes. Set an example and pick up your rubbish after you, and encourage others to do so too.
Indonesia is a beautiful place and relatively safe. This page is meant as friendly advice. Please check with your government before travelling to Indonesia to establish any regions where travel is not advised.
If you would like more advice about good places to stay and responsible and trustworthy guides, we can put you in touch if you contact us.
If you are in Bukit Lawang, come and visit our Education centre and say hello.