Introduction to Indonesia

Home to over 238 million people across an archipelago of some 17,000 islands, Indonesia is the world's fourth most populous country. There’s no doubt when most people think of Indonesia, they first think of Bali.

A popular, almost rite-of-passage holiday destination for many Aussies, the road to Bali is all but carved out. A place with an intoxicating mix of wild adventure and affordable luxury, cultural experiences and comfortable resorts, friendly locals and ample expats, for many, Bali is the perfect amount of Southeast Asia. While for others, Bali's well-beaten path is best left behind in order to discover the lesser-known Indonesia.

Jakarta is the country’s sprawling capital - sure it’s clouded in motorbike fumes, but it’s also got the pick of Indonesia’s food, nightlife, museums and markets. In Jakarta you’ll learn about the region’s Dutch colonial past and indulge in Java coffee and cheap beers. If a chaotic city isn't your style, then Indonesia has also a few thousand islands to escape to. Hit up Lombok Island for serene and peaceful beaches; explore Komodo Island in search of the famous Komodo dragon or get into the thick of it in Kalimantan and trek through the jungle.

The adventure list for Indonesia runs long. And yet for every wild and daring quest that awaits you, there's also affordable luxury to be found. Bali's beachside resorts come neatly packaged in a price that's easily booked on a student budget. Not to mention the spas scattered throughout the islands that offer much-needed post-exam massages. Master the fine art of bartering and you'll also return home with a few bargains, as well as a tan, and some cooking skills – just hopefully not too many hangovers.

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