Indonesia Destinations Travel Guide

Flag of Indonesia

Official language: Indonesian

Currency: Rupiah (IDR)

Calling Code: +62


Indonesia, officially the Republic of Indonesia (Indonesian: Republik Indonesia), is an island country located between Southeast Asia and Oceania. The Republic of Indonesia comprises about 17 508 islands and according to statistics for 2015 it has more than 255 million people, making it the fourth most populous country in the world. In addition, Indonesia is the country with the most Muslims on the planet. Indonesia is a republic with a legislative power and a president elected by suffrage, the government has its headquarters in the capital of Jakarta. Being mostly an archipelago, the country shares land borders with Papua New Guinea, East Timor and Malaysia. Other countries near Indonesia include Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, the Philippines, Palau, Australia and the Indian Territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

The Indonesian archipelago has been an important region for world trade since the seventh century, when the kingdom of Srivijaya began trade with China and India. Gradually, local rulers adopted the culture, religion and political model of the Indians and in the first century AD. C. Several Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms began to flourish in the region. Indonesian history has been influenced by foreign powers that sought to exploit their natural resources. After Muslim merchants brought Islam and during the Age of Discovery, European powers began to dispute the monopoly of the spice trade in the Moluccan Islands. After three and a half centuries of Dutch colonialism, Indonesia gained its independence shortly after the Second World War. Since then, the history of Indonesia has been turbulent, having confronted the country with the great challenges posed by natural disasters, corruption, separatism, the process of democratization and periods of economic change.

Through its many islands, the Indonesian people are made up of different ethnic, linguistic and religious groups. The Javanese are the largest and most politically dominant ethnic group. It has developed a shared identity defined by a national language, by ethnic diversity, religious pluralism within a majority Muslim population and a history of constant colonialism and its struggle against it. Indonesia's national motto, "Bhinneka Tunggal Ika" ("Unity in Diversity"), articulates the diversity that makes up the nation. However, sectarian tensions and separatism have led to violent confrontations that have undermined the country's political and economic stability. Despite its large population, Indonesia has vast uninhabited areas that make it one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, so it belongs to the list of mega-diverse countries.


Travel Destination in Indonesia


Bali Island

Information guide for traveling to Bali Island a small paradise famous for its nature and traditions.

Komodo National Park

Komodo National Park covers an area of 1,733 km² designated to protect largest lizard in the World known as Komodo dragon.



Java (Indonesia)

Alas Purwo National Park

Alas Purwo National Park is a biosphere reserve situated in East Java island in Indonesia. It covers an area of 434.20 km².


Baluran National Park

Baluran National Park is a nature reserve in East Java island in Indonesia. It covers an total area of 250 km².



Borobudur is ancient religious complex situated in Magelang, Central Java island. It was constructed in 9th- 14th century.


Bromo Tengger Semeru

Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park is nature reserve in the East Java Island in Indonesia. It covers an area of 503 sq km.

Gunung Ciremai National Park

Gunung Ciremai National Park is a biosphere reserve situated in the West Java Island in Indonesia.

Karimunjawa National Park

Karimunjawa National Park is famous for its picturesque beaches and diverse underwater ecosystem.

Ujung Kulon National Park

Ujung Kulon National Park is a natural reserve on the Java island in Indonesia. It covers an area of 1,206 km².


Flores (Indonesia)

Kelimutu National Park

Kelimutu National Park is a nature reserve in East Nusa Tenggara, Flora Island in Indonesia. It covers a total area of 50 km².



Kalimantan (Indonesia)

Danau Sentarum National Park

Danau Sentarum National Park is a protected biosphere in West Kalimantanin Indonesia. It encompasses an area of 1,320 km².


Gunung Palung National Park

Gunung Palung National Park is a nature reserve in West Kalimantan in Indonesia. It covers an area of 900 km².


Kutai National Park

Kutai National Park is a protected biosphere in East Kalimantan. It covers an area of 1,986 km².


Tanjung Puting National Park

Tanjung Puting National Park situated in Central Kalimantan is famous for its population of primates.


Lombok (Indonesia)

Gunung Rinjani National Park

Gunung Rinjani National Park is a nature reserve in West Nusa Tenggara. It covers several volcanoes and surrounding biosphere.





On the territory of Indonesia are some of the earliest areas of settlement of ancient people. The fossils of one of the subspecies of Homo erectus, the Pithecanthropus, also known as the Javanese ape man, discovered in Java by the Dutch anthropologist Eugene Dubois, belong to the Lower Paleolithic period, their approximate dating is from 1 million to 700 thousand years ago.

Until recently, the prevailing opinion in science was that the settlement of Indonesia with reasonable people began about 45,000 years ago. However, the latest paleoanthropological discoveries suggest a much earlier beginning of this process: for example, the remains of people of a modern type, found by the same Dubois in Sumatra, in accordance with recent studies date back to the age of 63,000 to 73,000 years ago. Since that time, there have been several migration waves during which representatives of various ethnic groups moved from the continental part of Southeast Asia, the earliest of which belonged to the australoid race. The penetration of the Mongoloid peoples, who brought with them a high Neolithic culture, began in the 2nd millennium BC. e. The first large wave of the Mongoloids was formed by the so-called Protomalai, the second, related to the middle of the 1st millennium BC. The latter, who were carriers of a highly developed culture of bronze and spread farming on the settled territory, became the ancestors of most of the modern Indonesians. The transition to bronze in the main territory of the country was completed by the beginning of our era, then in the coastal areas began the transition to a culture of iron.

The formation of states, the pre-colonial period (I — XV centuries)
The formation of state formations on the territory of Indonesia was already in the I-III centuries BC. e., however, the existence of the first states, the names of which are known to science for certain - Kutai in eastern Kalimantan and Taruma in western Java, refers only to the 4th century. The first state, the territory of which spread to several islands, was Srivijaya, based on southern Sumatra at the end of the 7th century: having existed until the end of the 14th century, it controlled the entire territory of Sumatra, most of Java and the Malay Peninsula, during periods of its maximum power. These and other states that existed on the territory of Indonesia in the 4th-13th centuries were strongly influenced by India, and Hinduism was the dominant religion in most of them. At the same time, Buddhism also received significant development: in particular, it was the state religion of the East Javanese principality of Mataram.

The largest, powerful and socio-economic state of the pre-colonial period was the Majapahit empire, founded in 1293 in the eastern part of Java. By the end of the XIV century, the territory or vassal possessions of Majapahit included most of the territory of present-day Indonesia.

In the XIII century, the active spread of Islam began, penetrating mainly from the Malacca Peninsula and from the east coast of India. Towards the end of the sixteenth century, Islam became the dominant religion in most of Indonesia, although in many regions foci of Buddhism and Hinduism, as well as traditional local beliefs, the carriers of which, as a rule, coexisted quite non-conflict with Muslims.

Colonial period (XVI century - 1942)
The penetration of Europeans, the colonization of the NOIC (1512-1798)
The penetration of European colonizers into Indonesia, which began in the sixteenth century, was caused by high demand for spices and spices that grew in the eastern part of the Malay archipelago - the Moluccas and the Lesser Sunda Islands, Sulawesi - this region was of main interest to Europeans. The Portuguese were the first to settle here: in 1512, the explorer Francisco Serran managed to arrange the supply of spices from Molucc and stay with a part of the crew on the island of Ternate.

In the 17th century, other European powers joined the struggle to control the trade in local spices, the Netherlands being the most active. For several decades, the Dutch managed to oust competitors from the archipelago - the Portuguese managed to keep only the eastern part of the island of Timor. In 1602, the Netherlands East India Company (NOIC) was founded, which began the development of not only the eastern, but also the western part of present-day Indonesia. The company had its own armed forces and established in the territory of its possessions, called the Netherlands East Indies, a developed system of colonial administration, headed by the Governor General. In 1619, in the north-west of Java, the Dutch, on the site of the destroyed Jayakert founded by the Demak Sultanate, founded the capital of the colony - Batavia (Dutch Batavia).


In the XVII-XVIII centuries, the NOIK gradually expanded its possessions. In addition to the territories directly belonging to it, the zone of its influence was many formally independent states of the archipelago, with which unequal agreements were concluded in one form or another. As a rule, colonial officials, the so-called residents, who controlled their foreign relations and economic activity, were seconded to dependent rulers. The main methods of operating the colony during this period were the forced production of various agricultural products (after the fall in Europe, the demand for spices and spices its main types were coffee, sugar, tobacco, indigo, valuable wood species) and various forms of taxation.

At the end of the 18th century, under the influence of the consequences of the Anglo-Dutch war of 1780–84 and changes in the international economic situation, the NOIC found itself in a deep crisis, which became fatal for it: in 1796 the management of the bankrupt bankruptcy company was transferred to the Dutch government, in 1798 the Batavian Republic adopted assumed all agreements and obligations of the NOIC, and in 1800 the latter was liquidated.

Dependence on the Dutch crown (1798-1942)
Dependence on the NOIC was replaced by similar colony relations directly with the Netherlands, which did not entail any significant changes in the system of colonial administration - the administration of the East Indies was still led by the Governor General, who was no longer the NOIC, but the Dutch government. At the same time, taking into account the subordination of the Netherlands to Napoleonic France during this period, the next governor-general, Herman Willem Dundels, received this appointment in 1808 from Louis Bonaparte and pursued a course towards securing French colonial interests.

In 1811, the colony came under British control, occupying the Dutch East Indies, to prevent their final capture by France. The British governor Thomas Stamford Ruffles carried out a number of significant administrative transformations in a short time, and the new methods of management and management, as a rule, significantly outperformed the Netherlands. In addition, during the period of British occupation, the administrative center of the colony was moved from Batavia to Beitensorg.

The East Indies were returned to the Netherlands freed from Napoleon under the terms of the London Convention of 1814. During the restoration of the Dutch administration, a significant part of the British reforms was canceled. The Dutch continued to expand their holdings and limit the autonomy of formally independent local states. Along with the export of products manufactured in the colony, it was transformed into a market for Dutch goods. At the same time, the Dutch still had to overcome the active resistance of the local population: the Padri war of 1821–37 years was the most large-scale anti-colonial demonstrations. in western Sumatra, the Javan war of 1825-1830 and the Aceh war of 1873-1913. After joining the Dutch East Indies in 1906, Aceh, and in 1920 the western part of the island of New Guinea, it united the entire territory of present-day Indonesia.

The methods of economic exploitation of the colony changed with the economic development of the Netherlands themselves: the system of forced crops was replaced by a plantation economy in the second half of the 19th century, and the sale of Dutch goods became increasingly important. From the beginning of the 20th century, monopolies of other European countries and the USA were allowed to participate in the development of the Netherlands East Indies by The Hague.

The origin of the institutionalized national liberation movement in the colony dates back to the same period: in the 1900s - 1910s, a number of organizations were created that proclaimed their goal to achieve state independence. Under the influence of the processes taking place in Europe, a very active left wing of the movement was formed: in 1914 the first Social Democratic unit was formed, in 1920 - the Communist Party of Indonesia. In 1927, the National Party was created, headed by Sukarno, the future president of the country, who formulated the principles of Marhaenism - a doctrine providing for the independent development of Indonesia along the socialist path with national characteristics, which became the ideology of the most powerful movement within the framework of the national liberation movement.

At the beginning of World War II, due to the neutrality of the Netherlands, Indonesia was not involved in hostilities or preparations. However, after the German occupation of the Netherlands in May 1940, the Dutch government, having moved to London, announced the participation of its armed forces remaining in the colonies in the war on the side of the Anti-Hitler coalition.

The period of Japanese occupation (1942-1945)

In February - March 1942, after a short resistance from the US-British-Dutch-Australian forces stationed there, the Dutch East Indies were occupied by Japanese forces. The occupation administration was decentralized and carried out through the appropriate structures of various formations of the Japanese armed forces: Java and Madura were assigned to the occupation zone of the 16th army, Sumatra and a number of adjacent islands to the occupation zone of the 25th army, the rest of the territory to the occupation zone of the 2nd fleet.

As in other conquered territories of Southeast Asia, the Japanese administration, seeking to enlist the support of the local population, pursued a policy in Indonesia to promote anti-European sentiments, emphasizing the ethnocultural affinity between the Indonesians and the Japanese. The leaders of the national liberation movement were involved in cooperation: under the control of the occupation authorities, they were allowed to create socio-political organizations of a nationalist nature.

At the final stage of the war, amid major defeats by the Japanese armed forces inflicted by the Allied forces, the Japanese occupation authorities decided to enlist the support of the Indonesians and take steps to meet their desires to create an independent state. In 1945, the Japanese administration announced the beginning of practical preparations for granting Indonesia independence. To this end, in March, a Research Committee for the Preparation of Indonesian Independence was formed (indone. Badan Penyelidik Usaha Persiapan Kemerdekaan Indonesia, BPUPKI), uniting activists of the local national liberation movement (including Sukarno and future vice president Mohammad Hatta), which prepared a draft of the Indonesian constitution. At its June meeting, Soekarno proclaimed the principles of Pancha Sila, which later became Indonesia's state ideology. In August 1945, the Commission for the Preparation of the Independence of Indonesia (indonesian Panitia Persiapan Kemerdekaan Indonesia, PPKI) was formed under the chairmanship of Sukarno to consider the work of the Research Committee.

Formally, the Japanese occupation of Indonesia ended on August 15, 1945 after the official announcement by the emperor Hirohito of accepting the conditions of surrender. However, Japanese troops continued to remain on Indonesian territory for some time before their disarmament and evacuation by Allied forces.