Indonesia is a spectacular country made up of thousands of islands of all shapes and sizes. In recent years, this beautiful Southeast Asian country has become a popular tourist destination thanks to its spectacular beaches and colourful culture.
However, Indonesia is much more than a tourist destination. More and more expats are relocating to Indonesia to teach English, work and get a real feel for this wonderful country. Here are 9 reasons why you should call Indonesia home for a year or two!
Indonesia is well known for being a country with warm and hospitable people. Indeed, no matter where you live, Indonesians will welcome you with open arms. Be friendly and humble in return – the one thing Indonesians from all over the country do not like are people who are ‘sombong’ (stuck up!).
Enjoy breathtaking scenery from one end of the country to the next. With immaculately terraced lush rice fields, volcanoes, temples, the turquoise sea, dense jungles, and mountainous vistas, Indonesia promises some of the most stunning scenery you could wish to see.
For the culture hungry, there is a wide array of art, theatre, dance, music, rituals, handicrafts and architecture in Indonesia. From Papua’s anthropological feast to the architectural wonders of Danau Toba in Sumatra, the cultural beauty of Indonesia will not disappoint.
What more needs to be said? There are beaches galore, from golden sandy beaches to pebbly shores, kissing the turquoise sea under a bright sun. Do take note of local dress codes as not all areas will appreciate it if you sunbathe in a bikini – respect local customs and traditions. If in doubt, ask first.
Indonesia offers some of the world's best and most famous surf spots in Bali, Java and Sumatra. Kitesurfing has taken off in the last few years and offers a fun alternative to surfing. Indonesia also offers many fantastic diving opportunities along its islands, from Pulau Weh all the way down to Sulawesi.
Indonesia boasts some of the most diverse wildlife in the world. Make time to visit the Komodo and Rinca islands between Sumbawa and Flores, home to the komodo dragon and Gunung Leuser National Park, for a real jungle experience.
The rich cultural heritage of Indonesia brings with it a stunning range of delicious food. Street food is in abundance; though more luxurious restaurant fare is also widely available. Sate, rendang, gado-gado, nasi goreng, mie goreng and a plethora of seafood in coastal regions will tantalise taste buds. Coffee culture is part of the social framework and drinking coffee is a part of daily life in Indonesia. Growing and producing coffee is a major part of life for people in Indonesia.
Depending on where you choose to live, there may be a vibrant nightlife, especially in Jakarta and large student towns like Bandung, which has a strong music scene. Remember safety first and always travel to and from venues with reputable taxi companies. Drugs are illegal in Indonesia and carry the death penalty. In some areas, it is not acceptable to drink nor be under the influence of alcohol in public places.
If you want to spend time with fellow foreigners, there are large numbers of people from all around the world in Indonesia, particularly Jakarta, where there are networks to tap into and events to attend. But if you'd rather escape from people from your own culture, find yourself in a small village somewhere and submerge yourself local culture. It can be a refreshing and cathartic experience.
If you learn Bahasa Indonesia, you will find doors open for you. Not only are you showing that you are making an effort to get to know the people and culture of the country hosting you, but you will also be able to communicate with people that you may not otherwise have been able to. Yogjakarta is well known for hosting reputable language schools.