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!
A warm and hospitable country
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, from immaculately terraced lush rice fields to volcanoes, temples, turquoise sea, dense jungles to 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.
Surf, kitesurf and dive
Enjoy what nature has to offer and surf some of the best and most famous surf spots in the world, in Bali, Java and Sumatra. Indonesia offers fantastic diving, from Pulau Weh in Indonesia’s most Westerly and Northerly point, all the way to South and West Sulawesi. Kitesurfing has taken off in the last few years, not only in Bali but Sumatra too, and offers an alternative to surfing depending on conditions.
What more needs to be said? There are beaches galore, from golden sandy beaches to pebbly shores, kissing turquoise sea, under a bright sun. Please take note of local dress codes though as not all areas will appreciate it if you sunbathe in a bikini on the beach – respect local customs and traditions. If in doubt, ask first.
Drink great coffee and eat fantastic food
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 Indonesians social framework and drinking coffee is a part of daily life in Indonesia. Whilst the big coffee chains dominate the cities, the real coffee culture is arguably on the street. Not only drinking but growing and producing coffee is a major part of life for people in Indonesia. Gayo coffee in the highlands of Aceh, Sumatra, is world famous, particularly Arabica coffee and kopi luwak.
Indonesia boasts some of the most diverse wildlife in the world. Make time to visit Komodo and Rinca islands between Sumbawa and Flores, the home of the komodo dragon and Gunung Leuser National Park too, for a real jungle experience.
Depending on where you choose to live, there may be a vibrant nightlife and entertainment, especially 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. Remember 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 yearn to spend time with fellow foreigners, there are large numbers of foreigners from all around the world in Indonesia, especially Jakarta, where there are networks to tap into and events to attend. If you equally yearn to escape from people from your own culture, find yourself in a small village somewhere and submerge yourself in the culture around you. It can be a refreshing and cathartic experience.
(Bonus) Learning the language
If you learn some 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 done and therefore get to know and enjoy your life in Indonesia more. Yogjakarta is well known for hosting reputable language schools.
Also, check out our Indonesian City guide to see what Indonesian cities have to offer in more detail.
ARE YOU READY to teach English in Indonesia?
Teach English, travel and work abroad