Indonesia Travel Guides

Children’s Activities

The weather in Indonesia is warm and comfortable, making it a great destination for kids who like to spend time outdoors.

There are plenty of activities here that are geared towards children, with a range of things to keep them busy, from sandcastle-building at the beach to visiting aquariums and zoos.

Beaches
Indonesia is known for its beautiful beaches, especially those on Bali. There’s nothing quite like packing a picnic and spending a day with the whole family on the beach. Besides just playing in the sand and swimming, there are many other activities offered on the beaches including banana boat rides. These long, yellow rafts are available at most beach resorts and offer a thrilling, fast ride across the water as they are pulled behind speedboats. Children should wear lifejackets for this activity.Visit this website for further information about Best of Bali Full Board Package

Bumper Cars and Go-karting
Good fun for the whole family, Bumper Cars Jakarta is a bumper car complex located inside the Taman Ria Senayan recreation park. Go-karting is also available at other major destinations like Bali.

Drive-in theatre
There are hardly any drive-in theatres in the West anymore, but you can still enjoy drive-in fun in Indonesia. Jakarta Drive In at Taman Impian Jaya Ancol (Ancol Dreamland).

Horseback riding
Horseback riding can be done in many places in Indonesia and is a great way for the whole family to do something fun together, provided all participating children are old enough. A popular trek is a ride over the Bromo Mountain in East Java.

Mini golf
Miniature golf is available at major destinations around Indonesia. While in Jakarta, you can try Putt-Putt Golf and Games located at Goro Kelapa Gading or ask your hotel concierge for more information.

National Museum of Indonesia
Kids can learn a lot about Indonesia and the people who live here through viewing the fascinating artefacts on display at the National Museum of Indonesia. The collection at this museum includes: gamelan musical instruments, traditional costumes and household utensils as well as some newer arts and crafts. The aviary here is home to 600 bird species native to Indonesia and there are 3,000 species of orchids on display in the orchid garden.

Puppet shows (Wayang Kulit)
Puppet shows are great fun for kids, especially very young ones, and you’ll find all major cities host them. There is one especially popular puppet show hosted every second and fourth Saturday of each month at Central Museum in Jakarta.

Recreation parks
Indonesia’s recreation parks are more like fairs than parks, offering lively restaurants and stalls with lots of games, as well as evening folk performances. Recommended parks include Sriwedari Park in Solo (Surakarta), which has some good nightly shows, and Taman Mini, which hosts permanent exhibits representing the 27 provinces of the country.

SeaWorld Indonesia
The Ancol Bay City complex houses SeaWorld Indonesia, a suitable attraction for kids. The aquarium has a touch pool where children can touch live marine life and a Perspex underwater tunnel that gives visitors the feeling of actually being underwater as they become surrounded by fish and other sea creatures. There is a dolphin show that runs regularly throughout the day.

Snorkelling
Indonesia is surrounded by beautiful clear seas and rich coral housing pretty marine life. Snorkelling can be done by all but the youngest of kids and most children find it an enlightening way to learn about the creatures of the sea. Older children can participate in an open water scuba diving course.Visit this website for further information about Bali Snorkeling and Diving

Taman Impian Jaya Ancol
This massive recreation park is the biggest of its kind in Jakarta and was once called Ancol Dreamland. It’s filled with family-friendly attractions including an aquarium, swimming pools, an artificial lagoon, a bowling alley and restaurants. There is also a marina, a theme park called Dunia Fantasi (Fantasy Land) and a golf course, as well as hotels and a drive-in theatre on-site. Website: http://www.ancol.com/.

Traditional art and folk theatre
Children will find traditional theatre performances to be rich and rewarding. Theatres can easily be found in most popular destinations around Indonesia. Traditional shows can give viewers an insight into the lifestyles of the various ethnic peoples of Indonesia.

Water parks
Warm temperatures make Indonesia the ideal place for spending lazy days at water parks. Situated across the country and boasting fun slides and tide pools, cool drinks and plenty of loungers, these parks are ideal destinations for a family day out. In Jakarta, try Atlantis Water Adventure at Ancol Dreamland, which offers pools and slides along with a restaurant.Visit this website for photographs and further information about Ancol Dreamland in Jakarta

Zoos and wildlife parks
Indonesia is home to a number of zoos and wildlife parks, most of which are green and well manicured. A good range of animals can be seen at Indonesia’s zoos, from rare white tigers to indigenous creatures like the Komodo dragon, tapir, Java tiger and wild ox. The bright and loud birds housed in aviaries across the country are also well worth seeing.

Cultural Activities

Borobudur Temple
This ancient temple which pre-dates Cambodia’s Angkor Wat is one of the world’s most notable Buddhist sites, built during the Sailendra dynasty. The temple was rediscovered by Sir Thomas Stanford Raffles in 1814, who initiated a restoration project in 1905. Now UNESCO protected, Borobudur has been further restored and is one of Indonesia’s cultural highlights. One of the best times to view the temple is at sunrise.

Gunung Kawi
Bali’s ancient monument Gunung Kawi is made up of 10 shrines that have been cut into the rock face. Nestled at the foot of a lush green valley and surrounded by rice paddies, this popular tourist attraction is thought to have been made in honour of King Anak Wungsu of the Udayana dynasty. Dating from the 11th century, the shrines are a must-see for visitors to the island.Visit this website for further information about Gunung Kawi

Music
Gamelan music is perhaps one of the most popular and interesting genres of music in Indonesia. A gamelan orchestra may have up to 80 instruments; mostly metal percussion instruments. Performances of Javanese gamelan can be heard every Sunday in the Yogyakarta Kraton. The Central Museum in Jakarta has performances of Sundanese (West Javanese) gamelan every Sunday morning. Javanese gamelan also accompanies the shortened wayang kulit performances at the Puppet Museum (Museum Wayang) in Jakarta every Sunday morning.

Performing arts
The performing arts in Indonesia are a revered art form and range from graceful court and temple dances to delightful folk dances. There are so many styles of dancing to be viewed that you could easily spend an entire holiday focused on the performing arts which reflect the lifestyles and traditions of the many ethnic groups of Indonesia. Shows typically incorporate music, dance and drama. Puppet shows (wayang kulit) are also part of the traditional arts. You can learn more about folk dances at the Taman Ismail Marzuki Art Centre in Jakarta.

Prambanan
This complex of ancient Hindu temples dates to the 10th century Mataram Kingdom. Situated in central Java, the temples are frequently overshadowed by the better-known neighbouring Borobudur Temple. However, the pyramids at Prambanan offer a contrast to the architectural styles seen at Borobodur, making a visit here equally worthwhile. Prambanan, dedicated to Shiva, is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Dining & Shopping

Steeped in such a variety of cultures, Indonesia is home to a fine array of cuisines. A great hub of spices since the 15th century, when traders used to come here to make large purchases to take back to Europe, the nation has incorporated sensuous blends into its spicy dishes. In addition, many visiting cultures have left their mark on Indonesian cuisine including the Portuguese and Dutch, making it one of the most diverse cuisines on the planet.

Rice is the staple of Indonesian cuisine and most people eat it at least twice a day, served with a side dish of meat and vegetables. Although simple, the food is tasty with the use of roots, spices, grasses and leaves. Meals are often presented with condiments like sambal kecap, a chilli and soy sauce relish. Some island staples include sweet potatoes, sago, corn and cassava as well as seafood such as fish, lobster, oysters, prawns and squid.

You shouldn’t tire of sampling Indonesian fare, as there’s so much to choose from. However, if you yearn for Western dishes, there are plenty of fast-food outlets like KFC, Pizza Hut and McDonald’s in the large cities. The most easily palatable of all Indonesian cuisines is possibly the Javanese, as it’s not too spicy and contains lots of vegetables, soybeans, beef, chicken and other varieties of ingredients that are common to Western tastes. In Sumatra, you’re likely to find a lot of beef dishes as well as spice in the food. Seafood is a main feature of menus in the east; and curries are also popular in this region. Even though Indonesia is primarily a Muslim country, you will find pork dishes are specialities in parts of Bali. Be sure to wash your meals down with some local beer or wine. In Bali you can find brem and in Borneo tuak, both of which are rice wines. Meals are also usually accompanied by tea.

Indonesia offers a lot of shopping possibilities from modern, glitzy malls to traditional markets. Most of the shopping centres offer big department stores set alongside book, toy and clothing shops. Many also house movie theatres, arcades, rock-climbing walls, ice skating rinks and other amusements.

Traditional markets are good places to find handicrafts, batik, and other souvenirs to take back home. Even if you are not an avid shopper, these markets are ideal spots for taking photographs and talking to locals.

In Jakarta, Pasar Kembang is a flower market, while Pasar Pagi Mangga Dua has stalls selling clothes, shoes, bags and many other goods. Pasar Benhil is another traditional market that is of intrest, as is Pasar Cikini which sells food. The market inside Ancol Amusement Park is especially lovely as you can see artisans at work, painting and making puppets among other things.

Outdoor Activities

Indonesia is blessed with incredible landscapes and natural wonders, making days spent outdoors here very pleasant. If you can dream it, then you can do it in Indonesia, with sparkling seas for scuba diving, volcanoes for trekking, and quaint towns for cycling. Only 6,000 of 17,000 or so islands in Indonesia are inhabited, thus ensuring many of the natural attractions are still pristine.

Camping
Indonesia’s largest national park, Gunung Leuser National Park (9,000 square kilometres), is nestled at the northern end of Sumatra. Together, Gunung Leuser, Kerinci Seblat and Bukit Barisan Selatan span 25,000 square kilometres of national parkland and have been dubbed as the ‘Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra’ on the UNESCO World Heritage list. There are plenty more national parks offering a beautiful realm where you can examine the flora and fauna of Indonesia while enjoying camping, trekking and other activities.

Scuba diving
Indonesia offers prime diving in and around its more than 17,000 islands. It’s widely acknowledged that the northern tip of Sulawesi, particularly around Bunaken, has many times more species of coral than Hawaii and more than 70 per cent of the fish species in the Indo-Western Pacific region. There are some 3,500 species of marine life in Indonesian waters and you are likely to see dolphins, mantas, sharks, turtles, moray eels, cuttlefish, octopus and scorpion fish.

Surfing
Indonesia is extremely popular among surfers and some surf sites here are classified as top in the world, mostly on the Indian Ocean side of Indonesia, like Java. Popular destinations include Bali, where there are more than 30 good spots for surfing. If you are interested in surfing, the ideal time to go is from May to September.

Trekking
The mountains of Indonesia are brilliant and stunning, and you’ll find the country full of volcanoes - some still active. These geographical hotspots provide ideal locations for trekking and climbing. One of the most popular active volcanoes to visit is the 2,000m high Mount Bromo in East Java province. You can also trek around Tangkuban Perahu near Bandung, the most active volcano on Java, or the legendary Krakatau. Only one mountain in the country has snow: Puncak Jaya in the Lorentz National Park.Visit this website for photographs and further information about Volcano Trekking Indonesia High peak