What is Indonesia known for? Indonesia is one of those countries everyone dreams of visiting at least once in their lives. After our last trip, we realised that almost everyone knows something about this country. You may have heard about Bali, about the Mt Bromo volcano or about their huge Komodo dragons, but these are just a few of the things Indonesia is famous for… There are many more!
20 Things Indonesia is famous for
Since everyone seems to love Indonesia so much, we have decided to make a “What is Indonesia famous for?” list. It will help you plan your future trip, or at least, you will get to learn more about this beautiful country.
What places is Indonesia known for?
Although their food is delicious and their traditions are pretty interesting, the main reason why Indonesia is famous is its places.
More than 20 million people visit Indonesia per year, and its basically because they want to see their famous beaches, (active) volcanoes and fantastic landscapes. It´s true that they also have beautiful temples, but the best tourist attractions in Indonesia are natural areas.
Since it´s almost impossible to talk about each one of the best places to visit in Indonesia, we have selected a top 3 that you must visit:
When you are mentioning the famous things about Indonesia, the first place you need to talk about is Bali.
Bali is an island and a province of Indonesia. Almost every tourist who visits the country stops in Bali for some days.
There are three different islands in Bali, including the famous Nusa Penida. The most iconic places in Bali are Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, Lempuyang Temple and the Tegallalang Rice Terrace
2) Raja Ampat
We know Raja Ampat may not be one of the most famous places in Indonesia, but after our trip, we needed to tell you about this incredible paradise.
It´s located in the province of West Papua, and everything you see there it´s almost untouched by humans. It´s wild!
Bellow, you can see a short video from our trip. We totally recommend you visiting Raja Ampat, but if you decide to go, please be respectful with the nature you see there, as it´s unique in the world.
3) Borobudur and Prambanan temples
Last of all, we are going to tell you about another of the most visited places in Indonesia. Borobudur and Prambanan are ancient temples located very close to the town of Yogyakarta, and they are known for being one of the World Heritage sites in Indonesia.
Both are huge and impressive temples of Indonesia, but they represent different religions. Borobudur is a Buddhist temple and Prambanan is a Hindu temple.
A small tip you should keep in mind before going, is to wake up early for sunrise, as it looks even more beautiful and you will see less crowds.
Indonesia is known for its animals
On our “What is Indonesia best known for?” list, we must also talk about their animals. No matter where you go in Indonesia, you will always have a chance to see wildlife. From their famous Komodo dragons, to their thousands of monkeys in Bali or a million types of birds…it´s an endless list.
As we can´t tell you all the animals you are going to be able to see in Indonesia, we will tell you about the famous ones and the ones you should try to see if you get there one day.
4) Komodo dragon island
The place is called Komodo Island, and it´s the only place in the word where you will be able to see these beautiful animals.
Although it´s an area where locals live, the island is mainly dominated by the dragons, who have survived many other extinctions thanks to being isolated from humans until 1910.
Always remember that these animals are wild and free, so don´t treat them as a pet, don´t feed them and of course be aware that they can be dangerous.
5) See orangutans in the wild
Unfortunately, orangutans are an endangered animal, and nowadays the only places where you will be able to see them are Sumatra and Borneo (Indonesia and Malaysia)
The Gunung Leuser National Park, located in Sumatra, is one of the best areas to see them. There you will also find other endangered creatures like the elephants, rhinos, tigers, and many others.
*Sorry we insist so much about it, but again we are going to beg you to be careful with those animals and with the tours you choose for your trip. These species are in a big danger!
What food is Indonesia famous for?
Their food is amazing, but there are two important facts about Indonesian food that you should keep in mind before trying it.
The first one, is that Indonesian food is very flavoury. Its fresh herbs and the big amount of spices they use for their food is the main reason of its flavours.
Second one and most important is that you need to be careful in the case you don´t like spicy food. There is something spicy in every meal. Just so you can imagine, we had the incredible idea of trying a small piece of chilli and it was really spicy… Some Indonesian friends told us they need about 10 or 20 of those to feel it spicy!
6) Nasi Goreng (Fried Rice)
We bet you all know about Indonesian fried rice, as now it´s almost an international dish. Although you may have tried it in your country, do eat it once you visit Indonesia.
It´s true that Indonesian people eat rice ever day, but their fried rice is different, as it has a sweet soy sauce (keycap) that gives a very intense flavour.
You can also garnish and mix the Nasi Goreng with veggies, seafood, chicken or beef. Have you ever tried it?
As we said, spicy food is very common and famous in Indonesia, they eat spicy with everything: rice, noodles, meat and even with fish.
Rice-rica is a speciality of Indonesia and is a word they use for something that is “very spicy”, and rica means chilly. The Rica-rica recipe is used specially in meats and fishes and it is made with two or more kinds of chillis, shallots and lemongrass.
Be ready to drink milk or do any other trick to deal with such a spicy dish!
Facts about Indonesian locals
Another of the best things about Indonesia, are their people. As it happens in every country, the Indonesian are known for certain stereotypes, but not for how they really are.
Next, we will tell you all the things Indonesian are know for. Let´s see which of those stereotypes are true and which ones are false:
8) Indonesian locals are very friendly
It may sound like a cliche, but we haven´t met locals as nice as the ones we met in Indonesia. We mean it, of the more than 30 countries we have visited, the Indonesian locals were the nicest ones.
The Indonesian people who travelled with us during our trip were always smiling and having fun all the time, but the ones we met on the different towns and islands, welcomed us in the best way possible.
9) Indonesia is known for its population size
Another popular thing of Indonesia is their population size, they rank number 4 on the list of people by population.
There is a total of more than 270 million people in Indonesia, crazy right? Just so you can have an idea of how many people that is, it´s a 3.5% of the population on earth.
It´s incredible, but although Indonesia is a very crowded country, they still have many undiscovered areas with no people at all. The most crowded city in Indonesia is Jakarta with more than 30 million people.
10) They speak over 700 languages
If you have the goal of learning to speak with the people of Indonesia, we advise you to just learn Indonesian, as there are more than 700 languages and you could go crazy trying to learn them all. Plus, most of the people speak Indonesian.
Other important language is the Javanese, around 85 million people speak it every day.
Last of all, don´t worry if you a tourist, because although not everyone can speak English, there are many people who can, and you will always find someone who will try to help you.
Indonesia´s religion is very diverse
One of the most interesting facts about Indonesia is about their religion, you will be able to see a huge diversity of religions and it´s very impressive to see them living all together without any type of conflict.
11) The most populous Islamic nation
Although it´s true that many religions coexist in Indonesia, the Islam is the one that predominates. Over 90% of the population practice the Islam.
Since they know there are many religions in the country, the laws are not extremely strict with religious recommendations.
Of course, if you are visiting a mosque, it´s important that you dress properly, if not, they may not allow you to go inside.
12) Hinduism & Buddhism are also important in Indonesia
Hinduism is more significant, especially in Bali, where is the strongest religion. It will surprise you a lot the change between Bali and other areas where Hinduism is not so important, plus they are serious practicing and have many traditions.
When talking about the Buddhism everything is different. We told you earlier that is impressive to see all these religions coexisting together without any conflicts, but there are more problems with the Buddhism as some people relates it with the Chinese culture and attack their temples.
13) Indonesia is famous for its temples
Since the religion is so important in Indonesia, there are all kinds of temples and many of them are not just used as a religious centre, but also as important tourist attractions of Indonesia.
We already mentioned you the Borobudur and Prambanan temples, but there are more. Some of the most famous temples in Indonesia are: Pura Ulun Danu Beratan in Bali and Sewu Temple in Prambanan.
Indonesia is known for its Islands
When we all think of Indonesia, we think about its islands, about their paradise beaches and about the blue ocean that surrounds each of its islands.
Since Indonesia is a huge country and it has a big number of islands, there are many curiosities that you would love to know before going:
14) Indonesia is the largest country formed by islands
Do not ask us how many islands does Indonesia have, Because it´s an impossible answer. Some people say there are 17.500, others say there are 18.000, and the number keeps changing every day, as more islands come up and others sink.
What we know for sure is that Indonesia is the largest country formed by islands, and it would take you more than 12 hours to fly from side to side.
15) Inhabited Islands of Indonesia
Another interesting fact about Indonesia is that it has around 6000 inhabited Islands. During our trip through Raja Ampat, we got to see many of those islands where no one lives, and it felt like an authentic paradise.
In one of the islands, we got to see a fisherman who was living there by itself…Imagine how would it be to have the whole island just for you, would you do it?
Other interesting facts about Indonesia
The ones we have just tell you were some of the basic and most important things to know about Indonesia, but there are many others that are less known but also significant in the country.
Next, we will tell you about other 5 cool facts about Indonesia:
16) Street markets in Indonesia
The Street markets of Indonesia are not as popular as the ones of India or Turkey, but they are still very interesting and a great way to connect with the locals.
There are all kinds of markets, from clothes to souvenirs or artistic works, but the ones we enjoyed the most were the food markets as they have very weird fruits you can try.
17) The cheap prices of Indonesia
Indonesian´s economy is not very rich, the people of Indonesia leaves with about 2$ USD per day and 90% of the economy comes from oil and agriculture. That´s the reason why if you visit Indonesia you will realise about how cheap the prices are.
These prices are not just one of the things Indonesia is famous for but also the reason why many digital nomads choose Indonesia (specially Bali) as their “home” to live there.
18) Indonesia has active volcanoes!
Another of those unique facts about Indonesia is that they still have many active volcanoes. I bet most of you heard on the news when the Kelut or the Mount Merapi erupted some years ago.
After the US and Russia, Indonesia is the third country with more volcanoes (139) and 127 of them are active nowadays (scary huh?)
Something that you may want to know is that you can climb some of the volcanoes, which by the way have incredible views, a great example is Mt. Bromo (You may recognise it from pictures of Instagram)
19) Snorkelling and diving in Indonesia
With Australia and The Philippines, Indonesia is one of the best countries to do snorkel and diving in the world.
It has incredible clear waters and an amazing seabed, as you can imagine the mix of these two with a huge animal diversity becomes outstanding
One of the best places to do diving in Indonesia is Gili, where you won´t just see a great wildlife, but also the famous Meno Statues
20) Famous people in Indonesia
- Sukarno (Politician who lead Indonesia to the independence of the Netherlands)
- Taufik Hidayat (Olimpic Badminton player)
- Agnes Monica (Pop Artist)
- Luna Maya (Model)
- Raffi Ahmad (Presenter)
Although Indonesia doesn´t have many people who are famous worldwide, there are still many artists, politicians and sport players who are very popular in their own country.
Some of the most famous Indonesian people are:
That´s everything you need to know about Indonesia
That´s it! These are some of the most famous things about Indonesia. Hope you have enjoyed reading about it, and if you ever have the chance of going to this beautiful country, enjoy it!!
If you have any other question, let us know!!