Travelling in Indonesia

I’m grateful that I’ve had the privilege of being able to travel for most of my life. Having a dad who worked as a Diplomat for 10 years gave me the opportunity to live in 3 different countries from the age of 4 and to immerse myself in varying cultures that would have otherwise been limited to me growing up. My upbringing has definitely shaped my passion for travelling, and I am now in constant search for opportunities to travel

I have for most of life had little interest in travelling within Indonesia—my home country and current residence—despite it being popular as a travel destination. Instead, some of my best travelling experiences have been the two-month backpacking trip to Europe that I made in the winter of 2005, the one-month trip to the US just last year and the family trip to New Zealand right before backpacking to Europe.

It wasn’t until about a year ago that my desire to travel in Indonesia grew – when I started my current job, which requires extensive travel around the country. With frequent trips out of Jakarta, I have become familiar with the general practice of travelling and staying around Indonesia: the types of accommodation that are available, what transport to rely on and so on. My perspective on Indonesia has changed significantly in the last year, and I no longer see travelling domestically as a hassle; nor do I think of it as scary anymore. For so long I feared flying in Indonesia thanks to news of frequent plane crashes involving local airlines in the past! It’s helped knowing that the airline industry has made a conscious effort to shape up and improve their services, including Garuda Indonesia, the national carrier. Still, I try to avoid most of the budget airlines such as Sriwijaya Air, Batavia Air and Lion Air. I’m very happy with AirAsia though, a low-cost carrier with a good reputation for safety. They even offer insurance for delays of over 2 hours. AirAsia Indonesia has also grown rapidly in the past year and continues to do so by opening up new routes from Bandung, Lombok, Semarang, Manado etc. Lion Air or Citilink can be cheaper than AirAsia, but from my experience, I’ve had far fewer delays with AirAsia than any other local low-cost carrier.

My point about flying in Indonesia is that you shouldn’t fear for your safety. I even read somewhere that the chances of dying from a commercial plane crash are 1 in 1,000,000 and that is averaged for all airlines, including those with poor safety records!

With safety concerns aside, Indonesia really has a lot to offer travellers. Click here for my post on my favourite local destinations.


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