It might need some courage for a backpacker Indonesia to go for it. For beginners, my advice would be, start in Bali with its infinite offerings of locations, accommodations, transportation, and appeal. Indonesia is a vast country with many different islands, cultures, languages and attractions that offers many experiences some good and some less so.
Indonesians, in general, are very friendly and hospitable. Where there are tourists though there are also opportunities for the less honest dealers to make an extra buck. Please do also remember that many Indonesians are less fortunate than you foreigners who have the money to travel even if it is on a budget. Please do not take advantage of less fortunate people to help you get around without adequate maybe even generous compensation.
As said before. Indonesia is a very vast country and transportation opportunities, accommodations and grub are everywhere easily available. You can take public transportation like big buses traveling the length and breadth of at least the bigger islands. Smaller bemos, or minibusses will get you to the small towns and villages. There are some train systems on bigger islands, especially Jawa, and they are becoming efficient and fast. Ferry boats commute between islands and speedboats will reach even the outermost islands. Around tourist sites like Komodo, the Banda Islands, and Raja Ampat, you can also find cruises. The price varies very much depending on their equipment and services. Cruising on a refurbished or specially built traditional Phinisi or cargo ship is an experience in itself.
Low-cost airlines might be what you are looking for. To cut down on time and comfort, a short flight is sometimes better than dealing with old buses and unclear schedules. To reach certain places, you might have to consider a combination of transport, especially if you only have a limited amount of time.
Everywhere you go in Bali and especially outside the tourist areas all over Indonesia you will find some kind of homestay. These are local homes offering you a very local stay … Are you up for it? Not everybody is. Chain Business hotels are springing up everywhere especially in smaller towns all over the archipelago and they offer low-cost overnight with quite good quality. Some serve a relative international breakfast and some offer purely local fairs.
Besides the famous island of the gods Bali, Indonesia has plenty of other attractions to offer. Although the combination of unique culture combined with beautiful beaches and outstanding hotels and resorts, Bali is difficult to beat.
Anyway, there is plenty to see and discover as backpacker Indonesia, some known places are now getting developed for more international tourists, new airports, ports, and highways are constructed and the all-important hotels.
And this is a good thing as long as it is done with the environment and the locals in mind. It would be a pity if some of these hidden cultures and special spots would disappear into oblivion because they are not sustainable for the locals anymore. Modernity, handphones, and the internet have their place in remote places to connect them to the rest of the world, they should not replace some of the rituals though. Help make them proud of their own unique culture!
The diversity of Indonesia is amazing is astonishing and needs to be celebrated and YOU backpackers have a role to play by leaving a good memory and low footprint when you travel throughout this vast archipelago.
I hope that my explanations will show you that you might plan a mixture of backpacker Indonesia holidays together with a professionally organized tour full of special facilities catering to your wants and needs. Many travel agents in Indonesia are honest and do plan to make a living for the long run by being professional and at the same time flexible. Their objective is to give you a safe and enjoyable experience at a good price.
Please see my collection of budget accommodation
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