Evidence of human settlement dates back to to 35,000 BCE. In the 7th century, the Srivijaya empire rose and spread Buddhism and Hinduism across the islands. Multiple kingdoms evolved and Islam began to spread – by the 16th century Indonesia was primarily Muslim. The Dutch colonized the island starting in the 16th century, but did not have a firm grasp outside of colonial outposts. World War II brought about Japanese occupation and the end of Dutch rule, the end to the fighting led to Indonesia declaring independence just days after the new peace. Indonesia began as a democracy, but fell towards authoritarianism, coming back to democracy in 2005.
Indonesia has the largest Muslim population of any nation with 87% of their 237.6 million citizens adhering to Islamic faith.
Although being a Muslim nation, many religions are tolerated. Hinduism is particularly prevalent on the island of Bali. Java even boasts the largest Buddhist temple in the world at Borobodur near Yogyakarta.
With 76 active volcanos, they play an important part in Indonesian life. You can take amazing treks to the peaks of many such as Merapi and Bromo. However, these are still dangerous mountains that do erupt and cause disasters.
Tempeh, a good vegan protein source originated in Indonesia. While meat is readily consumed, due to: low income, historical culture, and religion, it is easy find good vegan and vegetarian meals.
In general, Indonesia is safe and friendly. However, there have been extremist attacks in Jakarta and the possibility of attacks can occur where people congregate. Rates have declined since 2005 though.
Pick-pocketing and petty does occur, but is not prevalent. Be aware of you surroundings.
ATM skimmers have been on the rise, only use credit cards at trusted establishments.
Be weary of the local liquor arak outside of reputable bars and restaurants. Low quality and toxic liquor has killed tourists.
We recommend reviewing safety guidelines by various state departments: – we make no guarantees to your safety!
US State Department – Moderate to High bias, with moderate levels of broad information. We advise checking against other sources to confirm veracity of statements.