Bali's breathtakingly beautiful scenery makes it easy to just settle for the cliche imaginary of the island as a tropical paradise and nothing more. But behind the luxury resorts, picture-perfect rice fields and idyllic beaches lies a rich culture, steeped in tradition and spirituality, and one of the friendliest and most welcoming places you're likely to find anywhere. Dare to go beyond the comforts of the resort areas to truly explore all the island has to offer, and let yourself be rewarded with memories to last a lifetime.
IndonesiaIndonesia, the fourth most populous country in the world, is hard to compete with in terms of diversity in landscape, people and culture. It offers an inexhaustible variety of experiences and spots to explore, with every island being vastly different to the next. It is home to the ancient beliefs of the Asmat people of Papua as well as the spiritual Balinese. You will find yourself immersed in the rich culture of Indonesia everywhere you go, be it on the white sandy beaches or whilst exploring one of the nearly 100 volcanoes. Mysterious Indonesia offers a potential for adventure like no other place on Earth.
Indonesia’s sprawling capital is one of the fastest-growing, most chaotic and most exciting places in South-East Asia. It is the gateway to a vast, vibrant and varied island nation that’s home to dozens of fascinating cultures. Formerly the colonial capital of the Dutch East Indies – when it was known as Batavia – Jakarta has grown from its original seaport district into a huge modern conurbation of high-rise hotels and apartments, thronged shopping malls and wide, crowded avenues.
Founded nearly eight centuries ago, Indonesia’s second largest city has seen empires come and go. The founders of the Hindu Majapahit Empire arrived in late 13th century and remained until the 17th, to be followed by Muslim rulers of Mataram, then the colonialists of the Dutch East India Company. In recent decades, Surabaya has grown into a cosmopolitan seaport and conurbation where 21st century hotels, apartment towers and shopping malls stand next to historic mosques and palaces.