13 Things People Miss When They Leave Indonesia

Indonesias beautiful nature
Indonesia's beautiful nature | © Anton Raharja / Flickr
Edira Putri

People don’t just visit places, they build relationships with the places they’ve been—a relationship strengthened (or weakened) by every experience, adventure, and encounter. Discover the things people miss when they leave Indonesia.

The Food

It’s not hard to like Indonesian food. Even at the very first visit, there’s always something to choose from the wide variety of dishes. Either it’s the versatile Indonesian fried rice or the prized Balinese grilled pork, you’re bound to fall in love with at least one Indonesian dish. Despite being much-loved especially among people who have visited the country, authentic Indonesian food is hard to come by, partly due to the unavailability of produce or necessary ingredients and herbs. Dig in while you still can!

Indonesian fried rice

The Luxury

Where else can you rent a lavish, beachfront private villa for less than $80? Or a bountiful plate of meat for less than $2? What about a charming sundress for $10? Many tourists are delightfully surprised by how many luxuries they can afford with a relatively small amount of money, grandeurs they may not be able to enjoy back home when the price tags are much higher.

Private villa in Lombok, Indonesia

The Weather

Being a tropical paradise, Indonesia is almost always graced by the warmth of the sun and freshness of the breeze. When leaving Indonesia after staying for a while, it’s easy to miss the eight months of summer per year, and the 12 hours of sunlight per day.

The Wildlife

Be it waking up to the chirping of birds or strolling through the sacred monkey forest, encountering endemic birds while hiking or visiting the ancient komodo dragon, wildlife is a huge part of many Indonesian adventures. From adorable dogs on Bali beaches to the bugs orchestra in your backyard, many people have found it impossible to forget Indonesia’s wild habitat.

A nightjar at Tangkoko, Sulawesi

The Sunrise and Sunset

In Indonesia, the universe puts on an amazing show every single day through the often overlooked events of every day. The clear air, wonderful nature backdrop, and less pollution make the glorious sun look even more stunning. You can enjoy the breathtaking sunrise and sunset from the mountains, beaches, or at the comfort of a luxe resort every single day and you still wouldn’t be even just a little bored.

Sunset in Indonesia

The Coffee

Indonesia is the fourth-largest producer of coffee in the world. Since the colonial era until modern days, Indonesian coffee is a much-coveted commodity, and the people living in the archipelago are privileged with easy access to the freshest cup of coffee. In Indonesia, you have the whole spectrum of choice between a $0.2 coffee in plastic cups and the elusive Luwak Coffee, the world’s most expensive coffee at $60 (or more) per cup.

The Traditions

The Indonesian life is embellished with beautiful, meaningful traditions. Different localities have different customs and traditions that make the community unique and unforgettable. From traditional attire and daily prayers to special occasions and festivals, living anywhere else couldn’t possibly be this festive.

Traditional rituals of Bali


This instant noodle brand is a big part of most people who’ve stayed in Indonesia. More than just food to fill the stomach (although a tasty one), Indomie has become a cultural icon that bears sentiments of identity and solidarity. Many people, even those who have been away from the country for years, still have cravings for a portion of this instant noodle, making the brand popular and much-loved in many other countries.


This Indonesian chili condiment is present in almost every meal, and it definitely tastes better than the bottled chili sauce. There are countless recipes of sambal, each one is great when paired with more traditional recipes. Even a simple deep-fried tofu can be enjoyed with different types of sambal, creating an endless choice of taste. Many Indonesians find it hard to live abroad without sambal, and many expats or even tourists tried their best to recreate this dining experience in their home country.

Indonesian sambal

The Beaches

Indonesia is a vast archipelago comprising more than 17,000 islands. Wherever you have stayed or visited, chances are you get easy access to stunning beaches. Indonesia has everything from white smooth sand to black volcanic shores, calm waters to breaking waves, clear turquoise oceans to sparkling emerald waters, and they are all impossible to forget.

Clifftop view of Balangan Beach in Bali

The Street Food

You’ll never go hungry in Indonesia with just enough street food vendors to keep the tummy in check. There’s always place in the neighborhood for traditional snacks, dessert, or beverages sold in carts with an affordable price. With so many places, vendors, and menus to choose from, the street food scene in Indonesia is interwoven into daily habits.

Indonesian street food

The Fresh Produce

One thing foreigners envy from Indonesians is the ability to get fresh produce, be it fish, vegetables, or meat. Eating vegetables freshly picked from the garden or devouring grilled seafood caught the same day is an experience sure to be missed.

The People

The friendliness and hospitality of Indonesians can make anyone feel at home, no matter how far away they are. You’ll miss the smile on their faces, short exchanges with vendors at the market, and that group of locals who asked you to take pictures together.

Balinese people

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