Indonesia is the largest island country in the world, with more than 17.000 islands, over 261 million inhabitants, 742 languages spoken and an incredible variety of flora and fauna both on land and under water.
Probably the most well-known area is Bali with it’s beautiful beaches, but Indonesia offers much more to those who visit: in Central Java you’ll find stunning UNESCO sites such as the Borobudur and Prambanan, respectively the largest Bouddhist monument in the world and one of the most imposing Hindu monuments in South East Asia, the Mount Merapi volcano, but also live performances such as the Ramayana ballet, crafts like batik tissues and jewellery, and last but not least a great local cuisine.
Another unmissable area is Sulawesi: with it’s villages of traditional houses, beautiful views of endless rice fields, plenty of volcanoes, the possibility to see local artisans weave according to the traditional methods and the production and weaving of silk too.
The ideal time to visit? From May till October is the beast season, although the winter months are a good time to visit Bali and Jogjakarta, but are not advisable for Sulawesi, where the main attractions are in the mountain areas and in winter there are constant rains.
Accessibility is indeed an issue in Indonesia, both in terms of adapted accomodation and, especially for people with mobility impairments, rolling around can be pretty complicated. Access to the temples and historic heritage is not total as most of the times there are steps and stairs and no alternative itineraries for people in wheelchairs. Have you already given up? Well, hold on in there, because our partner Accessible Indonesia is there to help you make the most of your holiday!
Kerstin Beise, originally from Germany, has been living in Indonesia for over 20 years, during which she has worked with organizations dedicated to people with disabilities and gotten to know the country very well. In 2016 she created Accessible Indonesia, in partnership with a local tour operator, to promote accessible and sustainable tourism and allow everyone to enjoy the best of what Indonesia has to offer.
With the help of ramps and by knowing all the alternative itineraries, Kirsten and her team can take you to places you’d never imagine, from watching the sunrise at the Borobudur temple, to visiting the best natural parks and volcanoes on a jeep, to the right spots for shopping traditional crafts, with a full-package service or just for the tours, as you prefer!
The packages and the tours are especially concieved for people with mobility and visual impairments, and you can choose one of the full-optional packages proposed or have your very special holiday tailor-made. To get a price offer just click on the links below and then contact Kerstin and her team specifying what you would like to do and what you will need to make your holiday perfect.
Ready for an exotic adventure?
Indonesia is not an easy country for people with mobility and visual impairments, and it is also a very large one, so we can give you a general description which of course will not be very specific.
However, generally in the cities there are hardly any smooth sidewalks and often you’ll have to compete and wheel or walk around motorbikes parked on them. Public transport is totally inaccessible, except a few model buses in the city of Yogyakarta.
There have been some attempts to make cities and sightseeing spots more accessible, an effort of the central government, but the actual implementation is still rather poor, so there might be paving blocks for visually impaired people, but then you’ll perhaps find obstacles on those tracks (such as public benches).
Accessible Indonesia provides information on how to access sightseeing spots (you’ll find info on each location in their website, at the link provided above) but an independent holiday is very complex. However, you can get a guided tour from them or have them book your holiday in full (accomodation and services included).
Our recommendation is to use a local agency, such as Accessible Indonesia, that is specialized and knows how to show you around and make the most of your holiday and can give you an introduction to the area you wish to visit.
Indonesia has a large number of national, local and international airports: Accessible Indonesia has prepared some useful information on the airports of the destinations they offer and some general tips:
To cover the long distances within airports, wheelchairs are provided and – at least in the bigger airports – usually in proper shape.
Wheelchair-accessible toilets are – at least in the bigger airports – available. Door width is commonly 75 cm. An exception is the new airport in Bali with 95 cm.
Airline personnel are responsible for assisting wheelchair-using passengers throughout their way from check-in to embarkation and the other way round. This service, according to local persons with disabilities, is not yet flawless.
Problematic is the frequent absence of passenger bridges to and from the planes: either an airport has no bridge at all (Yogyakarta), or planes are sometimes parked in remote areas of the airport without access to bridges. Some airlines on some airports have mobile elevators (ambulift) for these situations (Garuda in Bali and Jakarta).
You’ll find at the link below more detailed information on the airports of Jakarta, Bali, Yogyakarta, Makassar: