OK. You plan to visit Indonesia. Then, you pick the calendar, start planning your leaves, find cheap flight tickets and book hotels. And you are in Indonesia as planned…. BUT you can’t do anything there. Any places you visit and any attractions you see are full of people, Indonesian people. In your itinerary plan, you plan to visit three places, but even to buy spend your day in one place took several hours. What’s wrong? Why is it very crowded? There is nothing wrong, just you didn’t plan well. You forgot to include Indonesian holidays where all Indonesian people go out and occupying all attraction places to spend their holidays. How crowded is it? To give you better pictures about it, you can see images below. The first image shows you Pangandaran beach area on New Year. The second image shows you Borobudur temple in Eid Al-Fitr days.
And you know, it is not easy to deal with them at those days. And as mentioned in the first paragraph, even you will need hours to reach your aimed destination and vice versa. With popularity of google maps and waze as map/trip application, you can try to simulate your trip at that time. To avoid this, you must carefully plan your vacation trip, except this is what you want. Being around crowded people. Or, you can go to area where most of Indonesian people are not visiting at those days, usually outside Java island.
Days that you should avoid are :
- New Year. Always falls on 1st January. If you must travel around this date, make sure that you reach your destination at least by morning at 31st December. It is not recommended to travel on New Year’s Eve or you will get a traffic jam in almost every cities in Indonesia.
- Eid Al-Fitr. The date is based on Islamic Calendar where it is based on movement of Moon. This is the day where you will see Indonesian people are going back to their hometown. In this time, you can experience traveling in Jakarta without traffic jam for several days. But, still, it is not recommended for you to visit Ancol Theme Park or Ragunan Zoo because they will be very crowded. And within these days, all tourist attractions will be very crowded. Trust me, you won’t enjoy it. Even richer Indonesian people is going abroad, either to Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia just to avoid this very crowded situation. And don’t try to buy any flight or train tickets, it is very expensive.
- 25 – 31 December. Starting with Christmas Day, it is basically the starting day toward new year where Indonesian people are taking their remaining leaves for vacation. Students are also get their holidays in this week.
- Nyepi (only in Bali). It is a Balinese “Day of Silence”. Don’t be in Bali in this date if you plan to explore Bali. Because all people are required to stay at home or hotel. Even airport is closed at this date. Usually it falls in March.
Those suggestion above won’t be applied if you :
- want to observe how those big days are celebrated by Indonesian people
- have similar holidays where you can take vacation at those days
- plan to visit less crowded places in Indonesia
There are still other national holidays that you can consider, but above dates are days that you must avoid if you want to have a memorable vacation. In the calendar image below you can see all holidays in Indonesia in year 2017.
You can download the PDF version below.2017 Calendar with Indonesia Public Holiday (240 downloads)