Vegans may have a hard time to find vegan-friendly establishments in the Midwest United States or Europe, but did you know that you can have plenty of food choices in Indonesia?
Vegan travelers are more than happy to book a trip because more than 1,000 restaurants across the country serve vegan and vegetarian dishes in the Asian nation, which has positioned Indonesia as one of the most vegan-friendly destinations in the world.
Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said Indonesia will soon be a global tourism destination for vegans as more than 10 locations, including major cities such as Belitung, Banten, Tomohon, Batam, and Pontianak, have gained prominence among the vegan tourists’ circles.
Belitung’s organic garden is known worldwide, but there are other wonderful culinary experiences that those eschewing meat for ethical or health reasons can enjoy. Local veggie-centric dishes might include gado-gado (a mix between vegetable salad with peanut sauce), fried rice, sayur asem (vegetables in tamarind soup), pecel (boiled vegetables with peanut sauce), and meaty gudeg (made from jackfruit and coconut milk).
Currently, Indonesia ranks 16th (with 438 vegetarian restaurants) among the 183 countries included in the Global Vegetarian Index calculated by Oliver’s Travels. Meanwhile, the top destinations for vegan tourists are China and India. India is the nation with the largest vegan community of 350 million people, followed by China with over 50 million.
China and India are among the countries with the largest influx of foreign tourists to Indonesia. China’s visitors amounted to 2.2 million, while India is among the top five, surpassing Japan. Some 700,000 tourists from India are reported to visit Indonesia this year, increasing by 40 percent from 2017.