The Republic of Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world
comprising 17,504 large and small tropical islands fringed with
white sandy beaches, many still uninhabited and a number even
still unnamed. Straddling the equator, situated between the
continents of Asia and Australia and between the Pacific and the
Indian Oceans, it is as wide as the United States from San
Francisco to New York, equaling the distance between London and
Moscow. Indonesia has a total population of more than 215 million
people from more than 200 ethnic groups. The national language is Bahasa Indonesia.
Among the most well
known islands are Sumatra, Java, Bali, Kalimantan (formerly
Borneo), Sulawesi (formerly Celebes), the Maluku Islands (or
better known as Moluccas, the original Spice Islands) and Papua.
Then, there is Bali “the world’s best island resort” with its
enchanting culture, beaches, dynamic dances and music. But
Indonesia still has many unexplored islands with grand mountain
views, green rainforests to trek through, rolling waves to surf
and deep blue pristine seas to dive in where one can swim with
dugongs, dolphins and large mantarays.
Because of her location, and geology, Indonesia is blessed with
the most diverse landscape, from fertile ricelands on Java and
Bali to the luxuriant rainforests of Sumatra, Kalimantan and
Sulawesi, to the savannah grasslands of the Nusatenggara islands
to snow-capped peaks of West Papua.
Her wildlife ranges from the prehistoric giant Komodo lizard to
the Orang Utan and the Java rhino, to the Sulawesi anoa dwarf
buffalos, to birds with exquisite plumage like the cockatoo and
the bird of paradise. This is also the habitat of the Rafflesia
the world’s largest flower, wild orchids, an amazing variety of
spices, and aromatic hardwood and a large variety of fruit trees.
Underwater, scientists have found in North Sulawesi the
prehistoric coelacanth fish, a “living fossil” fish, predating the
dinosaurs living some 400 million years ago, while whales migrate
yearly through these waters from the South Pole. Here are hundreds
of species of colourful coral and tropical fish to admire.