Indonesia is the fourth country of the world with more than 250 million inhabitants travelling through the equator for more than 5,000 kms from Sumatra to Western Papua and boasts more than 17,000 small islands. Eventhough almost half of these islands are uninhabited, to visit them is a must for all who visit southeast Asia.
In many places the natives speak English but it is good to know that the official language is Bahasa, an unifying language since 1945. Although there are almost 300 spoken and written languages most natives are bilingual. Quite admirable. Hospitable and friendly people along with their culture, wildlife and climate make it impossible to not fall in love with this country. Like the native saying… “anything is possible in Indonesia”
Below is a list of the main islands. I´m sure I´ve left a couple out of the 17,000 …please forgive me!
Sumatra: Curiously being one of the biggest islands, inside its great volcanic Lake Toba its has another island the size of Menorca that deserves a mention Samosir Island.
Java: On this island you find the chaotic capital city Jakarta, also the cultural Yogyakarta and it’s famous temple Burubudur, without forgetting the spectacular volcanoes Bromo and Ijen
Bali: The island of the Gods. Excellent tourist destination but not less or more interesting. Well connected, aquatic sports, wildlife, volcanoes and unique Balinese culture make it an international holiday favourite which allows you to fly to almost whichever point of southeast Asia or Australia from it.
Kalimantan: Sharing Borneo with Malaysia and the sultan of Brunei in it’s southern part. You depart from Java, depending where you’re coming from (Yakarta, Semarang, Surabaya). Visit one of the great apes or lose ourselves in the jungle with a local tribe.
Sulawesi: Although it is very easy to arrive by Makassar in the south or Manada in the north, the transport throughout the island is difficult to plan with precision. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing as it, adds to a more authentic travelling experience! We also can´t fail to mention the extraordinary diving ( Bunaken, Togian, Wakatobi) and the Toraja culture.
Molucas:Originally called the islands of spices now there is very little left of the time when clove and nutmeg were the main economy. If you have time and patience it’s well worth a visit to see the amazing virgin tropical views.
Western Papua: Situated in the most oriental zone of the country, there is no doubt that this is the most remote part of Indonesia and a real delight for the more adventurous traveller. It’s capital and port of entrance is Sorong and from here we set out to visit the national park of Raja Ampat, a scenic paradise and unmatched marine life.
Nusa Tenggara: This group of islands is situated in the most northern point and makes up the Gili islands, Lombok, Sumba, Komodo, Florers and west Timor among others. They are all well connected with Bali by air or boat. A good visit for the casual atmosphere and to visit ,among other things the Komodo dragon.