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Knowing, Exploring...Indonesia

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  • Added on: February 4th, 2010
Indonesia, the World's largest Archipelago State.
Unity in Diversity, the national motto of Indonesia, is a term that strikes deep into the heart of this dynamic and attractive Southeast Asian nation. Few places offer such cultural variety and geographical complexity as Indonesia, and no two journeys here are ever alike.

Indonesia is composed of seventeen thousand islands that stretch over five thousand miles along the equator. The Malay Peninsula and Indochina are situated to the north-west, and the continent of Australia lies due south. Northward lies the Philippines and Micronesia.

The most populous of the Indonesian islands by far is Java, home to the sprawling capital city of Jakarta. Other notable islands include the exotic, popular resort island of Bali, Lombok, Bintan, Catholic Flores, Sumatra and Komodo, home of dragons.

Bali, the Heaven…

Bali is an island where art and religion mingle in the daily lives of people in a way unlike anywhere else on earth. Its culture overflows from its temples and into the streets, where artisans of every kind continue traditional methods of handicraft that have been passed down for generations.

The most famous of the many Balinese cultural traditions are its poetic and ornate dances, which employ a graceful and highly-sophisticated gestural language to narrate traditional stories and legends.

Bali's natural beauty is as startling as its cultural riches. The beaches of Bali are world famous. Many are ideal for surfing, and plenty of offshore reefs create good scuba diving environments. The famous one are: Kuta Beach, Legian Beach, and Seminyak Beach.

Sumatra, the Natural…

Indonesia's largest and least developed province, Sumatra rests along the equator, heavily forested and rich in rare wildlife. The island's slow development has made it ideal for eco-tourism, and numerous large reserves and preservation areas have been set aside. Its most famous park, Mount Leuser National Park, is one of the last refuges of the Sumatra Orang-Utan.
Another distinguished park is the Berbak Wildlife Reserve, which has one of Indonesia's largest tiger populations. In the far north of the island is Lake Toba, an enormous and extraordinarily beautiful crater lake.
A particularly enthralling adventure experience in Sumatra takes place on the Alas River, which winds itself across North Sumatra through jungle, limestone gorges, and native villages. The voyage begins in the Karo Highlands and culminates with the Indian Ocean: a descent ten times that of the Grand Canyon's Colorado River.

Lombok, the Adventure Paradise…

Lombok is the most popular destination in Nusa Tenaggara – a province in South Central Indonesia. Visitors head here for both underwater and on-land exploration.
Situated east of Bali, it can be accessed by plane or boat. The island consists of virginal sandy beaches and a hilly terrain, fringed by mesmerizing azure shores, making it a favorite destination for trekking, surfing and beach lounging.
Lombok is paradise mixed with a dash of adventure and a hint of exoticism, blessed with majestic waterfalls and a volcano – Mount Rijani. ‘Unspoiled Bali’, would be an apt description.
Ultimately, Lombok is a place to chill. Popular with honeymooners, it offers a subdued alternative to the more mainstream Bali, while not compromising on beauty or comfort, just cost – it’s decidedly cheaper. Complete with quiet bays, white and grey sand beaches, a tranquil village style and half a dozen small islands, it retains an undiscovered tropical charm.

Bintan, the Dream…

Bintan Island is like a dream. With its pristine beaches and unspoiled natural beauty, it has everything you could ever wish for in a picture-perfect tropical holiday destination – and more. Virtually undiscovered until just a few years ago, this idyllic retreat has enjoyed a surge in popularity in recent years, particularly amongst Singaporeans who, due to the island’s close proximity, have made it their preferred spur-of-the-moment getaway.
With a population of less than quarter of a million, the island has an interesting, eclectic mix of different cultures and ethnicities, including Malay, Bugis, Chinese and a unique tribe called the Orang Laut (sea nomads).
A trip to Bintan’s two main towns, Tanjung Pinang and Tanjung Uban, is a great way to learn more about the island’s people and local culture. The island’s highest mountain, Bintan Besar, almost 400m in height, is also the highest peak in the archipelago.

Java/Jakarta, the Capital city

Java is often referred to as the heart of Indonesia. It is the historical center of Buddhist and Hindu culture and home to the nation's sprawling capital city, Jakarta.
Java's three main regions are simply East, Central, and West Java, and the island's many roads and public transports make it easy to navigate.
Though Jakarta is the most visited destination in the west, it is best described as a mixture of Bangkok and New Delhi. There are also major natural attractions, such as Mount Gede-Pangrango National Park. In Central Java, the seat of major dynasties throughout Indonesian history, are the cultural wonders of the Prambanan temple complex and the magnificent Borobudur Temple. Central Java is also the home of Indonesia's famous shadow puppet dances, or Wayans Kulit, and the craftwork center of Yogyakarta.
Finally, there is East Java, where travelers encounter some of the Indonesia's most extraordinary national parks, including the wildly spectacular Bromo-Tengger.

Feel like been there?!!!
Charles for Voyages Designers


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Location: Currently cycling from Indonesia to India

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  • Added on: February 4th, 2010
Sumatra the undeveloped? After Sulawesi (most parts except Tana Toraja) and Kalimantan, Sumatra felt hyper-touristed.

But I understand, you're trying to sell something here....
My personal travel website
Cycling from Indonesia to India (09-11) Fabebook Page
"Nationalism is an infantile disease, the measles of mankind." Albert Einstein

Voyages Designers

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Thorn Tree Refugee
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Joined: January 6th, 2010
Location: New Delhi

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  • Added on: February 5th, 2010

Never said that Sumatra is undevelopped but if I have to compare to Bali, Bintan... yes it is least developped.

Thank you for your imput.
Charles for Voyages Designers

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