If you yearn for diversity and endless exploration, then a trip to Indonesia should be your next move. The intoxicating country will arrest your senses and plunge you into its adventurous terrain. The flora and fauna in India are basically a great for reconnecting with nature. Aside from these, there are the natural beauties that would leave you breathless in the next few seconds, including the jungle hills, turquoise waters and active volcanoes in the vicinity. The population diversity in India is also quite high, so get ready to mingle with people with different nationalities. In Indonesia, it is encouraged to expect the unexpected.
Important and Interesting Facts about Indonesia
- Indonesia is an archipelago comprising thousands of islands.It encompasses 33 provinces and 1 Special Administrative Region (for being governed by a pre-colonial monarchy).
- Despite its large population and densely populated regions, Indonesia has vast areas of wilderness that support the world’s second highest level of biodiversity. The country has abundant natural resources, yet poverty remains widespread.
- Indonesia is second only to Australia in terms of total endemic species, with 36% of its 1,531 species of bird and 39% of its 515 species of mammal being endemic.
- Indonesia is the world’s 15th-largest country in terms of land area and world’s 7th-largest country in terms of combined sea and land area.
- Indonesia’s location on the edges of the Pacific, Eurasian, and Australian tectonic plates makes it the site of numerous volcanoes and frequent earthquakes. Indonesia has at least 150 active volcanoes,including Krakatoa and Tambora, both famous for their devastating eruptions in the 19th century.
- Candi Borobudur (temple)-This 9th century temple is an Indonesia UNESCO Heritage site located in the heart of Java. It is one of the largest Buddhist temple in the world, consisting of six square platforms with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha status. Thousands of Buddhists does their pilgrimage here in Borobudur during Waisak day.
- Mount Bromo, located in East Java, can be touted as the most iconic among the many volcano mountains in Indonesia. This is due to it strategically lies in the middle of Tengger caldera, a crater of fine volcanic black sand, while standing foreboding spewing off white sulphurous smoke. It is still one of the most active volcanoes in the world and continues to draw many travelers from far and wide to wake up at wee hours to hike and catch the sunrise over the ethereal view of Mount Bromo.
- This largest volcanic lake measuring 1,707 sq ft is called Lake Toba, also known as Danau Toba. It is formed after a gigantic volcanic eruption about 70,000 years ago and is the world’s biggest caldera lake. Lake Toba is rumored to be a product of a massive supervolcanic eruption known as the Toba catastrophe theory which has supposedly killed many of the human population. Besides there are the Batak people here that are well known for their friendliness.
- Tana Toraja, or also known as Torajaland, is a highland situated in the southern Sulawesi. A land almost lost in time, it spans with green lush rice terraces, tall limestone and bamboo graves with blue misty mountains as backdrop. The main tourist attraction here is the funeral rites that had been practiced for ages, even after many had adopted Christian beliefs after the Dutch colony. It is said that they are obsess with the idea of death, not in a morbid way but as something really significant to them.
- Found at Komodo National Park in Flores is another UNESCO World Heritage Site in Indonesia. Komodo Dragon may very well be the last of the dragons in the world. Come here and get up close and personal with them though be careful as there are reports of attack though rare. This park is also a refuge for many other wild terrestrial species, with mixture of Asiatic and Australian origins and wide variety of marine life
- Bukit Lawang became a top tourist attraction because of the chance to see the Orang Utan living in the wild in proximity. This Orang Utan sanctuary is also part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Indonesia, and literally means “door to the hills”. Travelers will come here to do trekking in hopes to catch sights of the rare Sumatran Orangutans. There is a Orangutan viewing platform where there are twice a day feedings which will almost guarantee a view of them.
Cool, Funny, and Fun Facts about Indonesia
- At the top of the Indonesian volcano Kelimutu situated three lakes, each of which periodically changes color from turquoise to green, red and black. Such transformations are caused by volcanic gases, which react with a variety of minerals dissolved in the water, thereby changing the color of the lakes.
- Movies in cinemas and on television, never duplicated in the local language. Movies are shown in the original with Indonesian subtitles.
- In Indonesia, the Internet clubs are still popular. In many of these clubs, computers with monitors are standing just on the floor.
- Indonesia is strict when it comes to…religion. The government only recognizes six religions – Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Protestantism, Catholicism, and Confucianism – and every citizen must officially subscribe to one of those religions, regardless of what he or she may actually believe. Two individuals with different religions are not allowed to marry, unless one of them converts.
- Indonesia exports 3,000 tons of frogs’ legs to France each year.
- Yet another strange Indonesian export involves the Asian palm civet and coffee berries.To be more specific, these small, cat-sized mammals are fed coffee berries. After they defecate, their feces is collected, washed, and used to make kopi luwak. If that sounds gross to you, you should try it – the action of the civet’s stomach enzymes gives the coffee an unrivaled richness of flavor without any of the usual bitterness. As a result, Kopi luwak is the world’s most expensive beverage, costing around $1,000 per pound.
- Certain fruits of Indonesia make foreigners curious. These fruits seem strange as they have no name in the foreigner’s language and they never knew it existed. The Durian fruit is one of them which is known to be the king of fruits. Salak and Duku are some other examples of such “strange” fruits.
- Although a common sight for Indonesians, a family of four people riding a motorcycle without any helmets and at the speed of 60 mph is an odd sight for foreigners.
- Indonesia has been ranked third in terms of the emitter of greenhouse gases.
- Indonesia has the largest number of shark species, which is approximately 150 species.
- Indonesia has the world’s largest flower called the Rafflesia Arnoldi, which has a diameter of up to 1 meter during the blossom phase.
Historical and Cultural Facts about Indonesia
- The first people in Indonesia arrived about 40,000 years ago when sea level was lower and it was joined to Asia by a land bridge. Then at the end of the last ice age about 10,000 BC a new wave of people came. At first they hunted animals, collected shellfish and gathered plants for food. By about 2,500 BC they learned to grow crops such as taro, bananas, millet and rice. The early farmers also made pottery but all their tools were made of stone.
- By 700 BC the Indonesians had learned to make bronze and iron. Furthermore at that time wet rice cultivation was introduced. Indonesian villages were forced to co-operate to regulate the supply of water to their fields. In time organized kingdoms emerged.
- In the early 16th century the Portuguese arrived in Indonesia. at that time there was a huge demand in Europe for spices such as nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and mace. Huge profits could be made by transporting them to Europe and selling them. The Portuguese therefore decided to seize the Moluccas, the chief source of spices. In 1511 they captured Melaka, an important port. They also captured the Moluccas.
- In the early 17th century the Portuguese lost their position to the Dutch. The first Dutch fleet sailed from Holland in 1595 under Cornelis de Houtman. In 1602 the Dutch East India Company was formed to control trade with Indonesia. In 1605 they took Tidore and Ambon from the Dutch. In 1619 the company captured Batavia. In 1641 they took Melaka. During the 17th century the Dutch gradually extended their power of Java and the Moluccas. However they had little influence in the rest of Indonesia.
- Indonesian national cuisine – is a unique mix of culinary traditions of different countries.Locals use spices in Indonasian dishes: many kinds of pepper, ginger, garlic, soy and peanut sauce. As a side dish, basically, use rice, which is grown widely in Indonesia. Rice for the most of residents – is the staple food. One of the traditional Indonesian dishes, which is very popular with tourists is a soup Soto. Soup can be of various kinds: in each region of the country it is preparing in a special way.
- Though Indonesia is a Muslim nation, the status of women is generally considered to be high by outside observers, though their position and rights vary considerably in different ethnic groups, even Muslim ones. Nearly everywhere, Indonesian gender ideology emphasizes men as community leaders, decision makers, and mediators with the outside world, while women are the backbone of the home and family values.
- Greetings can be rather formal as they are meant to show respect. A handshake is the most common greeting accompanied with the word “Selamat”.Many Indonesians may give a slight bow or place their hands on their heart after shaking your hand. If you are being introduced to several people, always start with the eldest or most senior person first.
- As with most group orientated cultures, hierarchy plays a great role in Indonesian culture.Hierarchical relationships are respected, emphaised and maintained.Respect is usually shown to those with status, power, position, and age. This can be seen in both the village and the office where the most senior is expected to make group decisions.Superiors are often called “bapak” or “ibu”, which means the equivalent of father or mother, sir or madam.
- Indonesian men generally wore sarongs (usually with a checkered pattern) in the home. In public, the sarong is worn only when attending Friday prayers at the mosque. For formal occasions, Indonesian women wear the kebaya — a beautiful, figure-hugging embroidered blouse worn with a batik sarong that is usually dyed with flower motifs and in bright colours. On these occasions, women often tied their hair into a bun, or attached a false hairpiece. In addition, they may drape a long stretch of cloth, called “selendang”, over one shoulder. This cloth can be used as a head shawl or on less formal occasions, used to carry babies or objects.
- The most important national celebration is Independence Day, 17 August, which is marked by parades and displays in Jakarta and provincial and district capitals. Provincial celebrations may have local cultural or historical flavor. Youth are often prominent. Kartini Day, 21 April, honors Indonesia’s first female emancipationist; schools and women’s organizations hold activities that day. The military also has its celebrations.
- Gamelan is the traditional music ensemble found on the streets of Indonesia. More popular on the islands of Bali and Java, gamelan is widespread in the archipelago with slight variations in the each area. Featuring traditional Indonesian music, it involves playing several types of orchestras, using instruments made of bronze, iron, wood or bamboo.