Welcome to Indonesia, the country of diversity!

Indonesia is overwhelming!

A country with over 200 million inhabitants, 300 distinct native ethnic groups, more than 700 different languages and dialects, more than 10,000 islands, around 80,000 Km of coastline and 150 active volcanoes! Indonesia will never disappoint you!

Mt. Bromo, the most revered volcano in Indonesia, in Eastern Java

Sunrise in Mt. Bromo, Eastern Java

Indonesia has the second largest level of biodiversity in the World (after Brazil). It has a wide range of sea and coastal ecosystems, including beaches, sand dunes, estuaries, mangroves and coral reefs. With its more than 1,650 species of coral reef fish in eastern Indonesia only, it is a top destination for diving and it is the country to visit if you want to visit the endangered orangutans in their natural habitat – either in Sumatra or in Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo).

Orangutan family in Camp Leakey, Tanjung Puting National Park, Kalimantan

Orangutan eating resin in Camp Leakey, Tanjung Puting National Park, Kalimantan

Indonesia is the 4th most populated country in the World (after China, India and USA) and it is the largest economy in SEA, because of, among other reasons, its extensive natural resources, including crude oil, natural gas, tin, copper, and gold. However, the rapid development has created many environmental challenges which face issues such as large-scale deforestation, over-exploitation of marine resources, air pollution, waste and wastewater management and drinking water scarcity. Let’s hope that Indonesia will be able to keep on developing while keeping its biodiversity and environmental values.

Tropical forest and klotok (traditional boat) in Tanjung Puting National park, Kalimantan

Again regarding its diversity, the Indonesian government recognizes six religions. Most of Indonesia is predominantly Muslim, although there are exceptions such as the Christian community of Tana Toraja (Sulawesi) or the Hinduism in Bali.

Pura Tirta Empul, holy spring for Hindu people, near Ubud, Bali

Tongkonan, the typical houses of Tana Toraja, Sulawesi

The official national language is called Bahasa Indonesia, which in our opinion sounds very nice!. Some of the phrases that we learned were “Teremakasi” (thank you) and “Berapa haryanga” (how much is it?). I don’t know how to spell them, so this is just how they sound to us!

Also, it was very funny to us that “toko” means shop or business, since “toco” in Spanish means “to touch”. One of the first days, we saw an advert of a masseur which said: “masseur toko” (the masseur touches) and we couldn’t stop laughing. It was also very funny when we saw a gold store, “toko mas” (I touch more)….

Local woman in a beautiful wild beach near Kuta, Lombok

Tana Toraja traditional patterns in the facades of their tongkonans

During our four weeks trip to Indonesia, we visited the following five islands:
– Sulawesi: 11 – 19.02.2012
– Borneo: 20 – 23.02.2012
– Java: 23 – 27.02.2012
– Bali:28.02- 06.03.2012 and 09 – 11.03.2012
– Lombok: 06 – 09.03.2012

In the next entries of the blog we will describe our adventures in this country of diversity! We hope that you enjoy it!

Rice terraces around the village of Batutumonga, in Tana Toraja, Sulawesi

Ivan and Sonso mimicking Balinese dance at Pura Kehen (Kehen temple) near Ubud, Bali

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Alicia on 07/09/2012 at 2:58 pm

    ¡Impresionantes las brumas al amanecer entre los volcanes de Java!

    Reply

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