Known as the green Emerald belt across the equator, the Indonesian archipelago comprises 13,466 islands, including five major islands and thousands of smaller islands. The country is administratively divided into 33 provinces stretching from Sabang, at the northern tip of Sumatra island to Merauke, on the southeastern tip of Papua. Wherever you go, you’ll be sure find the people of Indonesia welcoming their guests with a beaming smile.
Indonesia’s population of more than 237 million people ( statistics in 2010 ) consists of around 350 ethnic groups living throughout the archipelago, each living its own distinct language and dialect. The unifying Indonesian language, Bahasa Indonesia, originates from the Malay language that has been improved and enriched since the national independence.
The majority of the population embraces Islam, while the Hindu religion is predominant in Bali. Roman Catholic protestant religions are embraced by the majority in places such as the Minahasa in North Sulawesi , the Toraja highlands in South Sulawesi, and those in East Nusa Tenggara Island and in large parts of Papua, the Batak highlands as well as Nias island in North Sumatra.
The freedom of embracing religion is fully guaranteed by the government as defined in First Principle of the State Philosophy ” Pancasila” which upholds a ” Belief in One Supreme God”.
Many ethnic groups throughout Indonesia live side by side peacefully, and Indonesia arts and culture display foreign influences, such as Chinese phoenix and dragon design, Arabic calligraphy and Elephant from India in several batik design.
Indonesia enjoys two seasons ,the dry season relatively spanning from May to September, and the rainy seasons from October to April. The temperature varies from one region to another, but in ranges from 20 degrees to 35 degrees with humidity ranging from 53 -98 %. It’s advisable to wear light and the breezy clothing when visiting Indonesia.
Rice is staple food for the majority of Indonesians. A vast range of culinary variety can be found throughout the archipelago, each represents its own culture and taste. Soto ,the popular Indonesian soup, for example, can be found in more than a dozen styles from Sumatera to Java and Kalimantan, and even Sulawesi, which vary greatly from one place to another. Clear and mild in Central Java as sampled by Soto Kudus, it is spicy and thick in Jakarta when we taste Soto Betawi, rich in spices in Sulawesi as in their Coto Makassar. The same applies to sate, the favorite barbeque of all time, may be encountered in different presentations and palates. One similarity witnessed throughout the country in terms of food is the prevalence of Sambal, a chili sauce that comes in different colors and tastes to accompany most Indonesian meals.
Travelers entering Indonesia are required to have passport valid for at least six months as the date of arrival and a round trip ticket.
Indonesia is a unique marine biodiversity that are as mind – boggling as its cultural, traditional and ethnic diversity. situated on what experts call the Wallacea region, Indonesia has 28.000 flora species ranging from tiny rare orchids to the giant Rafflesia flower, and 3500 species of animals, including the endangered giant Komodo Lizard, the horned Javan Rhinoceros and the endangered Sumatrans tigers.
The are 500 volcanoes to climb, of which more than a hundred of them are still active, week – long challenging trekking escapes in the forests, offering one of the best surfing and diving location in the world, world – class competition sites for rafting and unique paragliding spots. Indonesia is the best way to enjoy unique wonders of nature and culture from easily accessed sites of Bali and Java to the more remote forests of Sumatra, Borneo, Sulawesi and Eastern Indonesia. Visitors would be also be pleasantly surprised that by choosing a responsible ecotourism product, you will also be able to contribute to the conservation of our natural and cultural heritage, and the well – being of your host communities.
All around the archipelago, a growing number of business, NGO’s, community groups and local government units work together to make ecotourism a reality. in Halimun National Park ( West Java ), in Tangkahan near Gunung Leuser National Park ( North Sumatra ),around mount Rinjani in Lombok, in the Torajaland of South Sulawesi, along the beaches and rice fields of Bali, in the marine park of Komodo, and in the rainforest of Borneo. more and more communities are getting the economic benefits of ecotourism. With more and more income from eco tourists, people once engaged in illegal logging are now becoming the gatekeeper of the forest.
Source: Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy Republic of Indonesia