Indonesia Travel Information - Intro
Indonesia: The World's Greatest Archipelago

Stretching across three time zones along the Equator, with its 17.000+ islands including the 2nd and 3rd largest in the World, Indonesia is undoubtedly the dream destination for those who love island-hopping through unspoilt tropical hideaways. The diversity among these islands is astonishing. From the lush rainforests of Borneo to the arid landscapes of Timor, from the Hindu-Buddhist influenced culture of Java to the "stone-age" ones in Papua, from luxurious resorts on Bali to atolls where all you find is a few palm trees - this country just about has it all.

Over 700 ethnic groups call Indonesia their home, a number only surpassed by neighbouring Papua New Guinea. While the modern era has left its mark on life throughout the archipelago, plenty of local colour remains. Those interested in local crafts, music or dancing could spend a lifetime trying to see all the local varieties. But even exotic culture apart, one of your lasting impressions of the country is likely to be the openness and friendliness of its people. Should architecture be your thing, you will find real marvels ranging from the ornately carved, boat-shaped houses of the Batak and the Torajans through the magnificent Hindu and Buddhit monuments of Java and Bali to typically Malay-style Islamic places of worship and stately residences of the European colonialists. When it comes to flora and fauna, Indonesia is similarly rich. These islands form the bridge between Asia and Australia, with wildlife from tigers and elephants to kangaroos and birds of paradise all prersent, along with such local oddities as the Komodo dragon. And there is more underwater, too. Indonesia forms part of the so-called Coral Triangle, the global centre of marine biodiversity, with the Raja Ampat Islands of Papua having been ranked as the centre of it all. All this overlooked by very the World's highest number of active volcanoes, some 145 of them, as well as the highest mountains anywhere in the tropics between the Himalays and the Andes.

Best of all, while facilities are top class in a few selected spots, much of the archipelago remains way off the beaten track, providing scope for all approaches to travel, from short sun-sea-sand holidays to months or years of exploration. Indeed, those who fall in love with the country and wish to experience all it has to offer will find that it is easy to keep coming back and spend years finding ever more of its hidden gems.

I have been doing just that - having spent over 10 years living and travelling in Indonesia since I first landed in Sumatra in 1994. With my main interest being wildlife and ethnic cultures, I found myself spending longest in the relatively little-visited regions of Maluku, Kalimantan and Papua , though I did try and give justice to better-known Java, Bali and Sumatra, too.

In my pages here I am trying to give a taste of what's on offer for the traveller in this vast country of "Land & Water" as its inhabitants call it. Note that as my the main focus of my website is East Indonesia, it is beyond the scope of it to offer exhaustive information on the western and central regions of the country. Still, I hope you will find my pages on the islands from Sumatra to Sulawesi interesting - I tried to mention some less famous, but not less interesting spots along with those "must-sees".