The Republic of Indonesia is an archipelago made up of thousands of islands, 13,000 to be precise, stretching 3000 miles from Asia to the Pacific with a population of 175 million divided into 34 provinces, and has land borders with Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and East Timor. It lies around the equator, between the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
The nation’s capital is Jakarta. Since the seventh century, Indonesia has been an important trade region, especially trading with China and India. Interaction with foreign powers meant that various cultural and religious practices were adopted. Hindu and Buddhist regions became established, later challenged by Muslim traders bringing Islam and European missionaries bringing Christianity.
Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim nation as well as a large communities of Hindus, Animists and Christians. It is one of the most culturally diverse regions in the world, with 300 ethnic groups there are as many languages as there are days in the year.
Indonesia attracts visitors for numerous different reasons; some wish to trek the world’s second-largest tropical rainforest, others want to explore the cultural hub of the country in Jakarta, others want to explore the beautiful beaches and luxury resorts in Bali.
Bali is the most famous and popular of the Indonesian islands. Many tourists are content to never venture further, but those who do discover an ecology and wildlife which stuns even the most seasoned traveller. Its a magical land of unexplored rain forests, endless beaches, misty volcanoes and a range of wildlife and dazzling species.