Intro: Indonesia

Indonesia - a country consisting of 17,000 islands which makes it the biggest archipel of the world. And by the way, also the biggest Islamic country in the world, although it's not officially an Islamic state. A beautiful country indeed - and I am not saying that because my roots are Indonesian (my father is 100% Indonesian).

Indonesia has 5 major islands - Java, Sumatra, Sulawesi, Kalimantan and Irian Jaya. Kalimantan is shared with Malayasia (Sabah and Sarawak) and Brunei and is called Borneo as a whole. Irian Jaya is shared with Papua New Guinea. Each of these islands is very different. Java is the most exploited - from capital Jakarta to the highlands of Bogor, from the temples of Borobudur and Prambanan to the vulcanos of Bromo or the Dieng Plateau. Sumatra is a bit wilder, with Gunung Leuser NP, Lake Toba and Bukittingi as highlights. Kalimantan is even wilder - huge tropical forest invite for exploring. Which is even more so the case on Irian Jaya. Sulawesi is very interesting for its Toraja-culture and its scuba diving which is said to be among the best in the world.

But even the smaller islands are very interesting and very different from each other. Bali of course is the most famous, especially for its beaches. Lombok (next door) is also getting more and more known as a get-away destination, but as a Christian island (whereas Bali is primarily Hindu) totally different than its neighbours. Flores, Sumba, Sumbawa follow and are all very different and interesting. And on the islands of Komodo and Rinca the last real dragons of the world can be found: the 3 meter long Komodo monitor lizard.

Yes, Indonesia is beautiful and interesting. The food is marvellous and the people are friendly. Make a pick among the 17,000 islands and go see for yourself!

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