Indonesia is a beautiful country located on the territory of several thousand islands in Southeast Asia. It plays the role of a natural bridge between Asia and Australia. Beautiful scenery, warm climate and amazing biological diversity have made Indonesia beloved tourist destination for visitors from all around the world. Wild and untouched equatorial jungles contrast with the ultra modern multimillion cities with tall skyscrapers and modern architectural facilities.
Geographic location, boundaries and size of Indonesia. Indonesia is situated on the territory of more than 18,000 islands in Southeast Asia. This is the country in the world with biggest number of island.
Some of the larger and more famous islands of Indonesia are Borneo, Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi, Bali, Komodo, but there are thousands of others which are less popular, with no matter of their size.
It lies between 11° south latitude and 5° north latitude, i.e on both sides of the equator. Occupies an area of 1,919,440 square kilometers, making it the 19th largest country in the world.
Indonesia borders with East Timor, Papua New Guinea and Malaysia. Some of the nearest neighbours of Indonesia are Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand and Australia. The country is surrounded by oceans.
To the northeast lies the Pacific Ocean, to the southwest is the Indian Ocean. Around the islands there are many seas – Celebes Sea, Arafura Sea, Timor Sea, Laut Java (Jawa), Laut Flores, Laut Sawu, Laut Banda, Laut Maluku, Laut Seram and so on.
Climate of Indonesia. The equator crosses Indonesia throughout its length. This is one of the few countries in the world which are located in the equatorial climate zone.
Only the southern part of the territory falls within subequatorial climate zone. The capital Jakarta falls in the southernmost parts of the country and therefore into the subequatorial climate zone.
Located on the island of Java, this vibrant megalopolis has a very hot climate throughout the year. Temperatures range from 29 to 36°C. There is a pronounced rainy season which lasts from November to May.
During the most humid month – January, rainfall can approaches to about 400 mm. Rainy season coincides with summer in the Southern Hemisphere. Minimum night temperatures rarely fall below 24 – 25°C.
Otherwise most of the country falls within the equatorial climate zone. Typical equatorial city in Indonesia is Balikpapan. It is located on the east coast of Borneo (Kalimantan).
Here temperatures are usually between 28 and 30°C. Precipitations also vary weakly. They are much more evenly distributed over the year compared with the capital.
Range from 150 to about 250 – 300 mm. Rainfall appears suddenly and without warning. Humidity is very high and that makes otherwise pleasant temperatures to feel like a much higher.
Although that in the equatorial parts of Indonesia rain almost every day, the sun here is in abundance. Even in the cloudy and rainy days it finds a way to break through the clouds.
Interestingly, here the rains are short and even when it rains, after 20-30 minutes everything is over. Another interesting detail about the local climate is that in Indonesia almost never happens to blow wind.
It is known that the equatorial regions are among the most calm in this respect of the planet.
Nature of Indonesia. This island country is covered in its biggest part by evergreen rainforests. Indeed, local jungles are one of the places in the world with the greatest biodiversity along with the jungles of South America and equatorial Africa.
Only the southernmost subequatorial parts of the country are occupied by dry and rare woods and savannas. In Indonesia there are many volcanoes. This country is a place where continental plates meet.
This causes not only significant volcanic activity, but also strong and frequent earthquakes. Indonesia has beautiful beaches and indented coastline. The landscape of the country is very diverse – ranging from humid coastal lowlands to high mountain ranges.
The highest peak in the country is Puncak Jaya. It is located on the island of New Guinea in eastern Indonesia. It rises to a height of 4884 meters. The peak is very cold and covered with snow throughout the year.
But Indonesia offers not only beautiful forests and mountains. Here you will find the richest diversity of corals in the world. Intensive sunshine and stable temperatures throughout the year are particularly favourable for the development of coral reefs.
The capital Jakarta has a population of nearly 10 million people, making it one of the largest cities in the world. The official religion of Indonesia is Islam, making it the largest Muslim country on the planet.
Besides Islam, here are distributed and other religions, such as a small percentage of Christians, Buddhists, Hindus and so on. Indonesia is diverse not only in religious terms, but also in terms of its ethnic composition.
Here there are hundreds different ethnic groups speaking hundreds of languages. Most common languages are Bahasa Indonesia, which is an official language, English and Dutch. Dutch language is left as a legacy of the Netherlands, under whose authority these lands were for many years.
Economy of Indonesia. Indonesia has a very fast growing economy. This is one of the countries in Asia, which is believed to have the greatest economic potential, although today this island nation still has a long way ahead.
Today Indonesia is a country of contrasts, where the gap between rich and poor is still huge. It belongs to the group of so-called developing countries.
Agriculture is of great importance for Indonesia. Here are grown coffee, tea, tobacco, coconut palms and of course one of the most important crops in Asia – rice.
It is grown on special terraces, which are extremely popular part of the landscape in the country, and even rice fields are the first thing that one can imagine talking about Indonesia.
Plant-growing is much better developed than livestock-breeding. This feature is typical for the biggest part of the tropical regions of the world.
Given that Indonesia is an island country and is located between two oceans is not surprising that the country has very well developed fishing industry. Indonesia is very rich in minerals.
Particularly important are deposits of oil and natural gas. This is one of the most important export commodities of the country.
Important commodity for export is also the rubber that is derived from a particular type of rubber tree. Textiles and tourism are also important sources of incomes for the country.
Natural disasters. Unfortunately this beautiful country often falls victim to the fury of the nature. There are often earthquakes and erupting volcanoes.
One of the most catastrophic disaster, which happened in the modern history happened here.
On December 26, 2004 as a result of a powerful earthquake near by the coast of Indonesia rose a huge tsunami, which caused untold damages and claimed thousands of lives not only in the country, but along the entire coast of Indian Ocean.
The scale of the tragedy was immense, and from the power of the waves suffered even Africa. Another terrifying upheaval is the volcanic eruption of Krakatoa in 1883. We can not miss and floods, which usually bear behind the huge amounts of rainfall during the monsoon season.
Tourism in Indonesia
If you have selected Indonesia for your next trip is good to know that this is really exciting country with many advantages. We could not you list them all, but we present some highlights from the trip to Indonesia.
Bali is the jewel of Indonesia. This is a world famous tourist destination. Its great location is suitable for tourism for families as well as individual tourists who want to get away from everyday stress.
The island is a perfect destination to spend your honeymoon and also for everybody who want to escape of the cold American or European winter. Often the beauty of Bali is associated with that of Hawaii.
The reason are the high mountains, volcanoes, dense tropical forests and gorgeous beaches with fine sand and coconut palms. Bali is home to great culture and traditions, and the locals look like they are always smiling.
Komodo. Komodo is a small island covered with dry forest and savanna areas. It is situated in the south central parts of Indonesia. Although there is a beautiful scenery, the island is known for something else.
Here roams one of the most ferocious predators of Indonesia – Komodo Dragon. This is the largest lizard that lives on our planet today. It reaches a length of 4 meters. It feeds on large mammals, particularly deer.
Although it is not poisonous, the Komodo Dragon’s bite is fatally because in its mouth grow huge numbers of dangerous bacteria and microorganisms. Komodo is a small island whose population live rural way of life and deals with agriculture and livestock breeding.
The locals kept their animals, because sometimes Komodo Dragons attack domestic animals such as goats to eat them. Local residents live mostly in huts.
Build their homes on high wooden props and use ladder to come home. The reason is their fear lest any of the dragons to come inside. There are residents who still bear traces of their meetings with this dangerous reptile!
Borobudur is the most important Buddhist complex in Southeast Asia. It is located near the town of Magelang in the central parts of Java island. It is one of the biggest attractions in this part of the world.
It is part of world heritage by UNESCO. It represents a Buddhist complex with over 500 statues of Buddha. Dates from the ninth century and its location on a small hill makes it even more impressive.
If you want to really immerse yourself in the spirit of Indonesia must surely visit this place. Here you can feel how multifaceted could be Indonesia.
Although this is an Islamic country, you will feel that local culture is different from that in other Muslim countries because it is heavily influenced by Buddhism.
Jakarta. The capital of Indonesia is one of the most lively and dynamic cities, you might imagine. It has an impressive architecture. Here rise numerous skyscrapers and one of them called the Jakarta Tower (Menara Jakarta) with its 558 meters will be among the tallest buildings in the world.
For now is expected to be completed around 2012. Ultramodern skyscrapers are complemented by buildings in traditional Asian style. In Jakarta there is entertainment for everyone.
Here you can visit museums, galleries, restaurants, clubs, cafes and what not. The place is a paradise for lovers of shopping and there is nothing surprising, since Indonesia is one of the fastest developing countries and therefore shopping centers springing up one after another.
Krakatoa. Between the islands of Java and Sumatra is located the island of Krakatoa. It is a popular tourist destination for lovers of volcanoes. In 1883 there occurred one of the most powerful and spectacular volcanic eruptions that humanity remember.
The volcano erupted with a terrifying roar that was heard even in Australia! In atmosphere has been thrown a huge amount of dust and ash. It is believed that volcanic ash has risen to as 70 – 80 km altitude!
Later next to Krakatoa was “born” a new volcano – Anak Krakatoa, which means “child Krakatoa”. The cause of volcanic eruptions are common – here Eurasian meet the Indo-Australian continental plate.
The islands are really spectacular. Volcanic cones emit virtually constant ash and smoke. The banks are made of black rocks or darkest sand that you can imagine.
Tropical vegetation apparently didn’t need a lot of time to cover the islands, so here today one can see coconut palms and other exotic species.
The beaches of Indonesia. Indonesia offers a huge variety of beaches ranging from the bright white to dark brown nuances. The majority of the beaches in Indonesia are brownish.
The reason is the volcanic origin of most of the islands of Indonesia. But there are also beaches which are white as a snow. Some of the most beautiful white beaches in Indonesia are located on the small territory islands Palau Bangka, Gangga and nearby miniature paradise – Lihaga.
Here the sands are fine and bright and close to the shore of the islands there are magnificent coral reefs. This unknown paradise is located north of the island of Sulawesi, which is one of the most popular in Indonesia.
Jungles. Many people come to Indonesia because of its stunning scenery. The country is known as one of the best places in the world for practising of safari. Here you will find unprecedented biodiversity.
Most of the territory of Indonesia is covered with impenetrable rain forests. Here is inhabited by species such as orangutans, monkeys, deer, Asian elephants, birds of paradise, Javanese leopards, Javanese rhinos, tigers and what not.
And the places from which you could choose are so numerous that it could become a serious problem to choose one.
Some of the most popular safari destinations are the islands of Java, Sumatra, Kalimantan and New Guinea. And what about the thousands of other smaller islands with marvellous nature such as Komodo for example?
Indonesian cuisine is considered to be one of the most exotic. Suffice it to say that in this southern country almost every dish is prepared with coconut milk. This gives unusual tropical flavor of each dish whatever meat, vegetable or rice.
Here is the place to say that rice is one of the most common foods here, as in most of the countries in Southeast Asia. It is attended as a supplement to every meal.
Interesting for Europeans is that in Indonesia is something completely normal to combine meat and fruit, as the dish becomes with a pleasant slightly sweet flavor. This is unusual for western cuisine.
For example, in Indonesia the cooked meat can be garnish with apples. The same goes for fish dishes. And do not forget to try the local green tea and coffee. These are traditional crops in Indonesia and here they are much more than a drink.
Prices in Jakarta are low compared with major cities of Europe, America or Australia. In the capital Jakarta everything is much more expensive than in the countryside and yet the cost of living here is similar to that in most countries of Eastern Europe.
Of course there are goods and services that are much more expensive or cheaper, but we talk summarizing.
For example, in Jakarta it is possible to pay 20 euros for a sumptuous dinner for two at the restaurant, which is a good price compared to big cities of Europe and America. Transportation is also at affordable prices including taxis.
When to visit Indonesia? Temperatures in Indonesia are pleasant throughout the year, but the problem is too heavy rains. In most of the year practically rain almost every day.
Rains are usually intense, but short and 30 minutes later the sun shows again. Dry season lasts between June and October, although in this part of the year the weather is also comparatively wet.
The same applies for Bali – the dry season lasts from June to October. Perhaps the biggest advantage of Indonesia is that generally keep out of the path of hurricanes.
However, this does not prevent from sudden tropical storms that bring heavy rains to ruin your plans for spending time outdoors, especially during the rainy season.
What clothes to wear in Indonesia? Prepare in your luggage very light summer clothes. Here is always very warm, so warm clothing is needed only if you plan to climb at high altitude in one of the many mountains.
What will be most necessary is an umbrella or raincoat because of the heavy rains. It is appropriate to note that for some people might be difficult to acclimated here.
This is particularly true for vulnerable people and those who travel by some colder northern countries.