The world's largest archipelago is Indonesia which is
composed of over 17,000 islands scattered over 5,000
miles of ocean straddling the Southeast Asian equator.
Thare are few places on earth that contain such cultural
diversity and geographical extremes as this vast, deeply
enigmatic country. Indonesia's catalogue of highlights
is further enhanced by the year-round hot climate, and
outstanding value for money.
The islands of the East Indies with their array of
exotic spices first drew flotillas
of English and Dutch ships during the 16th century,
some of Europe's most valuable commodities at the time.
Today, the majority of visitors flock here to visit
the magical island of Bali with its beautiful sandy
beaches, verdant landscapes and tropical climate. For
the more adventurous, exploring beyond Bali reaps rich
rewards. Sumatra offers the orang-utan nature reserve
of Bukhit Lawang, the striking vistas of Lake Toba -
the world's largest volcanic lake - and the world-renowned
surfing destination of Pulau Nias.
At the tip of Java, Jakarta is the vibrant, chaotic
capital of Indonesia, while Yogyakarta presents a more
traditional face and is the starting point for visits
to the enigmatic temple ruins of Borobudur and Paramban
as well as the volcanic bright blue lakes and Hindu
temples of Dieng Plateau.
The islands of Nusa Tenggara are where the richness
of Indonesia's natural environment becomes even more
apparent. Lombok island has beaches to rival the world's
best and in general offers a more laid back and less
touristy experience than Bali; Komodo is the tiny island
that is home to the prehistoric Komodo Dragon, while
Flores has intriguing cultures and the extraordinary
coloured lakes of Kelimutu.
North of Java, the vast jungles of Kalimantan are one
of the least explored areas in the world. Visitors return
enthralled from their encounters with the local people
and spectacularly diverse fauna and flora. Sulawesi
is similarly unexplored, although somewhat more accessible
to visitors, and offers gorgeous beaches perfect for
soaking up the never-ending sunshine.
At some point in your life you have to come here, and
once you do it is likely you will return again and again.
There is quite possibly nowhere more exhilarating on