Indonesia is a country of islands… more than 17,000 islands that encompass a world of cultures, pristine islands, unique and rare wildlife, and adventure activities from exploring cave systems to spectacular diving.
With 238 million people in 33 provinces, this is the world’s fourth most populous country. It is also home to the world’s third largest island, Borneo, which itself still conjures up images of explorers and wild places, headhunters and pirates. The Indonesian archipelago has been an important trade region since the seventh century. Many nations have influenced these islands as traders, adventurers and others arrived from China, India and Europe, bringing with them Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity. Dutch colonialism held sway for more than 350 years before Indonesia gained its independence after World War II.
While Indonesia has hundreds of distinct ethnic and linguistic groups throughout its many islands, it has established a collective identity that comes from having a national language that still allows for ethnic diversity, and religious pluralism that functions within a majority Muslim population. Bali and Lombok are two of the country’s most famous islands, with lively culture, tranquil mountains, traditional villages and stunning beaches. Indonesia has vast areas of wilderness that support the world’s second highest level of biodiversity. Its flora and fauna are a mix of Asian and Australasian species. The islands of the Sunda Shelf (Sumatra, Java, Borneo and Bali) were once part of the Asian mainland, and have a wealth of Asian fauna. Large species such as the tiger, rhinoceros, elephant and leopard were once abundant as far east as Bali. The islands’ most celebrated species is the highly endangered orangutan, currently found only in the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra.
Indonesia still beckons the adventurous soul to dive in its crystal clear waters, to discover life in the jungle treetops, and to savor whitewater rafting and cave exploring.
Indonesia Including Borneo & Malaysia Custom Tour Varied Days Navigator Series Interest(s): Adventure Travel
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As we drive out of Penang, we stop at the Snake Temple, constructed in 1875. It honors a Buddhist monk, Chor Soo Kong, who was said to have great healing powers and he sheltered snakes. Legends claim that when the temple was completed, snakes entered and never left. We walked passed a large, gold-colored incense burner, thin smoke from newly lit incense sticks carried the familiar heavy scent on the air. We removed our shoes before entering. Branches fashioned into the shape of trees and planted in tall vases that look like umbrella stands, are festooned with snakes coiled around and on top of each other. All alive but languid. The green, black and yellow snakes, we’re told, are pit vipers. Very poisonous, they warn. In the Main Prayer Hall, smoke from the incense fills the space that some people claim paralyzes the snakes. In a bowl are eggs – food for them. It’s said that the snakes eat at night and have never once bitten a person. Worshipers call the snakes officers of the deity and regard them as both holy and harmless. As we leave the temple, I think about my own concept of holy.
Indonesia’s Forests, Beaches and Traditional Cultures 16 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Romantic Getaways, Safari Tours, Adventure Travel
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Indonesia's Forests, Beaches and Traditional Cultures explores the world of orangutans and allows you to spend some time in the company of these extraordinary animals. Discover the rich cultural tapestry and important historic Hindu temples of Bali and Ubud. Venture out on a thrilling helicopter exploration over villages, deep river valleys, beautiful picturesque rice fields and the volcanic Kintamani Caldera. This is a spectacular Indonesian experience.
Indonesia in Depth 22 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Adventure Travel
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Explore Indonesia, a country of islands… more than 17,000 islands that encompass a world of cultures, pristine islands, unique and rare wildlife, and adventure activities from exploring cave systems to spectacular diving.
Custom Indonesia Tour Varied Days Navigator Series Interest(s): Adventure Travel
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Discover this extraordinary nation of islands, mist-shrouded mountains, amazing wildlife and vibrant cultures. Bali and Lombok are two of the country’s most famous islands, with lively culture, tranquil mountains, traditional villages and stunning beaches but Indonesia also has vast areas of wilderness that support the world’s second highest level of biodiversity.