Talking to people recently about travel and reading the Indonesia Handbook has made me realize I live in an amazing country. Indonesia is blessed with natural wonders just waiting to be explored. Indonesia is an archipelago, 5,200 kms in length and thus includes areas of sea and ocean in the total area of the country (around 5,000,000 km sq). The local saying is Tanah Air Kita (Our Land and Water). A total of 17,000 islands and 180 ethnic groups are under one flag. For someone with time to spare who can do without some creature comforts, the possibilities are endless. Most islands get very little tourism and the old cultures persist.
The introduction to Indonesia Handbook says: A country of incredible and diverse beauty, Indonesia sprawls across one-eight of the globe between Malaysia and Australia, encompassing mind-stupefying extremes: 5,000 meter-high snowcapped mountains of Irian Jaya, sweltering lowland swamps of eastern Sumatra, open eucalyptus savannahs of Timor, lush rainforests of West Java, with lava-spewing volcanoes the whole length. The most complex single nation on Earth, each of Indonesias 992 inhabited islands has customs, native dress, architecture, dialects, and geography all its own. Its wayang puppets, unearthly gamelan music, exquisite textiles, matchless and varied cuisines, hundreds of tribes, ancient ruins and historical sites, nature reserves, and friendly people make Indonesia one of Asias best travel discoveries.
I am eager to utilize the ferry system, my motorbike and the local airports in exploring and reporting more of Indonesia.