Indonesia is incredibly vast and diverse, an equatorial archipelago of 17,506 islands covering more than 736,000 square miles, inhabited by nearly 240 million people speaking over 300 languages.
Indonesia's earliest ancestors came upon the island of Java 1.5 million years ago. Through the ages they took to the sea to explore and settle in hundreds of distinct cultures linked by well traveled ocean paths. Over many millennia, these seafarers would venture farther -- to India, China, and the Pacific Islands, exchanging different ways of life with countless settlements, sultanates, and kingdoms of the Spice Islands. Once a colony and now a republic, Indonesia today displays the many layers of this grand heritage in customs and traditions, commerce and politics, flora and fauna, music and the arts.
Ancient shrines and splendid mosques reveal centuries of spiritual history. Hand-woven silk, hand-printed batik, and hand-carved wood are elevated to high art by indigenous crafters. The red-haired Orangutan, prehistoric Komodo Dragon, and vibrant Bird of Paradise represent the infinite variety of creatures that stretch the definition of exotic wildlife. Dense rainforests, raging rivers, volcanic peaks, and undersea caverns abound with life extraordinary and unimaginable.
From the luxurious resorts of Bali, to the steamy jungles of Kalimantan, to the mysterious crater lakes of Flores, to the tribal villages of Irian Jaya, Indonesia is an enigma, an adventure, an all absorbing journey of discovery.
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Helpful information for traveling in Bali:
General facts about Indonesia - World Factbook
Travel facts about Bali - wikitravel
TripAdvisor reviews of Bali