The village of Ubud is the centre of Bali`s considerable art colony and contains the galleries of the most successful painters, including those of artists of foreign extraction who have settled on the island. The town was originally important as a source of medicinal herbs and plants; Ubud gets its name from the Balinese word ubad (medicine)
Did you Know, that Indonesia is the 2nd largest global biodiversity (water, land and air) after Brazil? Many species exist only there. For example, Indonesia is home to the Javan rhinoceros, which are not found anywhere else in the world. Indonesia is second only to Australia in terms of total endemic species, with 26% of its 1,531 species of bird and 39% of its 515 species of mammal being endemic.
Prambanan temple complex, built in honour of the Hindu gods Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu, which includes the tenth-century Temple of Loro Jonggrang is said to be the most perfectly proportioned Hindu temple in Indonesia. Perched on a hill to the west of Yogyakarta is Borobudur, probably the largest Buddhist sanctuary in the world, which contains more than 5km (3 miles) of relief carvings.
There are 6 officials religions in Indonesia: Islam, Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. Although it is not an Islamic state, Indonesia is the world\'s most populous Muslim-majority nation. Did you know that it is forbidden not to have a religion in Indonesia? (Doesn`t matter which one as long as you have one). So do not be suprised!
On the 4.500 species of reef fishes existing in the oceans worldwide, around 3.500 of them have been identified in Indonesia? 25% of the world`s coral reefs is there. This country has the biggest underwater biodiversity in the world! According to the scientists, who have found 52 new species in Indonesia recently, the Bird`s Head peninsula at the western end of New Guinea Island is the epicentre of marine biodiversity.
The oldest kingdom in Indonesia was the Kutai Kingdom, located in what is known as Tenggarong, 39 km from Samarinda, the provincial capital of East Kalimantan. The first Europeans arrived in 1512, Marco Polo was one of the first to visit Indonesia. The country was granted independence in 1949.
With an average 200ft and an outstanding display of marine habitat, Flores is a heaven for divers, snorkelers, photographers and marine biologist. With up to 40 m visibility, the coral reefs of Flores Sea are among the best in the world and beautifully preserved. Sounds tempting?
As it is close to the equator, Indonesia has a tropical climate. Average temperatures vary very little through the year, ranging from about 26 to 30 degrees Celsius. There are two seasons, rainy season starting around November, followed by dry season starting around April. Mountainous areas, particularly in the west coast of Sumatra, West Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and Papua, receive the highest rainfall.
With more than 250.000.000 people, Indonesia is the 4th most populated country in the world. It is more than 5.000 km long.(which is an average lenght for a continent) and there are 316 ethnic groups which speak 670 dialects. Indonesia has the longest coastline in the world, 100.000 km long!
For the Javanese, beautiful hand-painted batiks are not merely pieces of clothes but carry much more significance that symbolises life itself. Different regions have their own unique style; Pekalongan with its Chinese influence design and pastel color; Batik made in Solo and Yogya are traditionally coloured blue-symbolizing earth-, brown symbolizing fire- and white symbolizing water and air.
Sports in Indonesia are generally male-orientated. Badminton and soccer (football) are the two most popular ones. Traditional sports include sepak takraw, and bull racing in Madura. In areas with a history of tribal warfare, mock fighting contests are held, such as, caci in Flores, and pasola in Sumba. Pencak Silat is an Indonesian martial art.
Did you Know, that there are 17.508 islands in Indonesia, what makes it the largest Archipelago in the world? If you could spend only 1 day on each island of Indonesia, you would need 48 years to see all of them? (transportation between islands not counted!). Of that 17.508 islands, only 6.000 have a name, and only 1.000 are inhabited.
A rich history of kingdoms, conquests, trade and colonialism has bestowed an exhilarating mix of Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and indigenous tribal culture on the islands of Indonesia and colourful festivals and ceremonies enliven every season. The largest Buddhist temple in the world is Indonesia`s Borobudur. It even inspired the building of Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
For the treatment of mild complaints and sometimes quite serious ailments, most Javanese and Madurese will swear on the virtues of Jamu, a traditional herbal concoctions. Hundreds of different Jamu remedies have nearly the solution to all kinds of illnesses. It is claimed to have originated in the Mataram Kingdom some 1300 years ago.
The island of Bali has thousands of temples - the exact number has never been counted - ranging from the great `Holy Temple` at Besakih to small village places of worship. Of the many festivals, most are held twice a year and involve splendid processions, dances and daily offerings of food and flowers made to the gods.
Among many other rare animals, Indonesia is home to Komodo dragon (varanus komodoensis), the largest lizard in the world. A komodo may reach up to 3 meters in lenght and weight of 150kgs. These descendents of dinosaurs may lay up to 30 eggs at a time. They are fearsome creatures but in a matter of fact, they usually eat only once per month.
Bali remains to be the most popular destinations in Indonesia. This beautiful place attracts tourists and nature lovers from all over the world due to its scenic beauty. Tourists have plenty to explore out here. Some of the other attractions remain to be the cultural activities of art and dance along with exquisite leatherwork and foot tapping music.
Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia remains to be the 11th largest city in the world and is densely populated. The metropolitan area, Jabodetabek, is the second largest in the world. This city itself has a wide variety of places of interest for tourists that flock over here from all over the world. Jakarta has highest number of shopping malls in the world!
Indonesian cuisine varies by region and is based on Chinese, European, Middle Eastern, and Indian precedents. Rice is the main staple food and is served with side dishes of meat and vegetables. Spices (especially chili), coconut milk, fish and chicken are common ingredients in Indonesian cooking.
The largest flower in the world, Rafflesia Arnoldi, named after Sir Stamford Raffles, is native to Indonesia. It is especially difficult to locate the flower in forests as the buds take many months to develop and the flower lasts for just a few days. Even though it is huge, it doesn`t smell nice like roses or jasmine flowers, for Rafflesia is an insect-eating flower.
There are around 400 volcanoes in Indonesia, and 150 out of them are active, which represents 75% of all active volcano on the planet? (so only 50 for the rest of the world). Indonesia is probably the last country in the world, which has still unexplored territories, and is not completely mapped? (especially around Irian Jaya).