Indonesia consists of five main islands - Java, Sumatera, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Irian Jaya and about 30 small archipelagoes making a total of more than 17,508 islands - stretching 3.200 miles (5.120 km) from east to west, located between 2 continents: Asia and Australia. Indonesia has been divided into 7 tourism development regions each consisting of 2 or more tourist destinations.
Region 1 - Aceh, Nort and West Sumatera, Riau
Visitors will discover Sumateras colorful and illustrious past an unexpected richness of cultures, architecture, arts and festivals. Some areas remained unchanged for centuries. Whether its the people of Aceh or Batak of the north or Nias Island, visitors have a rare chance of observing the local daily life and ancient cultures. It is a land of mountain scenery, volcanoes and waterfalls and the finest sight is the famous Lake Toba with its blue-green water.
Region 2 - Jambi, South Sumatera, Bengkulu
Though even to tourist, South Sumatera has been visited by foreigners for centuries. The Kingdom of Sriwijaya prospered along the banks of the Musi River. Palembang the provincial capital, is well known for its Bidar (canoe races) held every year to celebrate the Independence Day - 17th August. The province of Jambi has long been a melting pot for different ethnic groups. The earliest inhabitants were the "Kubus", who were among the first Malays to migrate to Sumatera. The province of South Sumatera is the home of a large variety of fauna and flora and an exhilarating place for adventurous visitors.
Region 3 - Bandar Lampung, Jakarta, West & Central Java, Yogyakarta
The thing that attracts all year round visitors to Bandar Lampung is the elephant training center (training school) - Way Kambas Natural Reserve. It is the best place to see tigers, elelphants and wild birds. Most people visit the island of Java since there is so much to see and do. Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia, offers a contrast of modern western architecture and traditional culture. A metropolitan city reflecting economic, political, social and industrial development of the nation. Moving west is the enchanting and beautiful land of the Parahiyangan. West Java province offers spectacular panoramas of rugged mountains, sparkling paddy fields and beautiful holiday resorts. One can admire the world renowned Botanical Garden of Bogor, the Pulau Dua Bird Sanctuary, the undisturbed wildlife of Ujung Kulon , unspoiled beaches of Pangandaran and the royal palaces of Cirebon. Bandung, about 180 kms southeast of Jakarta was once known as "The Paris of Java" Central Java is rich in culture and tradition from a powerful Hindu and Buddhist past and more recent, Islamic influences. Borobudur, the biggest and most magnificient monument to Mahayana Buddhism in the world; Prambanan Temple dedicated to Shiva and built by the rulers of Sanjaya Dynasty. One of the provinces greatest Islamic structures is the Grand Mosque of Demak. Surakarta popularly known as Solo is the cradle of Javanese culture. Yogyakarta is one of the supreme cultural centers of Java. Full gamelan orchestras create visions from the past, classical and contemporary Javanese dances.
Region 4 - East Java, Bali, West & East Nusa Tenggara
The province of East Java is efficiently connected to the rest of Java by good roads, regular trains and air services. It has a variety of attractions, ranging from temples to beaches, colorful marine gardens and fantastic wildlife reserves. Mountain scenery includes the crater and legendary sea of sand at Mount Bromo. The island of Madura is famous for its bull races. Bali is said to be the land of god and goddess. The very soul of Bali is rooted in religion and expressed in art forms that have been passionately preserved over the centuries. Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara experienced strong Balinese influences in the past but still retained its unique identity. The people of Lombok - the Sasaks - are predominantly Moslem and have a strong, distinguished tradition as the people of Sumbawa. Soft white sand beaches are typical in Lombok but the island which is famous for its ikat handwoven textiles, has its own exceptional charm. The main attraction of the Komodo Island is without doubt the Komodo Dragon - Varanus Komodoensis who live on carrions of goats, deer and even the carcasses of its own kind. To see the lizards in the day time, baits have to be set in the hinterland where local guides are necessary. Accommodation available for tourist is in simple guest houses in the fishing village. It is advisable to carry food supplies.
Region 5 - East, South, Central and West Kalimantan
Most tourists come to East Kalimantan with one thing in common in their itinerary - a boat trip through the jungle to visit the Dayak people. From Balikpapan as the gateway for East Kalimantan, you commence an adventurous journey along the Mahakam River, leaving the 20th century behind you for a while. South Kalimantan on the other hand, is popular as the centre of Indonesias gemstone trade diamonds, amethysts, sapphires and agates.
Region 6 - South, Southeast, Central and North Sulawesi
A place for discovering something different. One special event that attract visitors to this isolated region is the worlds rare Maleo birds laying eggs between January and July each year. Do not miss a trip to the Torajan communities in South Sulawesi. Here are the famous Torajan tombs, man made caves cut into sheer cliff faces, with eerie effigies on suspended balconies. Head for North Sulawesi with its beautiful coral reefs, white shandy beach and cristal clear water. Explore the magnificient sea gardens at Bunaken Island in Manado.
Region 7 - Maluku and Irian Jaya
Maluku has all the ingredients for a tropical island paradise - the climate, white sandy beaches, sea garden and the hospitality of its people. Ambon was once the centre of the worlds richest spice trade - cloves, cinnamon, pepper, nutmeg. The remnants of Portuguese, Spanish, English and Dutch will make the visitors stay a fascinating experience. Irian Jaya - Indonesias largest and eastermost province is a land of exceptional natural grandeur, with scenic beaches, immense stretches of marshlands, cool grassy meadows and dense forests. Jayapura is the provincial capital of Irian Java, a neat and pleasant city built on the slope of a shill overlooking the bay. Tanjung Ria Beach, known as base G by the Allies during World War II, is a popular holiday resort with water sport facilities. The Asmat people who live along the remote southeast coast around Agats are fame for their artistic woodcarving. The city of Agats has an interesting museum. Asmat crafts received a boost under United Nations supported project to encourage local craftsmen to keep alive their fine art.