As the month of August nearly comes to a close, we seize this opportunity to fill you in on some interesting and probably lesser known facts about Indonesia, our Destination of the Month for August.
The sheer size of the country is impressive: Indonesia is huge. To fly from North Sumatra in the east to West Papua in the west takes, surprisingly, 12 hours! The country’s total landmass size covers 1,919,440 km2, which is in fact 8 times the size of the UK.
Back in 1664, when Indonesia was a colony of the Netherlands, the Director General of New Netherland Pieter Stuyvesant made arguably the most famous real estate deal in history. He traded the rights of a little island called ‘New Amsterdam’ for the even smaller island of ‘Run’ in the Banda Sea with the British. New Amsterdam’s name was changed to New York and the rest is history… So, if it hadn’t been for the tiny Indonesian spice island of Run, New York might have remained a Dutch colony.
It’s the biggest archipelago in the world and encompasses 18,000 islands
Being at the heart of the Coral Triangle indicates the marine life in Indonesia is incredible. You may know that the Coral Triangle is a region in the South Pacific, which boasts nearly 600 different species of coral. It also nurtures six out of the world’s seven marine turtle species and more than 2000 species of reef fish.
Culturally, there are over 300 ethnic groups spread out over Indonesia. Each ethnic group has its own customs and traditions. While you’re in Indonesia, interact with the locals; they will awe you with their traditional dances and performances.
Indonesia features 127 active volcanoes, both on land and underwater. Volcanic activity in the form of bubbling hot water coming out of the seabed and the presence of black sand are a few of Indonesia’s unique features. They add an extra dimension to the already fantastic diving. Hot water bubbles up through the black sand and you can dive to volcanic underwater craters.
– We have handpicked a range of 7 brand new Indonesian itineraries to offer you, starting in 2022. They vary in area and length, but they all venture beyond the well-known areas of Raja Ampat and Komodo. Diving highlights include: The Spice Islands, Ambon, Lembeh, Banda Island, Halmahera and the Southern Forgotten Islands. If you fancy diving off the beaten track and enjoy a bit of adventure; these itineraries have your name written all over them.
Run Island © Hans J – Flickr
Traditional dancers © luckykirschtein