Indonesia is situated in the heart of the bustling Southeast Asia – sharing borders with Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Philippines, East Timor and Papua New Guinea. It is also located in the crossroad of Asia and Australia, creating a dynamic and diverse biodiversity. Furthermore, the archipelago stretches along the equator therefore visitors can expect sun all year round.
Sprawled over 5 million square kilometers, Indonesia consists of 84 percent water and only 16 percent land. Its five main islands –Java, Sumatra, Borneo, Sulawesi, and Papua, are only a select few among over 17,000 other islands in the territory; all bearing their own unique geological and cultural quirks. The 81,000 km coastline offers many stunning beaches with various sand colors and coral reefs.
Historically, Indonesia has a vibrant evolution of its culture. In the prehistoric era, many of the cultural traditions centered on the locals’ animistic beliefs (the belief in supernatural beings and forces) until the Hindu influences arrived in the first century. Over the centuries, it also acquired cultural influences from China, the Middle East, Portugal, and the Netherlands.
Indonesia is also multi culture nation. With over 300 ethnic groups, each community has its own unique cultural values and characteristic that may be a stark contrast from one another. You may find people who are very soft spoken in Central Java, and others with a lively manner of speaking the further you go east. From Bali where the Hindu culture integrates into every aspect of the locals’ lives, to the Aceh region which is dubbed the “Porch of Mecca” due to the strong Muslim influences. These beautiful differences make up for a greater sense of what Indonesia truly is; unity in diversity.
Different culture brings different cuisines to the table. Although each region takes pride in its own signature dish, ultimately Indonesia is renowned for its flavorful dishes. Our world-famous rendang for example, is a dish must-tried and for the culinary explorers, keep an eye out for the chili-based sauce known as sambal – it is a worth-the-trip delicacy treasured by the locals and unforgettable by many. Indonesian cuisine consists of many layers of herb and spices, as well as the combination of sweet, savory and spicy. Those are what make the food absolutely delectable.
Indonesian rich culture and its natural beauty have attracted many visitors to have a taste of Indonesian wonderful experience. And for over the past few decades, tourism has become a vital part of Indonesia’s economy. The nation has so much to offer in attractions that showcase its rich and diverse culture, through grand stone temples, historical museums, and art markets that offer the locals’ creative pieces for purchase.
In addition to a vibrant cultural scene, Indonesia also takes great pride in its beautiful nature. It ranges from sprawling rice fields, lush rainforests, grand mountains, and streams of water that leads to the sea.
The sea itself holds such a colorful story of its own. Some shores are lined with crystal white sand, some have black volcanic sand, and even pink sand in Lombok. Just off of the shores, the waters also provide a wide range of recreational activities, such as surfing, paddle-boarding, and banana boat riding.
Indonesia has increasingly become a popular destination for cruise ships to call. With the sun shining year-round and low possibility of storm, visitors can experience its pristine beauty and rich culture at any time of the year. It has been noted that 360 calls and over 266,000 passengers were recorded by the cruise traffic in Indonesia in 2016. Since then, the numbers have grown larger in simultaneous manner as new destinations opening up and some de-regulations on international cruise visiting Indonesia.
Given the vast nature of our waters, sailing on cruise ship is one of the best ways to explore the archipelago’s extraordinary beauty. Visitors can enjoy trips to locations less accessible by road. Extending over 5,000 km from east to west, and over 1,700 km north to south, with 17,000 more islands, Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world. It is so spread out, it has several micro climates which allows almost perfect sailing weather at whichever point in the country and at whenever time of the year. It also offers a unique experience in being among the wildlife on land and sea. Capture the true spirit of Indonesia the authentic way by voyaging through our islands as classical sailors do.
As exciting things are above the water, they are just as wonderful underneath. Our seas are home to some of the most diverse marine biodiversity on earth. It contains at least 600 species of corals which comprise 75% of the world coral species, more than 3000 species of fish, 6 of the world’s 7 species of marine turtles, more seagrass and mangrove species than anywhere else in the world. Dive in to witness the life of colorful, beautiful, and unusual little fish near coral reefs, or even to channel your inner daredevil by swimming with the sharks.