Hello my friends! Today we have a wonderful post from my friend Bama. You can find his beautiful pictures and wonderful stories from Southeast Asia on his blog, What an Amazing World. I hope you enjoy this post and make sure to check out his blog!!
Indonesia: Truly A World of Its Own
When you hear or read these words: Southeast Asia, which country does come first in your mind? According to some fellow travelers that I met and also some articles on the internet, I can say that Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam usually come out first in most people’s minds. That is totally understandable because the legendary Indochina overland routes have been traveled by almost everyone who traveled before our time. I even recall someone asked Lonely Planet for completely taking other countries than the ones that I have mentioned earlier (plus Laos) out of the reverred Southeast Asia on a Shoestring guidebook.
However, if you managed to travel as far as Thailand, it means that you will also manage to travel to Indonesia, which is just a short-flight away from Bangkok and Phuket. Indonesia stretches approximately as far as from the United States’ west to east coast. But compared to Thailand and even the tiny Singapore, people’s knowledge about Indonesia is surprisingly low. Yet, islands such as Bali, Borneo and Sumatra are more familiar with many people from all over the world. Thefact is: they are only a few of Indonesia’s more than 13,000 islands (which makes it the world’s largest archipelago). Lying on the crossroad between Asia and Oceania, Indonesia has one of the highest biodiversities in the world. From Orangutans, Sumatran Elephants, Sumatran Tigers, Hornbills, Proboscis Monkeys, Black Gibbons and other Asiatic animals on the western part of the archipelago to Komodo Dragons, Wallabies, Birds of Paradise and other close relatives of animals that are usually found in Australia on the western part of the country. From the world’s largest flower (the stinky Rafflesia arnoldii) to the exotic orchids on the island of New Guinea. Plus, animals and plants which never become part of Asia neither Oceania, thus exhibiting disticnt physiology and appearance which are different from the ones at the two continents. Indonesia is also located at the heart of the world’s coral triangle (which also covers Malaysia, The Philippines, Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, Palau and a few other Pacific nations) with Raja Ampat islands at the center of it. This group of islands is often dubbed as the underwater Amazon due to its rich marine life.
Other than natural beauty and wonders, Indonesia is also a place of intriguing culture and history. If you think you have had enough with Angkor Wat and the temples at Bagan, wait until you see for yourself the temple of Borobudur on the island of Java. It was built long before Angkor Wat and until now it is still the world’s largest Buddhist shrine. Still in the same region in Java, you can also see Prambanan temples which, according to some sources, has inspired the ancient Cambodian kings to build the majestic Angkor Wat.
Wait, that’s not all. Due to its position at the Pacific ring of fire, volcanoes have shaped Indonesia since pre-historic time and still does at the modern day. But if you have to pick only one volcano to climb, I suggest you to go to Mount Bromo at the eastern part of Java. It is not the tallest volcano in the country, but it undoubtedly offers one of the most breathtaking views ever (especially during sunrise).
Do those things sound too good to be true? Well, why don’t you pack your bags and book a flight and go see Indonesia yourself. Then I am looking forward to your stories afterwards. Have a nice day and travel safe!
~All these beautiful pictures were taken by bama! See more of them here on his blog! Thanks to bama for this great post…and thanks everyone for reading!