Top tip: Take no food to the monkey temples
Indonesia is a long chain of tropical islands. It is comprised of six main islands, namely Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi, Bali, Kalimantan (part of the island of Borneo) and Irian Jaya (the western half of New Guinea) and 30 smaller archipelagos – in total 13,677 islands.
Draped over the equator, Indonesia has a tropical climate varying from area to area. The eastern monsoon brings the driest weather (June to September), while the western monsoon brings the main rains (December to March). Rainstorms occur all year, higher regions are cooler. It can get very cold indeed in the mountains.
Facts and Figures
|Area||1,922,570 sq km (742,308 sq miles).|
|Population||237,556,363 (2010 estimate).|
|Capital||Jakarta (Java)- population 9,580,000 (2010).|
|Language||Bahasa Indonesia is the official national language. It is similar to Malay and written in the Roman alphabet. In addition there are 250 recognised languages spoken by as many distinct ethnic groups. Many local languages are further sub-divided by special forms of address depending on social status, and all languages are spoken in a variety of local dialects. English is the most widely used foreign language for business and tourism purpose, and many people in the more remote areas have an average command of English. The older generation still tend to speak Dutch as a second language.|
|Religion||There is a Muslim majority of approximately 90 per cent, with Christian, Hindu (mainly in Bali) and Buddhist minorities. Animist beliefs are held in remote|
|Time||Banga, Billiton, Java, West & Middle Kalimantan, Madura and Sumatra: GMT + 7. Bali, Flores, South & East Kalimantan, Lombok, Sulawesi, Sumba, Sumbawa and Timor: GMT + 8. Aru, Irian, Jaya, Kai, Moluccas and Tanimbar: GMT+ 9.|
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