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The best guide to Indonesia, completely updated
Sultans' palaces, temples and mosques, ancient ruins
Island-hopping to beaches and dive sites, and jungle treks to volcanoes and villages
Night bazaars and day markets -- sources for stone and wood carvings, filigree jewelry, and silk, batik, and ikat
Shadow-puppet plays, gamelan orchestras, and royal dance dramas
Where to stay and eat, no matter what your budget
Luxury high-rises, genteel garden cottages, graceful beach bungalows on stilts, local losmen and longhouses
Elegant urban terraces, gracious Western bistros, Chinese restoran, and side-street warungs and rumah makan
Fresh, thorough, practical -- off and on the beaten path
Costs, hours, descriptions, and tips by the thousands
All reviews based on visits by our savvy correspondents
18 pages of maps, vacation itineraries, and more
Important contacts, smart travel tips - Pleasures & Pastimes - Fodor's Choice - Comprehensive index
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Fodor's Southeast Asia
The sheer size of Indonesia is mind-boggling. This world's fourth most populous country covers more than 17,000 islands (over one-third of them uninhabited) that stretch for more than 5,161 km (3,200 mi) from the Pacific to the Indian Ocean. From north to south, the islands form a 1,774-km-long (1,100-mi-long) bridge -- the largest archipelago in the world -- between Asia and Australia. If the country were created only of land, it would span the distance from New York to Los Angeles and have the depth of a line from Seattle to San Francisco, with a land mass nearly equal to that of Australia. However, nearly three-quarters of its area is water, including the Indian Ocean, the South China Sea, and the Pacific. On the nation's bicolored flag: the stripe of red on top symbolizes land and the white base represents water in a clever play on its nickname "Tanah (land) Air (water)."
Java is the archipelago's economic and political core, and it's also the most crowded island; 14 million people live in the capital of Jakarta alone. Yet this is still a land of great natural power, with more than two dozen active volcanoes -- including the infamous Krakatau -- and 15 peaks that rise above 1,860 ft. The Great Britain-size isle is also a natural haven, with nearly two dozen natural parks and reserves. Between these are found clusters of five main cultural groups: the Islamic Sundanese and the reclusive Badui of west Java, the traditional Javanese of the central areas, the Tenggerese of the east, and the Madurese of Madura Island.
Bali is the country's most popular getaway, just a pint-size nub of land 140 km by 80 km (87 mi by 50 mi) in size. Its distinction is that it is the only Hindu island in an overwhelmingly Islamic country, yet the religions peacefully coexist. The dominant natural force in Bali is Gunung Agung, the "mother mountain," which the Balinese worship as the abode of the gods. Temples are built facing the volcano, and rituals are regularly performed in its honor.
Of the more than 500 islands trickling eastward from Bali in the Nusa Tenggara archipelago, the main stepping stones are Lombok, Sumbawa, Komodo, and Flores. Lombok, the lush, mountainous home of the majestic Gunung Rinjani volcano, has in fact been deemed "little Bali"; in essence, the Island of the Gods plus Muslim Sasak cultures minus the tourists. Sumbawa could well be called "little Java" for its scenic coastlines, open forests, and small Islamic towns. Komodo, of course, is the infamous center for dragon-spotting, and Flores is quickly gathering fame for its fabulous dive sites.
Sulawesi is one of the world's most uniquely shaped islands; its four arms are bits of Australia, Antarctica, Borneo, and New Guinea that smashed together over the eons. As these islands slowly came together, they created a haven for some of the world's most unusual species, such as the anoa "dwarf buffalo," the babirus "pig deer," and the black Celebes macaque. The island is also a shelter for unusual cultures, from the Bajau and Bugis sea gypsies in the south to the Christian Minihasans in the north. Perhaps the best-known and most intriguing culture here, though, is that of the Tanatoraja, where highland villages in the southwest peninsula are still the site of elaborate funeral celebrations, cliffside graves, and life-size effigies of the dead.
Sumatra, the world's sixth-largest island, has more than 100 volcanoes that stretch 2,000 km (1,240 mi) north to south. Over 15 are currently active, including Gunung Leuser near Medan and Gunung Marapi near Jambi. The island also has some very large tracts of pristine rain forest, and much of its southern swamps have yet to be explored. The westernmost point in the archipelago is here, at Pulau Weh at the tip of the northern province of Aceh, where Arabic traders originally landed in the 13th century. Sumatra also encompasses Nias Island and the Mentawais in the Indian Ocean, where primitive cultures still exist, and the Riau Archipelago in the Melaka Strait, home to seafaring peoples. Near Medan is 1,797-square-km (1,114-square-mi) Lake Toba, the largest lake in Southeast Asia, where the Christian Batak culture thrives. The Bukittinggi area just to the west is the home of the Matriarchal Minangkabau tribe.
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Descrizione libro Fodor's 1999-05-25, 1999. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. The pages of this book are clean and unmarked. There may be some shelf wear. Codice libro della libreria 109993
Descrizione libro Fodor's, 1999. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Never used!. Codice libro della libreria P110679002944
Descrizione libro Fodor's, 1999. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0679002944