Top Ten Indonesian Attractions

Top Ten Indonesian Attractions

       Indonesia is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania, which is comprised of 13,466 islands and 33 provinces. With over 238 million people, it is the world’s 4th most populous country, and has the world’s largest population of Muslims. Indonesia is a republic, with an elected legislature and president. The nation’s capital city is Jakarta. The country shares land borders with Papua New Guinea, East Timor, and Malaysia. Indonesia is a founding member of ASEAN and a member of the G-20 major economies. The Indonesian economy is the world’s 18th largest economy by nominal GDP and 15th largest by purchasing power parity. The Indonesian archipelago has become an important trade region since at least the 7th century, when Srivijaya and then later Majapahit traded with China and India. Local rulers gradually absorbed foreign cultural, religious and political models from the early centuries AD, and Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms flourished. Indonesian history has been influenced by foreign powers drawn to its natural resources. Muslim traders brought Islam, and European powers brought Christianity and fought one another to monopolize trade in the Spice Islands of Maluku during the Age of Discovery. Following three and a half centuries of Dutch colonialism, Indonesia secured its independence after WWII. Indonesia’s history has since been turbulent, with challenges posed by natural disasters, corruption, separatism, a democratization process, and periods of rapid economic change. Across its many islands, Indonesia consists of distinct ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups. The Javanese are the largest, and the politically dominant, ethnic group. Indonesia has developed a shared identity defined by a national language, ethnic diversity, religious pluralism within a majority Muslim population, and a history of colonialism including rebellion against it. Indonesia’s national motto, “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika” (“Unity in Diversity” literally, “many, yet one”), articulates the diversity that shapes the country. Despite its large population and densely populated regions, Indonesia has vast areas of wilderness that support the world’s 2nd highest level of biodiversity. The country is richly endowed with natural resources, yet poverty remains widespread in contemporary Indonesia.

  1. Prambanan Temple Compounds

    Prambanan is a 9th century Hindu temple compound in Central Java dedicated to the Trimurti, the expression of God as the Creator (Brahma), the Sustainer (Vishnu) and the Destroyer (Shiva). The temple compound is located approximately 18 km east of Yogyakarta city on the boundary between Yogyakarta and Central Java province. The temple is the largest Hindu temple in Indonesia, and one of the largest in Southeast Asia. The temple was built in 850 AD, and is composed of 8 main shrines and 250 surrounding smaller ones. Nearly all the walls of the temple are covered in exquisite bas relief carvings, which narrate stories of Vishnu’s incarnations, adventures of Hanuman the Monkey King, the Ramayana epic and other legends.
    Links: Temples, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prambanan,
  2. Borobudur Temple Compounds (Borobudur Temple, Mendut Temple and Pawon Temple)

    Borobudur is a 9th century Mahayana Buddhist monument in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. The monument comprises six square platforms topped by three circular platforms and is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. A main dome, located at the center of the top platform, is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues seated inside perforated stupa. The monument is both a shrine to the Lord Buddha and a place for Buddhist pilgrimage. The journey for pilgrims begins at the base of the monument and follows a path circumambulating the monument while ascending to the top through the three levels of Buddhist cosmology, namely Kāmadhātu (the world of desire), Rupadhatu (the world of forms) and Arupadhatu (the world of formlessness). During the journey the monument guides the pilgrims through a system of stairways and corridors with 1,460 narrative relief panels on the wall and the balustrades. Evidence suggests Borobudur was abandoned following the 14th century decline of Buddhist and Hindu kingdoms in Java and the Javanese conversion to Islam. Worldwide knowledge of its existence was sparked in 1814 by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the then British ruler of Java, who was advised of its location by native Indonesians. Borobudur has since been preserved through several restorations. Borobudur is still used for pilgrimage; once a year Buddhists in Indonesia celebrate Vesak at the monument and Borobudur is Indonesia’s single most visited tourist attraction.
    Links: Pyramids, Top Ten Asian Pyramids, Sculptures, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borobudur, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mendut, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pawon,
  3. Komodo National Park

    The Komodo National Park is a national park in Indonesia located within the Lesser Sunda Islands in the border region between the provinces of East Nusa Tenggara and West Nusa Tenggara. The park includes the three larger islands Komodo, Padar and Rincah, and 26 smaller ones, with a total area of 1,733 km² (603 km² of it land). The national park was founded in 1980 in order to protect the Komodo dragon, the world’s largest lizard. Later it was dedicated to protecting other species.
    Links: National Parks, Top Ten Squids/Octopuses, Top Ten Lizards, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Komodo_National_Park,
  4. Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra

    The Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra comprises three Indonesian national parks on the island of Sumatra: Gunung Leuser National Park, Kerinci Seblat National Park and the Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park.
    Links: National Parks, Top Ten Asian National Parks, Top 100 PlantsTop 100 Flowers,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropical_Rainforest_Heritage_of_Sumatrahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunung_Leuser_National_Parkhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerinci_Seblat_National_Parkhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bukit_Barisan_Selatan_National_Park,
  5. Sundarbans
    110328A woman rows through a dense canal to fish in the Sundarbans forest.7459
    The Sundarbans is the largest single block of tidal halophytic mangrove forest in the world. More than two-third of the Sundarbans is in Bangladesh and the remainder is in West Bengal, India. The Sundarbans National Park is a National Park, Tiger Reserve, and a Biosphere Reserve located in the Sundarbans delta in the Indian state of West Bengal. Sundarbans South, East and West are three protected forests in Bangladesh. This region is densely covered by mangrove forests, and is one of the largest reserves for the Bengal tiger.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sundarbans,
  6. Indonesia Museum

    The Indonesia Museum is an anthropology and ethnological museum located in Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII), Jakarta, Indonesia. The museum concentrated on arts and cultures of various ethnic groups that inhabit Indonesian archipelago and formed the modern nation of Indonesia. The museum, a richly decorated building in Balinese architecture, houses traditional and contemporary arts, crafts and traditional costumes from the different regions of the nation.
    Links: Museums and Galleries, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indonesia_Museum,
  7. Ujung Kulon National Park

    Ujung Kulon National Park is located at the western-most tip of Java, Banten, Indonesia. It includes the volcanic island group of Krakatoa and other islands including Panaitan, Handeuleum and Peucang on the Sunda Strait.
    Links: National Parks, Top Ten Volcanoeshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ujung_Kulon_National_Park,
  8. Sangiran Early Man Site

    Sangiran is an archaeological excavation site on the island of Java in Indonesia. The area comprises about 48 km² and is located in Central Java, about 15 kilometers north of Surakarta in the Solo River valley. In 1934 the anthropologist Gustav Heinrich Ralph von Koenigswald started to examine the area. During excavations in the next years fossils of some of the first known human ancestors, Pithecanthropus erectus (“Java Man,” now reclassified as part of the species Homo erectus), were found here. About 60 more human fossils, among them the enigmatic “Meganthropus,” have since been found here. In addition, there are considerable numbers of remains of the animals that these primitive humans hunted, and of others that merely shared the habitat.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sangiran,
  9. Lorentz National Park

    Lorentz National Park is located in the Indonesian province of Papua, formerly known as Irian Jaya (western New Guinea). With an area of 25,056 km² (9,674 mi²), it is the largest national park in South-East Asia. An outstanding example of the biodiversity of New Guinea, Lorentz is one of the most ecologically diverse national parks in the world. It is the only nature reserve in the Asia-Pacific region to contain a full altitudinal array of ecosystems ranging through marine areas, mangroves, tidal and freshwater swamp forest, lowland and montane rainforest, alpine tundra, and equatorial glaciers. At 4884 meters, Puncak Jaya (formerly Carstensz Pyramid) is the tallest mountain between the Himalayas and the Andes. Birdlife International has called Lorentz Park “probably the single most important reserve in New Guinea.” It contains five of World Wildlife Fund’s “Global 200” ecoregions: Southern New Guinea Lowland Forests; New Guinea Montane Forests; New Guinea Central Range Subalpine Grasslands; New Guinea Mangroves; and New Guinea Rivers and Streams. Lorentz Park contains many unmapped and unexplored areas, and is certain to contain many species of plants and animals as yet unknown to Western science. Local communities’ ethnobotanical and ethnozoological knowledge of the Lorentz biota is also very poorly documented. The park is named for Hendrikus Albertus Lorentz, a Dutch explorer who passed through the area on his 1909–10 expedition.
    Links: National Parks, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorentz_National_Park,
  10. Links: Top Ten Indonesian Hotels, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indonesia,