Interesting facts about Indonesia

indonesia flag

Indonesia, a Southeast Asian nation made up of thousands of volcanic islands, is home to hundreds of ethnic groups speaking many different languages.

The official name of the country is the Republic of Indonesia.

The country shares land borders with Papua New Guinea, East Timor, and the eastern part of Malaysia. Other neighbouring countries include Singapore, the Philippines, Australia, Palau, and the Indian territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

The official language is Indonesian.

As of 1 January 2016, the population of Indonesia was estimated to be 259,281,096 people. Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populated country.

With a total area of 1,919,440 square kilometers (741,100 square miles), Indonesia is the world’s 15th-largest country.

Jakarta is the capital and most populous city of Indonesia. It sits on the northwest coast of the island of Java. A historic mix of cultures – Javanese, Malay, Chinese, Arab, Indian and European – has influenced its architecture, language and cuisine.


Indonesia is an archipelagic island country in South east Asia, lying between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.

Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelagic country, with more than 17,500 islands. The largest islands are Sumatra, Java (the most populous), Bali, Kalimantan (Indonesia’s part of Borneo), Sulawesi (Celebes), the Nusa Tenggara island and the Moluccas Islands.

indonesia islands

The geography of Indonesia is dominated by volcanoes that are formed due to subduction zones between the Eurasian plate and the Indo-Australian plate. Java for example has 50 active volcanoes.

At 4,884 meters (16,024 feet) above sea level, Puncak Jaya is the highest mountain in Indonesia.

puncak jaya

Indonesia has 54,716 kilometers (33,998 miles) of coastline; It is the second longest coastline in the world after Canada.

With tropical forests covering 60% of its territory, Indonesia hosts an abundance of natural resources and animal species.

indonesia forest

Indonesia’s tropical forests are home to some of the highest levels of biological diversity in the world.

There are over 500 protected areas in Indonesia, of which 50 national parks are covering 16.4 million hectares (40.5 million acres), and another 527 nature and game reserves cover further 28.3 million hectares (70 million acres). The total protected land area represents over 15% of Indonesia’s landmass.

The Komodo National Park is a national park in Indonesia. The national park was founded in 1980 to protect the Komodo dragon, the world’s largest lizard. Komodo National Park has been selected as one of the New7Wonders of Nature. In 1991 the national park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

komodo dragon

Indonesia has 8 UNESCO world heritage sites.

Borobudur is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist temple in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. The monument consists of nine stacked platforms, six square and three circular, topped by a central dome. The temple is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. It was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991.


Prambanan is the largest and most beautiful Hindu temple complex in Indonesia. It is the masterpiece of Hindu culture of the ninth century. Prambanan was selected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991.


For many people, Bali is beaches. Arguably Indonesia’s most popular vacation spot, Bali has a number of cultural landmarks and traditions that make a visit here worthwhile.

bali beach

Mount Bromo, is an active volcano and part of the Tengger massif, in East Java, Indonesia. At 2,329 metres (7,641 feet) it is not the highest peak of the massif, but is the most well known. The massif area is one of the most visited tourist attractions in East Java, Indonesia.

mount bromo

Lake Toba is a huge caldera lake found on Sumatra Island, in Indonesia. It is over 100 kilometer (62 miles) long and 30 kilometers (19 miles) wide, and is the largest lake in Indonesia, and the largest Volcano Lake in the world.

lake toba

Located in East Java, Indonesia is a volcano that spews blue colored flames. Sulfur combusts on contact with air to create stunning blue lava-like rivers of light in the Kawah Ijen crater.

blue lava

Marco Polo was the first European to visit Indonesia, in 1292.

The name Indonesia derives from the Greek translation of the Indus River and the word nèsos, meaning “Indian island”. The name dates to the 18th century, far predating the formation of independent Indonesia.

During World War II, the Japanese invaded and occupied Indonesia from 1942 to 1945.

After independence from the Netherlands in 1945, the new republic confronted a high birthrate, low productivity, and illiteracy—areas in which progress has since been made.

Despite being one of the G20 group of world’s leading economies, fifty percent of Indonesia’s population is still poor, hovering around the poverty line, living on less than US$2 per day.

Export earnings from oil and natural gas help the economy, and Indonesia is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Indonesian cuisine is one of the most vibrant and colorful cuisines in the world, full of intense flavor. Based on Chinese, European, Middle Eastern, and Indian influences, Indonesian cuisine varies a lot by region. Traditional meals usually involve rice served with side dishes of fish or chicken, vegetables, spices and coconut milk.

indonesian cuisine

The Komodo dragon is the national animal of Indonesia.

Javan rhinos are the most threatened of the five rhino species, with 60 individuals surviving in Ujung Kulon National Park in Java.

Borneo and Sumatra are not only the best place to see orangutans – they are the only places you can see them in the wild.

Indonesia has the world’s highest rate of deforestation, with Brazil as a close second.

Indonesia is one of the world’s largest producers of nutmeg.

Indonesia is the world’s largest exporter of frog meat, exporting more than 5,000 tonnes of frog meat each year, mostly to France, Belgium and Luxembourg.

Palm oil production is important to the economy of Indonesia as the country is the world’s biggest producer and consumer of the commodity, providing about half the world supply.

Kopi luwak, the world’s most expensive coffee is from Indonesia. Price is from $100 to $600 for 450 grams (1 pound). The main factor of it’s high price is the uncommon method of producing such a coffee. It has been produced from the coffee beans which have been digested by a certain Indonesian cat-like animal called then palm civet or civet cat.

The Indonesian-Malay word for the sauce was kecap (pronounced “kay-chap”). That word evolved into the English word “ketchup“.

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