Flag of Indonesia


The Republic of Indonesia is a nation of 17,508 islands in the South East Asian archipelago, making it the world's largest archipelagic state. The name Indonesia was derived from Greek indus, meaning 'India', and nesos, meaning 'islands'. Sharing land borders with Papua New Guinea, East Timor and Malaysia, Indonesia is a unitary state consisting of numerous distinct ethnic, linguistic and religious groups spread across its numerous islands. Sectarian tensions, however, have threatened political stability in some regions, leading to violent confrontations.

The floating emerald islands of the Indonesian archipelago have for centuries lured everyone from missionaries to pirates, mining companies and backpackers to their sandalwood and spice breezes, their Bali Hai lifestyle and their magnificent beaches, mountains and volcanoes.

However, the myth of a paradise is often marred by deep racial divides, religious warring, high-handed autocracy, government corruption, economic mismanagement and natural disasters. The latest rounds of violence have made Indonesia a problematic destination for western travellers.

Map of Indonesia