From the paper work, files, to the claws of tight schedules, monotony happens to be the style of my life. Sadly, life today leaves us no room to retreat to adventure let alone nature. Vacation is what I, like so many of us, was waiting for and the moment it knocked at my door I heard the word ‘archipelago’ racing through my head. The next was the name my anxious-to-travel-mind took not more than a millionth of a second to conjure: Indonesia.
Without disposing the slightest bit of my freedom, I packed my luggage and took off to retreat to a soulful experience.
Indonesia, the highlight of Southeast Asia has its borders neighboring with Malaysia, East Timor, and Papua New Guinea. It owns not only a cogent share in the region of Oceania but also enjoys a shoreline that takes a substantial position in the world’s top three.
Indonesia, the very name has its origin from a word that translates to ‘island’. The magnificent constellation of more than seventeen thousand islands oozes rapturous fascination. The alluring medley of history adds rich flavors to both the astonishing geography and the vibrant cosmos of the living. As one of the world’s largest lively refuges, it celebrates diversity in abundance that is parallel to no other place. The momentum of evolution cinches the cities of this heavenly haven and the radiance of natural beauty enchants, and enchants tremendously.
The tropical, lushes, desirable humid winds bring down the pouring skies, rejoicing the elements of nature in a symphony that is unforgettable. A moderate temperature sets up a perfect set-up for unfathomable bouts of ecstatic moments. Calm beaches provide the balm that puts you at ease and liberates any perplexity that you may have been preoccupied with. Nothing stands comparable to staring at the horizon from one of the exotic beaches with a lemon slice to the side of the glass of your drink. Nothing!
First stop: The marvelous island of Bali. The rich cultural vibe blended with the enrooted sense of art and music sings melodiously with the natural black and white contrast of beech sands. The center of the peaks, Mother Mount Agung with its volcanic residence watching over crops of rice and coffee is simply extraordinary! The unique fauna revitalizes the soul. The plantation, painstakingly pleasing, keeps a human spellbound.
Bunaken and its waters are a miracle. There is a spectacular variety of species inhabiting these waters. These riches are an opportunity to value wonders Planet Earth has to offer. Bunaken National Marine Park, within which the island of Bunaken floats, unbridles the explorer in you. The atmosphere gently unwinds you and takes you into the purity of depths of life. It is an exquisite spot for scuba divers.
Sumatra, the Island of Gold, is home to swamps, mountains and a wide range of animals. It treasures the chain of Barisan Mountains. The volcanoes that stand astir within the chain confer gravidity to the landscape. The scenery thus crafted out serenely soothes the mind! The land of gold is not only blessed with gold but also coal, palm oil, petroleum and coffee!
Lombok harbors the flaring Mount Rinjani the crater lake of which is conserved by the Gunung Rinjani National Park. The densely forested to the grossly cultivated lands of Lombok are surrounded by numerous islands called Gili. Unblemished is the spread of white sand on beaches; the encounter of which alleviates one of their sorrows. It also attracts surfers and divers, presenting one of the best available locales across the globe.
In the past days people of Sumbawa were famous for their sandalwood, horses, honey and dyes. Along with a strong historical significance and vital agricultural productivity, various body of water envelope the island of Sumbawa. The astonishing Saleh Bay will have you stunned!
The bounty of nature is merely one aspect of Indonesia. The fortune of a magical culture is next on the list. The combination of cultures, prevalence of such a dynamic heritage dates back to the seventh century when Indonesia attained its importance as an indispensible trade region. It was not only the trade but also the ampleness of mother earth’s generosity in gifting resources of nature that drew foreign rulers. As the Hindus, Buddhist, Muslims and Christian rulers made their way in to the region, the local powers absorbed their cultures. Indonesia is indeed the exemplification of harmonious heterogeneity. The colorful culture, the fourth most populous country and shelter to a magnificent biodiversity are only the very few reasons to desire a holiday in Indonesia.
Balinese temples, dance, drama performances and religious festivals are particularly popular and pull a major assemblage of tourists. The thousand years old Besakih temple, the Mother Temple, has importance of a divine sign, as the eruption of Mount Agung passed within meters distance from the temple. Pura Luhur Uluwatu temple is believed to be warding off evil from Bali; it sits spectacularly at the edge of a cliff. Where as, Tanah Lot Temple projects a terrific sight as this temple sits in the middle of the sea.
Indonesia has a very strong Islamic culture. The tourism of Islamic heritage from foreign countries specially the neighboring Muslim countries is very popular. A strict observance of the code of conduct of visiting mosques is mandatory; covering the head for women and taken the footwear off before entering along with modesty of attire. Among the prominent Islamic heritage destinations are the Bait-ur-Rahman Grand Mosque in Aceh, the Medan Great Mosque in Medan, tombs of Sultanate and Maimun Place. Masjid Agung, the Grand Mosques of major cities are also sites of enthrallment. The Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta is known to be the largest in the whole of Southeast Asia.