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Relax & Unwind In Indonesia

Relax & Unwind In Indonesia

As a luxury travel destination, Indonesia is a veritable fusion of cultures

. A fascinating and vibrant cluster of islands, Indonesia is a place where age-old traditions harmoniously co-exist alongside architectural monuments that testify to the coming of the modern era. Where exclusive clubs, office buildings and karaoke bars stand alongside temples and colonial buildings dating back to the time when Jakarta was still called Batavia.

Indonesia is an archipelago straddling the equator that consists of approximately 17,500 islands, 6,000 of which are inhabited. Its five main islands are Java, Sumatra, Kalimantan, New Guinea and Sulawesi.

A tropical paradise and a playground for wildlife experts, Indonesia's climate and geography support the world's second highest level of biodiversity behind Brazil. Once joined to the Asian mainland, the islands of the Sunda Shelf now boast an exciting wealth of fauna, species like the tiger, rhinoceros, orangutan, elephant, and leopard.

Indonesian's most exciting natural feature is its seismic and volcanic activity. Located on the edges of the Pacific, Eurasian, and Australian tectonic plates, Indonesia's location makes it the site of numerous volcanoes and earthquakes. It is presently home to at least 150 active volcanoes. Relax & Unwind In Indonesia

Alor Island is the secret hideaway of the archipelago. Virtually untouched by civilisation, this watery paradise is replete with white deserted beaches, rugged natural terrain and quaint tribal villages. Alor Island is also renowned for its marine wildlife - it's impossible to spend the day on the beach without a whale or dolphin sighting.

Bali is the epitome of tribal culture trying to keep up with the furious pace of modernity. Home to 2.7 million people, Bali is a modern city heavily influenced by Hindu tradition. Bali's inhabitants are deeply spiritual and so religious thought and celebration permeates every inch of their culture. This is exemplified by the 20,000 temples or so in Bali alone.

With miles of pristine sandy beaches and unspoilt rice paddy vistas, you'll want to stay an extra day in Bali. Balinese weather is perfect too, with sunshine all year round. Bali is also home to the famous beach resorts of Kuta Beach and Nusa Dua. Not to mention a tantalising array of Indonesian 5 star luxury resorts! Experience the true meaning of luxury at Club Med Nusa Dua or the Anantara Seminyak resort.

Bali is home to the Hindu temple of Besakih, aptly nicknamed the 'the Mother Temple' for it's size and age - more than ten centuries old. The temple has three separate shrines to the Hindu Trinity featuring the Gods Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu. It is located on the slopes of Mt Agung, and the view from the hill is exquisite.

Satonda is an island that is a favourite with diving enthusiasts, offering underwater dwellers a glimpse of some of the region's most unusual fish, including stargazers, Devil Fish, and scorpionfish. If the land is more your cup of tea you can spend the day on the island's beaches or hike inland to see a real volcanic lake.

Then there is Nias - an island to rival Bali in size but not in population. Nias is located almost 70 miles off the coast of Sibolga, offering secluded beaches and a rich traditional culture largely undisturbed by the outside world. Nias also offers some of the best surfing in the country.

Any luxury holiday in Indonesia must include a trip to the island of Krakatoa - home to the world famous volcano. It is actually an offshoot of a volcano that erupted in 1883, killing 36,000 people and catalysing some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world.Relax & Unwind In Indonesia

The Bogor Botanic Gardens are another must-see. Located 60kn south of Jakarta the Gardens were laid out at the orders of Javanese governor Sir Stamford Raffles in 1817. The gardens are now spread out over 87 hectares and boast a stunning collection of more than 15000 species of plants and trees.

Lastly, there is Borobodur, located in Java. Borobodur is the world's largest Buddhist monument. Not a single temple - but a complex of temples, fashioned in the shape of a mandala - a scared diagram of the universe. The temples are topped by the Great Stupa, which stands at 40 m. The carvings along the walls of the temples stretch for 6 km, and depict the life of the Buddha until the time he attained enlightenment. Not surprisingly, Borobudur is Indonesia's single most visited tourist attraction. There are a variety of luxury tours available to this popular location.

Indonesia - a destination paying homage to its heritage whilst embracing the future.

by: Sue Johnson
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