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7 Reasons to cycle Incredible Indonesia

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1. Indonesia is the 4th most populous country in the world with estimated 247 million people. It is the 15th largest country in size, sprawling over 3 times zones.

2. Indonesia consists of anywhere from 17,000 to 20,000 islands. It has over 700 living languages and hundreds of different forms of music.  Check out some of these Indonesian instruments.

Volcano

3. Indonesia has 126 Active volcanoes, 76 of which have erupted in historic times. The most devastating eruption happened 74,000 years ago on Sumatra, creating the so called volcanic winter which almost killed all of humanity living at that time. More recently, a deadly volcanic eruption in 1815 on Mount Tambora killed over 70,000 people.

4. Indonesia has unbelievable biodiversity. We have all heard of the Komodo dragon but how about sharks that walk on their fins or the Indonesian Birds of Paradise.

rice-paddies,-Bali

5. Indonesia has 28,000 species of flowering plants, 6000 traditional medicinal plants and 122 species of bamboo. It also is home to the largest flower in the world , the Raflessia Arnoldi which grows to one metre in diameter.

 6. Many of us have ‘batiks’ at home but did you know that this art form originates in Java, Indonesia and on October 2009, UNESCO designated Indonesian batik as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

spices

7. Have you ever heard of the Spice Islands? Do you know why the Dutch colonized Indonesia? Yes – spices! Nutmeg, pepper, mace, clove, Indonesian saffron (kunyit), hot chili paste (sambal) – the list is endless and so is the cuisine.  To know a place is to taste its food. To paraphrase Ruyard Kipling “The first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell (and taste) it.’”

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