Unique Islands in Indonesia

When talking about Indonesia, everyone will agree that Indonesia is world's biggest archipelago. According to a survey from National Institute of Aeronautics and Space, Indonesia comprise 18,307 islands. It's debatable, but still that's a LOT, try to beat that number. ;) Anyway, this time we will introduce you about some unique islands around Indonesia. Maybe even Indonesians haven't know about these already. So... Are you ready?
(hey, I love rhymes)

from http://www.lonelyplanet.com/

1. Komodo

Is Dragon ever exist? We'll introduce you the island of Dragons...

The ancient Komodo dragons live here! Well... It's not exactly "dragon". It's a giant monitor. The biggest lizard species in the world. Komodo dragons are only found on Komodo island and several island around it. They are protected under Indonesian law. This is what it looked like:
Varanus komodoensis
The Komodo island is also a part of Komodo National Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site), that is protecting Komodo dragons in the area. Other than the dragons, the island also offering wonderful nature scenes and marine lives. It's one of New7Wonders of Nature after all. :)

Tips on watching the dragons:
1. Don't get bitten. They can rip several tendons easily. Moreover its saliva contains a battalion of bacteria.
2. Beating one of it doesn't make you a dragon slayer. You'll just be banged up behind the bars. ;)

2. Samosir

Lakes which is inside an island which is inside a lake which is inside an island... Mind-blown? :p

Samosir is an island which is located inside the largest lake in Indonesia, Lake Toba. What makes it unique is that obviously it's an island within an island (Sumatra island). To add some uniqueness, Samosir island also contains two lakes - Lake Sidihoni and Lake Aek Natonang.

The Lake Toba
Lake Toba is said to be actually a caldera of supervolcano which supereruption caused a global volcanic winter of 6–10 years around 75,000 years ago. It is said that the explosion had eradicated 60% of human population! Samosir island itself is created because of uplifting in the middle of the caldera as the magma chamber is refilled after the eruption. So, in theory you stand on an volcanic island with a supervolcano under your feet. Scary yet exotic, right?

Samosir island is also the center of Batak culture. You can find a lot of cool Batak traditional houses here. Sweet.

Tips on visiting Samosir island and the area Lake Toba by Nida Saragih:
As you may know, understanding a bit of local language is very helpful, but the problem is that there are a lot of Batak languages around the area. Let me name it: Batak Karo, Batak Angkola, Batak Toba, Batak Dairi, Batak Simalungun, and Batak Mandailing. Mind-blown again? Don't worry, try to learn a bit of Batak Toba since it's the most widely spoken. I'm pretty sure most of people - even if they speak another Batak language - will understand.

Don't forget to come to Tuktuk area too and get your own Sigale Gale! ;)

3. Kambangan

The Alcatraz of Indonesia... Our own Azkaban...

Natively called Nusa Kambangan, Kambangan island is famous of it's prisons. They provide maximum security prisons where murderers, drug dealers, separatist movement leaders, high-profile corrupters, and terrorists have made their home here. The terrorists were also executed there. Yes, you don't read it wrong... executed... there...

Ratu Cave
Other than the prisons you can try the caves (try Ratu cave), the beautiful white sand beaches (try Permisan beach), Cimiring lighthouse, and a small Portuguese fort. For the security matter, tourism is managed by a special agency in Cilacap regency. Tourists must be in a group of minimum 15 people and will be accompanied by security officers until 6 pm. And of course, sadly, we can't stay overnight.

Don't try anything "stupid", we are just a few yards from the bars. Mwuhahahaha... ;)

4. Java

You know what makes Indonesia stay in the top 5 of most populous country in the world?
Spot on. It's Java island. (Indonesian: pulau Jawa)

Maybe some people don't agree with Java in this list, but I'll tell you the facts of Java that make this island unique:

It's the world's 13th largest island, and 5th in Indonesia. Pretty big, huh? But don't think that there's a lot of spaces there since it's also the world's MOST populous island. Really. More than 130 millions people live on the island! That's more than half of Indonesia population. If Java was a separate country from Indonesia, it will make it to the top 10 too. It beats Japan! lol so packed. :D

(Nothing can beat the duo: China-India though...)

Borobudur Temple - World's largest Buddhist archaeological site
There are beautiful volcanoes (try Mount Merapi or Mount Bromo), beautiful beaches (please don't mistake it with the similar word, try Pangandaran and Pelabuhan Ratu for surfing), also several biggest Buddhist and Hindu temples there. And 2 of them are listed on UNESCO World Heritage Sites, namely Prambanan and Borobudur. The latter is really fabulous, tremendous, ginormous, and marvelous.
(I told you, I love rhymes)

Prambanan Temple - Ummm... Good job Bandung Bondowoso
Tips on visiting Java:
Believe me, actually the Indonesian understand English well, but we are a bit... you know... not confident in speaking English. Either because of lacking vocabulary or being embarrassed of broken English. Moreover the locals tends to speak with Javanese among themselves instead of using Indonesian. We use local language much-much-much-much more than Indonesian. So... Learn a bit of local languages, most of the people understand Indonesian well. But I see a lot of people in the rural areas who DON'T understand Indonesian at all! The main languages is Sundanese (in West Java), Madurese (on Madura island, also in the eastern part of East Java), and Javanese (throughout Java).

Understand a bit of Javanese is very useful here since more than half of Java population use it. You can use it in Suriname too. We'll make an article about Javanese and Suriname as well later. ;)

Note that this language tip is also applied when you want to visit the other island all over Indonesia.

Ramayana dance at Prambanan
If you come to the temples near a religion holiday, you might see magnificent scenes. Buddhists in Indonesia celebrate Vesak at Borobudur once a year and Hindu communities perform Galungan and Nyepi annually at Prambanan.

How was it? Fun places to go right? If you ever come to those islands, share your experience here! We are also opened for suggestions and corrections. We'll post more about islands in Indonesia. So, stay tune with us! ;)

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