Indonesia, one of South-east Asia’s hottest travel destinations. In recent years this beautiful country has become something of an icon on social media. Every year thousands of millennials flock to Bali in search of blue skies and sandy beaches snapping away, sharing photos and stories on Instagram and Facebook. It is true that Indonesia is an amazing holiday destination, but it is much more than that. Here are seven things that you didn’t know about this fascinating country that might just get you in the mood to explore for more than a week or two.
INDONESIA IS THE WORLD’S LARGEST COUNTRY
If your screaming at your screen right now, then we are truly sorry, we just want to make sure you actually read more than the headline. This fact is partly true. In fact, Indonesia is the world’s largest country comprised exclusively of islands. Indonesia is made up of 17,508 islands in total, of which, humans inhabit only 6,000. With this many Islands, you’ll never get bored of travelling around Indonesia.
INDONESIA – HOME OF THE DRAGON
Although dragons are mythical creatures celebrated in folklore and fairy tales, the world has gotten pretty close to the real thing. That is, in the form of the Komodo Dragon. The Komodo Dragon is the world’s largest species of Lizard. They were first documented by Europeans in 1910, but they’ve been living in Indonesia for millions of years. Want to see one for yourself? Indonesia is still the only place on the planet where you can see a real life Komodo dragon living in the wild.
IT’S A NATURAL BEAUTY
Indonesia is the second most biologically diverse country in the world. No other country (other than Brazil) has more flora and fauna than Indonesia. If you skipped geography class at school, then that means that the country is flourishing with both animal life and plant life.
INDONESIAN’S GAVE US KETCHUP
It’s no secret that the English language is made up of hundreds (if not thousands) of loan words from other languages around the world. In the early 18th century, English colonists discovered a sauce in Indonesia known as “Kecap”. This word was then anglicised into the word we know today, ketchup.
MARCO POLO WAS THE FIRST EUROPEAN TO VISIT
In 1292, the Emperor of China Kublai Kahn (Grandson of Genghis Kahn) sent Marco Polo on a 2-year journey to Persia. This epic voyage took Polo to many cities along the way, one of which being Sumatra in Indonesia. It wasn’t until the 16th century when Indonesians started trading with the Portuguese that Europeans would play a significant role in the country’s history.
FROGS AREN’T JUST FOR THE FRENCH
The French are famous for eating snails and frog’s legs. During the last decade, it is estimated that the French (as well as the Belgians) imported 4,600 tonnes of frogs legs from Indonesia. This makes Indonesia the world’s largest exporter of frogs legs, as well as happy consumers of the acquired delicacy.
BARRACK OBAMA ONCE CALLED INDONESIA HOME
In 1967, a 6-year-old Barrack Obama (Barry to Indonesian friends) lived in Jakarta. He spent three years of his early Childhood living in Indonesia studying in an international school before he returned to Hawaii.
There you have it seven things you probably didn’t know about Indonesia. Feel free to check the facts online, or even better, go to Indonesia to teach English and discover the truth for yourself.
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