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Country Info: Indonesia

By Donny Afroni


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  • Official name:
    Republic of Indonesia
  • Population:
    242 million (UN, 2011)
  • Capital:
    Jakarta
  • Area:
    1.9 million sq km (742,308 sq miles)
  • Major language:
    Indonesian, 300 regional languages
  • Major religion:
    Islam
  • Life expectancy:
    68 years (men), 72 years (women) (UN)
  • Monetary unit:
    Rupiah
  • Main exports:
    Oil and gas, plywood, textiles, rubber, palm oil
  • GNI per capita:
    US $2,940 (World Bank, 2011)
  • Internet domain:
    .id
  • International dialling code:
    +62


TOP CUISINES

There are many kinds of food in Indonesia, with a variety of ingredients and flavors inspired by the character of each region. But Sambal is always used to add piquancy to most foods. There are three popular foods throughout most areas in Indonesia.

Opor

Cooked and braised in coconut milk. The most common opor is opor ayam, though there are other ingredients, such as beef, duck, egg, or tofu. It's the main food for most people in Indonesia when celebrating religious holidays.

Sate (Satay)

Seasoned, skewered and grilled meat, served with peanut sauce or kecap (sweet soy sauce). Sate may consist of diced or sliced chicken, goat, mutton, beef, or fish. Barack Obama loved to eat sate during his childhood in Jakarta. Try other variants such as Sate Padang, dipped in a yellow sauce made from rice flour mixed with spicy offal broth, turmeric, ginger, garlic, coriander, galangal root, cumin, curry powder and salt.

Nasi Goreng (Fried Rice)

Can refer simply to fried pre-cooked rice. Nasi goreng is traditionally served at home for breakfast. But it can also be eaten at night. President Obama also enjoyed nasi goreng at a gala dinner when he came to Jakarta.

TOP PLACES

Bali Island

Bali provides beautiful views of the beach, unique cultures, and unique handicrafts. There are three well known beaches, Kuta, Sanur, and Nusa Dua. Some of Bali's scenery can be seen in the movie 'Eat, Pray, Love', which was filmed there.

Komodo Island

Located in East Nusa Tenggara, this island has Komodo Dragons, an animal native to Indonesia. It's the largest lizard on earth and considered to be the last dinosaur still alive in the world.

Raja Ampat

Located off the northwest tip of Bird's Head of Papua Island. Raja Ampat is an archipelago comprising over 1,500 small islands, cays, and shoals surrounding the four main islands. It's the largest marine national park in Indonesia.

Borobudur Temple

Borobudur is Indonesia's single most visited tourist attraction and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The monument consists of six square platforms topped by three circular platforms, and is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. A main dome, located at the center of the top platform, is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues seated inside a perforated stupa.

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