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					Selamat datang, Wellcome to Indonesia.. !!

Indonesia is not your typical tropical paradise populated by smiling
friendly peoples. It is much, much more. Indonesia can indeed claim to
be the only nation on earth to span such a broad spectrum of world
history and human civilization-from its ancient Hindu-Javanese temples to
its modern luxury hotels, and from the Stone Age lifestyle practised by
some high land tribes in Irian Jaya to the modern metropolis that is
Jakarta. It will come as no surprise, then, that travelling in Indonesia
yields eye-opening and sometimes startling contrass-a fascinatting
juxyaposition of East and West, rich and poor, old with new, the familiar
and the exotic.

This can be an exciting experience; it can also be disturbing one. Most
of all, however, it is a chance to learn-to observe the intricacies of
traditional cultures, and to see how they are adapting to the modern

Many have come to see and learn already. Anthropologists, artist,
musicians, writers and statesmen have visited the archipelago for
decades. Since the late 1960s tourism has also come-in 1984 some 600.000
foreigners visited Indonesia. While this is not a subtantial figure by
international standards, it is one that has quadrupled over the last
decade and is growing steadily. More over, the government has announced
recently that it is giving high priority to tourism developmetn in an
attempt to boost foreign exchange earnings. In Bali alone, 5 new hotels
were slated to open in 1985.

All of this, fortunately, does not mean that Indonesia in being overrun.
Far from it. Unlike many other tropical tourist destinations, Indonesia
is a huge country, both in terms of population and land area. Foreigners
constitute an almost insignificant presence in most parts of the
archipelago. Even Bali, the small island which absorbs more than half the
nation's foreign visitors, has 3 million inhabitants of her own-a people
whose ancient and resilient culture has withstood several foreign "in-
vasions" in the past. Even here, outside of those very narrow areas where
they tend to congregate, Westerners are still a novelty.

Keep in mind, as you plan your itinerary, that there are many Indonesias.
Most Visitors stick to the tried and trued tour route leading from
Jakarta through Yogyakarta (Central Java) and on to Bali; and they do so
not least of all because of the superb sights and excellent transport
services that encourage this itinerary. Other sizeable, but lesser known
islands are equally facinatting, if less accessible to the average

Travel services and facilities are rapidly improving-convenience and
comfort are becoming less and less the exception. Every provincial
capital and major city in the nation now has at least one first-class
air-conditioned hotel and a range of other accommodation.

Daily air connections have brought all the islands within a few hours of
each the islands within a few hours of each other. This complex air
network provides an easy first step into seldom-visited corners of the
archiplago, so that the door to some truly adventurrous travel is now
open. In the more heavily populated regions, the local network of buses,
jitneys and taxis is both fast and inexpensive, can find more and more
Indonesians who are able to speak English and who will gladly act as
guides or otherwise assist you in making travel arrangements.

As result of all this, more visitors are venturing out from the "core"
tourist areas on Java and Bali to more remote regions such as South
Sulawesi's Tanah Toraja, North Sumatra's Lake Toba, Bali's neighbour,
Lombok, and tiny Komodo Island. Even within Java and Bali, many people
are finding accessible, and, more importantly, exciting alternatives to
the conventional tourist fare.\

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