The name Indonesia has its roots in two Greek words: Indos

meaning Indian and Nesos which means islands. It is

an appropriate description of the archipelago as there are estimated

to be a total of 17,508 islands, of which only about 6,000 are inhabited,

stretching for 5,150 km between the Australian and Asian continental

mainlands and dividing the Pacific and Indian Oceans at the Equator.

Five main islands and 30 smaller archipelagoes are home to the majority

of the population. The main islands are Sumatra (473,6O6,

Kalimantan 1539,400, Sulawesi l 189,216 sq. km), Irian Jaya

(421,981 sq. km), and last but not leastJava (132,187, home

to 70 percent of the country's population. Indonesia shares Irian

Jaya with Papua New Guinea and two thirds of the island of Kalimantan

with Malaysia and Borneo.

The islands and people of Indonesia constitute the fourth most populated

nation in the world. As a democratic republic, Indonesia is divided

into 32 provinces, special territories and classified geographically

into four groups.

First are the Greater Sundas, made up of the larger islands of Sumatra,

Java, Kalimantan and Sulawesi.

Second are the Lesser Sundas, consisting of smaller islands from

Bali eastward to Timor. Third is Maluku which includes all the islands

between Irian Jaya and Sulawesi. The fourth and final group is lrian

Jaya in the extreme eastern part of the country.


a nice trip!