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In the past most popular destination for visitors to Indonesia has undoubtedly been Bali. In recent years however, other areas are also becoming popular and 24 top priority areas have been selected by the Directorate General of Tourism to provide visitors with the quintessential soul of Indonesia. These are: Jakarta, West Java, Central Java, Yogyakarta, East Java, Bali, West Nusa Tenggara, East Nusa Tenggara, Aceh, North Sumatra, West Sumatra, South Sumatra, Riau, Bengkulu, Lampung, South Sulawesi, North Sulawesi, Southeast Sulawesi, East Kalimantan, West Kalimantan, South Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, Maluku, and Irian Jaya. Variety is the spice life and nowhere is this truer than in Indonesia. No two places ore a1ike in unspoiled beauty, art, culture and people. The towering mountains and primitive cultures of Irian Jaya contrast sharply with the terraced hills, and highly sophisticated societies of Bali and Java and the animistic beliefs, which still have a major influence on the way of life in South Sulawesi. "Unity in Diversity", which is the country's motto; accurately describe these diverse cultures and extraordinary people brought together to create one nation with one national language, Bahasa Indonesia. For the travelers, Indonesia offers a fine blend of scenic beauty, fauna and flora, culture, marine parks and a wide collection of modern accommodation.

International gateways providing easy access for travelers in Indonesia are: Jakarta, Denpasar (Bali) and Medan (North Sumatra). Other ports of entry and exit have been targetted as International gateways but are currently in the development stages. These include: Manado (North Sulawesi), Ambon (Maluku), Batu Besar (Batam), Pekan Baru (Riau), Balikpapan (East Kalimantan), Surabaya (East Java), Kupang (East Nusa Tenggara), Pontianak (West Kalimantan) and Biak (Irian Jaya).


Special Interest Tours

The largest archipelago in the world, Indonesia lies at the crossroads between the Indian and Pacific oceans and bridges the continental landmasses of Asia and Australia. It is one of the most volcanic and the most seismically active regions in the world: of has more than 400 volcanoes, 128 are considered active and 75 had erupted in historic times with more or less disastrous effects to the surrounding populations. Even today eruptions of varying magnitude occur regularly, rejuvenating the soil to make it among the most fertile on earth.

Flanked by the tepid equatorial waters of two of the world's great oceans, the land rises from the darkest depths of some of the world's deepest oceans through to the towering peaks of the volcanoes and the realm of perennial snow of the Jayawijaya mountain range in Irian Jaya.

It seems natural that the migratory waves of peoples from the Asian mainland in search of new dwellings began millennia ago. They found these islands a most ideal place to settle down. In the course of time, distinct ethnic groups evolved in the regions where they settled down. Each group nurturing its own heritage of culture and traditions within the large common ancestral frame. In view of the great diversity of Indonesia's physical and cultural make-up, a careful selection of the subjects of interest is recommended, as well as prior contact with the proper private or government organizations and agencies.

The Directorate General of Culture, for example, may provide the necessary guidance for special interest visits pertaining to culture or history. The Indonesia Institute of Sciences (LIPI) is the overall organization in charge of scientific research. In some cases, special permits have to be obtained, such as from the Directorate General of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation (PHPA) for visits to the nature reserves.

The Department of Industry, the Department of Trade, the Indonesian Foreign Investment Board and the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN/CCI) are all concerned with trade and industry. In case of doubt, it is well advised to contact the nearest Indonesian Tourist Information Offices or Diplomatic Missions where special requirements may have to be met.