12 Unique Facts About Indonesia

Being Indonesian, let me introduce you to these random order of:

12 Unique Facts About Indonesia

  1. With over 17,000 islands – approximately 6000 of them still inhabited, Indonesia is the largest archipelago country in the world.
  2. Over 580 languages and dialects, Bahasa Indonesia is the formal language (I only know several traditional languages and dialects)
  3. Rice is the main food staple in Indonesia. That’s why most Indonesians will say they haven’t had their meal before they had rice even after they had eaten pizza or hamburger!
  4. Indonesia is home to one of the previous 7 Wonders of the world – The Borobudur Temple. It’s the biggest Buddhist temple in the world built in the 9th century. Still one of the huge tourist spot in Indonesia. Sadly, on the new 7 Wonders of The World, Indonesia fell off the list.
    Borobudur Temple

    Photo by Prayudi Hartono

  5. The only dragon in the world can be found in Indonesia at the Komodo Island where the Komodo dragon resides.
  6. One of the largest Muslim population in the world but Indonesia IS NOT a Muslim country! The government only recognized 6 religions here: Islam, Protestant, Catholic, Buddhist, Hindu and Confucius.
  7. One of the world’s unique funeral procession takes place in a Toraja, a small town in Sulawesi island. The funeral procession will take around 7 days and cost a fortune. That’s why families usually save up their money for years before they can bury their loved ones. Where do they keep the body? In their house! Traditional embalming involved.
  8. Bali has been famous for years recently Indonesian Tourism Board has been actively promoting other beautiful places in Indonesia. Remember, being a country with so many islands, there are plenty of beautiful beaches scattered all over Indonesia.
  9. The Dutch (or was known back then as the Dutch East Indies) colonized Indonesia for 350 years.  That’s why many older Indonesians speak fluent Dutch and plenty of Indonesian word derived from their language.
  10. Indonesia is home to the largest flower in the world called The Rafflesia aka The Corps flower. Reaching 5ft high and 4ft wide, it only blooms for 3 days and for 8 hours of these 3 days, the flower gives out the rotting flesh smell.
  11. Java island where Jakarta is situated is as big as New York State.
  12. Indonesian loves spicy foods! Order a pizza or hamburger here, you will get some chili packages!

There you go, do you have any unique facts about Indonesia to add?



If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future blog posts deliver straight to your inbox. Komentar dengan Bahasa Indonesia juga boleh loh jangan malu-malu ya.

89 Comments on 12 Unique Facts About Indonesia

  1. boy
    July 20, 2010 at 1:46 pm (7 years ago)

    #6. One of the largest Muslim population in the world but Indonesia IS NOT a Muslim country. The government only recognized 5 religions here: Islam, Protestant, Catholic, Buddhist and Hindu.

    -> The Government recognizes 6 (six) religions here: Islam, Protestant, Catholic, Buddhist, Hindu, and Konghucu (this is the latest one)

    • Maureen
      July 20, 2010 at 1:54 pm (7 years ago)

      Boy, thank you for the correction! Appreciate it because I didn’t know about Konghucu being eecognized already. Will edit the post as soon as I get my internet running again. Byar pret mulu saingan sama pln nih hehehe

  2. Rose Cox
    July 20, 2010 at 1:56 pm (7 years ago)

    I’ve always wanted to go to Indonesia, especially Lombok which I’ve heard wonderful things about – reading this post has inspired me to definitely make a trip!

    • Maureen
      July 20, 2010 at 4:01 pm (7 years ago)

      Lombok is definitely a beautiful place, Rose. Hope you’ll make that trip and blog about it 😀

      • Ayyappan
        December 1, 2016 at 3:14 pm (1 year ago)

        Could you say something about Medan in and around places

  3. CMcKane
    July 20, 2010 at 3:31 pm (7 years ago)

    Wow, I really want to come visit now. That plant is bigger than I am!!
    Plus, now you have me craving spicy pizza 🙂
    CMcKane recently posted..Word of the Week- JocoseriousMy Profile

    • Maureen
      July 20, 2010 at 4:02 pm (7 years ago)

      Thanks for the visit and yes you should visit and experience the different cultures here 😀

  4. GlowinGirl
    July 20, 2010 at 6:03 pm (7 years ago)

    What a beautiful and interesting place . . . but I think I’ll avoid that flower. 😉

    Thanks for sharing about your homeland. I feel smarter now!

    • Maureen
      July 20, 2010 at 7:07 pm (7 years ago)

      Thank you so much 🙂 Oh yeah that flower is only pretty in pictures LOL. Good to see you back online again. I have missed your blog!

    • Maureen
      July 20, 2010 at 7:08 pm (7 years ago)

      Yeah apparently the new one override the o one because they did a whole voting online. I think it was announced on July 7, 2007.
      Thanks Joey! 😀

    • Maureen
      July 22, 2010 at 5:29 pm (7 years ago)

      Hi Melissa, thank you 😀 Yeah, I wish the temple is still on the list but too bad the new list were from online voting and it didn’t make it.

  5. Mommy's Sippy Cup
    July 20, 2010 at 8:12 pm (7 years ago)

    My best friend is in Indonesia, and has been for over a year. She loves it so much I don’t think she’ll ever come home! 🙂

    • Maureen
      July 22, 2010 at 5:30 pm (7 years ago)

      Wow really? 😀 My husband loves it here too I doubt he wants to live somewhere else LOL. Thanks for the visit!

  6. liz
    July 20, 2010 at 8:25 pm (7 years ago)

    OK, that flower is bizarre and gigantic! I had no idea about the funeral process either. And the number of islands – WOW!
    liz recently posted..From Womb to World- Madelyn RoseMy Profile

    • Maureen
      July 22, 2010 at 5:32 pm (7 years ago)

      Yeah so much island but still so remotely I think there are people still living a very traditional lifestyle there. I never been to the funeral procession but I’ve seen it on TV and it’s like a huge party LOL

      • Asta
        July 28, 2010 at 8:21 am (7 years ago)

        Hey Mo, the number of the islands reached some 16-17000 … I think you’ve mised a “0” there .. 😀

        Yep .. it’s that much, and it’s that much unexplored. Have you heard of Raja Ampat Islands over the West Papua? I dream of going there someday … mmm… I met this lady once, who owned a tiny restaurant in Timika, she said (while pointing to the cuttlefish I ate), “This is Sorong Cuttlefish .. nice isn’t it?! While we were there, we had sashimi on the boat! It has never tasted that good … ” Oh gee … imagine you’re on a boat, fishing and serving sashimi on the spot! Heaven!!

        For me, that must have been the best cuttlefish I’ve tasted in my life! Tender, sweet & juicy … and cooked perfectly. Boy oh boy … If you want to see how it looked like .. http://www.sotrek.in/cuttlefish-o-cuttlefish it’s there 🙂
        Asta recently posted..Baby Jan is Officialy A Boy!My Profile

  7. Ramona
    July 20, 2010 at 8:27 pm (7 years ago)

    Wow, I never knew how beautiful Indonesia really is. thanks for sharing. 🙂
    Ramona recently posted..Special Grace verseMy Profile

    • Maureen
      July 22, 2010 at 6:08 pm (7 years ago)

      Thank you for your kind comment, Ramona! 🙂

  8. Megan (Best of Fates)
    July 20, 2010 at 8:37 pm (7 years ago)

    I’d heard of that flower, but hadn’t known it was in Indonesia – great list of facts!

    • Maureen
      July 22, 2010 at 6:09 pm (7 years ago)

      Thanks, Megan. The flowers are so rare they can only be found in two places here 🙂

    • Maureen
      July 22, 2010 at 6:10 pm (7 years ago)

      Hi Gemma, thank you. I’m happy to hear that 😀

  9. Mama Kat
    July 20, 2010 at 8:59 pm (7 years ago)

    Wow! I would love to travel to Indonesia…I didn’t know more than half of that!
    Mama Kat recently posted..Stylish KidsMy Profile

    • Maureen
      July 22, 2010 at 6:14 pm (7 years ago)

      Your comment made my day, Mama Kat! 😀 Thank you!

    • Maureen
      July 22, 2010 at 6:14 pm (7 years ago)

      LOL Thanks, Kim! 😀

  10. BLOGitse
    July 20, 2010 at 10:01 pm (7 years ago)

    LOL! I can’t help it but here I am smiling by myself! Why? I just saw your blog on comment luv site!
    Yesterday I saw you on SITS challenge page…
    I had to subscribe you feed and see how your empire is growing – you’re so active! (That’s the way to do it if you want readers, I know!) I wish you luck!!!
    I’ve been to Bali, many years ago. I had a super good time.
    In Egypt our neighbors, became our friends 🙂 are originally from Indonesia but living in Europe. Except the time they lived in Egypt as expats of course 🙂
    That flower…I’m so sorry but I don’t want to go even near to it. My imagination is far too wild!
    Have great day,
    see you soon, again!
    BLOGitse recently posted..less women…My Profile

    • Maureen
      July 22, 2010 at 6:15 pm (7 years ago)

      LOL you’re too funny! I guess I had too much free time on my hands well until yesterday that is.
      That’s so wonderful to hear you have Indonesian friends.

  11. Katie
    July 20, 2010 at 10:22 pm (7 years ago)

    Wow! This makes me want to come visit you! So beautiful and such an interesting history and culture! I think I might be a bit in love!
    Katie recently posted..I Saw the Signand It Opened Up My EyesMy Profile

    • Maureen
      July 22, 2010 at 6:17 pm (7 years ago)

      You are so welcome, any time, Katie! 😀 I can show you around if you are here. Thanks, girl!

  12. Brenda @ PeekatMyPaper
    July 21, 2010 at 12:07 am (7 years ago)

    Hello – Thanks for stopping by my blog today and Linking Up!
    Very nice job on your list post. I like how you incorporated the pictures in. Indonesia looks and sounds like a beautiful place. I would love to visit someday.
    I love flowers – and WOW that’s a BIG one – probably not one I would want to get too close to. Yuck. 🙂
    Good luck on your challenges.

    • Maureen
      July 22, 2010 at 6:19 pm (7 years ago)

      Hi Brenda, thank you for visiting me back and left such a wonderful comment.
      I hope one day you can come for a visit and enjoy the beauty Indonesia have to offer 😀

  13. Loni
    July 21, 2010 at 1:06 am (7 years ago)

    Wow!! Talk about unique!! I loved reading all this, especially that HUGE flower. So weird that it only blooms for such a short time and that awful smell it emits, I don’t think I’d love that, but still very interesting!!

    • Maureen
      July 22, 2010 at 6:22 pm (7 years ago)

      Hi Loni, yeah I know it’s so weird indeed bout that flower 😀 Thanks for your visit!

  14. Ofthesea
    July 21, 2010 at 1:18 am (7 years ago)

    Great blog! What a timely discovery! A dear Indonesian friend has been inviting me to for visit for AGES, I think I may finally make it for this New Year’s Eve celebrations.

    I’ll keep an eye here for tips on how to tackle such a long trip with a toddler – I have taken my baby to Europe, but that’s only half the distance!
    Ofthesea recently posted..Reason 44 – It takes an act of violence to make me spend time with my sonMy Profile

    • Maureen
      July 22, 2010 at 6:50 pm (7 years ago)

      Wow how exciting! Hope you will have a great time on your visit to Indonesia. Where’s your friend at? Jakarta?
      Btw, love your avatar picture! Baby C is uber cute!

  15. Mrs.Mayhem
    July 21, 2010 at 1:30 am (7 years ago)

    Sounds like an amazing place! I had no idea that flower existed – it’s unbelievable.

    • Maureen
      July 22, 2010 at 6:50 pm (7 years ago)

      Thank you, Mrs. Mayhem 😀

  16. Jen @ Lita's World
    July 21, 2010 at 4:11 am (7 years ago)

    So very beautiful! My husband has been there on surfing expeditions, now he MUST take me!
    Jen @ Lita’s World recently posted..Heading to SouthbridgeMy Profile

    • Maureen
      July 22, 2010 at 6:51 pm (7 years ago)

      Hi Jen, lol yeah he must definitely take you the next time he’s here for surfing 😀

  17. gnomeangel
    July 21, 2010 at 5:39 am (7 years ago)

    Wow! This is a stunningly beautiful post. The images in this are amazing!

    Thanks for all the information on Indonesia. As an Australian I’m ashamed to say that I don’t know that much about one of our closest neighbours. Think it might be time to rectify that. I’d love to travel over there. That temple alone would make the trip worthwhile!

    Thanks for a great post!

    • Maureen
      July 22, 2010 at 6:53 pm (7 years ago)

      G’day mate! 😀
      So good to have a bloggy friend from down under visiting my blog here.
      I haven’t even visit the temple yet *ashamed* but it’s on my to-go-to list 😀

      Thank you for visiting!

    • Maureen
      July 22, 2010 at 6:54 pm (7 years ago)

      Aww thanks, Jamee 🙂 Your comment made my day!

  18. This Belle Rocks
    July 21, 2010 at 1:10 pm (7 years ago)

    Just hopped over from SITS! And I am now in love with Indonesia…I want to come live there!

    • Maureen
      July 22, 2010 at 6:55 pm (7 years ago)

      You rock, girl! Just like your name 😀 Thank you so much!

  19. Alexandra
    July 21, 2010 at 2:24 pm (7 years ago)

    I am amazed. I had no idea the extreme number of islands and languages! I can’t even believe it.

    awesome facts.

    thank you.

    • Maureen
      July 22, 2010 at 6:58 pm (7 years ago)

      Thank you Alexandra. The languages yes it’s coming from so many different tribes scattered here. One island alone can have so many different languages.

    • Maureen
      July 22, 2010 at 6:58 pm (7 years ago)

      I didn’t know about that either, Stacy until Mr. Google told me so 😀 Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  20. Sara at Saving For Someday
    July 21, 2010 at 4:24 pm (7 years ago)

    What a very well done list post. I have a personal friend who was born in Indonesia, and at first I found it peculiar that her mother lives in Holland, as does one of her daughters. However, that is when I learned that it is very natural b/c they speak Dutch. She also speaks French.
    Indonesia is on my ‘someday’ list. And while I would have probably said Bali, I would not have to rethink that because Lombok looks so enticing.

    I hope you are enjoying the 31DBBB program with SITS. I’m having fun with it so far.

    Your blog is beautiful and I look forward to checking out more of it as time goes on.

    Have a lovely day!

    P.S. In the spirit of promoting blogs for Day 3, I am going to Stumble this post.
    Sara at Saving For Someday recently posted..Sprouts Weekly Deals 7-21 – 7-28My Profile

    • Maureen
      July 22, 2010 at 7:02 pm (7 years ago)

      Hi Sara,
      Hopefully you will get to visit Indonesia someday 😀
      That’s so cool that your friend was born here. Yes, many Indonesians still have relatives in Holland especially if they are from the island of Moluccas (Ambon) because in the 60s or 70s there were a lot of Ambonese people that moved to Holland.

      Thank you so much for Stumbling my post! Really appreciate it and I will go check your blog too. Sorry for being so behind. I’ve been a little busy with real life stuffs LOL.

      Have a great day!

  21. Tayarra
    July 21, 2010 at 8:06 pm (7 years ago)

    Very interesting and it looks beautiful. But, that flower I’m not so sure about! Aren’t flowers supposed to look and smell beautiful?!

    • Maureen
      July 22, 2010 at 7:04 pm (7 years ago)

      LOL I thought so too, Tayarra but not that one apparently. Thanks girl! 😀

  22. Angie Ballard
    July 21, 2010 at 8:27 pm (7 years ago)

    Absolutely fascinating! Although I must admit I found the “keeping embalmed loved ones in the house for several years” part disturbing. I started counting up relatives who have passed away during the last five years and I think I’d need a bigger house!

    • Maureen
      July 22, 2010 at 7:07 pm (7 years ago)

      LOL, Angie! Your comment really really crack me up.
      From what I heard, they use ‘magic’ to move the smell into nearby jungle or something like that. Creepy enough for me.
      Thanks for the visit!

  23. Adrienne
    July 21, 2010 at 11:02 pm (7 years ago)

    So interesting! #7 is so interesting! I never knew that(or most of this for that matter). I really like this idea for apost! Great job. 🙂 I love all these pics too. Beautiful!

    BTW, I saw(on the blog frog) you’re using google analytics. I haven’t done that yet. Do you reccomend it? Is it easy to do?
    Adrienne recently posted..10 Reasons why it stinks to be a woman!My Profile

    • Maureen
      July 22, 2010 at 7:09 pm (7 years ago)

      Hi Adrienne,
      Thank you for such a lovely comment.
      Yes I’m using google analytics, so far it’s been great and there’s actually a plugin that will let you see the statistic on your dashboard. Are you on WordPress?

  24. Barbara
    July 21, 2010 at 11:46 pm (7 years ago)

    Thanks for the info! I’m not well versed in the wonders and beauty of the East, and this was very helpful.
    Barbara recently posted..My Top Ten JobsMy Profile

    • Maureen
      July 22, 2010 at 7:10 pm (7 years ago)

      Hi Barbara, thank you for your wonderful respond 😀 Really appreciate it and I’m glad it could open up a little of our culture.

  25. Maria
    July 22, 2010 at 5:01 am (7 years ago)

    Halo Maureen,

    Apa kabar? Ketemu blog kamu dari SITS girls. Your pictures remind me of my travel to Borobudur, Bali, Lombok, and Menado. Indonesia is quite a beautiful country isn’t it? Truly hope that they improve the infrastructure so that they can gain a lot more tourist.

    Maria’s rambling is:

    • Maureen
      July 22, 2010 at 7:12 pm (7 years ago)

      Halo Maria,
      Kabar baik! Senang sekali kamu datang ke blog saya. 😀
      WOW I am so impressed you’ve been here before and actually got to see some of our beautiful places. I so agree with you on the infrastructure tho’ some places just have zero to none and it’s too bad because there’s so much potential out there. Thanks for your visit and leaving me such an awesome comment!

  26. Daenel
    July 22, 2010 at 7:33 am (7 years ago)

    Great post! I love Indonesian jewelry so it was fun to see the other aspects of Indonesia. Number 4 is spectacular ~ don’t know how that got bumped off the list. I’ve heard of number 11 but never seen pictures before. It’s kind of pretty in a weird way. Thank you for sharing.
    Daenel recently posted..Day 3- Hey! Pay Me Some AttentionMy Profile

    • Maureen
      July 22, 2010 at 7:19 pm (7 years ago)

      Hi Daenel! Thank you for stopping by. Oh I love Indonesian jewelry too especially those beautiful precious gems from Borneo.
      Yeah, sadly they didn’t even nominated Borobudur temple for the New 7 Wonders so it’s off the list.

  27. Nami
    July 22, 2010 at 10:18 am (7 years ago)

    Maureen, these are some VERY interesting facts you gathered! Kudos to you. My mom told me about the “corpse flower” but I thought she was just pulling my leg. She’ll be happy you set me straight. It’s a horrible looking flower, too.
    Nami recently posted..The Newest RussoMy Profile

    • Maureen
      July 22, 2010 at 7:22 pm (7 years ago)

      LOL Nami, your comment really made me chuckle! Thanks, girl!

    • Maureen
      July 22, 2010 at 7:24 pm (7 years ago)

      Hi Ceane, thank you so much 😀

  28. Saundra Rohn
    July 22, 2010 at 9:39 pm (7 years ago)

    Wow! Maureen,
    Do you always get this many comments? “Indonesia” just the sound of it causes so many emotions…beauty, family, love, missing you. A beautiful country so far away.♥
    Love you

    • Maureen
      July 23, 2010 at 12:04 am (7 years ago)

      Not always Mom, just my luck day (or lucky post, I guess) LOL.
      Awww…we miss you so much Mom!
      Can’t wait to have you come here for a visit.
      Love you!

  29. Tina "The Book Lady"
    July 23, 2010 at 7:05 am (7 years ago)

    Hi! I’m following from 31DDD and thought I’d stop by and check out your list. I had to look over my Family Literacy blog to see if I had a list post and I kind of do. I’m doing a giveaway for the Brugo Mug and of course I have a list of ways people can get multiple entries. I wonder if that counts. You can check out my blog at:


    I’d love to stay in touch, you write very well and I loved the lesson on Indonesia. =D

    Tina “The Book Lady”

    • Maureen
      July 23, 2010 at 6:42 pm (7 years ago)

      Hi Tina,
      Thank you for your visit and your kind words.
      I’m heading over to check your post.

  30. Maryline
    July 23, 2010 at 8:23 am (7 years ago)

    Great post Maureen, the content is just really strong, and to the point. I think you get an A+ for the day 2 challenge. Go SITS 🙂
    Maryline recently posted..Before you join a nanny share…My Profile

    • Maureen
      July 23, 2010 at 6:43 pm (7 years ago)

      Maryline, you made my day! Thank you for your awesome comment. Sure am glad that I joined this 31 Days Challenge 😉 Good luck with yours.

  31. When did I become my Mom
    July 23, 2010 at 8:29 pm (7 years ago)

    Sounds beautiful – I had no idea so many islands were still uninhabited!
    Such a shame Indonesia is no longer on the 7 wonders of the world list. I would love to visit that temple one day…
    When did I become my Mom recently posted..Waiting to be WrongedMy Profile

  32. christy
    July 29, 2010 at 1:38 am (7 years ago)

    My hubby just showed me that flower a few days ago, exquisite and gross at the same time. I’d love to see one but not sure if I could stand it.

    Stopped over from a SITS discussion board to learn more about lists/links for the 31dbbb 😉
    Christy, Home♥Mom.com
    christy recently posted..Just over-under 200!My Profile

  33. ilmucts
    August 14, 2010 at 10:08 am (7 years ago)

    Indonesia is full of diverse cultures even more uniqueness in Indonesia one language diversity in each region and one Indonesian
    ilmucts recently posted..Hosting Flash dan Photo GratisMy Profile

  34. Ankinanti
    October 8, 2010 at 1:39 am (7 years ago)

    i’m blogwalking here, and i love your blog..
    esp. when you’re talking about indonesia 😀

  35. Steph, Be Positive Mom
    May 25, 2011 at 12:16 am (7 years ago)

    What a beautiful country! And that flowers is unbelievable! Great list to share… had no idea about the many languages and islands. 😉

  36. Karoline Lockner
    June 22, 2012 at 11:58 am (5 years ago)

    If there’s one blog site I take pleasure in reading every single day, it can be this.

  37. jonathan
    December 26, 2012 at 11:26 am (5 years ago)

    one more
    99% people in indonesia easy to smile.
    really paradise country

  38. Jessica
    April 9, 2013 at 10:54 am (5 years ago)

    Hey.. your article is interesting! may I share this in our Indonesian Festival page? 🙂
    we,Indonesian student’s in Taiwan would like to promote our amazing Indonesia! 🙂

  39. April
    December 2, 2014 at 5:56 am (3 years ago)

    Even if it’s not an official 7 wonder, the temple looks very impressive.

    • Maureen
      December 2, 2014 at 9:20 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you April, it is an impressive piece of history here 🙂


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