The Republic of Indonesia's fact sheet makes for fascinating reading: 150 active volcanoes, over 300 languages, a wonderfully diverse plant and animal life and a widely varied religious and cultural life across 3000 miles. Against this backdrop Indonesia’s national motto of “Unity in Diversity” makes complete sense.
The equatorial country wins the prize for the most islands of any country worldwide. It can boast over 17,000 along with the most populated island in the world, Java, home to around 52 per cent of the total 255 million population. Indonesia’s fact sheet
Around 6,000 islands are inhabited with Java, Sumatra, Sulawesi and Bali four of the most notable. Indonesia shares the island of Borneo with Brunei and Malaysia while New Guinea is shared with Papua New Guinea.
The geographical spread means that residents can live in Batam, close to Singapore or head southeast to cultural Ubud in the highlands Bali. Surabaya has all the benefits of a modern, urban lifestyle without the severe traffic problems that can beset Jakarta. Lombok and Sulawesi offer beautiful seas and beaches and there is wonderful diving in Raja Ampat off the tip of Irian Jaya, West Papua and the Banda Islands.
In Jakarta prime residential areas are in the centre and south of the city. Prestigious Menteng has handsome colonial-era houses in tree-lined streets close to the business district while Kuningan is a planned community originally developed for diplomatic staff. In the south Kebayoran Baru, Lebak Bulus and Kemang are pleasant areas to live close to several International Schools.