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10+ Indonesia Facts: Interesting Trivia On Culture, History, Food & More


Looking for Indonesia facts? If you want to learn about the food, culture, people, history, or other facts about Indonesia, this article is for you!

Are you interested in learning some facts about Indonesia?

Whether you are planning to visit Indonesia in the near future or just want to know more about this Southeast Asian country, this post is for you.

Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park Indonesia facts
Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, Indonesia. Taken by A. Hartanto via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

Here’s our roundup of the most interesting Indonesia facts:

1. Indonesia is the fourth largest country in the world, by population. With around 270 million people (2020 estimate), Indonesia comes just behind the United States as far as inhabitants. It is the largest Muslim country in the world.

2. Indonesia is one of the most diverse countries in the world. There are over 300 different ethnic groups throughout all the islands in Indonesia, and Indonesians speak over 700 different languages.

Related Read: What We Can Learn From an Indonesian Ethnicity That Recognizes Five Genders

3. Indonesia is made up of over 17,000 islands. With 17,508 officially listed islands, according to the Indonesian Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs, Indonesia is the largest island country in the world. These islands include Java, the most populated island in the world, and Sumatra, the 6th largest island on the planet. There are so many islands, that less than 9,000 of them have been named!

4. The Indonesian weather is relatively stable year-round. Because Indonesia lies directly across the equator, there isn’t such a fluctuation between hot and cold. There are generally two distinct seasons, the dry season (May – October) and the wet season (November – April).

5. One indigenous flower, Rafflesia arnoldii, is the largest flower in the world. This large plant, endemic to Indonesia, is nicknamed the “corpse lily,” because it has a terrible odor which resembles decaying flesh.

6. Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital, is the most Instagrammed place on Earth. But with over 10.7 million people in the capital, as well as over 32 million people in the metropolitan area, it’s not so hard to see why, I guess. After Tokyo, Japan, it is the second-most populous urban area in the world.

7. It has some of the best food in the world. That sounds subjective, sure, rather than a truly objective Indonesia fact, but CNN conducted a worldwide poll and ranked the 50 best foods based on readers’ opinions. First place went to Indonesia’s rendang (a slow-cooked spicy beef dish), and second place also went to Indonesia, nasi goreng (fried rice). Further down on the list was sate (or satay, a skewered and grilled meat sticks, often served with sambal or peanut sauce), at number 14.

Related Read: What is the Hottest Pepper in the World? 65+ Chili Peppers SHU Ranked

8. Indonesia is home to 9 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These include 5 cultural heritage sites and 4 natural heritage sites:

  • Borobudur Temple Compounds (cultural)
  • Cultural Landscape of Bali Province: the Subak System as a Manifestation of the Tri Hita Karana Philosophy (cultural)
  • Ombilin Coal Mining Heritage of Sawahlunto (cultural)
  • Prambanan Temple Compounds (cultural)
  • Sangiran Early Man Site (cultural)
  • Komodo National Park (natural)
  • Lorentz National Park (natural)
  • Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (natural)
  • Ujung Kulon National Park (natural)

9. There is a tribe of cannibals in West Papua! The Korowai people of the province of Papua practiced cannibalism in the past, but probably don’t anymore after increased contact with the outside world. Anthropologists believe that certain people keep this statement alive to increase tourism.

10. Indonesia’s kopi luwak is the most expensive coffee in the world, and made from poop! Kopi luwak is produced when the Asian palm civet, a tree-climbing mammal, eats coffee cherries, digests them somewhat, and then defecates them out. As these cherries pass the civet’s intestines, they get slightly fermented, giving the coffee a particularly unique flavor, though it’s likely just a gimmick. Still, though, prices for kopi luwak have reached as high as $700 per kg!

11. Indonesia’s Komodo dragon is the largest lizard in the world. They can reach a length of 10 feet (3 m) and a weight of up to 150 lbs (70 kg).

Well, that’s all our Indonesia facts for now, and we hope you’ve found this post interesting and informative! Do you have any questions, feedback, or other facts about Indonesia we should include on our list? Let us know below in the comments, and thanks for reading!

Christian Eilers
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Christian Eilers
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