The Indonesian archipelago is the largest archipelago in the world and spreads over 5200 km between the Asian mainland and Australia, all of it within the tropics, and comprises about 18,000 islands, 6,000 of them inhabited. Its ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversity is correspondingly great – over 300 languages and dialects are spoken by its 240+ million people, whose fascinating customs and lifestyles are a major attraction. The largely volcanic nature of the islands has created tall cloud-swept mountains swathed in the green of rice terraces or rainforest, dropping to blindingly bright beaches and vivid blue seas, the backdrop for Southeast Asia’s biggest wilderness areas and wildlife sanctuaries. All of this provides an endless resource for adventurous trekking, surfing, scuba diving, or just lounging by a pool in a five-star resort.
Travel across the archipelago is pretty unforgettable, in tiny fragile planes, rusty ferries and careering buses. Give yourself plenty of time to cover the large distances; if you only have a couple of weeks, you’ll have a better time if you restrict yourself to exploring a small area properly rather than hopping across 3000km to see your top ten sights.
Jakarta officially known as the Special Capital Region of Jakarta (is the capital and largest city of Indonesia, and one of the most populous urban agglomerations in the world. Located on the northwest coast of Java, Jakarta is the country's economic, cultural and political centre, and with a population of around 10 million .. it is the most populous city in Indonesia and in Southeast Asia. The official metropolitan area, known as Jabodetabek is the second largest in the world, yet the metropolis's suburbs still continue beyond it. The metropolitan has an area of 4,383.53 square kilometres (1,692.49 sq mi) and population of well over 28 million.
Based on survey by Brooking Institute, in 2011 growth of economic of Jakarta ranked 17th among the world's 200 largest cities, a jump from its 2007 ranking of 171. Jakarta has grown more rapidly than Kuala Lumpur, Beijing and Bangkok
In 2014 A.T. Kearney as Global consultant released the Global Cities Index, which also includes the Emerging Cities Outlook 2014 which mentioned Jakarta as rank first among 35 cities.
Sumatra offers a breath of fresh air for those travelers looking to escape the chaos of Java. An explorer’s paradise, the vast majority of the island remains undiscovered. Most of the highlights are in the north at places like Bukit Lawang, a jungle-shrouded river offering the best chance in Indonesia to see orang-utans in the wild; Danau Toba, Southeast Asia’s largest lake and a magical place to lose a few days and relax in one of the numerous waterside resorts on the island of Samosir; and the stunning crater lake of Danau Maninjau.
Read more: http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/asia/indonesia/sumatra/#ixzz39eVZXs2e