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Old 04-16-2017, 01:12 AM
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People really know very little about Indonesia. For example, I bet very few Europeans and Americans would know the country is this big

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Old 04-16-2017, 01:15 AM
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Originally Posted by GoldenTiger View Post
Definitely not accurate. Most Southeast Asians can distinguish between Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. And for the last 500 years, almost all islands of Indonesia belong to the same country, and all islands in the modern Philippines belong to the same country. East Timor had a different history from the rest of Indonesia, and that's one reason they fought for independence. Just because other countries might not know Indonesia or Malaysia that well, does not mean they have no cultural or historical bonds among these islands.

Although Western Malaysia somewhat differs from Eastern Malaysia, they were still both British colonies before joining to become one country. Been to both sides of Malaysia, and they might have differences with each other, but I won't mistake either Sabah or Sarawak as part of the Philippines or Indonesia.

If you're talking about history, Taiwan actually has much fewer years being integrated with China, compared to most parts of Malaysia, Indonesia or the Philippines.
not denying these countries have their own culture. Instead, I am saying the geopgrahy makes it hard to those separated island to develop a common national culture. This is particularly true for the phillipines and Indonesia.
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Old 04-17-2017, 09:23 AM
Location: NoVa
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I think in the case of Indonesia, it has more to do with lack of tourist infratructure than common culture. Compare this to India, who is almost as diverse as Indonesia when it comes to culture, religion, language, food, etc. But India at least is relatively more landlocked than Indonesia, easier to get to, whereas Indonesia is a nation of 18,000+ islands that are only accessible by plane or boat. It's the main reason why election result counting in Indonesia can take weeks or months because of its sheer size and tricky geography (and lack of modern infrastructure).

Other than the usual touristy islands (Bali, Lombok, and a small handful of other islands), you need to be an adventurist to travel to Indonesia. This means, be ready to ride the chicken truck as your mode of transportation from one end of an island to another, be ready to stay in a 1* hotel (or rent a very modest room from a local's home), or ride the ferry with questionable safety record from one island to another, not to mention lack of western style entertainment when the sun goes down (no bars/night clubs and worst yet for western tourists, no alcohol!).

Let's face it, most western tourists are accustomed to certain levels of comfort when traveling and to be so far out of that comfort zone is not appealing (not to mention scary) to a lot of them. That's why Bali is so popular because it has all the usual amenities for tourists - but Bali's popularity is actually sad news for Balinese people, considering the damage that kind of mass tourism has cost Bali's scenery and landscape. I've seen pictures of long ago Bali and seen Bali at present day, and it grieves me to see how much it's changed.

Outside of Bali, Indonesia has some of the most pristine natural wonders, unspoiled beauties still relatively untouched by humans. It's a wonderful and unforgetable experience for those who take the time to explore it.

Last edited by graceC; 04-17-2017 at 09:35 AM..
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