Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelago nation comprising as many as 17,000 islands spread over the same distance as Los Angeles to New York, or Perth to Sydney. Indonesia is also the most culturally diverse nation on the planet and its national motto had to be ‘Unity in Diversity’ as these islands are an extraordinary mélange of races, religions, languages and cultures.
Ian Burnet sets out on a journey across the archipelago to discover the rich cultural diversity of Indonesia. He describes how the early Malay people came to these islands and the influence of the Indian religions of Hinduism and Buddhism on the islands of Sumatra, Java and Bali. He discovers the heritage of the Indians, Chinese and Arabs who came here to trade in spices and sandalwood, he follows the rise of Islam and the traces of the first Europeans to enter Asia - the early Portuguese traders and priests.
Travelling by bus, plane, train, ferry, boat, car and motorcycle from Java to Timor, he hops from island to island across the Indonesian archipelago and the smoking volcanoes that form its spine. Ian Burnet combines his love of adventure and travel with his knowledge of history to take us with him on a personal journey through geographic space and historical time, which will delight all armchair travellers.