Republic of Indonesia
Think: Jakarta, Bali, the Spice Islands, Islam & Buddhist Temples, Volcanoes & Diverse Cultures
It's the world's 4th most populated country (according to Lonely Planet) with over 242 million people. It runs along the equator for 5000 kilometers & with over 17,000 islands you can find your own piece of paradise. Their flag with red & white, represents courage & purity.
Tips if traveling there: Think & Dress more conservatively & Don't expect much personal space while talking to others & go outside the cities to capture its beauty, Don't talk to the opposite sex openly as you would here at home, & Don't use your left hand as its considered unclean. About 90% of the country is Muslim.
Java man suggests life 1.5 million years ago originally by Austronesian people then came Hinduism & Buddhism. Then in the 13th century evidence suggests Islam was introduced. Portuguese Europeans arrived in the 16th century seeking spices like nutmeg and cloves, followed by the Dutch.
Human migration helped mould Indonesia's many cultures & traditions where there are over 350 languages spoken. There are 30 provinces since Indonesia declared their independence in 1945 (which the Dutch government didn't recognize until 1949). Today it is part of the G20 and was the only country in the region to report growth during the financial crisis of 2009. Insufficient infrastructure and corruption are ongoing problems along with unemployment and poverty. Services make up almost half of the employment, followed by agriculture and industry. 32% of GDP comes from investment(CIA World Factbook).