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last updated: Monday, January 7, 2008

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The name Indonesia has its roots in two Greek words, Indos meaning Indian and Nesos meaning islands - literally, islands near India. The country is in fact the largest archipelago in the world with more than 17,500 islands spread over 5,000 kilometres between the Asian continent and Australia and between the Pacific and the Indian oceans. Indonesia's motto is Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, (Unity in Diversity), appropriate considering the islands are inhabited by many tribes with diverse cultures and dialects.

The climate and weather of Indonesia is characterized by two tropical seasons, which vary with the equatorial air circulation and the meridian air circulation. The dry season (June through September) is influenced by the Australian continental air masses, while the rainy season (December through March) is the result of the Asian continental and Pacific ocean air masses.

The country is predominantly mountainous with some 400 volcanoes of which 100 are still active. Mountains higher than 9,000 feet are found on the islands of Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi, Bali, Lombok and Sumbawa. The highest peak is the perpetually snow capped Mandala Top (15,300 ft) in the Jaya Wijaya mountain range of Irian Jaya.

To gain entry into Indonesia, international visitors need to have passports in their possession with at least six months of validity and appropriate visas (if required). Visa enquiries can be made at an Indonesian embassy or consulate nearest your domicile.

To legally paraglide in Indonesia, pilots must be formally trained and certified, must be a current member of an Indonesian paragliding club and an active member of the governing body, the Persatuan Olahraga Dirgantara Layang Gantung Indonesia (PLGI).

The PLGI requires that all visiting pilots carry credentials to act as pilot in command of a paraglider, with preference given to the IPPI card issued by the visiting pilot's governing body. Visiting international pilots must also pay a visiting pilot membership fee to the PLGI.

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When travelling to Indonesia, pack your two way radio deep within your check-in baggage. If applicable, remove the battery pack and stow separately. The possession of handheld RF devices is illegal in Indonesia!

"my soul is in the sky"

William Shakespeare

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