There are a lot of small islands in the Indonesian archipelago. I’ve been to some of them - the Gili islands, Bunaken, Pulau Weh, the Togian islands of central Sulawesi etc – but would love to visit more (especially the historically important Spice Islands).
In fact, there are so many small islands that Indonesia hasn’t even been able to count them all. Now that’s understandable but what I don’t get is why Indonesia is also struggling to find names for the islands it has identified.
I mean there are a hell of a lot of names out there to choose from. They could even choose to name them after famous Indonesian celebrities – Tiara Lestari Island or Bunga Lestari Island for example. Pretty catching in my opinion, and certainly a lot better than some of the existing names – Pulau Roti (Bread Island!) for example. It would even help to raise the profile of Indonesia’s image overseas.
And the Indonesian government could also sell some of the islands to foreigners to raise much needed development funds. Not likely I know, but it shouldn’t be such a sensitive matter. I mean Middle East sheiks own around 20 percent of Central London property and noone complains. The owner may be a foreigner but the property is still governed by the laws of the land it stands on.
This is something Fiji has realized, and the reason it has allowed 43 of its islands to be sold off to foreigners (at pretty hefty prices of course).
They are all pretty amazing, but my personal favorite must be the incredible island of Vatu Vara or “ Hat Island”.
At US$75 million it isn’t exactly a snip - and even David Beckham probably couldn’t afford it – although Indonesia’s richest man Sukanto Tanoto could buy it 37 times over thanks to funds obtained from the exploitation of Indonesia’s rainforests.
And if you’re in the market for a desert island of your own check out this incredible website.
As for me, I’ll probably just have to make do with a bamboo shack by the sea…