Indonesia has enjoyed a lot of developmental successes over the past 50 years. Yet sometimes you realize just how far the country has to go. Here is one example, using Google Maps to illustrate how hard it is to drive across the island of Java—which is, for better or worse, the “core” or “center” of this sprawling archipelago.
Accordingly to Google, best case scenario: c. 700 km from Cilegon in Banten to Banyuwangi in East Java takes 27 hours…and one ferry. Seems about right, unfortunately. Many years back JMP and I took a microbus from Yogyakarta to Denpasar.
The trip took us two days, all on two-lane roads and driving far too fast for comfort. We did stop at Bromo for the night, but the point—that Indonesian development has a long way to go—should be clear.