Visit Indonesia latest story RSS http://www.indonesia.travel/en/news/ Latest story about Indonesian Tourism English Taka Bonerate National Park, The World's 3rd Largest Atoll Reef http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/314/taka-bonerate-national-park-the-world-s-3rd-largest-atoll-reef <p>Taka Bonerate is an archipelago in the Southern Sulawesi Island. It is in the Southeast of Selayar as the mainland of the archipelago. Taka Bonerate becomes the 3<sup>rd</sup> largest atoll in the world with 530.765 ha that covers the whole area with 220,000 ha coral reefs. This area was identified as the largest atoll in Southeast Asia after Kwajilein atoll in the Marshall Islands and Suvadiva atolls in the Maldives.</p> <p>Inside the archipelago there are 21 Islands, 7 Islands with population while 14 others leaving only sands, trees, beautiful reefs, and the diversity of marine life. They&rsquo;ve lived there for hundred years long ago before the independence day of Indonesia.</p> <p><a class="addtoarticle" style="margin-left: 5px;" title="to select thumbnail image" href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publisharticle/id/1942"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/525976d38532f.jpg" alt="" width="691" height="461" /></a></p> <p>The story begins 3 years ago when I decided to find a place where I can take a short internship about the marine life related to my studies in the University. And my choice goes to Taka Bonerate. I spent two weeks in the mainland, and then the rest of it in the Archipelago.</p> <p>Taka Bonerate is not as famous as other marine tourism places in Indonesia. But this place is a real paradise for travelers, adventurers, and scuba divers. Visiting this place means you will have a really adventure trip and sailing experiences. It&rsquo;s a really long way to paradise. But, no worries you will enjoy the whole trip when you get in and you will never want to go out.</p> <p>There are 3 categories of coral reefs inside the National Park, the barrier reef, fringing reef and atolls. The diversity of coral reefs is quite high, and the interesting thing on coral reef ecosystems in the National park is a steep dive spot (drop off).</p> <p>One of the most popular tourism destinations in the National Park is Tinabo Island. Tinabo is the center of marine tourism inside the National Park. Tinabo island has a white sand substrate, with a sloping topography between 0-2 meters where we can find many coconut trees, sentigi, ketapang , grasses and shrubs . The main activities that visitors can do is diving, snorkeling and canoeing.</p> <p><a class="addtoarticle" style="margin-left: 5px;" title="to select thumbnail image" href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publisharticle/id/1936"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/52597618caacf.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <p>You will love this place as I do. I really enjoy having a snorkeling experience there, capturing coral reef underwater photography, swimming like a clown fish, and being amazed with the cute of the baby sharks. I also did a tree planting, coral transplantation, and sunbathing. If you love scuba diving, then the whole area is your spot to dive in. Always bring your camera and you will be surprised with the diversity of the<em> Ibel Range, Joan Garden, Softcoral Point, and Wall Reef.</em></p> <p><br /><a class="addtoarticle" style="margin-left: 5px;" title="to select thumbnail image" href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publisharticle/id/1940"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/5259764b32944.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <p><a class="addtoarticle" style="margin-left: 5px;" title="to select thumbnail image" href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publisharticle/id/1941"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/525976519054a.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <p>If you are not a diver, no worries, snorkeling and having a hopping island trip to Tinanja, Latondu, Rajuni and other islands nearby will be a great attraction for you. Sometimes dolphins follow your boat. The society in the Island is friendly and overwhelming. Don&rsquo;t forget to have a conversation with them, because they are one of the Gypsy&rsquo;s in Indonesia, Bajo. Well, it is different with the Bajo tribe in Wakatobi that still live and build houses above the water, the Bajonese in Taka Bonerate has left the tradition to live inside the houses above the water, but they still go to sea and earn a living from the sea.</p> <p><a class="addtoarticle" style="margin-left: 5px;" title="to select thumbnail image" href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publisharticle/id/1937"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/52597620d36d5.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <p><a class="addtoarticle" style="margin-left: 5px;" title="to select thumbnail image" href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publisharticle/id/1939"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/52597637e7531.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <p>The island is a really perfect place to capture the golden sunset in the afternoon and if you come around May &ndash; June, you will see the Milky Way, where thousands stars dancing above the sky and only you and the island become the only witness of the great</p> <p><a class="addtoarticle" style="margin-left: 5px;" title="to select thumbnail image" href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publisharticle/id/1935"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/5259760fc7c1d.jpg" alt="" width="691" height="461" /></a></p> <p><a class="addtoarticle" style="margin-left: 5px;" title="to select thumbnail image" href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publisharticle/id/1938"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/5259762ba3884.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <p>Once you visit the place, you will always promise yourself to come back again. You will never miss the paradise for short but longer time. Even hard to get there, but you will never regret to come again and again.</p> Visiting Kuala Kapuas http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/311/visiting-kuala-kapuas <p dir="ltr"><strong>Overview</strong></p> <p dir="ltr"><span>Kuala Kapuas is a capital city of Kapuas district, in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. It lies between Kapuas River and Kapuas Murung River. </span></p> <p><span><span><br /></span></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>What To Do</strong></p> <p dir="ltr"><span>From this place, we can visit several attractions such as:</span></p> <ul> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr"><span>Rumah Betang</span><span> (Long House) at Sei Pasah village, Kapuas Hilir subdistrict</span></p> <p dir="ltr"><span><img src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/5245a18743781.jpg" alt="" width="1024" height="575" /></span></p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr"><span>Imanuel Church</span><span> at Saka Mangkahai village, Kapuas Barat subdistrict</span></p> <p dir="ltr"><span><img src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/5245a32fa1f23.jpg" alt="" width="988" height="1193" /></span></p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr"><span>Huma Hai</span><span> (Big House) at Mandomai village, Kapuas Barat subdistrict</span></p> <p dir="ltr"><span><img src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/5245a3fb56019.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr"><span>Triangle House</span><span> at Saka Mangkahai village, Kapuas Barat subdistrict</span></p> <p dir="ltr"><span><img src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/5245a2c6476ba.jpg" alt="" width="640" height="647" /></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><span><img src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/5245a2ab0d5d4.jpg" alt="" width="1024" height="575" /></span></p> </li> </ul> <p><span><span><br /></span></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><span>At special time we can attend events such as:</span></p> <ul> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr"><span>Ogoh-ogoh parade</span><span> during Nyepi Day </span></p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr"><span>Regional Cultural Festival Tingang Menteng Panunjung Tarung that showing coastal dance, dance inland and </span><span>karungut</span><span> (traditional Dajak song). This festival usually done during the anniversary of Kapuas district (on March every year).</span></p> </li> </ul> <p><span><span><br /></span></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><span>Kuala Kapuas also have several gardens that worth to visit such as:</span></p> <ul> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr"><span>KP3 Port Garden</span><span>, near the </span><span>Guest House</span></p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr"><span>Big Circle Garden</span></p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr"><span>Kartini Garden</span></p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr"><span>City&rsquo;s Garden</span></p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr"><span>Stadion&rsquo;s Garden</span></p> </li> </ul> <p><span><span><br /></span></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Where To Stay</strong></p> <p dir="ltr"><span>There are several hotels that available in Kuala Kapuas, but it has not stars hotel.</span></p> <p dir="ltr"><span><br /></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>What To Eat</strong></p> <p dir="ltr"><span>Traditional food from Dajak people is kelakai and umbut rattan. Kelakai can be made as </span><span>vegetable</span><span> or chips.</span></p> <p dir="ltr"><span>Since the influence of Banjar people quite strong in Kuala Kapuas, there are a lot of Banjar food here such as Soto Banjar, yellow rice, Ketupat Kandangan, and grilled Patin. Soto Banjar almost available everywhere around Kuala Kapuas, so that yellow rice.</span></p> <p dir="ltr"><span>We have </span><span>Tapai A</span><span>n</span><span>sterdam</span><span> (</span><span>Not</span><span> Amsterdam) that mean fermented cassava that created by people from Anjir Serapat Dalam village, Kapuas Timur subdistrict. </span></p> <p><span>If you want to eat light meal with river view, you can try Floating Cafe.</span></p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>What To Buy</strong></p> <p dir="ltr"><span>There are at least three shops that provide souvenir special Kapuas such as Getah Nyatu, souvenir that created from Nyatu sap. Two shops are in Barimba village, Kapuas Hilir subdistrict and o</span><span>ne shop in Kuala Kapuas.</span></p> <p><span><span><br /></span></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>How to Get around</strong></p> <p dir="ltr"><span>There are several way to get around in Kuala Kapuas. If you prefer use a car, you can rent it at travel agent.</span></p> <p dir="ltr"><span>If you prefer to use bicycle, you can rent </span><span>Mobil Gowes</span><span> (can accommodate four people). </span></p> <p dir="ltr"><span>If you want to sightseeing Kuala Kapuas through the river, you can use </span><span>klotok</span><span>, small boat with engine. </span></p> <p><span><span><br /></span></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>How to Get there</strong></p> <p dir="ltr"><span>You can read </span><span><a href="http://www.wikihow.com/Travel-to-Kuala-Kapuas,-Central-Kalimantan,-Indonesia">How to Travel to Kuala Kapuas, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia</a></span><span> from WikiHow. </span></p> <p><span><span><br /></span></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Tips</strong></p> <ul> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr"><span>Telecommunication providers that available in Kuala Kapuas are Telkomsel, XL, 3, Indosat, and Smartfren</span></p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 11px;">If you want to get around with klotok, we suggest you to bring life jacket.</span></p> </li> </ul> <p style="font-size: 11px;" dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 11px;" dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 11px;" dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 11px;" dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 11px;" dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 11px;" dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> Catching Sunrise at Mount Bromo http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/313/catching-sunrise-at-mount-bromo <p>Go hiking at Mount Bromo, East Java at the mid of August is very interesting! It is quite popular among tourists both local and foreigner for its &lsquo;easy&rsquo; hiking track. The highlights of the area are Mount Bromo (with its smoking crater), Mount Penanjakan (the favorite sunrise spot), and Cemoro Lawang (where most visitors stay). There&rsquo;s also Mount Semeru, the highest mountain in Java. But it took 2 days straight to reach the top of Mount Semeru, according to some locals. <br /><br /><strong>Accommodation</strong><br />We reach Cemoro Lawang (the outer side of Mount Bromo area) at 11 pm and booked a room at Cafe Lava Hostel. Most people, including us, only use the room for a couple of hours since we have to start hiking at dawn &ndash; if you&rsquo;re looking for the sunrise. Cafe Lava Hostel has the best location (at the edge of the crater) so you just need to walk straight into Bromo. But I don&rsquo;t think it worth the amount of money we payed. It is over priced.<br /><br /><strong>Sunrise from Mount Penanjakan</strong><br /><strong>3.15 am</strong><br /><br />We had our morning call. It was 3 am and I was too excited that I didn&rsquo;t even feel sleepy anymore although I only got a 4 hours sleep. We put our jacket on along with our gloves, winter hats, pants, and shoes. Since I left my boots in Bandung, I used my running shoes instead &ndash; it slips several time. We were prepared to see the sunrise!<br /><br />The sky was full of stars I could never imagine and the temperature was less than 10 degree Celsius up there. Not to waste any more time, I sat on the back seat of the Jeep heading to Mount Penanjakan. It took about half an hour to reach the parking area at Mount Penanjakan and then we walked for about 10 &ndash; 15 minutes to the top of Mount Penanjakan.</p> <p><img title="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" src="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/dscf4002.jpg" alt="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" width="3128" height="2346" /></p> <p><br />Here, at the top of Mount Penanjakan, lies a brilliant panoramic view of Mount Bromo, Mount Semeru, and the crater! I was lucky enough with the cloud so the view up there was so clear to the east. And if I looked straight, I could see the sun coming up slowly.</p> <p><img title="Mount Bromo" src="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/dscf4064.jpg" alt="Mount Bromo" /></p> <p><br />Since Mount Bromo is one of the most popular tourist destination in Indonesia, it is crowded! Some people even used their camera flash as they took some pictures of the mountain, which I found quite annoying.<br /><br />But later when the sun shows up, all things were paid off.</p> <p><img title="Mount Bromo Sunrise" src="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/dscf3988.jpg" alt="Mount Bromo Sunrise" width="3128" height="2346" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img title="Me Catching Sunrise at Mount Bromo" src="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/dscf4013.jpg" alt="Me Catching Sunrise at Mount Bromo" width="3128" height="2346" /></p> <p><br /><strong>Mount Bromo&rsquo;s Crater</strong><br /><strong>06.30</strong><br /><br />Off to the crater we go! We trekked down Mount Penanjakan and up to Mount Bromo summit. It was a 2 &ndash; 3 km long journey. There are horses available for rent but we chose to walk instead.<br /><br />From Mount Penanjakan, it took around 10 minutes using our Jeep to reach the foot of Mount Bromo&rsquo;s Crater. And an hour walk to the top of Mount Bromo&rsquo;s crater.</p> <p><img title="Jeep at Mount Bromo" src="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/dscf41481.jpg" alt="Jeep at Mount Bromo" width="3128" height="2346" /></p> <p><img title="Road through the Sea of Sand to Mount Bromo&rsquo;s crater" src="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/dscf4174.jpg" alt="Road through the Sea of Sand to Mount Bromo&rsquo;s crater" width="3128" height="2346" /><br /><strong></strong></p> <p><strong><img title="Stairway to Mount Bromo&rsquo;s crater" src="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/dscf4186.jpg" alt="Stairway to Mount Bromo&rsquo;s crater" /></strong></p> <p><strong>The Savanna</strong><br /><strong>07.30</strong><br /><br />Next up was the savanna area. We just had a quick stroll around this area and took some pictures along our way. There&rsquo;s nothing so special around here. But still the view was beautiful.</p> <p><img title="Savanna Area" src="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/dscf42651.jpg" alt="Savanna Area" width="2900" height="2175" /><br /><br />I had so much fun hiking Mount Bromo! The sunrise, the experience, the feeling worth the effort. Thank you for the amazing experience!</p> <p><img title="Jump at Bromo" src="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/s0014243.jpg" alt="Jump at Bromo" /><br /><br /><strong>Tips</strong><br />Bring your jacket along with your gloves as it&rsquo;s cold up there at dawn. But if you don&rsquo;t you could rent a jacket for around 25k-30k Rupiah and buy a gloves for 20k Rupiah.</p> Mini Travel Guide : Bali http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/312/mini-travel-guide-bali <h2>Where to go What to do there </h2> <h4>Kuta</h4> <p>Kuta might be over-crowded. But I just can't stop going there over and over again. I used to swim a lot there, waiting for the sun to set. There's also a time when I found myself building a sand castle with my lil cousin. And I also did surfing several times. But still I can't always stand on the board. Need a lot more practice for that. You can take a surfing lesson class at <a href="http://www.odysseysurfschool.com/">Odysseys Surfing School</a>. I took my first course for US$35 / 2 hours, and the next day, I just went to rent a board for around US$7 / 2 hours. You better check their schedule before taking the class since the class schedule is always changing, depending on how the wave behaves that season. Or.. if you're about to rent a board, kindly check the waves first before renting one. You don't wanna end up like me, being crashed by the huge waves for a pretty large amount of time.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/img_20130622_111855.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-1339" src="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/img_20130622_111855.jpg" alt="Kuta Beach Bali" width="590" height="442" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/1.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-802" src="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/1.jpg" alt="Surfing" width="590" height="393" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>What I'm saying is that Kuta is like the center point of tourism in Bali. It's crowded, but it feels so alive to be there. It could be a dirty noisy party town at night, and there is probably nothing about Balinese authentic you would find there. And those who prefer a quite deserted beach would definitely hate this place. But since I love people, I love to be around the crowds so I could just have the feeling about blending in, I found myself enjoying Kuta very much! It's a part of town that never sleep. Plus, there's a lot of cafes and restaurants lining up the road. And a lot of locals offering massage / spa too! I mean, come on, how bad could it be This place offers you the pleasure of living. Starbuck's just around the corner ;)</p> <p><em>Highlights : surfing (for beginner), swimming, cafe, restaurant, outlets, massage, spa, sunset, mall </em></p> <h4>Sanur</h4> <p>Sanur is where the old live. I mean, people from outside Indonesia who thinks that it's time for them to retire would usually buy a villa or a house at Sanur. They just simply live there, with their dogs or their wife/husband. They walk down the beach first thing in the morning, or late at noon. And they enjoy the jazz music that's played every Friday night. They enjoy life.</p> <p><a href="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/img_20130629_083441.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-829" src="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/img_20130629_083441.jpg" alt="Bali Paradise" width="590" height="442" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I also happened to live in Sanur during my 2 months summer internship this year. It was such a great ambiance Sanur had offered. And what makes me even more excited is that there are several breakfast spots in Sanur which suits my breakfast taste best! Yup. It's <strong>The Porch</strong> and <strong>Bread Basket</strong>. I also happened to attend the <strong>Weekend Beach Market</strong> held by Tandjung Sari Hotel on Friday night. And believe me.... I do prefer how the olds spend their weekend!&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/dscf0869.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-1047" src="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/dscf0869.jpg" alt="Dinner at Sanur Beach" width="590" height="442" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>If you happen to live in Sanur, make sure you visit the <a href="http://sharontravelogue.wordpress.com/2013/08/06/weekend-beach-market-tandjung-sari-bali/">Weekend Beach Market</a> at Friday night. There are some traditional food carts selling traditional Indonesian food, and the most important thing is they're playing the best live music!&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/dscf0859.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-1046" src="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/dscf0859.jpg" alt="Bicycle Sanur Bali" width="590" height="442" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Another activity I enjoy so much while staying in Sanur is cycling around the beach! You can rent a bike for only IDR 5,000 / hour (around US$ 0.5 / hour).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/dscf0348.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-985" src="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/dscf0348.jpg" alt="Bali Traditional Kite" width="590" height="442" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I also had the chance to attend one the most popular festival in Bali, which is... The <a href="http://sharontravelogue.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/bali-35th-international-kite-festival/"><strong>International Kite Festival</strong></a>! It was held at Padang Galak beach, just a little bit north of Sanur. You'll easily find the place. It was an annual festival which is usually held on July.</p> <p><em>Highlights : slow music, relaxing beach and restaurants, kite festival, spa, cycling, jogging</em></p> <h4>Nusa Dua</h4> <p>The other interesting part of Bali is Nusa Dua. It is where the luxury hotels lie. The atmosphere here is just perfect for honeymoon, or for those who bring children and the entire family! The beaches here are glorious with white sand. And it's safe for swimming too. I once went to this so called <em>Nusa Dua Block</em>. It's where the deluxe hotels and restaurants located. It also has a venue for international conferences and meetings. No wonder why the security system is way too strict. The only place I found to be interesting is <strong>Pasifika Museum</strong>. There are a lot of paintings, and sculpture. And although I don't really understand about art, I found myself enjoying every piece of them.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/img_20130720_150922.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-1340" src="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/img_20130720_150922.jpg" alt="Pasifika Museum" width="590" height="442" /></a></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11px;"><br /></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11px;">Unless you stay at the splendid hotel, there's not much to do here, in my opinion. The beach is gorgeous! Too bad that it rained the day I went there.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11px;"><br /></span></p> <p><a href="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/img-20130723-wa0001.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-1341" src="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/img-20130723-wa0001.jpg" alt="Geger Beach" width="590" height="442" /></a></p> <p><em>Highlights : Pasifika Museum, Geger Beach </em></p> <h4>Seminyak</h4> <p>Seminyak is located just a little bit north of Kuta. It's where you can find luxury spa and boutique. There are also some good craft and furniture shops you can find along the street. The beach itself is quieter than the one in Kuta. But since it has a black sand and black water, I prefer the one in Kuta (for swimming)&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/dscf0419.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-1343" src="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/dscf0419.jpg" alt="Double Six Beach" width="590" height="442" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We also find this interesting Italian restaurant named <em>Ultimo</em>. A friend of mine who happens to run a bakery in Bali brought us there. We love it! They served the best spaghetti and appetizer. No wonder it's so crowded, even late at night.</p> <p><em>Highlight : double six beach, art gallery, cafe, restaurant, boutique, beach club, spa </em></p> <h4>Canggu</h4> <p>An infamous spot in Bali is Canggu, the north of Seminyak. It's actually a small village beside the beach. There are so many rice fields here since it's still a rural area. But then, there's also a large amount of villas owned by many expatriates who chose to live in Bali. I saw some people surfing on the beach. The wave is not as friendly as the one in Kuta. I'm sure it's not a best place for beginner like me ;) But... there's this one place which worth to visit! It's called <a href="http://sharontravelogue.wordpress.com/2013/07/22/deus-ex-machina/">Deus Ex Machina</a>, the temple of enthusiasm.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/img_20130721_111303.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-924" src="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/img_20130721_111303.jpg" alt="Deus Ex Machina Cafe" width="590" height="442" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/img_20130721_101651-2.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-926" src="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/img_20130721_101651-2.jpg" alt="Deus Ex Machina Long Black" width="590" height="442" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It's kinda hard to describe what this place actually is. It&rsquo;s kind of a store but it is much more than that, a restaurant, a cafe, an art gallery, a surfer paradise, I don&rsquo;t know&hellip; but all of them makes such a perfect combination.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/dscf0400.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-973" src="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/dscf0400.jpg" alt="Gusto Gelato Cone" width="590" height="442" /></a></p> <p>Not far from Canggu, you can find <a href="http://sharontravelogue.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/gusto-gelato-caffe-bali/">Gusto Gelato &amp; Caffe</a>. Seriously, it's so popular among tourists. You've got to try their gelato! It's fresh and homemade. Anyway, I also found out that Gusto Gelato is run by Italian &amp; French couple. No wonder it tasted that good! They also serves coffee &amp; fresh pastries which are, I&rsquo;m sure, undoubtedly good.</p> <p>]<a href="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/dscf1015.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-1344" src="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/dscf1015.jpg" alt="Naughty Nuris Pork Ribs" width="590" height="442" /></a></p> <p>For lunch, you can have the best pork ribs you could possibly find in Bali. Yup, it's Naughty Nuri's! They have a branch in Kerobokan area. Also not far from Canggu.</p> <p><em>Highlight : Canggu Beach, surfing, Deus Ex Machina, Gelato (in Kerobokan), Naughty Nuris</em></p> <h4>Ubud</h4> <p>If you&rsquo;ve heard people talking about Ubud, it must be something about the spa, the yoga, the meditation, the art, the rice paddle, I don&rsquo;t know&hellip; And people who are looking for inner peace, let&rsquo;s say, will probably stay in Ubud for like 3 days or a week, just to get the feel of the place and relax a little bit and forget about all the works &amp; problems they&rsquo;ve been through. But hey, I&rsquo;m only 21 &amp; I got no bill to pay, so.. I&rsquo;m not going to meditate for 4 hours or get a massage for 2 hours because I&rsquo;m as fit as a lion, so&hellip; what I did is just eat, chill out, relax, eat, hang out, eat, and take the picture. My favorite dining place in Ubud goes to <strong>Cafe Wayan &amp; Bakery</strong>! We heard so many good reviews and recommendations about this place. They say, Cafe Wayan serves a very good strawberry cheese&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 11px;">cake.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11px;"><br /></span></p> <p><a href="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/img_20130714_140032.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-874" src="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/img_20130714_140032.jpg" alt="Wayan Cafe &amp; Bakery ' s Strawberry Cheese Cake" width="590" height="442" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And believe it or not, this is the famous Cafe Wayan that was in the Eat Pray Love movie! If you&rsquo;re going to dine in Cafe Wayan &amp; Bakery, do look for the outdoor seat at the back side of the yard. Ask for a table at the back by the small fish pond &amp; do sit on cushions, not at the tables. And you&rsquo;ll find yourself relax! I could even take a nap there. Although this place seems small and a little bit &ldquo;dark&rdquo; from the outside, back so far of the yard is incredible. We also found <strong>Antonio Blanco Museum</strong>. It was named after the founder, Don Antonio Blanco.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/img-20130714-wa0010.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-892" src="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/img-20130714-wa0010.jpg" alt="Don Antonio Blanco Museum" width="507" height="676" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We had such a great time there looking over so many paintings. Most of them are about sexy Balinese dancer and their famous beautiful breasts. Or the exotic naked fat Russian women. Yeah, there&rsquo;s a lot of nudity here. As a matter of fact, I don&rsquo;t really understand about the art thing and I&rsquo;m sure the same thing goes to Fred. But I just found out that wandering around seeing new things in museum is such a exciting thing to do nowadays! Next up was <strong>Campuhan Ridge</strong>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/dscf1051.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-1347" src="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/dscf1051.jpg" alt="Campuhan Ridge Ubud" width="590" height="442" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size: 11px;"><br /></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11px;">People usually just walk through the path or they go cycling. It's a place you can enjoy the wonderful scenery Ubud offers.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11px;"><br /></span></p> <p><a style="font-size: 11px;" href="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/dscf1038.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-1346" src="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/dscf1038.jpg" alt="Campuhan Ridge" width="590" height="442" /></a><span style="font-size: 11px;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11px;"><br /></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11px;">Unfortunately, we went there at 12 pm so the heat was just terrible. I'm sure the best time to go is early in the morning. We also went to </span><strong style="font-size: 11px;">Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary</strong><span style="font-size: 11px;">, but I don&rsquo;t really enjoy being there. It&rsquo;s like&hellip;.a forest, no, a garden, but it looks much like a forest, with so many monkeys wondering around looking for peanuts or bananas. And there&rsquo;s some temples too inside the forest. And a graveyard too. Can you imagine why I hate being there </span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11px;"><br /></span></p> <p><a style="font-size: 11px;" href="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/img_20130714_133100.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-893" src="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/img_20130714_133100.jpg" alt="Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, Ubud" width="590" height="442" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size: 11px;">Oh! I got a quote for this pic of me. "</span><em style="font-size: 11px;">When in Rome, do as the Romans do. When in Monkey Forest, do as the monkeys do.</em><span style="font-size: 11px;">" It sounds just good, right RIGHT !</span></p> <h4>Blue Lagoon, Padang Bai</h4> <p>Padang Bai is a small town in eastern Bali where there's a port for travel to Lombok. We went there for snorkeling. Believe me, the color of the ocean was as blue as the picture I share. The view from up there is beautiful&hellip;.. and breathtaking that I didn&rsquo;t wanna go home.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/1044333_10200405543358233_1869296729_n.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-852" src="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/1044333_10200405543358233_1869296729_n.jpg" alt="Blue Lagoon Beach, Bali" width="556" height="417" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We rent a snorkeling mask (I don&rsquo;t know how to call this thing) for 15.000 Rupiah and a pair of fins for 15.000 Rupiah. (Both for around US$3). Pretty cheap, isn't it Anyway, you could read my <em>panic attack story </em><a href="http://sharontravelogue.wordpress.com/2013/07/08/snorkeling-at-blue-lagoon-beach-bali/" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <h4>Lovina</h4> <p>Well, I haven't got a chance to visit Lovina yet. A friend of mine recommended that I go there early at dawn to catch the sunrise and watch the dolphins! Then we can go diving. It's sooo interesting! And Lovina is definitely on my list! If you have the time, you should probably go and tell me what it is like being there :D <strong>I would love to hear you story too!</strong></p> <h4>Jimbaran</h4> <p>For you who have a chance to visit Bali, you should never ever missed one dinner time at the seashore. Fresh coconut water, fresh seafood, &amp; the beautiful sunset are there waiting for you. Here in Bali, the most popular spot where you can experience dining on the beach sand on the sunset is is in Jimbaran. There are plenty of restaurant lined up in the beach. You can choose any restaurants you want because most of them sell the same kind of food. But don&rsquo;t be surprised, the food is indeed over priced.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/dscf3300.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-1096" src="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/dscf3300.jpg" alt="Jimbaran Sunset" width="590" height="442" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/dscf3311.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-1099" src="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/dscf3311.jpg" alt="Jimbaran Seafood" width="590" height="442" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size: 11px;">Here's the hint : one of the most popular restaurant was </span><strong style="font-size: 11px;">Menega Cafe</strong><span style="font-size: 11px;">. But this time, we went to </span><strong style="font-size: 11px;">Kampoeng Seafood &nbsp;</strong><span style="font-size: 11px;">from a friend&rsquo;s recommendation.</span></p> <h2>What to eat </h2> <p>You definitely shouldn't miss the traditional Balinese dishes! The most popular are <em>Babi Guling</em> (suckling pig) and Nasi Campur. <strong>Babi Guling </strong>is a stuffed pig that was infused with some kind of spicy concotion before it is roasted. One portion of <em>babi guling </em>is consisted of some slices of meat, fried intestines, pork sausage, satay, the fat, and some shredded coconut, I guess You could easily find <em>babi guling </em>in almost every corner of Bali! <strong>Nasi Campur Ayam</strong> is another famous dishes in Bali. I tried the one in Warung Khrisna, Sanur and it tasted sooo good! I even prefer Nasi Campur Ayam than Babi Guling. The restaurant itself is cozy with an open garden setting.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/dscf3465.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-1350" src="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/dscf3465.jpg" alt="Balinese Nasi Campur" width="590" height="442" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A portion of Nasi Campur consists of white rice, Balinese shredded chicken, some vegetable, sate lilit (<em></em>minced fish satay), peanuts, chicken skin, and a slice of boiled egg. Oh! And not to forget about the delicious <em>sambal matah. </em>I loooove it. It's somekind of Balinese chili with onions. It tasted so... authentic. However, there are also a great amount of western food available, which are also so inviting. I used to eat grilled pork ribs a lot at <a href="http://sharontravelogue.wordpress.com/2013/07/23/naughty-nuris-bali/"><strong>Naughty Nuri's</strong>.</a> It's so popular among tourists and locals! I mean, it's like nobody leave Bali without even trying their famous ribs.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;<a href="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/dscf1015.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-1344" src="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/dscf1015.jpg" alt="Naughty Nuris Pork Ribs" width="590" height="442" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And I used to spend the weekend on <strong>Arena Pub &amp; Restaurant</strong>, having affordable juicy steaks.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/dscf0465.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-993" src="http://sharontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/dscf0465.jpg" alt="Pork Steak " width="590" height="442" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>You can read my review about Arena Pub &amp; Restaurant <a href="http://sharontravelogue.wordpress.com/2013/07/12/arena-pub-restaurant-sanur-bali/">here</a> if you want to. And there are several <a href="http://sharontravelogue.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/good-breakfast-bali/" target="_blank">breakfast spots</a>&nbsp;I keep coming back to. They serve a very good western style breakfast. Seriously, the list won't end. There are just so many foods I can't resist!</p> <h2>How to get around </h2> <p>Well, this one's the most tricky among all. Bali used to not having a public transportation, I mean, at all. But now, there's this city-bus named <strong>Trans Sarbagita</strong> which can take you around their route. However, the route is not complete yet. There might be some area which is not covered by the bus. But you could always <strong>rent a car or a motorbike&nbsp;</strong>easily. That's how most tourists travel around Bali. Taxi is not so popular here as the rate is quite high.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">***</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>So.... Are you planning to visit Bali next summer Let me know if you need some help! I'd be glad to help you. </em></p> <p><em>P.S : It might be a chance for me to update this <strong>Bali Mini Travel Guide</strong>. There are still so much to write about.</em></p> A Transit in Tarakan http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/310/a-transit-in-tarakan <p>Visiting Tarakan was never crossed my mind before. If only, I didn&rsquo;t plan to visit Derawan, I would probably missed it.</p> <p>Actually there are two options if you want to visit Derawan, one via Berau, and the other is via Tarakan. My friends and I chose the latter. The flight to Tarakan took about less than 3 hours if it&rsquo;s a direct flight.</p> <p>It was known as one of oil producers in the past, and to remind us of that, we decided to visit what is left from its glorious days. The oil pump in Tarakan is located onshore, not offshore; and to pump the oil out they use a unique oil pump, where we called it <em>Pompa Minyak Angguk</em> (Angguk is &lsquo;nodding&rsquo;). Why they called it that It&rsquo;s because the movement of the oil pump is like nodding.</p> <p>Based on what I saw, there were only a few left of the oil pump in Tarakan. Some weren&rsquo;t working (or perhaps they turned it off), a few was still working, just like the one in the area that we visited.</p> <p>The oil fields with the <em>Pompa Angguk</em> is open for public as we didn&rsquo;t see any warnings of the restricted area. So we just strolled around the area, and not to forget to take pictures in front of the <em>Pompa Angguk.</em></p> <p><em><br /></em></p> <p><img style="font-size: 11px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Pompa Angguk" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/5240a46d72549.jpg" alt="Pompa Angguk" width="720" height="448" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>One of the place that we can&rsquo;t wait to visit was the mangrove conservatory.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s actually not only the conservation for the mangrove itself, but also for the proboscis monkey or we call it <em>monyet bekantan </em>(this monkey is being used as the symbol for Dunia Fantasi (Dufan) theme park in Jakarta). That is why, this place is called <em>Kawasan Konservasi Mangrove Bekantan</em>.</p> <p>The area of this forest conservation is massive. From what I read, the area is about 22 HA, with plenty of mangrove species that was planted there on purpose, and around 25 proboscis monkeys.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="mangrove conservatory" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/5240a44acbb9f.jpg" alt="mangrove conservatory" width="720" height="461" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The place is very cool and relax, with very high trees. A pathway, which looks like a short bridge, was made so the visitors can walk freely and comfortably in this conservation area.</p> <p>In this conservatory area, not only you can see the monkeys glide or jump from one branch to another, you can also see the monkey from a short distance that is during the feeding time. If I&rsquo;m not mistaken, that happens in the morning.</p> <p>In the middle of the area, there&rsquo;s a post, where there were a few staff that can explain anything about the area. The staff can also walk with you, and show some interesting thing in the conservation area.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img style="font-size: 11px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/5240a4ac992aa.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="453" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>An island is identic with beach, including Tarakan.</p> <p>The beach that is popular as the destination in Tarakan is called <em>Pantai Amal</em>, and there are two Amals, the old and the new one. We only went to the old one though, or it&rsquo;s called <em>Pantai Amal Lama</em>.</p> <p><em>Pantai Amal Lama</em>, didn&rsquo;t look like what I thought. There&rsquo;s a barrier between the land and the sea. Perhaps in low tide, there&rsquo;s a possibility for us to walk down from the barrier, but it was in the afternoon, and the sea level was almost similar with the land.</p> <p><em>Pantai Amal Lama </em>is not a good place to see sunset, as the sun sets in behind us, but it&rsquo;s quite a good place to relax and hang out with friends while eating fried noodle and coconut ;-)</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img style="font-size: 11px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/5240a4dc801dc.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="465" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Talking about food in Tarakan, we was deliberately looking for <em>Kepiting Saos Kenari</em> (crab with walnuts sauce), that we found in Jalan Mulawarman. We didn&rsquo;t think anything when we ordered, we just said to the waitress that we wanted to order the famous <em>Kepiting Saos Kenari. </em>Apparently, there&rsquo;s no <em>Kepiting Saos Kenari </em>in the menu! Lol &hellip; And from that moment on, we realized that <em>Kepiting Saos Kenari </em>is actually the name of the restaurant! Haha.</p> <p>I didn&rsquo;t eat the crab, but looking at how my friends ate that crab, I know that the crab is delicious! ;-)</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img style="font-size: 11px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/5240a5d653a13.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="496" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It was a good short visit to Tarakan! So &hellip; Don&rsquo;t forget to visit Tarakan when you plan to have a trip to Derawan ;-)&nbsp;</p> The Sea Gypsy's haven of Wakatobi http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/308/the-sea-gypsy-s-haven-of-wakatobi <p><strong>They named themselves the Sea people. Born and lives all depend on the sea. They have no territorial like other tribe. The entire wakatobi shore - even the entire nation, is their home. They really are the 'Sea tribe'</strong></p> <p><strong><br /></strong></p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The Sea Gypsy&rsquo;s haven of Wakatobi" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku//5229a3d02b24a.jpg" alt="The Sea Gypsy&rsquo;s haven of Wakatobi" width="920" height="295" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We get on to a small boat to get across to one of the Bajo village in Kaledupa Island. The sea is so calm, the sky is blue, and in the distance we can see the stage house with their wooden pillars pierce to the bottom of the ocean.</p> <p>This is one of place where the Bajo community settles. They are no longer a sea nomadic as they used to be. Now they hav live in settlement spreading throughout the entire Wakatobi area.</p> <p>Here in Kaledupa island, they build their own village in the middle of the sea. Placing coral stone foundation and build a stage house on it. A few even build without foundation, just by sticking the pillars to the bottom of the sea.</p> <p>The Bajo tribe is a true master of the sea. Since the day they were born, they have lived on the ocean. They are masters of traditional spearfishing.</p> <p>They hunt for fish with freediving without any modern equipment. At the bottom of the sea, they walk and hold spear as if they were hunting on land.</p> <p>"There are people among us who could dive up to 25 minutes," said one of the Bajo villagers while i was chatting at the harbor.</p> <p>Whether it is true or not, because the free diving world record apnea is just 22 minutes. But then again, it is the Bajo tribe. Ocean have been part of their life, so it could be true.</p> <p>Children of Bajo tribe have been familiar with the sea since early stages. Even, just a day after they were born, they will be bathed with sea water.</p> <p>Indonesian was known as a maritime antion. Glorious on the sea. The marine capability of the Bugis tribe sailing the ocean with their phinisi may be great. But Bajo people, which said as a Sriwijaya kingdom naval armada, are just using a small boat, can beat them easily with their skill.</p> <p>That afternoon, we embarked at the Sampela pier; on of the most traditional Bajo village. Stage houses here are still built from woods, unlike the other village where they have use concrete and iron sheeting as the roof.</p> <p>I saw line of houses in the village. Kids playing with their canoes, some just play in the water, and some plays cocces on a 'field' - which is also build on wooden stage. I also notice school and mosque have been built in the village. The majority of Bajo people are moslem, even though their traditional believes about ancestor spirits and other are stil praticed</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The Sea Gypsy&rsquo;s haven of Wakatobi" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/5229a3fa6919b.jpg" alt="The Sea Gypsy&rsquo;s haven of Wakatobi" width="920" height="680" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The Sea Gypsy&rsquo;s haven of Wakatobi" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/5229a41076d89.jpg" alt="The Sea Gypsy&rsquo;s haven of Wakatobi" width="920" height="613" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The Sea Gypsy&rsquo;s haven of Wakatobi" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/5229a428a65ac.jpg" alt="The Sea Gypsy&rsquo;s haven of Wakatobi" width="920" height="455" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The sun is on the horizon, beautifully shining the Sapela. I am still wandering around this village. Some houses are seen to be having satelitte antenna to get television broadcast. But, the bajo tribe is still seems to be in lower economic status compared to people living in nearest town.</p> <p>I was at the market near Wanci located on the shore, numbers of small fishing boat is seen, looking for fish with their nets and caught fish filling their boats.</p> <p>"I place the nets about half an hour ago," said one of the fisherman. Fresh fish were easily caught in short time! With large variation such as snapper, grouper cob, even big tuna can be found around Wakatobi. And, Indonesia is known as one of the largest tuna exporter in the world.�</p> <p>Wakatobi is also on of the areas which are known as the Coral Triangle. The coral reefs in Wakatobi are the second longest in the world nest to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia! And, from all 850 kinds of Coral in the wrold ; Wakatobi is the home of 750 kinds of them!</p> <p>I get the chance to dive in Wanci an I was amazed by the beauty coral and fishes it has. My dive guide said, it is nothing here to compare to the one in Hoga island. Hoga island is another small island in Kaledupa, which is also the basis of Operation Wallace; an an international marine research organization. But it even here in Wanci the underwater view is astonishing.</p> <p>The Bajo tribe knowledge of sea is amazing, the can tell a fish just by seeing from the canoe, "I only takes what we need (from the sea), I never used bombs or other dangerous equipment," said one of the fisherman.</p> <p>He said that using dangerous technique in fishing is not their way. The Bajo tribe lives from the sea; they know how to well treat their live source.</p> <p>Yet still, some people are still praticing illegal way such as using bombs or potassium to catch fish which could damage the coral. For that a local organization working hand in hand with the local fisherman to protect Wakatobi area.</p> <p>At night under the stars, we have a barbeque dinnier with the fish we caught with sapah. A traditional spearfishing that done on the boat, with a oil lamp to attract the fish. With the sea breeze blowing, a Bajo tribe man sang a beautiful traditional song. Even though we didn't understand the lyrics means, but the music and the atmosphere was amazing.</p> <p>I'm so amazed by the natural beauties of Wakatobi and hoping that one day this community can be prosperous. So I can dive and enjoy the wonderful underwater coral park of Wakatobi with a peace in mind.</p> <p>The people of Bajo Tribe may be on the other side of economy status, but they believe as long as they respect the ocean, the ocean will fullfill their needs. Because they are the gypsies of the sea, the master of the ocean , the sea people, the Bajo tribe of Wakatobi.</p> <p>....</p> <p><strong>Travel Tips</strong></p> <p><strong>Getting there</strong>&nbsp;Direct flight to Wakatobi only serves by lion air from Jakarta to Wanci of Wangi-wangi Island.</p> <p>Wakatobi stands for Wangi-wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia, and Binongko. Wanci is the biggest town and where the airport.</p> <p><strong>Accommodation</strong></p> <p>For diving junkie, you should stay in Hoga Island. There were homestay and also a resort for arranging a dive. The best dive spot is Hoga, Wanci, and Tomia.</p> <p>In other island like Tomia there were also a homestay, don't forget trekking to Tomia Hill Peak, the view is amazing.</p> <p><strong>When to go</strong></p> <p>Wakatobi is worth a visit at any time of year, but the best visit is on dry season on August - December.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The Sea Gypsy&rsquo;s haven of Wakatobi" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/5229a44a21b75.jpg" alt="The Sea Gypsy&rsquo;s haven of Wakatobi" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The Sea Gypsy&rsquo;s haven of Wakatobi" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/5229a47954354.jpg" alt="The Sea Gypsy&rsquo;s haven of Wakatobi" width="920" height="582" /></p> The Rewarding Descent of Rinjani : Segara Anak http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/307/the-rewarding-descent-of-rinjani-segara-anak <p>The final hike to the summit was desperately hard. The trail became loose gravel, rising at a steep angle, and the effects of the high altitude soon became apparent as I gasped for breath.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/52289f795166c.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Dawn was already starting to touch the sand and rocks while i was struggling climbing the almost vertical sand hill. With giving all my strength, i finally manage to stand on top of the ground of Anjani goddess. It has the most beautiful views of Rinjani.</p> <p>On the west side, you can see Mount Agung which is located in Bali, while on the east side you can can see Mount Tambora which is located in Sumbawa. The mist disappear as the sun rising. They look graceful that morning.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/52289f92c30e8.jpg" alt="" width="780" height="520" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/52289fa848a41.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"After this, we'll be there," said my companion, pointing downward. From that point, Segara Anak Lake, that streches six kilometer is visible.Also Mount Barujari with its typical cone-shaped ancient mountain and the beauty of the Segara anak Lake are inevitable.</p> <p>I immediately move and cannot wait to enjoy the view from more up close.</p> <p>To reach Segara Anak Lake from Plawangan Sembalun, i was told to descend the steep rocky valley. And i tell you, it was slippery. I slipped few times.</p> <p>My body felt so tired after our stop at the top of Rinjani at 3726 meters above mean sea level, and now I still have to go down to 2000 meters. But the hard work was paid off when i saw a giant lake in distance.</p> <p>"Like in the Jurrasic park movie," i muttered. My leg got even more motivated. It's true what people said. The view of the mountain can beat any fatigue!</p> <p>After a long way down the ridge, i was greeted by the sound of Segara Anak's water, rustling quietly. The wind blew from the valleys around the lake as if it is protecting the lake from the outside world.</p> <p>Segara Anak Lake (""Child of the Sea"" in Sasak language) is sacred to the Lombok's people. For the ethnically Balinese Hindus the Lake are the Home of the Gods, and for the Sasaks too, some of who still cling to pre-Islamic beliefs, the waters are home to powerful spirits.</p> <p>At the edge of the lake, there are crude alters, a scattered with Balinese sesajen offerings, and during the annual Pakelem festival pilgrims make their way up from the villages to cast offerings into the lake.</p> <p>It is not easy to reach the lake since there is no flat track straight to it. Inevitably we have to climb the Plawangan peak, and then head down to the lake.</p> <p>"Please have some pineapple, sir," A porter offered me a slice of pineapple when i sat down, exhausted on the edge of the lake. Maybe he could see it from my place face as I sat there, leaning on my 80 litter backpack. I accepted the kinds of the porter with pleasure.</p> <p>While eating the pineapple, i could see some people were happy because they caught a huge fish, while in distance Barujari Mountain i standing smugly. "Ahh, this country is very beautiful," I murmured.</p> <p>"If you are tired, try to soak in hot spring water, you will feel refreshed instantly," said my friend. After setting up our camp, I immediately head towards the south lake. Only about a hundred meters from the camp I found a natural Rinjani hot spring.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/52289fbca7085.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="468" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/52289fd5cb6e1.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="579" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Several people were enjoying the warm natural pond. Funnily enough, a few wild monkeys were watching us from above and they waited until our guard lay down so they could steal the food! I heard that there are some people who have lost their eggs or chocolate. What a clever monkey!</p> <p>One more bonus of the Segara Anak is the Milk Cave. It got this name because the inside of the cave is milky white. Stalagmites in the cave roof drop hot water, so hot vapors come out of the cave mouth. It'a a stunning natural sauna. The hot water and Milk cave makes my sleep very soundly at night.</p> <p>The best moment to be in Segara Anak is at sunset. As if a painting, orange tinges form transverse lines on the walls of valley around the lake. Some walls are partially exposed to a golden light, some remain dark. It is a light show that really makes an impression on the heart. Segara anak is the heaven of Rinjani. There are no words that can describe the beauty and camera do not seem to capture its beauty the way it truly is.</p> <p>I just closed my eyes, inhale, and take this beauty to my heart.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/52289feb68874.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="462" /></p> <p>....</p> <p><strong>Travel Tips</strong></p> <p><strong>Getting there&nbsp;</strong>Mataram is well-served with flights to major Indonesian cities as well as smaller towns in Nusa Tenggara. From Praya International airport, there are regular connections with Jakarta, Denpasar and Surabaya. Also from singapore</p> <p>The port of Lembar is linked to Padangbai on by Bali by regular ferries. The journey takes 3-4 hours.</p> <p><strong>Accommodation</strong></p> <p>ThMost visitors choose to stay in Sengiggi where there are options for all budgets from the basic homestay to luxurious hotels.</p> <p>There are several simple guesthouses in Senaru, try the Segara Anak Homestay, and a few in Sembalum Lawang.</p> <p><strong>Arranging a trek</strong></p> <p>Rinjani treks are easy to arrange through hotels and travel agents in Sengiggi. Expect to pay anything from Rp 500,000 to Rp 2,000,000 per person for an all-inclusive, three-day trek depending on the size of your group.</p> <p><strong>When to go</strong></p> <p>Lombok is worth a visit at any time of year, but trekking is at its best in the dry season. Not only are the views likely to be obscured during the rains, but the slopes of the volcano are prone to flash floods, and the narrow paths can be tortuously slippery.</p> Bali means serenity http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/304/bali-means-serenity <p>If you really want to know the meaning of serenity then you should sit on the beach of Bali.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/521c475020f4f.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>When I reached bali in the first week of November 2009, it became 1300 hrs. (i.e. 1:00 am in the mid night). I dumped my luggage in the hotel and could not resist myself to go to the beach at that mid night as the roaring of the sea was calling me. I asked the receptionist whether its safe to go to the beach at that time; the receptionist replied with smile and told "why dont you give a try, its so near, just behind the hotel". Then I rushed to the beach---it was just wonderful.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/521c47db38484.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/521c47ffa5e7e.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/521c481aeb30f.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Its not only the palce of Bali but the people of Bali made Bali an unique place on earth. The heart and mind of the people of Bali made me something that I thought I would never come back home from there-----I belong to that place though I never been there before.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/521c4830398aa.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/521c4856d6a9d.jpg" alt="" width="480" height="640" /></p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/521c4887c1b40.jpg" alt="" width="480" height="640" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The full moon lasted for three days in Bali while I was there (it happens due to some geographical location of the place)----every night I went to beach------it was really a show on earth nobody can forget.</p> <p>I saw a thing made of few bamboo sticks hanging downwards with heavy a disc made pf clay in the middle of those bamboo sticks; when air flows the disc hits the bamboo sticks and makes an amazing tune that no man can play on this earth; thats the real "Sound of the World"---I have ever heard in my life time. I wanted to bring that thing home but could not as all of my suitcases were already full of many wooden sculptures by that time. I dream one day I would go to Bali again to listen to that tune and bring that thing home.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/521c48a4591d6.jpg" alt="" width="640" height="480" /></p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/521c48d9aaaff.jpg" alt="" width="640" height="480" /></p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/521c48fc8963e.jpg" alt="" width="640" height="480" /></p> The Taman Sari Water Castle of Sultan Princess of Yogyakarta, Java island,Indonesia http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/305/the-taman-sari-water-castle-of-sultan-princess-of-yogyakarta-java-island-indonesia <p>It's a gorgeous moment to have sight seeing around the ancient swimming pool which have been there since era 1800. Taman Sari Water Castle which built since era of the first Sultan in Yogyakarta palace. It only had been used for the princess &amp; queen swimming pool.</p> <p>I felt like a princess when I've been there. Although the visitors do not allow to swim inside the pool. I'd be glad to take some wonderful pictures for the wonderful of Indonesia.</p> <p>Regards,Ms Yuli A</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/5218b7c8a1709.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/5218b7e63187e.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/5218b802b4500.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/5218b82cd6b30.JPG" alt="" /></p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/5218b84a1d569.JPG" alt="" /></p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/5218b85f3cd03.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/5218b8708c335.JPG" alt="" /></p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/5218b88d02f3f.jpg" alt="" /></p> Surabaya Society http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/300/surabaya-society <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-3694" src="http://thewriterpreneur.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/Foreplay-Glenn-Fredly-300x199.jpg" alt="Foreplay-Glenn Fredly" width="300" height="199" /></p> <p>Home to a bevy of brand new nightclubs, cool coffee shops and Western-style bars, Surabaya is no longer just a town for heavy industry types and shipping officials. This coastal capital of East Java now offers good local and international coffee shops, where trendy cosmopolites sip on lattes, while well-known DJs mark the spot around the city&rsquo;s up-and-comingclubbing scene.</p> <p>In line with the rest of the world&rsquo;s culture of coffee consumption, over the last three years, franchises such as Starbucks and Coffee Bean have open their doors to Surabaya&rsquo;s caffeine-hungry crowd. A locally run outlet called Coffee Corner also provides some healthy competition; this two-storey coffee stop has served celebrities like Gerry Ishak and MTV VJ Marissa and draws a regular crowd of hip college students and young professionals.</p> <p>Sipping a java on a comfortable sofa indoors at Coffee Corner during the day is a great escape from the city&rsquo;s hot weather, but patrons also find the coffee shop&rsquo;s outdoor area just as delightful in the evening, especially if there&rsquo;s a light breeze and a star-lit sky. On weekends, live acoustic jazz performances in the evenings add to the already atmospheric surrounds.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://thewriterpreneur.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/Coffee-Corner-5.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://thewriterpreneur.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/Coffee-Corner-5-300x199.jpg" alt="Follow the young set in this Indonesian city to a string of popular hotspots around town." width="300" height="199" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Adi Brasco, a producer with My Radio, Surabaya, the city&rsquo;s renowned radio station, is a Coffee Corner regular customer. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a coffee shop with a homey atmosphere,&rdquo; Adi says. &ldquo;In addition to serving a variety of great Indonesian coffees and teas, an array of local and international foods is available at an affordable price.&rdquo; Coffee Corner staff member Rizky Coffee Baniadi Putra, or Kochino, as friends Baniadi Putra affectionately call him, then points to the menu and says: &ldquo;You should try our grand royal cappuccino or hot chocolate caramel paired with a country club sandwich.&rdquo;</p> <p>After filling up on coffee, visitors looking for a thirst-quenching ale should head straight to Eclectic Pub &amp; Lounge. Nestled inside Surabaya Town Square (SUTOS), one of the city&rsquo;s newest malls, Eclectic is an entertainment venue that combines a traditional a traditional Irish pub and modern classic lounge in one room. It opens daily at 2pm, has a wide choice of alcoholic beverages, and makes a great spot for a relaxing afternoon.</p> <p>The crowd here starts to grow from dinnertime, when Eclectic becomes a popular haunt for those craving delicious Western food. Eclectic&rsquo;s promotions manager Eddy Irawan recommends a grilled steak with a martini, or the house creation &mdash; an Illusion cocktail, a vodka-based concoction with Midori, cura&ccedil;ao and pineapple juice.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://thewriterpreneur.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/venue-4.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://thewriterpreneur.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/venue-4-300x199.jpg" alt="venue (4)" width="300" height="199" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Lina, an interior designer from Jakarta, recently visited the popular spot and says: &ldquo;I especially like the main bar, which is located in the centre of the pub and lounge. The lighting and the club&rsquo;s acoustic band performance really make the place come alive.&rdquo; The lounge doesn&rsquo;t close until dawn and has attracted much attention from local professionals and expatriates.</p> <p>For those seeking a younger vibe and hotter beat, just a short walk away from Eclectic is eight-month-old Foreplay Club, which has definitely spiced up the city&rsquo;s nightlife. The new club offers a laid-back atmosphere across three entertainment rooms, each with a different theme.</p> <p>Open from 9pm until 4am, the club&rsquo;s Main Hall is set for live shows, the White Room is designed for those who enjoy DJs spinning genre techno house music, soulful house and progressive; and the outdoor balcony, is a good place for clubbers looking to chit-chat into the night (or morning as the case may be), with night-time views to boot.</p> <p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;ve staged renowned musicians such as Glenn Fredly and Joeniar Arif,&rdquo; says Foreplay&rsquo;s manager, Negro. &ldquo;We also regularly invite Indonesia&rsquo;s best DJs like DJ Riri and DJ Romi to perform.&rdquo; Negro says the club&rsquo;s &ldquo;minilycious&rdquo; night, held on Fridays, &ldquo;entices lady patrons in their 20s and 30s. This is a well-attended weekly bash where free drinks are given to ladies dressed up in mini sexy dresses.&rdquo;</p> <p>Another hip venue, with the same operating hours as Foreplay, Club 360&ordm; attracts nocturnal partygoers wiThenergy to burn. The cutting-edge d&eacute;cor, 50,000-watt sound and spectacular lighting systems, all make for a ground-shaking dance scene.</p> <p>&ldquo;With live music featuring bands from Surabaya and Jakarta, the dance floor is definitely getting hotter,&rdquo; says Nick Soetiono, the club&rsquo;s assistant general manager. &ldquo;You should come to the club&rsquo;s Saturday Orgasmix, one of Surabaya&rsquo;s best events where you&rsquo;ll find top-notch national DJs spinning.&rdquo;</p> <p>In addition to its Orgasmix nights, Club 360&deg; has other entertainment options including Rhythm KTV, a 26-room karaoke area, and Celsius Spa, a 40-cabin spa that includes a hot and cold pool, traditional massage and reflexology. It&rsquo;s the only venue in Surabaya that sees its regulars move seamlessly from a big night of drinking, dancing and singing into a healthy detox.</p> <p>Coffee CornerRoyal Park, Jln Arief Rachman Hakim no. 40-42, tel: +62 (31) 593 7373 +62 (31) 593 7373</p> <p>Eclectic Pub &amp; LoungeSurabaya Town Square (SITOS), Jln Adityawarman 55, tel: +62 (31) 563 3613 +62 (31) 563 3613</p> <p>Foreplay ClubSurabaya Town Square (SITOS), Jln Hayam Wuruk 6, tel: +62 (31) 563 3932 +62 (31) 563 3932</p> <p>Club 360&deg;Royal Plaza, Jln Ahmad Yani 16-18, tel:</p> <p>+62 (31) 827 1688 +62 (31) 827 1688</p> <p><em>By <strong>Aulia Rachmat.&nbsp;</strong>Photos courtesy of Coffee Corner, Foreplay and Club&nbsp;360&deg; </em></p> <p><em>Published in <strong>Jetstar Asia</strong> Magazine, August-September 2009.</em></p> High on Nature http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/301/high-on-nature <p><em>Strap on your boots to explore the natural wonders of Java&rsquo;s Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park.</em></p> <p><em><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_tP_p0RQVbF8/TGmn9GAEidI/AAAAAAAAAto/S2qxLUl7IrI/s320/IMG_0876+%5B1600x1200%5D.JPG" alt="" border="0" /></em></p> <p>After a 3am wake-up call, we&rsquo;re greeted by the fresh pre-dawn breeze and the spectacular panorama of Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. Even the half hour shivering in the dark waiting for the beautiful sunrise over Mount Bromo is worth the excitement.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s a two-hour drive from Malang before another 30-minute jeep ride to reach the scenic lookout at Mount Penanjakan. Because it&rsquo;s the holiday season, we have to squeeze ourselves into a large crowd waiting for the magical hour of sunrise at around 5.30am. Revitalised by the amazement of dawn breaking in shades of orange and blue, the sub-zero temperatures are no longer an obstacle. The sunrise is undoubtedly the main attraction here.</p> <p>Open to the public since 1982, the national park is famous for the 2,392m Mount Bromo and the Tengger people who inhabit the area, as well as the 3,676m Mount Semeru, the highest in Java, and the 2,440m Mount Batok.<br />The friendly Tengger people, most of whom are farmers, are genuine and welcoming. We encounter a native Tengger who take us on a short cut to a better vantage point. The views of steam-belching Bromo and its volcanic neighbours surrounded by the &lsquo;sand sea&rsquo; take us to cloud nine.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_tP_p0RQVbF8/TGmorowoD3I/AAAAAAAAAtw/f5qryagtQz4/s320/IMG_0899+%5B1600x1200%5D.JPG" alt="" border="0" /></p> <p>Madakaripura waterfall is another beautiful place worth visiting. Located close to Mount Bromo, the waterfall is encircled by seven waterfalls and caves. This historical site is the place where Gadjah Mada, the powerful military leader and prime minister of Majapahit Kingdom, used to meditate.</p> <p>We continue our journey to Mount Bromo&rsquo;s crater, a 15-minute drive from the Mount Penanjakan lookout. The most enjoyable part of this short journey is going through the sand sea.</p> <p>A hard-top jeep is the most convenient means of transport in the national park, although a few people, mostly locals, use motorcycles to get around the park. However this is not recommended for visitors and tourists, owing to adverse road conditions and weather.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_tP_p0RQVbF8/TGmp6JyZbNI/AAAAAAAAAt4/t0awgXbrjuc/s320/IMG_0916+%5B1600x1200%5D.JPG" alt="" border="0" /></p> <p>Our jeep driver Kembar Sanyoto (Toto), a native Tengger, shares with us the myth about the origins of the Tengger tribe. &ldquo;Roro Anteng, princess of Majapahit Kingdom, married Joko Seger, an ordinary man from Padepokan, Bromo. That&rsquo;s how the name Tengger is derived &mdash; Anteng and Seger&hellip; Tengger,&rdquo; he explains.</p> <p>Roro Anteng and Joko Seger promised Sang Yang Widi, the Hindu supreme deity, to sacrifice their youngest child into Bromo&rsquo;s crater if they were blessed with many children. Out of the 25 children they had, the couple loved the youngest, Kusuma, the most and didn&rsquo;t want to sacrifice him.<br />The anger of the gods made Mount Bromo spew lava, and its explosion was a disaster for the Tengger tribe. Kusuma finally threw himself into Bromo&rsquo;s crater to ease the gods&rsquo; fury, and Mount Bromo has stayed appeased ever since.<br />Until today, the predominantly Hindu population of Tengger holds a ritual ceremony in the full moon every September to commemorate Kusuma&rsquo;s sacrifice. As a symbol of respect to Kusuma, the Tengger people present offerings of vegetables, and live animals such as goats and hens, to Bromo&rsquo;s crater.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_tP_p0RQVbF8/TGmqt1wQhAI/AAAAAAAAAuA/52WH86__Kkk/s320/IMG_0921+%5B1600x1200%5D.JPG" alt="" border="0" /></p> <p>As we begin our trekking adventure from the car park towards Bromo&rsquo;s crater, we take in the sand sea surrounded by mountainous scenery. The distance between the car park and the location of the crater is about 1km. Visitors can rent a horse or simply walk along the sand sea.</p> <p>We decide to travel on horseback. Accompanied by a guide, we pass the ancestral temple of Poten along the way. Regularly used by Tengger people for ritual ceremonies, this Hindu temple has an austere yet eye-catching design. Our horse riding ends at a steep concrete stairway which we must climb before reaching the rim of Mount Bromo&rsquo;s crater.<br />Our visit coincides with &ldquo;Sweet Friday&rdquo;, the day the Tengger people believe is the best to ask the Almighty for blessings. We see a few people bringing offerings of vegetables and goats while praying in the rim of the crater.</p> <p>Despite feeling tired after the morning&rsquo;s journey, we&rsquo;re eager to see more sites. Our excitement only increases as we walk through Savannah Field (Padang Savana), located on the foot of Mount Semeru on the other side of sand sea.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_tP_p0RQVbF8/TGmrtlFFYsI/AAAAAAAAAuI/Og-xjqlF3Mg/s320/IMG_0969+%5B1600x1200%5D.JPG" alt="" border="0" /></p> <p>Tengger people call this oro-oro ombo (oro-oro means &ldquo;savannah&rdquo;, ombo means &ldquo;wide&rdquo;). This meadow has a backdrop of hills that resemble those in the children&rsquo;s TV show, Teletubbies (the area has become known among visitors, and even some locals, as &ldquo;Teletubbies Hills&rdquo;).</p> <p>Mountaineers will enjoy hiking to the top of the 3,676m Mount Semeru. But beware that the mountain&rsquo;s summit, Puncak Mahameru (Mahameru Peak), blows toxic gas every 20 minutes. In the afternoon the wind blows stronger towards the peak, so it&rsquo;s not advisable to approach the crater, and climbers should leave the summit before noon.</p> <p>However, climbing to the mountain peak is not for us. Instead we visit the 14-ha Ranu Kumbolo Lake, located 2,400m above sea level on a hill near Mount Semeru. There is a climb at the hill known as &ldquo;Love Climbing&rdquo; &ndash; a name deriving from the local legend that anyone who climbs the hill without stopping will have his or her amorous wishes come true.</p> <p>About Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park<br />Foreign tourists must pay IDR25,000 (S$3.80) per person to enter the park, while it only costs IDR6,000 (S$0.92) for a local visitor.</p> <p>Daytime temperatures never exceed 20&ordm;C, but the temperature can drop to zero at night. Bring warm clothes including a hat and gloves, as well as a flashlight &ndash; visitors need to be at the scenic lookout before dawn.<br />The best time to visit the park is during the dry season from June to October.</p> <p>Few hotels have tour arrangements to Bromo, but cars can be rented in Malang for IDR400,000 (S$61) per day including driver and petrol.</p> <p>A jeep is a must when visiting the national park. Hiring a jeep with a driver for four hours costs IDR275,000 (S$42) including petrol. In the event that you need more time, you can always negotiate with the driver to get the best deal. In our case, we topped up IDR75,000 for another three hours.</p> <p>The trek on horseback to Mount Bromo&rsquo;s crater costs IDR100,000 (S$15) for the round trip.</p> <p>For more information: Office of the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park , 6 Jln Raden Intan, Malang, East Java, tel: +62 (341) 491 828</p> <p>Where to stay</p> <p>HOTEL TUGU MALANG</p> <p>Nestled in the heart of the old city centre, Hotel Tugu Malang is designed to represent the romantic stories of the island of Java. With hundreds of antiques and historical artefacts, the hotel&rsquo;s warm interiors take guests through the Dutch colonial era, and the gradual fusion of the Indonesian and Chinese cultures. Jln Tugu, tel: +62 (341) 363 891, <a href="http://www.tuguhotels.com/malang">www.tuguhotels.com/malang</a></p> <p>JAVA BANANA LODGE</p> <p>Perched 2,000m above sea level near Mount Bromo, Java Banana Lodge offers a unique alpine-style stay in a tropical highland setting. Jln Raya Bromo, Wonotoro, tel: +62 (335) 541 193, <a href="http://www.java-banana.com">www.java-banana.com</a></p> <p>MALANG</p> <p>Also known as the &ldquo;City of Apples&rdquo;, Malang is surrounded by apple and tea plantations, botanical gardens and Dutch colonial-era buildings. Malang is where Dutch planters and civil servants used to retire until the 1900s. The city is favoured for its cool climate and beautiful mountainous nature.</p> <p><em>By <strong>Aulia R Sungkar</strong>. This article is published in <strong>Jetstar Asia Magazine</strong>, August-September 2010 edition.</em></p> <p><em>Note: The original photos published in the magazine are taken by <strong>Dendy Purnama</strong>. Pictures in this site are from Aulia&rsquo;s collection and not published in the magazine.</em></p> BANDUNG GETAWAY http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/302/bandung-getaway <p><em>Buckle up for an excursion to this vibrant Indonesian town a couple of hours&rsquo; drive from the Indonesian capital of Jakarta</em></p> <p><br /><em><img class="editorialPic" style="background-attachment: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: transparent; background-image: initial; background-origin: initial; border-color: initial; border-style: initial; clear: both; cursor: move; display: block; font-size: 16px; list-style-type: none; outline-color: initial; outline-style: initial; outline-width: 0px; padding: 0px 13px 10px 0px; vertical-align: baseline; border-width: 0px; margin: 0px auto;" src="http://www.jetstarmag.com/contentFiles/image/2011/asia/dec/12-flydrive.jpg" alt="BANDUNG GETAWAY" width="250px" /></em></p> <p><em><strong>WORDS AULIA R SUNGKAR PHOTOGRAPHY TIMUR ANGIN</strong></em></p> <p>Located some 150km south-east of Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia&rsquo;s West Java province has a quaint atmosphere. With a population of approximately 2.5 million, Bandung has a laid-back lifestyle that is different from the country&rsquo;s capital with all its hustle and bustle.</p> <p>Just a two-hour drive from Jakarta puts you within reach of Bandung&rsquo;s crisp mountain air, historical buildings, fusion food and great shopping deals. It&rsquo;s no wonder the city folks of Jakarta hit the road so often for a weekend getaway there.</p> <p><strong>UNFORGETTABLE HISTORY</strong></p> <p>Dubbed the Paris of Java, Bandung has a mix of European elements that blend with Eastern culture. As we drive around, we witness the presence of historical buildings that maintain the city&rsquo;s aesthetic value.</p> <p>Literally meaning &lsquo;Independence Building&rsquo;, the art deco-styled Gedung Merdeka was the venue for the momentous 1955 Asian-African Conference. Today, it serves as a museum displaying the conference&rsquo;s related historical artefacts.</p> <p>On the same street is Bandung&rsquo;s oldest hotel. Originally built in 1870 as Societeit Concordia, the hotel was revamped and expanded in 1937. Upon completion in 1939, the name was changed to Savoy Homann. Featuring Dutch art deco-colonial architecture, the historic hotel is perfect for those seeking a laid-back sanctuary.</p> <p>Braga Street was the most famous address during the golden age of the Dutch Indies. Today, the street can be seen as an outdoor museum of architectural styles.</p> <p>Going downtown, we stop by at Gedung Sate (Satay Building). This iconic building has a mix of neo- classical style with native elements, and now serves as the office of West Java province&rsquo;s governor. The design of the building&rsquo;s central pinnacle evokes the shape of Indonesia&rsquo;s satay dish. In 1925, it was the only big building in the town of Bandung.</p> <p>An old bakery on the same street named Roti Sumber Hidangan serves authentic Dutch cakes, breads and hot beverages.</p> <p><strong>NATURE REVELRY</strong></p> <p>Bandung is also dubbed the City of Flowers owing to her beautiful landscape. On our way to Lembang, the highest point of Tangkuban Perahu Mountain, we visit Dago Tea House. This cultural park is basically a tea plantation featuring a restaurant serving authentic Sundanese (West Javanese) cuisine and its own tea.</p> <p>While enjoying the beauty of the panoramic landscapes, we have Sundanese teh po ci (hot tea from a clay teapot), bandrek and bajigur. The last two are traditional drinks made from various local ingredients that warm your body. The drinks are also best paired with fried corn, which you can buy from street vendors on the way to Lembang.</p> <p>En route, The Peak Resort Dining sits on the highest hill of Girindah and offers European dishes. The restaurant is surrounded by the beautiful spectacle of the mountains of Tangkuban Perahu and Burangrang during the day and the sparkle of Bandung&rsquo;s city lights in the evening.</p> <p><strong>FOOD PARADISE</strong></p> <p>Bandung offers foodies a fantastic choice, from food stalls to fine-dining eateries. The locals we encounter tell us there are more than 500 places serving a wide array of cuisines, from traditional Bandung fare to Chinese and European cuisine.</p> <p>There are also dozens of Chinese food restaurants spread over the city. One of the most famous is Queen, a semi fine-dining eatery that serves a variety of authentic Chinese dishes. And those in search of upscale Western dining should reserve a place at either The Wind Chime or The Peak.</p> <p>Coffee lovers should not leave Bandung without paying a visit to Kopi Aroma. Located on the corner of Banceuy Street in the city&rsquo;s old Chinatown, this art deco-style shop produces and sells what people say is arguably one of the best coffee blends in Bandung &mdash; if not the archipelago. &ldquo;We produce our own coffee blends, using the same grinder machine and roasting tools that my father used since he first opened the shop in 1933,&rdquo; says Widya Pratama, the shop&rsquo;s second-generation owner.</p> <p><strong>SHOPPING NIRVANA</strong></p> <p>Bandung houses the country&rsquo;s biggest jeans and garment industry, with some international brands centralising their production here.</p> <p>Cihampelas Street is the city&rsquo;s oldest centre of factory outlets, selling everything from jeans, shoes, T-shirts, accessories and other apparel.</p> <p>Many of Bandung&rsquo;s factory outlets have gone upmarket. Locals tell us there are now as many as 50 outlets spread over the city. But note: the quality is variable. &ldquo;Some of the sales items may be rejects, having fallen short of export quality, but there are so many of good quality,&rdquo; says Andre, a local who comments that many visitors are finding these outlets in Bandung a great bargain.</p> <p>Rumah Mode seems to be the hottest factory outlet and sells a broad range of men&rsquo;s and women&rsquo;s clothes. Andre says those seeking to buy kids&rsquo; clothes should visit Victoria and &ldquo;for handbags and shoes, you should go to Toko Diaz&rdquo;.</p> <p><strong>HAPPENING VIBES</strong></p> <p>Within the last five years, Bandung has experienced the mushrooming of shopping centres, malls and lifestyle centres that house coffee shops, nightclubs and caf&eacute;s that make the city so much more happening.</p> <p>Paris Van Java, a very modern European-style outdoor shopping centre, is one of the city&rsquo;s most fashionable hangouts. Braga City Walk and Cihampelas town square are also great places to hang out, with their innovative coffee shops and caf&eacute;s wrapped with a warm ambience and nice music.</p> <p>Those seeking family entertainment should go to Bandung Supermall, where Trans Studio, Bandung&rsquo;s largest indoor theme park is located.</p> <p><em>Published in <strong>Jetstar Asia</strong>, December 2011 &ndash; January 2012.<br /></em></p> MEDAN: 1 Holiday 3 Ways http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/303/medan-1-holiday-3-ways <p><em><strong>Words: Aulia R. Sungkar Photography: Suwandi Chandra</strong></em></p> <p><em><strong>Jetstar Asia Magazine, June 2013</strong></em></p> <p><em>Enthusiasts of art-deco architecture, foodies and nature lovers will find the charms of Indonesia&rsquo;s third largest city well worth exploring</em></p> <p><em><img class="alignright size-medium wp-image-2384" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://thewriterpreneur.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Taman_Alam_Lumbini-300x151-300x151.jpg" alt="Taman_Alam_Lumbini-300x151" width="300" height="151" /></em></p> <p><strong>FOR HISTORY BUFFS</strong></p> <p>Alongside the modern infrastructure that Medan is building to propel the city forward, you can still find traces of Dutch colonial history.</p> <p>Stay: Emerald Garden Hotel is truly an old hotel with a new look. Nestling on Yos Sudarso Road, one of the city&rsquo;s addresses with art-deco architecture, the newly revamped hotel serves up a genuine welcome and warm hospitality.</p> <p><img class="size-medium wp-image-2387 alignleft" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://thewriterpreneur.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Maimun_Palace-300x144-300x144.jpg" alt="Maimun_Palace-300x144" width="300" height="144" /></p> <p>Eat: Go to Ahmad Yani Street not only for heritage Dutch colonial buildings, but also to visit Tip Top, the city&rsquo;s oldest restaurant, which was established in 1934; it still maintains its art-deco exterior and interior and has classic Indonesian-Dutch dishes on the menu. Nasi goreng Tip Top is a must-try, as are the restaurant&rsquo;s homemade cakes.</p> <p>Do: Across the street from Tip Top, is the former residence of Medan&rsquo;s founder, Chinese tycoon Tjong A Fie. He started building his 6,000 sq m two-storey European-Chinese mansion in 1895 and completed it in 1900. Another landmark worth the visit is the 122-year-old Maimun Palace, originally known as Sultan Palace,built by a Dutch architect incorporating Dutch, Islamic and Malay cultural touches in a European style. About 200m from the palace stands The Grand Mosque, North Sumatra&rsquo;s biggest mosque, which was built in 1906.</p> <p><strong>FOR FOODIES</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img class="size-medium wp-image-2386 alignright" src="http://thewriterpreneur.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Hermes_Palace_Rooftop_Restaurant-300x191-300x190.jpg" alt="Hermes_Palace_Rooftop_Restaurant-300x191" width="300" height="190" /><br /></strong></p> <p>Food is one reason travellers visit Medan, as the city offers an endless gastronomic adventure with its tempting local dishes.</p> <p>Stay: Hermes Palace is a great yet affordable place within a stone&rsquo;s throw of the city&rsquo;s culinary hub. The hotel serves complimentary breakfast on the rooftop so guests can enjoy the city view at the same time.</p> <p><img class="size-medium wp-image-2385 alignleft" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://thewriterpreneur.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Soto_Sinar_Pagi_Medan-300x199-300x199.jpg" alt="Soto_Sinar_Pagi_Medan-300x199" width="300" height="199" /></p> <p>Eat: Sinar Pagi Restaurant is arguably the most famous place for soto Medan (the local soup with a choice of beef or chicken) &mdash; but it&rsquo;s always sold out by 3pm. Chinatown offers a laid-back outdoor culinary experience with a delectable array of food stalls along the street. For semi-fine dining, Cin Yen is one of the best restaurants; its peanut butter prawn, steamed chicken in Thai spicy sauce and Vietnamese salad all come highly recommended.</p> <p>Do: Stroll along Merdeka Walk, Medan&rsquo;s iconic square. In addition to the many eateries, restaurants and caf&eacute;s, you can expect to be entertained by outdoor dance performances or live bands. You&rsquo;ll also find shops selling souvenirs and knick-knacks.</p> <p><img class="alignright size-medium wp-image-2388" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://thewriterpreneur.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Simalem_resort_Nature-300x189-300x189.jpg" alt="Simalem_resort_Nature-300x189" width="300" height="189" /></p> <p><strong>GREEN HOLIDAY</strong></p> <p>A two-and-a-half-hour drive north of Medan takes you to an unspoiled jungle resort, home to Indonesia&rsquo;s largest loquat farm and North Sumatra&rsquo;s largest passion fruit farm.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2389 alignleft" src="http://thewriterpreneur.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Simalem_Resort_Cafe_Overlooking_Lake_Toba-300x218-300x217.jpg" alt="Simalem_Resort_Cafe_Overlooking_Lake_Toba-300x218" width="300" height="217" /></p> <p>Stay: The development of the 206-hectare Taman Simalem Resort is still very much a work in progress, but you can already choose between lodges with a view of the magnificent Lake Toba, private campsites or villas in the jungle.</p> <p>Eat: Nothing can beat the tranquil moments at Kodon-Kodon Caf&eacute;, a restaurant at the resort designed with gazebos overlooking Lake Toba. Pair its oxtail soup with martabe (a homemade cocktail that mixes passion fruit and Dutch eggplant); it&rsquo;s a good combination.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="alignright size-medium wp-image-2391" src="http://thewriterpreneur.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/LakeToba-300x139-300x139.jpg" alt="LakeToba-300x139" width="300" height="139" /></p> <p>Do: The resort&rsquo;s vast green surroundings offer activities that allow you to escape from the city&rsquo;s hustle and bustle. Trekking is one of the favourites. On the way back to Medan, you should visit a pagoda in Taman Alam Lumbini (Lumbini Nature Park). Built to replicate Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar, Medan&rsquo;s glorious golden pagoda is surrounded by palm trees and a chocolate plantation.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2390 aligncenter" src="http://thewriterpreneur.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Lake_Toba_From_Simalem_Resort_One_Tree_Hill-300x175-300x175.jpg" alt="Lake_Toba_From_Simalem_Resort_One_Tree_Hill-300x175" width="300" height="175" /></p> How to get to Wakatobi http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/298/how-to-get-to-wakatobi <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/51b96f5faa6fa.JPG" alt="" width="946" height="450" /></p> <p>Hi, hello there! I am going to talk about how to get to Wakatobi. These exotic islands offer some of the best diving in Indonesia (<a href="http://discoveryourindonesia.com/raja-ampat-backpacking/">Raja Ampat</a> and <a href="http://discoveryourindonesia.com/dive-in-sulawesi-bunaken-lembeh/">Manado</a> are also great!). Yet not a lot of people know about these pretty islands and most of those that do, do not know how to get there. So lets start with where they are. Wakatobi is a part of Sulawesi and the islands are located just off the Southern coast of the mainland. Wakatobi is composed of four main islands; Wanci, Kaledupa, Tomia and Binongko.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/51b971353f6ad.jpg" alt="" width="1135" height="540" /></p> <p>To get to Wakatobi you can either fly to Makassar (Ujung Pandang) or Kendari and get a connecting flight to Wangi Wangi directly, or fly to Bau Bau (Buton Island) and find a boat to one of wakatobi&rsquo;s big island. If you are in the mood for going to a very fancy resort, there is a direct flight from Bali (Denpasar) to Tomia, which is dedicated to visitors of Wakatobi dive resort.</p> <p>The first thing you will need to do before going to Wakatobi is decide which island(s) that you want to go to. There is a connecting boat (public transportation) between the big four islands, but it would be easier if you decide to do this at the beginning.</p> <p>Wanci is the administrative center of Wakatobi. It is one of the busiest islands and there are lots of people here. It also has the most facilities just like any big town. For example you can find ATM&rsquo;s here which you can&rsquo;t find on any of the other islands. There are also direct flights from local airlines (Wings air/Lion air and Merpati) that serve the route from Makassar and Kendari to Wangi Wangi (Wanci). The price of a round trip plane ticket (Makassar-Wangi Wangi) is around $200 and from Kendari-Wangi Wangi is around $100.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/51b971d7139b4.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="333" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Another option is to fly from Bau Bau (Buton Island) and continue with a public boat to Wanci/Kaledupa/Tomia. The plane ticket to Bau Bau from Makassar is around id="mce_marker"00 for a round trip. There are two types of public boats from Bau Bau to Wakatobi. There is the speed boat (Cantika Anugrah) that usually departs from Bau Bau port (Pelabuhan Murhum) to Wanci at 1 pm on even dates (2nd, 4th, 6th, etc.); from Wanci to Bau Bau at 9 am on odd dates. The ticket price for a one way ticket is Rp. 155,000 = $ 16. The journey with a speed boat takes around 3 hours from Bau Bau to Wanci.</p> <p>The wooden boat (overnight boat) departs everyday at 9pm from the same port. You will arrive at 6-7 am on the next morning in Wanci. The ticket price for the overnight boat is Rp. 105,000 = $11. You can also get the same boat to bring you to Kaledupa or to Tomia, but the ferry goes to Wanci first.</p> <p>From Wanci, there is a boat that can bring you to Kaledupa island from Mola Port. A one way ticket costs Rp. 50,000,- = $5.2. And if you specifically want to visit Hoga Island (like I did), you need to take a boat taxi from Kaledupa to Hoga. The cost is Rp. 25,000 per person for a one way ticket, which is the equivalent of $2.6. However, almost all the islands in Wakatobi are reachable, but some of them do not have a boat running to them everyday.</p> <p>Personally I think you might need around two weeks to explore the area of Wakatobi. There are so many beautiful places that you can&rsquo;t miss. But if you only have limited time, then you should decide where you want to be.</p> <p>Have you ever visit Wakatobi Which island that you have ever been Check out more my stories about travelling around Indonesia <a href="http://discoveryourindonesia.com/">here</a>. :)</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/51b9720e54bf9.JPG" alt="" width="610" height="400" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/51b96f8b9cd4e.JPG" alt="" width="1000" height="750" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/51b970e04a602.JPG" alt="" width="800" height="600" /></p> One of the most unique island resorts in Indonesia http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/299/one-of-the-most-unique-island-resorts-in-indonesia <div id="imagebar" style="padding: 5px;"><a class="addtoarticle" style="margin-left: 5px;" title="to select thumbnail image" href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publisharticle/id/1669"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/51b77b8da7c58.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533" /></a></div> <p>Making your way to your holiday destination in a small seaplane is usually seen as an unforgettable experience by many. However, making your way to Indonesia's Moyo Island in a seaplane and finally landing on the crystal clear ocean water surrounding it is an entirely different experience altogether.</p> <p><br />Less than a mile off the Sumbawa coast sits a 220 square mile <a href="http://www.tropicalislands64.com" target="_blank">tropical island paradise</a> which consists of a tropical jungle, colorful coral reefs, majestic waterfalls and of course, the private beach resort known as Amanwana.</p> <p><br />This breathtaking resort can be found on the western tip of Moyo Island inside of a hidden cove that overlooks the protected marine park known as Amanwana Bay. With approximately 20 large and luxurious tents dotted from the edge of the jungle to the beach, your stay here is guaranteed to be relaxing, memorable and most importantly, private. The resort staff are just as incredible and you can expect them to be ready to serve you the same white wine they saw you enjoying the previous evening. Leave your room for a couple of minutes and it will look the same way it did when you first arrived when you get back. The local chefs are experts in seafood cuisine and will serve you 3 meals a day. And for that extra personal touch, each of the Amanwana staff members knows each guest by name.</p> <p><br />The Amanwana resort is unlike any other place in Indonesia. The tents are enormous and each one has its own dressing, living and sleeping areas. They even come with much needed air conditioning. Guests can also make use of the resort spa from where they can enjoy breathtaking views of the Amanwana Bay and of the Flores Sea.</p> <p><br />The entire Moyo Island is a protected nature reserve and you will see curious monkeys and a wide variety of bird species as you take walks through the jungle. Snorkeling and scuba diving is also a very popular activity here as the ocean that surrounds the island is crystal clear and warm. Not to mention the beautiful coral reefs filled with colorful fish species. During the evenings you can sit on the beach and watch the starry night sky and sometimes you will even spot some of the local deer species.</p> <p><br />The resort even has their very own fishing vessels which guests can charter. Choose from activities such as deep sea fishing or perhaps a romantic sunset cruise. The biggest vessel can be used to visit the Komodo Islands. This makes for a great day outing where you can spot Komodo dragons and rinca.</p> <p><br />A holiday at the Amanwana resort, no matter how short, is guaranteed to be unforgettable and unlike anything you have ever experienced before. Visit the official <a href="http://www.amanresorts.com/amanwana/home.aspx" target="_blank">Amanwan resort website</a> for contact information.</p> Indonesia Up Close http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/290/indonesia-up-close <p style="text-align: justify;" align="center"><img style="text-align: left;" title="East Java Traditional Costume" src="/public/media/images/upload/usercontributor_article/article_20130604151207.jpg" alt="East Java Traditional Costume" width="960" height="640" /></p> <p>Indonesia is strange country. Indonesians &ndash; they are wonderful people. But Indonesia isn&rsquo;t a country for everybody. It is a country for curious people. It is a country for the people with no barriers, for those who are the kings of compromise. Indonesia is a country of contradictions! That makes Indonesia incomprehensible, rich, challenging.</p> <p>An abundance of concepts, an abundance of fundamental sociological categories, an abundance of everyday concepts from the European cultural heritage bare completely different meaning in Indonesia. Some of those concepts don&rsquo;t have meaning there &ndash; or here!</p> <p>I&rsquo;ve got a story about how Indonesia looks like through the eyes of a stranger with no barriers, through the eyes of somebody who was, as my beloved like to say, crazy enough to go to the other side of the planet and somebody who was patient enough to fall in love with Indonesia.</p> <p>I went to Indonesia thanks to Darmasiswa scholarship, offered by the Indonesian government to all of the young people from countries that keep diplomatic relationship with Indonesia. Program includes Indonesian language courses, traditional dance courses, lectures about Indonesian culture and traditional art. The purpose of the programme is to introduce Indonesian heritage, everyday life and what Indonesia could become in the future, to the rest of the world. My choice was Indonesian language course at Airlangga University in the city of Surabaya, the capitol city of East Java province. In the beginning Surabaya was a completely new world for me, but soon I started to call it my home.</p> <p><strong><em>Indonesia Raya &ndash; The Great Indonesia</em></strong></p> <p>In many things Indonesia belongs to the top two, three or four countries in the world. Google says that Indonesia has:</p> <ul> <li>17 000 islands</li> <li>240 million inhabitants, with the population growth rate of 1,9%</li> <li>The most populous island in the world which is at the same time one of the most populated areas in the world &ndash; it&rsquo;s Java, with 138 million people which is 1 064 souls per 1km2. Even 58% of the whole population of Indonesia lives on Java.</li> <li>Indonesia is rated no.2 in the world for its biodiversity! That makes Indonesia interesting not only for those with cultural motivations, but also for those interested in natural sciences (in the recent times especially ecology, because there is quite a gap between natural resources and environment awareness.</li> <li>The most interesting phenomenon for me were over 300 ethnics with even more different tints of cultures, traditions, practices, whose richness is the fruit of huge population as well as of rich heritage.</li> </ul> <p><strong><em>History and culture in facts</em></strong></p> <p>Indonesian everyday practice, customs, thought and material cultural heritage are an amazing mixture of abundance of influences of the cultures that have passed through (or across) Indonesia. Around 2000 BC Austronesians came from what today is Taiwan and pushed native peoples towards the easternmost islands of the archipelago.</p> <p>Three great dynasties marked the Middle Ages: Srivijaya, which brought Hinduism and Buddhism with its traders; Saleindra, which left the biggest Buddhist temple in Indonesia, so called Borobudur; and Mataram, which left famous Hindu temple Prambanan. Indonesians are also proud of the heritage from the time of the Majapahit kingdom.</p> <p>The islamisation happened between 13th and 16the century throughout the islands of Sumatra and Java.</p> <p>The first contact with Europeans was in 1512, thanks to the Portuguese traders who came with the intention to monopolize the trade of spices from Maluku Islands.</p> <p>Dutch came in 1602 with Dutch East Indies Company, which was officially proclaims Dutch colony in 1800.</p> <p>Japanese occupation meant the end of Dutch colonization and at the same time it strengthened the independence movement.</p> <p>The rest is the history under Soekarno, Soeharto and others...</p> <p><strong><em>How does it look like to be a Whiteman in Indonesia today </em></strong></p> <p>Being a white in Indonesia is a damn good thing! But in the first few months it is also terribly confusing thing... Culture shock is inevitable...</p> <p>Indonesian are quite open, very curious about foreigners. The fact that they don&rsquo;t speak any English doesn&rsquo;t stop them to call after you: "Hello mister! Where you come from &ldquo;. Every foreigner is a mister. That&rsquo;s usually the only English word that common Indonesians can say in English, and even for those words they can say they often don&rsquo;t know the meaning. They love to talk a lot and fast, and since you don&rsquo;t understand a word they say, you are both standing same.</p> <p>Wherever you go you are the center of their attention and you are the real attraction. When you&rsquo;re on the street or at some event, you feel like you are surrounded by paparazzi. The only thing they love more than taking photos of themselves is taking photos of whites. A Westerner, an individualistic and selfish spirit who requires personal spiritual and physical space, would often feel threatened and understand it as an attack to its integrity. That wasn&rsquo;t a problem for me, because I was even more interested in Indonesians than they were interested in me.</p> <p><strong><em>Smiles</em></strong></p> <p>Besides cultural and natural wealth, one more symbol of Indonesia is its people&rsquo;s smiles. Every message goes with the smile, whether the message positive or negative. That&rsquo;s why in Indonesia you always feel safe and like you&rsquo;re not so far away from home as you really are.</p> <p>Indonesians often laugh loudly behind your back. If you were selfish you would probably consider that making fun of you. But if you are not an egocentric, you would realize that Indonesians just love to make jokes, that they express their emotions spontaneously and honestly. As time passes by, you would adopt many of their models of behavior.</p> <p><strong><em>Hospitality</em></strong></p> <p>Friendships are made easily, spontaneously and everywhere when you&rsquo;re in Indonesia. Indonesians are the best hosts in the world! Many of them will invite you to their house immediately, to sleep over, to eat with them, many of them will insist to take you out for a lunch or a dinner. What&rsquo;s strange is that you&rsquo;ve known those people for only two hours or two days!</p> <p>Indonesians are very liable hosts. If you are their guest, they are responsible for all of the organization and they feel responsible for you. Indonesians are focused to the community and they are used to share. It is considered rude not to accept what they give. They love to give gifts to foreigners. I left all my stuff there and I came back home with baggage full of gifts I got from my Indonesian friends.</p> <p>In their hospitality Indonesians are very proud of their country and their heritage. They are delighted to talk about their customs, ethnic differences and their attitudes. The thing they are especially proud of is their food. Indonesians can talk about food all day long, and they always ask your opinion about it.</p> <p><strong><em>Codes</em></strong></p> <p>Hierarchy is quite visible in everyday life in Indonesia. The society is huge, religion is the dominant cultural form, so the codes are conservative. A parent, a boss, a teacher are respected unquestioningly. Family values are the highest values.</p> <p>Respect towards the elders is expressed through the way of addressing, greeting, talk and body language. Javanese language is the best expression of the importance of hierarchy in the society. It consists of three levels of talk, which are actually three completely different languages. Which one of them you use depends on who you talk to &ndash; to the servant, to the equal or to the elder or superior. Many gestures of respect include body or head bow.</p> <p>Showing respect is important. Many traditional architectures, even in different parts odd Indonesia, have low entry, which, by demanding from the ones who are entering to bow, symbolizes request for respect towards the host, whoever the the guest was. Indonesian parole Unity in diversity has two meanings: first, many different cultures firmly and stably exist as the Indonesian ones. The second, inspite of strong hierarchy and big social differences, all of the people deserve the same respect.</p> <p>The relationships among men and women are conservative. In Surabaya, female homestays are locked after 10pm or 11pm, while it doesn&rsquo;t apply to the homestays for boys. You can&rsquo;t see people kissing and hugging in public. That kind of love expression in Indonesia is absent.</p> <p><strong><em>Magic</em></strong></p> <p>All Indonesian believe in magic. The most famous war of magic is the one between people from Madura and Dayak people from Kalimantan. Actually, it was the common ethnic conflict between theme two ethnics. Indonesian are convinces that black magic was used in the conflict &ndash; that sabers and swords were flying and cutting heads on their own and that Madurese were using magic to distract Dayaks. The truth is that there are local stories about different ethnics and that Madurese people are considered sly and mercenary.</p> <p>Santet is the name of Javanese voodoo. It is black magic. So called Pelet can be used as black or white magic. Indonesians love to talk about magic. Some of my friends were eager to prove that they had extraordinary seer&rsquo;s abilities.</p> <p>Religious and magical practices are interinfluenced in Indonesia. Rio told me about his uncle who had cured his liver problems with Islamic magical ritual. The medium during the ritual was a goat. The ritual was quite complex. It included reading of Qur&rsquo;an, massage, drinking shaman &lsquo;spit etc. The same was done to the goat, after which it was sacrifices. The success of the healing was read by the look of goat&rsquo;s internal organs. Rio says that his uncle was completely cured after the ritual.</p> <p>There are some places around Indonesia that are especially popular on magic rituals. For example, people who want to get rich fast and easy go to Kawi Mountain. That kind of ritual is called Pesugihan.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>Fetes</em></strong></p> <p>In accordance with their collectivistic mentality, Indonesian love fetes. They also love to wear costumes. Weddings and funerals are a must while you are in Indonesia. A lot of money is invested in weddings and funerals. In some parts of Indonesia, if the death finds family financially unprepared, they would keep the body sometimes even for a several years, till they save enough for a decent farewell. The most famous funeral ceremonies are those in Tana Toraja, Sulawesi Island. On the funerals of great men, several hundreds of bulls are slithered at a snap.</p> <p>Preparation of a bride for the wedding is a special ceremony and it takes a long time, very heavy makeup and traditional costumes rich of colors and details. Wedding requires professional makeup artist who make quite a good business today in Indonesia. One of the pre-wedding ceremonies is so called Siraman, which includes something like our custom of buying the bride.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>Collectivistic mentality &ndash; Everything is everybody&rsquo;s business</em></strong></p> <p>Indonesia has a small-town mentality, in a very cute way in which there is nothing negative. In Indonesia everybody knows everything about everybody! Indonesians always comment on the others, and that often goes with all of those spices, fillings and anticipations which are implemented in the character in question. If you are a white, you are a kind of mystery to the Indonesians, so the space for filling and anticipations is huge &ndash; of course, with the most sincere interest and devotion.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>Nobody is ever alone</em></strong></p> <p>In Indonesia nobody is ever alone. Everything is done in the group. I&rsquo;ve lived in a rented house with eight Indonesian friends. We had seven rooms which comes almost one room per person. But we lived and slept in only two rooms, because there wasn&rsquo;t a moment in which we found a reason to separate!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>Help is always there</em></strong></p> <p>There isn&rsquo;t a work that&rsquo;s individualistic. Whatever is done in the village, in the city, in the family or in the group, it goes with the help of the others. If they slaughter a goat, five of them are holding it, two are cutting, four are right behind in a typical readiness pose with their palms on their knees, and six more of them constitute the audience in a typical squatting position.</p> <p>You don&rsquo;t need to ask for help in Indonesia, because you have a bunch of people showing up in the moment to help you. There is always somebody to give you a ride on a motorbike, to screw your light bulb, to tighten your breaks on the motorbike etc. They are there for you even for the actions you can easily do by yourself. Typical example is parkir mas, a man who parks your bike for you.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>Sudah makan Sudah mandi </em></strong></p> <p>There are questions that stimulate everyday conversations, but to the western spirit those questions can sound irrelevant, needless, too intimate and sometimes irritating. For me those questions were just one more aspect of Indonesian orientation towards the others and towards community. Those are the questions: Have you already had your lunch, have you taken a bath... You can hear those questions uncountable number of times in a day.</p> <p>Mau ke mana Dari mana &ndash; Where are you going Where are you coming from &ndash; even complete strangers asking you that on the street. Though they ask these questions only to greet you or to make contact, they ask them with such an interest on their faces, the interest that requires the most precise answer, even the vindication for going anywhere. Misunderstandings with Indonesians usually come from the literal translation of Indonesian phrases to English. Translations are often under the influence of the structure of Indonesian language. Kamu di mana sekarang &ndash; means Where are you RIGHT NOW Time index right now, which is often input by Indonesian strengthens the request for the vindication that you even are somewhere, in the space!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>Jam karet &ndash; Rubber time</em></strong></p> <p>In the long term, you feel like the time has stopped while you&rsquo;re in Indonesia. It&rsquo;s hot and humid throughout the year and temperature oscillations in dry and rainy seasons are insignificant comparing to our four seasons. It means you don&rsquo;t need to hurry to finish all those seasonal works. That&rsquo;s why you feel like the lord of time. Well, Indonesians often understand it literally, so they&rsquo;re always late. They are late for lectures, they are late for work, planes late, boats late... It happens often that the promise to do something tomorrow stays the same literal "tomorrow&ldquo; promise every next day. When you spend some time there you realize that life is much easier to bear like that. The important things are always completed, the priorities realize themselves spontaneously. As a difference to our western paranoia about time organizing, the time organizes itself in Indonesia!</p> <p>Indonesians walk slowly and they do everything slowly, which gives them a dose of dignity in whatever they do. Except form the fact that they eat fast and drive fast.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>Belum &ndash; not...yet...</em></strong></p> <p>Word&nbsp;<em>Belum</em>&nbsp;is very indicative when it comes to Indonesian philosophy of living. Indonesians never respond negatively.&nbsp;<em>Tidak</em>&nbsp;(= no, not), negation is rarely used. If asked if something have happened, if they&rsquo;ve done something, Indonesians would reply with&nbsp;<em>Belum</em>&nbsp;(= not yet). This kind of linguistic practice gives you the impression that everything is possible, it just still haven&rsquo;t happened!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>Music</em></strong></p> <p>Indonesians love music. What we usually call exotic Indonesian music is mostly the music from Java and Sumatra. Traditional music from North Sulawesi, from Maluku Islands, from Flores Island often reminds me of Latino music. Again, music and dances that come from those communities who are more primitive and tribal, is based more on rhythm and less on melody.</p> <p>Indonesians are extremely musical. The most preferred way of having fun in big cities is karaoke. Karaoke culture is one of many aspects of adopting American everyday culture, especially with huge shopping malls.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>Lost in translation</em></strong></p> <p>No matter how good they can speak English and no matter how good you can speak Indonesian, you are often lost in communication with them. Though they understand my words, their expectations that I, as a foreigner, don&rsquo;t speak Indonesian, block any understanding among us.</p> <p>Indonesian sayings are irresistibly intuitive, so they are adopted easily and they easily mix with any other language you speak. Ya, iya, opo, apa, lo, la, ooo... Those expressions, altogether with characteristic tone, get into your skin and into your own language so fast. Many Indonesian words sound like some words in European languages, so once you learn Indonesian, you are not able to speak any other language without inputting Indonesian words. The examples are &nbsp;<em>Bayar</em>, which sounds like Spanish &nbsp;<em>Bailar</em>,&nbsp;<em>Ini</em>&nbsp; which reminds me on French &nbsp;<em>Ici</em>...</p> <p>Many words duplicate in Indonesian. The influence of such a language structure is obvious when Indonesians speak English. They never walk, they always "walking-walking&ldquo;, with this specific mixture of Present Continuous and all of the other tenses.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>Transportation</em></strong></p> <p>Nobody walks in Indonesia. Motorbikes are like extended organs, they are used for distances of 200m to 200km. Scooters are parked in houses, once I saw it parked in the living-room. Indonesians are virtuosi on scooters, they hold them up, pull them, and push them. What&rsquo;s interesting is that they can hold up a bike five times heavier then they are, but still they can&rsquo;t walk more then 15 min., cause they are not fit enough.</p> <p>Five-member family on one small scooter isn&rsquo;t a challenge... there were even six persons on one bike... You can transport anything on scooter, even big parts of furniture. Cubage of the cargo can reach up to three times the cubage of the scooter.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>Bemo</em></strong></p> <p>Bemo is the main form of public transportation. It is fascinating how many people can fit into bemo and on it. Indonesians love to pimp their bemo. There are key rings, curtains, toys and soft toys, stickers, and on Timor they even have cameras and screens. In bemo music is so loud that it outbalances the possibilities of understanding among people &ndash; especially on Timor Island. Drivers usually play &nbsp;<em>dan</em><em>g</em><em>dut</em>&nbsp; &ndash; Indonesian version of turbo folk or extremely loud techno.</p> <p>Travelling by bus is an amazing adventure, from my experience the most interesting on Sumatra. In order to be a conductor, a man has to be perfectly elastic. Conductors regularly hang upon bus doors, bus windows and roofs. Their role is to call for passengers during the ride, to wave around&nbsp;<em>ad &nbsp;nauseam</em>&nbsp; with the purpose to ease the ride to the driver who is already and anyway on the climax of its car horn, though it&rsquo;s all unnecessarily. Buses often offer live music, with the microphone and sound system as well...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>Istirahat dulu</em></strong></p> <p><em>Istirahat dulu</em>&nbsp;is a brainchild of great Indonesian peoples and it means &nbsp;<em>Rest first</em>. Indonesians often catnap and they can sleep anywhere. In becak (traditional rickshaw), at work, at bus doors, at the university library... They can sleep in any position, but the most famous is that with legs and feet facing up.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>Selling</em></strong></p> <p>Indonesians sell everything everywhere to everybody. Local market is a heaven for those curious about everyday life in Indonesia. Among Indonesian people you can notice persistence and endurance in jobs that don&rsquo;t have so much sense. Especially in selling. There are sellers in places where there&rsquo;s nobody else except from themselves. And they always do theory job with dignity and calmness that we &ndash; Western &bdquo;Sales Managers&ldquo; &ndash; should envy on. Every job is done slowly but sure &ndash;&nbsp;<em>alon-alon asal kelakon</em>, as Javanese people would say.</p> <p><strong><em>Audience</em></strong></p> <p>Indonesians love to watch other people. They find a strange pleasure in sitting around stalls or along the road and observing around. Every event, no matter how trivial and routine, has its audience.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>Makan Dulu</em></strong></p> <p><em>Makan dulu</em> is another Indonesian brainchild and means&nbsp;<em>Eat first</em>. When it comes to&nbsp;<em>makan</em>, everything can wait. There&rsquo;s food everywhere. At food stalls along the road, at traditional markets, on the wheels that go around the neighborhood. It&rsquo;s really interesting how you can have a real home-made meal on those little wheels. There&rsquo;s food in any time of the day and night. Those who spend longer time in one place will know precisely which part of the town smells on which food in which time of the day. The scent of food is another reason why you can never feel far away form home while staying in Indonesia.</p> <p>Indonesian food is deep fried, very spicy whether it&rsquo;s sweet, salty or chili. Indonesian cuisine uses coconut milk for boiling, peanut sauce for topping and shrimp paste as usual ingredient. Soya sauce and chili are found on every table. Chicken and fish are the most usual meals. Multitudes of local specialties are a real challenge for those interested in culture and culinary. Indonesians eat every part of the animal, even those parts that we can barely chew.</p> <p><strong><em>Warung</em></strong></p> <p><em>Warung</em>&nbsp;is an institution, Indonesian version of Serbian kafana. It is a food stall or a restaurant along the street. Everybody eats at warung, and warungs make life much easier to Indonesian housewives &ndash; all they have to do in the kitchen is to unpack the food. Indonesians eat fast, smoke fast and leave the warung.</p> <p>But, there is a special kind of warung for sitting and observing around. It&rsquo;s so called&nbsp;<em>Warung Kopi</em>&nbsp;&ndash; a stall which sells coffee, tea, juices and snacks.</p> <p>Also a special kind of warung is so called&nbsp;<em>Lesehan</em>. Sidewalks (which nobody uses during the day) become a gathering place for youngsters in the evening. The sellers with their small portable food stalls put reed carpet along the sidewalks, where they serve delicious traditional soft drinks and spicy food. Musicians make the atmosphere even better.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>Concepts and form</em></strong></p> <p>I have noticed that Indonesians are formalists. A concept is often fulfilled in a measure which is, according to our standards insufficient, they fulfill the form, so to say. But that doesn&rsquo;t mean that they enjoy it less. On the contrary, it&rsquo;s not only a form, it&rsquo;s the whole procedure... Which is done with great patience and attention </p> <p>You can see the servant cleaning for hours something that could&rsquo;ve been cleaned in 20 minutes. She&rsquo;d do that with amazing patience, you&rsquo;d think she&rsquo;s enjoying it. When she finishes, you&rsquo;d ask if she was there at all, because the results of her hard work are barely evident. However, her smile and the pride of her work when she tells you she&rsquo;s finished leave you with the complete satisfaction.</p> <p>The same tendency towards form is visible in sellers, who are walking around whole day long with some products, but in the places where there&rsquo;s no way to find a customer for that kind of goods.</p> <p>If you happen to ask for some information in the supermarket and the cashier tells you he has to call for another employee or a manager in order to precisely answer your question, my advice is to run away as fast as you can. Indonesian mania for assistance and the lack of sense of time are a bingo for the monthly doses of frustration &ndash; in only one day.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>Surabaya punya gaya &ndash; Surabaya has style</em></strong></p> <p>Surabaya, with its seven million people, is the second biggest city in Indonesia, after Jakarta. It&rsquo;s called City of Heroes, in memory to one of the most important battles for the independence.</p> <p>Contrasts are insane in Surabaya. It is a city that gathers all of the differences and the richness of Indonesia. There&rsquo;s always something happening in the city &ndash; from traditional dances, regular rock concerts, exhibitions, super-modern cinemas, to smaller events such as cock fights in the local market and traditional and religious gatherings in the neighborhoods. On one side you can see huge shopping malls containing brands we can dream about in Serbia. In the other side you can find a typical Indonesian ghetto, traditional markets...</p> <p>Architecture of Surabaya also reflects the diversity of Indonesian spirit. There are typical small Indonesian houses along the dusty road, with porches covered with bathroom tiles, there are Chinese temples, there&rsquo;s something resembling classical architecture, there are colonial parts of the city, there are luxury shopping and golf complexes...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>Travelling&rsquo;s</em></strong></p> <p>Travelling around Indonesia isn&rsquo;t only a cultural challenge, but also a universal enjoyment. I have travelled throughout East Java, Bali, Lombok, Gili, North and West Sumatra together with Mentawai Islands, Jakarta, Bogor, Central Java, Timor, Alor and Flores Island.</p> <p>Indonesia has a vast number of heavenly beaches. You worry about the time of the day when it&rsquo;s not crowded. Besides Bali, Gili's and other popular tourist destinations Indonesia has even more deserted and uncovered beaches that we dream about. The most beautiful beaches I saw in Karimunjawa Islands and Alor Island.</p> <p>Indonesia has mountains, lakes, jungles, geo- and biodiversity which are the unique phenomena in the world. One among them is mountain Kelimutu, Flores Island. On the top of the mountain, there are three colorful crater lakes of unique beauty. Their colors change periodically at certain times of the year. The origin of the strikingly beautiful colors of the lakes and their change, isn&rsquo;t yet clear. It might be the chemical composition of the waters or the microorganisms that live in those waters. Inhabitants of the mountain and the nearby village Moni believe that the should of the dead&rsquo;s find their peace (or hell) in these mystical lakes.</p> <p>Cultural heritage is rich and diverse &ndash; there are remnants of great religious practice, as well as traces of animistic and tribal life.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>Art and handicrafts</em></strong></p> <p>Indonesians are masters of details. Bali is well known for its stone sculptures and Hindi architecture. Traditional textile painting called Batik is especially popular among visitors and among Indonesians as well. Textile is sketch with wax, then painted in colors and then again sketch and painted as many times as the complexity of the theme and design requires. Every part of Indonesia has it specific patterns and connoisseur of Batik could precisely recognize where certain Batik comes from. Eastern islands and mountainous regions produce traditional weaving called Ikat. Its designs and patterns are also diverse and recognizable for different parts of Indonesia.</p> <p>One of my favorite motives in Indonesian arts and handicrafts are so called Wayang Kulit, or leather puppets. They are humanlike characters carved and painted in leather, used in traditional puppet theatre, representing great characters form Hindu myth Ramayana.</p> <p>Every part of Indonesia has many traditional dances, which often are ritual or fighting dances.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>The People</em></strong></p> <p>The most amazing motive in Indonesia is its peoples! Many people, many tempers in Indonesia... They say that people from East Java are rude comparing to those from Central Java who are considered the most polite. Madurese people are considered thieves, and Batak people are evidently louder than others. Those from Manado like to have fun and celebrate more than anything in the world.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>Becoming Indonesian</em></strong></p> <p>After you become fluent in Indonesian language, things become much more interesting because you can equally and self-confidently participate in everyday life.</p> <p>However... It happens to some people, as it had happened to me, which it goes even further, till the complete <em>indonesianisation</em>. It means that:</p> <p>- I can sleep anywhere, anytime, in any position you like, and that I feel amazingly fresh after only one short nap in a days</p> <p>- I can eat that fried, oily, spicy rice for breakfast</p> <p>- I plan to buy a scooter because it&rsquo;s the best thing in the world</p> <p>- I can squat for hours and feel comfortable</p> <p>- I can talk about food for hours and in details</p> <p>Indonesia isn&rsquo;t a destination for me. I feel it as my home. I think it will never stop challenging me. There are people I love there. People who love me and who are waiting for me.</p> <p><em>* This article was published in Travel Magazine, Edition May 2013, Duke &amp; Peterson, in Serbian language. The article in English was published at Kedutaan Besar Indonesia di Serbia web site.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> We Love Bali! http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/291/we-love-bali <div id="post-body-2986489595536297350" class="post-body entry-content"> <table class="tr-caption-container" style="text-align: center; margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto;" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" align="center"> <tbody> <tr> <td><a style="margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto;" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-7PT5Mc1kcjA/UVW4E2cy1gI/AAAAAAAAB1Q/azaVJyoNbFI/s1600/IMG_0165.JPG"><img src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-7PT5Mc1kcjA/UVW4E2cy1gI/AAAAAAAAB1Q/azaVJyoNbFI/s1600/IMG_0165.JPG" alt="" width="400" height="265" border="0" /></a></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tr-caption">Pura Ulun Danu Bratan</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <div id="post-body-2986489595536297350" class="post-body entry-content">&nbsp;</div> <div class="post-body entry-content">&nbsp;</div> <div class="post-body entry-content">I have skeptical feeling when I planned the family trip to Bali. Although those were many years ago, the 2002 and 2005 terrorists' attack on the island are something many people still talk and worry about. But all these fear dissipated when we visited the island. The captivating scenery, friendly people, unique temples and good food have made us forgot Bali's sorrow past. We never regret that we have visited the "The Land of the Gods".</div> <div class="post-body entry-content">&nbsp;</div> <div class="post-body entry-content">&nbsp;</div> <table class="tr-caption-container" style="text-align: center; margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto;" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" align="center"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="text-align: center;"><a style="margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto;" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-AjKUfFJ2NsA/UVW4fjU4TbI/AAAAAAAAB2w/YWdXXBkf4dY/s1600/IMG_9741.JPG"><img src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-AjKUfFJ2NsA/UVW4fjU4TbI/AAAAAAAAB2w/YWdXXBkf4dY/s1600/IMG_9741.JPG" alt="" width="400" height="265" border="0" /></a></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Pura Luhur Uluwatu</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <table class="tr-caption-container" style="text-align: center; margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto;" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" align="center"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="text-align: center;"><a style="margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto;" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-hOt89dLnIbQ/UVW4bhsTbTI/AAAAAAAAB2g/xU94P7TaZTU/s1600/IMG_9648.JPG"><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-hOt89dLnIbQ/UVW4bhsTbTI/AAAAAAAAB2g/xU94P7TaZTU/s1600/IMG_9648.JPG" alt="" width="400" height="265" border="0" /></a></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Guardian Statue</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <table class="tr-caption-container" style="text-align: center; margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto;" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" align="center"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="text-align: center;"><a style="margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto;" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-P1JfBJOIcDk/UVW5AcqnQUI/AAAAAAAAB3I/ynlfpCk6sME/s1600/IMG_0411.JPG"><img src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-P1JfBJOIcDk/UVW5AcqnQUI/AAAAAAAAB3I/ynlfpCk6sME/s1600/IMG_0411.JPG" alt="" width="400" height="265" border="0" /></a></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Pura Tanah Lot</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <div id="post-body-2986489595536297350" class="post-body entry-content">&nbsp;</div> <div class="post-body entry-content">&nbsp;</div> <div class="post-body entry-content">I have earlier engaged a local Balinese driver through the net to bring us around the island. It was definitely a great decision as we conveniently got to places that I planned (and unplanned) for. He doubled up as a guide and informed us on the potential risks and scams to look out for. Do send me an email if you are visiting Bali and want his contact.</div> <div class="post-body entry-content">&nbsp;</div> <div class="post-body entry-content">&nbsp;</div> <table class="tr-caption-container" style="text-align: center; margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto;" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" align="center"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="text-align: center;"><a style="margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto;" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-87oyIzor4tc/UVW4FNyzYxI/AAAAAAAAB1U/JLi0M3J1qd8/s1600/IMG_0377.JPG"><img src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-87oyIzor4tc/UVW4FNyzYxI/AAAAAAAAB1U/JLi0M3J1qd8/s1600/IMG_0377.JPG" alt="" width="400" height="265" border="0" /></a></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Sunset at Tanah Lot</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <table class="tr-caption-container" style="text-align: center; margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto;" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" align="center"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="text-align: center;"><a style="margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto;" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-gSnGqIks-7I/UVW4B3UoXuI/AAAAAAAAB1I/ji0mWFTTMe8/s1600/IMG_0011.JPG"><img src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-gSnGqIks-7I/UVW4B3UoXuI/AAAAAAAAB1I/ji0mWFTTMe8/s1600/IMG_0011.JPG" alt="" width="400" height="265" border="0" /></a></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Egg Painting</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <table class="tr-caption-container" style="text-align: center; margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto;" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" align="center"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="text-align: center;"><a style="margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto;" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8Dx4OoiGlg4/UVW4rd7Ga8I/AAAAAAAAB3A/Qs7Nccb-4-E/s1600/IMG_0038.JPG"><img src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8Dx4OoiGlg4/UVW4rd7Ga8I/AAAAAAAAB3A/Qs7Nccb-4-E/s1600/IMG_0038.JPG" alt="" width="400" height="265" border="0" /></a></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Pura Taman Ayun</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <div id="post-body-2986489595536297350" class="post-body entry-content">&nbsp;</div> <div class="post-body entry-content">&nbsp;</div> <div class="post-body entry-content">I am a fan of temples and have churned a list of them in the "must visit" column. The Balinese call their temples as "Pura". As a first time visitor, I was eager to visit all the principal puras. My initial list consisted of Pura Luhur Uluwatu, Pura Taman Ayun, Pura Tanah Lot, Pura Ulun Danu Beratan and Besakih Temple Complex. The last item was eventually replaced by Pura Tirta Empul due to the warning by my driver. He warned me that the local villagers at Besakih are notorious for extorting money from tourists and advised me to change my destination. The driver's warning confirmed the bad reviews that I have read up in the net. Known as the "Mother Temple of Bali", it was about 2000 years old and built on the slope of the volcanic Mount Agung. It offers stunning view and great cultural values. But the local villagers bad attitudes have turned off many potential visitors. Me included. I will surely visit the place in the future if the situation improves.</div> <div class="post-body entry-content">&nbsp;</div> <div class="post-body entry-content">&nbsp;</div> <table class="tr-caption-container" style="text-align: center; margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto;" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" align="center"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="text-align: center;"><a style="margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto;" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-zBiAZU6jdew/UVW4chmB8aI/AAAAAAAAB2o/hez4Vplp6RA/s1600/IMG_0714.JPG"><img src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-zBiAZU6jdew/UVW4chmB8aI/AAAAAAAAB2o/hez4Vplp6RA/s1600/IMG_0714.JPG" alt="" width="400" height="265" border="0" /></a></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Candi Bentar (Split Gate)</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <table class="tr-caption-container" style="text-align: center; margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto;" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" align="center"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="text-align: center;"><a style="margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto;" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-BW2d-eaHNGo/UVW4SWVmYqI/AAAAAAAAB2A/X61pU6Vrb0k/s1600/IMG_0609.JPG"><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-BW2d-eaHNGo/UVW4SWVmYqI/AAAAAAAAB2A/X61pU6Vrb0k/s1600/IMG_0609.JPG" alt="" width="400" height="265" border="0" /></a></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Rice Terraces</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <table class="tr-caption-container" style="text-align: center; margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto;" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" align="center"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="text-align: center;"><a style="margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto;" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-iDOQHGGSGFw/UVW4PID8crI/AAAAAAAAB14/KVmPtSNYN8s/s1600/IMG_0649.JPG"><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-iDOQHGGSGFw/UVW4PID8crI/AAAAAAAAB14/KVmPtSNYN8s/s1600/IMG_0649.JPG" alt="" width="400" height="265" border="0" /></a></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Mount Batur</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <div id="post-body-2986489595536297350" class="post-body entry-content">&nbsp;</div> <div class="post-body entry-content">&nbsp;</div> <div class="post-body entry-content">Many people have actually thought Bali as just a great beach resort. I readily beg to differ. Our journey in the island have brought us new horizon of thoughts. The island is called the "Land of the Gods" for good reasons. Almost all household we passed by have a private shrine. Each of them is defined by a split gate (candi bentar) flanked by two ferocious (sometimes humorous) guardian statues. The wall details are intricately designed by fine and beautiful artworks. There are supposedly to be well over 200 000 temples in Bali! We were behold by the majestic Mount Agung and still active Volcano Mount Batur as we drove past beautiful rice terraces and bountiful fruits and coffee plantations. My wife and daughter were always fascinated by the life-like stone and wooden carvings of godly beings and Buddhas that line the roads and populate the front yards of the houses. The cultural performance of the Kecak, Barong and Legong dance have never fail to amaze us (although my wife was a bit disturbed by the "cak" chant during the Kecak performance :-p)</div> <div class="post-body entry-content">&nbsp;</div> <div class="post-body entry-content">&nbsp;</div> <div class="separator" style="text-align: center; clear: both;">&nbsp;</div> <table class="tr-caption-container" style="text-align: center; margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto;" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" align="center"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="text-align: center;"><a style="margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto;" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-9wtBUKvYJYQ/UVXDtrqXNiI/AAAAAAAAB3g/8Rc6yKD4brY/s1600/IMG_9782.JPG"><img src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-9wtBUKvYJYQ/UVXDtrqXNiI/AAAAAAAAB3g/8Rc6yKD4brY/s1600/IMG_9782.JPG" alt="" width="400" height="265" border="0" /></a></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Kecak Dance</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <table class="tr-caption-container" style="text-align: center; margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto;" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" align="center"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="text-align: center;"><a style="margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto;" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-9uxMesF9Q1s/UVW4gU0U7tI/AAAAAAAAB24/n711V7tdoyE/s1600/IMG_9939.JPG"><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-9uxMesF9Q1s/UVW4gU0U7tI/AAAAAAAAB24/n711V7tdoyE/s1600/IMG_9939.JPG" alt="" width="400" height="265" border="0" /></a></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Barong Dance</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <table class="tr-caption-container" style="text-align: center; margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto;" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" align="center"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="text-align: center;"><a style="margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto;" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-6REnsWccOQk/UVW4SZSjszI/AAAAAAAAB2E/LEQpThXnZoI/s1600/IMG_0670.JPG"><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-6REnsWccOQk/UVW4SZSjszI/AAAAAAAAB2E/LEQpThXnZoI/s1600/IMG_0670.JPG" alt="" width="400" height="265" border="0" /></a></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Bountiful Fruits On Sale</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <div id="post-body-2986489595536297350" class="post-body entry-content">&nbsp;</div> <div class="post-body entry-content">&nbsp;</div> <div class="post-body entry-content">My main focus would always be the Puras. Always accompanied by different tiers of the unique Meru, each Pura has a different setting and story to narrate. Uluwatu stands proudly on a clifftop, overlooking and guarding the awesome Indian Ocean. Situated at the shoreline, Tanah Lot seems to conjure a magical boundary to prevent the aggressive demonic waves from invading the land. Taman Ayun emitting an aura of majestic presence, reminding people of their royal past. Ulun Danu Bratan poses beautifully at Lake Bratan, just like the Goddess Ida Batara Dewi Ulun Danu that it is devoted to. Many people from all round the globe come to Tirta Empul just to bath in it's holy water. It is believed the holy water helps to cleanse them from all sickness and bad fortune.</div> <div id="post-body-2986489595536297350" class="post-body entry-content"><br />Bali is indeed a worthy place for relaxation and more importantly, cultural learning. But commercial development and expansion have taken it's toll on it's natural beauty. Many rice terraces and fruits plantation have made way for new hotels and resorts. I really hope these will not reach a level of no return. <br /><br />We will surely be back. We love Bali :-)!</div> <div class="post-body entry-content">&nbsp;</div> <div class="post-body entry-content"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-9tvboeh5d6I/UVW4GnCrJtI/AAAAAAAAB1g/Ijes56y36OI/s1600/IMG_0237.JPG" alt="" width="212" height="320" border="0" /></div> <div class="post-body entry-content" style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</div> <div class="post-body entry-content">&nbsp;</div> <table class="tr-caption-container" style="text-align: center; margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto;" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" align="center"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="text-align: center;"><a style="margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto;" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-BuO5GOakCcI/UVXAyEtQhII/AAAAAAAAB3Y/V8Eab474Gss/s1600/IMG_0572.JPG"><img src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-BuO5GOakCcI/UVXAyEtQhII/AAAAAAAAB3Y/V8Eab474Gss/s1600/IMG_0572.JPG" alt="" width="400" height="266" border="0" /></a></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Sunset at Kuta Beach</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div class="post-body entry-content">&nbsp;</div> <div class="post-body entry-content"> <table class="tr-caption-container" style="text-align: center; margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto;" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" align="center"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="text-align: center;"><a style="margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto;" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-WnUKMoT4v30/UVW4ZghDJ-I/AAAAAAAAB2Y/Dn6rSKjGFSE/s1600/IMG_0763.JPG"><img src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-WnUKMoT4v30/UVW4ZghDJ-I/AAAAAAAAB2Y/Dn6rSKjGFSE/s1600/IMG_0763.JPG" alt="" width="400" height="265" border="0" /></a></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Colourful Kites</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <table class="tr-caption-container" style="text-align: center; margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto;" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" align="center"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="text-align: center;"><a style="margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto;" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-j8IvI5bYb1g/UVW4VrpRp-I/AAAAAAAAB2Q/rskxLjEsx-0/s1600/IMG_0695.JPG"><img src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-j8IvI5bYb1g/UVW4VrpRp-I/AAAAAAAAB2Q/rskxLjEsx-0/s1600/IMG_0695.JPG" alt="" width="400" height="265" border="0" /></a></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Family Photo at Pura Tirta Empul</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> Wayang Orang Bharata: A Javanese Theater Surviving in Jakarta http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/288/wayang-orang-bharata-a-javanese-theater-surviving-in-jakarta <p style="text-align: justify;">I remembered, a few years ago, when visiting Solo City, I saw a wayang orang show at a local theater. Wayang orang is Javanese classical theater performance with themes taken from Mahabharata or Ramayana epics.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Seeing the locals, adults or even children, came to watch and enjoy the show till midnight was actually awesome for me. That was a place where people come to appreciate traditional cultures&hellip; their own heritage. That day, I believed that such shows&mdash;although look boring for a modern standard&mdash;will always exist in this country.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Last week, my friend, Abi, invited me to see Wayang Orang Bharata's performance. This group bases in Jakarta and performs regularly every Saturday night. Shame on me&hellip; although living in Jakarta, I never saw their performance before. I&mdash;maybe like other Jakarta-born guys&mdash;often underestimate the traditional cultural groups; some of us maybe do not know that such groups exist here. Lucky me, I grew up in a Javanese family who still keeps tradition. I know a little bit about the wayang stories, mostly from my father, and several times watch Ramayana ballet or shadow puppet shows. But still, it is my bad record for missing this Wayang Orang Bharata's performance.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">So I came to the show yesterday. They performed in their newly renovated theater house. It was located in Pasar Senen District, Central Jakarta. I have to say, surprisingly, it was clean and nice. Also, I was amazed with so many people came to watch it that night. In front of the building, three-row cars were parked. And inside, seats were almost full&hellip; the VIP class, the first class, or even the balcony.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img title="Wayang Orang Bharata: A Javanese Theater Surviving in Jakarta" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/5123b4a396f4f.jpg" alt="Wayang Orang Bharata: A Javanese Theater Surviving in Jakarta" width="1023" height="768" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The show was started at 8.30 p.m. They performed "Bagong Kembar" (Bagong Twins) that night. All dialogues were in Javanese, but a running text was provided in Bahasa Indonesia.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">I enjoyed the show. The fight scenes were cool and very entertaining. The comedy was smart; they made funny political jokes and brought several social issues. The costumes were superb, the lighting was just perfect, sound system was good, and the air conditioner worked well; I absolutely love their performance! Okay&hellip; before it's too overrated, I need to admit that it was not an international-standard opera house. But, c'mon guys, for a traditional theater show, they fulfill the Jakarta&rsquo;s standard for sure.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img title="Wayang Orang Bharata: A Javanese Theater Surviving in Jakarta" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/5123b4cc7e056.jpg" alt="Wayang Orang Bharata: A Javanese Theater Surviving in Jakarta" width="1024" height="768" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img title="Wayang Orang Bharata: A Javanese Theater Surviving in Jakarta" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/5123b4f7e23b2.jpg" alt="Wayang Orang Bharata: A Javanese Theater Surviving in Jakarta" width="1024" height="768" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was unique that the show was not like a common theater show we knew. There was no strict rule. The guests could take pictures during the show. We could order foods and drinks; then the sellers would come to serve us. People laughed loudly when the actors made funny things. In the comedy scenes, some of them threw boxes of cigarettes to the stage&mdash;sometimes it was money inside&mdash;showing their tribute to the actors. I thought those were very humble and warm instead of being rude. It was like you attend an outdoor movie night. You come, eat your snack, mingle with others, and the only rule is "enjoy the show".</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img title="Wayang Orang Bharata: A Javanese Theater Surviving in Jakarta" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/5123b51bd686e.jpg" alt="Wayang Orang Bharata: A Javanese Theater Surviving in Jakarta" width="1024" height="768" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img title="Wayang Orang Bharata: A Javanese Theater Surviving in Jakarta" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/5123b55027135.jpg" alt="Wayang Orang Bharata: A Javanese Theater Surviving in Jakarta" width="1023" height="768" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">So, I enjoyed the night. It was a great experience to see a traditional theater group live and survive in Jakarta. A must-see performance where we will fall in love with a humble cultural show in this modern invasion era.I,once again,believed Wayang Orang Bharata as well as other traditional theater groups will always exist everywhere in this country.</p> Nusa Lembongan - Nusa Penida; Another Paradise in Bali http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/289/nusa-lembongan-nusa-penida-another-paradise-in-bali <p>Disclaimer: This is our trip report - purely reflect our real experience,can be subjective but factual to our eyes at that time and places.</p> <p><strong>How to get there:</strong></p> <p>Very easy, dozens flights from Jakarta and other regional and international airport to Bali Ngurah Rai International airport.Get the taxi from airport to Sanur beach,where several fast boat and regular boat are ready to bring you with the travel time between 30 minutes to 3 hours depend on the boat operator.</p> <p>We use Garuda GA724 early morning flight, ETA 08:55 and then Rocky fast cruise to Lembongan ETD 10:00 - took 30 minutes ride, not cheap USD 28 one way, but they will pick-you from the airport or your hotel and drop you to the most hotel and resorts in Nusa Lembongan. Very convenien, worth for the money.</p> <p><img title="Nusa Lembongan - Nusa Penida; Another Paradise in Bali" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/512a30c82bd71.jpg" alt="Nusa Lembongan - Nusa Penida; Another Paradise in Bali" width="1333" height="750" /></p> <p><strong>Accomodation</strong></p> <p>Plenty, from budget fan room to luxury boutiques resort are availabe to suite any palate. We stayed at Scooby Doo bungalow at Junggut Batu village, direct facing to beautiful Lembongan bay - white sand beach mostly covered with &ldquo;colorful&rdquo; seaweeds during the day. The room is spacious, clean, nothing fancy, a bit aged and require minor works in the bath room. Anyway, still good value accomodation and I have no hesitate to recommend. We divers always prefer to spend money on good diving.</p> <p><strong>Diving</strong></p> <p>There's around a dozen dive center; the most popular outlets are World Diving Lembongan, Blue corner, TwoFish, Lembongan Dive center (LDC), Lembongan Scuba and few others. We chose Lembongan Dive Center (LDC) &ndash; a small dive center located next to the Scooby Doo restaurant. It is very convenience for us having the restaurant and dive center not more than 20 m from our room. Internet connection is available most of the time and reasonably good.</p> <p>The main purpose of our trip to Nusa Lembongan is to get Jr. AOW for my younger daughter and as warming up for our next trip to Raja Ampat strong current after more than 6 months completely dry; we never touch sea water. Being small operation, LDC can accommodate all our request. My daughter get a private instructor, one dive guide for two of us and we dive at same locations as for my daughter training.</p> <p>Diving is simply good and very good. Lembongan Island and Penida offer mola mola - sunfish (mostly July to November but anytime possible, you never know), mantas, sharks and turtles as well as some stunning reefs and macro opportunity. Current can be strong in several location.Don't worry, just talk to your guide if you are novice or does not like strong current.</p> <p><img title="Nusa Lembongan - Nusa Penida; Another Paradise in Bali" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/512a31d1d7461.jpg" alt="Nusa Lembongan - Nusa Penida; Another Paradise in Bali" width="1000" height="750" /></p> <p><img title="Nusa Lembongan - Nusa Penida; Another Paradise in Bali" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/512a32008e446.jpg" alt="Nusa Lembongan - Nusa Penida; Another Paradise in Bali" width="1000" height="750" /></p> <p>We did 8 dives for 3 days; Twice at Manta point and Crystal bay, mangrove point, Pura Ped, SD and night dive at Lembongan bay. close to Bali Hai pontoon. Water was considered warm for nusa Penida, 21 - 27 C. Unfortunatley, luck is not in our side -no mola-mola sighting; another reason to return to Lembongan.</p> <p><img title="Nusa Lembongan - Nusa Penida; Another Paradise in Bali" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/512a316af1415.jpg" alt="Nusa Lembongan - Nusa Penida; Another Paradise in Bali" width="1000" height="750" /></p> <p><strong><img title="Nusa Lembongan - Nusa Penida; Another Paradise in Bali" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/512a319c50e62.jpg" alt="Nusa Lembongan - Nusa Penida; Another Paradise in Bali" width="1000" height="750" /></strong></p> <p><strong>Other Activities</strong></p> <p>Don't worry if you are not into diving, lot to do from doing nothing - just enjoy the beauty of Nusa Lembongan, visit the vilage, sun bathing - no nude please, canoing, snorkeling, surfing and other activities that we do not know - but I know - many people spend more than a week in NusaLembongan and not getting bored.</p> <p><img title="Nusa Lembongan - Nusa Penida; Another Paradise in Bali" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/512a327c1680a.jpg" alt="Nusa Lembongan - Nusa Penida; Another Paradise in Bali" width="1000" height="750" /></p> <p><img title="Nusa Lembongan - Nusa Penida; Another Paradise in Bali" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/512a30ee86fc9.jpg" alt="Nusa Lembongan - Nusa Penida; Another Paradise in Bali" width="1000" height="750" /></p> Learning to Surf on Kuta Beach Bali http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/282/learning-to-surf-on-kuta-beach-bali <p>Learning to surf is one of those opportunities in life that I&rsquo;ve been able to take advantage of because I travel. If I didn&rsquo;t travel, I wouldn&rsquo;t get the chance to do have of the cool things I do.</p> <p>The islands of <a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/">Indonesia</a> draw <a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publishphotoessay/destination/491/world-s-best-surfing-at-g-land">expert surfers</a> in the know from around the world. The beginners come to Bali.</p> <p>Bali is great for learning to surf because <a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publishphotoessay/destination/355/kuta-beach">Kuta Beach</a> is sandy, the waves are consistent, and there are plenty of surf schools.</p> <p>I joined a few others one morning on Kuta Beach. We joined the Pro Surf School&rsquo;s beginner lesson. This included a thorough 30-minute theory lesson indoors followed by two hours on the beach in practice.</p> <p>Kuta Beach is great for starters because it&rsquo;s got a sandy bottom. If you fall, and you will, you&rsquo;ll smash against the soft sand instead of rocks or reef. The instructors at Pro Surf School were knowledgeable and helpful. They took it step-by-step and within a few minutes I was standing up and riding waves into shore.</p> <p>A stop in Bali is a good way to break up the more serious stops while traveling through Indonesia. My surf lesson in Bali came after two weeks of intensive sightseeing, including the <a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publishphotoessay/travelers-stories-detail/all/186/the-incredible-orangutans-of-kalimantan">orangutans</a> of Kalimantan, <a href="http://bohemiantraveler.com/2012/11/sunrise-over-mt-bromo-indonesia/">hiking Mt. Bromo volcano</a>, visiting the Komodo dragons, and climbing the <a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publishphotoessay/travelers-stories-detail/all/187/witnessing-the-diversity-of-indonesia-at-borobudur-temple">temple of Borobudur</a>.</p> <p><strong><em>Have you taken a surf lesson If you&rsquo;re experienced, where is your favorite place to surf </em></strong></p> <p><strong><em></em></strong><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Learning to Surf on Kuta Beach Bali" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b8fe5625353.jpg" alt="Learning to Surf on Kuta Beach Bali" /></p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Learning to Surf on Kuta Beach Bali" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b8fe77611bd.jpg" alt="Learning to Surf on Kuta Beach Bali" /></p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Learning to Surf on Kuta Beach Bali" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b8fe9f85fcc.jpg" alt="Learning to Surf on Kuta Beach Bali" /></p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Learning to Surf on Kuta Beach Bali" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b8feee1b37b.jpg" alt="Learning to Surf on Kuta Beach Bali" width="1000" height="671" /></p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Learning to Surf on Kuta Beach Bali" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b8ff4d99b3b.jpg" alt="Learning to Surf on Kuta Beach Bali" /></p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Learning to Surf on Kuta Beach Bali" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b9000211f43.jpg" alt="Learning to Surf on Kuta Beach Bali" /></p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Learning to Surf on Kuta Beach Bali" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b9002e7bc4d.jpg" alt="Learning to Surf on Kuta Beach Bali" /></p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Learning to Surf on Kuta Beach Bali" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b90045ae30d.jpg" alt="Learning to Surf on Kuta Beach Bali" /></p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Learning to Surf on Kuta Beach Bali" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b90074d249e.jpg" alt="Learning to Surf on Kuta Beach Bali" /></p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Learning to Surf on Kuta Beach Bali" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b900f0b4469.jpg" alt="Learning to Surf on Kuta Beach Bali" width="1000" height="671" /></p> The Best of Indonesia http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/283/the-best-of-indonesia <h1 style="text-align: left;">Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo)</h1> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">What to say first Meeting the orangutans and the people who are dedicated their life to save these great apes, sleeping on the klotok, watching the fireflies at night, eating the most amazing meals that made on the boats, planting my own tree to help getting the forest back, and the list goes on and on. The one day overnight trip to Kalimantan was the highlight of the Indonesia trip.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Working on the boat in Borneo " href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Best-of-Indonesia/26789790_sNLbhB#!i=2243070144&amp;k=hWs9c7T&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Working on the boat in Borneo " src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Best-of-Indonesia/i-hWs9c7T/0/L/borneo-jungle-7616-L.jpg" alt="Working on the boat in Borneo " /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Frederick, the son of Dr. Birute who is dedicated herself to rescue the orangutans in Borneo." href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Orangutan/25829602_t4t8wh#!i=2140729444&amp;k=3ds3P99&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Frederick, the son of Dr. Birute who is dedicated herself to rescue the orangutans in Borneo." src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Orangutan/i-3ds3P99/0/L/orangutan-borneo-indonesia-7545-L.jpg" alt="Frederick, the son of Dr. Birute who is dedicated herself to rescue the orangutans in Borneo." /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Orangutan at the camp Leakey" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Orangutan/25829602_t4t8wh#!i=2140731778&amp;k=BmVrbqk&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Orangutan at the camp Leakey" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Orangutan/i-BmVrbqk/0/L/orangutan-borneo-indonesia-7138-L.jpg" alt="Orangutan at the camp Leakey" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Doyok was watching us for a long time" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Orangutan/25829602_t4t8wh#!i=2140731229&amp;k=RcFZ8zG&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Doyok was watching us for a long time" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Orangutan/i-RcFZ8zG/0/L/orangutan-borneo-indonesia-7235-L.jpg" alt="Doyok was watching us for a long time" /></a> <a title="Borneo" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Best-of-Indonesia/26789790_sNLbhB#!i=2243070186&amp;k=HBNkgsS&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Borneo" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Best-of-Indonesia/i-HBNkgsS/0/L/borneo-jungle-7456-L.jpg" alt="Borneo" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Borneo " href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Best-of-Indonesia/26789790_sNLbhB#!i=2243069781&amp;k=2zBrZPX&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Borneo " src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Best-of-Indonesia/i-2zBrZPX/0/L/borneo-jungle-6694-L.jpg" alt="Borneo " /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Tree planting in Borneo" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Best-of-Indonesia/26789790_sNLbhB#!i=2243069871&amp;k=5hthrNG&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Tree planting in Borneo" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Best-of-Indonesia/i-5hthrNG/0/L/borneo-jungle-6728-L.jpg" alt="Tree planting in Borneo" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Photo &amp; Video Sharing by SmugMug" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Jungle/26053207_RvZ3t8#!i=2163635804&amp;k=xPNLrJ2&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Photo &amp; Video Sharing by SmugMug" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Jungle/i-xPNLrJ2/0/L/Borneo-Jungle-6760-L.jpg" alt="Photo &amp; Video Sharing by SmugMug" /></a></p> <h1 style="text-align: left;">Java</h1> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">You can spend a week in Java and still won't see the most of it. Java Island has so many things to offer. We visited a few of the attractions: the culinary central of Indonesia - Yogyakarta, the world's largest Buddhist temple - Borobudur temple and an active volcano - Mount Bromo. Our time in Java required a lot of travel times, but it was totally worth it I should say.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Mount Bromo " href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Best-of-Indonesia/26789790_sNLbhB#!i=2243070268&amp;k=x2b8Jjg&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Mount Bromo " src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Best-of-Indonesia/i-x2b8Jjg/0/L/mt-bromo-sunrise-indonesia-java-2-2-L.jpg" alt="Mount Bromo " /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Mount Bromo" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Best-of-Indonesia/26789790_sNLbhB#!i=2243070460&amp;k=2PcpS2j&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Mount Bromo" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Best-of-Indonesia/i-2PcpS2j/0/L/mt-bromo-java-indonesia-8603-L.jpg" alt="Mount Bromo" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Mt Batok" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Mt-Bromo/26035704_mNSCM8#!i=2161682206&amp;k=WZvdL3C&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Mt Batok" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Mt-Bromo/i-WZvdL3C/0/L/mt-bromo-sunrise-indonesia-java-8577-L.jpg" alt="Mt Batok" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Lei on the rock" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Best-of-Indonesia/26789790_sNLbhB#!i=2243068566&amp;k=kTcPnmq&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Lei on the rock" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Best-of-Indonesia/i-kTcPnmq/0/L/java-indonesia-7682-L.jpg" alt="Lei on the rock" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Kraton" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Best-of-Indonesia/26789790_sNLbhB#!i=2243068277&amp;k=mvTLJP4&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Kraton" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Best-of-Indonesia/i-mvTLJP4/0/L/sultan-palace-java-7875-L.jpg" alt="Kraton" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Kraton tiles" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Best-of-Indonesia/26789790_sNLbhB#!i=2243069448&amp;k=D2mDskF&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Kraton tiles" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Best-of-Indonesia/i-D2mDskF/0/L/sultan-palace-yogjakarta-java-indonesia-7852-L.jpg" alt="Kraton tiles" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Herb tea" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Best-of-Indonesia/26789790_sNLbhB#!i=2243068494&amp;k=Z7DNfcG&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Herb tea" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Best-of-Indonesia/i-Z7DNfcG/0/L/java-indonesia-7667-L.jpg" alt="Herb tea" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Borobudur temple" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Best-of-Indonesia/26789790_sNLbhB#!i=2243068658&amp;k=V49fr7X&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Borobudur temple" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Best-of-Indonesia/i-V49fr7X/0/L/borobudur-temple-java-indonesia-7746-L.jpg" alt="Borobudur temple" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Borobudur temple bloggers " href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Best-of-Indonesia/26789790_sNLbhB#!i=2243069154&amp;k=dssXzV8&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Borobudur temple bloggers " src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Best-of-Indonesia/i-dssXzV8/0/L/borobudur-temple-java-indonesia-7768-L.jpg" alt="Borobudur temple bloggers " /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <h1 style="text-align: left;">Komodo&nbsp;</h1> <p style="text-align: left;">The Komodo dragons were surreal! Snorkeling at Rinca Island was a great experience, but I've heard the Pink beach was even better. Sad that I didn't experience the best part of the journey but oh well, I guess I have another reason to be back.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="A female Komodo dragon guarding the nest" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Komodo-National-Park/26246209_Jh4jN3#!i=2184935049&amp;k=g6mM8bd&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="A female Komodo dragon guarding the nest" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Komodo-National-Park/i-g6mM8bd/0/L/Komodo-Dragon-Indonesia-8756-L.jpg" alt="A female Komodo dragon guarding the nest" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Rinca Island Snorkeling " href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Best-of-Indonesia/26789790_sNLbhB#!i=2243067939&amp;k=HG3hCs7&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Rinca Island Snorkeling " src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Best-of-Indonesia/i-HG3hCs7/0/L/indonesia-gopro-snorkeling-1080-L.jpg" alt="Rinca Island Snorkeling " /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Rinca Island Snorkeling " href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Best-of-Indonesia/26789790_sNLbhB#!i=2243068111&amp;k=V5Kr9gZ&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Rinca Island Snorkeling " src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Best-of-Indonesia/i-V5Kr9gZ/0/L/indonesia-gopro-snorkeling-1131-L.jpg" alt="Rinca Island Snorkeling " /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="DCIM@GOPRO" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Snorkeling-Linca-Island/26761521_9xC8wq#!i=2243056968&amp;k=ZR2KWmS&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="DCIM@GOPRO" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Snorkeling-Linca-Island/i-ZR2KWmS/0/L/Rinca-Snorkeling-1053-L.jpg" alt="DCIM@GOPRO" /></a></p> <h1 style="text-align: left;">Bali</h1> <p style="text-align: left;">The last few days of two week long trip ended in Bali. It was the perfect retreat - besides the traffic. We had a surfing lesson in Kuta beach, went to see the Kecak dance, and eat the sucking pig. As soon as we landed on the airport, we all had the deep breathe 'Haaaaa.....' Wish I could spend more time in Bali. A rain check </p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://mastertravelphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Bali-Rice-Paddie-Indonesia-8910.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-1152" title="Bali-Rice-Paddie-Indonesia-8910" src="http://mastertravelphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Bali-Rice-Paddie-Indonesia-8910-1024x680.jpg" alt="" width="1024" height="680" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Surfing in Bali" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Bali-Indonesia/26790535_XjBfSw#!i=2243161714&amp;k=XQ2q8dG&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Surfing in Bali" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Bali-Indonesia/i-XQ2q8dG/0/800x800/Surfing-bali-L.jpg" alt="Surfing in Bali" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Secret Forest Bali" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Best-of-Indonesia/26789790_sNLbhB#!i=2243067610&amp;k=LGbCZbb&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Secret Forest Bali" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Best-of-Indonesia/i-LGbCZbb/0/L/Baby-monkey-forest-L.jpg" alt="Secret Forest Bali" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Rice paddies Bali" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Best-of-Indonesia/26789790_sNLbhB#!i=2243067713&amp;k=cGT763N&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Rice paddies Bali" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Best-of-Indonesia/i-cGT763N/0/L/Rice-Ubud-L.jpg" alt="Rice paddies Bali" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Kecak Dance Bali" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Best-of-Indonesia/26789790_sNLbhB#!i=2243067914&amp;k=8NjKsbN&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Kecak Dance Bali" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Best-of-Indonesia/i-8NjKsbN/0/L/Kecak_dance_Bali-L.jpg" alt="Kecak Dance Bali" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Sunset Bali" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Best-of-Indonesia/26789790_sNLbhB#!i=2243067723&amp;k=9m3tQVd&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Sunset Bali" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Best-of-Indonesia/i-9m3tQVd/0/L/Bali-Sunset-L.jpg" alt="Sunset Bali" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Sucking pig Bali" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Best-of-Indonesia/26789790_sNLbhB#!i=2243067835&amp;k=dct8txp&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Sucking pig Bali" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Best-of-Indonesia/i-dct8txp/0/L/suckling-pig-ubud-bali-L.jpg" alt="Sucking pig Bali" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Team #Travel2Indonesia" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Best-of-Indonesia/26789790_sNLbhB#!i=2243067752&amp;k=FVGCMXq&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Team #Travel2Indonesia" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Best-of-Indonesia/i-FVGCMXq/0/L/team-travel2indonesia-L.jpg" alt="Team #Travel2Indonesia" /></a>&nbsp;</p> Details of Kraton - Yogyakarta,Indonesia http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/284/details-of-kraton-yogyakarta-indonesia <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://mastertravelphoto.com" target="_blank"><img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-1073" title="Sultan-Palace-Java-7875" src="http://mastertravelphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Sultan-Palace-Java-7875-1024x680.jpg" alt="" width="1024" height="680" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Kraton, or the Sultan's Palace, is a working royal palace of Sultan the 10th. The guards are still working full-time with their swords that have been passed in the family, although they are more the symbolic figures nowadays. For the people of Yogyakarta, the Kraton has been at the heart of their everyday life since the mid 1700s. They made the palace with the imported materials from around the world: marble from Italy, iron from the Netherlands and so on. The big parts of the palace were ruined due to the big earthquake six years ago, and now it's restored. However they tried to keep the original designs of the details. There are exhibits that are open to public: family portraits, the paintings from the important ceremony (such as the circumcision ceremony) treasures that are from the foreign countries and historical items. Especially I liked the details of the palace here and there. The tiles were my favourite. Here I share some of the detail designs from the Sultan's home.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Floor tiles at Sultan's Palace in Yogyakarta (Jogjakarta), Indonesia" href="http://mastertravelphoto.com" target="_blank"><img title="Floor tiles at Sultan's Palace in Yogyakarta (Jogjakarta), Indonesia" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/i-ndsszSs/0/L/Sultan-palace-yogjakarta-java-L.jpg" alt="Floor tiles at Sultan's Palace in Yogyakarta (Jogjakarta), Indonesia" width="800" height="531" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Details on the wall" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/26229529_kNWW3K#!i=2183044269&amp;k=S3zLqrH&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Details on the wall" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/i-S3zLqrH/0/L/Sultan-Palace-Java-7919-L.jpg" alt="Details on the wall" width="800" height="531" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Column detail" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/26229529_kNWW3K#!i=2183045113&amp;k=5xKrPP4&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Column detail" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/i-5xKrPP4/0/L/Sultan-Palace-Java-7911-L.jpg" alt="Column detail" width="800" height="531" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Symbol of three religions" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/26229529_kNWW3K#!i=2183046510&amp;k=TmrtfRH&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img class=" " title="Symbol of three religions" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/i-TmrtfRH/0/L/Sultan-Palace-Java-7866-L.jpg" alt="Symbol of three religions" width="800" height="531" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Floor tiles at Sultan's Palace in Yogyakarta (Jogjakarta), Indonesia" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/26229529_kNWW3K#!i=2182934243&amp;k=R9NrsDq&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Floor tiles at Sultan's Palace in Yogyakarta (Jogjakarta), Indonesia" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/i-R9NrsDq/0/L/Sultan-palace-yogjakarta-java-L.jpg" alt="Floor tiles at Sultan's Palace in Yogyakarta (Jogjakarta), Indonesia" width="800" height="531" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Floor and the railing " href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/26229529_kNWW3K#!i=2183042349&amp;k=BLsV3xQ&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Floor and the railing " src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/i-BLsV3xQ/0/L/Sultan-Palace-Java-7938-L.jpg" alt="Floor and the railing " width="800" height="531" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Water filter at Sultan's Palace in Yogyakarta (Jogjakarta), Indonesia" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/26229529_kNWW3K#!i=2182934416&amp;k=44FHq2s&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Water filter at Sultan's Palace in Yogyakarta (Jogjakarta), Indonesia" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/i-44FHq2s/0/L/Sultan-palace-yogjakarta-java-L.jpg" alt="Water filter at Sultan's Palace in Yogyakarta (Jogjakarta), Indonesia" width="399" height="600" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="at Sultan's Palace in Yogyakarta (Jogjakarta), Indonesia" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/26229529_kNWW3K#!i=2182934785&amp;k=kR2PNVd&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="at Sultan's Palace in Yogyakarta (Jogjakarta), Indonesia" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/i-kR2PNVd/0/L/Sultan-palace-yogjakarta-java-L.jpg" alt="at Sultan's Palace in Yogyakarta (Jogjakarta), Indonesia" width="800" height="531" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Column " href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/26229529_kNWW3K#!i=2183040122&amp;k=QfpWSXV&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Column " src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/i-QfpWSXV/0/L/Sultan-Palace-Java-7915-L.jpg" alt="Column " width="800" height="531" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Batik of Sultan royal family" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/26229529_kNWW3K#!i=2183040671&amp;k=kQBgj9L&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Batik of Sultan royal family" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/i-kQBgj9L/0/L/Sultan-Palace-Java-7905-L.jpg" alt="Batik of Sultan royal family" width="800" height="531" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Tiles " href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/26229529_kNWW3K#!i=2183041088&amp;k=8TRdSnc&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Tiles " src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/i-8TRdSnc/0/L/Sultan-Palace-Java-7932-L.jpg" alt="Tiles " width="800" height="531" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Golden fabric" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/26229529_kNWW3K#!i=2183046027&amp;k=5NV5548&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Golden fabric" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/i-5NV5548/0/L/Sultan-Palace-Java-7890-L.jpg" alt="Golden fabric" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Column " href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/26229529_kNWW3K#!i=2183042840&amp;k=xhk6G7C&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Column " src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/i-xhk6G7C/0/L/Sultan-Palace-Java-7936-L.jpg" alt="Column " width="800" height="531" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Bottom of the column " href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/26229529_kNWW3K#!i=2183044479&amp;k=Sn24w4B&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Bottom of the column " src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/i-Sn24w4B/0/L/Sultan-Palace-Java-7922-L.jpg" alt="Bottom of the column " width="800" height="531" /></a></p> Kraton's in the details: Sultan's Kraton in Yogyakarta http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/285/kraton-s-in-the-details-sultan-s-kraton-in-yogyakarta <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku//50b64e718d179.jpg" alt="" width="1000" height="669" /></p> <p>Yogyakarta is considered to be a cultural center of&nbsp;<a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/">Indonesia</a>. It is here we visited the Sultan&rsquo;s Palace, also known as Kraton Ngayogyakarta.</p> <p>It is the primary royal palace of the&nbsp;<a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publishphotoessay/destination/457/yogyakarta">Yogyakarta</a>&nbsp;Sultanate where the sultan and the royal court have their traditional seat.</p> <p>The complex is the most popular tourist destination in Yogyakarta and consists of a number of buildings such as audience halls, museums, and the residences of the sultan and the queen.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku//50b64eb9d1979.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku//50b64e99f0074.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b64ed60ce68.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Wandering around Sri Sultan&rsquo;s Palace with my camera, I chose to focus on the details. I liked the colors, shapes, and the subtleties of the architecture and interior design.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b64ef7a4a1a.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b64f188703b.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>The individuals working around the palace were also happy posing to have their photo taken.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b64f5424efd.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>After wandering through most of the of the complex, our group made its way to the batik exhibit. Batik is a traditional fabric created by melting wax and dying different patterns on cloth.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b64f714c5e6.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>They had examples of some exquisite batik for both men and women and I got a real appreciation for how difficult and time consuming this process is.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b64f9629b74.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Yogyakarta is one of the oldest cities in Indonesia and there many other heritage buildings and monuments to check out. It is located in central Java, near the&nbsp;<a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publishphotoessay/travelers-stories-detail/all/187/witnessing-the-diversity-of-indonesia-at-borobudur-temple">temple of Borobudur</a>.</p> Meeting Komodo Dragons and Snorkeling at Pink Beach http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/286/meeting-komodo-dragons-and-snorkeling-at-pink-beach <p style="text-align: left;">Maen lost a limb to an attack by a Komodo Dragon. He could have lost his life. Instead, he survived and courageously has returned to his post as a ranger in the <a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publishphotoessay/destination/106/komodo-national-park">Komodo Islands</a> looking after an environment and an animal that perhaps does not have his best interests at heart. [<em><a href="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/2012/10/attack-komodo-dragon-indonesia/">Michael recounts his story far better than I could.</a></em>]<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-5729" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Komodo1" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Komodo1.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="675" />It&rsquo;s a harsh place. On a hot day in a spot without shade the sun can make you stroke out before you even realize you&rsquo;re tired. Komodo Dragons aren&rsquo;t caged or penned, instead roaming wild, the entire island their kingdom. One comes to the islands to learn about the circle of life and yet at all times, death lingers in your mind because there is always the possibility of another attack. Yes, rangers accompany you - armed with little more than sticks. Yes, they know how to defend against an attack - but here, nature does not always cooperate and dragons aren&rsquo;t really afraid of sticks.<img class="p3-insert-all size-full aligncenter" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Komodo2" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Komodo2.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="675" /><img class="p3-insert-all size-full aligncenter" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Komodo3" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Komodo3.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="675" /><img class="p3-insert-all size-full aligncenter" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Komodo4" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Komodo4.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="675" /><img class="p3-insert-all size-full aligncenter" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Komodo5" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Komodo5.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="675" /><img class="p3-insert-all size-full aligncenter" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Komodo6" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Komodo6.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="675" />Still, our visit was attack free. Unless you count Komodo Dragons running toward us at a rather alarming pace&hellip;<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-5730" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="KomodoDragon1" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/KomodoDragon1.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="900" /><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-5731" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="KomodoDragon2" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/KomodoDragon2.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="463" />And I learned to relax for long enough to admire an animal which truly remains at the top of a food chain in an environment where their might is perfectly on display, as opposed to being handicapped in a zoo. I also noticed the environment itself. There is much that is alive. And even more life teeming under the surface of the ocean that surrounds the islands in the Komodo chain. My favorite place was <a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publishphotoessay/destination/106/komodo-national-park">Pink Beach</a>. It&rsquo;s named for the sand, literally pink, caused by red coral washing up and being ground by the constant pressure of the tide and the waves. Snorkeling here was the best I have ever experienced and yet it isn&rsquo;t even the best in Indonesia.<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-5759" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="IMG_7397" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_7397-e1354087678254.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="675" /><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-5760" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="SnorkelCollage" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/SnorkelCollage.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="315" />From a cliff above the beach I surveyed our paradise and thought again about life, how glad I was to be alive; how alive I felt being so enveloped in nature, without cares and worries to distract me from the beauty.<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-5750" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="PinkBeachCollage" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/PinkBeachCollage.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="900" />However, the resort at Kanawa Island provided its own perfection. Enormous starfish lingered on the floor of the ocean begging to be admired. Bright orange, shades of pink and black spots made a delightful contrast to the turquoise water and white sand.<img class="p3-insert-all size-full aligncenter" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="IMG_6412" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_6412.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="675" /><img class="p3-insert-all size-full aligncenter" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Kanawa1" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Kanawa1.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="675" /><img class="p3-insert-all size-full aligncenter" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Kanawa2" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Kanawa2.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="675" /><img class="p3-insert-all size-full aligncenter" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="StarfishCollage" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/StarfishCollage.jpg" alt="" width="910" height="642" />For as long as we could we bobbed and swam and floated in the beautiful water, appreciating the bounty of life and the gift of another day. None of us know how long we are guaranteed and the blessing of being able to spend a few days living in the Komodo Islands may be one of the greatest I have ever had, one of those experiences after which one tends to say, mostly joking, "I can die happy."<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-5741" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="IMG_6533" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_6533.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="675" />As if to confirm all of my sappy thoughts and the scribbled entry in my journal, penned with beer in one sandy hand and the sun blinding me... on our way home, first a rainbow greeted us and then a spectacular sunset signaled the end of our experience in the Komodo Islands. I wasn't the only one with sappy thoughts after that...<img class="p3-insert-all size-full aligncenter" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="end1" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/end1.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="900" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/end3.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="675" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="p3-insert-all size-full aligncenter" title="end4" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/end4.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="675" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Disclaimer: The story I began with, of the ranger Maen, is not dramatized. He really could have died and did narrowly escape a worse fate. However, do not let that story make you afraid to visit the Komodo Islands yourself. As with all wild animals, caution is necessary but irrational fear, is not.</em></p> Visiting the Palaces of Yogyakarta http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/287/visiting-the-palaces-of-yogyakarta <p>In formal terms, it's called, "<em>Kraton Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat</em>." Less formally, the <strong>Keraton</strong>. It's the royal palace, and home, of the ruling sultan in the province of Yogyakarta, Indonesia. He is technically a governor but is able to retain the title of sultan.<img class="p3-insert-all size-full aligncenter" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="palace1" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/palace1.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="900" /><img class="p3-insert-all size-full aligncenter" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="palace2" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/palace2.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="900" /><a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publishphotoessay/destination/458/the-kraton">The <strong>Keraton</strong></a> is open to the public in the first portion of the day yet it is still used for meetings, official functions and as a home where the sultan and his family live.<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-5709" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="floorcollage" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/floorcollage.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="300" />About 100 guards are on duty during visiting hours though at any time around one thousand are actively serving the sultan.<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-5699" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="GuardsCollage" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/GuardsCollage.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="900" />Designed to reflect Javanese customs, the palace is ornate and at times dripping with gold details.<img class="p3-insert-all size-full aligncenter" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Details01" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Details01.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="900" /><img class="p3-insert-all size-full aligncenter" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="details4" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/details4.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="900" /><img class="p3-insert-all size-full aligncenter" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="details3" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/details3.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="900" /><img class="p3-insert-all size-full aligncenter" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="details1" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/details1.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="900" /><img class="p3-insert-all size-full aligncenter" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="details2" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/details2.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="900" /><img class="p3-insert-all size-full aligncenter" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="details5" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/details5.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="900" /><img class="p3-insert-all size-full aligncenter" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Details6" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Details6.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="900" />At times, it is calming and spiritual.<img class="p3-insert-all size-full aligncenter" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="calming1" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/calming1.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="900" /><img class="p3-insert-all size-full aligncenter" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="calming2" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/calming2.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="900" /><img class="p3-insert-all size-full aligncenter" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="calming3" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/calming3.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="900" /><img class="p3-insert-all size-full aligncenter" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="calming4" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/calming4.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="900" /><img class="p3-insert-all size-full aligncenter" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="calming5" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/calming5.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="900" />In one direction, it faces the Indian Ocean which highlights a belief in the sea spirit. The other direction faces Mount Merapi. The layout has many meanings and now different portions and decorative elements pay homage to all of the elements of Indonesian religious culture, a fusion of Buddhist, Islamic and Hindi beliefs. There is also a wonderful exhibit of royal clothing and batik fabrics that helps the visitor to understand what different patterns mean and why they are such an important part of Javanese culture.<img class="p3-insert-all size-full aligncenter" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="batik1" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/batik1.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="900" /><img class="p3-insert-all size-full aligncenter" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="BatikCollage" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/BatikCollage.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="450" /><img class="p3-insert-all size-full aligncenter" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="batik4" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/batik4.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="900" /><img class="p3-insert-all size-full aligncenter" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="batik5" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/batik5.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="900" />In contrast to the formality of the <strong>Keraton</strong> and yet just a few blocks away, is the <strong>Water Palace</strong> - as it has now come to be known - the former holiday retreat of the sultan. <img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-5719" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="IMG_5898" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_5898.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="900" />The <strong>Taman Sari Water Palace</strong> was the place where women were brought to entertain the sultan and the site in which he found a new wives. From a window high up, overlooking the pools, the sultan chose women who appealed to him and then they were summoned to his presence for&hellip;well, I'm sure I don't need to fill in any details here...<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-5720" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="WaterPalaceCollage" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/WaterPalaceCollage.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="644" /></p> Vid Compilations of Indonesia! http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/233/vid-compilations-of-indonesia <p>Check out my two short video compilations of Indonesia:</p> <p>Nature &amp; Wonders of Indonesia (<a href="http://youtu.be/vSz9ljR_WjU">http://youtu.be/vSz9ljR_WjU</a>)</p> <p><iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/vSz9ljR_WjU rel=0" frameborder="0" width="550" height="309"></iframe></p> <p>Of Indonesian Beauties &amp; Dance (<a href="http://youtu.be/89j4Y7_67OE">http://youtu.be/89j4Y7_67OE</a>)</p> <p><iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/89j4Y7_67OE rel=0" frameborder="0" width="550" height="309"></iframe></p> <p>Read: <a href="/en/discover-indonesia">Discover Indonesia</a> | <a href="/en/activity">Activities &amp; Things to Do in Indonesia</a> | <a href="/en/activity/detail/15">Diving &amp; Snorkeling</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Read all posts on <a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tag/travel2indonesia/">Travel2Indonesia</a></p> <p>Keep in touch! Add me on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Travelerfolio/179107563570">Facebook</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/travelerfolio">Twitter</a></p> surf camp siberut http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/234/surf-camp-siberut <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50cdf2cd26b7a.JPG" alt="" width="550" height="361" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">MENTAWAI SURFING +6281374006060 or handra_harbi@yahoo.com or www.surfcampsiberut.blogspot.com,NYANG - NYANG &amp; PLAY GROUND CAMP Mentawai islands with my surf camp in siberut islands close wave like e'bay, beng-beng, nipussi, pitstop just onfoot,With my price cheaper price only $ 45 (AU) 1 person to 1 days, including = breakfast, lunch, dinner, stay, pick up, service/guide, ticket ferry boat, snack, fruit, meal<br /> <br /> Max = 6 surfer and min = 2 surfer<br /> <br /> Mentawai islands with surfer camp have facilities = electricily from 6 am until 10 pm, fan, shower, referigerator<br /> <br /> not including<br /> 1) one engine speed boat from harbour siberut islands to surf camp siberut then surf camp to harbour siberut price RP 1500.000 in $ 163(AU) max:2 surfer min:1 surfer (sharing price with your friends)<br /> 2) two engine speed boat from harbour siberut islands to surf camp siberut then surf camp to harbour siberut price RP 2400.000 in $ 260 (AU) max:6 surfer min:1 surfer (sharing price with your friends)<br /> 3) porter in harbour and airport<br /> <br /> Surf spots just onfoot<br /> <br /> Beng Beng =&gt; A very consistent world class wave, an extremely rippable left. This spot is loads of fun and probably one of the easiest waves to surf in the Mentawai&rsquo;s. It&rsquo;s the deepest and safest wave in the area and also pick up a bit more swell than other locales. 5 more breaks in the area, including E-Bay and Pitstops. Nestled inside a small bay with one of the most scenic views imaginable all around you.<br /> <br /> E-Bay =&gt; This is a hollow left that barrels off the take-off with a short wall down the line. A great option when a lot of swell is hitting. A hollow, fast, powerful left. A world class wave for experienced surfers. Watch out for the two rocks on the inside. Great barrels, and turns into a surfing paradise at 6 feet offshore. There is a heavy warble that hits as you are taking off. Make the drop and don&rsquo;t get thrown by that first warble and chances are you&rsquo;ll get a mean aqua blue barrel. The scenery alone will blow you away. Besides its aesthetic beauty, double overhead E-bay is a beast and forces to be reckon with.<br /> <br /> Nipussi or Pussies =&gt; A shorter right that breaks down the point from Bank Vaults. Definitely fun and rippable. Usually has fairly deep water from the takeoff to the inside. Ends in a riptide that sucks all the water back out to sea. A good option when there&rsquo;s not much swell, and usually the most consistent spot in the area.<br /> <br /> Pitstops =&gt; This is the right off the peak at E-Bay. A playful right that can offer some cover-ups off the take-off, but mostly a high performance wave with air sections at the end. Ends in a sandy channel.<br /> <br /> How do I reach Mentawai Islands <br /> <br /> By Ferry from padang, to mentawai islands or mentawai islands to padang, (west sumateran, indonesia)<br /> <br /> The most comfortable Ferry to Mentawai is Ferry Ambu Ambu (made from Steel). Since September 2009, the Ambu-Ambu Ferry travels overnight from Padang Bungus to Muara Siberut 2. and 3. Thursday nights of each month. From Muara Siberut to Padang Bungus, the ferry travels 2. and 3. Friday nights of each month.<br /> <br /> The ferry departs from Padang at 9:00 p.m. and arrives at approximately 7:00 a.m. the following morning.<br /> <br /> The Sumber Rejeki traditional Ferry (made from wood) travels overnight from Padang Bungus to Muara Siberut every Monday evening. From Muara Siberut to Padang, the ferry travels every tuesday nights.</p> Pura Luhur Poten http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/235/pura-luhur-poten <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Pura Luhur Poten" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50ceaa3f38ac8.jpg" alt="Pura Luhur Poten" width="550" height="354" /></p> <p><span style="font-size: x-small;"><em><a href="http://java.uluwatu.org/html/national-park/pura-luhur-poten/01.shtml"><span style="color: #0000e1;">Pura Luhur Poten</span></a></em> holds a significant importance to the <em>Tenggerese</em> tribe who scatter across the mountainous villages such as Ngadisari, <a href="http://java.uluwatu.org/html/national-park/wonokitri.shtml"><span style="color: #0000e1;">Wonokitri</span></a>, Ngadas, Argosari, Ranu Prani, Ledok Ombo and Wonokerso. As the decline of <em>Majapahit</em> Kingdom dawned upon these people, they emphatically moved to the outskirts of <a href="http://java.uluwatu.org/html/national-park/pura-luhur-poten/01.shtml"><span style="color: #0000e1;">the volcanoes</span></a>, which inaccessibility was their greatest asset to fend off any foreign intrusions.</span></p> <p align="justify"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Until today, the <em>Tenggerese</em> are isolated from the rest of the world. While the majority of Javanese profess the religion of Islam, this unique tribe still retains their beliefs from the ancient days of <em>Majapahit</em>. In fact, the name <em>Tengger</em> (used by the tribe as well as <a href="http://java.uluwatu.org/html/national-park/vista-penanjakan.shtml"><span style="color: #0000e1;">the massive caldera</span></a>) was originated from Roro Anteng, the daughter of <em>Majapahit</em>'s King Brawijaya, and Joko Seger, a <em>Brahmin</em> caste, who got married and eventually established <em>Purbawisesa</em> (<em>Purbawaseso</em>) <em>Mangkurat Ing Tengger</em> region under their ruling.</span></p> <p align="justify"><span style="font-size: x-small;">The <em>Tenggerese</em> actually subscribe to the teachings of <em>Mahayana Buddhism</em>, but added to that are the elements of Hinduism and Animism. Nonetheless, it is OK to refer them as Hindus because the smorgasbord of religious influences is really not worth the time to think it through. In fact, in <em><a href="http://java.uluwatu.org/html/national-park/pura-luhur-poten/02.shtml"><span style="color: #0000e1;">Pura Luhur Poten</span></a></em>, the <em>Tenggerese</em> worship <em>Ida Sang Hyang Widi Wasa</em> (or the Big Almighty Lord), along with the <a href="http://java.uluwatu.org/html/prambanan/trimurti.shtml"><em><span style="color: #0000e1;">Trimurti</span></em><span style="color: #0000e1;"> gods</span></a> (<em>Siwa</em>, <em>Brahma</em> and <em>Visnu</em>).</span></p> <p align="justify"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><a href="http://java.uluwatu.org/html/national-park/pura-luhur-poten/03.shtml"><span style="color: #0000e1;">The </span><em><span style="color: #0000e1;">pura</span></em></a> plays host to the annual <em>Yadnya Kasada</em> cememony. The event lasts for about 1 month, which, on the 14th day, the <em>Tenggerese</em> will congregate at <em><a href="http://java.uluwatu.org/html/national-park/pura-luhur-poten/08.shtml"><span style="color: #0000e1;">Pura Luhur Poten</span></a></em> to ask for blessings from <em>Ida Sang Hyang Widi Wasa</em> and God of <em>Mahameru</em> (<a href="http://java.uluwatu.org/html/national-park/gunung-semeru.shtml"><span style="color: #0000e1;">Mt Semeru</span></a>). Then the mass will proceed along the crater edges of <a href="http://java.uluwatu.org/html/national-park/bromo-crater.shtml"><span style="color: #0000e1;">Mt Bromo</span></a> where offerings of rice, fruit, vegetables, flowers, livestock and other local produce will be thrown into the deep gully. The offering service dates back to the time of Roro Anteng and Joko Seger who performed a sacrificial ritual of animals and plants in replacement of their 25th child who initially was supposed to be thrown into the crater.</span></p> <p align="justify"><span style="font-size: x-small;">The major difference between this temple with <a href="http://www.uluwatu.org/pura-tirta-empul.shtml"><span style="color: #0000e1;">the Balinese ones</span></a> are the type of stones and paints used. <em>Pura Luhur Poten</em> uses <a href="http://java.uluwatu.org/html/national-park/pura-luhur-poten/06.shtml"><span style="color: #0000e1;">natural black stones</span></a> from the many <a href="http://java.uluwatu.org/html/national-park/pura-luhur-poten/03.shtml"><span style="color: #0000e1;">volcanoes nearby</span></a>, while <a href="http://www.uluwatu.org/pura-besakih.shtml"><span style="color: #0000e1;">Balinese temples</span></a> mostly have orange paints at various sections. <a href="http://java.uluwatu.org/html/national-park/pura-luhur-poten/08.shtml"><span style="color: #0000e1;">Inside</span></a> this <em>pura</em>, there are several buildings and enclosures aligned in <em>Mandala</em> composition (zonal). </span></p> <p>Source : http://java.uluwatu.org/html/national-park/pura-luhur-poten.shtml</p> <p align="justify">&nbsp;</p> Introducing the land of the Gods Bali http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/228/introducing-the-land-of-the-gods-bali <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Introducing the land of the Gods Bali" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b8e1f3632e1.jpg" alt="Introducing the land of the Gods Bali" width="550" height="368" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">So there I was on my second day in <a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publisharticle/destination/73/bali">Bali</a>: stuck in traffic again. The island forms a bottleneck just between Denpasar and the airport. Motor bikes are beeping, cars are jammed. There <em>has </em>to be more to this place, right </p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Of course there is. This is Bali. It&rsquo;s not a world-famous tourism destination for bad traffic! So what is it about Bali I wanted to dig a little deeper and see why this &ldquo;land of the Gods&rdquo; is so special.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In a mere couple decades, Bali has grown from a traveler backwater to being internationally celebrated. It was happening long before <a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publisharticle/destination/419/eat-pray-love-and-escape-in-ubud">Elizabeth Gilbert&rsquo;s Eat, Pray, Love</a>.Is it just the beaches and beautiful weather Why do so many around the world know &ldquo;Bali&rdquo; even before &ldquo;<a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/">Indonesia</a>&rdquo; </p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Bali is extraordinary: a Hindu island within a majority Muslim nation (the most populous on earth, in fact, is Indonesia). It is an island so synonymous with tourism, that it's hard to think of Bali without the word holiday. But there is much more to it than <a href="http://bohemiantraveler.com/2012/11/photos-surfing-in-bali/">great surfing</a> and a driving economy catering to a foreign clientele.</p> <h2 style="text-align: justify;">The population of Bali</h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">Three million people live on this island of Bali. The majority are packed into the southern portion.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The Indonesian archipelago is a volcanic one and volcanic ash is what keeps the soil fertile enough to support such a dense population. 96% of the population is Hindi. In fact, all of Indonesia used to be Hindi, then <a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publisharticle/travelers-stories-detail/all/187/witnessing-the-diversity-of-indonesia-at-borobudur-temple">Buddhist</a>, and only in the past few hundred years has it converted to Islam. Bali just never changed.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Why do I keep bringing up the fact that the Balinese are Hindi Because it&rsquo;s so ingrained into their culture and psyche that I can&rsquo;t not stress it. It&rsquo;s more than a religion. It permeates every aspect of their society.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">&ldquo;Bali is a still a place with rich traditions and culture.&rdquo; Our guide tells us soon after picking us up from the airport.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">That&rsquo;s what I was curious about. The casual tourist to Bali wouldn&rsquo;t be able to tell this. It takes a little bit of effort to get beyond the tourist crush of Kuta Beach and the foreign restaurants of Seminyak. If your entire holiday remained in that sphere, Bali would resemble almost any other resort town in the world.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After the arrival of mass tourism is the island still as traditional as it once was How exactly are the Balinese keeping their culture And what does it mean to be Balinese </p> <h2 style="text-align: justify;">Characteristics of the Balinese</h2> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Introducing the land of the Gods Bali" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b8e296f1673.jpg" alt="Introducing the land of the Gods Bali" width="550" height="368" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Our tour is a slender man with a big smile. He wears a Balinese Udeng&mdash;a typical hat of many styles and colors that men wear. When praying, they switch to a white one.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">There are said to be over 30,000 temples in Bali because nearly every family has one within the grounds of their compound. Every day three offerings are set out. They usually include rice, flowers, and incense inside a little banana leaf plate.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Ceremonies and festivals are also central to the Balinese culture. The cremation ceremony lasts for three days. A Balinese person wouldn&rsquo;t think twice about heading off to work during one of these ceremonies or any other of their holidays, while a Javanese might be inclined to work more to boost his or her income.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">A Balinese highly values these holidays, ceremonies, and festivals. During ceremonies, men wear a sarong. For everyday use, they wear a sarong over pants.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As for language, the Balinese speak their own language and when children speak to adults they use formal language and do not look directly at adults</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The cuisine of Bali is similar to that of the rest of Indonesia except that they eat suckling pig.</p> <h2 style="text-align: justify;">Beyond Denpasar</h2> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Introducing the land of the Gods Bali" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b8e22d1352b.jpg" alt="Introducing the land of the Gods Bali" width="550" height="370" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As tourism grows, rice paddies get swallowed up in favor of hotels and roads get widened to accommodate the growing number of scooters, taxis, and shuttle vans. But this is mostly taking place in and around Denpasar, and the resorts of the south.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Meanwhile, the rest of the island remains waiting to be explored. Most visitors escape the beaches by heading to <a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publisharticle/destination/277/ubud">Ubud</a>. Ubud is a center of spirituality and healing, but you wouldn&rsquo;t know it if you didn&rsquo;t look.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">And yes, there is peace and quiet in Ubud, and it&rsquo;s as simple as going beyond the main street.</p> <h2 style="text-align: justify;">Bali from a foreigner's Perspective</h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">We met an expat who has been living in Ubud for the past seven years. He reinforced the fact that Hinduism is ingrained into the Balinese psyche. He told me that Bali is a center of energy, both positive and negative, and that it took him a long time to see these subtleties.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">"Bali slowly reveals itself" he warned me. A lot of the beautiful spots are hidden. Many of the houses have views over the greenest of rice paddies, but you don&rsquo;t necessarily catch these views from the street.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Ubud is also a center of wise men, or medicine men, or however you want to describe them. When I ask about the famous Ketut from Eat, Pray, Love, he more or less laughed and told me that &ldquo;there are at least four good <em>other</em> wise men here, ones who really can read people.&rdquo;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Ubud is definitely a place that needs to be explored more in depth. It also seems like a good place to linger for an extended time. I think I&rsquo;ll be coming back to Bali.</p> Up Close with the Dragons http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/229/up-close-with-the-dragons <p style="text-align: justify;">Komodo National Park is officially the '<strong>New 7 Wonders of Nature</strong>'. The pristine beaches and crystal clear waters teeming with an�abundance of colourful marine life top the list of my favourite snorkeling sites anytime. Not to forget the world's largest lizards roaming on the islands - <strong>Komodo Dragons</strong>! The near-extinct species can only be found at Komodo National Park that consists of three main islands: Komodo, Rinca and Padar.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/komodo-dragon-komodo-island-seaside.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Up Close with the Dragons" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/komodo-dragon-komodo-island-seaside.jpg" alt="Up Close with the Dragons" width="590" height="392" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/komodo-dragon-beach-komodo-island-national-park.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Up Close with the Dragons" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/komodo-dragon-beach-komodo-island-national-park.jpg" alt="Up Close with the Dragons" width="590" height="392" /></a></p> <h3 style="text-align: justify;">Komodo island</h3> <p style="text-align: justify;">We flew from Bali to Labuan Banjo via Transnusa and stayed at Laprima Hotel for 2 nights. Labuan Banjo is the gateway to Komodo National Park and it takes about 2 hrs boat ride from Labuan Banjo to Komodo island.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Out of 4,600 komodos at the national park, almost half of them resides on Komodo island. The island is a <strong>diving and snorkeling paradise</strong> - many agree that they have the best snorkeling experience at the Pink Beach. I'm one of them!</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Loh Liang is the landing point to start the walking trails on Komodo island to see komodo dragons. Park rangers always carry a Y-shaped wooden stick use to fend off aggressive komodos. A ranger told us that if a komodo chases after you, run in zig zag! Also, komodo senses blood. Girls with menses have to stay close to the rangers!</p> <p>�</p> <p>Komodo National Park is located just below the equator. The tr</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/loh-liang-komodo-island-walking-trail-national-park.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Up Close with the Dragons" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/loh-liang-komodo-island-walking-trail-national-park.jpg" alt="Up Close with the Dragons" width="590" height="470" /></a></p> <p>opical savanna is the last remaining habitats for the wild komodos.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">I was quite surprised to see a few deer staying close to the komodos, apparently not afraid of them. Komodo's favourite food is deer.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/komodo-dragon-komodo-island-loh-liang-indonesia.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="komodo-dragon-komodo-island-loh-liang-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/komodo-dragon-komodo-island-loh-liang-indonesia.jpg" alt="" width="590" height="421" /></a></p> <p>We were standing under a shelter built on stilts, watching a few komodos moving around us and taking photos of these mean-looking reptiles.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The komodo has venomous bite. The escaped prey, if bitten by a komodo, will slowly die. The komodo can sense the prey and �find it to eat it.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">A park ranger was once bitten by a komodo and he had to take antibiotics for two years! If you are bitten by a komodo at the national park, you have to fly to the nearest hospital to get medical treatment and that's in Bali!</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/komodo-dragon-standing-komodo-island-national-park.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Up Close with the Dragons" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/komodo-dragon-standing-komodo-island-national-park.jpg" alt="Up Close with the Dragons" width="590" height="433" /></a></p> <p>The guys standing at the edge to take photos, 'risking' komodo bite!</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/komodo-dragon-photo-national-park-flores-indonesia.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Up Close with the Dragons" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/komodo-dragon-photo-national-park-flores-indonesia.jpg" alt="Up Close with the Dragons" width="590" height="393" /></a></p> <p>The size of a male komodo is larger, with a bigger head and longer tail as compared with a female komodo.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/komodo-dragon-endangered-world-wonder-komodo-national-park.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Up Close with the Dragons" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/komodo-dragon-endangered-world-wonder-komodo-national-park.jpg" alt="Up Close with the Dragons" width="590" height="480" /></a></p> <p>Komodo can run as fast as 20km/h.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/endangered-species-komodo-dragon-national-park-indonesia.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Up Close with the Dragons" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/endangered-species-komodo-dragon-national-park-indonesia.jpg" alt="Up Close with the Dragons" width="590" height="386" /></a></p> <p>Komodo Ambassador Olga Lydia was filming about komodo.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/olga-lydia-komodo-island.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="olga-lydia-komodo-island" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/olga-lydia-komodo-island.jpg" alt="" width="590" height="460" /></a></p> <p>Suddenly the komodo moved quickly toward the people and they had to run away quickly! I felt a sense of relief I wasn't on the ground, maintaining my 'composure' on the stilt shelter.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/komodo-dragon-park-ranger-komodo-national-park.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="komodo-dragon-park-ranger-komodo-national-park" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/komodo-dragon-park-ranger-komodo-national-park.jpg" alt="" width="590" height="402" /></a></p> <p>A komodo on the beach with a picturesque landscape of the national park.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/endangered-komodo-dragon.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="endangered-komodo-dragon" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/endangered-komodo-dragon.jpg" alt="" width="590" height="397" /></a></p> <p>While posing near the komodo, we should be wary of it 'cos it can move really fast out of a sudden!</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/komodo-dragon-travelerfolio-indonesia-blogger.jpg"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-17343" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="komodo-dragon-travelerfolio-indonesia-blogger" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/komodo-dragon-travelerfolio-indonesia-blogger.jpg" alt="" width="590" height="392" /></a></p> <p>Komodo National Park, a World Heritage Site, the wonder of nature.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/komodo-national-park-world-heritage.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="komodo-national-park-world-heritage" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/komodo-national-park-world-heritage.jpg" alt="" width="590" height="422" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/komodo-national-park-indonesia-beach-island.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="komodo-national-park-indonesia-beach-island" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/komodo-national-park-indonesia-beach-island.jpg" alt="" width="590" height="412" /></a></p> <h3 style="text-align: justify;">Rinca island</h3> <p style="text-align: justify;">Rinca Island is one of the 3 main islands at Komodo National Park. It's said that there is 2,300 komodos on Rinca.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/komodo-national-park-loh-buaya.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="komodo-national-park-loh-buaya" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/komodo-national-park-loh-buaya.jpg" alt="" width="590" height="369" /></a></p> <p>On Rinca island, hike along the Loh Buaya walking trails with the ranger to see komodos, water buffaloes, deer and other wildlife.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/komodo-park-ranger-loh-buaya-rinca-island.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="komodo-park-ranger-loh-buaya-rinca-island" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/komodo-park-ranger-loh-buaya-rinca-island.jpg" alt="" width="590" height="433" /></a></p> <p>Foodporn for komodos! These are the skulls of the animals that komodos feed on.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/animal-skull-komodo-dragon-foodporn.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="animal-skull-komodo-dragon-foodporn" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/animal-skull-komodo-dragon-foodporn.jpg" alt="" width="590" height="390" /></a></p> <p>Walking along the trail with the rangers to look for komodos on Rinca.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/rinca-island-komodo-national-park-indonesia.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="rinca-island-komodo-national-park-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/rinca-island-komodo-national-park-indonesia.jpg" alt="" width="590" height="443" /></a></p> <p>The komodo resting under the house just ate a buffalo! It would rest there for 1 to 2 mths without the need to eat.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/komodo-dragon-rinca-island-komodo-national-park.jpg"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-17330" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="komodo-dragon-rinca-island-komodo-national-park" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/komodo-dragon-rinca-island-komodo-national-park.jpg" alt="" width="590" height="422" /></a></p> <p>Another komodo spotted under a different house. The ranger told us it is 30 years old, almost fully grown.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/komodo-dragon-under-house-rinca-island.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="komodo-dragon-under-house-rinca-island" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/komodo-dragon-under-house-rinca-island.jpg" alt="" width="590" height="392" /></a></p> <p>Komodo dragon has been an inspiration to epic movies like Godzilla and King Kong! Godzilla was a Komodo dragon infected by nuclear. True </p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/komodo-dragon-komodo-national-park-flores.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="komodo-dragon-komodo-national-park-flores" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/komodo-dragon-komodo-national-park-flores.jpg" alt="" width="590" height="444" /></a></p> <p>Hiking on Rinca island is a great way to appreciate the scenic surroundings of the national park.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/rinca-island-komodo-national-park.jpg"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-17344" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="rinca-island-komodo-national-park" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/rinca-island-komodo-national-park.jpg" alt="" width="590" height="368" /></a></p> <p>The glistening turquoise waters of Komodo National Park, one of the best dive sites in the world.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/komodo-national-park-blue-sea.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="komodo-national-park-blue-sea" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/komodo-national-park-blue-sea.jpg" alt="" width="590" height="443" /></a></p> <p>Next I'll update photos of the pristine beaches on Komodo National Park - Kanawa island and the Pink Beach where we have the best snorkeling experience.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">For more information on Komodo National Park, visit Indonesia&rsquo;s�official tourism website:�<a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publisharticle/" target="_blank">Indonesia.Travel</a></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Komodo National Park: <a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publisharticle/destination/106/komodo-national-park" target="_blank">Into the Heart of the Dragons</a></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Komodo island: <a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publisharticle/destination/420/diving-around-komodo-island">Diving around Komodo island</a></p> Komodo National Park: World's Best Diving & Snorkeling Sites http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/230/komodo-national-park-world-s-best-diving-38-snorkeling-sites <p style="text-align: justify;">By far, this is the best snorkeling experience in my life! <strong>Komodo National Park</strong> is not only notable as the natural habitat for the <strong>endangered Komodo dragons</strong>, it has an amazing underwater scenery so awe-inspiring that, in my opinion, no world-class oceanarium can rival. It's a bliss that we are living in the tropics of pristine coral reefs and beautiful islands of crystal clear waters.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Komodo island</strong> isn't all about the mean, ferocious dragons that spurt no fire, on the other side of the island where we followed the Loh Liang Walking Trails to see komodos, lies the <strong>Pink Beach</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">"<em>Are you sure the komodos never come to this side of the island </em>" Yes, they say so! The Pink Beach is so famous it's a must-visit for Komodo National Park visitors. Even my Indonesian friends who dive all over Indonesia agree that their <strong>best snorkelling experience</strong> is at the Pink Beach.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">A rich diversity of healthy-looking, colourful corals and fish are found so close to the shore of the Pink Beach, we can snorkel near the beach to explore the stunning underwater world. Just be careful not to step on the corals!</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/pink-beach-komodo-island-nature-wonder-dive-snorkel-indonesia.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="pink-beach-komodo-island-nature-wonder-dive-snorkel-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/pink-beach-komodo-island-nature-wonder-dive-snorkel-indonesia.jpg" alt="Komodo National Park: World's Best Diving &amp; Snorkeling Sites" width="590" height="787" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/pink-beach-coral-komodo-island-national-park.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="pink-beach-coral-komodo-island-national-park" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/pink-beach-coral-komodo-island-national-park.jpg" alt="Komodo National Park: World's Best Diving &amp; Snorkeling Sites" width="590" height="392" /></a></p> <p>In less than 50 metres from the Pink Beach, it's a dive site. Komodo National Park is home to 38 dive sites, some of the top dive sites in the world. The marine environment is home to manta rays, whale sharks, different species of dolphins, dugongs, sea turtles, some 260 species of reef-building coral and over 1,000 species of fish.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/komodo-island-pink-beach-komodo-snorkel-dive-site.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="komodo-island-pink-beach-komodo-snorkel-dive-site" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/komodo-island-pink-beach-komodo-snorkel-dive-site.jpg" alt="Komodo National Park: World's Best Diving &amp; Snorkeling Sites" width="590" height="395" /></a></p> <p>The Pink Beach got its name from broken fragments of red corals that are washed ashore on the white powdery beach, thus, the soft pink colour. Sounds romantic, doesn't it </p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/pink-coral-pink-beach-komodo-island.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="pink-coral-pink-beach-komodo-island" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/pink-coral-pink-beach-komodo-island.jpg" alt="Komodo National Park: World's Best Diving &amp; Snorkeling Sites" width="590" height="390" /></a></p> <p>I don't have a camera for underwater photography so I tried to capture the beauty of the colourful corals from the boat with my iPhone! There are many species of fish in the water that are not shown in the photos.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/coral-pink-beach-komodo-island-snorkel-underwater-iphone.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="coral-pink-beach-komodo-island-snorkel-underwater-iphone" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/coral-pink-beach-komodo-island-snorkel-underwater-iphone.jpg" alt="Komodo National Park: World's Best Diving &amp; Snorkeling Sites" width="590" height="414" /></a></p> <p>A rich diversity of strikingly beautiful corals.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/coral-pink-beach-komodo-island-komodo-national-park-world-heritage.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="coral-pink-beach-komodo-island-komodo-national-park-world-heritage" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/coral-pink-beach-komodo-island-komodo-national-park-world-heritage.jpg" alt="Komodo National Park: World's Best Diving &amp; Snorkeling Sites" width="590" height="443" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/coral-komodo-island-pink-beach-indonesia.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="coral-komodo-island-pink-beach-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/coral-komodo-island-pink-beach-indonesia.jpg" alt="" width="590" height="417" /></a></p> <p>Thanks to the organiser of the trip, Bule took these underwater shots of me at the Pink Beach.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/snorkel-pink-beach-underwater-komodo-island-national-park.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="snorkel-pink-beach-underwater-komodo-island-national-park" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/snorkel-pink-beach-underwater-komodo-island-national-park.jpg" alt="Komodo National Park: World's Best Diving &amp; Snorkeling Sites" width="590" height="443" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/snorkel-underwater-komodo-island-pink-beach-national-park-indonesia.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="snorkel-underwater-komodo-island-pink-beach-national-park-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/snorkel-underwater-komodo-island-pink-beach-national-park-indonesia.jpg" alt="Komodo National Park: World's Best Diving &amp; Snorkeling Sites" width="590" height="443" /></a></p> <p>The Pink Beach on Komodo island, the other side without the Komodo Dragons!</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/komodo-island-pink-beach-national-park.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="komodo-island-pink-beach-national-park" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/komodo-island-pink-beach-national-park.jpg" alt="Komodo National Park: World's Best Diving &amp; Snorkeling Sites" width="590" height="443" /></a></p> <p>Can you see that the coral reefs are so close to the Pink Beach </p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/komodo-island-bbq-picnic-seafood-indonesia.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="komodo-island-bbq-picnic-seafood-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/komodo-island-bbq-picnic-seafood-indonesia.jpg" alt="Komodo National Park: World's Best Diving &amp; Snorkeling Sites" width="590" height="444" /></a></p> <p>Glistening clear waters so calm like your own private pool.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/pink-beach-komodo-island-komodo-national-park.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="pink-beach-komodo-island-komodo-national-park" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/pink-beach-komodo-island-komodo-national-park.jpg" alt="Komodo National Park: World's Best Diving &amp; Snorkeling Sites" width="590" height="443" /></a></p> <p>There is not jetty at the Pink Beach and we have to take a small boat back to the larger boat.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/boatman-pink-beach-komodo-island-indonesia.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="boatman-pink-beach-komodo-island-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/boatman-pink-beach-komodo-island-indonesia.jpg" alt="Komodo National Park: World's Best Diving &amp; Snorkeling Sites" width="590" height="443" /></a> <strong></strong></p> <p><strong>Kanawa island</strong> is one of the diving and snorkelling sites that we visited on our first day at Komodo National Park.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/kanawa-island-diving-komodo-national-park-indonesia.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="kanawa-island-diving-komodo-national-park-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/kanawa-island-diving-komodo-national-park-indonesia.jpg" alt="Komodo National Park: World's Best Diving &amp; Snorkeling Sites" width="590" height="404" /></a></p> <p>The island is small but picturesque and the photos�remind�me of <a href="http://travelerfolio.com/places/israel/eilat/">Eilat and the Red Sea</a> in Israel.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/kanawa-island-komodo-national-park.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="kanawa-island-komodo-national-park" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/kanawa-island-komodo-national-park.jpg" alt="Komodo National Park: World's Best Diving &amp; Snorkeling Sites" width="590" height="443" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/kanawa-island-komodo-national-park-indonesia.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="kanawa-island-komodo-national-park-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/kanawa-island-komodo-national-park-indonesia.jpg" alt="Komodo National Park: World's Best Diving &amp; Snorkeling Sites" width="590" height="443" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/kanawa-island-komodo-national-park-indonesia-diving.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="kanawa-island-komodo-national-park-indonesia-diving" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/kanawa-island-komodo-national-park-indonesia-diving.jpg" alt="Komodo National Park: World's Best Diving &amp; Snorkeling Sites" width="590" height="443" /></a></p> <p>Beautiful sunset at Komodo National Park.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/komodo-island-sunset-indonesia.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="komodo-island-sunset-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/komodo-island-sunset-indonesia.jpg" alt="Komodo National Park: World's Best Diving &amp; Snorkeling Sites" width="590" height="366" /></a></p> <p>For two nights, we stayed at <strong>Laprima Hotel</strong> located on the idyllic beachfront of <strong>Labuan Bajo</strong>. My room balcony overlooks the mesmerizing surroundings of <strong>Flores</strong> and it's a great spot to watch the sunset.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/laprima-hotel-labuan-bajo-flores-indonesia.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="laprima-hotel-labuan-bajo-flores-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/laprima-hotel-labuan-bajo-flores-indonesia.jpg" alt="Komodo National Park: World's Best Diving &amp; Snorkeling Sites" width="590" height="443" /></a></p> <p>View of the beautiful <strong>Flores Sea</strong> from the balcony.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/seaview-laprima-hotel-labuan-bajo.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="seaview-laprima-hotel-labuan-bajo" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/seaview-laprima-hotel-labuan-bajo.jpg" alt="Komodo National Park: World's Best Diving &amp; Snorkeling Sites" width="590" height="367" /></a></p> <p>Sunset at Flores.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/flores-sunset-labuan-bajo-indonesia.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="flores-sunset-labuan-bajo-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/flores-sunset-labuan-bajo-indonesia.jpg" alt="Komodo National Park: World's Best Diving &amp; Snorkeling Sites" width="590" height="392" /></a></p> <p>Another view of sunset from my room balcony at Laprima Hotel.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/sunset-labuan-bajo-flores-indonesia.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="sunset-labuan-bajo-flores-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/sunset-labuan-bajo-flores-indonesia.jpg" alt="Komodo National Park: World's Best Diving &amp; Snorkeling Sites" width="590" height="443" /></a></p> <p>We spent two days (too short!) at Komodo National Park. Now it's one of my top favourites and I want to go back again soon to trek, snorkel and relax on the islands with only few tourists around.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">An aerial photo of Komodo National Park.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/aerial-view-komodo-national-park-indonesia.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="aerial-view-komodo-national-park-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/aerial-view-komodo-national-park-indonesia.jpg" alt="Komodo National Park: World's Best Diving &amp; Snorkeling Sites" width="590" height="422" /></a></p> <p>Our last leg of the 14-day International Travel Blogger Trip with Tourism Indonesia ended in Bali. We departed from Labuan Bajo airport via Transnusa to Bali.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Read Komodo National Park: Up close with the�<a href="http://travelerfolio.com/komodo-dragon-komodo-national-park/">Komodo Dragons</a></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">For more information on Komodo National Park, visit Indonesia&rsquo;s�official tourism website:�<a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publisharticle/" target="_blank">Indonesia.Travel</a></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Komodo National Park:�<a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publisharticle/destination/420/diving-around-komodo-island" target="_blank">Diving Around Komodo Island</a></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Komodo National Park: <a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publisharticle/news/detail/845/venture-into-the-wild-encounter-the-legendary-komodo-for-free">Venture Into the Wild, Encounter the Legendary Komodo For Free</a></p> Bali: The World Famous Island Destination http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/231/bali-the-world-famous-island-destination <p style="text-align: justify;">Bali is world famous. The top island destination in Indonesia is synonymous with exotic travel, luxury spa resorts, idyllic beaches, picturesque mountain scenery, great food, shopping, party and all fun-related activities. The tourist haven is known as the '<strong>island of a thousand temples</strong>', with over 90% of Balinese are Hindus.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Probably one of the most photographed temples in Bali, the 11th century <strong>Uluwatu Temple</strong>is perched on top of the cliff overlooking the sea. Here is where you can catch the magical sunset at Uluwatu at the southern end of Bali.</p> <h3 style="text-align: justify;">Uluwatu</h3> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/sunset-bali-uluwatu-indonesia.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="sunset-bali-uluwatu-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/sunset-bali-uluwatu-indonesia.jpg" alt="Bali: The World Famous Island Destination" width="590" height="443" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">And we were at Uluwatu to catch the '<strong>Kecak Ramayana &amp; Fire Dance</strong>' - popularly recommended to Bali visitors. Earlier on, we watched the similar 'Ramayana Ballet Prambanan' in <a href="http://travelerfolio.com/yogyakarta-jogja-attractions/">Yogyakarta</a>. The Balinese show is a faster version with performers dancing around fire and men continuously chanting 'cak... cak... cak...' The atmosphere is highly charged up and the main characters would prance onto the spectator area to 'intimidate' the tourists. The show was actually quite funny!</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/kecak-ramayana-fire-dance-bali-uluwatu.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="kecak-ramayana-fire-dance-bali-uluwatu" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/kecak-ramayana-fire-dance-bali-uluwatu.jpg" alt="Bali: The World Famous Island Destination" width="590" height="429" /></a></p> <p>See I told you it was funny. This 'Demon' suddenly jumped in front of me to camwhore!</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/kecak-ramayana-fire-dance-bali.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="kecak-ramayana-fire-dance-bali" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/kecak-ramayana-fire-dance-bali.jpg" alt="Bali: The World Famous Island Destination" width="590" height="488" /></a></p> <p>The performers are either dressed in elaborate costumes or simply go topless! The show culminates with the white monkey being set up on fire and</p> <p>later escaped. <a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/kecak-ramayana-fire-dance-traditional-bali-dance.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="kecak-ramayana-fire-dance-traditional-bali-dance" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/kecak-ramayana-fire-dance-traditional-bali-dance.jpg" alt="Bali: The World Famous Island Destination" width="590" height="433" /></a></p> <h3 style="text-align: justify;">Ubud</h3> <p style="text-align: justify;">One of my favourite part of the Bali trip is to stroll leisurely along <strong>Ubud </strong>to discover little surprises and snap at interesting sights. Colourful flower arrangements, huge statues, artworks, quirky shops and cafes can be found along the streets and alleys of Ubud.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/bali-hindu-offering-prayer.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="bali-hindu-offering-prayer" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/bali-hindu-offering-prayer.jpg" alt="Bali: The World Famous Island Destination" width="590" height="433" /></a></p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="cattle-skull-ubud-bali" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/cattle-skull-ubud-bali.jpg" alt="Bali: The World Famous Island Destination" width="590" height="433" /></p> <p>Masks of demons and a ginormous sandal that fits all sizes!</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/giant-sandal-bali-hindu-demon-mask.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="giant-sandal-bali-hindu-demon-mask" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/giant-sandal-bali-hindu-demon-mask.jpg" alt="Bali: The World Famous Island Destination" width="590" height="433" /></a></p> <p>The demon masks maybe good for Halloween as well!</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/hindu-demon-mask-bali.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="hindu-demon-mask-bali" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/hindu-demon-mask-bali.jpg" alt="Bali: The World Famous Island Destination" width="590" height="394" /></a></p> <p>A typical sight of pretty, colourful flower arrangement in Bali.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/balinese-flower-arrangement.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="balinese-flower-arrangement" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/balinese-flower-arrangement.jpg" alt="Bali: The World Famous Island Destination" width="590" height="435" /></a></p> <p>A Balinese Hindu praying with offerings at a huge tree in Ubud.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/balinese-hindu-prayer-bali.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="balinese-hindu-prayer-bali" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/balinese-hindu-prayer-bali.jpg" alt="Bali: The World Famous Island Destination" width="590" height="439" /></a></p> <p>I was attracted to the prayer offerings that are usually placed on the path by the roadside. Leaves are wrapped in different shapes to contain the prayer offerings like flowers, joss sticks and food.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/flower-offerings-hindu-bali.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="flower-offerings-hindu-bali" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/flower-offerings-hindu-bali.jpg" alt="Bali: The World Famous Island Destination" width="590" height="421" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/balinese-hindu-prayer-offerings-flower.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="balinese-hindu-prayer-offerings-flower" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/balinese-hindu-prayer-offerings-flower.jpg" alt="Bali: The World Famous Island Destination" width="590" height="433" /></a></p> <p>Purple lilies</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/purple-lily-indonesia-bali.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="purple-lily-indonesia-bali" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/purple-lily-indonesia-bali.jpg" alt="Bali: The World Famous Island Destination" width="590" height="435" /></a></p> <p>Monkey lovers will love this park - Ubud Monkey Forest. Long-tailed macaques are the residents here and they don't seem to be afraid of visitors. You are into their territory and they come close to you. I saw one jump onto a little girl's back but I guess the mum was quite amused as she continued to take candid shots of her daughter.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/ubud-monkey-forest-bali.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="ubud-monkey-forest-bali" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/ubud-monkey-forest-bali.jpg" alt="Bali: The World Famous Island Destination" width="590" height="483" /></a></p> <p>Statues of monkey-like figures.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/monkey-statue-ubud-bali.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="monkey-statue-ubud-bali" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/monkey-statue-ubud-bali.jpg" alt="Bali: The World Famous Island Destination" width="590" height="433" /></a></p> <p>And the cheeky monkey that winks!</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/monkey-wink-bali.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="monkey-wink-bali" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/monkey-wink-bali.jpg" alt="Bali: The World Famous Island Destination" width="590" height="394" /></a></p> <p>Slow down, find a chill-out place along Ubud and rest your tired feet. I had two cups of yummy cuppaccino and nachos at one of the cafes in Ubud.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/bali-cafe-indonesia.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="bali-cafe-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/bali-cafe-indonesia.jpg" alt="Bali: The World Famous Island Destination" width="590" height="433" /></a></p> <p>The street of Ubud with little flower artworks on the path.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/ubud-bali-indonesia.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="ubud-bali-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/ubud-bali-indonesia.jpg" alt="Bali: The World Famous Island Destination" width="590" height="433" /></a></p> <h3 style="text-align: justify;">Kuta Beach</h3> <p style="text-align: justify;">They say if you have not visited Kuta Beach, you can't tell people you have been to Bali. The beach offers water sports such as surfing. There are plenty of retail malls and restaurants in the area. A touristy place.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Left: A typical Balinese architecture as seen all over in Bali - candi bentar, the split gate.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/kuta-beach-bali.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="kuta-beach-bali" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/kuta-beach-bali.jpg" alt="Bali: The World Famous Island Destination" width="590" height="433" /></a></p> <h3 style="text-align: justify;">Tanjung Benoa</h3> <p style="text-align: justify;">We had an exhilarating time at Tanjung Benoa. The beach is popular for water activities and we tried parasailing high up into the sky, flying fish and</p> <p>banana boat. It was fun! <a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/bali-water-sports-beach-activities-indonesia.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="bali-water-sports-beach-activities-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/bali-water-sports-beach-activities-indonesia.jpg" alt="Bali: The World Famous Island Destination" width="590" height="590" /></a></p> <p>We put up 3 nights at <strong>Kokonut Suites</strong> in Bali. What I like most is the warm hospitality and prompt service of the hotel staff. It's like a home away from home in a very relaxing environment.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/kokonut-suites-bali-indonesia.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="kokonut-suites-bali-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/kokonut-suites-bali-indonesia.jpg" alt="Bali: The World Famous Island Destination" width="590" height="443" /></a></p> <p>Have you tried <strong>Kopi Luwak</strong> (Civet Coffee) before Look at Kopi Luwak in poop form - defecated coffee beans! I got a pack from Kokonut Suites.yet to try it.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/luwak-civet-coffee-bean-poop-form-indonesia.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="luwak-civet-coffee-bean-poop-form-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/luwak-civet-coffee-bean-poop-form-indonesia.jpg" alt="Bali: The World Famous Island Destination" width="590" height="433" /></a></p> <p>A golden rice paddy field that's almost ready for harvest.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/rice-paddy-field-bali-indonesia.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="rice-paddy-field-bali-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/rice-paddy-field-bali-indonesia.jpg" alt="Bali: The World Famous Island Destination" width="590" height="443" /></a></p> <p>Stay tuned for my next post on sunset and farewell dinner at the Potato Beach Club in Bali.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">For more information on Bali, visit Indonesia&rsquo;s�official tourism website:�<a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publisharticle/" target="_blank">Indonesia.Travel</a></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Bali: <a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publisharticle/destination/73/bali" target="_blank">Simply the World's Best Island</a></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Bali: <a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publisharticle/photoessay/details/post/5" target="_blank">Various Bali</a></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Read all posts on <a href="http://travelerfolio.com/places/indonesia/">Indonesia</a></p> Bali: Sunset & Goodbye Indonesia http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/232/bali-sunset-38-goodbye-indonesia <p style="text-align: justify;">Time flies and it was the last night of our 14-day Int'l Travel Blogger Trip. I was surprised that the farewell dinner was held at such a lovely spot that we could watch the beautiful sunset in Bali. <strong>Potato Head Beach Club</strong> it is.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/potato-head-beach-club-bali-sunset-indonesia.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="potato-head-beach-club-bali-sunset-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/potato-head-beach-club-bali-sunset-indonesia.jpg" alt="Bali: Sunset &amp; Goodbye Indonesia" width="590" height="590" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Often, I go on trips that I know no one. The 14-day <strong>#Travel2Indonesia</strong> project brought together <strong>8 international travel bloggers</strong> from all over the world - U.S, Australia, S.Korea, Canada, Philippines, Europe and Singapore. Together with the Indonesian bloggers and organisers, we had such a memorable time together.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">My 6th trip to Indonesia was an eye opener. The trip was very well organised and everything went on smoothly without much hiccups. It was quite tiring but comfortable.�Can you imagine I almost lost count of how many domestic flights we took to travel around the country in two weeks </p> <p style="text-align: justify;">From Jakarta, we flew to Central Kalimantan in Borneo and stayed overnight on a boat at the world's oldest rainforest and came up close with the endangered orangutans at <a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tanjung-puting-national-park-orangutans-borneo-indonesia/">Tanjung Puting National Park</a>. Then we flew to Semarang to visit one of the world wonders - <a href="http://travelerfolio.com/borobudur-temple-world-wonder/">Borobudur Temple</a>, Indonesia's most active volcano - <a href="http://travelerfolio.com/yogyakarta-jogja-attractions/">Mt Merapi</a> and heritage sites in <a href="http://travelerfolio.com/places/indonesia/yogyakarta/">Yogyakarta</a>. From there, we took a flight to Surabaya airport, the gateway to Bromo where it's famous for the moonscape view of <a href="http://travelerfolio.com/bromo-tengger-semeru-national-park/">Mt Bromo</a> and the Sea of Sand. After the sunrise hike at Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, we took Garuda Indonesia to Bali for overnight and continued to Labuan Bajo via Transusa the following morning to the 'New 7 Wonders of Nature - <a href="http://travelerfolio.com/places/indonesia/komodo-national-park/">Komodo National Park</a>! And continued our last leg to <a href="http://travelerfolio.com/places/indonesia/bali/">Bali</a>. In total: 6 domestic flights + 2 int'l flights in 14 days!</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Often, it's the people on the trip that make a difference. These are the fun-loving bunch who have been travelling around the world and some have not been home yet for months! Also, a big ThankYou to Veny, Vesta, Ibu Ratna, Ibu Esthy and Lydia for showing us the beauty of Indonesia.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">From left:�<a href="http://bohemiantraveler.com/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Bohemian Traveler</a> (Stephen), <a href="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Time Travel Turtle</a> (Michael), Ratna,�<a href="http://www.gobackpacking.com/Blog/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Go Backpacking</a> (David), <a href="http://runawayjuno.com/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Runaway Juno</a> (Juno), <a href="http://www.ourawesomeplanet.com/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Our Awesome Planet</a> (Anton), Veny, Vesta,�<a href="http://www.travelyourself.ca/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Travel Yourself</a> (Cailin), <a href="http://travelerfolio.com/" target="_blank">TravelerFolio</a> (Eunice), Olga Lydia and Esthy.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/international-travel-blogger-indonesia-bali.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="international-travel-blogger-indonesia-bali" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/international-travel-blogger-indonesia-bali.jpg" alt="Bali: Sunset &amp; Goodbye Indonesia" width="590" height="372" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;">With Juno, a travel blogger from South Korea and Olga Lydia, a well-known Indonesian celebrity.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/olga-lydia-indonesia-celebrity-travelerfolio-eunice-runaway-juno.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="olga-lydia-indonesia-celebrity-travelerfolio-eunice-runaway-juno" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/olga-lydia-indonesia-celebrity-travelerfolio-eunice-runaway-juno.jpg" alt="Bali: Sunset &amp; Goodbye Indonesia" width="590" height="443" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;">And Anton from the Philippines!</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/ourawesome-planet-anton-eunice-travelerfolio-indonesia-blogger.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="ourawesome-planet-anton-eunice-travelerfolio-indonesia-blogger" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/ourawesome-planet-anton-eunice-travelerfolio-indonesia-blogger.jpg" alt="Bali: Sunset &amp; Goodbye Indonesia" width="590" height="443" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Veny - Miss Lai Lai!</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/ourawesomeplanet-anton-veny-misslailai-eunice-travelerfolio-indonesia-travel-blogger.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="ourawesomeplanet-anton-veny-misslailai-eunice-travelerfolio-indonesia-travel-blogger" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/ourawesomeplanet-anton-veny-misslailai-eunice-travelerfolio-indonesia-travel-blogger.jpg" alt="Bali: Sunset &amp; Goodbye Indonesia" width="590" height="419" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;">With Stephen, Juno and Cailin from Canada.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/runaway-juno-stephen-cailin-travelerfolio-eunice-indonesia-travel-blogger.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="runaway-juno-stephen-cailin-travelerfolio-eunice-indonesia-travel-blogger" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/runaway-juno-stephen-cailin-travelerfolio-eunice-indonesia-travel-blogger.jpg" alt="Bali: Sunset &amp; Goodbye Indonesia" width="590" height="443" /></a></p> <p>A big thank to Pak Erwan, the President of Indonesia Tourist Guide Association. He is the travel expert and he travelled with us throughout the trip, sharing interesting travel insights of Indonesia.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/bali-travel-indonesia-tourist-guide.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="bali-travel-indonesia-tourist-guide" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/bali-travel-indonesia-tourist-guide.jpg" alt="Bali: Sunset &amp; Goodbye Indonesia" width="590" height="443" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;">With Ibu Ratna. We were both in Batik! Oh yes, that's my new Batik blouse.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/indonesia-travel-blogger-travelerfolio-eunice.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="indonesia-travel-blogger-travelerfolio-eunice" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/indonesia-travel-blogger-travelerfolio-eunice.jpg" alt="Bali: Sunset &amp; Goodbye Indonesia" width="590" height="443" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Potato Beach Club, Bali.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/potato-head-beach-club-sunset-bali-indonesia.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="potato-head-beach-club-sunset-bali-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/potato-head-beach-club-sunset-bali-indonesia.jpg" alt="Bali: Sunset &amp; Goodbye Indonesia" width="590" height="433" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Men on horses walking along the beach</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/sunset-potato-head-bali.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="sunset-potato-head-bali" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/12/sunset-potato-head-bali.jpg" alt="Bali: Sunset &amp; Goodbye Indonesia" width="590" height="404" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Frankly speaking, in the past, I hardly thought of travelling around Indonesia 'cos of her proximity to Singapore... what an irony! The <strong>#Travel2Indonesia</strong> Project has given me so much inspiration in just two weeks and now I've been encouraging people to consider Indonesia as their next holiday destination. There's so much to see and do in Indonesia - a diversity of cultures, world wonders of nature and architecture, native wildlife, pristine island paradise, top dive sites, excellent cuisines and more to be discovered. Two weeks is definitely too short to travel around Indonesia!</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>A Big Thank you</strong> to the�<strong>project team</strong> and <strong>The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy of Indonesia</strong> for being such a great host, giving me this wonderful opportunity to see the beauty of the country.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">I look forward to <a href="http://travelerfolio.com/places/indonesia/">visit Indonesia</a> again soon!</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">For more information on Indonesia, log on to the official tourism website: <a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/" target="_blank">Indonesia.Travel</a>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Read all my posts on <a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tag/travel2indonesia/">Travel2Indonesia</a></p> Borobudur an amazing experience http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/224/borobudur-an-amazing-experience <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Borobudur an amazing experience" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b8442f9183d.jpg" alt="Borobudur an amazing experience" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Borobudur Temple</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">We drove through the countryside of <a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/">Central Java, Indonesia</a> past lusciously green rice and tobacco fields and we ate lunch at one of the fanciest hotels I&rsquo;ve ever been called &ldquo;Amanjiwo&rdquo;. Princess Diana and the likes of David Beckham had all stayed there previously and got to enjoy the fabulous view of the famous Borobudur temple from their suites. Sadly we weren&rsquo;t spending the night at that hotel however we were going to get to see and climb the famous Borobudur Temple the next day.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Said to be the largest Buddhist Temple in the whole world, I was surprised to see such a feat of architecture and craftsmanship in a country that is said to be 90% Muslim. (Obviously it was built way before the countries conversion to Islam.) We were told that from the top of Borobudur you could see a gorgeous sunrise and so we found ourselves waking up very early to experience it for ourselves.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Borobudur an amazing experience" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b8445db5062.jpg" alt="Borobudur an amazing experience" width="550" height="364" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">I was a bit worried about having to climb to the top of the temple as I am slightly out of shape and am healing a broken ankle however I was happily surprised to find it not such a hard task once we arrived. The steps however, like many steps in Indonesia were very tall to me (each step was higher than what I am use to), definitely a good thighmaster work out.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">To see Borobudur at sunrise you must book tickets especially since they only allow a certain number of people to be there at that time. Not only do you get to see the sunrise from a top this magnificent structure but you are also there when it is less crowded as we were told in the middle of the day it can get very, very busy.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Our sunrise was a bit washed out due to too many clouds but it was still a spectacular site. After the sunrise was over our guide took us on a tour around the temple, explaining to us everything from the history of the temple, completed in the 9<sup>th</sup> century to interesting facts like after an earthquake in 1006 people moved away from the area and the temple became almost completely forgotten until the early 1800s. We also learned about the Stupas surrounding the temple and that inside each one was a Buddah and each stupa was made from his personal belongings, his cane, his cup, plate and clothing garments.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Borobudur an amazing experience" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b844945dc9a.jpg" alt="Borobudur an amazing experience" width="640" height="424" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">I feel like I could of spent days walking around the temple looking at <a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publisharticle/destination/879/understanding-the-thousands-of-relief-panels-of-borobudur">all of the intricate stone work</a> and seeing all of the stories that were depicted. I also found it interesting to know that all carvings were done on site. After each rock was placed Artisans would then carve out the sculptures and stories on the walls.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Borobudur definitely had an aura of spirituality surrounding it and was a very special place. If you have a chance to visit Indonesia I highly recommend Borobudur being one of the first places you stop.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">If you want to win your own trip to Indonesia check out the <a href="http://us.indonesia.travel/wonderfulindonesiaquiz/">online quiz here</a>!�</p> The Kecak Dance at Uluwatu http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/225/the-kecak-dance-at-uluwatu <p style="text-align: justify;">&ldquo;Chark-a, chark-a, chark-a, chark-a&rdquo;, and on&hellip; the chant goes. Almost hypnotic, trance-like, the thirty or so barechested Indonesian men sway with the rhythm. They&rsquo;re sitting on the ground in a circle &ndash; and in the middle the drama is unfolding. Two young princes; a demon king; a damsel in distress; a mischievous monkey. They all play their parts in the ring of unceasing cantillation.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The nightly performance is very popular here at <a title="Uluwatu" href="/en/destination/275/uluwatu">Uluwatu</a>. Buses bring the tourists from the resorts of Bali down to the southern tip of the island in time for sunset, when the show begins. Through the paths of the temple and past the clifftops with their views across the ocean, everyone walks, until you finally get to the stage.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The performance is called a &lsquo;Kecak dance&rsquo;, an onomatopoeic title for the sound of the chant. It&rsquo;s based on a traditional Balinese ritual but was actually created by a German man in the 1930s and based on the famous epic Hindu story of the Ramayana. The story is very popular in <a title="Indonesia Travel" href="/">Indonesia</a>.</p> <p><a href="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-979_web.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; vertical-align: text-bottom;" title="Uluwatu Kecak and Fire Dance" src="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-979_web.jpg" alt="Uluwatu Kecak and Fire Dance" width="550" height="367" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It&rsquo;s complicated plot, with enough twists and turns to be worthy of a television series. But in essence it is the story of a woman who is stolen from her husband (a prince) by a demon. The narrative follows the challenges and tasks the young prince and his brother must overcome to rescue her.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As the sun sets during the performance, and the sky darkens, the story builds to a climax &ndash; a moment when a monkey king sets fire to a castle. With the orange flames and embers in the middle of the stage, it&rsquo;s a dramatic moment.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Here, in these photos, you can get a sense of the performance (just imagine the chanting sound in your head as you look at them). You&rsquo;ll notice how the light changes through the hour. Enjoy.</p> <p><a href="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-975_web.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; vertical-align: text-bottom;" title="Uluwatu Kecak and Fire Dance" src="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-975_web.jpg" alt="Uluwatu Kecak and Fire Dance" width="550" height="367" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-982_web.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; vertical-align: text-bottom;" title="Uluwatu Kecak and Fire Dance" src="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-982_web.jpg" alt="Uluwatu Kecak and Fire Dance" width="550" height="367" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-984_web.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; vertical-align: text-bottom;" title="Uluwatu Kecak and Fire Dance" src="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-984_web.jpg" alt="Uluwatu Kecak and Fire Dance" width="550" height="367" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-987_web.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; vertical-align: text-bottom;" title="Uluwatu Kecak and Fire Dance" src="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-987_web.jpg" alt="Uluwatu Kecak and Fire Dance" width="550" height="380" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-996_web.jpg"><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Uluwatu Kecak and Fire Dance" src="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-996_web.jpg" alt="Uluwatu Kecak and Fire Dance" width="550" height="367" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-1001_web.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; vertical-align: text-bottom;" title="Uluwatu Kecak and Fire Dance" src="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-1001_web.jpg" alt="Uluwatu Kecak and Fire Dance" width="550" height="367" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-1008_web.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; vertical-align: text-bottom;" title="Uluwatu Kecak and Fire Dance" src="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-1008_web.jpg" alt="Uluwatu Kecak and Fire Dance" width="550" height="380" /></a></p> Bali - A fantastic place for relaxation http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/226/bali-a-fantastic-place-for-relaxation <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Bali - A fantastic place for relaxation" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b84bc5c3548.jpg" alt="Bali - A fantastic place for relaxation" width="550" height="364" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Before going to <a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/">Indonesia</a> I&rsquo;ll admit I was &ldquo;one of those tourists&rdquo; who might of previously thought Bali was its own country because you hear/assume so many people reference it that way, but of course I quickly learned that <a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publisharticle/destination/73/bali">Bali was simply just one of the most popular of the 17,000 islands</a> which can be found in Indonesia. What I knew of Bali was that A LOT of Australians visit there and I also knew that it was a place that I had on my bucket list to visit because of the wonderful beaches and sunny weather that I had heard of and looked forward to enjoying.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Our visit to Bali was scheduled for the end of our trip which was a great way for it to be scheduled as the rest of our trip had us in big cities like Yogyakarta and in rural areas like when we visited Mt Bromo and we were constantly on the go knowing that we would be rewarded in the end with a relaxing experience in Bali. Upon landing in Bali we received leis made of fresh flowers and received a big welcome at our hotel with delicious young coconut drinks.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Bali - A fantastic place for relaxation" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b84d0a0e3c3.jpg" alt="Bali - A fantastic place for relaxation" width="550" height="364" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">If you are planning on visiting Bali make sure it is for rest and relaxation and if at all possible try to avoid driving in Bali as the traffic is sure to stress you out and that is the opposite of how you should be feeling there. Our time in Bali was spent relaxing by the pool, having fabulous meals at places like the popular Potato Head Beach Club, and watching breathtaking sunrises. I also enjoyed a day lounging on Bali&rsquo;s famous Kuta beach while others surfed and played water sports.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Bali - A fantastic place for relaxation" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b84b9f24484.jpg" alt="Bali - A fantastic place for relaxation" width="550" height="364" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">One of my favorite parts of Bali was when we took a day trip to Ubud. Yes the same Ubud made famous by the book and movie &ldquo;Eat, Pray, Love&rdquo;. In Ubud we visited the Sacred Monkey forest where we got to feed the monkeys, right out of the palm of our hands. We also had an interesting meal of Babi Guling, aka Suckling Pig. The restaurant we ate at for lunch was over looking a calming rice paddy blowing in the wind and we also had the chance to do some shopping for souvenirs.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b84bdba4a3a.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="364" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">While in Indonesia we also had the opportunity to see some great performance pieces telling Indonesian history and folklore including the Kecak fire Dance which takes place at sunset at Pura Uluwatu, which is said to also be one of the best places in Bali to catch a great sunset.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Our final day in Bali was also sadly our final day in Indonesia and there was no better way to say goodbye to this amazing country after a long, busy two weeks then by having a massage of course! The home of relaxation we were treated to a massage at one of the nicest spas I have ever been to. Forget the cheap massages on the beach when in Bali and go to a real Spa, trust me you will not regret it and you will still get a great deal.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">If you are looking for a relaxing vacation as well check out the <a href="http://us.indonesia.travel/wonderfulindonesiaquiz/">online quiz</a> to win your own trip to Indonesia.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Bali - A fantastic place for relaxation" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b84cbfcad79.jpg" alt="Bali - A fantastic place for relaxation" width="550" height="364" /></p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Bali - A fantastic place for relaxation" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b84c4436039.jpg" alt="Bali - A fantastic place for relaxation" width="550" height="364" /></p> A traditional culinary tour of Yogyakarta, Indonesia http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/227/a-traditional-culinary-tour-of-yogyakarta-indonesia <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="A traditional culinary tour of Yogyakarta, Indonesia" src="http://id.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b8584ca0b5b.jpg" alt="A traditional culinary tour of Yogyakarta, Indonesia" width="550" height="364" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">One of the most unique experiences that I had on my trip to <a href="http://www.indonesia.travel">Indonesia</a> was when I decided to go on a culinary tour in one of Indonesia&rsquo;s biggest cities, <a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publisharticle/destination/457/yogyakarta">Yogyakarta</a>. I wasn&rsquo;t really sure what to expect but so far I was loving all of the food that I was eating in Indonesia and hadn&rsquo;t quite yet felt like I was really &ldquo;getting to know&rdquo; Indonesia and its people and what better way than to do it through food </p> <p style="text-align: justify;">What I didn&rsquo;t know was that I was about to experience one of the craziest things of my life.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="A traditional culinary tour of Yogyakarta, Indonesia" src="http://id.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b858c331de3.jpg" alt="A traditional culinary tour of Yogyakarta, Indonesia" width="550" height="364" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The first stop of the tour we went to a famous restaurant in Yogyakarta called &ldquo;Gudeg Yu Djum&rdquo; and they are known for making the most and very best Gudeg in the city. The tour started off with us taking a tour of the &ldquo;kitchen&rdquo;, a rare site that most people normally don&rsquo;t get to see and also one of the craziest things I have ever seen in my life.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">At first you start walking down a dimly lit corridor filled with a bit of smoke and the first thing I came to was a lady sitting on the floor ripping leaves to be used for serving the food. She did it very quickly and efficiently making hundreds of them. As the smoke got thicker the heat did as well and I kept making my way further to the back of the building. I&rsquo;m not sure what this area of the building &ldquo;kitchen&rdquo; was called but what I suddenly saw in front of me was half a dozen boiling bubbling couldrens fill with various shades of liquid and textures under hot burning wood and ash. The smoke was almost unbearable but the workers walked around like it was normal, one even was shirtless because of the extreme heat each couldren/pot was giving off.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="A traditional culinary tour of Yogyakarta, Indonesia" src="http://id.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b8588d35b9e.jpg" alt="A traditional culinary tour of Yogyakarta, Indonesia" width="550" height="364" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">I continued walking to my left starting to make a counter clockwise tour of the building and I entered a small room full of maybe 11 people all sitting on the floor with their arms up to their elbows in big bowls of water, chicken, blood and guts. They greeted me with smiles and I was told they were cleaning over 300 chickens to be added to the Gudeg. It was like a small watery slaughter house and was something that I had never seen before.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Continuing left I came into another oven type room with pots boiling everywhere which were filled with Jack Fruit (the main ingredient to Gudeg) and boiling eggs. The smoke started to make my eyes water and the heat was immense. Also in this room closer to the front of the building now was an older lady making a sambal type sauce and a man grinding onions and other food for a sauce.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="A traditional culinary tour of Yogyakarta, Indonesia" src="http://id.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b858708aea7.jpg" alt="A traditional culinary tour of Yogyakarta, Indonesia" width="550" height="364" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Words almost can&rsquo;t describe what the interior of that kitchen was like, but I was somewhat excited to try the Gudeg now that I had seen how much effort goes into creating it.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Served to us on a cut leaf with rice beef skin and an egg the Gudeg aka cooked jack fruit, was a tasty treat however it might be something for now that I leave for the Yogyakarta-ians to have for themselves. Stay tuned for my video on <a href="http://www.travelyourself.ca">www.travelyourself.ca</a> depicting the whole experience.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Would you like to go to Indonesia and experience it for yourself The check out this <a href="http://us.indonesia.travel/wonderfulindonesiaquiz/">online quiz</a> to win your very own trip!</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="A traditional culinary tour of Yogyakarta, Indonesia" src="http://id.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b8582a742a0.jpg" alt="A traditional culinary tour of Yogyakarta, Indonesia" width="550" height="364" /></p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="A traditional culinary tour of Yogyakarta, Indonesia" src="http://id.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b858a8e073a.jpg" alt="A traditional culinary tour of Yogyakarta, Indonesia" width="550" height="364" /></p> Experiencing Bali, Four Years Later http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/219/experiencing-bali-four-years-later <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Experiencing Bali, Four Years Later" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7d733dc0cd.jpg" alt="Experiencing Bali, Four Years Later" width="550" height="377" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Dig far enough back through the <a title="archives on go backpacking" href="http://www.gobackpacking.com/Blog/archive/">archives on Go Backpacking</a>, and you&rsquo;ll find <a title="bali" href="/en/destination/73/bali">Bali</a> was the first place in Asia I visited on my trip around the world.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was my first time in Asia, too, so the culture shock hit me hard and fast.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><a title="walking around kuta" href="http://www.gobackpacking.com/Blog/2008/02/08/day-1-in-bali-sensory-overload/">Walking around Kuta my first day</a>, I quickly learned to stop making eye contact with vendors and touts, and focus on going about my business.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">My hotel the first few nights had a beautiful swimming pool, complete with Swedish girls. I quickly learned how much those platinum blonde Scandinavians love Bali, and <a title="10 Must-See Destinations for Backpackers in Southeast Asia" href="http://www.gobackpacking.com/Blog/2011/11/22/10-destinations-for-backpackers-southeast-asia/">Southeast Asia</a>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">I remember it all like it was yesterday, yet here I was landing on Bali over four years, and thirty countries later.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Would it look and feel the same since the Eat, Pray, Love craze took hold </p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Upon our arrival from <a title="Komodo National Park: Face to Face with Komodo Dragons in the Wild" href="http://www.gobackpacking.com/Blog/2012/11/26/komodo-national-park-dragons-wild/">Komodo National Park</a>, we ran into traffic on the normally quick, 45-minute drive from the airport in Denpasar to Seminyak.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This wasn&rsquo;t a little traffic, it was bumper to bumper, reminiscent of the 495 Beltway around Washington, DC traffic.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">But, hopefully, it is temporary&ndash;the result of a construction project south of Kuta that is ultimately aimed at reducing congestion on the main highway.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Upon arrival at the Kokonut Suites, we were greeted by the friendly staff with fresh coconut water, and lots of smiles.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Experiencing Bali, Four Years Later" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7d742f1c85.jpg" alt="Experiencing Bali, Four Years Later" width="550" height="413" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Almost immediately, we hopped back in our vans and drove south, past the airport, to <a title="uluwatu temple" href="http://www.gobackpacking.com/Blog/2008/02/24/back-to-kuta-and-ulu-watu/">Uluwatu Temple</a>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Uluwatu, as I learned in 2008, is a popular place to go and watch the sunset. Due to more traffic on the way south, we got there just as the sun dipped below the clouds on the horizon.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Unlike my first visit to the temple complex, I didn&rsquo;t witness a monkey steal anyone&rsquo;s hat, it didn&rsquo;t start to rain, and I had the chance to attend an exciting Kecak dance performance.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Experiencing Bali, Four Years Later" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7d751a5ea6.jpg" alt="Experiencing Bali, Four Years Later" width="550" height="413" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">We slipped into the show after it was already underway, and thus were seated on the ground, right behind the performers.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The shirtless men of varying ages chanted in unison, providing the soundtrack to a theatrical performance involving a love story, and a heroic white monkey.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">We&rsquo;d previously seen the same story performed in the Javanese style in <a title="Gudeg Yu Djum: Inside the Kitchen of a Famous Yogyakarta Restaurant" href="http://www.gobackpacking.com/Blog/2012/11/13/gudeg-yu-djum-yogyakarta/">Yogyakarta</a>, but I found the version at Uluwatu to be much more exciting.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was also less than half as long (about one hour), which we all appreciated as well.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><strong><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Experiencing Bali, Four Years Later" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7d760a5aed.jpg" alt="Experiencing Bali, Four Years Later" width="550" height="420" /></strong></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The next morning, we left for Ubud, in central Bali.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">I have fond memories of my first visit to Ubud, which I did as a day trip from Kuta.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Visiting the Monkey Forest in 2008, I was able to complete a <a title="reader dare" href="http://www.gobackpacking.com/Blog/2008/02/25/dare-5-completed-monkey-business/">reader dare</a> (bet), and earn myself $20 for getting a monkey to climb on me.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><strong><strong><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Experiencing Bali, Four Years Later" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7d77ae49ed.jpg" alt="Experiencing Bali, Four Years Later" width="550" height="445" /></strong></strong></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This time around, I didn&rsquo;t feed the monkeys, but I did manage to capture some adorable shots of the babies.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was interesting to observe how the older monkeys moved around the baby and mother to try to run interference with the tourists taking photos.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Clearly we outsized them, but thanks to survival instincts, it didn&rsquo;t mean they weren&rsquo;t going to try to protect their young.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><strong><strong><strong><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Experiencing Bali, Four Years Later" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7d7893466c.jpg" alt="Experiencing Bali, Four Years Later" width="640" height="480" /></strong></strong></strong></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">We also visited <a title="bu oka" href="http://www.gobackpacking.com/Blog/2008/02/25/off-to-ubud-for-suckling-pig-and-monkeys/">Bu Oka</a> to sample the local delicacy, roast suckling pig (<em>babi guling</em>).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">I had previously been here too, as it had been featured on Anthony Bourdain&rsquo;s No Reservations.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">My taste for pork skin and blood sausage has not changed, but the tender, juicy meat remains worth the trip.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The suckling pig was a snack, and we&rsquo;d later have lunch at a restaurant famous for its duck, but I&rsquo;ll be sharing those photos in a future post.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><strong><strong><strong><strong><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Experiencing Bali, Four Years Later" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7d7a200aff.jpg" alt="Experiencing Bali, Four Years Later" width="550" height="413" /></strong></strong></strong></strong></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">I was signed up to go <a title="Surfing Safari: Hawaii, Costa Rica, &amp; Australia" href="http://www.gobackpacking.com/Blog/2011/09/26/surfing-hawaii-costa-rica-australia/">surfing</a> on our third day, but by then, was feeling exhausted and unwell, so I relegated myself to bed rest.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>(See Stephen&rsquo;s <a href="http://bohemiantraveler.com/2012/11/photos-surfing-in-bali/">post on Bohemian Traveler</a> for terrific photos from his and the others&rsquo; surf session in Kuta.)</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">By late afternoon, I was feeling better, and joined the other bloggers, along with our entire supporting crew, and a representative from the Ministry of Tourism, for happy hour drinks and dinner at Bali&rsquo;s hottest nightlife spot, the <a title="potato head beach club" href="http://www.ptthead.com/">Potato Head Beach Club</a>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">There, we were treated to another gorgeous sunset. Along with India, Bali is one of the few places I&rsquo;ve seen purple sunsets.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><strong><strong><strong><strong><strong><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Experiencing Bali, Four Years Later" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7d7ba4c26e.jpg" alt="Experiencing Bali, Four Years Later" width="550" height="400" /></strong></strong></strong></strong></strong></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Dinner at the beach club was one of the best of the two-week trip, and along with the duck restaurant in Ubud, I&rsquo;ll be sharing those photos in a future post.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">On our final morning in Indonesia, we were all treated to one hour Balinese massages at <a title="taman air spa" href="http://www.tamanairspa.com/">Taman Air Spa</a>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Over the last four years, I&rsquo;ve had massages in a dozen different styles and countries around Asia, and the world, and the <a title="Balinese massages" href="http://www.gobackpacking.com/Blog/2008/02/10/the-good-life-massages-and-spa-treatments/">Balinese aromatherapy massages</a> are still my favorite.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">_________</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Note: Indonesia Tourism is running a contest where you could win one of five free trips to Komodo National Park. <a href="http://us.indonesia.travel/wonderfulindonesiaquiz/">Click here for details</a>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>Disclosure: My visit to Indonesia was in conjunction with a blog trip hosted by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy.</em></p> An Orangutan Experience in Tanjung Putting, Indonesia http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/221/an-orangutan-experience-in-tanjung-putting-indonesia <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="An Orangutan Experience in Tanjung Putting, Indonesia" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7ff8e0f91a.jpg" alt="An Orangutan Experience in Tanjung Putting, Indonesia" width="550" height="364" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">When I received the schedule for <a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/">my trip to Indonesia</a> one of the first places it said we would visit was Tanjung Putting, which was on the island of Kalimantan. I had never heard of these places before but knew we were going to see wild Orangutans and was excited to visit. Once in Indonesia I heard a couple people say &ldquo;Borneo&rdquo;. Previous to this I wasn&rsquo;t sure where I thought Borneo was and I kind of thought it was its own country and then I found out that Kalimantan was the Indonesian word for Borneo and in fact that is where the Tanjung Putting National Park was located. We were going to Borneo!</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="An Orangutan Experience in Tanjung Putting, Indonesia" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7ffb34e888.jpg" alt="An Orangutan Experience in Tanjung Putting, Indonesia" width="550" height="364" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">I then learned that three different countries own pieces of the island of Borneo with the biggest chunk belonging to Indonesia and a smaller bit belonging to Malaysia and oddly enough when most people reference &ldquo;Borneo&rdquo; it is the Malay side that they are talking about.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">To get to Tanjung Putting we flew from Jakarta to Pankalang Bun then drove to Port Kumai where we boarded two Klotok boats that would be our home for the next 2 days. Called Klotok because of the sound the boats make going down the river, I quickly applied my bug spray and we got on our way chugging through the harbour, then down the Sekonyer River.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="An Orangutan Experience in Tanjung Putting, Indonesia" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7ffd05c1d0.jpg" alt="An Orangutan Experience in Tanjung Putting, Indonesia" width="324" height="426" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Over the next two days we did and saw some amazing things. Starting with a visit to a Reforestation camp along the river where everyone on our tour planted a tree. I chose the type of tree that grows fruit, which is good not only for humans to eat but also a favorite of the wild Orangutans in the area. We visited three different ranger stations where we saw Orangutan feedings and from time to time we would even see them hanging out along the river.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="An Orangutan Experience in Tanjung Putting, Indonesia" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7fff8d09f6.jpg" alt="An Orangutan Experience in Tanjung Putting, Indonesia" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Not only did we see Orangutans but we also saw, monkeys, lots of pretty birds and crazy bugs and we also saw the Proboscis monkey with huge funny looking noses. We were also visited by Fred Galdikas, the son of Beirute Galdikas (who originally started <a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publisharticle/destination/779/camp-leakey-renowned-orangutan-research-and-rehabilition-center">the foundation for the Orangutans in Tanjung Putting</a> in the 1970s). Fred is now taking part in running the organization with his mother and taking care of the Orangutans. It was a treat to meet him and talk to him and ask questions about the great work that he, his mother and family do for the animals.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="An Orangutan Experience in Tanjung Putting, Indonesia" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b800174bea6.jpg" alt="An Orangutan Experience in Tanjung Putting, Indonesia" width="355" height="489" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">We ate all our meals on the Klotok, which were prepared with love in the hull of our boat by a few local ladies. Everything was made from scratch from the delicious sambal sauce to the most amazing friend bananas I have ever eaten in my whole entire life. Each time we ate we had quite the feast and I am pretty sure there were never any leftovers.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="An Orangutan Experience in Tanjung Putting, Indonesia" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b8002be7361.jpg" alt="An Orangutan Experience in Tanjung Putting, Indonesia" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Aside from a few bug bites, visiting Tanjung Putting was an amazing experience and probably one of my favorite things out of everything that I saw and did in Indonesia. I would definitely recommended it as something to do anyone visiting.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Would you like to win a chance to visit Indonesia as well Then check out <a href="http://us.indonesia.travel/wonderfulindonesiaquiz/">this online quiz</a>!</p> Lesson Learned from the Klotok - Travel Makes Us Humble http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/222/lesson-learned-from-the-klotok-travel-makes-us-humble <p><a href="http://runawayjuno.com" target="_blank"><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Lesson Learned from the Klotok - Travel Makes Us Humble" src="http://runawayjuno.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Borneo-Jungle-Riverboat-7581-1024x680.jpg" alt="Lesson Learned from the Klotok - Travel Makes Us Humble" width="550" height="365" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Have you ever felt that travel makes you humble </p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As a part of <a href="http://runawayjuno.com/2012/10/04/runaway-to-indonesia/" target="_blank">#Travel2Indonesia</a> trip, I spent the first two days in Borneo jungle (Kalimantan). We slept, ate, worked on the klotok &ndash; wooden boat, and the weather was scorching hot and humid. You can imagine how dirty and sweaty we all were.Because the orangutan camp can be visited only by a river-boat, we had to maintain our lives on the boat. I loved the experience. The simple life - it's not easy to get noweadays. I like the wilderness and the jungle, and enjoyed the fact we were forced to be separated with Wi-Fi and all other technologies. Only one thing: I wanted to take a shower.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">I knew what to expect. We walked a few times a day to visit orangutans in the camp. In fact, the jungle trekking was pretty much a walk in the well-beaten path in the jungle. The rangers already made the sturdy road for the visitors and the workers. Even though, I couldn&rsquo;t help but think about hot shower. The last stretch of the four-hour boat ride lead us to the city. We got off the boat, took another a half an hour bus ride and finally arrived at the hotel. I know the first thing everyone would do in their hotel room: jump into shower. </p> <p><a title="Photo &amp; Video Sharing by SmugMug" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Jungle/26053207_RvZ3t8#!i=2163635578&amp;k=bRxFHLz&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Lesson Learned from the Klotok - Travel Makes Us Humble" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Jungle/i-bRxFHLz/0/L/Borneo-jungle-7569-L.jpg" alt="Lesson Learned from the Klotok - Travel Makes Us Humble" width="550" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The hot shower couldn&rsquo;t feel any better. I scrubbed, scrubbed, scrubbed the two day old dirt and sweat, and scrubbed some more. I knew I was wasting more water by staying in the shower longer but I couldn&rsquo;t help. It felt just so nice. I stepped out, wrapped the towel around me and thought <em>&lsquo;It&rsquo;s amazing how small thing can change EVERYTHING.&rsquo;</em> We don&rsquo;t normally thank to the air we breath in every other second. Same as the shower. By putting ourselves to the more extreme situation, now we know how having a place with a shower and toilet is nice.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Travel makes us humble. Travel makes us realize how precious the things we take for granted. Not just seeing people with less-fortune, by experiencing the challenging situations, we learn. People are smart creatures, but sometimes we just have to experience to actually connect the dot. Getting out of the comfort zone will make you grow. That&rsquo;s why traveling is such a precious experience.</p> The orangutan family of Kalimantan http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/223/the-orangutan-family-of-kalimantan <p style="text-align: justify;">For the first seven or eight years of his life, Fred Galdikas had a best friend called Apollo Bob. Like most friends at that age, they would play together outside. And like most children at that age, their differences seemed immaterial. Kids have an ability to look beyond race, religion, or language and just see a friend for who they are.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">That was probably lucky for Fred. You see, Apollo Bob was an orangutan.</p> <p><a href="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Indonesia-2012-290_web.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; vertical-align: text-bottom;" title="Kalimantan orangutans" src="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Indonesia-2012-290_web.jpg" alt="Kalimantan orangutans" width="550" height="367" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Thirty years ago, when Fred was born, his mother was living deep inside the jungles of Kalimantan in <a title="Indonesia" href="/">Indonesia</a>. Dr Birute Galdikas had set up a refuge for orangutans &ndash; somewhere to protect them and to research them. And while she was there, her family grew. What she didn&rsquo;t realise at first was that the family would end up including the animals around her.�These days, more than forty years after she first arrived in Borneo, Dr Birute Galdikas still spends most of her time living and working with the orangutans in Tanjung Puting National Park.</p> <p><a href="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Indonesia-2012-197_web.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Kalimantan orangutans" src="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Indonesia-2012-197_web.jpg" alt="Kalimantan orangutans" width="550" height="367" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">I first meet Fred as we sit on the wooden deck of a &lsquo;klotok&rsquo;, the traditional Indonesian boat that is taking us up the river to Camp Leakey, the heart of the orangutan conservation efforts. In the trees on the water&rsquo;s edge, monkeys sit in branches and watch us go past. The river winds its way through the dense jungle and the boat lethargically makes its way upstream. Around us the dense jungle is never silent &ndash; a reminder that we&rsquo;re not alone out here.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">&ldquo;Just remember, we are going into their world&rdquo;, Fred explains.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">&ldquo;We&rsquo;re going into an orangutan&rsquo;s world, we&rsquo;re not going to our world. This is where they stay, where they live. So when we interrupt that flow, it&rsquo;s interrupting nature a little bit.&rdquo;</p> <p><a href="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Indonesia-2012-219_web.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Kalimantan orangutans" src="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Indonesia-2012-219_web.jpg" alt="Kalimantan orangutans" width="550" height="380" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It&rsquo;s an interruption that is needed, though. The orangutans are under threat from a number of fronts, but mostly from a shrinking habitat. Many local Indonesians are destroying the natural forests in Borneo to create palm oil plantations &ndash; one of the easiest ways to make money on the island.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After staring out at the endless jungle of trees along the river for the past few hours, it&rsquo;s hard to imagine the devastation that&rsquo;s happening just kilometres away. But Fred knows the reality all too well. &ldquo;There just simply isn&rsquo;t enough forest for the orangutans to roam and live&rdquo;, he tells me.</p> <p><a href="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Indonesia-2012-274_web.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Kalimantan orangutans" src="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Indonesia-2012-274_web.jpg" alt="Kalimantan orangutans" width="550" height="380" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It takes four hours to get to the main base, <a title="Camp Leakey" href="/en/destination/779/camp-leakey-renowned-orangutan-research-and-rehabilition-center">Camp Leakey</a>, by boat these days. It feels so remote but I can only imagine what it was like 40 years ago when Birute set it up. There was no electricity or phones and, more importantly, she was under immense pressure after being told by academics that she had no chance of success &ndash; that the orangutans were too elusive to be studied in the wild.</p> <p><a href="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Indonesia-2012-257_web.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Kalimantan orangutans" src="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Indonesia-2012-257_web.jpg" alt="Kalimantan orangutans" width="550" height="380" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">How wrong they were. Or, to put it better, how wrong Dr Birute Galdikas proved them to be. And if you need reminding of that, the evidence of her success is right in front of me at the feeding station.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">A local assistant puts a large bunch of bananas on the elevated wooden platform in the jungle, a ten minute walk away from the camp. He also leaves a bucket of milk and then walks away. Then the animals come. One orangutan appears high in a tree and slowly lowers itself down towards the platform, watching the surroundings as it descends. There&rsquo;s a rustling sound on the ground behind me and I turn around to see another orangutan lumbering towards the bananas, right through a group of humans. More follow from all directions until there are about half a dozen.</p> <p><a href="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Indonesia-2012-211_web.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Kalimantan orangutans" src="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Indonesia-2012-211_web.jpg" alt="Kalimantan orangutans" width="550" height="380" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">There&rsquo;s a nonchalance from the animals, seemingly aware of the people and the role we&rsquo;re playing, but without any deference. This is indeed their world and they know it. As we&rsquo;re watching the orangutans grab the bananas and then climb the trees to eat them, I chat with Fred. He explains how the animals are free to come and go as they like &ndash; there are no fences here. The food is offered in case the animals need it.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">&ldquo;We supplement their food intake&rdquo;, he says.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">&ldquo;If there&rsquo;s no fruit in the forest, they&rsquo;re not going to eat naturally, so they come here. But sometimes visitors come, spend all this money, spend four hours getting here and they don&rsquo;t see an orangutan. Well that&rsquo;s a good thing &ndash; it&rsquo;s because they&rsquo;re off feeding from their natural wild fruit.&rdquo;</p> <p><a href="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Indonesia-2012-134_web.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Kalimantan orangutans" src="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Indonesia-2012-134_web.jpg" alt="Kalimantan orangutans" width="550" height="380" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">But there is a bond here between human and animal that is unusual and unlike anything I have seen before. There&rsquo;s almost a magic in the way the orangutans behave with Fred and the workers. Many of these animals were rescued as baby orphans and have been brought up by humans. Although they are now free and behave as such, they&rsquo;re emotionally connected with their guardians.</p> A Behind the Scenes Look at Making Gudeg in Yogyakarta http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/216/a-behind-the-scenes-look-at-making-gudeg-in-yogyakarta <p><strong><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="A Behind the Scenes Look at Making Gudeg in Yogyakarta" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7cc6a60e62.jpg" alt="A Behind the Scenes Look at Making Gudeg in Yogyakarta" width="550" height="413" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The heat from the flames was almost unbearable, the lack of air circulation stifling.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">A surprisingly tall, young, shirtless man in flip-flops entered the room. Male or female, it was hard not to notice his abs, covered in sweat, and seemingly carved from stone.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">He deposited a shovel full of red-hot coals underneath one of the many large cooking pots, without a word, and left the room again.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Walking into the kitchen of <a title="gudeg yu djum" href="http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g294230-d3156129-Reviews-Gudeg_Yu_Djum-Yogyakarta_Yogyakarta_Region_Java.html">Gudeg Yu Djum</a>, a famous restaurant in <a title="yogyakarta" href="/en/destination/457/yogyakarta">Yogyakarta</a>, was a walk back in time.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="A Behind the Scenes Look at Making Gudeg in Yogyakarta" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7cc7665367.jpg" alt="A Behind the Scenes Look at Making Gudeg in Yogyakarta" width="550" height="413" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Known for producing gudeg, a local delicacy of young jack fruit mixed with coconut milk, palm sugar, and spices, Gudeg Yu Djum had established itself as one of the top restaurants in Yogyakarta for the dish.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Gudeg, which is produced 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the location we were visiting, is then shipped to additional restaurants throughout Yogyakarta.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">When I signed up for a food tour, I expected we&rsquo;d visit a local market, photograph some vegetables, and maybe stop by a few shops.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Standing in the midst of a working Indonesian kitchen, wearing flip-flops myself, as hot coals were being shoveled, and large cuts of wood were used to keep the fires going, wasn&rsquo;t even within my realm of previous experience.</p> <p><strong><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="A Behind the Scenes Look at Making Gudeg in Yogyakarta" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7cc8160c3a.jpg" alt="A Behind the Scenes Look at Making Gudeg in Yogyakarta" width="550" height="413" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The whole scene, unfolding before me, was raw and fascinating.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In the largest room, various pots and cauldrons were used to boil and prepare the coconut milk and spices.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Meanwhile, in a smaller side room, no less than 6 people were sitting in front of plastic buckets, dismembering chickens with casual efficiency.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The air was thick and heavy, and there was little spare room to stand and observe.</p> <p><strong><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="A Behind the Scenes Look at Making Gudeg in Yogyakarta" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7cc8ccfd9f.jpg" alt="A Behind the Scenes Look at Making Gudeg in Yogyakarta" width="550" height="413" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">On the other side of the chicken room was a rectangular room with beams of sunlight streaming through. This room captivated me, even more so than the others.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As I repositioned myself to take photos, I could feel the heat from the open flames against my back.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">I tried to picture myself in the position of those working in the kitchen every day, day after day, producing the best gudeg in Yogyakarta, if not all of <a title="indonesia" href="/">Indonesia</a>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Surely they felt a sense of pride working there, but you wouldn&rsquo;t know it just from watching.</p> <p><strong><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="A Behind the Scenes Look at Making Gudeg in Yogyakarta" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7cca43a080.jpg" alt="A Behind the Scenes Look at Making Gudeg in Yogyakarta" width="550" height="413" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The rectangular room was especially smokey, and seemed to be the main kitchen, where most of the cooking was done.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">When I noticed the others in my group were no longer around me, and I was the only one still taking photos, I retreated to the front dining room.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">There, on the table, was a green banana leaf with a fresh serving of gudeg, along with the regular accompaniments of white rice (nasi) and a hard-boiled egg (telur). In addition, there were golden bits of beef skin (krecek).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After watching the hard work that goes into the production of this local favorite, I was anxious to try it for myself. It was sweeter than I expected, with lots of flavor.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Instantly, I understood its popularity.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">_____</p> <h3 style="text-align: justify;">What You Need to Know</h3> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>How Much:</strong> 8,000 Rupiah ($0.83) buys you a serving of Nasi Gudeg Telur</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Address: </strong>Jl. Wijilan 31|Kraton and Jalan Kaliurang km 4.5, Karangasem CT III/22, Yogyakarta, Indonesia</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Hours:</strong> 6 AM to 10 PM daily</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">________</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>Disclaimer: My visit to Indonesia was in conjunction with a blog trip hosted by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy.</em></p> Mount Bromo: Visiting an Active Volcano in East Java http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/217/mount-bromo-visiting-an-active-volcano-in-east-java <p><strong><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Mount Bromo: Visiting an Active Volcano in East Java" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7cee142713.jpg" alt="Mount Bromo: Visiting an Active Volcano in East Java" width="550" height="413" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Stumbling out of bed, I skipped the shower, brushed my teeth, and stepped outside into the cool darkness.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Craning my head toward the night&rsquo;s sky, I was greeted with a scattering of white stars. It was a good sign.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In a trip filled with early mornings, getting up at 3 AM to watch the sunrise over <a title="mount bromo in east java" href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publisharticle/destination/243/mount-bromo">Mount Bromo in East Java</a> was the earliest.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">We&rsquo;d been warned to dress warmly, as temperatures can drop close to freezing, but I didn&rsquo;t even find a hat or gloves to be necessary.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Upon meeting the rest of the group outside the entrance to <a title="java banana lodge" href="http://www.java-banana.com/">Java Banana Lodge</a>, we piled into a caravan of 1970&prime;s-era BJ40 Toyota Land Cruisers for the short ride up to the lookout point.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After 15 minutes of twisting and turning in the dark, we reached the parking area at the foot of a dirt path leading further up Mount Penanjakan (2,770 meters). From here, we were on foot.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was hard to see in the pre-dawn hours, but the entire path at this point was covered in a fine layer of grey ash from Mount Bromo&rsquo;s latest eruption in 2011.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">At 2,292 meters, Mount Bromo is hardly the tallest mountain in <a title="indonesia" href="/">Indonesia</a> (that would be the 4,884 meter Puncak Jaya on the island of New Guinea), but it draws a crowd on account of its setting.</p> <p><strong><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Mount Bromo: Visiting an Active Volcano in East Java" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7cebc2def4.jpg" alt="Mount Bromo: Visiting an Active Volcano in East Java" width="550" height="413" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The walk to the lookout point took 20 to 30 minutes. By 4:30 AM, a crowd of several hundred tourists and their guides had arrived for sunrise.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Coffee, tea, and snacks were being sold by the members of the indigenous Tengger community, whose ability to wake up at an ungodly hour every morning amazed me. While the Javanese are predominantly Muslim, the Tengger practice Hinduism.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Our guide handed us surgical masks to help protect against the ash being kicked up by all the people. I felt funny wearing it at first, but later, it&rsquo;d be essential to hiking on Mount Bromo.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The first signs of sunlight began to appear behind a horizontal band of clouds hovering over the horizon. Unlike the <a title="Borobudur Temple: The World&rsquo;s Largest Buddhist Monument" href="http://www.gobackpacking.com/Blog/2012/11/09/borobudur-temple-buddhist-monument/">sunrise at Borobudur Temple</a>, it appeared we were going to be in for a colorful sky.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Forty five minutes later, at 5:15 AM, I was watching one of the most spectacular sunrises of my life.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The sun also cast a warm glow over Mount Bromo, and the surrounding Sea of Sand, the name given to the vast plain between us and the volcanos.</p> <p><strong><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Mount Bromo: Visiting an Active Volcano in East Java" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7cef81fb5f.jpg" alt="Mount Bromo: Visiting an Active Volcano in East Java" width="550" height="413" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Almost as soon as the sun had risen, groups were already leaving the lookout point for the drive down to the plain, and subsequent hike to Mount Bromo&rsquo;s crater.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Our group lingered, taking photos, and was therefore one of the last to make its way down the mountain.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Upon reaching the Sea of Sand, we began driving over a carpet of grey ash. In the parking area, we were immediately approached by locals offering horse rides to the crater.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">A few people in our group chose the horses, while the majority, including myself, opted to walk.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>[Insert Photo 4 - Walking up to the crater]</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It&rsquo;s at this point that the surgical masks became necessary. A lot of ash was being kicked up by the people, and especially the horses, as they walked to and from Mount Bromo.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The closer we got to the volcano, the deeper the ash. At the point where the incline to the crater begins, the ash in the middle of the trail was several inches deep.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Walking became easier on the edges of the trails, where you were more likely to connect with solid ground.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">My camera had begun giving me lens error messages, the result of ash getting into the spaces around the lens. I began to choose my moments more carefully, to prevent further damage.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The horses let off their passengers just before a staircase leading to the crater&rsquo;s edge.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Here, the winds whipped ash across the side of the volcano, making the surgical masks, or any kind of face covering, a necessity.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The staircase had seen better days, though the broken steps and rails seemed fitting considering its location on the side of an active volcano!</p> <p><strong><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Mount Bromo: Visiting an Active Volcano in East Java" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7cf2c27b87.jpg" alt="Mount Bromo: Visiting an Active Volcano in East Java" width="550" height="413" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">We were informed that if you watch the sunrise from Mount Bromo&rsquo;s crater, you can see the red from magma in the crater. During the daylight hours, though, you were only able to see the smoke.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">I&rsquo;ve hiked around the active Arenal Volcano in <a href="http://www.gobackpacking.com/Blog/travel-guides/costa-rica/">Costa Rica</a>, and as a kid, walked up to flowing lava in Hawaii, but this was the firs time I&rsquo;d peered into the crater of an active volcano.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Surprisingly, there wasn&rsquo;t an odor of sulfur in the air.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The walk back to the jeeps went a lot faster. The scene on the valley floor was reminiscent of Egypt, and images of the <a href="http://www.gobackpacking.com/Blog/travel-guides/middle-east/">Middle East</a>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">But instead of a sandstorm, we were shrouded in volcanic ash.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">I worried for the health of the indigenous people and horses, who were there every day catering to tourists and trying to earn a living.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In the distance, we could see lookout point halfway up the mountain from where we watched the sunrise.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">________</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>Disclaimer: My visit to Indonesia was in conjunction with a blog trip hosted by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy.</em></p> Komodo Dragons in the Wild http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/218/komodo-dragons-in-the-wild <p><strong><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Komodo Dragons in the Wild" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7d190285e0.jpg" alt="Komodo Dragons in the Wild" width="550" height="364" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The stories began on Rinca Island.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">A park ranger ambushed in his office when the door was accidentally left open.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">An elderly villager attacked. A local child killed.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Our guides seemed to take it all in stride, having grown up amongst endangered Komodo monitors, the world&rsquo;s largest living lizard, all their lives.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As a visitor, I was both fascinated, and increasingly worried.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The only tool guides carry to fend off aggressive Komodo dragons, as they are more commonly known, is a carved, two-pronged stick.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The lack of weapons, even a hunting knife, reminded me of my game walks in <a title="Day 4, The Okavango Delta From Sunrise To Sunset" href="http://www.gobackpacking.com/Blog/2008/12/26/day-4-%e2%80%93-the-okavango-delta-from-sunrise-to-sunset/">Botswana&rsquo;s Okavango Delta</a>, where it was illegal for the local guides to carry guns.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Instead, the guides&rsquo; knowledge of dragon behavior minimizes the potential for tourists to find themselves in dangerous situations.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">And if such instances do occur, they could be handled by non-lethal means by following the guide&rsquo;s instructions (which, I kid you not, may include climbing up a tree).</p> <p><strong><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Komodo Dragons in the Wild" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7d1a7aad30.jpg" alt="Komodo Dragons in the Wild" width="550" height="413" /></strong></p> <h2 style="text-align: justify;">Rinca Island</h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">A few minutes walk from the pier lead to a stone gate, welcoming us to <a title="komodo national park" href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publisharticle/destination/106/komodo-national-park">Komodo National Park</a>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">To recognize and further protect the dragons, the park was declared a <a title="unesco" href="http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/609">UNESCO World Heritage Site</a>in 1991.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Beyond the gate was a small village, where we met the guides who would be taking us on a walk to observe the dragons. Rinca currently offers visitors two short trail walks, two medium walks, and one long walk.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">For safety reasons, all visitors are required to walk with a guide, and no visitors are allowed to sleep overnight on the island.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After a short briefing, we only needed walk a few meters before spotting our first dragon, camped out in the shade underneath a building.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Like all reptiles, Komodo dragons need to constantly regulate their body temperature. In the early morning and late afternoon, they search for food.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">During mid-day, when the sun is strongest, they lie in the shade. After sundown, they return to their nests at the forest&rsquo;s edge, or in the ground, and sleep through the night.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The dragons on Rinca Island are smaller than those on Komodo Island, however because Rinca is also smaller, the density of dragons make them easier to spot.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Nearby, an emaciated dragon with two broken front legs also lay motionless, except for its eyes. The injuries occurred years earlier, probably in a fight with another dragon, yet it continues to survive.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Komodo dragons do not actively hunt their prey. Instead, they rely on camouflage, and patiently wait for prey along game trails. There, they execute surprise attacks.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Our guide, for example, said he recently saw a Komodo Dragon eat an entire monkey in a single bite.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As a result of this behavior, the injured dragon is still able to catch small prey which unwittingly walks in front of it.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In addition to small animals, such as monkeys, common prey includes: deer, wild boar, water buffalo, and horses.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The larger prey, such as the buffalo, can require up to 20 dragons working together to take down.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It&rsquo;s this violent image of multiple dragons ferociously attacking an animal that have stuck with me from the little footage I&rsquo;ve seen in nature documentaries.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Under the kitchen was another dragon. I was astounded to see the villagers sitting casually on the elevated staircase directly above it.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The dragons are drawn to the kitchen by the smell of food, but the people and park have a policy against feeding them.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">We walked a short distance further, out of the village and into the forest, to a dragon&rsquo;s nest.</p> <p><strong><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Komodo Dragons in the Wild" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7d1d2405f9.jpg" alt="Komodo Dragons in the Wild" width="550" height="413" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">From our perspective, it was a short mound of dirt with two holes used to enter and exit.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Unlike <a title="Orangutans in Borneo: Discovering Tanjung Puting National Park" href="http://www.gobackpacking.com/Blog/2012/10/30/orangutans-borneo-tanjung-puting-national-park/">orangutans</a>, dragons re-use the same nests, perhaps to save themselves the work of always having to build new ones.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Dragons reach their sexual maturity in 6-8 years, and can live up to 50 years.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Interestingly, female dragons are able to birth male dragons without mating, but to produce female dragons (and therefore ensure the survival of the species), they require intercourse with a male.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This might explain the ratio of over three male dragons for every female dragon. Perhaps the ladies like to see all those males fight over them It might be their way of ensuring a strong mating partner.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Male dragons, we were surprised to learn, have two penises. Science has yet to explain the purpose of their second reproductive organ.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Mating season occurs every year between July and August, with the females laying 15 to 30 eggs in August and September. It can take 8-9 months for the eggs to hatch.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It&rsquo;s common for young dragons to live in the trees their first few years, to avoid being eaten by their elders.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">While I would&rsquo;ve liked to follow the trails further into the island, our time was limited.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">We returned to the village, where we enjoyed lunch in a newly built, open-air building, while watching long-tail macaques run through the surrounding fields.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">From Rinca Island, we left by boat to visit another, smaller island, for an afternoon of snorkeling.</p> <p><strong><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Komodo Dragons in the Wild" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7d1bfcefb8.jpg" alt="Komodo Dragons in the Wild" width="550" height="413" /></strong></p> <h2 style="text-align: justify;">Komodo Island</h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">If Rinca Island was the teaser, arriving on Komodo Island was the main event.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In 2008, during my first visit to <a title="indonesia" href="/">Indonesia</a>, I was aware of Komodo but passed up the opportunity to join a friend for the trip, which required two days to reach from Lombok, the island just east of Bali.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">I always imagined Komodo to be an inhospitable and ugly place, so my preconceived notions were immediately smashed when we approached the clear, turquoise waters washing up against the beach.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Disembarking the boats, we walked down the long pier and onto the island. Local guides greeted us immediately, carrying their tell-tale sticks to fend off aggressive dragons.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">I&rsquo;m slightly embarrassed to admit that we didn&rsquo;t even need to leave the seaside village to get our fill of dragon action.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The dragons on Komodo Island are larger than those on Rinca, growing up to three meters (nine feet) in length, and weighing up to 150 kilograms (330 pounds).</p> <p><strong><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Komodo Dragons in the Wild" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7d1e355df3.jpg" alt="Komodo Dragons in the Wild" width="550" height="389" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It&rsquo;s a common misconception that they are poisonous, but it&rsquo;s the up to 50 different kinds of bacteria in their saliva that cause infections and death in prey (and human victims), not venom.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After the dragon bites its prey, death does not always come immediately, especially with the larger animals.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Instead, the dragon will follow the injured prey, for several days if necessary, until it is further weakened, or dead. Then, it feasts.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In the village, a large, alpha male Komodo dragon was especially active upon our arrival.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was interesting to see deer just 20 meters away from their predators. Such a site is common during <a title="Visiting Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania" href="http://www.gobackpacking.com/Blog/2011/08/01/selous-game-reserve-tanzania/">safaris in Africa</a> as well.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Toward the end of our visit, we followed the largest dragon onto the beach, where the direct sunlight fully illuminated its scales and colors.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Komodo dragons are capable of swimming several hundred meters out to sea.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After seeing the dragon on the beach, we walked back to the pier, and hopped in our boats for another afternoon of snorkeling.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Believe it or not, we would be snorkeling off Komodo Island.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">_________</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Note: Indonesia Tourism is running a contest where you could win one of five free trips to Komodo National Park. <a href="http://us.indonesia.travel/wonderfulindonesiaquiz/">Click here for details</a>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>Disclaimer: My visit to Indonesia was in conjunction with a blog trip hosted by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy.</em></p> Observing Orangutan Behavior at Camp Leakey http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/214/observing-orangutan-behavior-at-camp-leakey <p><strong><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Observing Orangutan Behavior at Camp Leakey" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7c4350a8db.jpg" alt="Observing Orangutan Behavior at Camp Leakey" width="550" height="413" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Following the <a title="photo shoot" href="http://www.gobackpacking.com/Blog/2012/10/31/sweet-hope-orangutan/">epic photo shoot with the delightful Sweet Hope</a>, we devoured a breakfast of toast, fruit, and fried rice aboard the klotoks, and then disembarked.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">By then, two dozen other tourists had arrived to watch the morning&rsquo;s orangutan feeding. We walked a few minutes along another raised boardwalk, until we reached the ranger station.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Behind one of the buildings, a mother orangutan was hanging from a tree trunk, along with her adorable little baby.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The mother was making a distinct noise every thirty seconds, her way of warning us not to come closer, but as one guide mentioned, a sign of impatience as she awaited the morning feeding as well.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Female orangutans raise their young for 7-8 years before parting ways. This is timeframe is the longest of any mammal, besides humans.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Remember, orangutans and humans share 97% of the same genetic code. The long period of time mothers devote toward raising their young is another example of how easy it is to relate to the behavior of orangutans.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It&rsquo;s easy to think they are similar to us, but in reality, it is we humans that are similar to them.</p> <p><strong><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Observing Orangutan Behavior at Camp Leakey" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7c44e3cd82.jpg" alt="Observing Orangutan Behavior at Camp Leakey" width="550" height="413" /></strong></p> <h2 style="text-align: justify;">Feeding #2: An Alpha Male in Action</h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">A few minutes before 9 AM, we proceeded further into the jungle to a raised wooden platform. Bundles of bananas, along with a yellow plastic bucket of vitamin-fortified milk, were placed out.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In the distance, a large nest of leaves and branches could be seen perched high up a tree. There was a rustling, and then the profile of a large figure slowly descending the tree trunk.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Tom, an alpha male orangutan, was making his way to the food. None of the other orangutans in the region would approach the platform while he was on it.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Observing Orangutan Behavior at Camp Leakey" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7c45f47fa0.jpg" alt="Observing Orangutan Behavior at Camp Leakey" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As a dominant orangutan, Tom gets to eat first, unless another dominant, or up-and-coming male orangutan chooses to challenge him.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Dominant males, like Tom, can be distinguished by their large cheek pads, which can appear in as little as six months.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Not all male orangutans will grow them, and it&rsquo;s believed that certain males are genetically predisposed to be dominant.</p> <p><strong><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Observing Orangutan Behavior at Camp Leakey" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7c46fbecd9.jpg" alt="Observing Orangutan Behavior at Camp Leakey" width="550" height="413" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Disturbing but true is the fact that Tom&rsquo;s preferred mating partner is his mother.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Once Tom had consumed his fill of milk and bananas, he departed the platform.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Within a few minutes, the mother and baby descended a tree to collect bananas, as did other medium-sized orangutans.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Most of the orangutans chose to grab the bananas and return to the tree tops to consume them.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Orangutans spend most of their time in the tree canopy, where they&rsquo;re less likely to run into danger.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After observing the second feeding, we headed back to the klotoks, and a boat ride further upriver to <a title="camp leakey" href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publisharticle/destination/779/camp-leakey-renowned-orangutan-research-and-rehabilition-center">Camp Leakey</a>, where the observation and preservation of wild orangutans in Borneo first began, decades earlier.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><a title="tanjung puting national park" href="http://www.gobackpacking.com/Blog/2012/10/30/orangutans-borneo-tanjung-puting-national-park/">Tanjung Puting National Park</a> features several species of primates, in addition to orangutans.</p> <p><strong><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Observing Orangutan Behavior at Camp Leakey" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7c47e15385.jpg" alt="Observing Orangutan Behavior at Camp Leakey" width="550" height="413" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Crab-eating macaques</strong> (aka long-tailed macaques) are easily distinguished due to their grey color, and long tails which often hang perpendicular to tree branches.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><a title="proboscis monkeys" href="http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/proboscis-monkey/"><strong>Proboscis monkeys</strong></a> are also common, especially at dusk in the trees along the river. They are identified from a distance by their orange color hair, though they also feature very large noses (and thus the name).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">According to our guides, the male monkeys are known for always being ready to mate. Specifically, they always have an erection, which makes it hard to motor past them without a good laugh.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In addition to these two species, and the orangutans, you can also spot the occasion gibbon in the park, as we would soon find out.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Other interesting animals include: sun bears, clouded leopards, red leaf-eating monkeys, and crocodiles (one of which is known to have attacked and killed a tourist on the river&rsquo;s edge near Camp Leakey).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">By the time we reached Camp Leakey, the water had turned dark black. Contrary to what you might think, the black water is actually cleaner than the brown water we&rsquo;d seen downriver.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Unfortunately, there&rsquo;s a mining industry that sends a steady stream of pollutants downstream. The black water is the natural color of the unpolluted water.</p> <p><strong><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Observing Orangutan Behavior at Camp Leakey" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7c48dd0746.jpg" alt="Observing Orangutan Behavior at Camp Leakey" width="550" height="413" /></strong></p> <h2 style="text-align: justify;">Feeding #3: The Main Event at Camp Leakey</h2> <p style="margin-left: 30px; text-align: justify;">"Camp Leakey was established in 1971 by <a href="http://www.orangutan.org/dr-galdikas-bio">Dr. Birute Galdikas</a> and Rod Brindamour. Galdikas was encouraged in her dream of studying wild orangutans in the forests of Southeast <a href="http://www.gobackpacking.com/Blog/travel-guides/asia/">Asia</a> by the late paleoanthropologist Dr. Louis Leakey who also mentored Jane Goodall and the late <a title="Gorillas In the Mist: The Story of Dian Fossey" href="http://www.gobackpacking.com/Blog/2010/03/19/gorillas-in-the-mist-story-of-dian-fossey/">Dian Fossey</a> in their respective studies of chimpanzees and <a title="Photo Essay: The Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda" href="http://www.gobackpacking.com/Blog/2010/04/08/photo-essay-mountain-gorillas-of-rwanda/">mountain gorillas</a>.</p> <p style="margin-left: 30px; text-align: justify;">Camp Leakey is the site of the longest continuous study by one principal investigator of any wild non-human animal in the history of science. Dr. Galdikas and her associates have logged over 100,000 hours of observation on focal wild orangutans in the 50 km (squared) study area associated with the camp." &mdash; sign at the entrance of Camp Leakey</p> <p><strong><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Observing Orangutan Behavior at Camp Leakey" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7c49cc05b6.jpg" alt="Observing Orangutan Behavior at Camp Leakey" width="550" height="413" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">At Camp Leakey, we first toured an information center filled with photos of the local orangutans, and information gained from the tens of thousands of hours of study that have happened there.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Today, the biggest threat to the already endangered orangutans is deforestation. As jungle is cleared to plant palm oil plantations, or mine for precious minerals, the orangutans are losing their habitat. Without the trees, they lose their source of food, as well as their home.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">While they are protected within Tanjung Puting National Park, it occupies an obscenely small portion of Indonesian Borneo, and the island of Borneo altogether.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><a href="http://www.orangutan.org/">Orangutan Foundation International</a> (OFI), which was set up by Dr. Birute Galdikas in 1986 to help protect the orangutans in <a title="Indonesia">Indonesia</a>, is actively making an effort to buy additional land, as well as educate the local land owners and workers.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Sadly, many Indonesian workers come from other islands, and having no experience with these large, yet gentle primates, kill them out of <a href="http://www.gobackpacking.com/Blog/2011/05/24/fear-of-travel/">fear</a> alone.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">We heard one such story from Freddie Galdikas, son of Dr. Galdikas. He told us about how an orangutan, in search of food, was in a tree on a plantation. The orangutan wouldn&rsquo;t come down, and the workers, unsure of what to do, lit a fire at the base of the tree, which eventually lead to the orangutan&rsquo;s demise.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Another threat comes from poaching. As the mother&rsquo;s take care of the young until 7 or 8 years of age, the poacher&rsquo;s must kill the mother in order to kidnap and sell the baby. Baby orangutans are sold for id="mce_marker",000 in Jakarta, and more in <a href="http://www.gobackpacking.com/Blog/travel-guides/thailand/">Thailand</a>, where they are kept as pets.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">These stories are heartbreaking to hear, and after hearing them direct from Freddie, who grew up around the orangutans at Camp Leakey, I had to get involved.</p> <p><strong><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Observing Orangutan Behavior at Camp Leakey" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7c4adc6569.jpg" alt="Observing Orangutan Behavior at Camp Leakey" width="550" height="413" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Orangutan Foundation International offers a host of <a href="http://www.orangutan.org/how-to-help">ways to protect and save these beautiful creatures</a>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">There are a variety of <a href="http://www.orangutan.org/how-to-help/products-page">products that can be purchased online</a>, and for as little as $100, you can <a href="http://www.orangutan.org/how-to-help/foster-an-orphan-orangutan">foster an orphan orangutan</a>, or sponsor an acre of land in the <a href="http://www.orangutan.org/how-to-help/rawakuno">Rawa Kuno Legacy Forest</a>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">OFI is trying to raise $640,000 to purchase 6,400 acres of critical forest habitat. Every $100 donated allows you to sponsor one acre of forest. This was the option I chose.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Whether you choose to help by sharing this article via social media, and thereby helping to educate others about the plight of orangutans, or by <a title="donating" href="http://www.orangutan.org/how-to-help">donating</a> yourself, I ask that you please do something.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The Orangutans of Borneo may be endangered, but together, we can still work to protect and save them.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">___________</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>Disclaimer: My visit to Indonesia was in conjunction with a blog trip hosted by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy.</em></p> Watching the Sunrise from Borobudur Temple http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/215/watching-the-sunrise-from-borobudur-temple <p><strong><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Watching the Sunrise from Borobudur Temple" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7c8f552c89.jpeg" alt="Watching the Sunrise from Borobudur Temple" width="550" height="413" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Approaching the stone steps of Borobudur Temple in the pre-dawn hours, the sky slowly began to lighten, revealing a blanket of grey clouds.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Getting up at 4 AM was no longer about seeing a multi-colored sky, but experiencing one of <a href="/">Indonesia&rsquo;s</a> greatest cultural landmarks with as few people as possible.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Borobudur Temple is the world&rsquo;s largest Buddhist monument, its construction dating back to the 8th and 9th centuries (300 years before Cambodia&rsquo;s <a title="Exploring Angkor Wat And Bayon" href="http://www.gobackpacking.com/Blog/2008/09/15/exploring-angkor-wat-and-bayon/">Angkor Wat</a>).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The stone structure, built atop a hill, measures 123 square meters, and features more than 2,600 carved reliefs and 500 Buddha statues.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The monument as a whole is dedicated to Buddha, while the reliefs are aimed at depicting his life and teachings.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The precision required to construct such a perfectly symmetrical building, 1,000 years before modern construction equipment was developed, boggles the mind.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In 1991, it was listed as a <a title="unesco world heritage site" href="http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/592">UNESCO World Heritage Site</a>, and has since become one of Indonesia&rsquo;s top tourist attractions, thanks in part to it&rsquo;s easy access from the nearby city of <a title="Exploring the Historic Temples of Yogyakarta, Indonesia" href="http://www.gobackpacking.com/Blog/2011/04/11/exploring-historic-temples-yogyakarta-indonesia/">Yogyakarta</a> in Central Java.</p> <p><strong><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Watching the Sunrise from Borobudur Temple" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7c90c812aa.jpg" alt="Watching the Sunrise from Borobudur Temple" width="550" height="413" /></strong></p> <p><strong><strong><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Watching the Sunrise from Borobudur Temple" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7c91ea0012.jpg" alt="Watching the Sunrise from Borobudur Temple" width="550" height="413" /></strong></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Entrance to the <a title="borobudur monument" href="/en/destination/233/borobudur">Borobudur monument</a> before sunrise is gained through the nearby Manohara hotel. A sarong is required for both men and women, and available for free to visitors (as well as a flashlight if you don&rsquo;t have one).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The climb to the top of the monument is steep, but short, and can be done in as little as five minutes.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Upon reaching the top-level, visitors are offered a 360-degree view of the lush landscape covering the surrounding Kedu Valley.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In the mornings, light fog drifts through the valley, adding to the mystical nature of the sacred location, which remains first and foremost, a site of Buddhist pilgrimage.</p> <p><strong><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Watching the Sunrise from Borobudur Temple" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7c937137bb.jpg" alt="Watching the Sunrise from Borobudur Temple" width="550" height="413" /></strong></p> <p><strong><strong><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Watching the Sunrise from Borobudur Temple" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7c946598b2.jpg" alt="Watching the Sunrise from Borobudur Temple" width="550" height="413" /></strong></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">To get the most out of a visit to Borobudur Temple, a guided tour is recommended. There&rsquo;s simply too much going on in terms of symbolism and Buddhist iconography for the layperson to decode on his or her own.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It wasn&rsquo;t until I began preparing for this trip to Indonesia that I became aware of Borobudur. Given my long-standing fascination with Buddhist culture, I found the monument to be an unexpected surprise in the world&rsquo;s biggest Muslim nation.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Borobudur Temple, along with the <a title="orangutans in borneo" href="http://www.gobackpacking.com/Blog/2012/10/30/orangutans-borneo-tanjung-puting-national-park/">orangutans in Borneo</a>, is another example of how much this country has to offer beyond Bali.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">_________</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>Disclaimer: My visit to Indonesia was in conjunction with a blog trip hosted by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy.</em></p> The Beauty of Yogyakarta http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/213/the-beauty-of-yogyakarta <p style="text-align: justify;">Yogyakarta is the second most popular destination after Bali in Indonesia. Also known as Jogjakarta, the beautiful city never fails to amaze with its old world charm and natural beauty. Steep in history, Yogya is the centre of <strong>Javanese</strong> art and culture, the cradle of civilization on Java where a few <strong>world heritage sites</strong> are located in the city and surroundings. It is the gateway to one of the world wonders &ndash; <a href="http://travelerfolio.com/borobudur-temple-world-wonder/">Borobudur Temple</a>, <strong>Prambanan Temple</strong> and Indonesia&rsquo;s most active volcano &ndash; <strong>Mount Merapi</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Mount Merapi</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Literally the Mountain of Fire, Mount Merapi creates a picturesque backdrop for the sleepy village. On a clear day, we can see the craggy peak of the volcano that&rsquo;s one of the most volatile in the world. It&rsquo;s said that Mount Merapi erupts once every 3 to 5 years, with the most recent eruption on 30 November 2010. Over 300 people were killed and many homes destroyed.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/mt-merapi-active-volcano-indonesia-travel.jpg" alt="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" width="550" height="365" /></p> <p>A postcard-esque view of Mount Merapi looming over the village.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/mt-merapi-active-volcano-indonesia.jpg" alt="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" width="550" height="365" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Located near Mount Merapi, <strong>Museum Mount Merapi</strong> showcases Merapi stones and photos of eruptions since 1900. There are maps and interactive exhibits to educate the public the geology of volcanoes in Indonesia. The museum aims to raise the awareness of volcano hazards and emergency preparedness.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/mt-merapi-museum-java-indonesia.jpg" alt="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" width="550" height="404" /></p> <h3 style="text-align: justify;">Borobudur Temple</h3> <p style="text-align: justify;">My folks and friends have been telling me they wanted to see the world wonder &ndash; Borobudur Temple, years before I finally visited the ancient site of the 9th centuries. Borobudur is widely known as one of the <strong>world&rsquo;s seven wonders</strong> and <strong>biggest Buddhist monument</strong>. I went there twice &ndash; during sunrise and noon time. It&rsquo;s recommended to visit the temple monument in the morning to catch the magical sunrise, with less tourists and at a cooler temperature.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Read <a href="http://travelerfolio.com/borobudur-temple-world-wonder/">Borobudur Temple</a> on my previous blog post.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/borobudur-stupa-unesco-heritage-world-wonder.jpg" alt="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" width="550" height="365" /></p> <h3 style="text-align: justify;">Prambanan Temple</h3> <p style="text-align: justify;">The Prambanan <strong>UNESCO World Heritage Site</strong> is one of my favourites in Indonesia. From far, we can see an imposing complex of towering, pointed Hindu temples exuding an aura of divinity.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Built in the 9th centuries as a royal temple, Prambanan is the <strong>largest Hindu temple in Indonesia</strong> and one of the largest in Southeast Asia. Unfortunately, the temple was significantly damaged in the 2006 earthquake. However, it&rsquo;s definitely worth visiting this important religious site when you are in Yogyakarta.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/prambanan-temple-unesco-indonesia.jpg" alt="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" width="550" height="347" /></p> <p>A complex of Hindu temples at the compound</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/prambanan-temple-world-heritage-unesco-indonesia-yogyakarta.jpg" alt="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" width="550" height="365" /></p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/prambanan-temple-yogyakarta-unesco-heritage-hindu-temple.jpg" alt="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" width="550" height="404" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Whilst it&rsquo;s highly recommended to catch <a href="http://travelerfolio.com/borobudur-temple-world-wonder/">sunrise at Borobudur</a>, how about sunset at Prambanan On my first trip to Yogya (via AirAsia), we only managed to arrive at Prambanan Temple in the evening. When the sky was getting dark and we thought it was too late to explore the temple, everyone started clicking away at the mesmerizing colours of sunset.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/prambanan-temple-sunset-indonesia.jpg" alt="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" width="550" height="365" /></p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/prambanan-temple-indonesia.jpg" alt="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" width="550" height="370" /></p> <h3 style="text-align: justify;">Ramayana Ballet Prambanan</h3> <p style="text-align: justify;">In the evening, catch the Ramayana Ballet at the amphitheatre that is set against the spellbinding backdrop of Prambanan Temple. Adapted from an epic Hindu poem, the 2.5 hr <strong>Javanese dance drama</strong> is choreographed with gamelan music, graceful dance movements and clashing battles of the performers donning colourful costumes.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/ramayana-dancer-yogyakarta.jpg" alt="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" width="550" height="365" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The story was said to depict the reliefs at Prambanan Temple. It revolves around the courtship of a beautiful princess who is later kidnapped and battles ensued, involving acrobatic stunts and eye-catching fireballs.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">I watched this performance twice and on both occasions, the seats at the open theatre were mostly taken up. A must-see at Prambanan.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/ramayana-dance-yogyakarta-traditional-dance-performance.jpg" alt="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" width="550" height="513" /></p> <h3 style="text-align: justify;">Kraton Yogyakarta</h3> <p style="text-align: justify;">Kraton Yogyakarta is the <strong>Sultan&rsquo;s palace</strong> where the royal family resides. Part of the palace is open to the public as an attraction for visitors to understand the <strong>Javanese culture and lifestyle</strong>. It&rsquo;s a living museum housing huge collections of old photographs, ceramics, traditional clothes, weapons, batik designs among others kept in different themed rooms.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/kraton-sultan-palace-yogyakarta.jpg" alt="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" width="550" height="410" /></p> <p>At certain timings, there will be gamelan music performance at the palace.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/keraton-palace-sultan-palace-hindu-mask.jpg" alt="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" width="550" height="380" /></p> <p>One of the rooms exhibiting royal opulence.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/keraton-sultan-palace-jogja-indonesia.jpg" alt="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" width="550" height="410" /></p> <p>Posing with one of the palace guards&hellip; they have weapon at the back!</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/kraton-sultan-palace-yogyakarta-indonesia.jpg" alt="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" width="550" height="410" /></p> <p>Shape of a lotus &ndash; a symbol of purity, against the blue sky.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/kraton-keraton-palace-sultan-yogyakarta-indonesia.jpg" alt="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" width="550" height="404" /></p> <h3 style="text-align: justify;">Taman Sari Water Palace</h3> <p style="text-align: justify;">Taman Sari was inscribed on <strong>UNESCO World Heritage List</strong> since 1995. The water palace is like a resort with spa pools. Located in merely 2km from the Sultan&rsquo;s palace It used to be the <strong>royal garden</strong> of the former Sultanate of Yogyakarta for rest and relax.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/taman-sari-water-palace-yogyakarta-indonesia.jpg" alt="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" width="550" height="365" /></p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/water-palace-taman-sari-yogyakarta.jpg" alt="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" width="550" height="348" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">From the highest level at Taman Sri, the Sultan at that time would choose his concubine among the women bathing in the pools.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/taman-sari-water-palace-yogyakarta.jpg" alt="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The entrance wall of Taman Sari that still preserves the regal splendour of the past.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/yogyakarta-sultan-water-palace-taman-sari.jpg" alt="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" width="550" height="386" /></p> <h3 style="text-align: justify;">Batik making</h3> <p style="text-align: justify;">Batik is commonly found in Java island and Yogyakarta is the centre of Javanese arts and traditional textile production including Batik.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Pay a visit to a Batik factory to understand the time-consuming process of Batik making and see how the workers demonstrate <strong>Hand Writing Batik Process</strong> which involves the use of a canting filled with hot wax to trace the intricate patterns on the cloth; and <strong>Hand Blocking Batik Process</strong> that uses a special block to press the design on the cloth with hot wax.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It takes meticulous effort in Batik making.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/batik-making-java-jogja-indonesia.jpg" alt="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" width="550" height="419" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">My first time making Batik! It looks easier than it is! Initially, the hot wax in the canting flowed out too quickly that it covered up areas outside the pencil mark. The red Batik with flowers and a self-created butterfly was my first attempt.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Apparently, the bottom right piece done on my second attempt looks much better! &lsquo;Cos I cheated. I scrapped off the dried wax that was not traced properly with fingernails. It really requires a lot of patience to trace the details with a hot wax-filled canting on a piece of cloth.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/batik-making-indonesia-travelerfolio.jpg" alt="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" width="550" height="419" /></p> <p>My Batik was sent to colour dye and boil to remove all the wax to finish.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/batik-making-process-yogyakarta-indonesia.jpg" alt="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" width="550" height="365" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>How to find out if the Batik is authentic or a fake batik print fabric </strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">According to our tour guide&hellip;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Identify a &ldquo;faulty spot&rdquo; on the Batik material and simply look at the other side of the material to see if the spot is there. If it is, this is the real stuff.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Batik is made by covering the patterns with wax so that the dye does not penetrate the cloth during the process. Therefore, the &ldquo;faulty spot&rdquo; could be the cause of an &ldquo;accidental spill&rdquo; of wax!</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/batik-indonesia-yogyakarta.jpg" alt="The Beauty of Yogyakarta" width="550" height="410" /></p> <p>Yogyakarta is the modern city of steep Javanese history, culture, culinary delights, art and traditions, natural wonders and heritage sites. Locals love the city known for its slower pace of life, harmony and warm hospitality of the people.</p> <p>For more information on Yogyakarta, visit Indonesia&rsquo;s official tourism website: <a href="http://www.indonesia.travel/en" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Indonesia.Travel</a></p> The Orangutans of Tanjung Puting National Park http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/212/the-orangutans-of-tanjung-puting-national-park <p><strong><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The Orangutans of Tanjung Puting National Park" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7c24f625a0.jpg" alt="The Orangutans of Tanjung Puting National Park" width="550" height="413" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Looking deep into their eyes, knowing you as a<em> homo sapien</em> share 97% of the same genetic code as them, it&rsquo;s hard not to feel a kinship with orangutans.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The endangered orangutans in Borneo first entered my consciousness when I met Gela, my Dutch trekking partner in Nepal.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">I remember seeing a photo of her sitting next to one of the large, orange-haired primates, and knowing then that I wanted to see them too.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Borneo, the commonly known name of the Asian island shared by both Indonesia and Malaysia, has always sounded extraordinarily exotic to me.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">My mind conjures up difficult travel conditions, thick jungle, machetes, and remote wilderness. In short, I&rsquo;d built up a trip to Borneo to be a chore, and surely an expensive one to boot.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">But so many of my preconceived notions about travel to Borneo, specifically to see the wild orangutans in <a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publisharticle/destination/443/tanjung-puting-national-park-re-introducing-orang-utans-to-the-wild">Tanjung Puting National Park</a>, were smashed during my 3-day visit last month.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Commercial tourism has arrived in Borneo, and while it requires an adventurous spirit, it&rsquo;s a surprisingly accessible experience for travelers of all ages, and budgets.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This is not something I can say about visiting the <a title="Mountain Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park" href="http://www.gobackpacking.com/Blog/2010/04/06/mountain-gorilla-trekking-volcanoes-national-park/">Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda</a>, which requires $500 for the trekking permit alone (as of 2010).</p> <p><strong><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The Orangutans of Tanjung Puting National Park" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7c25b5ce62.jpg" alt="The Orangutans of Tanjung Puting National Park" width="550" height="413" /></strong></p> <h2 style="text-align: justify;">Flying From Jakarta to Central Kalimantan, Borneo</h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">My journey began in Jakarta, where myself and seven other international travel bloggers met with representatives from Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy of Indonesia. Visiting the orangutans in Borneo was to be our first stop on a two-week tour of the country.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">We departed Jakarta&rsquo;s International airport for Pangkalan Bun on <a title="kal star aviation" href="http://www.kalstaronline.com/">Kal Star Aviation</a>, an Indonesian airline in operation since 2007. The flight time was just one hour, and they even provided us with a snack.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The proliferation of flights offered by regional and discount airlines in <a title="Indonesia">Indonesia</a> is helping to improve accessibility to the country&rsquo;s more remote islands.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">We landed at Pangkalan Bun&rsquo;s little airport, and exited the plane directly onto the tarmac (a process I always associate with landing in remote areas).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Inside the terminal, I saw the world&rsquo;s smallest baggage carousel. It wasn&rsquo;t even a full circle, but a straight, 15-meter conveyor belt extending from a hole in the wall.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Despite the regular flights, it was good to see the growth in tourism had yet to necessitate a bigger baggage delivery system.</p> <p><strong><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The Orangutans of Tanjung Puting National Park" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7c268aecc7.jpg" alt="The Orangutans of Tanjung Puting National Park" width="550" height="413" /></strong></p> <h2 style="text-align: justify;">Adapting to Life on a Klotok</h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">Upon exiting the airport, we jumped into air-conditioned SUV&rsquo;s for the 20 to 30-minute drive to the river dock where we&rsquo;d be boarding our klotok.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Klotoks are the traditional wooden boats used to navigate the local rivers. Due to narrow sections and areas of shallow water, the maximum width of a klotok is 4 meters (12 feet).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The standard klotok is two levels. The lower level features the bathroom (with Western-style toilet), crew quarters, and &ldquo;kitchen&rdquo; where the food is prepped and cooked.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Some larger klotoks also feature showers and air-conditioning, though the generator required to try to keep guests cool creates noise pollution, thereby drowning out the sounds of nature in the evenings (ie. if given the choice, skip any attempts at air-conditioning, which will probably increase the cost, as well as the noise).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The upper level is for the guests, where the meals are taken, and sleeping mattresses (with mosquito nets) are laid out at night.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">We quickly adapted to life on our klotoks. Our group was large enough to require two, as they have the capacity to carry four guests each.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">There were other klotoks and tourists on the river, of course. The majority of the ones we saw were occupied by couples, though there were families, and what appeared to be the occasional group of backpackers too.</p> <p><strong><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The Orangutans of Tanjung Puting National Park" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7c2773f04b.jpg" alt="The Orangutans of Tanjung Puting National Park" width="550" height="413" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">A group of women on one of our klotoks was responsible for preparing the food during our two-day trip.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Given the small working conditions, we were all impressed with their ability to consistently turn out excellent meals.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It reminded me of the time I went <a href="http://www.gobackpacking.com/Blog/2008/06/23/day-2-%E2%80%93-crossing-the-snowline/">trekking in northern India</a>, and experienced some of the best food in the country, all prepared in a rock cave barely big enough to fit four people.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Our first lunch set the stage for the meals to follow: fresh crab and fish, vegetable salads, soybean cakes, and fresh watermelon.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In addition to the meals, every time we came back to the klotok from observing the orangutans, there&rsquo;d be a snack, such as fried bananas, waiting for us.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Cold beverages were also a treat, with Coke, Sprite, and bottled water on offer. Due to religious reasons, beer is not available on the Indonesian side of Borneo.</p> <p><strong><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The Orangutans of Tanjung Puting National Park" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7c2877be3a.jpeg" alt="The Orangutans of Tanjung Puting National Park" width="550" height="413" /></strong></p> <h2 style="text-align: justify;">Feeding #1</h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">After a few hours of riding upriver in our klotoks, and enjoying a fresh seafood lunch, we crossed back onto land to observe the first of three orangutan feedings.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Park rangers established these feedings for the local orangutans to ensure the population remains strong and healthy. If no orangutans show up, it&rsquo;s a positive sign, because it means they&rsquo;re able to find enough food on their own.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">If they do appear, then they gobble up a plentiful supply of bananas and vitamin-fortified milk.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Of course tourists don&rsquo;t appreciate it if none appear, but as long as you avoid the first few months of the year, there&rsquo;s a high probability you&rsquo;ll see them every time as we did.</p> <p><strong><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The Orangutans of Tanjung Puting National Park" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7c2e872244.jpg" alt="The Orangutans of Tanjung Puting National Park" width="550" height="413" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was a fascinating experience to be in such close proximity to them, as they went about their daily business.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">We were the last of the tourists to arrive at that particular camp, so a few dozen other people, who&rsquo;d already taken their photos, were still around.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">A few of these people were especially loud, to the point where I asked them to keep it down. The look of incredulity on their faces was unforgettable, but I didn&rsquo;t care.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">I was annoyed that they were carrying on as though they were drinking cappuccinos at a Starbucks. Ultimately, it&rsquo;s up to the guides to ensure their customers are respecting the environment, orangutans, and other visitors around them.</p> <p><strong><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The Orangutans of Tanjung Puting National Park" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7c2f95876c.jpg" alt="The Orangutans of Tanjung Puting National Park" width="550" height="413" /></strong></p> <h2 style="text-align: justify;">Overnight on the Klotok</h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">Dinner was taken back on the klotok, after we motored further upriver, past the other boats, to the dock of the second camp we&rsquo;d visit the following morning.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">There, the tables and chairs were moved to the old, wooden structure, and we ate by candlelight.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The chicken satay was popular with everyone, and amongst the best we&rsquo;d eat during our two weeks in Indonesia.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As we were eating, the crew was setting up our mattresses and mosquito nets for the night. It may not look like much in the photo above, but I, and most of the others, slept surprisingly well.</p> <p><strong><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The Orangutans of Tanjung Puting National Park" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b7c306337dd.jpg" alt="The Orangutans of Tanjung Puting National Park" width="550" height="413" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The nets kept the bugs out, and the tarps blocked the three kinds of poisonous snakes, and crocodiles, from boarding our vessel.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The orangutans spend their nights sleeping in nests built in the trees. They build a new nest every day, a process which can take 20 to 30 minutes (which sounded fast to me, but if you&rsquo;re doing it every night, you must get good at it).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In the morning, I would awaken to a sweet surprise.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">_________</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Note: Indonesia Tourism is running a contest where you could win one of five free trips to Komodo National Park. <a title="click here for details" href="http://us.indonesia.travel/wonderfulindonesiaquiz/">Click here for details</a>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Disclaimer: <em>My visit to Indonesia was in conjunction with a blog trip hosted by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy.</em></p> Close encounters with the dragons of Komodo http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/209/close-encounters-with-the-dragons-of-komodo <p style="text-align: justify;">Some people will tell you, sincerely, that the movie King Kong was inspired by an expedition to Komodo Island. Others will tell you, with as much conviction, that the island was the basis for Jurassic Park. Neither is necessarily wrong, neither is necessarily right. Regardless, stepping off the boat, walking down the small wooden pier and into the forest feels like a trip back in time &ndash; to a land where the lost animals of history rule supreme.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><a href="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-875_web.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; vertical-align: text-bottom;" title="Close encounters with the dragons of Komodo" src="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-875_web.jpg" alt="Close encounters with the dragons of Komodo" width="550" height="367" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The Komodo dragon exists only in this one part of the world &ndash; on four small islands in the <a title="Komodo National Park" href="/en/destination/106/komodo-national-park">Komodo National Park</a>, in the southern part of Indonesia. The animal&rsquo;s isolation from the rest of the planet is what has ensured its survival for so long. It had no predators and was not discovered by the Western world until 1910. Quarantined and indomitable, evolution largely overlooked these dragons.</p> <p><a href="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-924_web.jpg"><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Close encounters with the dragons of Komodo" src="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-924_web.jpg" alt="Close encounters with the dragons of Komodo" width="550" height="367" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As I walk into the main camps of the two islands I visit &ndash; Rinca and Komodo &ndash; I can see some dragons laying on the ground. They seem docile and slow&hellip; but with sharp teeth and large claws, I keep my distance. A group of rangers with forked wooden sticks are there to protect us.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">&ldquo;We use the stick to push them away&rdquo;, one tells me. &ldquo;But when they are aggressive that&rsquo;s not enough. Then we have to run.&rdquo;</p> <p><a href="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-853_web.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; vertical-align: text-bottom;" title="Close encounters with the dragons of Komodo" src="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-853_web.jpg" alt="Close encounters with the dragons of Komodo" width="550" height="367" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The Komodo dragons do strike out at people occasionally and there are a few attacks each year on locals who live on the islands. Normally, these are defensive but humans are a potential food source.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The most common foods of the Komodo dragon are deer, buffalo, goats, and birds. Sometimes they can attack their prey and then eat it whole, right there and then. Other times they will bite and then wait patiently. Their saliva contains bacteria that will eventually kill another animal so they will stalk it, sometimes for as long as three weeks, until it dies and can be devoured.</p> <p><a href="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-917_web.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; vertical-align: text-bottom;" title="Close encounters with the dragons of Komodo" src="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-917_web.jpg" alt="Close encounters with the dragons of Komodo" width="550" height="367" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">I see a demonstration of the dragon&rsquo;s power on Komodo Island, when a couple of them suddenly run across the ground at a high speed. Jaws snap and blood-tinged saliva oozes out the side. After 20 million years, these animals know what they&rsquo;re doing. They are lethal when they want to be.</p> <p><a href="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-907_web.jpg"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; vertical-align: text-bottom;" title="Close encounters with the dragons of Komodo" src="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-907_web.jpg" alt="Close encounters with the dragons of Komodo" width="550" height="367" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As a visitor, there isn&rsquo;t much danger, though. In fact, it&rsquo;s less like Jurassic Park and more like a stroll in the park. Although there are about 4,600 dragons across all the islands, I saw less than a dozen. This is not a zoo and the animals are not always going to be in pre-designated viewing areas. They are wild and they come and go through the forests. They are also generally well-fed and will spend their time resting and conserving their energy.</p> <p><a href="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-796_web.jpg"><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Close encounters with the dragons of Komodo" src="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-796_web.jpg" alt="Close encounters with the dragons of Komodo" width="550" height="367" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The rangers will look after you during a visit. They&rsquo;ll tell you stories of living and working with dragons and they&rsquo;ll show you some interesting things &ndash; such as the nest of dragon eggs and the mother guarding it. You&rsquo;ll have a chance to walk around the islands and see the animals in their natural habitat. A few days before my visit, some tourists saw a group of dragons attack and eat a water buffalo.</p> <p><a href="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-930_web.jpg"><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Close encounters with the dragons of Komodo" src="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-930_web.jpg" alt="Close encounters with the dragons of Komodo" width="550" height="367" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Personally, it is quite a special experience to come to Komodo and Rinca Islands in <a title="Indonesia Travel" href="/">Indonesia</a>. Knowing that this is the only place in the world I can see these animals in the wild; knowing there are only a few thousand of them; knowing this species has been around for 20 million years; and knowing that only the tiniest fraction of the world&rsquo;s human population has ever seen them here. And I am now one of those people.</p> Mount Bromo and the Sand Sea http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/210/mount-bromo-and-the-sand-sea <p>There aren&rsquo;t many reasons tourists take the road south from Surabaya. But there's certainly a very good one. It's because the city is the staging point for the 120 kilometre journey down East Java to one of Indonesia&rsquo;s most beautiful natural attractions.</p> <p>I&rsquo;m talking about Mount Bromo, the active volcano that lies in the middle of a large valley. With its top blown off, it appears more crater than mountain, while putrid sulphurous gas and smoke billow out from within.</p> <p><a href="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-681_web.jpg"><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Mount Bromo and the Sand Sea" src="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-681_web.jpg" alt="Mount Bromo and the Sand Sea" width="550" height="367" /></a></p> <p>One of the reasons it has become such a popular site for visitors is that Mount Bromo doesn&rsquo;t exist in isolation. The valley is actually a &lsquo;caldera&rsquo; &ndash; an enormous cauldron-like pit created by the ground collapsing after a major eruption. And all through and around this caldera are the remnants of volcanic action of the past&hellip; and the ominous signs of more to come.</p> <p><a href="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-734_web.jpg"><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Mount Bromo and the Sand Sea" src="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-734_web.jpg" alt="Mount Bromo and the Sand Sea" width="550" height="367" /></a></p> <p>Most people start their visit well before the sun is up, in preparation for the sunrise. In a convoy of jeeps, we head towards a nearby mountain, Mount Penanjakan. From the end of the road, it&rsquo;s a twenty minute climb to the viewing area, although dozens of locals with horses will gladly accept some money for a ride up. I had been warned that it would be cold at the top, but I think that must have been by Indonesian standards because, although the rays are yet to reach out across the terrain, it is far from chilly.</p> <p><a href="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-701_web.jpg"><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Mount Bromo and the Sand Sea" src="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-701_web.jpg" alt="Mount Bromo and the Sand Sea" width="550" height="367" /></a></p> <p>As the sun rises, the clouds are the first to catch the colour. Red. Pink. Orange. Then the valley starts to glow. The shadowy outline of the mountains come into the focus and vista across the whole area is suddenly bathed in light. It is a good way to start the morning, indeed.</p> <p><a href="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-696_web.jpg"><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Mount Bromo and the Sand Sea" src="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-696_web.jpg" alt="Mount Bromo and the Sand Sea" width="550" height="367" /></a></p> <p>An hour later, down at the base of Mount Bromo itself, I am confronted with the &lsquo;sand sea&rsquo;. It was hard to get perspective from the viewpoint but now, as I am forced to quickly shield my face as a wind gust tries to blast grains into my eyes, it feels like something from Africa or the Middle East. The only vegetation is up on the cliffs around the caldera, watching fearfully down at this barren landscape.</p> <p><a href="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-724_web.jpg"><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Mount Bromo and the Sand Sea" src="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-724_web.jpg" alt="Mount Bromo and the Sand Sea" width="550" height="367" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-742_web.jpg"><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Mount Bromo and the Sand Sea" src="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-742_web.jpg" alt="Mount Bromo and the Sand Sea" width="550" height="367" /></a></p> <p>But again, there are horsemen here. While many visitors choose to walk the 30 minutes or so to the top of Mount Bromo, there is once more the option of going on horseback. The riders, covered up to protect themselves from the sandstorms, have an eerie and romantic ruggedness to their appearance. A Hindu temple set against the grey landscape demonstrates their connection to this region.</p> <p><a href="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-750_web.jpg"><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Mount Bromo and the Sand Sea" src="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-750_web.jpg" alt="Mount Bromo and the Sand Sea" width="550" height="367" /></a></p> <p>At the top itself, there&rsquo;s only so much to do. The gases coming from the crater are quite overpowering and at times it&rsquo;s a bit uncomfortable to stand at the edge and look down. Sudden bursts of strong wind blow a concoction of smoke and sand right into my face. But to look down into the volcano makes me feel a bit insignificant.</p> <p><a href="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-736_web.jpg"><img style="vertical-align: text-top; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Mount Bromo and the Sand Sea" src="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Indonesia-2012-736_web.jpg" alt="Mount Bromo and the Sand Sea" width="550" height="367" /></a></p> <p>This is a unique part of the country. It&rsquo;s more than just a volcano &ndash; it is a whole tract of land which has evolved over the millennia from the geological activity beneath it. It&rsquo;s created a natural phenomenon much larger than any tour can do justice. It just feels&hellip; special&hellip; to be here.</p> Face to Face with the Komodo Dragon http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/211/face-to-face-with-the-komodo-dragon <p style="text-align: justify;">Without a doubt, the <a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publisharticle/travelers-stories-detail/all/186/the-incredible-orangutans-of-kalimantan">Orangutan</a> along with the Komodo dragon represents the wildlife highlights of Indonesia.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">They are unique to this geography. If you want to see them in their native habitat, you have to get on a plane (or boat) and travel here. That&rsquo;s part of what makes a trip to <a href="http://indonesi.travel">Indonesia</a> so rewarding.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">On paper, the Komodo dragon wowed me with its impressive traits. In real life, the Komodo captivated, entranced, and even frightened me.</p> <h2 style="text-align: justify;">Basic Facts about the Komodo</h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">The Komodo dragon is the largest species of lizard on earth. It can grow up to 3 meters long and weigh 70 kilos). It has a ferocious bite: complete with serrated teeth and toxic saliva. Komodos have <a href="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/2012/10/attack-komodo-dragon-indonesia/">attacked and killed humans</a>.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Face to Face with the Komodo Dragon" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b6794399387.jpg" alt="Face to Face with the Komodo Dragon" width="550" height="368" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">These giants are only found on four islands of Indonesia and are protected in Komodo National Park. Existing in a 1:3 female to male ratio has proven interesting for the males, who fight to the death over mating rights. July and August are mating season. In September they lay eggs. Females often eat their own babies after they hatch. Born scared, hatchlings run immediately up trees and stay there to live for about the first seven years of their lives. Another thing, the male Komodo has a penis that branches into two (known as a hemipenis).</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Face to Face with the Komodo Dragon" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b679adcdaac.jpg" alt="Face to Face with the Komodo Dragon" width="550" height="368" /></p> <h2 style="text-align: justify;">How did the Komodos become so big </h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">It&rsquo;s an evolutionary process called Island gigantism. The size of animals isolated on an island becomes dramatically bigger in comparison to their mainland relatives.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The Komodo is an example of a giant insular carnivore. These islands were too small to support much mammalian competition, and the Komodo just reigned as top predator for ages, snatching birds and little monkeys as it pleased. With the arrival of humans and associated predators, many giant island endemics have become extinct. Let&rsquo;s hope we can protect the Komodo.</p> <h2 style="text-align: justify;">Day One visiting the Komodos of Rinca Island</h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">The day's visit took us to the island of Rinca, little more than an hour's speed boat ride from the port at Labuan Bajo. Rinca is part of Komodo National Park where about 2200 Komodos live. Besides the lizards, the park has water buffalo, macaques, and spitting cobras.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Face to Face with the Komodo Dragon" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b67a19a90ba.jpg" alt="Face to Face with the Komodo Dragon" width="550" height="368" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">By the end of the day I was a little disappointed. We only saw three Komodos and due to the heat of the afternoon, they were just lying about under the houses of the national park staff.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Face to Face with the Komodo Dragon" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b679df5c70d.jpg" alt="Face to Face with the Komodo Dragon" width="550" height="368" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">While visiting Rinca, the park staff guided us along the short loop trail. We learned that Komodo dragons sometimes team up together and hunt water buffalo. They gorge themselves, eating the bones and all and can follow these feasts with two months of lounging about. You can see piles of their white feces, colored so from the digestion of bones. Sometimes they'll settle for a small goat or a macaque for a snack.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Face to Face with the Komodo Dragon" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b67979dfeb1.jpg" alt="Face to Face with the Komodo Dragon" width="550" height="368" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Along the hike we saw a nest of a female Komodo. They use the abandoned nesting mounds of the Orange-footed Scrubfowl. They have some peculiar seasonal arrangement in which the birds move out just before the huge lizards move in.</p> <h2 style="text-align: justify;">Day two on Komodo Island</h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">I would remain optimistic for the following day. We hopped into a speedboat and cruised over, this time to Komodo Island. Here there are about the same number of Komodos as on Rinca. The species total numbers in all are about 4,600, the park&rsquo;s director, Susedyo Iriyno informed us, when we chatted later that evening back in town.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">We asked him about the future of the park and the fate of the Komodo. He seemed optimistic. We wondered about the impacts of tourism.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">&ldquo;Right now we only see about 300 visitors per day, 100,000 per year. Ninety-five percent of those guests are foreign.&rdquo;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">There are only two sites open for viewing the Komodo Dragons, but a third will open if tourism continues to grow.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">&ldquo;But won&rsquo;t that impact the habitat of the Komodos &rdquo; we wondered.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">&ldquo;There are three conservation zones, so the majority are well-protected and do not have daily contact with tourists.&rdquo; He continued. The Komodo is currently listed as a &ldquo;vulnerable&rdquo; species, just above endangered status. This means if the animals and their habitat are not cared for, they are at risk for being downgraded to &ldquo;endangered&rdquo;.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">At Komodo Island we docked and stepped ashore. I was disappointed to learn we wouldn&rsquo;t be trekking today (a downside of group travel). Hard to believe that we made such a great effort to reach this remote-island national park and would just be hanging around the park buildings and photographing the dragons there.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The big park map displayed a number of short hikes through the areas where it may be possible to see one of the numerous Komodos&mdash;only with a ranger of course. These lizards are dangerous, and a bite from their bacterial saliva could be fatal. If one were able to hike, the rangers both lead and follow the visitors with a split-end shaft, which keeps the lizards from attacking.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Instead of hiking, we hung around the main area, close to shore, photographing three of the beasts. Unfortunately, it felt like a zoo until we caught sight of one down on the beach. We were lucky because they don&rsquo;t normally venture there. But we took advantage of the incredible photo opportunity.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Visiting the Komodo dragons does take a lot of effort, but combining the chance to see such an exotic species in its native habitat along with the possibilities of world-class <a href="http://bohemiantraveler.com/2012/11/snorkeling-in-indonesia/">diving and snorkeling</a> that surround Flores, I&rsquo;d recommend getting here sooner rather than later.</p> <h2 style="text-align: justify;">How can I visit the Komodo Dragons </h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">First you&rsquo;ll have to head to Indonesia&rsquo;s Flores Island. Situated three big islands east of Bali, flights take about an hour from Denpasar&rsquo;s airport. The town of <a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publisharticle/destination/92/labuan-bajo">Labuan Bajo</a>, on Flores, has developed as a base for expeditions setting out to visit Komodo National Park as well for diving and snorkeling. Here, you&rsquo;ll have to hire a boat or join a group traveling out to the islands to see the Komodo dragons.</p> Cooking up a storm in Yogyakarta http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/208/cooking-up-a-storm-in-yogyakarta <p style="text-align: justify;">Who amongst us really like to think about where our food comes from As long as it appears clean and tasty on our table, that&rsquo;s all that matters. And sometimes &ndash; like in the restaurants of South East Asia &ndash; it&rsquo;s often not worth the mental anguish of wondering what&rsquo;s going on in the kitchen. It will be delicious &ndash; tick. It won&rsquo;t make you sick &ndash; tick. So who cares about anything else, right </p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Well&hellip; in this case, wrong. But only because this is one of the most fascinating and visually-interesting kitchens I have ever seen.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; vertical-align: text-bottom;" title="Cooking up a storm in Yogyakarta" src="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Indonesia-2012-539_web.jpg" alt="Cooking up a storm in Yogyakarta" width="550" height="367" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Gudeg Yu Djum is one of the most famous restaurants in the Indonesian city of <a title="Yogyakarta" href="/en/destination/457/yogyakarta">Yogyakarta</a>. It&rsquo;s not fancy &ndash; there are no stars or hats or pretensions associated with it. But it&rsquo;s known across the city for doing one of the region&rsquo;s most popular dishes well. The dish is called &lsquo;Nasi Gudeg&rsquo; and it&rsquo;s essentially boiled jackfruit covered in a coconut milk sauce, served with rice, chicken and a hard-boiled egg. This is what it looks like (after a few bites):</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; vertical-align: text-bottom;" title="Cooking up a storm in Yogyakarta" src="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Indonesia-2012-556_web.jpg" alt="Cooking up a storm in Yogyakarta" width="550" height="367" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">But the bright and clean meal comes from smoke and darkness, from a burning cavern behind the scenes. As I'll show you now.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span>Here the &lsquo;gudeg&rsquo;, the main ingredient is being cooked. It&rsquo;s made from sliced young jackfruit which is being boiled in these large pots. They have water mixed with brown sugar and salt in them, and will be left on the fire overnight for more than 12 hours.</span></p> <p><span><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; vertical-align: text-bottom;" title="Cooking up a storm in Yogyakarta" src="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Indonesia-2012-559_web.jpg" alt="Cooking up a storm in Yogyakarta" width="550" height="367" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span><span>In this large pan near the fireplaces, coconut milk is being simmered to reduce the liquid until it turns thick. The result will be sauce called &lsquo;arek&rsquo; which will be combined with the boiled jackfruit to make the gudeg.</span></span></p> <p><span><span><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Cooking up a storm in Yogyakarta" src="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Indonesia-2012-551_web.jpg" alt="Cooking up a storm in Yogyakarta" width="550" height="367" /></span></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span><span><span>A separate room at the back of the restaurant is the only space of the kitchen that has electric lighting. Half a dozen people are cleaning and dividing whole raw chickens. One of the women gestures at everyone in the room and tells me they &ldquo;are all family&rdquo;.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Cooking up a storm in Yogyakarta" src="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Indonesia-2012-530_web.jpg" alt="Cooking up a storm in Yogyakarta" width="570" height="380" /></span></span></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span><span><span><span>These large pots above open fires are being used to make &lsquo;santan&rsquo;, which is a sauce of coconut milk mixed with salt, shallots and a bit of sugar. The heat in this room is extremely high so this man is working with his shirt off.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Cooking up a storm in Yogyakarta" src="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Indonesia-2012-557_web.jpg" alt="Cooking up a storm in Yogyakarta" width="550" height="367" /></span></span></span></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span><span><span><span><span>Away from the heat and near a breeze, this elderly woman is preparing chillis to be served with the nasi gudeg.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Cooking up a storm in Yogyakarta" src="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Indonesia-2012-547_web.jpg" alt="Cooking up a storm in Yogyakarta" width="550" height="367" /></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span><span><span><span><span><span>And here, in the section of the kitchen with the most natural light, a woman is sitting solitary and silent while she rips apart banana leaves. They&rsquo;ll be used for the presentation of the meal.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; vertical-align: text-bottom;" title="Cooking up a storm in Yogyakarta" src="http://www.timetravelturtle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Indonesia-2012-508_web.jpg" alt="Cooking up a storm in Yogyakarta" width="550" height="367" /></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span><span><span><span><span><span>And that&rsquo;s it. A lot of effort clearly goes on behind the scenes in the spacious and sprawling kitchen area of the restaurant. Hours and hours of work for a <a title="Indonesia Travel" href="/">Indonesia</a> dish that is consumed within minutes. But it is tasty&hellip; very tasty, in fact. Which you hope makes it all worthwhile.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> The Wonders of Borobudur Temple http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/203/the-wonders-of-borobudur-temple <p>Been there twice in a year! On my recent trip to Central Java, I visited Borobudur Temple in the early hours to catch the sunrise. Without many tourists around in the morning, the whole atmosphere was calm and surreal. I could count with my fingers how many&nbsp;times I really got up very early for sunrise photography. Such trips like this is worth sacrificing some sleep to catch the magical sunrise.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/borobudur-sunrise-indonesia-world-wonder-unesco.jpg"><img title="borobudur-sunrise-indonesia-world-wonder-unesco" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/borobudur-sunrise-indonesia-world-wonder-unesco.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="380" /></a></p> <p><img title="sunrise-borobudur-indonesia-world-wonder-unesco" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/sunrise-borobudur-indonesia-world-wonder-unesco.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="364" /></p> <p>Silhouette of the stupas during sunrise.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/borobudur-stupa-unesco-heritage-world-wonder.jpg"><img title="borobudur-stupa-unesco-heritage-world-wonder" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/borobudur-stupa-unesco-heritage-world-wonder.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="365" /></a></p> <p>The morning mist in the mountains formed a divine backdrop for Borobudur Temple.&nbsp;</p> <h3>Did you know the Borobudur Temple is the world's biggest Buddhist monument </h3> <p>People from all over the world pay &nbsp;homage to the ancient site that was built in the 9th century. The temple is the &nbsp;most visited tourist attraction in Indonesia. &nbsp;For centuries, no one could see this magnificent temple as it was buried under volcanic ash and only rediscovered &nbsp; in 1815. In 1970s, with the help of <strong>UNESCO</strong>, Borobudur Temple underwent major restoration work for 8 years. Today, we are fortunate to appreciate the architecture marvel that is widely recognised as one of the <strong>Seven Wonders of the World</strong>.</p> <h3><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/borobudur-temple-world-wonder-indonesia-unesco.jpg"><img title="borobudur-temple-world-wonder-indonesia-unesco" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/borobudur-temple-world-wonder-indonesia-unesco.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="349" /></a></h3> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/borobudur-temple-world-seven-wonder-indonesia.jpg"><img title="borobudur-temple-world-seven-wonder-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/borobudur-temple-world-seven-wonder-indonesia.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="365" /></a></p> <p>Borobudur Temple sits on a hilltop where you can enjoy breathtaking views of verdant rolling hills and the surroundings. Amazingly, the temple was built like Lego blocks interlocking one another without any binder. The <strong>three tiers temple</strong> is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. At the top of the temple, you will see the huge stupa that looks like a dome surrounded by the 72 stupas containing Buddha statues.</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/borobudur-stupa-world-seven-wonder-indonesia.jpg"><img title="borobudur-stupa-world-seven-wonder-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/borobudur-stupa-world-seven-wonder-indonesia.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="365" /></a></p> <p><img title="borobudur-buddhist-temple-unesco-world-wonder" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/borobudur-buddhist-temple-unesco-world-wonder.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="365" /></p> <p>A Buddha statue in one of the 72 stupas.</p> <p>&nbsp;<img title="seven-wonder-borobudur-temple-unesco-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/seven-wonder-borobudur-temple-unesco-indonesia.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="365" /></p> <p>As visitors, we have to wear the sarong provided. &nbsp;</p> <p><img title="seven-wonder-borobudur-temple-unesco" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/seven-wonder-borobudur-temple-unesco.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="365" /></p> <p><img title="borobudur-buddhist-temple-seven-wonder-of-world-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/borobudur-buddhist-temple-seven-wonder-of-world-indonesia1.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="365" /></p> <p><img title="borobudur-buddha-statue-seven-wonder-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/borobudur-buddha-statue-seven-wonder-indonesia.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="348" /></p> <p>The 72 stupas surrounding the giant stupa.</p> <p><img title="buddha-statue-silouette-borobudur-seven-wonder-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/buddha-statue-silouette-borobudur-seven-wonder-indonesia.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="739" /></p> <p>A Buddha statue on one of the tiers at the temple. &nbsp;Silhouette of a Buddha statue. &nbsp;</p> <p><img title="stonework-borobudur-buddhist-temple" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/stonework-borobudur-buddhist-temple.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="365" /></p> <p><img title="stone-carving-buddhist-temple-borobudur" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/stone-carving-buddhist-temple-borobudur.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="342" /></p> <p>The intricate stone carvings depicting images from the life of Buddha. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/ancient-stonework-borobudur-temple-world-wonder.jpg"><img title="ancient-stonework-borobudur-temple-world-wonder" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/ancient-stonework-borobudur-temple-world-wonder.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="349" /></a></p> <p><img title="karma-face-stonework-borobudur" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/karma-face-stonework-borobudur.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="379" /></p> <p>More beautiful stone carvings decorating the temple. It's believed that Borobudur has the world's large&nbsp;and most complete ensemble of Buddhist reliefs.</p> <p><img title="stonework-borobudur-temple-world-wonder" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/stonework-borobudur-temple-world-wonder.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="340" /></p> <p>Carvings depicting Karmic effects.</p> <p><img title="borobudur-temple-stonework-art-block-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/borobudur-temple-stonework-art-block-indonesia.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="404" /></p> <p>Images of dancers in ancient times.&nbsp;</p> <p><img title="borobudur-temple-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/borobudur-temple-indonesia.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="365" /></p> <p>Me on my first trip to Yogyakarta and of 'cos, Borobudur is a <strong>must-see world famous attraction</strong> on the itinerary. It only takes about <strong>2 hr 15 min direct flight <strong>from Singapore</strong>&nbsp; and I flew on AirAsia during the media trip to Yogyakarta.&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><img title="seven-wonder-borobudur-unesco-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/seven-wonder-borobudur-unesco-indonesia.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="365" /></p> <p>As seen from the ground level, the Borobudur Temple resembles a giant stupa.&nbsp;</p> <p>Next, I will be posting photos on <strong>Yogyakarta</strong>, a beautiful cultural city in Central Java, Indonesia. Stay tuned! For more information on Borobudur Temple, visit Indonesia&rsquo;s &nbsp;official tourism website: &nbsp;<a href="http://www.indonesia.travel/en" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Indonesia.Travel</a> Borobudur: <a href="http://www.indonesia.travel/en/destination/233/borobudur" target="_blank">A wonder of Indonesia history</a> Borobudur: <a href="http://www.indonesia.travel/en/photoessay/details/post/22/borobudur-the-colossal-monument-of-buddha">The colossal Monument of Buddha</a></p> Introducing Borobudur Temple http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/204/introducing-borobudur-temple <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://runawayjuno.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Borobudur-temple-java-indonesia-7746.jpg"><img title="Borobudur-temple-java-indonesia-7746" src="http://runawayjuno.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Borobudur-temple-java-indonesia-7746-1024x680.jpg" alt="Borobudur Temple at Sunrise" width="550" height="365" /></a></p> <p>Borobudur temple is a Buddhist temple in central Java. It was built around the end of eighth century but it took three generations to finish it. During my two weeks trip in Indonesia, I had a chance to visit Borobudur temple at sunrise.</p> <h2><strong>World&rsquo;s Largest Buddhist Temple</strong></h2> <p>By <a href="http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/records-3000/largest-buddhist-temple/">Guinness World Records</a>, <em>&ldquo;The largest Buddhist temple in the world is Borobudur, near Yogyakarta, central Java, Indonesia, built between AD 750 and 842. The 60,000 m ( 2,118,880 ft ) stone structure is 34.5 m (113 ft) tall and its base measures 123 x 123 m (403 x 403 ft).&rdquo;&nbsp;</em></p> <h2><strong>Structure</strong></h2> <p>If you see Borobudur temple in the air, it looks like a lotus flower; the symbol of purity in Buddhism. The Borobudur temple represents the three zones of the universe. Zone 1, the base level is called <em>Kamadhatu</em>, representing the phenomenal world, the world inhabited by common people. Zone 2 is <em>Rapadhatu</em>, representing the transitional sphere, in which humans are released from worldly matters. Zone 3 is <em>Arupadhatu</em>, representing the highest sphere. The main stupa, or main dome is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues seated inside a stupa.&nbsp;</p> <p><a title="Borobudur temple at sunrise" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/26229529_kNWW3K#!i=2182949893&amp;k=TKCgdZf&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Borobudur temple at sunrise" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/i-TKCgdZf/0/L/Borobudur-temple-java-indonesia-7753-L.jpg" alt="Borobudur temple at sunrise" width="550" height="365" /></a></p> <h2><strong>Buddha Statues</strong></h2> <p>The total of 504 Buddha statues in Borobudur temple are representing six different meditative pose with their hand positions. Some of them are facing different directions. The most visible ones at the top level, around the main stupa are representing <em>Dharmachakra Mudra</em>: turning the wheels of dharma (what goes around comes around).</p> <p><a title="Buddha statue at sunrise at Borobudur temple " href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/26229529_kNWW3K#!i=2182952572&amp;k=JkzXZBN&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Buddha statue at sunrise at Borobudur temple " src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/i-JkzXZBN/0/L/Borobudur-temple-java-indonesia-7749-L.jpg" alt="Buddha statue at sunrise at Borobudur temple " width="550" height="365" /></a></p> <h2><strong>Stupa </strong></h2> <p><a title="Borobudur temple stupas" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/26229529_kNWW3K#!i=2182954685&amp;k=vVV4BfC&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Borobudur temple stupas" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/i-vVV4BfC/0/L/Borobudur-temple-java-indonesia-7709-L.jpg" alt="Borobudur temple stupas" width="550" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: left;">The whole temple was built as one giant stupa, and the biggest one in the middle is surrounded by 72 stupas on the top level. The unique shape of the stupa is representing four possessions of Buddha: walking stick, lotus flower, plate and cup. Some people say it&rsquo;s representing walking stick, lotus flower and a bowl.</p> <h2><strong>Relief</strong>s</h2> <p>Borobudur contains approximately 2,670 individual &nbsp;bas reliefs, which cover the faades &nbsp;and &nbsp;balustrades. The total relief surface is 2,500 square metres and they are distributed at the hidden foot and the five square platforms.</p> <p><a title="Reliefs at Borobudur temple " href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/26229529_kNWW3K#!i=2182947543&amp;k=6MJF5pr&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Reliefs at Borobudur temple " src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/i-6MJF5pr/0/L/Borobudur-temple-java-indonesia-7782-L.jpg" alt="Reliefs at Borobudur temple " width="550" height="365" /></a></p> <p>Reliefs at Borobudur temple</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The reliefs are showing diverse subjects: the daily life of Javanese people, mythical spiritual beings, the life of Buddha and so on. There are different stories in each level. The first four terrace walls are showcases for bas-relief sculptures. These are exquisite, considered to be the most elegant and graceful in the ancient Buddhist world. The ground level has hidden reliefs behind the wall, but you can see the part of them in the museum.&nbsp;</p> <h2><strong>Abandonment and rediscovery</strong></h2> <p>Borobudur temple was abandoned and destroyed for centuries when the center of Javanese life shifted to the East and Islam arrived on the island in the 13th and 14th centuries. It was also hidden under the volcanic ash and vegetation during the time. It was rediscovered by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, British governor of Java at that moment in 1814. Fortunately, the restoration continued. The decline of Borobudur was arrested by tighter regulations and one of the most ambitious international preservation projects ever attempted. The &ldquo;Save Borobudur&rdquo; campaign was launched in 1968 through the government of Indonesia and UNESCO.&nbsp;</p> <p><a title="Borobudur temple overview" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/26229529_kNWW3K#!i=2182954833&amp;k=XTPVWrB&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Borobudur temple overview" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/i-XTPVWrB/0/L/Borobudur-temple-java-indonesia-7685-L.jpg" alt="Borobudur temple overview" width="550" /></a></p> <p><a title="Veny at Borobudur temple " href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/26229529_kNWW3K#!i=2182948273&amp;k=d66S4M7&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Veny at Borobudur temple " src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/i-d66S4M7/0/L/Borobudur-temple-java-indonesia-7762-L.jpg" alt="Veny at Borobudur temple " width="550" height="827" /></a></p> <p><a title="Juno at Borobudur temple " href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/26229529_kNWW3K#!i=2182967658&amp;k=qXVTtCV&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Juno at Borobudur temple " src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/i-qXVTtCV/0/L/Borobudur-temple-java-indonesia-7777-L.jpg" alt="Juno at Borobudur temple " width="550" height="365" /></a></p> A trip to Komodo National Park http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/206/a-trip-to-komodo-national-park <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="A trip to Komodo National Park" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b594f18c2ff.jpg" alt="A trip to Komodo National Park" width="550" height="364" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Before my trip to <a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/">Indonesia</a> I had heard of the famous Komodo Island and the Komodo Dragons that lived there. I didn&rsquo;t however realize that there was such a thing as Komodo National Park and that it occupied the &ldquo;Komodo Islands&rdquo; which consists of 3 big islands and several smaller ones in the area where Komodo dragons live and it is the only area in the world where they live in the wild.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The islands are Komodo, Rinca, and Padar and on our two night visit to the area we were able to visit the first two islands. Rinca is where we visited on the first day. Before making our way there I had heard that the dragons are attracted to blood and can smell it from 18kms away. The previous week in Borneo I had gotten a crazy bug bite on my leg that had now turned into an open wound. This worried me about the Komodo Dragons.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">If you have any open wounds or for women if its &ldquo;that time of the month&rdquo; make sure you inform a ranger so that they can be aware and protect you. Also the bigger the group you travel in the better as it hides the smell of the blood, the more people you are with.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="A trip to Komodo National Park" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b595411cb19.jpg" alt="A trip to Komodo National Park" width="550" height="364" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The first couple of dragons that we saw were stationary and not moving much. One was skinny and the second one was chubby and we had learned it had just killed and eaten a buffalo the day before. A full Komodo Dragon is one that is less likely to attack you. I preferred this one much more than the skinny one. We went on a hike around part of the island with the rangers, however I only went half way because of a previous ankle injury. The views of the ocean and other islands was gorgeous as was the island itself.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="A trip to Komodo National Park" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b5951f0b041.jpg" alt="A trip to Komodo National Park" width="550" height="364" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Lunch was prepared for us on the island and we ate at the rangers station. While there we also were taken to see a wild Komodo Dragon with two broken arms that he had injured when fighting with another dragon. When things like this happen in Komodo National Park they let nature take its course and not interfere or try to help the dragons. He was kind of sad looking. While there I was also able to interview a ranger who a few years previous had been attacked by a Komodo Dragon and survived. It was very interesting to hear his story and to learn more about him for the time being you will just have to visit my site. <a href="http://www.TravelYourself.ca">www.TravelYourself.ca</a></p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="A trip to Komodo National Park" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b59572cbb9f.jpg" alt="A trip to Komodo National Park" width="550" height="364" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The second day of trip to the Komodo Islands we went to Komodo Island itself. As we stepped off the boats we were met by rangers and walked towards the ranger station. On our way we noticed many deer hanging around that didn&rsquo;t seem afraid of us or any Komodo Dragons. This was something that we hadn&rsquo;t seen on the previous island.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Immediately I could tell that this island had more Komodo Dragons than the previous, that or I was becoming paranoid that they were all going to attack me and have me for lunch. We hung out on a raised platform while a few Komodo dragons walked around and sniffed the air curious to who we were. There was a small fight between two of them and as everyone hung off the side of the platform to take pictures I stayed back, fearful of this dinosaur like creatures until we were ready to leave again.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">At no point were any of us in harms way however just the idea of what could happen and knowing what has happened to others in the passed just kept me freaked out the whole time we were around the Komodo Dragons. It was definitely an experience that I am happy to say I can check off my bucket list however it is also something that I don&rsquo;t want to experience again any time soon.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="A trip to Komodo National Park" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b595f768c7a.jpg" alt="A trip to Komodo National Park" width="550" height="364" /></p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="A trip to Komodo National Park" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b596d39dc5b.jpg" alt="A trip to Komodo National Park" width="550" height="364" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Komodo Island and the National Park isn&rsquo;t all just scary dragons however, on one side of Komodo Island, the side where they say &ldquo;The dragons never come here&rdquo; is <a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publisharticle/destination/833/the-romantic-pink-beach-of-the-komodo-islands">the famous pink beach</a>. A beach that has been turned to pink from the red coral that grows in the ocean just off shore from it.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">One of the top rated places to snorkel and scuba in the world Komodo Islands pink beach is not one to be missed. While at Pink Beach we had a BBQ lunch prepared for us ahead of time while some snorkeled and others explored the area and cliffs over looking the beach for a better view. It was definitely a relaxing way to end my two days being fearful of Komodo dragons.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Check out <a href="http://us.indonesia.travel/wonderfulindonesiaquiz/">the online Quiz</a> about Indonesia and you might just win your very own trip there too!</p> The magnificent Borobudur Temple http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/207/the-magnificent-borobudur-temple <p style="text-align: justify;">High on a mountain in central Java, Borobudur Temple rises up towards the sky. In Buddhist belief, the closer you are to Heaven, the closer you are to the gods. And as you climb the steps of the temple, the jungle landscape of Indonesia revealing itself in every direction, you can understand how the people who built this masterpiece felt more connected to the ethereal than the earthly.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The magnificent Borobudur Temple" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b5afbd171f7.jpg" alt="The magnificent Borobudur Temple" width="550" height="367" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><a title="Borobudur" href="/en/destination/233/Borobudur">Borobudur</a> was built in the eighth and ninth centuries but, at some point in history, was abandoned and left to the wilds of nature. For at least five hundred years the jungle was all that climbed the steps towards the celestial. Trees, vines, and animals overtook one of man&rsquo;s greatest creations and embraced the rocks again. The temple became hidden from the eyes of humanity.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It wasn&rsquo;t until 1814, when Java was under British control, that the English governor, Thomas Stamford Raffles, heard stories from local villagers about a mysterious and abandoned structure. He sent his people to investigate and for two months a team of 200 men had to cut down trees, burn vegetation and dig away at the earth to reveal the temple at Borobudur.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The magnificent Borobudur Temple" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b5af86a9729.jpg" alt="The magnificent Borobudur Temple" width="550" height="367" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The world&rsquo;s largest Buddhist temple is made up of five large square terraces, with three circular platforms on top of them, and then a magnificent stupa at the very top. From a distance it is stunning&hellip; but close up the true magic is revealed with intricate carvings on the walls throughout the whole complex.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The magnificent Borobudur Temple" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b5af657f055.jpg" alt="The magnificent Borobudur Temple" width="550" height="367" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Visiting it today, it&rsquo;s hard to understand how something this large and spectacular could have remained hidden for so long. But there&rsquo;s a certain enchantment in imagining you are the explorer who finds it for the first time in centuries. It&rsquo;s slightly easier this morning because I&rsquo;ve come before the official opening hours to climb to the top in time for the sunrise.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">I&rsquo;m told by some tour guides that the site gets absolutely packed during the day &ndash; to the point where it&rsquo;s hard to even climb up the narrow and steep staircases, let alone lose yourself in the moment. I&rsquo;m glad that&rsquo;s not going to be me.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The magnificent Borobudur Temple" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b5afa4547a2.jpg" alt="The magnificent Borobudur Temple" width="550" height="367" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As the sun rises in the sky, it&rsquo;s obscured partly by this morning&rsquo;s cloud cover but rays are starting to break through and illuminate the structure and the surrounding lands. It&rsquo;s still very quiet at the top of the temple and slowly it&rsquo;s becoming lighter. Around me, inside 72 small stone stupas, are 72 seated Buddhas. They turn from shadowy silhouettes into glowing images of divinity as the morning progresses. Only one is uncovered but the rest seem protected and disconnected from the daily pilgrimage of the tourists.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="The magnificent Borobudur Temple" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b5afde188e8.jpg" alt="The magnificent Borobudur Temple" width="550" height="367" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The Borobudur Temple complex is the single most visited site in <a title="Indonesia Travel" href="/">Indonesia</a>, although the majority of tourists are Indonesians. The increasing numbers are presenting challenges and the authorities are looking at ways to manage any potential damage to the site. Millions of dollars have been spent on restoration and preservation over recent decades &ndash; particularly by UNESCO, which listed the site on the World Heritage List in 1991.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Something so intricate but also so large, abandoned for so many years, needs a lot of love and care. Being closer to Heaven doesn&rsquo;t make it immune from the hands of man.</p> The Mystic World of Orangutans http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/191/the-mystic-world-of-orangutans <p style="text-align: left;">When I learnt that we had to overnight on a river boat in the jungle of <strong>Central Kalimantan</strong>, eight persons sharing one bathroom, that put up a bit of struggle in me. Voice inside: <em>You are there to see the endangered orangutans that are only found in Borneo and Sumatra!</em> Yeah, I saw those in the zoo - our beloved Ah Meng and her clan. And the rainforest is so hot, very humid and those blood sucking flies love me. Call me shallow. I survived (like a big deal) two days of trekking into the dense jungle where we crossed paths with orang utans, proboscis, macaques, wild boars and others wildlife in the animal kingdom, and a night with few sweaty humans (who didn't take a shower :P), all sleeping side by side on mattresses in mosquito nets on the upper deck of the klotok. You know what I experienced <strong>a trip of a lifetime</strong>, embracing nature with no network coverage and city bustle but exotic and endangered species in their natural habitats in the wilderness of Borneo, <strong>the oldest rainforest in the world</strong>. <em>Klok... tok... tok... tok...</em> There goes the motor engine of a klotok. It took us about 2 hours boat ride from Port Kumai to Pasalat Camp first for the Carbon Offsetting program to plant a tree at <strong>Tanjung Putin National Park</strong>!</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/klotok-river-cruise-borneo-wildlife-tour-indonesia.jpg"><img title="klotok-river-cruise-borneo-wildlife-tour-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/klotok-river-cruise-borneo-wildlife-tour-indonesia.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="365" /></a></p> <h3 style="text-align: left;">The World Famous Tanjung Puting National Park</h3> <p style="text-align: left;">Designated as a <strong>UNESCO Biosphere Reserve</strong> that is as big as the size of Bali, Tanjung Puting National Park is home to the<strong> largest wild orangutan population in the world</strong> - the <strong>endangered</strong> Bornean orangutans. Yet, the protected national park is constantly facing major threats from illegal logging, illegal mining, poaching, large-scale deforestation for lucrative palm oil plantations. 65% of the primary forest is degraded, resulting in the loss of natural habitat that poses a serious threat to the wildlife at the park. In hoping to raise the awareness of the importance of &nbsp;conserving the Borneo rainforest and the orangutan population that is on the verge of extinction in the next decade, one of the ways is to promote ecotourism that provides alternative economic benefits to the local communities and educate environmental responsibility. So now, you see more boat tours operated by various local tour companies at Tanjung Puting National Park.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/klotok-wooden-river-boat-indonesia.jpg"><img title="klotok-wooden-river-boat-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/klotok-wooden-river-boat-indonesia.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="365" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong><br /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Tree planting at Pasalat Camp</strong> We picked the trees to plant at the camp. The program is designed to let visitors do their small part in park conservation, growing trees that provide the future food source for orangutans and to offset the carbon footprint resulted from the transports that take them to the park.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/tree-planting-pasalat-camp.jpg"><img title="tree-planting-pasalat-camp" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/tree-planting-pasalat-camp.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="391" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="sandalwood-tree-planting-indonesia-borneo-kalimantan" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/sandalwood-tree-planting-indonesia-borneo-kalimantan.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="404" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;">I picked a sandalwood tree! Why sandalwood It's auspicious! LOL&nbsp;</p> <h3 style="text-align: left;">Camp Leakey</h3> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Dr. Birut &nbsp; Mary Galdikas</strong>, the founder and president of <strong>OFI</strong> (Orangutan Foundation International), began her research career on the study of orangutans in their natural habitat at <strong>Camp Leakey</strong> which was set up as the first research centre at Tanjung Puting&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img class="alignnone" title="national geographic orangutan " src="http://travelerfolio.com/travelerfolio/uploads/natgeo.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="286" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Reserve in 1971. For four decades, Dr Galdikas has devoted her time and efforts to save the orangutans of Indonesian Borneo and now she is the world renowned expert on orangutan behaviour. &nbsp;Galdikas wrote on the cover article of <strong>National Geographic</strong> in Oct 1975. She brought the plight of the orangutans to world's attention. <strong>Frederick Galdikas</strong> is the 'jungle boy' of Borneo, the son of Dr Galdikas. He grew up in Camp Leakey and has the innate ability to understand the feelings of orangutans. In other words, he is a&nbsp;close friend of orangutans, if not the best! Now Frederick is endeavouring to rescue orangutans from various threats in Indonesian Borneo. &nbsp;If I got it right, this female orangutan is the mother of Tom, the King orangutan of Camp Leakey.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;<img title="orangutan-frederick-galdikas" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/orangutan-frederick-galdikas.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="380" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;">When Frederick came along, she held his hand affectionately like he is part of her family! It was such heartwarming and thought provoking moment that set me thinking why some people would bear to destroy the forest homes of the orangutans and kill them.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/orangutan-frederick-galdikas-tanjung-putin-indonesia.jpg"><img title="orangutan-frederick-galdikas-tanjung-putin-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/orangutan-frederick-galdikas-tanjung-putin-indonesia.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="393" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Camp Leakey is the base for scientists, staff, students and park rangers to conduct research works involving orangutan, proboscis monkey, leaf-eating monkey, gibbon and river system ecology. It is <strong>the site of the longest continuous study of any wild mammal in the world</strong> made known by Dr Galdikas. At Camp Leakey Information Center of Orangutan, there are documents on orangutans and wildlife at the park and exhibits to educate visitors about the endangered species. &nbsp;The walls are adorned with photos of family trees of orangutans, each with name labels of the King, his parents, wives and children!</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/camp-leakey-information-centre-tanjung-putin-indonesia.jpg"><img title="camp-leakey-information-centre-tanjung-putin-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/camp-leakey-information-centre-tanjung-putin-indonesia.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="404" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Everyone was waiting for Tom, the King of Camp Leakey at the feeding area but he didn't appear that day. His family was there enjoying bananas in front of all the keen photographers!</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/orangutan-feeding-camp-leakey-tour-borneo-kalimantan-indonesia.jpg"><img title="orangutan-feeding-camp-leakey-tour-borneo-kalimantan-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/orangutan-feeding-camp-leakey-tour-borneo-kalimantan-indonesia.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="366" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: left;">A mother orangutan with her baby, grabbing two bunches of bananas and moving towards a tree to climb.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/orangutan-baby-feeding-banana-camp-leakey-tanjung-putin-national-park.jpg"><img title="orangutan-baby-feeding-banana-camp-leakey-tanjung-putin-national-park" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/orangutan-baby-feeding-banana-camp-leakey-tanjung-putin-national-park.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="417" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="gibbon-orangutan-camp-leakey-tanjung-putin-borneo-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/gibbon-orangutan-camp-leakey-tanjung-putin-borneo-indonesia.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="319" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;">While we were hoping that Tom would come to the feeding area, a gibbon suddenly moved swiftly across the feeding area and grabbed some food. &nbsp;Many times we crossed the path of an orangutan in the forest. Orangutans may appear to be tame but they are&nbsp;wild and strong animals so we do not move close to them. When they move towards us, we step back. The park rangers are there to guide the visitors.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;<img title="baby-orangutan-camp-leakey-tanjung-putin-national-park" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/baby-orangutan-camp-leakey-tanjung-putin-national-park.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="376" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;<img title="camp-leakey-orangutan-notice-signboard-tanjung-putin-national-park" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/camp-leakey-orangutan-notice-signboard-tanjung-putin-national-park.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="376" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Visitor signboard at Camp Leakey.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="boardwalk-camp-leakey-tanjung-putin-national-park-borneo-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/boardwalk-camp-leakey-tanjung-putin-national-park-borneo-indonesia.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="365" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;">The boardwalk into Camp Leakey.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">For two days, we stopped by two other camps to watch the orangutans during feeding time at Pondok Tanggui rehabilitation center and Tanjung Harapan and Observation. <a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/tanjung-putin-orangutan-camp-kalimantan-borneo-indonesia.jpg"><img title="tanjung-putin-orangutan-camp-kalimantan-borneo-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/tanjung-putin-orangutan-camp-kalimantan-borneo-indonesia.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="466" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: left;">The orangutans are in their natural habitats. There is no border between visitors and the orangutans. Many times we were observing these endangered mammals at a close range yet keeping a safe distance with park rangers around us.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/borneo-orangutan-tanjung-putin-national-park-indonesia.jpg"><img title="borneo-orangutan-tanjung-putin-national-park-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/borneo-orangutan-tanjung-putin-national-park-indonesia.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="466" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/orangutan-mother-baby-tanjung-putin-national-park-kalimantan-borneo.jpg"><img title="orangutan-mother-baby-tanjung-putin-national-park-kalimantan-borneo" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/orangutan-mother-baby-tanjung-putin-national-park-kalimantan-borneo.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="393" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Look at this huge guy with cheek pads. He is <strong>King Doyok</strong>. &nbsp; An adult male orangutan with large cheek pads are generally more attractive to the females. Adult males are intolerant of each other so when &nbsp;two cheek-padded males meet &nbsp;a sexually receptive&nbsp;female, they will fight for her. A king orangutan claims its &nbsp;territory &nbsp;within 3km in the jungle. &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">#Likeaboss, King Doyok was feeding on lot of bananas while looking back at us with his sharp eyes. He appears to be a very smart and strong fellow.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/orangutan-cheek-pad-tanjung-putin-national-park-kalimantan.jpg"><img title="orangutan-cheek-pad-tanjung-putin-national-park-kalimantan" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/orangutan-cheek-pad-tanjung-putin-national-park-kalimantan.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="354" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="orangutan-indonesia-borneo" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/orangutan-indonesia-borneo.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="375" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;">While everyone was taking photos of King Doyok, he suddenly got down from the feeding platform and moved towards us. &nbsp;The park ranger told the visitors to step back. The King intimidated us! <a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/tanjung-putin-national-park-orangutan-camp.jpg"><img title="tanjung-putin-national-park-orangutan-camp" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/tanjung-putin-national-park-orangutan-camp.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="320" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Everyone loves Sweet Hope, the aspiring model. She is not shy and really poses for cameras! Orangutans are highly intelligent and mimic human behaviour. The locals believe that Sweet Hope learnt how to strike poses like a model from visitors who took photos at the park. Look into her soulful eyes...</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/orangutan-cute-wildlife-tanjung-putin-national-park-indonesia-borneo.jpg"><img title="orangutan-cute-wildlife-tanjung-putin-national-park-indonesia-borneo" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/orangutan-cute-wildlife-tanjung-putin-national-park-indonesia-borneo.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="403" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: left;">See how Sweet Hope stood up and posed like a lady! She is cute. She came to the dock in the morning where our klotoks were parked. Some of us just woke up and she seemed to welcome us. Remember we were visitors entering into the world of orangutans A friendly host indeed.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/orangutan-pose-photo-wildlife-borneo-indonesia-kalimantan.jpg"><img title="orangutan-pose-photo-wildlife-borneo-indonesia-kalimantan" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/orangutan-pose-photo-wildlife-borneo-indonesia-kalimantan.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="419" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Sweet Hope never run out of pose ideas. She was the star that morning.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/orangutan-borneo-indonesia-tanjung-putin-national-park.jpg"><img title="orangutan-borneo-indonesia-tanjung-putin-national-park" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/orangutan-borneo-indonesia-tanjung-putin-national-park.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="404" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/orangutan-wildlife-borneo-kalimantan-indonesia.jpg"><img title="orangutan-wildlife-borneo-kalimantan-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/orangutan-wildlife-borneo-kalimantan-indonesia.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="391" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: left;">The klotok where the eight of us spent two days having warm and delicious meals prepared by the cooks, cruising along the river while enjoying the balmy breeze in the thick jungle of Central Kalimantan and sleeping soundly on mattresses at the upper deck for a night, accompanied by few fireflies and sounds of the wild.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/klotok-river-cruise-tour-wildlife-orangutan-borneo-kalimantan-indonesia.jpg"><img title="klotok-river-cruise-tour-wildlife-orangutan-borneo-kalimantan-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/klotok-river-cruise-tour-wildlife-orangutan-borneo-kalimantan-indonesia.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="404" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Who cooked these mouth-watering dishes of grilled fish, chilli crabs and jumbo prawns Many of us vouched that the meals on klotok were some of the best we had throughout the 14-day Indonesia trip! <a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/indonesian-grilled-seafood-prawn-river-cruise-borneo.jpg"><img title="indonesian-grilled-seafood-prawn-river-cruise-borneo" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/indonesian-grilled-seafood-prawn-river-cruise-borneo.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="419" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">The cooks were preparing food at the kitchen on the lower deck of the klotok.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/indonesian-cooking-river-boat.jpg"><img title="indonesian-cooking-river-boat" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/indonesian-cooking-river-boat.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="365" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: left;">The lady was frying sambal - a spicy chilli condiment popular in Indonesia. There are many varieties of sambal using different ingredients found in different parts of Indonesia. We had sambal almost at every meal and some of us loved it so much we decided to enter the kitchen and tried to get the sambal recipe from the locals!</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/sambal-cooking-on-boat-indonesia.jpg"><img title="sambal-cooking-on-boat-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/sambal-cooking-on-boat-indonesia.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="365" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: left;">A mother and baby orangutans came close to our klotoks as we stopped by the river bank while waiting for lunch to be served.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/klotok-river-boat-indonesia-photographer-orangutan.jpg"><img title="klotok-river-boat-indonesia-photographer-orangutan" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/klotok-river-boat-indonesia-photographer-orangutan.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="359" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Look at these orangutans. Don't you think they behave like human </p> <p style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/orangutan-tanjung-putin-borneo-wildlife.jpg"><img title="orangutan-tanjung-putin-borneo-wildlife" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/orangutan-tanjung-putin-borneo-wildlife.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="373" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: left;">The mother orangutan suddenly swung and pulled the boat canvas. I guessed the lady on the boat panicked and quickly got hold of the canvas and tried to latch it to the boat. Apparently, the mother orangutan was up too close and personal! <a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/klotok-river-cruise-orangutan-wildlife-tour-kalimantan-borneo-indonesia.jpg"><img title="klotok-river-cruise-orangutan-wildlife-tour-kalimantan-borneo-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/klotok-river-cruise-orangutan-wildlife-tour-kalimantan-borneo-indonesia.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="404" /></a></p> <h3 style="text-align: left;">Proboscis Monkeys</h3> <p style="text-align: left;">Residents at Tanjung Puting National Park include the endemic proboscis monkeys and leaf-eating monkeys, Gibbons, silvered leaf monkeys, sambar deer, porcupines, sun bears, clouded leopards as well as reptiles and birds such as kingfishers and hornbills.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/proboscis-long-nose-monkey-borneo-old-world-monkey.jpg"><img title="proboscis-long-nose-monkey-borneo-old-world-monkey" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/proboscis-long-nose-monkey-borneo-old-world-monkey.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="397" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: left;">One of my favourite highlights of the cruise was to watch the bizarre-looking or rather cute-looking proboscis resting and hopping from branch to branch along the river banks. These monkeys have long nose and big belly and they are natively found in Borneo.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/proboscis-long-nosed-old-world-monkey-dutchman-borneo-kalimantan-indonesia.jpg"><img title="proboscis-long-nosed-old-world-monkey-dutchman-borneo-kalimantan-indonesia" src="http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/11/proboscis-long-nosed-old-world-monkey-dutchman-borneo-kalimantan-indonesia.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="419" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Tanjung Puting National Park is undoubtedly an incredible paradise to go primitive and enter into the mystic world of the orangutans - the gentle people of the jungle. It showcases the 'Garden of Eden' with an amazing array of flora and fauna.</p> <h3 style="text-align: left;">How to get to Tanjung Puting National Park </h3> <p style="text-align: left;">From Jakarta international airport, we took a 1+ hour flight via Kalstar to Iskandar airport in &nbsp;Pangkalan Bun, Central Kalimantan on Borneo island, Indonesia.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">At Port Kumai, we started our 2 days 1 night eco-cruise tour.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">For more information on Tanjung Puting National Park, visit Indonesia's &nbsp;official tourism website: <a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publisharticle/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Indonesia.Travel</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;| Tanjung Puting National Park : <a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publisharticle/destination/443/tanjung-puting-national-park-re-introducing-orang-utans-to-the-wild" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Re-introducing Orang Utans to the Wild</a>&nbsp;</p> Joy in the Stillness at Borobudur http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/192/joy-in-the-stillness-at-borobudur <p>It seemed that around every corner in Indonesia was something new to discover. We had long bus rides and frequent plane rides between islands that allowed me to ponder the newness of every experience. Every time I really did, I felt I might need to pinch myself. There are all kinds of love in this world and in the absence of the kind of romantic love that fuels so many lives, my great affair is learning and collecting new experiences. Borobudur was a moment in which I was able to be still and not just learn but actually apply, in the moment, the lesson of peace and stillness; which brought about joy. It must be no coincidence that the t-shirt I put on to wear the morning we rose before the sun, was from the <a href="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/personal/travel-perspective-expediafindyours/">#FindYours campaign I did with Expedia</a>. It says, "Find Your Joy." And in the moment that this photo was taken, that -- and more -- is what I had found.</p> <p><img title="BorobudurByBoelle" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/BorobudurByBoelle.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="550" /></p> <p>I'm a person who rarely pauses to have still moments, to relax, to slow down enough that I can discover inner peace. It seems the great affair with wanderlust drives me at a pace that leaves no room for stillness.<img title="Joy in the Stillness at Borobudur" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_5474.jpg" alt="Joy in the Stillness at Borobudur" width="550" height="412" /></p> <p>Yet, at Borobudur, sitting in wait for the sunrise to blind me and thrill me, having nothing else to do but wait, amongst a place of physical beauty (a characteristic that always excites me) -- peace, stillness and joy are exactly what filled all the rooms I had for rent.</p> <p><img title="Joy in the Stillness at Borobudur" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_5478.jpg" alt="Joy in the Stillness at Borobudur" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p><img title="Joy in the Stillness at Borobudur" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_5491.jpg" alt="Joy in the Stillness at Borobudur" width="550" height="412" /></p> <p><img title="Joy in the Stillness at Borobudur" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_5526.jpg" alt="Joy in the Stillness at Borobudur" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p><img title="Joy in the Stillness at Borobudur" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_5566.jpg" alt="Joy in the Stillness at Borobudur" width="550" height="439" /></p> <p>Borobudur Temple, located near Magelang in Central Java, is purported to be the largest Buddhist temple in the world. It is both a shrine and a place of pilgrimage. It didn't feel that large to me. However, it is impressive and because of its location within a very verdant valley it draws both those seeking the beautiful in nature and the beautiful in man's creation. The primary source of its physical draw is the intricacy and sheer magnitude of its 2,672 relief panels. A pilgrim could easily believe that the temple's layers are a sort of stairway towards heaven. There is a constant feeling of reaching ever higher. At the top one finds a main dome and 72 Buddha statues seated inside perforated stupas which are in addition to the 504 Buddhas that already dot the lower layers of the temple.</p> <p><img title="Joy in the Stillness at Borobudur" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_5482.jpg" alt="Joy in the Stillness at Borobudur" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p><img title="Joy in the Stillness at Borobudur" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_5484.jpg" alt="Joy in the Stillness at Borobudur" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p><img title="Joy in the Stillness at Borobudur" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_5485.jpg" alt="Joy in the Stillness at Borobudur" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p>Borobudur was built in the 9th century during the reign of the Sailendra Dynasty and the temple's design which is crafted in the Gupta style reflects India's influence on Java while still managing to be distinctly Indonesian.</p> <p><img title="Joy in the Stillness at Borobudur" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_5536.jpg" alt="Joy in the Stillness at Borobudur" width="550" height="365" /></p> <p><img title="Joy in the Stillness at Borobudur" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_5538.jpg" alt="Joy in the Stillness at Borobudur" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p><img title="Joy in the Stillness at Borobudur" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_5541.jpg" alt="Joy in the Stillness at Borobudur" width="550" height="385" /></p> <p><img title="Joy in the Stillness at Borobudur" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_5560.jpg" alt="Joy in the Stillness at Borobudur" width="550" height="550" /></p> <p>Though the temple was constructed in the 9th century, it may have been abandoned in the 14th after a decline in Buddhist and Hindu tradition once Islam began to take hold in Java. British ruler of Java in 1814, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, was alerted to its existence which then led to it being officially preserved, and provided for restorations to begin. It was in the early 1980's that Borobudur was then listed as a <a href="http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/592">UNESCO World Heritage Site</a>, a status it still retains today. It is Indonesia's most visited tourist attraction. To visit for yourself, check out <a href="http://www.indonesia.travel/en/destination/233/borobudur">Indonesia's resources page here</a>.</p> Looking into a Volcano at Mt Bromo http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/193/looking-into-a-volcano-at-mt-bromo <p>Did you ever wonder what it would be like to look inside of a volcano At Indonesia&rsquo;s <a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publisharticle/destination/243/mount-bromo">Mt. Bromo</a>, you can see for yourself.</p> <p>The journey begins in <a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publisharticle/destination/319/bromo-tengger-semeru-national-park">Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park</a>, in the far east of Java. We arrived at our hotel the day before and rested up for a middle-of-the-night departure for sunrise.</p> <p>After sunrise we took jeeps across the sand sea and hiked up Mt. Bromo. Here, some chose to ride horses up the volcano side. The hike wasn&rsquo;t difficult&mdash;but it was uncomfortable. Throughout the 45-minute climb, winds whipped up fine sand and minerals into our face and the corners of our eyes.</p> <p>The last section is too steep for horses and must be climbed by foot. At the top is the big moment when you get to peer inside an active volcano.</p> <p><img title="Looking into a Volcano at Mt Bromo" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b4eb17dd1bf.jpg" alt="Looking into a Volcano at Mt Bromo" width="550" height="368" /></p> <h2>So what does it look like inside a volcano </h2> <p>Well, for starters, it smells bad. All the gases are rising out and stinging the inside of your nose when you breathe in. You&rsquo;ll be breathing through your nose because like I said, there is dust whipping up that you won&rsquo;t want to breathe into your mouth. It&rsquo;s also quite difficult to protect your eyes.</p> <p>The insides were a steep pitch to the bottom of the volcano. All we could see were clouds of gas seeping out. But we were looking inside of a volcano!</p> <p><img title="Looking into a Volcano at Mt Bromo" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b4ea9a17feb.jpg" alt="Looking into a Volcano at Mt Bromo" width="550" height="368" /></p> <h2>Sunrise over Mt. Bromo Indonesia</h2> <p>Before all of this, you can see the <a href="http://bohemiantraveler.com/2012/11/sunrise-over-mt-bromo-indonesia/">sunrise illuminating Mt. Bromo</a>. But you have to get up at about 3:30 in the morning.</p> <p>That&rsquo;s when we piled into the jeeps and rode through the darkness for a few miles up the mountain.</p> <p>At the end of the road we were in the company of plenty of other intrepid souls doing the same exact thing. We were all here for sunrise over Mt. Bromo and the astonishing landscape panorama of Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. The area, located in eastern Java was declared a national park in 1982 and is one of the highlights of any trip to <a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/">Indonesia</a>.</p> <p>The viewpoint for sunrise, high above the caldera, required a 20-minute hike up, where we waited a few minutes, all looking towards the east. But the real display of beauty would be in the opposite direction.</p> <p><img title="Looking into a Volcano at Mt Bromo" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b4ead58f55e.jpg" alt="Looking into a Volcano at Mt Bromo" width="550" height="369" /></p> <p>Here the sand sea, Mt. Bromo, and the rest of this ancient caldera would be irradiated by the orange rays of the sun. It is a landscape comparable only to the surface of the moon. Inside this gigantic former volcano, five new volcano cones have emerged.� To the right of Bromo, in the foreground, stands Mount Batok, the only one which is no longer active.</p> <p>In the background looms the massive Mount Semeru, rising to 3,676 meters, the highest mountain in Java. You can often see a puff of steam escaping out the top.</p> <p><img title="Looking into a Volcano at Mt Bromo" src="/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b4eb5220b06.jpg" alt="Looking into a Volcano at Mt Bromo" width="550" height="368" /></p> <p>Below it all, the Tengger sandy area (sand sea) has been protected since 1919 and is thought to be the only conservation area in the world which possesses a unique sand sea at such a high altitude, about 2000 meters above sea level.</p> <p>Climbing the volcano at Mt. Bromo is only one of the many amazing outdoor activities that a trip to Indonesia offers. The images of the lunar-like caldera landscape at sunrise and the moment I peered into an active volcano are ones that will remain with me always.</p> First Impressions of Indonesia http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/194/first-impressions-of-indonesia <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Batik of Sultan royal family" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/26229529_kNWW3K#!i=2183040671&amp;k=kQBgj9L&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Batik of Sultan royal family" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/i-kQBgj9L/0/L/Sultan-Palace-Java-7905-L.jpg" alt="Batik of Sultan royal family" width="550" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As traveling <a title="#Travel2Indonesia" href="http://runawayjuno.com/2012/10/04/runaway-to-indonesia/" target="_blank">two weeks in Indonesia</a>, I got to see the major attractions around the country. While I was visiting nine different islands, these were the first impressions I got.</p> <h2><strong>Islands</strong></h2> <p>Officially, there are 17,000 islands Indonesia. 8,844 of them have been named by the government of Indonesia, including major islands: Kalimantan (Borneo), Sumatra, Java and so on, and 922 of them are permanently inhabited. It&rsquo;s not hard to guess Indonesia is a big chunk of ocean, including a group of islands. Like some people say, you can spend rest of your life in Indonesia and still can&rsquo;t see everything.</p> <h2><strong>"Belief in the one and only God."</strong></h2> <p>The Indonesian Constitution &nbsp;guarantees freedom of religion. &nbsp;However, the government only recognizes six official religions (Islam, Protestantism, &nbsp;Catholicism, &nbsp;Hinduism, &nbsp;Buddhism &nbsp;and &nbsp;Confucianism) and Indonesian law requires that every &nbsp;Indonesian citizen &nbsp;hold an &nbsp;identity card &nbsp;that identifies that person with one of these six religions.</p> <p>The most obvious place was Bali, well known as &lsquo;the land of the Gods&rsquo;, the home of Hindu minority in the country. 96% of Balinese believe in Hinduism. They have Hindu temples as many as the houses around the island. Balinese are the most religious in the country; they basically work to maintain the religious ceremony and the offerings. As Indonesian constitution said, <em>"belief in the one and only &nbsp;God",</em>believe what you believe.</p> <p><a title="Flight in Indonesia" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Flight-Indonesia/26151592_ksh7Tm#!i=2174157631&amp;k=ZWr84kB&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Flight in Indonesia" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Flight-Indonesia/i-ZWr84kB/0/700x700/flight-indonesia-2-2-L.jpg" alt="Flight in Indonesia" width="550" /></a></p> <h2><strong>Transportation system</strong></h2> <p>Because of its geographic character, flying is taking a big part of the transportation system. Of course there&rsquo;s a ferry for moving from one island to another, but it&rsquo;s not an option for some people; either because of the motion sickness or the limited time. Because of that, the regional flight system is extremely well developed. It&rsquo;s easy, simple and ordinary.</p> <h2>Languages</h2> <p>As we were traveling to Borneo, Java and Bali, I needed to ask how to say &lsquo;thank you&rsquo; each time. Sometimes it&rsquo;s &lsquo;Terima Kasih&rsquo;, &lsquo;Bartonuen ge&rsquo; or something else. Bahasa Indonesia (literally means language of Indonesia) is the official language of the country, but regional language is spoken more often depending where you go, for example Javanese in Java, and Balinese in Bali. It was fun for me to catch up the different languages in each island. Only &lsquo;thank you&rsquo; of course.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Buddha statue at sunrise at Borobudur temple " href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/26229529_kNWW3K#!i=2182952572&amp;k=JkzXZBN&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Buddha statue at sunrise at Borobudur temple " src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Java/i-JkzXZBN/0/L/Borobudur-temple-java-indonesia-7749-L.jpg" alt="Buddha statue at sunrise at Borobudur temple " width="550" /></a></p> <h2><strong><br /></strong></h2> <h2><strong>Multiculture</strong></h2> <p>Religion is one of the most major factors to decide the lifestyle. Because of their several strong religions, Indonesia is highly multicultural. Food, clothing, architecture, custom and even the language; everything is rapidly changing as you move around the country. The kind of life style is different based on their belief, and also the outfit differs a lot. It was interesting to observe the differences. It makes the country more interesting for the travelers.</p> Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/195/giving-asia-a-chance-in-borneo-on-kalimantan <p style="text-align: left;">I accepted the invitation to Indonesia specifically because it's a part of the globe I am fearful of. I enjoy what people like to call "westernized" countries. I enjoy learning about history and being challenged only to try foods that I can recognize, I get too excited about beautiful architecture and I can relate to the people of Europe in a way that doesn't push me too far out of my comfort zone. In my search for home, Asia never factors into the equation because I consider first the things that fear me, never stopping to see or listen for the things that might elicit an opposite reaction within Asia. <em>It is that which scares us that we should sometimes race headlong towards. These are the things that make us grow into better human beings if we allow them to.</em> When I first found out that I would be traveling by boat up a river in the jungle of Borneo (Kalimantan), to explore a National Park and see orang utans in their natural habitat &hellip; I pictured something like the beautiful moments in <em>The African Queen</em>. Taking our meals on the boat as we drifted down a river and sleeping on that same boat, sounded romantic. I even perused the guest list for our trip wondering who could be the Bogart to my Hepburn. <em>I believe it was hour two of our cruise upriver that I turned to Juno and said, "This is not romantic. I'm not sure why people think it would be." Thinking silently to myself, why did you ever That was after I had begun to sweat like it was an Olympic sport, after our guide had informed us of how many crocodiles and deadly snakes were in the brown water below us and when I realized just how much we'd be roughing it by sleeping aboard the boat I sat on, panic level rising rapidly.</em> At our departure dock we were greeted by traditional Indonesian dancers who performed an entire routine to drum and flute music. We had our pictures taken, we were filmed by a video crew, treated like pseudo-celebrities. Once we said goodbye to half our crew who would be in a second boat, I really took the time to look around and my heart sank. All visions of romance faded away and I realized our experience would be far more like camping in Costa Rica than starring in an epic romance sans sweat. Hell, I was already covered in perspiration during the performance on the dock. They say the harder you fly, the farther you fall and nothing could better describe the change from my beliefs before the boat &nbsp;ride, to my feelings in the first day.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/IMG_5016.jpg" alt="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/IMG_5025.jpg" alt="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/IMG_5031.jpg" alt="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/IMG_5039.jpg" alt="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Then something happened, I forgot about the snakes, only considering them when others made such fearful notions a topic of conversation. What I found to put in the place of all my fears, was joy in the closeness to nature and such beautiful animals -- who seemed to exhibit some of the same characteristics so attractive in human beings. As I watched mother orang utans in the jungle, their babies clinging to them like second skin, I could see love and care in every movement of their bodies from the way they walked, to the way they swung through trees, always sheltering their young as they flew through the air. It is a sappy observation and a difficult one to write, being a sarcastic woman who thrives on a little bit of detachment as a norm. It's no less true. If the garden of eden was real, there's some form of it still alive in Borneo, threatened more every day because of palm oil concessions and a changing Indonesian economy. I couldn't help but feel a heart string tugging deep in the jungle, so far outside the former boundaries of my comfort zone. It's what distracted me from the things I might otherwise have not enjoyed and helped me to see the simple joy in our Borneo experience. It's what made every moment of roughing it seem far more like having found the winning lottery ticket. <em>(My only lingering regret from the experience was that in only using my iPhone, it was difficult to get great close-up photos of the orang utans. I wish that I could have <a href="http://www.halifax.co.uk/loans/">taken out a personal loan before the trip to invest in a good camera</a> with a zoom lens like some of the other members of our group were lugging with them. It's the first time that's ever happened since I stopped carrying my 5DmII last year.)</em></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em></em><img title="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/IMG_5050.jpg" alt="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/IMG_5073.jpg" alt="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/IMG_5108.jpg" alt="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/IMG_5127.jpg" alt="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/IMG_5137.jpg" alt="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" width="550" height="550" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/IMG_5139.jpg" alt="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" width="550" height="550" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/IMG_5140.jpg" alt="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" width="550" height="550" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/IMG_5141.jpg" alt="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" width="550" height="550" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/IMG_5142.jpg" alt="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" width="550" height="550" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/IMG_5143.jpg" alt="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" width="550" height="550" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/IMG_5146.jpg" alt="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" width="550" height="550" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/IMG_5147.jpg" alt="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" width="550" height="550" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/IMG_5153.jpg" alt="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/IMG_5155.jpg" alt="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/IMG_5161.jpg" alt="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/IMG_5163.jpg" alt="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/IMG_5177.jpg" alt="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" width="550" height="550" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/IMG_5193.jpg" alt="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/IMG_5202.jpg" alt="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" width="550" height="550" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/IMG_5204.jpg" alt="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/IMG_5213.jpg" alt="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/IMG_5216.jpg" alt="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/IMG_5217.jpg" alt="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" width="550" height="550" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/IMG_5220.jpg" alt="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/IMG_5223.jpg" alt="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/IMG_5224.jpg" alt="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/IMG_5225.jpg" alt="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/IMG_5227.jpg" alt="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/IMG_5229.jpg" alt="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/IMG_5231.jpg" alt="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/IMG_5233.jpg" alt="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/IMG_5234.jpg" alt="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/IMG_5255.jpg" alt="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/IMG_5274.jpg" alt="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/IMG_5281.jpg" alt="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/IMG_5283.jpg" alt="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Our last meal on our last night was in the glow of candlelight.</strong> Were we all changed in some way by the time we sat down for that breaking of bread Or was it just me It was over, seemingly, in a blink. The other boats pulled away and we were left in a sort of blackness, our eyes not seeing, our ears, hearing -- barely a sound but the river and giant palms slowly moving in the dark night. All seemed to say at once, "Is the engine working Why did they leave us What's going on " The answer appeared out our port side in the aforementioned palm trees. It was the reason our captain had made us stay behind. With no lights on, no motor running and an ink-black night, there was nothing to obstruct us from seeing a swarm of fireflies, so thick and so fast moving it was mesmerizing. We sat as a group, transfixed, for several minutes. I kept thinking that it was one of the most magical moments of my life even as one moment turned into many and then time seemed to stand still. It's hard to put into words how different these fireflies were. I grew up seeing them in my backyard as a kid, always slow and never plentiful. I remember seeing a few every 15 seconds or so, an eternity for a child. This swarm was like, well, a glitter bomb that went off and simply stayed where it had exploded, never settling to the ground or going away. So fast moving were the Indonesian fireflies that they had the capacity to almost hypnotize me. When our boat finally did pull away to head home, proceeding slowly, still without lights down the dark river -- I had to put in my headphones and take a moment to myself without the conversation of my comrades. If no one else was changed by our days on the river, I was. I knew it in a bone deep, make-your-eyes-water kind of way. Appropriately, when I could again see the sky or an outline of the trees, what I could make out overhead was one, bright star directly above and in front of us. As if to say, "<em>Yes, this is the way</em>."</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img title="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/IMG_5287.jpg" alt="Giving Asia a Chance in Borneo on Kalimantan" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>Many thanks to <a href="http://us.indonesia.travel/wonderfulindonesiaquiz/">Indonesia Tourism</a> who brought me to the islands for my first experience in Asia. I have so many more stories to come and I can't wait to share them with you. Though my trip was sponsored, all opinions in this post are solely my own.</em></p> Sunrise at Mount Bromo http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/196/sunrise-at-mount-bromo <p>My alarm went off at 2:30. In what I consider to still be the middle of the night. We met, bleary eyed and only half alert, at 3 AM to climb with our already-aching bones into Jeeps that were made before I was born.</p> <p><img title="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_6082.jpg" alt="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p>It wasn't a great beginning. I love a good sunrise, but I kept questioning in my head just how worth the work the one we were about to witness could be. Around hairpin turns illuminated by harsh headlights and over ruts in the road that felt more like valleys we traversed, only to be let out half way up the mountain and told to hike the rest of the way, in the dark. It was at the beginning of that bizarre trek up a mountain in utter darkness that I finally stopped doubting we'd find a reward. The sea of humanity that surrounded me as I climbed told me all of these people couldn't be entirely crazy. The numbers simply didn't line up. If sunrise over a volcanic range wasn't incredible, why would so many pilgrims come to experience it </p> <p><img title="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_6001.jpg" alt="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p><img title="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_6002.jpg" alt="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p><em>On the night before our climb, I was in <a href="http://www.java-banana.com/">Java Banana</a>'s art gallery founded by <a href="http://www.sigitpramono.com/">Sigit Pramono</a>, prominent photographer and banker in Indonesia. He's a fan of the poetry of another Indonesian: <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goenawan_Mohamad">Goenawan Muhamad</a>. I think his words, combined with my photographs can best show you what I saw in Bromo. And you tell me, would you trek to a remote part of Indonesia and climb a mountain at 3 AM to experience this </em></p> <p><em></em><img title="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_6090.jpg" alt="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p><img title="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_6091.jpg" alt="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p><img title="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_6105a.jpg" alt="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p><strong>"In the morning of the horses the mist etherizes the space. but the space is an ambiguity. You can hear the clatter of hoofs and the chats of gods, ghosts, and men. They are listening to the fire, they say. And the fire, in the womb of the earth, moves like a&nbsp;</strong><strong>perpetual rebirth."</strong></p> <p><strong></strong><img title="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_6114.jpg" alt="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p><img title="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_6121.jpg" alt="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p><img title="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_6127.jpg" alt="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" width="550" height="309" /></p> <p><strong>"To the plateau they come and go -- mountain climbers, pilgrims, discoverers, volcanologists, tourists, storytellers. They speak of broken heights and transformed terrains - of eruptions and calamities long, long time ago: an immense volcanic memory remembered only by some deathless stones. Once in a while, daybreak disrupts the facade of eternity."</strong></p> <p><strong></strong><img title="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_6139.jpg" alt="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p><img title="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_6151.jpg" alt="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" width="550" height="550" /></p> <p><img title="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_6160.jpg" alt="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" width="550" height="409" /></p> <p><img title="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_6164.jpg" alt="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p><img title="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_6167.jpg" alt="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" width="550" height="411" /></p> <p><img title="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_6168.jpg" alt="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" width="550" height="412" /></p> <p><img title="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_6169.jpg" alt="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p><img title="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_6170.jpg" alt="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" width="550" height="411" /></p> <p><img title="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_6171.jpg" alt="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p><img title="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_6175.jpg" alt="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p><strong>"But Bromo [&hellip;] is a perpetual reminder that the beautiful is never without its other. Like any volcanic heap of earth, it is a story of fertility and death, tranquility and disaster. It is for the this reason one often finds a trace of the tragic in the serenity of &nbsp;&nbsp;</strong><strong>Indonesian highlands."</strong></p> <p><strong></strong><img title="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_6181.jpg" alt="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p><img title="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_6191.jpg" alt="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p><img title="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_6195.jpg" alt="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p><img title="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_6196.jpg" alt="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p><img title="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_6202.jpg" alt="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img title="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_6203.jpg" alt="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" width="550" height="550" /></p> <p><img title="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_6207.jpg" alt="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p><img title="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_6220.jpg" alt="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p><img title="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_6225.jpg" alt="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p><img title="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_6228.jpg" alt="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p><img title="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_6241.jpg" alt="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p><img title="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_6242.jpg" alt="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" width="550" height="550" /></p> <p><img title="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_6265.jpg" alt="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p><img title="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_6266.jpg" alt="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p><img title="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_6275.jpg" alt="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p><img title="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_6277.jpg" alt="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p><img title="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_6278.jpg" alt="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p><img title="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_6286.jpg" alt="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p><strong>"In the earliest dots of light, the back of Mount Widodaren is like a long piece of pleated baize. Nature earns its own form. The terrain is coarse: an array of haphazardness."</strong></p> <p><strong></strong><img title="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_6299.jpg" alt="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p><img title="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" src="http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_6303.jpg" alt="Sunrise at Mount Bromo" width="550" height="550" /></p> <p>Here's the tourist trail in Bromo: You wake up early, ride by jeep part way up Panajakan, hike the rest of the way to the summit where there are vendors selling coffee, hats, gloves, etc. Wait for the fireworks to start (on a good day it's stunning, on a bad day I've been told it's still worth the climb). After the sun is fully over the horizon, climb back down, reunite with your Jeep driver who will take you back down Panajakan and across the barren plain that lies in front of Bromo where you can walk or hire a horse to take you past the Hindu temple and to the feet of the nearly-vertical 250 stairs which, upon climbing, will allow you to look down into the depths of the active Bromo crater. It smokes daily and sometimes is shut down completely for fear of another eruption. Sulfur will choke you and gusts of ash dust will try to blind you but when you're standing at the top there really is a bizarre happiness that settles into your bones, joy at having made it to the top and sheer awe at the majesty of nature you have witnessed. <strong>It's a strange land, constantly on fire under the surface, and harsh in a way that only a place in constant flux could be. Truly a place for pilgrims, whether religious, nature-loving or simply adventurous.</strong></p> Facts about Orangutans You Didn't Know About http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/189/facts-about-orangutans-you-didn-t-know-about <p>Recently I visited orangutans at Camp Leakey that runs by &nbsp;<a href="http://orangutan.org/" target="_blank">Orangutan Foundation International</a>&nbsp; &nbsp;(OFI). The long history and inspirational work of OFI touched all of us. I wanted to share the photos of amazing orangutans. It&rsquo;s hard not to appreciate them while watching how they move and react. We even saw a couple of wild orangutans on the boat which was extremely rare experience as I&rsquo;ve heard. However the main event was at the two camps at the Camp Leakey. Briute said, Camp Leakey is &lsquo;NYC for the country folks&rsquo;. Meaning, you wouldn&rsquo;t want to live there but would want to visit once in a while.</p> <h2><strong><em>Facts about orangutans you didn&rsquo;t know about</em></strong></h2> <p>Orangutan means &lsquo;the person of the forest&rsquo; in Malay language. Oran means person, utan means forest. Technically, Orang utan (a space in the middle) would be the right way to say it.</p> <p>Surprise, surprise, they like the wild durians the best, better than bananas.</p> <p>For the first few years of his/her life, a young orangutan holds tight to his/her mother&rsquo;s body as she moves through the forest canopy. The mums keep their babies for 7-8 years.</p> <p>The chickpad is a sign of the dominant male but not all the males have it. They go deep in the jungle for 3-6 months and come out all grown up. People still don&rsquo;t know exactly about the process.</p> <p>Orangutans have eight times stronger strength than human.</p> <p>They have an attention span of four-year-old kid. So they respond better to a dominant tone.</p> <p>Orangutans usually eat fruits and young leaves from the tree.</p> <p>Orangutans are in danger because of the illegal logging and palm oil plantation. Also, people kill the mum to capture the baby orangutans.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a title="Doyok was watching us for a long time" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Orangutan/25829602_t4t8wh#!i=2140731229&amp;k=RcFZ8zG&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Doyok was watching us for a long time" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Orangutan/i-RcFZ8zG/0/1000x1000/orangutan-borneo-indonesia-L.jpg" alt="Doyok was watching us for a long time" width="550" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a title="Orangutan loves milk" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Orangutan/25829602_t4t8wh#!i=2140728314&amp;k=4HkZPxr&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Orangutan loves milk" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Orangutan/i-4HkZPxr/0/1000x1000/orangutan-borneo-indonesia-L.jpg" alt="Orangutan loves milk" width="550" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a title="Orangutan at the camp Leakey" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Orangutan/25829602_t4t8wh#!i=2140829240&amp;k=wMK5C35&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Orangutan at the camp Leakey" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Orangutan/i-wMK5C35/0/1000x1000/orangutan-borneo-indonesia-L.jpg" alt="Orangutan at the camp Leakey" width="550" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a title="" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Orangutan/25829602_t4t8wh#!i=2138582318&amp;k=BvqVhSM&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Orangutan/i-BvqVhSM/0/1000x1000/orangutan-borneo-indonesia-L.jpg" alt="" width="550" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a title="Orangutan in the sunlight" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Orangutan/25829602_t4t8wh#!i=2140728733&amp;k=ckPWDMr&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Orangutan in the sunlight" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Orangutan/i-ckPWDMr/0/1000x1000/orangutan-borneo-indonesia-L.jpg" alt="Orangutan in the sunlight" width="550" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a title="Tut and his son Thor" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Orangutan/25829602_t4t8wh#!i=2140729290&amp;k=5htd64K&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Tut and his son Thor" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Orangutan/i-5htd64K/0/1000x1000/orangutan-borneo-indonesia-L.jpg" alt="Tut and his son Thor" width="550" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a title="Orangutan at the camp Leakey " href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Orangutan/25829602_t4t8wh#!i=2140731778&amp;k=BmVrbqk&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Orangutan at the camp Leakey " src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Orangutan/i-BmVrbqk/0/1000x1000/orangutan-borneo-indonesia-L.jpg" alt="Orangutan at the camp Leakey " width="550" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a title="Orangutan at the camp Leakey" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Orangutan/25829602_t4t8wh#!i=2140793460&amp;k=VMNzdfV&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Orangutan at the camp Leakey" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Orangutan/i-VMNzdfV/0/1000x1000/orangutans-borneo-indonesia-L.jpg" alt="Orangutan at the camp Leakey" width="550" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a title="Orangutan at the camp Leakey" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Orangutan/25829602_t4t8wh#!i=2140793700&amp;k=GFZzzhK&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Orangutan at the camp Leakey" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Orangutan/i-GFZzzhK/0/1000x1000/orangutans-borneo-indonesia-L.jpg" alt="Orangutan at the camp Leakey" width="550" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a title="Orangutan at the camp Leakey " href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Orangutan/25829602_t4t8wh#!i=2140731713&amp;k=nKZg5fN&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Orangutan at the camp Leakey " src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Orangutan/i-nKZg5fN/0/1000x1000/orangutan-borneo-indonesia-L.jpg" alt="Orangutan at the camp Leakey " width="550" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a title="Doyok's hand" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Orangutan/25829602_t4t8wh#!i=2140731020&amp;k=Mcf4BZS&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Doyok's hand" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Orangutan/i-Mcf4BZS/0/1000x1000/orangutan-borneo-indonesia-L.jpg" alt="Doyok's hand" width="550" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a title="Orangutan at the camp Leakey" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Orangutan/25829602_t4t8wh#!i=2140794330&amp;k=JDG7B4M&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Orangutan at the camp Leakey" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Orangutan/i-JDG7B4M/0/1000x1000/orangutans-borneo-indonesia-L.jpg" alt="Orangutan at the camp Leakey" width="550" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a title="Gibbons are family too" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Orangutan/25829602_t4t8wh#!i=2140729610&amp;k=wxnRnsK&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Gibbons are family too" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Orangutan/i-wxnRnsK/0/1000x1000/orangutan-borneo-indonesia-L.jpg" alt="Gibbons are family too" width="550" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a title="Orangutan at the camp Leakey " href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Orangutan/25829602_t4t8wh#!i=2140729868&amp;k=gDztGF2&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Orangutan at the camp Leakey " src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Orangutan/i-gDztGF2/0/1000x1000/orangutan-borneo-indonesia-L.jpg" alt="Orangutan at the camp Leakey " width="550" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a title="Orangutan at the camp Leakey " href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Orangutan/25829602_t4t8wh#!i=2140730562&amp;k=hjT9XFP&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Orangutan at the camp Leakey " src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Orangutan/i-hjT9XFP/0/1000x1000/orangutan-borneo-indonesia-L.jpg" alt="Orangutan at the camp Leakey " width="550" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a title="Doyok eating bananas" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Orangutan/25829602_t4t8wh#!i=2140731079&amp;k=KNSGKDb&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Doyok eating bananas" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Orangutan/i-KNSGKDb/0/1000x1000/orangutan-borneo-indonesia-L.jpg" alt="Doyok eating bananas" width="550" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a title="Orangutan at the camp Leakey" href="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Orangutan/25829602_t4t8wh#!i=2140829237&amp;k=CBGWLgF&amp;lb=1&amp;s=A"><img title="Orangutan at the camp Leakey" src="http://photos.runawayjuno.com/Travel/Indonesia/Borneo-Orangutan/i-CBGWLgF/0/1000x1000/orangutans-borneo-indonesia-L.jpg" alt="Orangutan at the camp Leakey" width="550" /></a></p> Mt Bromo a must see item when visiting Indonesia http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/190/mt-bromo-a-must-see-item-when-visiting-indonesia <p>Waking up for 3:30am for a tour to do a &ldquo;must see, must do&rdquo; item in &nbsp;<a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/">Indonesia</a>, is sometimes a sacrifice that you need to make. Thankfully I didn&rsquo;t need to shower before hand I could literally roll out of bed at 3:15am, throw some clothes on and meet the group.</p> <p>Before heading to the small town of Wonotoro, I was told to bring warm clothes and that it would be very chilly there. Men walked around selling toques and mittens, the Indonesians traveling with us were shivering and their hands were cold as ice. However being Canadian I was still walking around in shorts thinking they were crazy. It was ten degrees when we got to Wonotoro and the sun was shining! At 3:30am the next morning, it was slightly colder, but maybe only 5 or 6 degrees Celsius. With my jeans on, a sweater and a light jacket I was fine and not knowing what exactly I was about to do I would later find out that that was more than enough clothing to keep me warm.</p> <p>The group of us all loaded into heavy duty jeeps with 4 wheel drive and we started to leave Wonotoro and head up higher and higher, driving up some of the steepest streets I&rsquo;ve ever seen. Along the road we met with other groups in Jeeps headed in the same direction. Finally we all made it to a point where the Jeeps can no longer continue. Instead there are men with horses offering to give you a ride up for a small fee or you could choose to walk.</p> <p>It was pitch black and there were people and horses everywhere. Our group chose to walk. The previous day I had asked how much walking we had to do and was told &ldquo;Not much, maybe 10 minutes&rdquo;. I soon learned that this was not true, perhaps a mix up / language barrier with my question. The higher we got as did the elevation and the air became thin making it harder to breath with every step we took.</p> <p>I don&rsquo;t really like hiking, this wasn&rsquo;t going to be fun, but I was assured I would be at the top of this hill soon. I kept trudging on, stopping every few steps, swearing under my breath. The fact that I couldn&rsquo;t tell how high we were going is what kept me moving. If it was light out and I could of seen where we were headed I probably would of given up.</p> <p>I was hot now and there was no need for all of these layers I was wearing, but there was a wind and the scarf I was wearing kept the dust and ash off of my face. The climb seemed like it took hours but it was probably only 30minutes max, maybe shorter And boy was I rewarded with a spectacular view for my efforts.</p> <p><img src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b4067005ae0.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="364" /></p> <p>We had climb to the top of Pananjakan on the craters edge over looking &nbsp;<a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publisharticle/destination/319/bromo-tengger-semeru-national-park">Mt Bromo&rsquo;s</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;steaming crater and two other volcanoes (Semeru and Batok). It was dark still but to the left we could see the sun rising. This sunrise is known as one of the best on earth. At first it was slightly disappointing because of the clouds, we took photos then moved to the right to see the sun spilling over the volcanoes. Just when we thought there was nothing beautiful to see of the sunrise that morning, the sun burst through the clouds and we all moved back to our left and got some amazing breath taking views.</p> <p><img src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b404fcab177.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="364" /></p> <p><img src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b405c25c2b8.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="830" /></p> <p><img src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b4056ff32d1.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="364" /></p> <p>Down at the &nbsp;base of the active, steaming Mt Bromo, if you squinted you could see a temple, in a somewhat dangerous location and that is where we were headed next. After a quick and steep walk back down to our jeeps we then drove across the ash dessert aka Sea of Sand where more men waited for us on horses to take us to the craters edge of Mt Bromo. Few chose the horses and others chose to walk. For some reason I decided to walk as well, mostly because I dislike riding horses, but half way there I almost changed my mind especially since one man was following me the whole way with his horse. I think he was taking bets on when I might break down. I then however became determined to do it with out a horse, if I&rsquo;ve come this far why not </p> <p><img src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b40758402c2.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="364" /></p> <p><img src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b4078aef18d.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="364" /></p> <p>The ash and sand at times was deep and higher than my ankle. It was hard to walk in and I could feel not only my shoes but my socks filling up with the fine grains. However I continued climbing.</p> <p>I finally made it to the highest part where the horses could go no further and all that was left before me was a huge staircase. Most of the people in the group were already on the way down but I kept going. The steps were falling apart, missing pieces and missing railings here and there. People stopped along the way and sand storms came at us from each side. I started taking the stairs ten at a time then resting, ten at a time then resting.</p> <p><img src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b407e2cc4f8.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="364" /></p> <p>Once I made it to the top I was rewarded yet again. I was looking into the mouth of an active volcano. I was standing on top of an active volcano. This thing could of blown at any moment, however thankfully it didn&rsquo;t. The smell of sulphur in the air from the steaming volcano was thick and we wore medical masks to keep the smell down and to keep the whirring sand out of our mouth and noses.</p> <p>It truly was a once in a lifetime experience, that before this day I hadn&rsquo;t even known was possible. It was a test of my physical abilities and determination however I completed it, healing broken ankle and all and hope that some day in my future I might be challenged to do it once again and if not, I at least hope I can inspire others to do it for me.</p> <p><img src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b40835f1892.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="364" /></p> <p><img src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b4086030cc2.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="364" /></p> The Incredible Orangutans of Kalimantan http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/186/the-incredible-orangutans-of-kalimantan <p>To the world it is known simply as Borneo. It&rsquo;s the third biggest island in the world and home to the famous gentle man of the forest&mdash;the orangutan.</p> <p>To Indonesians, it is Kalimantan&mdash;the Indonesian part which makes up the majority of the island&rsquo;s land area. The rest of the island is diffused into Sabah and Sarawak, the provinces of Malaysian Borneo, as well as the Sultanate of Brunei.</p> <p>Last year I visited these parts of Borneo, but wanted to return to explore Kalimantan and as much as I could of the other 17,000 islands that make up <a href="/">Indonesia</a>.</p> <p>The mere mention of Borneo is enough to excite the imagination. This is a land of headhunters, deep jungles, and dugout canoes in great rivers. It&rsquo;s home to the world's biggest caves, exotic wildlife, and world-class diving.</p> <p>But the orangutan alone is reason enough to visit this tropical island. Although I've only seen one before in the wild, I knew that I wanted a chance to see more. The National Park at <a href="/en/destination/443/tanjung-puting-national-park-re-introducing-orang-utans-to-the-wild">Tanjung Puting</a> would be my destination.</p> <h2><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50acdb272b382.jpg" alt="orangutan" width="550" height="369" /></h2> <h2>Why we need to save the orangutan and the forests of Indonesia</h2> <p>There are only about 60,000 orangutans left in the world. Most are on Borneo, in parts of Malaysia and Indonesia, as well as on the island of Sumatra. The orangutan is one of the four great apes, along with the gorilla, the chimpanzee, and the human.</p> <p>Any amount of time spent observing these fascinating creatures will reveal an uncanny array of human-like habits. It&rsquo;s nearly impossible to not be mesmerized by their itching, eating, yawning, and the way they take care of their young.</p> <p>The biggest threat to the orangutan is the human. We continue take away their habitat by destroying the forests in favor of agriculture. The biggest culprit is oil palm plantations. Indonesia is the world&rsquo;s biggest producer of palm oil. �The country has already lost 75% of its original natural forest. The area used for palm oil plantations in Indonesia has expanded from 1.1 million hectares in 1991 to 4.1 million hectares in 2002. In the last 32 years, Indonesia has lost forests equivalent to the size of Germany and the Netherlands combined or approximately 65 times the size of Bali.</p> <p>Orangutan also have natural enemies like the clouded leopard, the python, and the cobra, but these pose much less of a threat than we humans.</p> <h2>Will tourism help the Orangutan </h2> <p>While we cruised upstream in our klotok (small river boat), we talked a lot about the effects of tourism on the orangutan. Although tourism continues to grow, I think it remains beneficial to the orangutan and the local economy. It&rsquo;s obvious that tourism raises awareness for the species and boosts employment numbers.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s also apparent that there is a threshold for tourism numbers due to the fact that the forest and rivers are a sensitive ecosystem. For the time being, I&rsquo;d say get to Tanjung Puting National Park while it&rsquo;s still uncrowned, accessible, and affordable.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50acda9452096.jpg" alt="klotok" width="550" height="368" /></p> <h2>Comparing wildlife viewing in Sabah, Malaysia to that of Kalimantan, Indonesia</h2> <p>Although we saw plenty of macaques, monkeys, a crocodile by accident, and millions of fireflies, the klotok journey is not intended to be a wildlife viewing trip. Its main mission is to support travelers with a bed, meals, and transport to see the orangutans.</p> <p>We stopped in three different places to view the orangutan in Tanjung Puting. How did that compare with earlier visits to see the orangutan in Malaysia </p> <p>In Malaysia, I went on a wildlife viewing boat trip up the Kinabatangan River, to see a whole host of Borneo&rsquo;s animals. While that was excellent for seeing long-tailed macaques, civets, kingfishers, hornbills, and monitor lizards, it was not ideal for seeing orangutan in the wild. Our only orangutan spotting was from over a hundred meters away.</p> <p>Indonesia&rsquo;s Kalimantan is the place to go to see the orangutan in the wild. The caretakers in the national park do two feedings per day. The orangutan that are either being rehabilitated or just show up out the forest for supplemental feeding can be seen chomping away at bananas and drinking milk. And simply watching this makes your whole journey to Kalimantan worthwhile.</p> <p>We also saw some orangutan while walking to the feeding area and from the river while we were on the boat&mdash;also highpoints of the trip.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50acda4240019.jpg" alt="orangutan" width="550" height="369" /></p> <h2>How you can help the Orangutan</h2> <p>Basically awareness is the first step. We are part of a global world and we need to understand the challenges we are facing in the 21<sup>st</sup> century. A growing population demands a larger food-supply and the land to produce this food.</p> <p>International organizations like <a href="http://www.orangutan.org/">Orangutan Foundation International</a> are dedicated to the protection of the orangutan and its habitat. Donating money is one way to help. Funds go towards the purchasing and protecting of forest and to the rehabilitation of orangutans.</p> <p>During our trip we spent a day with Frederick, son of Dr. Birut� Mary Galdikas, who founded OFI and has studied the orangutan for decades. He grew up with the orangutans literally as his friends. He still has an amazing connection with them and at one point when we were on our way back from watching a feeding, one of the mother orangutans took him by the hand and sat next to him.</p> <p>Visiting the Orangutan in Kalimantan is undoubtedly one of the highlights of any trip to Indonesia.</p> Witnessing the Diversity of Indonesia at Borobudur Temple http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/187/witnessing-the-diversity-of-indonesia-at-borobudur-temple <p>A visit to the Temple of <a href="/en/destination/233/borobudur">Borobudur</a> is much more than the admiring the elegance of a 9<sup>th</sup> century Buddhist monument. It&rsquo;s more than imagining that this great stone tribute was buried for ages beneath volcanic ash. It&rsquo;s more than climbing over the world's largest Buddhist monument.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b2c4d363356.jpg" alt="Borobudur" width="550" height="368" /></p> <p>It&rsquo;s about witnessing the great diversity and the long history of these incredible islands known collectively today as Indonesia.</p> <p><a href="/">Indonesia</a> is an assemblage of over 17,000 islands, with hundreds of cultures and languages spoken. Today it is a Muslim-majority nation, but it wasn&rsquo;t always this way. Over the ages, immigration from India, China, Portugal, Arabia, and the Netherlands has been a major contributor to the diversity of religion.</p> <p>Hinduism and Buddhism were brought to Indonesia around the 2nd and 4th centuries, respectively, when Indian traders arrived on Sumatra, Java and Sulawesi. Islam was introduced to Indonesia in the 14<sup>th</sup> century. In the 16<sup>th</sup> century, Protestantism was brought by the Dutch. Today, 87% of the population is Muslim, 10% Christian, and 1.7% Hindi.</p> <p>Borobudur is located on the island of Java. �Java is the world&rsquo;s most populated island and is home to nearly 60% of Indonesia&rsquo;s 238 million people. Consequently, it is one of the most densely populated places on earth. It&rsquo;s like squeezing 138 million people into an area the size of Greece.</p> <p>Our flight landed in the central Javan city of Semarang. Despite the rainy season having not fully arrived, the paddy fields were a fierce shade of green.</p> <p>Our destination was the temple at Borobudur. Simply put it is world's largest Buddhist monument.</p> <p>Borobudur is set in a valley near the base of volcanoes. This 9th-century Buddhist monument consists of six square platforms topped by three circular platforms. It is decorated with <a href="/en/destination/879/understanding-the-thousands-of-relief-panels-of-borobudur">2,672 relief panels</a> and 504 Buddha statues. At the top is the main dome, surrounded by another 72 Buddha statues, but these are seated inside stupas.</p> <p>Like it or not, travelers and writers tend to make comparisons. One could make vague contrasts of Borobudur to the temples at Angkor Wat. However, each is unique. While Angkor is an intimidatingly huge complex spread out over several square kilometers, Borobudur can be taken in during a couple of hours.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b2c5227cb46.jpg" alt="Borobudur" width="550" height="368" /></p> <p>Borobudur opens at dawn (you should be there for 5:30am) but costs ten times the price ($50 US). Visiting in the afternoon, although more crowded, is a better value ($5 US). You still see the temple, but your pictures may be filled with other tourists.</p> <p>We woke at 4:45 am hoping to catch a cloud-less sunrise. By 5am, as we grabbed a flashlight and tightened a sarong around our waist, the prospects weren&rsquo;t looking good. The sky was dark. We waited.</p> <p>I wandered around the top couple layers of the tall monument taking photos out in different directions. Trees lined the silhouette of the nearby mountain ridges. Palm trees covered the hazy, valley below.</p> <p>The whole experience was serene, but we never quite caught the sun.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50b2c553b0e0f.jpg" alt="Borobudur" width="550" height="368" /></p> Borobudur Temple : The largest Hindu-Buddhist Monument in the world http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/185/borobudur-temple-the-largest-hindu-buddhist-monument-in-the-world <p>Borobudur is one of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, located in Central Java, near Magelang, or forty kilometers west of Yogyakarta. This magnificent monument is the largest monument in the southern hemisphere and the greatest single piece of classical architecture in the entire archipelago.</p> <p>This world's largest Buddhist stupa was actually built on Hindu foundations , a series of three stone terraces which began life in 775 AD as a large step pyramid. When the Buddhist Sailendras took over the site fifteen years later, building resumed on top of the three terraces to become their own temple.</p> <p>It took 70 years to finish the construction. Millions of local volcanic rock block were joined together without mortar. Sculpted reliefs adorned the lower galleries, covered with stucco and painted. Unfortunately the foundation was unstable, cracks appeared, and the hill became totally waterlogged. It was abandoned and neglected for more than a thousand years. Rediscovered in 1815, but nothing was much done until 1973, when the UNESCO started the full-scale restoration. The project took 11 years. And until now, Borobudur is still used for pilgrimage; once a year Buddhists in Indonesia celebrate Vesak at the monument, and Borobudur is Indonesia's single most visited tourist attraction.</p> <p>Borobudur, unlike most temples, was not built as a dwelling for the gods, but rather as a representation of the Buddhist cosmic mountain, Meru. Accordingly, the base is the real, earthly world, a world of desires and passions, and at the summit is nirvana. Thus, as you make your way around the temple passages and slowly spiral to the summit, you are symbolically following the path to enlightenment.</p> <p>Let's start the journey!</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/508e4777475e0.jpg" alt="Borobudur1" width="550" height="402" /></p> <p>Yep, let's walk through the park and see the image of the temple in front of us becomes clearer and bigger.<img class="mceWPmore" title="More..." src="http://time4teaparty.wordpress.com/wp-includes/js/tinymce/plugins/wordpress/img/trans.gif" alt="" /></p> <p><img title="Borobudur 2" src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/508e47a0b4273.jpg" alt="Borobudur 2" width="550" height="393" /></p> <p>Hang on...we're almost there!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There it is!</p> <p>Say 'hi' to the two lion gate guardians...!</p> <p><img title="Borobudur 4" src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/508e46ea5df5e.jpg" alt="Borobudur 4" width="550" height="692" /></p> <p>Ready to climb these stairs There are 360 steps (including the landings) in total.</p> <p>No...no..., we're gonna take the path of enlightenment. Starts from the eastern stairway and continue in a clockwise direction. Follow all the stories (on each level on both the outer and inner wall) and you will have circled the temple ten times - a distance of almost 5km.</p> <p><img title="Borobudur 5" src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/508e47d575a27.jpg" alt="Borobudur 5" width="550" height="382" /></p> <p>The story relief panel</p> <p><img title="Borobudur 6" src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/508e47f245de4.jpg" alt="Borobudur 6" width="550" height="376" /></p> <p>A complete set of niche containing seated image of the Buddha, with the carved gargoyle for water drainage.</p> <p><img title="Borobudur 7" src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/508e480cd6785.jpg" alt="Borobudur 7" width="550" height="733" /></p> <p>Missing niche.</p> <p>(Some parts of Borobudur were looted by treasure seekers decades ago)</p> <p><img title="Borobudur 8" src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/508e482e57ac9.jpg" alt="Borobudur 8" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p>Buddha Statues</p> <p><img title="Borobudur 9" src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/508e484996492.jpg" alt="Borobudur 9" width="550" height="733" /></p> <p>The cross-legged statue seated in a lotus position</p> <p><img title="Borobudur 10" src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/508e487b42875.jpg" alt="Borobudur 10" width="550" height="381" /></p> <p>After walking around the &nbsp;four terraces with the rectilinear galleries, you'll come to the round terraces. The three terraces contain diminishing numbers of hollow stone stupas, which each house a Buddha image displaying the &nbsp;<em>dharmacakra mudra &nbsp;</em>(the most teaching gesture). &nbsp;There are 72 stupas in total. The stupas on both lower terraces are built from a stone lattice with diagonal windows with a square &nbsp;<em>harmika &nbsp;</em>above. Those on the top terrace have square windows with an octagonal &nbsp;<em>harmika</em>. Can you see the differences </p> <p><img title="Borobudur 11" src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/508e489abdbae.jpg" alt="Borobudur 11" width="550" height="695" /></p> <p>On both the lowest and middle terraces &nbsp;a stupa has been left open, so that the images of Buddha can be seen more clearly.</p> <p><img title="Borobudur 12" src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/508e48c062c6c.jpg" alt="Borobudur 12" width="550" height="382" /></p> <p>At the summit is another stupa, the biggest one, solid in appearance. During the restoration, an unfinished Buddha image was found inside a hollow chamber there. Now it sits in the nearby museum courtyard. This huge empty stupa, almost 10m in diameter, represents the nirvana! ENJOY!</p> ORANGUTANS @ TANJUNG PUTING, KALIMANTAN, BORNEO: Largest Population of Wild Orangutans (Day 1) http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/176/orangutans-tanjung-puting-kalimantan-borneo-largest-population-of-wild-orangutans-day-1 <p><a title="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-257.jpg by Our Awesome Planet, on Flickr" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/diaz/8073871278/"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8179/8073871278_1d7de5cd7a_z.jpg" alt="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-257.jpg" width="550" height="550" /><br /></a>My first encounter with an orangutan was when we saw a "domesticated" one named <a href="http://www.ourawesomeplanet.com/awesome/2007/12/arc-of-avilon.html" target="_self">Jenny in Ark of Avilon Zoo</a> in Manila.It was nice to see her because she seems to be playfully innocent and wants to interact with people.</p> <p>But after visiting the <strong><a href="/" target="_self">Tanjung Puting National Park</a></strong> in Kalimantan Province of Indonesia in the island of Borneo, I learned that these animals are born to be wild. We need to protect them from becoming extinct because of the destruction of their natural habitat, and from poachers who sell them to zoos around the world.</p> <p>Here's our awesome experience in Tanjung Puting National Park which has the largest wild population of Orangutans in the World:</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="/" target="_self">Travel to Wonderful Indonesia</a>&nbsp; Blog Series</strong></span>:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.ourawesomeplanet.com/awesome/2012/10/tanjung-puting-national-park-orangutans.html" target="_self">ORANGUTANS @ TANJUNG PUTING, KALIMANTAN: Largest Population of Wild Orangutans (Day 1)</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.ourawesomeplanet.com/awesome/2012/10/orangutans-tanjing-national-park-dr-birute-camp-leaky.html" target="_self">ORANGUTANS: Dr. Birute's Work @ Camp Leaky, Borneo (Day 2)</a></li> </ul> <hr class="at-page-break" /> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Going to Tanjung Puting, National Park, Kalimantan Indonesia Province, Borneo</span></strong></p> <p><a title="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-5.jpg by Our Awesome Planet, on Flickr" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/diaz/8073522793/"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8036/8073522793_c630b9943c_z.jpg" alt="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-5.jpg" width="550" height="367" /><br /></a>You can fly from Jakarta (CGK) to Pangkalan Bun (PKN) via Kalstar or Trigana Air.</p> <p>(For more info, check out &nbsp;<a href="http://flights.indonesiamatters.com/2120-pangkalan-bun-flights/" target="_self">Flights to Pangkalun Bun</a>&nbsp;)</p> <p><a title="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-7.jpg by Our Awesome Planet, on Flickr" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/diaz/8073525675/"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8455/8073525675_2483d9888c_z.jpg" alt="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-7.jpg" width="550" height="440" /><br /></a>From the airport it is a 30- minute drive to Kumai Port, the jump- off point to board a klotok.</p> <p>(Tip: It's better to book with an organized tour and make sure that airport transfers are included.)</p> <p><a title="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-18.jpg by Our Awesome Planet, on Flickr" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/diaz/8073539355/"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8170/8073539355_f493c455bc_z.jpg" alt="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-18.jpg" width="550" height="367" /><br /></a>The <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klotok">Klotok</a> is a 2-level live-aboard boat, named after the sound it makes: &ldquo;klok tok tok tok&rdquo;</p> <p>For an overnight stay on a medium klotok, good for 4-5 persons: here are prices (as of October 2012) to give you an idea:</p> <p>2 people = Rp 1.9 to 2.2M per pax<br />3 people = Rp 1.4-1.6M per pax<br />4 people = Rp 1.3-1.5M per pax</p> <p>(Tip : Avoid the high season from June to August, otherwise you have to book 1-2 months in advance)</p> <p><a title="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-28.jpg by Our Awesome Planet, on Flickr" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/diaz/8073545250/"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8309/8073545250_bf2106f9f8_z.jpg" alt="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-28.jpg" width="550" height="367" /><br /></a>We navigated through the waters of the Skonyer River &ldquo;snaking&rdquo; inside the 415,040 hectares of Tanjung Puting National Park.<span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Lunch onboard the Klotok</strong></span></p> <p><a title="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-34.jpg by Our Awesome Planet, on Flickr" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/diaz/8073552658/"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8460/8073552658_13d92acb1b_z.jpg" alt="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-34.jpg" width="550" height="367" /></a></p> <p>After a one-hour cruise, we stopped for lunch with home-cooked Indonesian food :)</p> <p><a title="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-31.jpg by Our Awesome Planet, on Flickr" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/diaz/8073548392/"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8181/8073548392_722279e4df_z.jpg" alt="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-31.jpg" width="550" height="367" /><br /></a>Lunch usually consists of fresh seafoods (crabs, fish, prawns), vegetables, tempe, and...</p> <p><a title="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-36.jpg by Our Awesome Planet, on Flickr" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/diaz/8073554438/"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8462/8073554438_2e5c46b004_z.jpg" alt="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-36.jpg" width="550" height="367" /><br /></a>Freshly- cooked sambal concocted from Tomato, Chili, and Shrimp head paste :) My favorite!</p> <p><a title="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-74.jpg by Our Awesome Planet, on Flickr" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/diaz/8073614534/"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8454/8073614534_f1af3ddd6f_z.jpg" alt="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-74.jpg" width="550" height="367" /><br /></a>Throughout our trip in Indonesia, our food onboard the klotok was consistently voted one of the best meals on the trip. Thanks to home-cooking-oriented cooks onboard our boat!</p> <p><a title="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-26.jpg by Our Awesome Planet, on Flickr" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/diaz/8073550495/"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8312/8073550495_6b32b2f1a8_z.jpg" alt="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-26.jpg" width="550" height="824" /><br /></a>After every meal, I usually look forward to a serving of freshly brewed Indonesian Java coffee with evaporated milk. The 3-in-1 White Coffee pack is good too, but a little bit too sweet for my taste.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Tree Planting @ Pesalat Village</strong></span></p> <p><a title="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-53.jpg by Our Awesome Planet, on Flickr" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/diaz/8073580524/"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8314/8073580524_efa6b306da_z.jpg" alt="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-53.jpg" width="550" height="440" /><br /></a>After lunch, you can visit the Pesalat Village to plant some trees to contribute to the preservation of the forests in Borneo. (Photo above shows a cut-down Iron Wood Tree)</p> <p>One of the biggest problems in Borneo is that natural forests are being converted into Palm Plantation to produce Palm Oil.</p> <p><a title="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-239.jpg by Our Awesome Planet, on Flickr" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/diaz/8073844084/"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8175/8073844084_aaabfec929_z.jpg" alt="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-239.jpg" width="550" height="413" /><br /></a>Palm Oil is an edible vegetable oil used for consumer goods and a key component in Biofuel production. Indonesia and Malaysia are the biggest exporters of Palm Oil in the world.</p> <p>Because of its huge demand, forests are burned to the ground to give way to Palm Trees. The forest fires cause the smoky haze problem in Borneo.</p> <p><a title="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-70.jpg by Our Awesome Planet, on Flickr" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/diaz/8073616045/"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8171/8073616045_6ea4754411_z.jpg" alt="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-70.jpg" width="550" height="824" /><br /></a>I planted a tree naming it, "Ang Mahiwagang Halaman" �dedicated to my boys.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>CAMP 1: Pondok Tanggui (3PM Feeding Time)</strong></span></p> <p><a title="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-76.jpg by Our Awesome Planet, on Flickr" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/diaz/8073623955/"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8455/8073623955_dab915eeee_z.jpg" alt="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-76.jpg" width="550" height="367" /><br /></a>We arrived at 3PM just in time for the afternoon feeding of the Orangutans.</p> <p><a title="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-82.jpg by Our Awesome Planet, on Flickr" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/diaz/8073626838/"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8179/8073626838_539115097c_z.jpg" alt="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-82.jpg" width="550" height="367" /><br /></a>We hiked on flat land for 20 minutes to reach the designated feeding grounds.</p> <p><a title="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-87.jpg by Our Awesome Planet, on Flickr" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/diaz/8073642527/"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8309/8073642527_4ee38e9fe5_z.jpg" alt="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-87.jpg" width="550" height="367" /><br /></a>It was a bit surreal seeing the orangutans in the wild for the first time.</p> <p><a title="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-88.jpg by Our Awesome Planet, on Flickr" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/diaz/8073644411/"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8038/8073644411_1d2fc7194e_z.jpg" alt="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-88.jpg" width="550" height="550" /><br /></a>Orangutans are intelligent and act like humans. They eat leaves and tropical fruits like Banana, Mango and Wild Durian.</p> <p><a title="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-95.jpg by Our Awesome Planet, on Flickr" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/diaz/8073653675/"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8174/8073653675_14e0ced508_z.jpg" alt="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-95.jpg" width="550" height="367" /><br /></a>You have to observe quietly and keep a safe distance from the Orangutans.</p> <p><a title="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-100.jpg by Our Awesome Planet, on Flickr" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/diaz/8073653054/"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8313/8073653054_780c9efcb7_z.jpg" alt="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-100.jpg" width="550" height="367" /><br /></a>They are photogenic, love to mimic people and feel at home posing for the camera.</p> <p><a title="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-108.jpg by Our Awesome Planet, on Flickr" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/diaz/8073664854/"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8322/8073664854_0444257cb3_z.jpg" alt="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-108.jpg" width="550" height="824" /><br /></a>They look really cute upclose trying to eat as many bananas as possible.</p> <p>After an hour, we headed back to the boat and departed for Camp 2...</p> <p><a title="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-133.jpg by Our Awesome Planet, on Flickr" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/diaz/8073697536/"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8459/8073697536_740ecc257f_z.jpg" alt="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-133.jpg" width="550" height="367" /><br /></a>It takes 2 hours to go from Camp 1 to Camp 2, and along the way you'll see the magnificent sunset in the forest of Borneo.</p> <p><a title="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-137.jpg by Our Awesome Planet, on Flickr" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/diaz/8073709849/"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8181/8073709849_61fc5d44eb_z.jpg" alt="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-137.jpg" width="550" height="440" /><br /></a>Admittedly, part of the thrill of the Tanjung Puting National Park experience is going outside of your comfort zone and spending the night in the wild forest of Borneo - considered as the Amazon of Asia.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Dinner in the Rain Forests of Borneo</strong></span></p> <p><a title="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-142.jpg by Our Awesome Planet, on Flickr" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/diaz/8073716927/"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8314/8073716927_91bb7fbaa7_z.jpg" alt="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-142.jpg" width="550" height="367" /><br /></a>We decided to go directly to the Camp 2 dock and had our dinner under the stars.</p> <p><a title="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-145.jpg by Our Awesome Planet, on Flickr" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/diaz/8073714086/"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8458/8073714086_b511e10837_z.jpg" alt="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-145.jpg" width="275" height="412" /></a><a title="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-147.jpg by Our Awesome Planet, on Flickr" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/diaz/8073717760/"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8449/8073717760_2eb703aab9_z.jpg" alt="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-147.jpg" width="275" height="412" /><br /></a>The best part of the meal was the Chicken Sate and a special serving of grilled river prawns.</p> <p><a title="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-149.jpg by Our Awesome Planet, on Flickr" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/diaz/8073727325/"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8042/8073727325_1db3b32361_z.jpg" alt="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-149.jpg" width="550" height="367" /><br /></a>Our night ended with us sleeping under the nets with a simple cushion bed onboard the klotok. Evenings are cool in the forest, and conducive for late- night conversations.</p> <p><em>(Note: Alcohol and Pork are not allowed as a respect to the Muslim traditions)</em></p> <p>Day 2:<a href="http://www.ourawesomeplanet.com/awesome/2012/10/orangutans-tanjing-national-park-dr-birute-camp-leaky.html" target="_self">ORANGUTANS: Dr. Birute's Work @ Camp Leaky, Borneo (Day 2)</a></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><strong><a href="/" target="_self">Travel to Wonderful Indonesia</a>&nbsp;Blog Series</strong>:</strong></span>:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.ourawesomeplanet.com/awesome/2012/10/tanjung-puting-national-park-orangutans.html" target="_self">ORANGUTANS @ TANJUNG PUTING, KALIMANTAN: Largest Population of Wild Orangutans (Day 1)</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.ourawesomeplanet.com/awesome/2012/10/orangutans-tanjing-national-park-dr-birute-camp-leaky.html" target="_self">ORANGUTANS: Dr. Birute's Work @ Camp Leaky, Borneo (Day 2)</a></li> </ul> <p>For more info about Tanjung Puting National Park, visit the official website: <a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/" target="_self">Indonesia.Travel</a></p> <ul> <li><a href="/manage/ceritanegeriku/publishphotoessay/destination/443/tanjung-puting-national-park-re-introducing-orang-utans-to-the-wild" target="_self">Tanjung Puting National Park : Re-introducing Orang Utans to the Wild</a></li> <li><a href="/en/destination/779/camp-leakey-renowned-orangutan-research-and-rehabilition-center" target="_self">Camp Leakey: Renowned Orangutan Research and Rehabilition Center</a></li> </ul> <p><strong><em>Live an Awesome Life,</em></strong></p> <p><strong><em><img src="http://www.ourawesomeplanet.com/antonsig.JPG" alt="anton signature" width="145" height="67" /></em><br /><em>Founder, www.OurAwesomePlanet.com<br /></em></strong><em>Follow&nbsp;<strong><a href="https://twitter.com/#!/antondiaz" target="_self">@antondiaz</a>&nbsp;</strong>and&nbsp;</em><em>Like our Official Facebook Page:&nbsp;<strong><a href="https://www.facebook.com/awesomepilipinas" target="_self">Our Awesome Planet</a>&nbsp;</strong></em>:)<br /><em>If you have tips on awesome food and travel destinations, please email me at&nbsp;<strong><a href="mailto:anton@diaz.ph" target="_self">anton@diaz.ph</a></strong>.</em></p> <p><em><strong>Full Disclosure:&nbsp;</strong>I wrote this blog post myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I have no business relationship with any company mentioned in this post or any organization promoting it. As a policy, I don't accept advertising from food and travel places we feature in the blog. Our trip was courtesy of Ministry of Tourism of Indonesia to promote travel to Indonesia.</em></p> <p><strong><em>P.S. Get a chance to win an all expense paid trip to the Komodo National Park in Indonesia by joining the <a href="http://us.indonesia.travel/wonderfulindonesiaquiz/" target="_self">Wonderful Indonesia International Quiz</a>!</em></strong></p> <p><em></em><em>" Experience an adventure into the utimate exotic paradise and witness the legendary Komodo Dragon "The quiz is open for international participants and do not apply for Indonesia. The gameplay of the quiz is quite simple, winners of this quiz is based on the most points scored by participants." Join the Quiz now:&nbsp;<em><a href="http://us.indonesia.travel/wonderfulindonesiaquiz/" target="_self">Wonderful Indonesia Quiz</a></em></em></p> <p><em><strong>P.P.S. Rimba Lodge Option</strong></em></p> <p><a title="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-116.jpg by Our Awesome Planet, on Flickr" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/diaz/8073681007/"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8310/8073681007_fd61030e4e_z.jpg" alt="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-116.jpg" width="550" height="367" /><br /></a>Most people would opt to sleep overnight in the Klotok but you have the option to stay in the Rimba Lodge resort. (about Rp 1,350,000 or $150/night)</p> <p><a title="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-123.jpg by Our Awesome Planet, on Flickr" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/diaz/8073689841/"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8040/8073689841_c301a5b66d_z.jpg" alt="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-123.jpg" width="550" height="367" /><br /></a>The accommodation is decent with a clean restroom and situated inside the wild forests.</p> <p><a title="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-125.jpg by Our Awesome Planet, on Flickr" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/diaz/8073686280/"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8033/8073686280_f2b509e9f6_z.jpg" alt="Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-125.jpg" width="550" height="367" /><br /></a>Tip: Rimba Lodge has a gift shop where you can buy your Orangutan-inspired shirts and souvenirs.</p> Food Diary #1 in Yogyakarta - Temptation http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/177/food-diary-1-in-yogyakarta-temptation <p style="text-align: justify;">For my 3.5 weeks trip back home, I decided to start a food diary to show you all the hard and heavy temptations I encountered during this trip.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">So it started today. It was a beautiful and surprisingly cool morning in Yogyakarta. As everyone in the world acknowledge that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, people in Yogyakarta also take that seriously. I decided to treat myself <em>sop ayam</em> (chicken soup) with rice, chili sauce (<em>sambal sop</em>), <em>empal</em>, and crispy chicken from a small food stall just 10 minutes away from my house. It was definitely a hearty breakfast.</p> <div id="attachment_334" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><a href="http://dreamexplorewander.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/breakfast-fooddiary1.png"><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Big breakfast" src="http://dreamexplorewander.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/breakfast-fooddiary1.png" alt="Big breakfast" width="550" height="158" /></a></div> <div class="wp-caption aligncenter" style="text-align: justify;">Breakfast anyone Yes please!<br /><br />For lunch, I went to a mall near my campus. I just couldn&rsquo;t resist the <em>siomay</em> there. It was used to be my lunch when I was still a student at the university, and yet today it still felt so heavenly in my mouth. Yum!</div> <div class="wp-caption aligncenter" style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</div> <div id="attachment_335" class="wp-caption alignleft"><a class="wp-caption-text"><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Batagor" src="http://dreamexplorewander.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/dinner1-fooddiary1.png" alt="Batagor" width="550" height="262" /></a></div> <div class="wp-caption alignleft" style="text-align: justify;">This is delicious!<br /><br />My best friend asked me if I wanted to go out for dinner with her and so I did. She took me to <em>Monumen Jogja Kembali</em>, which is a famous monument of Jogja. There was a food festival at that time. We ate <em>batagor</em> which consists of tofu and meat served with peanut butter sauce. Just to let you know, the portion was so small that we ordered another menu named <em>tahu gimbal</em>. It consists of tofu, rice wrapped in banana leaf (<em>lontong</em>), <em>bakwan udang</em>, egg, cabbage, bean sprouts and <em>krupuk</em> also served with peanut butter sauce and also <em>petis</em> which made it even more tasty. In addition, it is also completed with fresh chili as one of signature ingredients of Indonesians dishes.</div> <div class="wp-caption alignleft" style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</div> <div class="wp-caption alignleft">&nbsp;</div> <div id="attachment_331" class="wp-caption alignright" style="text-align: justify;"><a href="http://dreamexplorewander.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/dinner2-fooddiary1.png"><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Tahu Gimbal" src="http://dreamexplorewander.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/dinner2-fooddiary1.png" alt="Tahu Gimbal" width="550" height="278" /></a></div> <div class="wp-caption alignright" style="text-align: justify;">Not the same as batagor, but equally delicious<br /><br />We continued to see what else was interesting. We tried <em>hakau dimsum</em>, which was one of my favorites. I must say, it was quite delicious, although I had ever eaten better ones. We ended our culinary tour at the monument by trying my favorite childhood dessert called <em>lekker</em>. If you know Dutch, <em>lekker</em> literally means &ldquo;yummy&rdquo;. Meanwhile, in Indonesia, <em>lekker</em> is a name for a crispy pancake filled with all sorts of fillings. I chose banana, chocolate and cheese as the fillings.</div> <div class="wp-caption alignright" style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</div> <div id="attachment_333" class="wp-caption alignleft"><a class="wp-caption-text"><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Lekker" src="http://dreamexplorewander.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/dinner4-fooddiary1.png" alt="Lekker" width="550" height="303" /></a></div> <div class="wp-caption alignleft" style="text-align: justify;">Filled with my favorite fillings!<br /><br />I was going to call it a night when my best friend told me that a new gelatto bar was opened not far from where we were and she invited me to try it. I never say no to gelatto, so I obediently nodded to her proposal. There I had rum and raisin flavor and my friend ordered bloody orange flavor. It was the perfect end to my day. And I must say OH SO GOOD!</div> City I Love: Yogyakarta, I'm in Love http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/178/city-i-love-yogyakarta-i-m-in-love <p style="text-align: justify;">Yogyakarta is a popular destination for both domestic and international tourists. It&rsquo;s a special region located in the island of Java. The city is full of five stars hotels to comfort your sleep, top notch services to ease your travel, a haven for the shopping fanatics and fancy restaurants to satisfy your tongue.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Stop right there.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Yes all those mouth-watering offers might let you enjoy Yogyakarta, but the best way to embrace the city is to do what the locals do. So, leave your five stars hotel slippers and abandon the fancy taxi, get on a becak instead and I&rsquo;ll show you why I fell in love with this city in the first place.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was love at first sight. I was born here, back when bikes used to rule the city and the streets were not so crowded as today. At the age of 2, I left the city and then came back there to continue my study in senior high school and university. Of course, by the time I came back, things have changed. Bikes were replaced by motorbikes and the streets were more crowded. Nevertheless, there was a familiarity in the city that wouldn&rsquo;t let me hate it.<strong></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><br /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>The Tradition</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Yogyakarta&rsquo;s official name is <em>Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta</em> which is literally translated to &ldquo;The Special Region of Yogyakarta&rdquo;. Why is it special, you might ask It is special because it is governed by a <em>Sultan</em> who is equivalent to a king and lives in a palace. It has the splendor of active volcano called the Merapi as well as the legendary famous beach <em>Parangtritis</em> and myths about it. Hundreds of rituals and traditions which are relatively normal to the locals but excitingly fascinating for travelers or tourists also make this city special.<br /><br />Getting to know the people of Yogyakarta by knowing and get closer to their traditions. You can start your journey by visiting the palace of the Sultan called <em>Keraton</em>. By visiting the beautiful palace, you will hear myths and rituals being told or perhaps performed if you&rsquo;re lucky enough. If you spot people wearing traditional clothes, these are the helpers of the <em>Keraton</em>. It is said that they work for free as they see it as a service to the Sultan. Though they don&rsquo;t ask for anything in return, the palace usually gives them support, for example food and also education for their children. Say hello or ask them anything when you meet them.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div id="attachment_393" class="wp-caption alignleft"><a class="wp-caption-text"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; vertical-align: text-bottom;" title="City I Love: Yogyakarta, I&rsquo;m in Love " src="http://dreamexplorewander.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/jogja-malioboro-300x245.png" alt="City I Love: Yogyakarta, I&rsquo;m in Love " width="550" height="449" /></a></div> <div class="wp-caption alignleft">&nbsp;</div> <div class="wp-caption alignleft" style="text-align: justify;">Malioboro street will lead you to Keraton<br /><br />The palace covers wide area, including the <em>Tamansari</em> water palace where it was once a place to bath and relax for the <em>Sultan</em>. Not far from the Tamansari, there are two big fields with two old trees grow separated of about several meters. Some people believe that if you close your eyes and are able to walk between the trees, averything you wish for will be granted.</div> <div class="wp-caption alignleft" style="text-align: justify;"><br />There is a famous ceremony called <em>Sekaten</em> to celebrate the birth of the prophet Mohammad. The course of the ceremony combines both religion and tradition. A night fair is usually held near the <em>Keraton</em> during the celebration and many people of Yogyakarta both Muslims and non-Muslims enjoy the rides and different venues organized here. The <em>Sekaten</em> itself consists of many events, such as the traditional songs performance and the famous <em>Gunungan</em> where a lot of food are carried in the street. Many people believe that if you can get the food carried, you will receive luck and prosperity. Such interesting traditions are one of the main reasons why I love this city. There is always something new I could learn about Yogyakarta.</div> <div class="wp-caption alignleft" style="text-align: justify;"><br /><strong></strong></div> <div class="wp-caption alignleft" style="text-align: justify;"><strong><br /></strong></div> <div class="wp-caption alignleft" style="text-align: justify;"><strong>The Food</strong></div> <div class="wp-caption alignleft" style="text-align: justify;"><strong><br /></strong></div> <div id="attachment_395" class="wp-caption alignright"><a class="wp-caption-text"><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="City I Love: Yogyakarta, I&rsquo;m in Love " src="http://dreamexplorewander.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/jogja-puthu-300x201.png" alt="City I Love: Yogyakarta, I&rsquo;m in Love" width="550" height="369" /></a></div> <div class="wp-caption alignright" style="text-align: justify;">Puthu, a popular Javanese snack sold in Solo street<br /><br />Forget the restaurants and head for the food stalls. The best street foods sometimes can be found in simple stalls and are often missed by travelers. Jalan <em>Solo</em> (<em>Solo</em> street) is full of stalls selling Javanese snacks. Here, you can find <em>puthu, klepon, lopes</em> and <em>cenil</em>. Coconuts are the main ingredients of these snacks as well as palm sugar. The snacks are still made traditionally but taste delicious and sweet. The best time to buy them is around 4-5PM as they are sold quickly.<br /><br />Sit by the street of <em>Sagan</em> and enjoy the city&rsquo;s most famous food, <em>gudeg</em>. The sweet taste of jackfruit combined with chicken and brown egg is tasty. If you are a fan of spicy food, try <em>Padang</em> food. This food has become one of the favorites among the Javanese. Don&rsquo;t be surprised if they bring all food to the table at once, this is a unique thing about <em>Padang</em> restaurants. For me, I prefer to take the food home. Wrapped in coconut leaf, the rice and the delicious dishes are mixed together with green chili and cassava leaves.</div> <div class="wp-caption alignright" style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</div> <div class="wp-caption alignright" style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</div> <div class="wp-caption alignleft"><a href="http://dreamexplorewander.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/jogja-bakso.png"><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="City I Love: Yogyakarta, I&rsquo;m in Love" src="http://dreamexplorewander.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/jogja-bakso-258x300.png" alt="City I Love: Yogyakarta, I&rsquo;m in Love" width="550" height="640" /></a></div> <p style="text-align: justify;">Bakso stall by the Bethesda hospital is a favourite of mine<br /><br />There are still plenty of food stalls which sell the locals&rsquo; favorite foods and snacks. Try <em>sate</em> <em>babi</em> (pork satay); you can find it in front of <em>Kranggan</em> street &ndash; it opens only at evening. Besides, there is also restaurant, <em>Jejamuran</em>, which offers menus with mushrooms as main ingredient. Try also the famous Thai food <em>Phuket</em> which can be found around the city, the sambal specialist <em>Pondok Cabe</em> and delicious mendoan, the meatball (<em>bakso</em>) which can be found by the side of Bethesda hospital. Those are a few of my favourites.<strong></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><br /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>The People</strong><br />Last but not least, one more special thing about Yogyakarta is the friendliness of the people of Yogyakarta. As this city is a popular tourism destination and visited by many locals and international tourists, most sellers and people in the transportation systems understand basic English. Having a random conversation with a food seller or with a becak driver is another thing which makes this city so loveable. The flow of the conversation and the cheery responses create a sense of connection to everyone.<br /><br />You can have a random conversation with almost everyone. I was once in a taxi ride where the driver started speaking Javanese, but then we both laughed because I couldn&rsquo;t understand him. We then started talking about school and traffic.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div id="attachment_392" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href="http://dreamexplorewander.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/jogja-sunset.png"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; vertical-align: text-bottom;" title="City I Love: Yogyakarta, I&rsquo;m in Love " src="http://dreamexplorewander.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/jogja-sunset-300x160.png" alt="City I Love: Yogyakarta, I&rsquo;m in Love " width="550" height="293" /></a> <p class="wp-caption-text">Enjoying the sunset in Jogja</p> </div> Amazed by the Sunrise in Ciater, Subang, West Java http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/179/amazed-by-the-sunrise-in-ciater-subang-west-java <p style="text-align: justify;">Tatar Pasundan (The Sundanesse Land) really deserves to be called the land of Parahyangan (The Land of God), because of its natural beauty. Piece of its natural beauty can be viewed in Ciater, Subang, West Java which presents incredible mountain scenery.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The magnificent scenery of Ciater would be perfect if we enjoy it in the early morning. The beauty of the sunrise with a spectacular landscape will make you very amazed. You don't need to bring a backpack filled with equipment to climb the mountain to see the rising sun. You just need to rent a villa in Ciater area and willing to get up very early. After waking up, just open your room's windows and enjoy the beautiful sun rises over the mountains and the expanse of tea plantations, at the foot of Mount Tangkuban Parahu.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; vertical-align: text-bottom;" title="Amazed by the Sunrise in Ciater, Subang, West Java" src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-1uEBsInqU50/UJEa4onUsAI/AAAAAAAACNo/EFuvjH4Asko/s720/Sunrise%2520Cater1.jpg" alt="Amazed by the Sunrise in Ciater, Subang, West Java" width="550" height="361" /></p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; vertical-align: text-bottom;" title="Amazed by the Sunrise in Ciater, Subang, West Java" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-1j4Ac2AeMwE/UJEa5uxTLBI/AAAAAAAACNg/MonWIBkWd6g/s720/sunrise%2520ciater2.jpg" alt="Amazed by the Sunrise in Ciater, Subang, West Java" width="550" height="367" /></p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; vertical-align: text-bottom;" title="Amazed by the Sunrise in Ciater, Subang, West Java" src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-Jni9GUqP35w/UJEa9BWwfGI/AAAAAAAACOA/OS-u6uyavdY/s720/sunrise%2520ciater5.jpg" alt="Amazed by the Sunrise in Ciater, Subang, West Java" width="550" height="366" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">If you want to get a better view, one needs to go to a higher place. Approximately 700 meters from the Sari Ater, precisely on the Subang-Bandung roadside, the beauty of sunrise is magnificent from this spot. The rising sun presents a perfect natural wonders in Ciater. Golden tinge of the light colors the sidelines of the white clouds that look frozen between the hills at the foot of Mount Tangkuban Parahu. The tea plantations exposed by the morning sunlight looks so incredible.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Unfortunately, the beauty of sunrise on the slopes of mount Tangkuban Parahu cannot be enjoyed every morning. Sometimes, one can only see a thick fog covering this area. The beauty of the rising sun in this place would be perfect if the weather is really bright.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Amazed by the Sunrise in Ciater, Subang, West Java" src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-UPRNsyLDWOY/UJEa6FmXmcI/AAAAAAAACNs/pBeOosL5hgE/s720/sunrise%2520ciater3.jpg" alt="Amazed by the Sunrise in Ciater, Subang, West Java" width="550" height="367" /></p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; vertical-align: text-bottom;" title="Amazed by the Sunrise in Ciater, Subang, West Java" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-MmMBVwU7GH4/UJEa8RdYE3I/AAAAAAAACN4/s7taa9UNxnQ/s720/sunrise%2520ciater4.jpg" alt="Amazed by the Sunrise in Ciater, Subang, West Java" width="550" height="365" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In addition to enjoy the stunning beauty of the landscapes, you can also do other interesting activities in Ciater. Here, you can relax in the Ciater natural hot spring which is one of the best hot springs in Indonesia. You can also enjoy the rafting, horseback riding and other exciting adventurous activities here. You can also visit mount Tangkuban Parahu which will take about 15 minutes from Ciater.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The journey to Ciater will take about 3 hours from Jakarta, 1 hour from Bandung and only 45 minutes from Subang, West Java.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Amazed by the Sunrise in Ciater, Subang, West Java" src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-OLXJHRd_7aM/UJEa-TNKMYI/AAAAAAAACOI/8xYyih0vEx0/s640/sunrise%2520ciater6.jpg" alt="Amazed by the Sunrise in Ciater, Subang, West Java" width="550" height="438" /></p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; vertical-align: text-bottom;" title="Amazed by the Sunrise in Ciater, Subang, West Java" src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-FbxpZoFFABo/UJEbANdDgfI/AAAAAAAACOQ/g7_VKr3vkis/s720/sunrise%2520ciater7.jpg" alt="Amazed by the Sunrise in Ciater, Subang, West Java" width="550" height="367" /></p> Karimunjawa, Beyond the Average http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/164/karimunjawa-beyond-the-average <p><span>It was 12.00 a.m. and the air begun to be colder when people just fell asleep while I was riding my motorcycle from Solo headed toward Jepara with three other friends of mine. For the second time, I started my journey to Karimunjawa archipelago, geographically located more than 80 km north away from Jepara and culturally comprised of three different tribes: Java, Madura, and Bugis. Ferry Muria was the only transportation available in Jepara to crossover at the time (which is not every day). Lucky us not to wait in a long queue to get the boat ticket. February was not crammed with people going to the island. It will be more crowded in the peak season from May to October which is also the best time to visit.</span></p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50572b8b73ecd.JPG" alt="" width="550" height="369" /></p> <p><span>Six hours on the boat. The only amusement on board is television. Dolphins&rsquo; parade might also be seen in the middle of Java Sea, but it&rsquo;s not always, only on June till August. To pay the exhaustion of the voyage, an ewer of fresh cold young coconut juice was served on the round table under &nbsp;<em>terminalia cattapan &nbsp;</em>in front of the homestay we lodged. Since we traveled on a shoestring, we set up in a homestay room which is far cheaper than in a hotel or resort. We only spent IDR 80.000 per room per night. It&rsquo;s not quite solely, as it is a family&rsquo;s house with shared bathroom. It is a clean and nice dwelling though.</span></p> <p><span>People say that the island is a perfect place to catch a wonderful scene of sunset. And they were right! We witnessed it from a small dock where many colorful fishermen&rsquo;s fishing boats were attached to. We captured it. Not any stumbling block or cross beam got in the way the sun to sleep under the horizon. Beautiful it was. The gold hour led to the blue one. The sky was amazing.</span></p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50572bd190095.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p><span>We took a walk during the first night in the island and stopped at an open place, quite a town&rsquo;s square, not far from the dock. It is the busiest place at night. Local people build food stalls, sell local cuisine like<span class="apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span><em>bakso ikan ekor kuning</em><span class="apple-converted-space"> &nbsp;</span>(yellow-tailed fish meatball), &nbsp;<em>ikan bumbu srepeh &nbsp;</em>(grilled spiced fish), &nbsp;<em>pindang serani &nbsp;</em>(kind of fish soup), clam satay and other grilled sea foods. The tourists flocked around to dine in crowd.</span></p> <p><span>Night is always where the crowds meet their world. Yes, night when the electricity is available from six to six (from evening to morning). Town&rsquo;s square, cafe , and souvenir shops are fully filled. The island is only a small town yet the number of travelers and backpackers of either domestic or foreign is increasing more and more since words which are easily retrieved in the virtual world take most roles in raising the island&rsquo;s fame. The government and local are seemingly trying to improve the accommodation and transportation facilities. One more fast boat is added from Jepara to encounter the greater number of travelers. The airport is in progress for enlargement. Many new buildings are constructed for lodgings ranging from the economic class as where I lodged to the more luxurious ones. The rate of luxurious lodging varies from IDR 200,000 up to IDR 1,300,000 per night. A bank and an ATM are now open for public. Some internet cafes are provided, not many though. Besides, small stores and food stalls selling daily needs are currently easier to find in the roadside. Bicycles and motorbikes rentals grow like fungus.</span></p> <p><span>Local people know their home better and we asked them where to hit the spot for sunrise. At 4.30 a.m., half awake, we headed to Nyamplung Ragas, eastern part of the island, 15 minutes by motorbike from the homestay. God granted an epic sunrise along with cold morning dew dripping from the grass. Surprisingly, a one meter long lizard crawled crossing the street on the way back to homestay. The island is said to be occupied also by deer, monkey and other reptiles like snakes.</span></p> <p><span>Morning is time to start snorkeling activity and island hopping. But, wait. We were not going to hop on some small islands namely Tengah, Kecil, Menjangan Kecil, Menjangan Besar, Cemara Kecil, Cemara Besar, or even Geleang. We switched from the standard itinerary, turned our back on those islands, diverted the direction of the boat to east farther, to triangle-patterned islands of three; Genting, Sambangan and Seruni.</span></p> <p><span>Two hours to the destination was lapsed by sailing passing some islands and shorelines in the main island, watching seagulls hunting fish for feast and enjoying the fresh ocean air and the blowing wind. I remembered we screamed for we were mesmerized looking this deserted place. We anchored the boat in the middle of these three islands where a long white sand bank is widely unfolded contrasted to the blue of the ocean and the sky. It is more like a tiny beach in the heart of the triangle-patterned islands. I sauntered along the sand bank and set my eyes on blue starfish lounging here and there.</span></p> <p><span>Genting Island is one of the five among the 27 islands in Karimunjawa archipelago which are inhabited. The residents are not so many compared to the main island. Neither are the tourists. Hence, we owned the crystal clear coast just then and played in the shoreline. It was so quiet so we really could hear the wave rippling kissing the sand.</span></p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50572d7d4162a.JPG" alt="" width="550" height="369" /></p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50572c97abdbe.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="369" /></p> <p><span>Getting into t</span>he blue near Sambangan Island, we snorkel on the incredibly clear visibility water. We wanted no more but an underwater picture perfect. Various characters, size and types of corals, reefs and fish schooling full of color spoiled our eyes. This underwater spectacle which grew without blemish on all over the sea floor seemed remain untouched.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50572ddfaad60.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="413" /></p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50572f1931912.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="733" /></p> <p><span>Splendor is not the only thing to be pictured. A glimpse of a swoop was caught on sight in the 7 meters deep sandy sea floor and ray fish swam across below us. Though panic attacked us, we tried to stay calm to avoid its reaction which can harm by its poisonous sting on its tail. Some things also ought to be taken into account that there some should-be-avoided sea creatures. Fire coral, stone fish, urchins and jellyfish are some of them.</span></p> <p><span>Unnoticeably, noon came so soon. The sun was getting higher and fiercer. Our skin begun burnt and our bellies were hungry. We lied on the floury white sand of Seruni Island under a pine tree while waiting for lunch. A lip smacking grilled fresh fish from the ocean dished with sweet and spicy soya sauce was perfect for saving our starving tummy. The remaining day was consumed for canoeing and snorkeling in the deep of Sambangan Island. It is as stunning as the previous site.</span></p> <p><span>The sun glided glamorously above the saffron skyline as the day turned into night and we navigated back to the main island. Night attraction in the island besides mingling in crowds is when we look up to the sky. It is where the constellations of stars and the Milky Way galaxy are brightly and clearly seen, the free and real planetarium with the limited lighting.</span></p> <p><span>Snorkeling is indeed the main activity in the island. Yet, hills and forest are two things that should not be missed. We spent one more day trekking in these places. Nyamplungan hill is located � 300 meters above sea level. It is a graveyard of Sunan Nyamplungan, one of the Islamic preachers from Java in the times of yore. The local respect it as a sacred place because most of them are Moslem. We met some visitors from several towns in Java such as Kudus, Demak, Pati coming to this site for praying. Small fount in the middle of the woody graveyard is believed for recovering diseases and bringing fortune. Above all this, the view is spectacular. We can see the land and small islands scattered from this hill.</span></p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50572e63e143c.JPG" alt="" width="550" height="369" /></p> <p><span>On the outskirts of the island, grow mangrove forest in a wide area. The officers of Karimunjawa National Marine Park take big roles not only in maintaining the forest but also in building the access for trekking activity for educational tour. The trek was constructed last year with 1 km long completed with shelters and information boards.</span></p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50572eb2d4255.JPG" alt="" width="550" height="368" /></p> <p><span>We had one last night to spend before we bid adieu to the island and had another 6 hours on the boat to Jepara. We needed something from here to be brought back to our hometown. Centered souvenir shops sell everything representing the island. Mention like T-shirts, bags, key chains, things decorated with sea stuffs, even preserved foods are available. Satisfied is not the suitable word to express for there are still unvisited small islands outside the main island. But for God&rsquo;s sake, it&rsquo;s a heavenly island!</span></p> The Spectacular View at The End of The Island of Java. http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/120/the-spectacular-view-at-the-end-of-the-island-of-java <p>The Beauty of Indonesia Kawah Ijen Not many tourists know about that crater, caused due to lack of information from several books and guides of the travel agent program. To reach the crater is somewhat difficult, even to the point the first ascent of a struggle, especially with the backpacker style and some are trying to use the bike, if you ask me, do not ever try to reach the first point of the climb on a bike, the bike will be damaged as a result. Ijen volcano is located in the district Bondowoso eastern Java, Ijen area surrounded by coffee plantations, between Arabica and Robusta Ijen stand.</p> <p align="center"><em><img style="margin: 6px;" src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/50169f7eb7626.JPG" alt="" width="350" height="233" />&nbsp;</em></p> <p align="center"><em>Kawah Ijen Excursion</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Ijen crater holds 30 million cubic meters of water to the area are 800 X 700 meters, with a crater depth reaches 180 meters. To reach the top of Ijen and see the beauty of the eastern Java, can last through two cities, Bondowoso and Banyuwangi, the first point in the ascent Paltuding, this is the first post for the climbers report to the forest guard Ijen, pay only about 20 thousand to 1 people. Of Paltuding still about 3 km to reach the top of Ijen. Terrain to the summit is not so difficult at first, but when it reaches the top and want to reach the crater lip, this field is quite difficult, even if you do not take care of lives are at stake.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;<img style="margin: 6px;" src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/5016a064151ae.JPG" alt="" width="350" height="233" /></p> <p>To reach the top of Ijen is very easy if you are patient, disciplined, loyal and understanding, especially when confronted with the sulfur workers. Sulfur Ijen a source of livelihood around Mount Ijen. Sulfur to the urban community to the need of making cosmetic and topical, but not worth the price to the worker at Ijen sulfur. 1 kg of sulfur at 500 rupiah appreciate, to carry sulfur from the crater rim to post Paltuding they carry a load of about 90-120 kg in one time and one-way carry.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In an average day they are only capable of 2 x or 3 x alone, on the way there is an ascent of Ijen sulfur weighing post, here hikers can take a rest while trying to yoke labor sulfur, sulfur workers always stop at the post V, to weigh the inherent sulfur them to the data is recorded and the foreman. can imagine how their efforts are not worth what he gets great power for a man.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Through out my experience of climbing the peak of Ijen, the easiest way in is passed through the village Wonosari Bondowoso, through plantations of sugar cane, rubber and jungle, and then rested in the area of arabica coffee plantations, in this region there are two hotels that can simply warm, clean and adequate. Arabica guest house and Catimor, near the guest house there are beautiful waterfalls, his position in the woods, not so far reaching Catimor waterfall.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;<img style="margin: 6px;" src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/ceritanegeriku/5016a0f8394cb.JPG" alt="" width="350" height="263" /></p> <p>The best time to Paltuding (post 1 Ascent) is at 5 am local time, be it your hotel in Arabica guest house or in Ijen Resort (Banyuwangi). The trip takes 1 hour from the hotel to the post Paltuding. Paltuding heading toward the top of Ijen road about 3km with an average slope of 30-45 degrees elevation, it is very easy to do if not in a hurry. Almost every 200 meters there is a post rest and post rest is best for post weighing of sulfur which is about 2 km from the post Paltuding. After reaching the post Paltuding road will be more ramps to the top of Ijen, of heading up to the top of Ijen weighing only about 1 km away again. Try to reach the top of Ijen before 10 am.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><strong>What Should be Prepared</strong></p> <p>Take aluminum foil or aluminum are also available in packs of cigarettes, this thing is very useful to protect your teeth or your teeth will be rotten, here's the explanation: baud of smoke inhalation while sulfur will certainly be in the crater rim, aluminum foil was put in your teeth until all closed teeth, then cover with a mask or a cloth that has been given until the water was wet, it feels uncomfortable but the health of teeth and lungs is more important.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Remember bring bottled water, at least 2 liters of water just in case, a chocolate bar as a substitute energy source, candy and snacks, o ... 1 more 2 packs of cigarettes, not that expensive, the cheaper it.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Definitely confused and thought, koq should bring up the cigarettes. Some climbers there is a need cigarettes as body warmers, but the climb to the crater, cigarette in the need for exchange or replacement value of money, not to pay admission, but the need for workers sulfur, so ... they must want to take a photo or image with them, naaahhh cigarettes were given as gratitude or if there were no cigarettes, chocolate or drinking water that little else they'll be pleased. Not only cigarettes, when it fell from the top of Ijen "do not throw bottles at random". Give the bottle to the sulfur workers, in fact they need a bottle to bring their own drinking water.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>O&rsquo;ya mobile communication problems.! Phone signal is rather difficult, the best place on the cell phone signal near post weighing of sulfur.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>How to Get There Kawah Ijen</strong></p> <p>Through Bondowoso city, commonly called via Wonosari climbers.</p> <p>Through Banyuwangi town, past the Licin village . 2386 meters above sea level, the height of this mountain.</p> <p>Use four wheel drive if you reach from banyuwangi.</p> <p>Drive Up to 10 hours from Surabaya.</p> <p>2.5 hours from Gilimanuk harbor the bali Port.</p> <p>8 hours drive from Bromo volcano.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Dangerous and annoyance </strong></p> <p>Ijen crater sulfur gas type different from other mountains. Very strong sulfur smell in Ijen can even make your nose bleed if inhaled too much, commonly called sulfur workers as "stick sulfur".</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Which must be prepared to the crater, of course, good physical health, do not take lightly to climb to the top of Ijen, some of my experiences during mountain climbing all over the island of Java to mount Rinjani Lombok island. Ijen can be spelled a little extreme, especially after the past 10 o'clock in the morning if still at the top of Ijen. Prepare sticks as tools operate during ascent, the stick is very useful when going down into the main crater and could help to smooth the way down. Try carrying a chemical mask or cover your nose, it is very essential goods were brought.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p align="center"><em>Survival Tips and Trick</em><em>&nbsp;</em></p> <p>However, if the survival situations, wear shirts that can be used instead, with a record of the shirt should be in the flush water first, then use as a cover nose and mouth breathing are also different ways, not through the nose, but through the mouth, and shall t-shirt to remember it should always be wet with water or lungs will be cramped and your voice will be gone for several days. Survival should be done if the fog Ijen cover the entire top and if you are close to the crater lip, fog and wind usually comes just after 10 am, that's why I recommend try to reach the peak before 10 am or you will miss The Spectacular View at The End of The Island of Java.</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>Agung Nugroho</strong></p> <p><strong>http://www.javatourtraveling.com/</strong></p> </blockquote> Tanjung Puting: Tanjung Harapan http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/110/tanjung-puting-tanjung-harapan <p><img style="float: right; margin: 5px;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1343821791.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="150" />We were all so excited upon seeing the sign on the river! We are about to enter Tanjung Puting Area! (meaning: no cell phone signal! But it's something that we groaned and moaned later on. Yeah. Technology. Can't live without 'em!) Our first stop: Tanjung Harapan!<br /><br />My first thought upon entering this area: my, my, the soil around this place is sandy and whitish. There are also some plants with medicinal properties planted here. We visited information center and read tidbits about this area. Then we enjoyed a short trek (about 1 kilometer) to the feeding site of orangutans.<br /><br />The first orangutan that I saw in this area! A she, unfortunately I forgot her name. (Yes, the orangutans have names! The researchers and rangers and some guides can tell them apart. Me Apart from the dominant male, they look too similar.) She was munching so many bananas and pushing more and more into her mouth. I thought she was greedy. But actually she was afraid that the dominant male, the king of the area, would come and naturally demand his hefty share. So she was being smart. She couldn't bring the bananas using her hands or legs, since she would use them to climb trees. Her mouth was a logical choice.<br /><br /><img style="float: left; margin: 5px;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1343821835.jpg" alt="" width="320" height="240" />Since the king was nowhere in sight, more females and young males braved themselves to eat the bananas. Most males were bringing their young ones with them, clinging while they were approaching the ground, but when they were up in the trees, some youngsters climbed around happily (though they still didn't dare to go too far from their moms). Some orangutans even ate together, peacefully. Maybe this was like some kind or arisan or gathering of the mothers!<br /><br />Here you can see a female orangutan with her child, up in the trees. They are agile climbers. They are also strong! It is said that a female orangutan is as strong as four grown men. A male orangutan is about as strong as eight grown men. The king of orangutan (orangutans have kings. One king rules a relatively small area.) is of course much stronger than that. One ranger told me that it took about 20-ish men to subdue a king of orangutan when he needed treatment for his wounds.<br /><br /><img style="float: right; margin: 5px;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1343821854.jpg" alt="" width="320" height="240" />And suddenly... out of the blue, the king of orangutan in Tanjung Harapan area, Yani, appeared. HUGE, was my first thought. DANGEROUS, was my second. FULL OF LICE, MAYBE was my third, since he kept scratching and scratching during his visit to the feeding site. All young males ran away and females with babies scurried away too, fearing that the king might try to mate with them. (When the female orangutans are still carrying their children, it means they aren't ready yet to have intercourse and bear children, but sometimes a king is being a king, so... well, I don't really need to elaborate, right )<br /><br />We were so lucky, the guides told us, since the kings of orangutans were not always seen by visitors. The feeding site is filled daily, but this is not a staple diet for them. Sometimes aside of bananas, they will give orangutans milk. When the trees are yielding fruit, however, only few orangutans can be spotted since they prefer to eat elsewhere.<br /><br />Bear these in mind when observing orangutans in the wild:</p> <ul> <li>STAY QUIET.</li> <li>DO NOT LITTER. Bring your own garbage with you.</li> <li>DO NOT EAT OR DRINK IN FRONT OF THEM. They might be tempted to grab them from you and this might cause health problems for them.</li> <li>DO NOT FEED THE ORANGUTANS! They are not pets, here they are expected to be self-sufficient and to be able to survive in the wilderness.</li> <li>KEEP YOUR DISTANCE. At least 5 meters away.</li> <li>IF YOU ARE SICK, STAY AWAY FROM THEM. They might be infected!</li> </ul> <p>During our trek to our kelotok boat, one guide showed me a small tree called ramunting ( ). He said orangutans loved to eat it. Edible for humans too, since the guide has tried it many times. He picked one for me and I tasted it. It's like guava, albeit a bit bitter.<br /><br />I saw Muslim cemeteries on the trek to our boat, and the guide explained that originally the site was inhabited by Melayu people. They were given lands elsewhere some time in the 1970s, so that Tanjung Harapan could be a haven for the orangutans. (to be continued)</p> Nature Artworks Around Sukabumi, West Java http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/105/nature-artworks-around-sukabumi-west-java <p>From the picturesque slopes of lush Mt. Gede-Mt. Pangrango National Park to the scenic southern coastline of Cimaja and Ujung Genteng, Sukabumi is a land blessed with the pristine beauty of nature.<br /><br />During the Dutch colonial days, the town of Sukabumi and its surroundings was the favored place for rich Dutch tea planters because of its beautiful tropical scenery and cool climate. In 1914 the Dutch Colonial government established a Gemeente or municipality in Sukabumi since many wealthy European and Dutch families lived in this region.<br /><br />To Sukabumi&rsquo;s south the land slopes down all the way to the Indian Ocean where lies the town of Pelabuhan Ratu, originally a fishing village now a tourist resort. Further south and away from all the complexity of modern world is the secluded shore of Ujung Genteng. Here, aside from exhilarating waves, one can also gaze at the unspoiled beauty of nature in its fascinating landscape and spectacular sunset.<br /><br />Located roughly about 5 hours from Jakarta, the splendor of Sukabumi is truly something worth visiting.<br /><br />All photo taken by <a href="http://www.facebook.com/herlan.e.jaelani" target="_blank">Herlan Jaelani</a>.</p> <p><em><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1342974659.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="367" /></em></p> <p>The lemon yellow sun radiates brilliant bright red color across the afternoon sky as it descends over the horizon off the coast of Rancabuaya; a truly magnificent sight.</p> <p><em><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1342974797.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="367" /></em></p> <p>Nature paints its finest artwork as the sun lurks behind the hanging clouds of Ujung Genteng&rsquo;s afternoon sky.</p> <p><em><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1342974818.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="367" /></em></p> <p>Silhouetted by the brilliant sunset, the fishermen of Pelabuhan Ratu are preparing to venture to the Indian Ocean.</p> <p><em><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1342974835.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="367" /></em></p> <p>With its gallantly thunderous sounds, waves crash onto the rocks of Karanghawu&rsquo;s shore as the sun disappears in the horizon.</p> <p><em><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1342974863.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="367" /></em></p> <p>When clouds posed enchantingly over the shoreline of a Cisolok sunset.</p> <p><em><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1342974880.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="367" /></em></p> <p>Serene lake, lush green forest, and nothing but the sounds of nature; a perfect picture of tranquility atSitugunung.</p> <p><em><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1342974902.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="825" /></em></p> <p>Among the lush forest of Situgunung, Curug Sawer is truly refreshing; visually and physically.</p> The Amazing Aerial View of Raja Ampat http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/106/the-amazing-aerial-view-of-raja-ampat <p>Environmental geology is part of the natural system essential for Raja Ampat, one of the world&rsquo;s best untouched destinations. The features shown from an aerial photography have confirmed the delicacy and gracefulness at the same time of the islands located between Maluku and one of the world&rsquo;s largest islands, Papua. <br /><br />Many have undoubtedly avowed that Raja Ampat is the world of its own, found nowhere else but in Indonesia. <br /><br />Photos by <a href="http://www.issock-photos.com" target="_blank">Alain Issock</a>.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1342976650.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="367" /></p> <p>Physiographical features of Raja Ampat islands have formed visual exquisiteness from an aerial outlook.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1342976666.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="367" /></p> <p>Raja Ampat has various aquatic morphologies, from 200-meter depth to only 3 meters near the lush topographic karsts islands.&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1342976679.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="367" /></p> <p>There are four major types of beaches in Raja Ampat as a result of geodynamic processes around the India-Australia and Pacific plates. They are granite beaches found in several part of &nbsp;Batanta and Salawati island, mud beaches in several stretches of Waigeo and Misool, cliff beaches in most part of Waigeo all the way from Mayalibit to Kabui Cove and also in Bantanta island, Mansuar island, and southern part of Misool.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1342976706.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="367" /></p> <p>Its geomorphology starts from the secluded sandy beaches to some rising hills of 500 to 900-meter high. The vegetation is spotless green almost in harmony with the turquoise water all around the inlets.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1342976690.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="367" /></p> <p>The white sandy beach in Raja Ampat has surely become the main attraction for visitors, not only for its serene scenery but also for its ecological splendor and wholesome privacy.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1342976720.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="367" /></p> <p>Since the access to the world&rsquo;s greatest diving paradise is still limited, there are absolutely roads less traveled and make the place an idyllic destination for ultimate vacationers.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1342976732.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="367" /></p> <p>Fishing is the easiest thing to do when you decide not to dive as Raja Ampat lodges more than 75% of the world&rsquo;s underwater species living right under the floating deck.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1342976744.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="367" /></p> <p>Snorkeling in the shallow water of the island is irresistible. The water is crystal clear and the weather is like a never-ending summer.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1342976758.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="367" /></p> <p>A fisherman brought along his family members to his daily activity at the shallow part of the water.&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1342976772.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="367" /></p> <p>Although there are potential mining activities in the islands, Raja Ampat is best put as the remaining world&rsquo;s paradise both for the people and the protected underwater species.</p> Religious Vesak 2555 BE 2012: Celebrations at Borobudur http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/107/religious-vesak-2555-be-2012-celebrations-at-borobudur <p>On May 6th 2011, the colossal Borobudur Temple celebrated of Buddhism&rsquo;s most momentous ritual ceremony: the Vesak Day.<br /><br />The event is preceded by a ritual to obtain holy water from the pristine springs at Jumprit in the Temanggung district. The holy water will then be kept in the small Mendut Temple near Borobudur. The following day, the ritual ofigniting the Vesak torch, whose flames are taken from the natural eternal flames at Mrapen in the village of Grobogan, in the Purwodadi district, Central Java. <br /><br />Photo by Triesti Ayu Prabawati</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1342979201.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="367" /></p> <p>The Magnificent Borobudur Temple is widely known as the world&rsquo;s biggest Buddhist monument. Based on historical books, this designed Gupta architecture temple built in the 9th century during the reign of the Syailendra dynasty and thousand workers were needed to build this huge temple and was built without using any kind of cement or mortar. Miraculous! There are around 500 statues of the Buddha sit calmly and peacefully in this temple.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1342979222.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="367" /></p> <p>After Chanting and praying, as the main ritual, The Buddhist monks in their typical clothing dominated by red and yellow walk around the temple for three times and then they will release of over 1,000 Puja lanterns into the sky, this ritual is known as Pradaksina.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1342979242.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="367" /></p> <p>Thousands devotees from around the world, congregate at The Magnificent Borobudur Temple to take part and witness the spectacular Vesak Day. This Buddhist holiest ceremony is an opportunity for Buddhists who bring joy within them to meet together and learn more about how Buddha attained the supreme wisdom and compassion of Enlightenment.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1342979262.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="367" /></p> <p>Candles are essential for Vesak ritual, it&rsquo;s represent the Dhamma. This candlelight is not merely as an offering to the Buddha but it has its sacred meaning as a symbol of respect to The Buddha and wisdom or light to see the reality of existence.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1342979285.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="825" /></p> <p>The statue of Buddha sits peacefully on a lotus throne. This statue is a symbol of A Symbol of the Enlightened One, a symbol of a Belief System and a symbol of hope. Buddha is also known as Siddhartha Gautama is a prince from northern India who lived around 563 to 483 BC. His wise teaching of suffering and evil has brought many people from around the world to follow His path.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1342979306.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="825" /></p> <p>This is the picture of one of Buddha&rsquo;s relics.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1342979332.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="825" /></p> <p>Various offering such as Candles, Flower and Joss Sticks from devotees are placed to an altar right in the front of Buddha statue.&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1342979352.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="825" /></p> <p>This man is one of those thousand devotees who are ready to release puja lantern.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1342979370.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="825" /></p> <p>This Buddhist monk carried a bowl of holy water to be poured over the shoulders of the Buddha. This ritual is a reminder for Buddhists to purify their own minds from greed, hatred and ignorance.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1342979381.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="825" /></p> <p>The sacred puja lanterns released to the sky and the moon right above those two lanterns perfectly gives the meaning to the ritual as a symbol of enlightenment for the entire universe.</p> West Java Art and Cultural Parade 2012 in Sukabumi http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/149/west-java-art-and-cultural-parade-2012-in-sukabumi <p>On 31 March 2012, the usually quite town of Sukabumi became alive with sparkling colors and vibrant music as 1000 of artists from all over the province of West Java gathered to take parts in the West Java Art and Cultural Parade 2012.<br /><br /> Initiated by the Tourism and Cultural Office of West Java Province, the event featured the procession of West Java traditional arts and cultural forms from 8 cities and regencies including Purwakarta Regency, Bogor City, Sukabumi Regency, Bandung City, West Bandung Regency, Cianjur Regency, Sukabumi City, and Cimahi City. Showcasing the richness of West Java art and cultural treasures, the event successfully illustrated the three branch of West Java&rsquo;s culture which are Melayu Betawi, Priangan, and Dermayon Kacirebonan.<br /><br /> Among some of the arts and cultural performance presented were Mapag Panganten (Traditional wedding parade) Ringrang and Jangkrik Art, Wayang Hihid (Bamboo Puppets), Budak Pamayang, Ngabungbang, Dangkolung, Angklung Buncis, Gagarudaan, Kuda Renggong, Pencak Silat Martial Art and many more.<br /><br />Aimed to preserve the traditional art and culture of West Java, the event was not simply an exhibition of traditional performances since each art forms and cultural display contains wisdoms and values of the ancestors that has been passed down for generations. Aside from sukabumi, this year the West Java Art and Cultural Parade will also be held in Karawang, Banjar, and Indramayu.<br /><br /> Photo by Prayudha Nurdiansyah.</p> The Oldest Heritage Hotel In Jakarta: Sriwijaya Hotel http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/100/the-oldest-heritage-hotel-in-jakarta-sriwijaya-hotel <p style="text-align: justify;"><img style="float: left; margin: 6px;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1331260443.jpg" alt="" width="335" height="300" />I was politely asked through my mailbox by one of the hotel managers from <strong>Sriwijaya Hotel</strong>, <a href="http://www.indonesia.travel/en/destination/474/jakarta" target="_blank"><strong>Jakarta</strong></a>. From the name of the establishment, I instinctively thought that it was one of those hotels in <a href="http://www.indonesia.travel/en/destination/374/palembang-on-the-musi-river" target="_blank"><strong>Palembang</strong></a>,<strong> <a href="http://www.indonesia.travel/en/discover-indonesia/region-detail/24/south-sumatra" target="_blank">South Sumatra</a></strong>. So they say that it is the oldest hotel in Jakarta. I, too, asked for further details of the place accordingly so I can compose something out of the glimpse information. And here it is, the whole bunch of historical essentials of the hotel that Eva, one of the staffs sent me a couple days ago.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The hotel has quite a catchy branding; &lsquo;hospitality is our heritage&rsquo;. It fits the business line with the history in some extents. The character building is clearly understood as historical values that the founder of the establishment had set forth since the beginning. It made me think if they do have such hospitality that smells strongly as a legacy of the founder.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">So I flipped one and two pages of the website and it seemed that they are quite serious about it. They wrote: <em>The building of Sriwijaya Hotel dates back to the era of Governor-General Van den Bosch, also renowned as a defense architect for the&nbsp;Dutch East Indies.&nbsp; It was Conrad Alexander Willem Cavadino or C.A.W. Cavadino who started a restaurant&nbsp;business and baking there in 1863.&nbsp; He ran his business right at the corner of Rijswijk&nbsp; and Citadelweg (at the crossroad of Jalan Veteran I).&nbsp; In 1872 Cavadino Restaurant turned into Cavadino&nbsp; Hotel,&nbsp;while Cavadino Shop, located in front of the hotel, accommodated his retail business.</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Clearly the building has been there for quite sometimes. For a building that stands for almost 150 years, Sriwijaya must have quite a handful of chronicles in its own account. European travelers especially from the Netherlands would love to hear those old stories from the people who still continue narrating the days when Cavadino himself got busy with the business. I wonder if there is one.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>&ldquo;An 1894 advertisement tells us that Cavadino Shop sold everything from&nbsp;</em><em>sweets</em><em>, </em><em>chocolate</em><em>, </em><em>Havana cigars </em><em>from the Netherlands and Manila, to </em><em>wine</em><em>, </em><em>beer</em><em>, and</em><em>liquors</em><em>.&ldquo; </em>That mental picture is almost like a film noir to me, taking Havana cigars and wine to the mindset and people with sleek suits and overly enhanced mustaches in the heat of an antique bar.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">During that year, National Monument named Monas was not there yet. So, the sky should be clear as wine, no skyscrapers or even the mosque and cathedral. Yes, the street of Jalan Veteran is right at the heart of Jakarta, and it is one of the oldest roadways in the metropolis. The Istiqlal Mosque, the cathedral, and the Monas are some of the place of interests found in the vicinity.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The article continues:<em> &ldquo;So famous had the Cavadino business become that a bridge in front of the hotel was named after it.&nbsp; Now Cavadino Bridge is popular and located next to&nbsp;Sriwijaya Hotel, adjacent to the hotel entrance. From a photo collection of&nbsp;KITLV,&nbsp;Leiden, shown by&nbsp;Scott Merrillees&nbsp;in a book titled Batavia in Nineteenth Century Photographs,&nbsp; we learn that the hotel and the shop were separate buildings.&nbsp; Cavadino Hotel, now Sriwijaya Hotel, was situated at a quiet corner of streets, with two tram tracks in front of the building.&nbsp; Cavadino Shop, situated on the left, is now a restaurant, which is a part of the Sriwijaya Hotel.&rdquo;</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">We just so wish that Jakarta might go back to its past where trams and mostly the number of people who live there can make a significant difference. I was choked to death, trapped in one of the days in Jakarta during a rush hour on a motorbike. Never did I want to be in the same situation. I admire those who can keep up with the worst chaos on the streets. Only buildings can survive that long, although the proprietors might change frequently as they find better and cleaner place than the city.</p> <blockquote> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>The shop and hotel stayed in business until the late 19th century. Merrillees&nbsp;noted that C.A.W. Cavadino was no longer a citizen of&nbsp;Batavia&nbsp;(now Jakarta) even when his businesses were still under the name of Cavadino@Co. Cavadino Hotel survived until 1898 when it transformed into&nbsp;Hotel du Lion d&rsquo;Or. Later, in 1941, it changed its name to&nbsp;Park Hotel.&nbsp; In the mid-1950s the hotel officially became&nbsp;Sriwijaya Hotel.</em></p> </blockquote> <p style="text-align: justify;">I assume that there is a change of ownership with the lines of names had been addressed to the building. And why Sriwijaya came to the surface out of innumerable numbers of possibilities for a hotel&rsquo;s name. Is there anything to do with South Sumatra Maybe the owner is from there. This is an open question that I cannot find the answer, yet.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Where did Cavadino go As I said, he might find a better and cleaner place somewhere in Netherlands or any other place. There are many fighters coming from outside Jakarta and investing&nbsp; so much to survive and thrive. They bring everything from their homeland. Sriwijaya sounds like an indicator of my theory.</p> <blockquote> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>As the oldest hotel in Jakarta,&nbsp;Srwijaya Hotel&nbsp;building has a unique history that is an integral part of&nbsp;Batavia&nbsp;history. By visiting Sriwijaya Hotel and enjoying bygone photos in the lobby, restaurant, and room terraces (balconies), you can catch a glimpse of Old Batavia&rsquo;s charms: its stories and colonial ambience. </em></p> </blockquote> <p style="text-align: justify;">There, the story tells us so much about the timeline of the history that Sriwijaya Hotel has to show. If not because of the staffs that care so much about their business, and the pride that holds them together, the hotel might probably vanish in the sea of&nbsp; smog that swallows Jakarta each and every day.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><a href="http://www.sriwijayahotel.com" target="_blank">www.sriwijayahotel.com</a></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Jl. Veteran No. 1, Jakarta Pusat 10110, Indonesia,</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Telp.&nbsp; 6221-344 0409</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Telp.&nbsp; 6221-3846 988,</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Fax.&nbsp;&nbsp; 6221-3446 543</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <div style="text-align: justify;" align="center"><hr align="center" noshade="noshade" size="1" width="100%" /></div> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>Sources: Batavia in Nineteenth Century Photographs &ndash; Scott Merrillees, WARTA KOTA-Pradaningrum Mijarto, and various</em></p> The Incredible Lake Toba and Samosir Island http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/150/the-incredible-lake-toba-and-samosir-island <p>Between 69,000 and 77,000 years ago, one of the most spectacular geological events in earth&rsquo;s history occurred on the island of Sumatra: the mega eruption of Mount Toba Supervolcano. The eruption was the latest in a series of at least three caldera-forming eruptions that occurred at the volcano, with earlier calderas having formed around 700,000 and 840,000 years ago. The last eruption was estimated to have Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) of 8, - described as mega-colossal- and is still believed to be the largest explosive eruption anywhere on earth in the past 25 million years. To give an idea of its magnitude, consider that although the eruption took place in Indonesia, it deposited ash layers of approximately 15-cm (5.9-inch) thick over the entire South Asia. At one site in central India, the Toba ash layer can still be found today to a 6 m (20 ft) thickness.<br /><br /> Out of that great catastrophic event, a colossal caldera was formed which was gradually filled with water and created what we know today as Lake Toba. While at the center of the lake, the rising caldera floor also formed the enchanting Samosir Island, caused by movements in the magma chamber beneath it.<br /><br /> Today, Lake Toba is the perfect place to sit back, relax and absorb the beauty that lies in its pristine sceneries. As one sits and takes in the view of the picturesque mountains set against the cool clear lake, all the burdens of daily life will melt away. Samosir Island, at the center of the Lake, offers more mystifying wonders. Mountains steeped in cool mist, clear waterfalls to swim under and locals taking their water buffalo out in the fields, are just to name a few. Here, one can also discover the legendary hospitality of the Batak people. Wherever you go, it won&rsquo;t take you long to make a new friend.<br /><br /> Photo by Jimmi Carter Gultom.</p> Diving the Underwater Nirvana of Wakatobi National Marine Park http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/109/diving-the-underwater-nirvana-of-wakatobi-national-marine-park <p>Legendary underwater explorer and conservationist, Jacques Cousteau is said to have called the Wakatobi islands &ndash; then known as the Tukangbesi islands: an &ldquo;Underwater Nirwana&rdquo;, for Wakatobi is widely recognized as having the highest number of reef and fish species in the world. The islands are also famous as the largest barrier reef in Indonesia, second only to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Here divers can found fringing, atolls, barrier reefs and more than 50 spectacular dive sites easily accessible from the major islands.<br /> <br />Located right in the heart of the Asia-Pacific Coral Triangle, in the province of South East Sulawesi, the Wakatobi Islands offer crystal clear pristine waters and a rich bio-diverse underwater life. A true paradise for Divers, the National Marine Park is one of 3 hearts in the World Coral Triangle that stretches from the Solomon Islands in the Pacific to Wakatobi, and North to the Philippines. Wakatobi alone is said to have 942 fish species and 750 coral reef species from a total of 850 of world's collection.<br /> <br />Due to its magnificent underwater life, Wakatobi is fast gaining worldwide attention for its quality dives that can be made by beginners to professionals. Small wonder, therefore, that many liveaboards make this one of their main ports of sojourn. Aside from its dive sites, Wakatobi has many superb beaches.<br /><br />Photos by Toar Pantouw.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1343361310.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="367" />&nbsp;</p> <p>Legendary underwater explorer and conservationist, Jacques Cousteau, surely got it right: the waters of the Wakatobi Islands are truly an underwater nirvana.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1343361327.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="367" /></p> <p>The adventure to explore the underwater nirvana starts here at Wanci, a serene small town on the island of Wangi-Wangi, about 12 hours from Kendari, capital of South Sulawesi Province.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1343361339.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="367" /></p> <p>It is a whole different universe underneath the Wanci harbor, a Lionfish swims majestically above a beautiful coral reef welcoming a diver into the splendor that is Wakatobi.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1343361352.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="825" /></p> <p>A dramatic view of the Sombu divespot, a favorite diving area within Wakatobi National marine Park.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1343361369.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="825" /></p> <p>Its vibrant colors and unique appearance have always captivated divers: the nudibranch is truly a marvel of the deep sea.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1343361383.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="825" />&nbsp;</p> <p>Among the magnificent coral reefs and a school of swimming fish, the clear blue water seems almost magical, seen within.&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1343361402.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="825" /></p> <p>The underwater garden of Sombu is truly exceptional, it is home to many of ocean-floor dwellers and a gallery of various types of coral reefs.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1343362244.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="825" />&nbsp;</p> <p>Among the thick sea anemones, a sea eel disguises itself to blend with the environment&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1343362256.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="825" />&nbsp;</p> <p>With its transparent appearance, this unique shrimp curiously lurks among sea anemones.&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1343362265.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="825" />&nbsp;</p> <p>The Crinoid Crab, Another enchanting creatureinhabiting the floor of the Wakatobi Marine Park.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1343362276.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="825" /></p> <p>An adorable Bleny fish sticking its head out of a hole in a coral reef.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1343362294.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="825" /></p> <p>Above and below the surface of Wakatobi waters are two different worlds, yet equally amazing.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1343362307.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="367" /></p> <p>With their incredible ability to mimic their surroundings and their tiny size, it is not surprising that these spectacular Robust Ghostpipefishes are seldom spotted by divers.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> WAKATOBI National Marine Park: the "Underwater Nirwana" http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/56/wakatobi-national-marine-park-the-34-underwater-nirwana-34 <div class="content-desc"> <blockquote> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Legendary underwater explorer and conservationist, Jacques Cousteau is said to have called the Wakatobi islands &ndash; then known as the Tukangbesi islands:&nbsp; an "Underwater Nirwana"</strong></p> </blockquote> <p style="text-align: left;"><img style="margin: 6px; float: left;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1314089329.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="543" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Now a National Marine Park covering the entire Waktobi District, it comprises a total of 1.4 million hectares, of which 900,000 hectares are decorated with different, colourful species of tropical coral reefs. For Wakatobi is widely recognized as having the highest number of reef and fish species in the world.&nbsp;&nbsp; The islands are also famous as the largest barrier reef in Indonesia, second only to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.&nbsp; Here can be found fringing, atolls and barrier reefs and offer more than 50 spectacular dive sites easily accessible from the major islands.&nbsp; This is the habitat of large and small fish species, the playground of dolphins, turtles and even whales.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The island group comprises 143 larger and smaller islands where only 7 are inhabited counting a total population of around 100,000, while the others remain uninhabited. Most notable are the Bajo communities, the seafaring nomads who inhabit many of Indonesia&rsquo;s remote islands.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Located right in the heart of the Asia-Pacific Coral Triangle, in the province of South East Sulawesi, the Wakatobi Islands offer crystal clear pristine waters and a rich bio-diverse underwater life, a true paradise for Divers, as this is one of 3 hearts in the World Coral Triangle that stretches from the Solomon Islands in the Pacific to Wakatobi, and North to the Philippines.&nbsp; Wakatobi alone is said to have 942 fish species and 750 coral reef species from a total of 850 of world's collection, which, comparing with the two world's famous diving centers, the Caribbean Sea&nbsp; owns only 50 species with 300 coral reef species in the Red Sea, in Egypt.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; margin: 6px; float: right;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1314089352.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="543" />Situated&nbsp; at the end of the south eastern &ldquo;petal&rsquo; of the orchid shaped island of Sulawesi and separated by the deep Banda Sea to its north and east and the Flores sea to its south,&nbsp; the name Wakatobi is in fact an acronym of&nbsp; its four main islands, which are :&nbsp; Wangi-wangi (WA), Kaledupa (KA), Tomia (TO)&nbsp; and Binongko (BI).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Due to its magnificent underwater life, Wakatobi is fast gaining worldwide attention for its quality dives that can be made by beginners to professionals. Small wonder, therefore, that many liveaboards make this one of their main ports of sojourn.&nbsp; Aside from its dive sites, Wakatobi has many superb beaches.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The conservation group &ldquo;Operation Wallacea&rdquo; is very active in this marine park, conducting underwater research and conservation. During the Sail Wakatobi 2011 in August, the Marine Laboratory on Hoga Beach by Kaledupa is to be officially inaugurated. (For information visit: <a href="http://www.opwall.com/">www.opwall.com</a>)</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The District capital of Wakatobi is Wanci on Wangi-Wangi. Since the opening of the Matohara Airport on Wangi-Wangi, these remote islands are now more accessible and can be reached by flights from Jakarta or Makassar.&nbsp; There is also another landing strip on Tomia island, which receives charters from Bali.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">For more detailed information on Wakatobi, visit: <a href="http://www.wakatobi.info/">www.wakatobi.info</a></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img style="vertical-align: text-bottom; margin: 6px; float: left;" src="http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1314089247.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="536" /></p> <div class="content-desc"> <p style="text-align: justify;"><a href="http://www.expressair.biz/" target="_blank">Express Air</a> is the only regular airline that flies from <a href="http://www.indonesia.travel/en/destination/474/jakarta" target="_blank">Jakarta</a> to Bau-Bau, in Southeast Sulawesi, and continues to land on Wakatobi&rsquo;s Matohara Airport on Wangi-Wangi.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Other airlines flying to Bau-Bau from Jakarta, <a href="http://www.indonesia.travel/en/destination/73/bali" target="_blank">Bali</a> or <a href="http://www.indonesia.travel/en/destination/487/surabaya">Surabaya</a> are <a href="http://www.garuda-indonesia.com/" target="_blank">Garuda Indonesia</a>, <a href="http://www2.lionair.co.id/" target="_blank">Lion Air</a>, <a href="http://www.batavia-air.com/" target="_blank">Batavia Air</a> and <a href="http://www.sriwijayaair-online.com/" target="_blank">Sriwijaya Airline</a>. From here you must take a boat to Wakatobi.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The Wakatobi Dive Resort operates Charter flights so they can pick up passengers from Bali arriving direct on the island of Tomia.</p> <p>For information check: <a href="http://www.wakatobi.com/">www.wakatobi.com</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Tips</strong></p> <div class="content-desc"> <p>The best time for diving in Wakatobi is from March through December.</p> </div> </div> </div> The Deep Water Paradise of Kalasey Seas off Manado http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/55/the-deep-water-paradise-of-kalasey-seas-off-manado <p>Located at the Kalasey Village, Pineleng, district of Minahasa just at the western outskirts of Manado, Kalasey Beach is a hidden paradise that offers splendors perfect for recreation. Its shores&nbsp; and&nbsp; on land offer the fun of water sports such as Jet Ski, swimming and the delicacies of fresh sea food culinary dishes. The beach also presents some of the best sunset views.<br /><br />Deep below the surface, an enchanting underwater paradise greets divers with its amazing beauty. The rich biodiversity of marine life combined with some of the most exotic creatures of the deep sea create a surreal experience.<br /><br />As a place where some of the rarest inhabitants of the deep sea dwell, the Kalasey Sea is surely an unspoiled paradise yet to be fully unveiled.<br /><br />All photos by: <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="http://www.facebook.com/toar-pantouw" target="_blank">Toar Pantouw</a></span>.</p> The Island of Flores http://www.indonesia.travel/en/travel-story-detail/108/the-island-of-flores <p>A fascinating, mountainous and remarkable beautiful island, flores has a volcanic topography that has longed shaped its destiny. A chain of cones stretches the length of this verdant island, provoking a complicated relief of V-shaped valeys and knife-edge ridges-terrain that was near- impenatrable until recent years and that has separated the island into many distinct ethnic groups. Flores is Portuguese for "flowers", located in east of Sumbawa and Komodo and in west of Lembata and the Alor Archipelago. Flores is a home of the unique culture, nature beauties, traditional villages and more.<br /> <br />Flores has the most remarkable sight in Nusa Tenggara, the sublime multihued crater lakes of kalimutu, terrific beaches around Labuan Bajo and east of Maumere, and idyllic offshore islands with fine snorkelling. Flores&rsquo;s sea has a rich and amazing underwater sea biotica. Divers claim that Komodo waters are one of the best diving sites in the world. It has fascinating underwater scenery.<br /> <br />Flores island is also the home to some of the most traditional ceremonies and rituals of both Catholic and Animalistic backgrounds. The breath taking ritual whip fighting dance of Manggari called Caci, the solemn Catholic Easter festival in Larantuka and Penti ceremony are some traditional ceremonies we can enjoy here. Traditional boxing bouts called "sagi" or "etu" still take place on a regular basis in Bajawa inviting all to witness this age old sport which is again based on their traditional belief of survival of the fittest! In addition, relics and artifacts are to be found throughout the length and breadth of Flores Island, like the prehistoric bronze boat from the Dongsong era, called Dobo or Baobatung in a village near Maumere, where it is carefully kept by the people as an ancestral heirloom.<br /> <br />And the most popular thing we can see in Flores is The Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis) which is an endangered species that can only be found in the Komodo National Park (KNP) in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT). Because of the unique and rare nature of this animal, KNP was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986.</p> <p>Enjoy the Pics :)</p> <p>Pictures number 1-5 by Setiadi Darmawan.The rest of the pictures by Swisscontact WISATA Team - flores-komodo.com</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1343041117.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="265" /></p> <p>Gigantic, the lizard-like Komodo creatures are about two or three meters in length. They can easily weigh about 165 kilograms. Despite their sheer size and appearance, they are not active hunters.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1343041131.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="265" /></p> <p>The Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis) is an endangered species which in the entire world can only be found in the Komodo National Park (KNP) in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT). Because of the unique and rare nature of this animal, KNP was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1343041146.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="265" /></p> <p>KNP has a rich and amazing underwater sea biota. Divers claim that the &nbsp;Komodo waters are one of the best diving sites in the world. It has fascinating underwater scenery.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1343041165.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="265" /></p> <p>Travel time from Labuan Bajo to Komodo Island is 4 hours by boat, or 2 hours from Labuan Bajo to Rinca Island, another island habitat of the Komodo dragons.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1343041174.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="265" /></p> <p>In the wild, they stalk their victim, usually a weak or injured animal. One bite and that's what it usually takes. After following the victim for a while, sometimes up to several days' time, the komodos will devour the dying prey.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1343040831.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="265" /></p> <p>Mantas are beautiful, gentle and harmless creatures although they are also known as Devil Rays due to their sheer size. They actually do not have teeth and use their flaps on their head to help direct zooplankton, tiny crustaceans and small schooling fish into their large mouth.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1343041008.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="265" /></p> <p>There are unique moments in all of our lives. One of those moments for sure is your first encounter with a Manta Ray! Get in the boat and cruise the waters to dive and witness Mantas.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1343040999.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="265" />&nbsp;</p> <p>In order not to disturb or distress manta rays in their natural habitat it is strongly advised that you stay on or near the bottom of the sea if you are a diver and on the surface if you are snorkeling, as Mantas need an open water column to give them ample space to maneuver.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1343040700.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="265" /></p> <p>Nga&rsquo;dhu, a tall wooden trunk with carvings topped by a conical thatched-roof representing the first male ancestor, and Bhaga, a miniature traditional house representing the first female ancestor, are at the center of rituals.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1343040744.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="265" /></p> <p>Two men, a whip, a shield, the vibrating sounds of drums and gongs, a sharp hit, blood. Caci, a traditional ritual whip fighting dance, is a major element of Manggarai cultural identity. Being a unique and an aesthetic delight for the spectators, Caci performances are an attraction to foreign as well as domestic visitors to Manggarai.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1343041044.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="265" /></p> <p>December is an important month for the community of Bena who hold annual celebrations called Reba. Reba is a festival similar to Thanksgiving, when people pay respect to and thank the Almighty for the blessings of a great harvest and the people&rsquo;s welfare.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1343041092.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="265" /></p> <p>As part of the Tado cultural conservation program, villagers often share ancestral songs, stories and dances that have been handed down over generations.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1343041104.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="265" /></p> <p>The Penti ceremony begins when the village elders place offerings in the Langkar. In Penti, the Manggaraians celebrate the annual event which usually falls on 15th November for one full day and night, filled with series of ancient traditional rituals.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1343040962.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="265" />&nbsp;</p> <p><span>The unvegetated summit has a 350 m wide and 200 m deep crater, which contains a lake.</span>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1343040972.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="265" />&nbsp;</p> <p>The actual trek to the summit takes between 3 &ndash; 4 hours and is well worth the effort considering the view from the crater rim over the island.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1343040990.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="265" /></p> <p>This is the yellow sulfur dried out caldera lake of the crater. &nbsp;Get your camera ready and capture the unique shapes.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1343041022.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="265" /></p> <p>Cunca Rami Waterfall and its natural swimming pool basin is waiting for you, so make sure you have your swimsuit and towel handy to enjoy a cooling down swim. It is very popular also among local children, so it provides ample opportunity for conversations and interaction.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1343041033.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="265" /></p> <p>Werang and the surroundings of Cunca Rami Waterfall provide amazing views that you can&rsquo;t find else where.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1343041062.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="265" /></p> <p>Tengkulese waterfall, which by the locals is also referred to as Cunca Lega (cunca means waterfall), is named after the village where it lies. The waterfall is indeed very inviting to jump in. It is strongly advised not to do so, unless you are an experienced adventurer.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1343041082.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="265" /></p> <p>A black sandy beach forms a curving bay with large rocks, named by the surrounding residents "Watu Ndoang"&mdash;meaning twin rocks.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1343040717.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="265" /></p> <p>The Murusobe waterfalls stand tall, gallantly looking upon us swimming about in their cool refreshing waters, lazily lying on its sun-warmed rocks or going admiring the flora and fauna found there.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1343040730.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="265" /></p> <p>These kids definitely know how to enjoy their life. Jumping into the water and screaming are their two favorite pastimes while playing around the Tengkulese waterfall.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1343040759.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="265" /></p> <p>The trekking season at Mount Mbeliling, located in the district of West Manggarai, West Flores, starts in July up to September. Roe is located at an altitude of 600 meters above sea level along the TransFlores main road, only 27 km away from the Labuan Bajo city centre.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1343040771.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="265" /></p> <p>A series of cascading waterfalls through a stone-faced canyon nestled in a tropical rainforest represents one of Flores&rsquo; most striking outdoor adventures.</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1343040844.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="265" /></p> <p>The Snake Valley is located near Lembor, some 60 kilometers out of Labuan Bajo, an idyllic hiking destination with panoramic views and unique topography.&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://cdn.indonesia.travel/media/images/upload/usercontributor_media/1343040950.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="265" /></p> <p>Mount Egon volcano sits astride the narrow waist of eastern Flores . Its exact position is 8.67&deg;S 122.45&deg;E. &nbsp;</p>