Indonesia, Magnificent Country With a Thousand Islands

June 8, 2021

Friday, February 29, 2008

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Indonesia House

House for sale at yogyakarta – Indonesia

House for sale at Yogyakarta, Indonesia

In Griya Taman Asri Estate Area with 3 floor in a good condition.
Located in north Yogyakarta, not far from Grand Hyatt Yogyakarta
only 30 minutes to Tugu Train Station and Malioboro Street, the central of Yogyakarta City.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Health and safety are today top concerns for tourists when travelling abroad. Here are few tips on the way to have a perfect relaxing holiday in Indonesia.

Money and change
It is possible to exchange money at bank counters upon arrival at international airports or seaports. In town, most of the foreign currencies can easily be exchanged at banks and authorized money exchange counters. ATM.s are widely available everywhere for cash operations, even in smaller cities.

Indonesia is a safe country for foreign tourists and most of the Indonesians will take pride and happiness to help and gice their best to a traveler. However in big cities like Jakarta, Surabaya or very popular tourist areas like Bali or Yogyakarta, it is advised not to go out carrying to much cash or to expose to the public attention valuable like expensive jewellery. To travel within a city, use only taxis with the name of the company. They are all equipped with meters.

Indonesia is mostly safe for travel for health conscious tourists. Malaria today is eradicated in all urban areas and most of the large tourist areas. Malaria transmission can occur after dark in rural, forested areas not frequented by tourists, except in Papua (formely known as Irian Jaya), where risk is widespread. However, over the past few years, malaria cases have been observed in Central Java Province. Insect protection measures (anti-mosquitoes cream or lotions) are essential against diseases like malaria or dengue fever. They are available in any pharmacy or drugstores in Indonesia. The country has a large number of well-equipped hospitals to international standards, especially in the largest cities and tourist areas.

Which destinations to visit?
Indonesia and is open to foreign visitor. The regions receiving the most tourists are currently Bali, Java, Lombok, Sumatra, Sulawesi and the islands of Batam and Bintan across Singapore. As Indonesia is the world.s largest archipelago, events happening in one specific part of the country do not mean that the whole Indonesia is affected. For example, the tsunami disaster affected only the Northwestern tip of Sumatra island in Aceh. In Bali, Yogyakarta, Jakarta or even in the rest of Sumatra, life continued normally. In case of any event, the Indonesia embassy will be able to present detailed information on the affected zone. Media will also able to contact the Ministry of Culture and Tourism to get the most updated information as well as a map of the affected areas. A list of regions which might pose a threat to the safety of visitors is available from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Riau Archipelago

Its water is the back-yard of the indigenous nomads of life of sailor which fish and trade for a life. Their trade of navigation out of traditional wood, called “pinisi” always make the covered channels of forests of these islands, with the other indigenous trade, fishing vessels and the cargo liners which call at the city of the archipelago and the port principal of Tanjung Pinang. Tanjung Pinang is on the largest island of the archipelago of Bintan. Once known as Riau, it was the heart of an ancient Malayan kingdom. Today, Bintan is the last hot point of the development in the saving in increase in Indonesia. An outline programme is in the course of transforming it into important destination of tourists. Hardly one hour left Singapore in the vat, the housing of tourists started to seem to benefit from its passage of him all the call. It is composed of the archipelago of Riau, the islands of Natuna and the archipelago of Anambas. Part in the beginning of the province of Riau, archipelago of Riau was duplicated with far like province separated in July 2004 with Tanjung Pinang as a its capital.

The archipelago of Anambas, located between the continent Malaysia and Borneo were attached to the new province. By the population, the most important islands of Riau are Bintan, Batam and Karimun. To classify wise, however, the islands little abundantly populated of Natuna are larger. The archipelago of Riau with its thousands of the island has the abundance of the beaches and the scenic spots of diving, among them Trikora on Bintan and Pasir Panjang on the island of Rupat. The first is approximately 50 kilometers of south of Tanjung Pinang on the Eastern side of the island. Pasir Panjang, on the Scandinavian side of Rupat facing the strait of Malacca, is outside stretched the normal beaches are also found on the islands of Terkulai and Soreh, approximately the distance of one hour in the boat of Tanjung Pinang. One of the most popular beaches is Nongsa on the island of Batam. From here one can see the horizon of Singapore.


Batam Tourism Object

Batam is one of the 3.000 islands, which make the archipelago of Riau and are closest to Singapore, which is only 20 kilometers far or twenty minutes in the air-conditioned vat. It has a population of rapid-growth approximately of 100.000. While the island develops in industrial sector and tourists important, it attracts an always increasing population of other islands indonésiennes which see Batam like asylum of occasion. Once almost uninhabited, to save for some dispersed fishing communities, the history of Batam took a pointed turn beginning 1969, when it became bases of support for the “oil company of Pertamina” of State and its oil exploration at sea. In 1971 an order in Council indicated like industrial sector and in 1975 the authority of Batam was formed. In 1978 Batam was established like stuck sector. In addition to industries of oil support of Batu Ampar and an industry of electronics for fast growth, Batam attracts increasing numbers now tourists. Many comes from Singapore during short holidays with the friends and the family, the purchases free from rights and the large seafood. The visitors towards Singapore hope more for a weekend or day trip. The international standard hotels and the many establishments of economy supply at the request of extension of housing. The businesses, as they say, thunder.

A two-third of the size of island of Singapore, Batam progresses by jumps and limits. Where the once held virgin jungle are now of new cities, mosques, churches, temples and supermarkets whole, being followed soon of the tanks with water to provide a population of 800.000 enough and for the industrial use, airport-with become an international passage – a fine system of telecommunication, the industrial parks equipped well, and the beginnings of a great new urban centre.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Giant orchid in Bogor to be in full bloom next week

The first buds of a giant orchid in Bogor Botanical Garden (KBR) are expected to be in full bloom next week, the garden attendant Sugiharti said here on Friday.

“It will probably be in full bloom next week,” Sugiarti said, adding the flowers used to last for about two months.

She said the giant orchid (Grammatophyllum speciosum), popularly known as tiger orchid because of the motive of its flower, is the largest orchid in the world.

Sugiharti added that the brightly coloured flower of unusual shapes was also known as sugar-cane orchid because its bright yellow flowers with brown and scarlet spots on them could reache 15 cm long.

Besides, its stalks with 60 to 100 buds on them could reach 2 meters long, she said.

She added that the orchids of this type could grow well in tropical forest in Malaysia, Sumatra, Papua, Kalimantan and West Java.


“Sea Safari” Cruise

The Buginese schooner “Sea Safari” was custom designed for Western travellers and built in 1996/1997 by traditional craftsmen in Kalimantan. Each of the 12 double/twin cabins (see deck plan Sea Safari III, deck plan Sea Safari V and deck plan Sea Safari VI) has its own shower and toilet and its own air-conditioner, and there is a crew of 15 to take care of the passengers’ needs.

You can book 7-day and 8-day cruises on the “Sea Safari” during all parts of the year, and you have a wide choice of destinations. There are visits to the Lesser Sunda Islands east of Bali where you can swim and snorkel at pristine beaches or explore villages where women still weave the traditional ikat cloth. And you can visit the island of Komodo, famous for its dragons who only here survived from the Jurassic age.

At other times the “Sea Safari” sails through the exotic Moluccas, a sun drenched group of islands that once drew explorers and traders from all parts of the world in search of precious cargoes of nutmeg and cloves. Historic Dutch and Portuguese forts evoke the shadows of the past – equally impressive are today’s vibrant local cultures and magical beliefs that still play an important role in everyday life.

In the Lesser Sunda Island as well as in the Moluccas you’ll also find coral reefs that are amazing both in their colour and in the variety of life they sustain. Therefore, these cruises offer new experiences and unforgettable impressions for every traveller to Asia.



Banten is one of the young provinces in Republic of Indonesia. This region is situated in west Java. It can be reached about an hour from Jakarta. It’s feel unbelievable, after the busy toll-way and hectic Jakarta as metropolitan city; we enter small and charming Banten. This city has a lot of treasure to whom that likes history. Such as the ruins of Surosowan Palace, Kaibon Palace, ‘Masjid Agung Banten’ [Banten Great Mosque, enlisted in Moslem’s pilgrimage in Indonesia], Speelwijk fortress and Chinese temple Avalokiteshvara, and the harbor of Banten, Karanghantu [devil rock’s harbor] that still used nowadays already existed since centuries ago. From this place, Sultan Banten’s troopers took fight against the pirates and take defense from the Dutch.

Along with the prevailing regional government changing, in respect to the insistence of Banten People’s aspiration to demand the separation from West Java Province, and after long process based on Law Number 23 Year 2000 concerning on Formation of Banten Province dated 17th October, 2000, established Banten Province as the 30th Province. Banten Province consists of 4 Regencies and 2 Cities, 94 Districts, 128 sub districts and 1,339 Villages. Geographically, the location of Banten Province is strategic because of the link between Java Island and Sumatra Island as well as the capital of Republic of Indonesia and West Java Province as a potential market of Banten’s products.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Gateway To Sulawesi

Indonesia is the larges archipelago on earth, dipping and rising across the equator for nearly 5000km are the islands of Indonesia one of the most evocative countries in the world.
The archipelago contains about 18.000 tropical islands. The five main islands are: Java, Sulawesi, Kalimantan, Sumatra and Papua. Other popular islands are: Nusa Tenggara (where the endangered Komodo dragons Varanus komodoensis are living), Bali, Lombok and the Moluccas.

Every Indonesian island is different and almost unique from each other. Almost every island has breathtaking mountains, magnificent rice fields, giant (active) volcanoes, tropical rainforest and bounty islands with pearl white beaches.

Flora & Fauna

Indonesia has a fantastic Flora & Fauna with a unique ecosystem. We can find the beautiful wild Orang-utans, Asian Elephant on Sumatra and Kalimantan, Panthers, Rhino’s and Tigers on Java and Sumatra. But also the extreme large Komodo dragon on the islands of Nusa Tenggara and worlds largest Reticulated pythons in Central Sulawesi. Animals like Kangaroo’s and Sea crocodiles from Papua. The Flora and Fauna from East Indonesia (starts from Sulawesi) are similar to the Flora and Fauna of Australia.
*We would like to protect our Flora and Fauna, so our Emerald Indonesia tours & travel doesn’t like cooperate with them who affect the Indonesian nature. We would like to ask our guests never to buy products or souvenirs which made from animals or endangers species of trees or flowers. Don’t forget that it is most of the time illegal to bring it abroad. And please do not take photo’s pose with animals like monkeys (or other primates) or reptiles. So you don’t support them who take those animals away from their natural habitat and use them for an unfair business. So we do not support tourism against the nature.

Cultures and Population
The island of Kalimantan (former Borneo) is shared with Malaysia. Indonesia is located between South East Asia’s mainland, the Indian Ocean, The Pacific Ocean and Australia.
With more then 231 million people, it’s world’s 4th most populous nation.
There are around 300 ethnic groups with more then 365 different kinds of languages and dialects. Bahasa Indonesia is the national spoken language and it is grounded on Bahasa Malays. Every group has its own tradition and culture and they all working hard for a good future and strong nation.

Like many countries have four seasons, dos Indonesia has only two seasons. Indonesia has the wet season most of the time from October till April and the dry season from May till September. Even during the wet season is it warm, but cold for the locals, you can see them often with winter coats and long sleeves against the cold. The Indonesian highlands can be cool during the rain season, but that’s make a tour comfortable and pleasant. Places near the costal are hotter then places in the midland and highlands. The average temperature in Indonesia is between 27˚ and 34˚ and in the highlands around 25˚. The highlands can be cold during the nights and the hot places have a fresh cool breeze during the night, that’s typical for the tropics. Sometimes it’s raining only a couple of minutes during the raining season, but sometimes it will take hours.

In tropic countries like Indonesia is it good to wear light and loose clothes made from linen or cotton, these materials is easy to wash and it dry fast.
A trouser and a shirt with long sleeves are good to ware during the evening against mosquitoes and you can use it when you visit a mosque, church or a funeral. Don’t forget to respect the local culture when you visit a ceremony or religious place, please accept the local dress code. A couple of strong and easy going walking shoes or sandals for a tour or a walk on a rough underground like rocks and wet mud. Flip flaps or slippers are nice during your stay at the accommodation or when you visit the beach with water. A cap or hat can protect you for sunstroke and use a good sun blocker even when the sun is not that strong! Bring a raincoat or poncho with you during the wet season.

The most recommended vaccines for travelers are: Diphtheria & Tetanus, Polio, Hepatitis A or (A+B), Typhoid. Please check if you need some vaccines when you just arrived from infected areas, maybe you need a valid International certificate of vaccinations before you can enter Indonesia. We advice you to contact you local Municipal Health Service for a good medical advice about vaccines, Malaria Medication (South Sulawesi is Malaria free) and other medical requirements before your travel to Indonesia. Please beware with swimming in Central Sulawesi, because you can get Bilharzias (or Schistosomiasis), this disease is transmitted by minute freshwater worms. This worms living in lakes and rivers in Africa and sometimes Central Sulawesi, but infection in Central Sulawesi is very rare.
Do not drink water or milk from small street shops on the sidewalk and do not use ice from the street as well. It’s safe to drink boiled water (air putih) in the mid and high class restaurants and hotels. It’s safe also to eat an ice cream in this restaurants or hotels. They all use western standard. Drink a Coca Cola light or eat some bananas when you have diarrhoea and when you have to travel, this can stop it for awhile. But keep drinking (water or tea) with some sugar and salt. Contact a doctor when the diarrhoea keeps on. Please bring a medicine passport when you travel with special medicine on doctor’s receipt in which you need during your stay in Indonesia.

Electricity and voltage
The mains voltage is most of the time 220volt / 50Hz (sometimes 220volt); it is always good to bring an adaptor with you to Indonesia. The sockets are the same as in Europe with two round prongs.
Visa & Documents:
Every visitor to Indonesia needs a valid passport which is valid at least for six months following your date of arrival. You will get a disembarkation card when you pas the immigration when you arrival in Indonesia, keep it because you have to give it back to the immigration when you leave the country. There are different kinds of visa for visit Indonesia, most of the time the visitor need a tourist visa, just to visit Indonesia for a holiday. It depends on your nationality, but most of the visas are valid for 30 or 60 days. You need a special visa when you want to visit Papua (Irian Jaya). But please contact the nearest Indonesian Embassy or Indonesian consulate before you travel to Indonesia.

The local currency in Indonesia is the Rupiah (Rp). Traveller checks from major US companies are more accepted, checks like American Express, Citicorp or Bank of America. The Euro, US, Australian, Canada dollar, Japan Yen and the British pond are very good accepted in Indonesia and you can change them at moneychangers, banks or mid and high class hotels. Credit cards as MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Dinners and Bankcard are the best accepted credit card and you can pay with it at the most hotels, shopping malls in major tourist areas. Almost every Indonesian bank has ATM facilities to take cash bankcard with Maestro, Cirrus and Plus.

Airport and ferry tax
International and domestic departures are charged by airport tax and also for domestic and international ferries.

Emerald Indonesia tours & travel, the gateway to Sulawesi

Indonesia is an archipelago of more then 17.000 tropical unique islands between the Indian and Pacific Ocean. The country is fabulous rich by flora, fauna, volcanoes, lakes, mountains, cultures, beaches, coral reefs and landscapes. It is Indonesia’s magnificent treasure.
Indonesia is the emerald of the globe, it is an exotic paradise…… It’s a gift from above!

PT Emerald Indonesia Tours & Travel is the specialist of Sulawesi ecotourism. We can offer you all kind of programs, for individuals and groups. We will help you to discover this magnificent island; we not only offer Sulawesi tours, but other Indonesian destinations as well. You will have a great safe journey that you will always remember.

We also offer intercontinental and domestic tickets, car/minivan rental and hotel reservations all over Indonesia. We can help you to plan your program for individuals and also for groups or special events.

We can offer you English, Dutch, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Japanese or Indonesian speaking guides, more languages on request.

PT Emerald Indonesia Tours & Travel offers ecotourism and that has made us strong and unique. We will offer our clients unbelievable tour programs and this does not have a negative effect on our nature and cultures.

PT Emerald Indonesia Tours and Travel is a very social tour operator, we support several local projects in Indonesia!
Like the PAK Orphanage Project Indonesia.

Bali Airlines Information

To reach Bali is easy by air and now there are several International Airlines running scheduled flight to Ngurah Rai International Airport. Here’s the list of airline offices on the island.

Airport Information
Tel. 751 011 ext. 1454

Air Bali
Dewa Ruci Building #2 Jalan By Pass Ngurah Rai, Kuta Tel. 767 466 Fax. 766 581

Air France
Grand Bali Beach Hotel Tel. 288 511 Ngurah Rai International Airport Tel. 755 523

Air New Zealand Ltd.
Ngurah Rai International Airport Tel. 756 170 Fax. 754 594

Bali Qantas Airways Ltd.
Grand Bali Beach Hotel Tel. 289 280 Jl. Babakan, Sanur Tel. 289 281

Batavia Air
Kompleks Indoruko 20 #20 Jalan Angkasa Raya, Kemayoran Jakarta Pusat Tel. 021 421 2725 Fax. 021 421 2723 Ngurah Rai Airport Information Tel. 751 011 ext. 1454

Bouraq Airlines
Jl. Jend. Sudirman #7 A, Denpasar Tel. 241 397 Fax. 241 390

British Airways
Grand Bali Beach Hotel Tel. 288 511

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd.
Grand Bali Beach Hotel Tel. 286 001 Fax. 288 576 Ngurah Rai International Airport Tel. 766 931

China Airlines
Ngurah Rai International Airport Tel. 754 856 Fax. 757 725

Continental Airlines
Grand Bali Beach Hotel Tel. 287 774 Fax. 287 775 Ngurah Rai International Airport Tel. 768 358 Fax. 768 369

Eva Air
Ngurah Rai International Airport Tel. 756 488

Garuda Indonesia PT.
Jl. Melati 61, Denpasar Tel. 254 747 Ngurah Rai International Airport Tel. 751 177, 751 011 ext. 5204 Sanur Beach Hotel 287 915 Natour Kuta Beach Hotel Tel. 751 179

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
Ngurah Rai International Airport Tel. 756 126 Fax. 753 950

Korean Air
Grand Bali Beach Hotel Tel. 289 402 Fax. 289 403

Lion Air
Jalan Teuku Umar 15 A Tel. 236 666 Fax. 234 493

Lufthansa German Airlines
Grand Bali Beach Hotel Tel. 287 069 Ngurah Rai International Airport Tel. 753 207

Malaysia Airlines
Grand Bali Beach Hotel Tel. 288 716

Mandala Airlines PT.
Jl. Diponegoro #B1 D/23 Tel. 222 751

Merpati Nusantara Airlines
Jl. Melati #51, Denpasar Tel. 263 918 Ngurah Rai International Airport Tel. 751 374

Qantas Airways Ltd.
Grand Bali Beach Hotel Tel. 288 331 Ngurah Rai International Airport Tel. 751 471

Royal Brunei
Ngurah Rai International Airport Tel. 757 292

Singapore Airlines
Ngurah Rai International Airport Tel. 768 388, 766 940, 761 608 Fax. 768 383

Thai Airways International Ltd.
Grand Bali Beach Hotel Tel. 288 141 Fax 288 063 Ngurah Rai International Airport Tel. 755 064

Villa Teresa Beachfront Bali Villas

This Bali Villas situated on the beach of Canggu Village, it is roughly 35 minutes from International Airport – Denpasar, 10 minutes to get International Nirwana Bali Golf Club, and 15 minutes to Kuta shopping area, for the centre of culture is in Ubud only 1,5 hours.

Beachfront Villas Bali and riverside on adjoin in two units of connecting private villas which is in first unit consist of 3 bedrooms villa, the second unit consist of 2 bedrooms villa to be able combine as 5 bedrooms for entire villas in one huge private compound, in each room has King size bed, in each unit has own swimming pool and kitchen.

Bali Villas facing to the ocean

bali private villas bali bedroom

As a Bali Private Villas can be book either 2 bedrooms, 3 bedrooms, 4 bedrooms and be able to combine as 5 bedrooms in one private compound area, with ample open living space in large landscaped with colorful various flowers in surrounding and would be supported by experience personalized staffs to serve in every guests needed.

Mentawai Adventure Surfing Resort

Hosting guests since 1998, WavePark Mentawai Surfing Resort is the original full service land-based surfing resort in the Mentawai Islands. Our all inclusive price includes private air-conditioned transport to and from mainland Sumatra, guided surfing and fishing speedboat service, 3 meals a day, drinks, snacks and accommodation. With a maximum capacity of 12 surfers, the WavePark Mentawai guests have the entire island for their exclusive use.

Located in northern Mentawai near the Playgrounds anchorage, we offer 19 different waves to chose from; rifles, ebay, bank vaults, hideaways, playgrounds, kandui, candys, corners, tikis, spankers, pit stops, beng bengs, no name, piggy banks, pistols, 3″b”s, burgerworld and crystal bowls. We are proud of the extensive knowledge of secret waves that charter boats don’t visit and Mentawai weather conditions, built up from a combined 20 years experience hunting waves in the area. With unrivaled speed and comfort between lineups you will get better surf, more often with less crowds.

From $170 USD/day

We are THE best value for money in the Mentawai Islands.

If surfing the best waves of your life, sleeping on an exclusive tropical island, swimming, snorkeling and fishing in a gin-clear lagoon while making new friends sounds like your style, drop us a line at

We are standing by to make your dreams a reality.

A new secret surfing location and adventure resort in the Mentawai Islands, West Sumatra, Indonesia.

Dive the Epicentre of Marine Biodiversity on the Planet!

Dive Manado’s Bunaken National Park and the Lembeh Strait with North Sulawesi’s only PADI 5 Star Gold Palm IDC Resort – Eco Divers

Exotic islands… pristine reefs… friendly people… personal service… rare species…

Welcome to North Sulawesi, home to countless colourful and rare marine creatures. Visit over 100 uncrowded sites, dive in warm waters on precipitous walls, explore the best muck diving in the world and discover a huge variety of camouflaged critters.

The smiling face of Eco Divers Manado

Experience the highest level of service and attention on-board our high quality boats. We guarantee you a low guest-to-guide ratio, qualified PADI Divemasters, safety and comfort facilities, specialist photography services and as much amazing diving as you could wish for. Eco Divers is a proud member of the North Sulawesi Watersports Association and is committed to the preservation of our fragile coral reefs. Stay in two fine resorts: Tasik Ria Resort in Manado and Kungkungan Bay Resort in the Lembeh Strait. Friendly, attentive staff will take care of your every need so you can enjoy more than just a diving holiday. Relax by the pool, pamper yourself in a traditional Indonesian spa* and savour our delicious local cuisine. You can enjoy a stay in both resorts for the ultimate combination of two unique marine environments.

Bintan Resorts

Situated less than an hour away via comfortable catamarans from the modern and culturally vibrant city of Singapore, Bintan Resorts is located on the largest of Indonesia’s enchanting Riau islands in the South China Sea. Experience endless beaches, a wide variety of international-class resorts, and a refreshing host of tropical holiday activities. Discover a holiday within a holiday, when you visit Singapore and Bintan Resorts today!

Bali’s Best Restaurants for 2006 Names Bali’s Best Restaurants for 2006

Bali’s Leading Restaurant Site Lists its Favorite Eateries.

In a year that saw, according to, at least 65 new restaurants open in Bali, here’s their list of the “best of the best” by category:

Best Fine Dining – The Italian Restaurant-Nusa Dua

“Elegant room fronted by a magic poolside terrace offering the very best of Italian cuisine.”

Best Restaurant – Breeze at The Semaya – Kerobokan

“New beachside restaurant with some of the best food in Bali. A chef with imagination!”

Best Value – Clay Oven – Sanur

“Sensational food from the Tandoors of a master chef. Wonderful value!”

Best North Bali – Kwizien – Lovina

“Modern European bistro, professional service, nice bar, a full wine list and a comfortable ambience.”

Best Café – Beach Cafe – Sanur

“On the beach at Shindu (sic), great breakfast, sandwiches, snacks and meals.”

Best Cheapie – La Pau – Sanur

“Now in a home of its own. Padang food at all hours of the night. At weekends also jazz in the garden. Cheap!”

For more information on these and the hundreds of restaurants reviewed by, visit their website via the link provided.

More information: Website

© Bali Discovery Tours. Articles may be quoted and reproduced if attributed to All images and graphics are copyright protected.

Change in Bali: A view from within

In everyone’s life, there is always a turning point that makes one take a giant leap toward change.

This also applies to Anak Agung Gde Agung from Bali, a social affairs minister under the presidency of Abdurrahman “Gus Dur” Wahid and the current king of Gianyar in Bali.

His ancestors had their roots in the Central Java ancient Majapahit Kingdom.

The death of his father — Ide Anak Agung Gde Agung, who served a multitude of top posts during the founding Sukarno presidency — in April 1999, a few months before he was named a Cabinet minister under Gus Dur, led him to believe that he must take a leading role in the preservation, if not the rehabilitation, of Bali’s environment.

This also extended to sociocultural as well as socioreligious life, which, he felt, had been eroded badly due to the strong influence of globalization.

“We should increase people’s — including tourists’ — awareness on the uniqueness of Bali. Otherwise, Bali will only be seen as a place of everything for everybody.”

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Bengawan Solo River

Bengawan Solo river area lies from south west at south coast of Central Java province to the north east of north coast East Java, and border on Progo-Opak-Oyo river area at the south side, Jratunseluna river area at north west, Java Ocean at north side, Brantas river area at the east side and Indonesia Ocean at the west side also pass through 9 Regency/District in Central Java and 11 Regency/District in East Java, with the population estimated reach about 15 million person (1995).

The largest river in Bengawan Solo river area is Bengawan Solo River with length for 600 km flowing in 2 provinces which are Central Java Province and East Java Province with the irrigation width circa 16.000 km2, was the biggest and the main river basin area.
In recent 30 years development of irrigation facility at the Bengawan Solo river area have reach a significant level of development. This was mark by the completed of irrigation building, which still in progress or even have been built such as reservoir, dam, dike, irrigation net, and others. Investment have been spent to reach this development level is very big. Those buildings have functions as a flood controller, Hydraulic Power Generator, water supply for farming, industry, drink water, fishery, and others.

2. Completed and in progress development of irrigation facility

1. Wonogiri Multipurpose Dam (finished 1981) with capacity around 735 million m3, it function as water storage for irrigation purpose, farming, and power plant generator, also as a flood controller.
2. Dams for irrigation water supplier such as Nawangan, Paragjoho, Songputri, Nekuk, Gondang and Pondok.
3. Development of sediment foundation and groundsill at Bengawan Solo river irrigation area downstream part is 27 units, at the sub of Kali Madiun River irrigation area and Pacitan River irrigation area (Kali Grindulu) 37 units.
4. Development for irrigation net Wonogiri Region, Nawangan, Parangjoho, Songputri, Nekuk, Gondang, East Colo Downstream Main Drainage, Pump at Upperstream Solo.
5. Improvement of Bengawan Solo Upperstream river is improvement of Bengawan Solo river from Babat until Kali Mireng to protect food production region at Bengawan Solo approximately ( 40 ha., old Plangwot Sedayu flood way drainage with capacity 600 m3/second ).
6. Development for Tirtonadi Rubber Dam in Surakarta, Jati Rubber Dam, Kori, Gombal, Celeng, Sungkur, Bringin, Pulo and Jejeruk in Madiun and Kali Lamong Rubber Dam.
7. Improvement of Bengawan Solo Hilir River is improvement Bengawan Solo river from Babat to Kali Mireng.

Total fund invested by Government for development of Bengawan Solo River Reservoir until year 1999 is ( Rp 1 billion (National Budget + BLN).

1. Advantages from finished development of irrigation facility at Bengawan Solo River Reservoir are as follows :
1. Flood controller for a frequent decade period and a half-decade.
2. Supplier of irrigation water for Irrigation Area around 43.174 Ha.
3. Power Plant Generator for 57,365 million Kwh/year.
4. Supplier of raw water drinks about ( 4,2 million m3/year ).
5. Supplier of raw water for industry about ( 54,3 million m3/year ).
6. Reservoir fishing with free spread system.
7. Recreational Potential and Water Sport (Wonogiri Reservoir).

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Tour Around Lombok

Lombok’s area (4,739 sq kms) and population (2.5 million people) are both just slightly smaller than Bali’s. The island measures about 80 kms north to south and about 70 kms east to west. Aporminent peninsula extend west from the southwest corner and smaller peninsula juts out from the southeast.

The name “Lombok” is said to come from afiery red chili pepper, used as a condiment. The natives of Lombok, the Sasak population, call their island Bumi Gora, which means, “Dry Farmland,” or Selaparang, which is the name of an old East Lombok kingdom.

Likened to Bali before tourist boom, Lombok is a quiet island of pristine white-sand beaches and rugged, verdant countryside. The plurality of its population – a mix of Chinese, Arabs, Balinese and indigenous Sasak Moeslems – is matched by equally dramatic contrasts in landscape. Visitors can easily choose idle respite on the serene coral isles of Gili Meno, Gili Air and Gili Trawang, or more strenuous hikes up Lombok’s towering volcano, Mt. Rinjani.

While luxury beach resorts have made inroads along Senggigi Beach, the island’s leading tourist centre, accommodation on Lombok is still typified by simple thatched bungalows and inexpensive guests houses. Lombok lies only 62 km east of Bali, and can be reached by frequent flights from Ngurah Rai Airport (20 minutes), by car ferry from Padangbai (4 hours) or via the Mabua Express jet foil from Benoa Harbour (2.5 hours).

About Indonesia

Our journey begins at the most western part of the Indonesian archipelago, Sabang on Weh Island, just off the coast of Aceh on Sumatra. Near here is the Gunung Leuser National Park, the largest in Indonesia. Just outside Medan, the largest city on Sumatra, is Indonesia’s largest crocodile farm. Then there’s the magnificient Lake Toba, the largest land-locked body of water in Southeast Asia as well as one of the highest and the deepest in the world. And if you fancy surfing, you ‘ll find some of the best surf of the Island of Nias. Visit the Dendam Taksuda Botanial Gardens in Bengkulu for a glimse of the giant Rafflesia flower, named after Sir Stamford Raffles. And look over at Krakatau, the site of one of the largest-ever volcanic eruptions the world has ever seen, from the safety of Bandar Lampung.

Across the Sunda Straits and over to Indonesia’s capital of Jakarta on Java, where the original inhabitants, the Betawi, are still to be found. Originally called the “Paris of Java” Bandung in West Java is thought to have more art deco style architecture than any city in the world except Miami in the United States. The ancient Buddhist monumen of Borobudur – near Yogyakarta, the cultural heart of Java – is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The longest river on Java is the Bengawan Solo, also the name of perhaps the most beloved song in the entire archipelago. The extraordinary sea of sand at Mount Bromo in East Java has to be experienced in order to be believed.

Next to Java is Bali, perhaps the world’s most celebrated tourist destination, a haven for holidaymakers of all nationalities, where there is literally something for everyone.

Lombok in Nusa Tenggara – or the Lesser Sundas as opposed to the Greater Sundas of Sumatra, Java and Borneo – is lorded over by the fabulous Mount Rinjani. Here is the starting point of the Wallace Line separating Bali and Borneo from Lombok and the rest of Eastern Indonesia. Also part of Nusa Tenggara is Komodo where the world’s east of Bali, is the scene of the Pasola, a colourful and often violent mock bettle held on horseback.

Kalimantan is the immense Indonesian part of the island of Borneo, the third largest island in the world. Banjarmasin, in the south, is referred to as the “Venice of Indonesia” with thousands of watercraft plying through the city’s rivers and canals.

The northernmost part of somewhat unusually shaped island of Sulawesi – originally called the Celebes because early explorers thought the island was in fact a group of islands – has the largest concentration of coconut trees in Indonesia is to be had in the coral reefs of Bunaken Island, off North Sulawesi. Sulawesi is also home to the highland Torajans and the seafaring Bugis.

The fabled spice Islands are referred to as the Moluccas and there are a total 999 islands in today’s provience of Maluki. Much of the island’s history can still be seen today, in particular at Fort Victoria in Ambon city, on the Island of Ambon.

Irian Jaya – the Indonesian part of the island og New Guinea, the second largest island in the world after Greenland – is Indonesia’s last frontier and more than 100 distinct languages are spoken here. At 12,000 metres, Mount jaya is the province’s tallest peak. Irian Jaya is home to incredibly diverse variety of flora and fauna, some unique to the province, such as the tree kangaroo and the bird of paradise. Our journey ends at Merauke, the Indonesia archipelago’s easternmost town.

So come visit and enjoy the many wonders of Indonesia, but be warned, it’ll take you lifetime to visit them all.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Indonesia Woman

Woman and Politics

Strategic Planning Workshop on Strengthening the Political Role of Woman in the Parliamentary Election 2004

During Indonesia’s first democratic elections after the Suharto Era in 1999, woman made up 57% of the voters. However, women currently hold only 45 of the 500 seats in the national parliament. That’s only about 9%. On the local level, the figure is between 0% to 2%. Indonesia’s women are still heavily under-represented in political life.

With the next elections coming up in April 2004, efforts are being made to give women a bigger share of power. In February 2003, the national parliament (DPR) promulgated a new Election Law that is meant to give more space for female involvement in the political arena. Law No. 12/2003 Article 65 Paragraph (1) on general elections points out that each participating political party may nominate candidates for national and local parliament for each electoral district giving consideration to representation of woman of at least 30 percent. The new rule is not compulsory but many of the contesting political parties might give more of the posiotns on the lists to women. However what is found today is that women often lack the knowledge and experience of their male counterparts. There is not only an urgent need for capacity building but also the political structures and processes must be changed so that women get a fair chance for more participation.

In order to pave the way for this process, the Institute for Social Institutions Studies (ISIS) and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF), have conducted a strategic planning workshop on the political role of women in the 2004 parliamentary elections in Pasir, Situbondo, East Java from March 12 to 14, 2003. The local partner in Pasir was a Fatayat NU Situbondo, a women’s group of Nahdatul Ulama the largest Muslim organisation in Indonesia. The 35 participants of the workshop represented a wide range of different women’s organizations. Among others, the Fatayat NU (the womans’ section of Nahdatul Ulama), Muslimat NU, Nasyatul Aisyah (The womans’ section of Muhammadiyah), PMII (Indonesia Islamic Student Association), the womans’ department of PDI-P, PGRI (Teachers Association), PKB (National Awakening Party) as well as some other NGOs and CSOs based in Situbondo.

Most of the participants were eager to join politics – either as members of the local parliament or even as district heads. Aspirations were high: Women should play a strategic role in political parties and, as a result of cultural changes, they should be ready to become equal to men in the political arena. Woman could even be the answer to Indonesia’s corruption problem, that was what participants felt. After all, as quoted in Kompas Daily, 7 March 2003, the head of UNDP Indonesia, Bo Asplund, has said that the recent World Bank research proved that there is a correlation between an increase of woman representatives in parliament and a decrease of corruption. Many participants, however, believed that women are still trapped within a patriarchically structured society. Especially in Situbondo, which is dominated by a strong Madurese and Islamic culture. Within this culture, the Kiai, title for venerated Islamic leader or teacher, holds the key position. In order for women to take on a bigger political role, the require the endorsment by the local traditional islamic leaders (Kiai). Thus, the women in Situbondo still face many challenges: they need to increase their understanding of politics, their political skills, their human resources, their political capacity, and, above all, they need to make people aware that women in politics is not contradicting Islam.

Jakarta, April 2003

M. Husni Thamrin
Programme Assistant
Friedrich Naumann Stiftung

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Information About Indonesia

Are you considering an exciting voyage to Indonesia? This page is designed as a practical resource for first-time, as well as seasoned long-distance travelers who are ready to immerse themselves in the spectrum of unique cultural experiences Indonesia has to offer.


The most visited islands are Bali and Java, and there is plenty to see on these two islands alone. But there is much more. Itineraries will vary greatly based on individual interests and budgets. Backpackers as well as world-class travelers all have discovered the fascinations of Indonesia. Besides tropical beaches, there are many volcanoes, fantastic wildlife, archeological wonders, ancient traditional cultures, exotic performing and visual arts, and bustling cities.

It is impossible to fully explore Indonesia in a few weeks’ time. It is therefore advisable to choose only one or two regions to explore at a time. Of course, that may mean that you will find yourself planning a return trip to Indonesia as soon as you come home from your first visit. That is not unusual. Indonesia’s many charms have stolen the hearts of those who have tasted the delights that only experience can explain.

Tour packages are a good way for many solo or first-time travelers to experience the highlights of Indonesian culture and beauty. They can often be a good value as well. There are tour packages for every travel preference, from ecotourism, edutourism, and adventure sports, to beach lovers, art enthusiasts, and bargain hunters. However, if you are more the independent type, here are a few suggestions to include in your plans:

– Beach lovers often flock to the popular white as well as black sand beaches of Bali. Often called a surfer’s paradise, the excellent waves of Ulu Watu, Sanur and Nusa Dua are an adventure for experienced surfers, but even beginners can learn to surf at popular Kuta and Legian beaches where rental equipment and local instructors are plentiful.

– Bali’s mecca of traditional art and culture is found in the central mountains of Ubud. Tourism competes with the arts here, but together they give the visitor a glimpse into a more genuine experience of the Balinese people.

– Lombok is the small island east of Bali, which is lesser traveled by tourists, but offers white sand beaches, mountain trekking, and visits to craft villages.

– One of the wonders of the world, the Buddhist temple of Borobudur is located in Central Java. Rich with history and ancient architecture, this is the largest temple in the world. Put on a comfortable pair of walking shoes and your sun hat and plan a day to climb to the top and fully absorb this must-see attraction.

– The center of Javanese culture and a popular tourist destination is the Central Java city of Yogyakarta. This is also a university town that boasts many nearby attractions, such as the ancient Hindu temple of Prambanan.

– Northern Sumatra offers the magnificent natural wonder of the crater lake Danau Toba, which is the largest lake in Southeast Asia. Pulau Samosir is a volcanic island the size of Singapore that rises from the center of the lake.

– The famous Komodo Dragon makes its home in Nusa Tenggara, which catapults visitors back in time to the age of the dinosaurs.

– The beautiful mountains of central Sulawesi are perfect for adventurous trekking, and the Toraja people are best known for their unique and colorful ceremonies. Some of the best snorkeling and diving is also available around the reefs of Pulau Bunaken.

Travel Documents

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: A passport valid for at least six months from arrival date and an onward/return ticket are required. It is not necessary for citizens from the USA (Canada, the UK or Australia) to obtain a visa before arriving in Indonesia. Since February 1, 2004, tourists are required to buy a visa upon arrival at a cost of $25 for a stay of up to 30 days. If you want more detailed information, contact the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in at (202) 775-5200 or their web site. You may also contact the nearest Indonesian Consulate General: Los Angeles (213) 383-5126, San Francisco (415) 474-9571, Chicago (312) 595-1777, New York (212) 879-0600 or Houston (713)785-1691.

Getting There & Lodging

Getting There

There are no non-stop flights from the United States to Indonesia. You must make at least one connecting flight, and depending on the airline, a stopover may be required, usually in Asia. Both transpacific and transatlantic flights are available, with the major US gateways being New York, Newark, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Lately fares can be found from the USA to either Jakarta (Java) or Denpasar (Bali) roundtrip for well under $1,000.

Note that prior to departure from Indonesia for the flight home, passengers must pay an airport tax of anywhere from Rp15,000 to Rp100,000 (approx. US$1.75 to $11.75 ) , depending on the airport.


Lodging in Indonesia can be found to fit just about any budget, from simple and cheap to as posh and luxuriant as any five-star accommodations in the west. The US dollar goes far in Indonesia, and one could pay less than $10 per night with two meal a day at clean and adequate homestay accommodations, or into the hundreds of dollars per night at the top-notch Oberoi Bali.

Room rates at many of the mid-level hotels may be negotiable and discounts are often given if one simply asks. It is also a good idea to request the price list when checking in to be sure that you are not being quoted the highest rate. Always ask to see the room before accepting a price at the budget hotels.

Getting Around

Travel of any great distance either on or off island may be by air, bus, minibus (bemo), train, car or boat.

Air travel is relatively inexpensive and there are several domestic airlines in addition to the major national airline, Garuda Indonesia, which is named after the mythical man-bird of the Hindu god Vishnu. Garuda has a good domestic network to all major Indonesian cities and operates international flights as well.

Buses are quite economical, even the luxury air-conditioned models, for long and short jaunts. Buses are the main form of public transportation for Indonesian citizens. There is little space for luggage though, so travel light when traveling the islands by bus.

Minibuses, or Bemos, as they are called locally, are another popular form of transportation between and within cities and travel standard routes. Bemos are usually cramped and at times the drivers will try to overcharge foreigners. Also be careful of pickpockets in such crowded traveling conditions. There are also some more comfortable express minibuses that operate between the major tourist centers in Sumatra, Bali and Lombok, sometimes called “travel”. They offer service from your hotel to your destination. Fare for this service is, of course, higher than that charged by the typical bemo services.

Train service in Indonesia is only operated in Sumatra and Java. The best service is in Java, which is comfortable and convenient. The train service in Sumatra is minimal by comparison.

In some areas car and motorcycle rental is available, but realize that Indonesians drive on the left side of the road, and often any side that will serve their purpose. Driving in Indonesia can be a hair-raising experience for the mild-mannered tourist. Many Indonesian drivers have never had any formal driver’s education and licenses are often acquired mysteriously, if at all. If you are involved in an accident, it can be a nightmare. Because you are a foreigner, you will be held at fault no matter what the actual situation was. A wiser choice is to hire a driver, travel by taxi, or use public transportation.

There are ferries that run between all of the islands. The sailing frequency is from several times per day to several times per week. Most accept large vehicles as well as motorcycles and passengers.

Time & Money


Indonesia has three time zones:

Western Indonesian Time – GMT +7

Central Indonesian Time – GMT +8

Eastern Indonesian Time – GMT +9

To quickly and easily see what time it is anywhere in Indonesia (or the rest of the world for that matter) go to World Clock, cities are listed alphabetically.


Indonesian currency is the rupiah. You will be happy to know that the US dollar goes far in Indonesia. In fact, most of the cost to visit Indonesia is for airfare, unless of course, you choose to stay at the ultra luxury hotels whose room rates are comparable to those in the States.

The exchange rate as of February 2004 was approximately Rp.8500 to $1 USD.

The current exchange rate is published daily in The Jakarta Post.

Prices quoted in rupiah or dollars can easily be converted using the Universal Currency Converter.

You will have to change your money, and in tourist areas, there are plenty of moneychangers and banks available. The best rates are generally at the banks, though moneychangers in Bali may give a better rate for cash as opposed to travelers checks. Curiously, newly printed (2001 or newer), unfolded and unmarred US bills draw a better rate than do older bills of the same denomination. Larger denominations are more desirable than smaller ones. So if you do bring cash, it is worth it to ask for crisp, new bills from your banker before leaving home. Always carefully count your rupiah before handing over your dollars or travelers checks, especially when dealing with moneychangers in Bali.

As far as the use of credit cards, many of the larger hotels, restaurants and stores in tourist areas and large cities will accept them, but if you go to the smaller budget hotels, guest houses, homestays or local restaurants and shops, be prepared to pay in rupiah.


Packing light is always recommended for long-distance travel. You should be able to carry all of your luggage yourself for 15 or 20 minutes without too much struggle.

Indonesia is a warm, tropical climate year-round. Casual, loose, light-weight clothing of breathable, wrinkle-resistant material is preferable. It is generally best to dress conservatively throughout Indonesia where culturally, manners and courtesy are important. Wearing shorts, tank tops and bathing suits outside of beach areas is considered rude.

Under-packing is better than over-packing since clothing is delightfully inexpensive in Indonesia. Buying any additional clothes you may need during your visit there is a practical way to bring home some personal souvenirs. However, remember that Indonesians are generally smaller people than westerners, so be aware that larger sizes for both men and women may be difficult to find.

Remember to bring the following items:

Sunglasses, hat and sunblock

Insect repellent

Umbrella or rain poncho

Extra pair of prescription glasses or contacts

Medications in original containers with copies of prescriptions

Personal toiletries, such as shaving cream, dental floss, tampons, small tissue packets and moist towelettes, which may be difficult to find after your arrival.

For excellent tips on packing methods and traveling light, as well as many travel resources, visit

A recommended book that is very helpful when planning your trip is The Packing Book.

Our Toko Shop also has links recommending suppliers of travel accessories and luggage.

Health & Safety


A little pre-trip education and planning is wise for any overseas journey. Indonesia does not require vaccinations before travel, however, the Center for Disease Control recommends the following before travel to Southeast Asia:

See your doctor at least 4–6 weeks before your trip to allow time for shots to take effect.
– Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG).

– Hepatitis B if you might be exposed to blood (for example, health-care workers), have sexual contact with the local population, stay longer than 6 months in the region, or be exposed through medical treatment.

– Japanese encephalitis, only if you plan to visit rural areas for 4 weeks or more, except under special circumstances, such as a known outbreak of Japanese encephalitis.

– Rabies, if you might be exposed to wild or domestic animals through your work or recreation.

– Typhoid vaccination is particularly important because of the presence of S. typhi strains resistant to multiple antibiotics in this region.

– As needed, booster doses for tetanus-diphtheria and measles, and a one-time dose of polio for adults. Hepatitis B vaccine is now recommended for all infants and for children ages 11–12 years who did not complete the series as infants.

Far and away the most common health problem for travelers to the major cities and tourist areas in Indonesia is travelers’ diarrhea or “Bali belly.” This is caused by contaminated food or water, or even just the sudden change in climate, diet, as well as bacteria new to the digestive system. Up to 50% of all travelers (not just those to Indonesia) experience some upset to their system in the early part of a trip. A few rushed trips to the toilet with no other symptoms should be no cause for alarm. Just be sure to drink plenty of clean water (air putih) and eat a light, bland diet for a few days.

To stay healthy, do…

– Wash hands often with soap and water.

– Drink only bottled or boiled water, or carbonated (bubbly) drinks in cans or bottles. Avoid tap water, fountain drinks, and ice cubes, although ice served in all the restaurants in Bali are controlled by the government and safe.

– Eat only thoroughly cooked food or fruits and vegetables you have peeled yourself. Remember: boil it, cook it, peel it, or forget it.

– If you visit an area where there is risk for malaria, take your malaria prevention medication before, during, and after travel, as directed. (See your doctor for a prescription.) The actual risk of malaria is minimal in most of the main cities and well-populated areas of Indonesia. However, the risk increases in less populated areas, and some rural areas, as well as Irian Jaya, are considered high risk areas.

– Protect yourself from mosquito bites:

– Pay special attention to mosquito protection between dusk and dawn. This is when the type of mosquito whose bite transmits malaria is active.

– Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.

– Use insect repellents that contain DEET (diethylmethyltoluamide).

– Read and follow the directions and precautions on the product label.
– To prevent fungal and parasitic infections, keep feet clean and dry, and do not go barefoot.

To avoid getting sick…

– Don’t eat food purchased from street vendors.
– Don’t drink beverages with ice.
– Don’t eat dairy products unless you know they have been pasteurized.
– Don’t handle animals (especially monkeys, dogs, and cats), to avoid bites and serious diseases (including rabies and plague).
– Don’t swim in fresh water. Salt water is usually safer.

It should be remembered that Indonesia is still a developing nation, and religious and cultural diversity also has its downside, at times leading to unrest and even riots. In northern Sumatra there is currently a violent struggle for independence in Aceh, and in the Maluku islands religious strife between Moslems and Christians continues to flare up. These areas should be avoided by tourists. Terrorism has also been a concern over the past year in Java and Bali, so travelers are wise to be aware of the current social climate and steer clear if any large public demonstrations are encountered.

Conditions have improved in the popular tourist areas of Jakarta, Yogyakarta and Bali due to increased security measures by the government; travelers and expatriates report experiencing no safety concerns due to the social climate or attitude toward westerners. Indeed, the Indonesian people are generally extremely hospitable and view foreigners as their guests. However, each traveler contemplating a visit to Indonesia must make his/her own decision regarding whether or not travel is advisable. It is wise to make an informed choice and consider your personal risk tolerance. We recommend keeping abreast of the news in Indonesia and reviewing appropriate travel warnings (also see FAQ About Travel to Indonesia).

Personal Matters


When looking for restrooms, ask for the “way say” (WC), toilet or “kamar kechil” (kamar kecil), and your needs will be understood.

Using restrooms in Indonesia may at first be a challenge for American travelers who are not accustomed to the Indonesian squat toilet. There are several kinds, but they are basically all holes in the ground with foot rests on either side. Don’t panic yet, however, since most restaurants and hotels in major tourist areas are equipped with the standard Western throne-style toilets. Eventually, though, you will encounter a squat toilet.

For a light-hearted discussion of squat toilets, along with extremely helpful instructions on their use, we highly recommend reading Going Abroad by Eva Newman.


Many tourist hotels are now equipped with hot water and showers, but you may encounter another form of bathing at the lower priced accommodations. The Indonesian mandi is generally a tiled water reservoir with a plastic saucepan. Do not climb into the reservoir to bathe! The proper method is to scoop the water out and pour it over yourself. Yes, the water is cold, but with an open mind in a hot tropical climate, you will come to enjoy your rather refreshing morning and early evening mandi. It is customary to bathe twice daily in Indonesia.

Note: Something to keep in mind when taking care of personal hygiene, remember to brush your teeth using only boiled or bottled water. Never use tap water, or you risk a case of “Bali belly.”

Indonesia Culture

1 Like the people on Indonesia’s many islands, Indonesia’s culture is a wonderful mix. It is colorful, musical, and truly spectacular. But to really understand Indonesia’s culture, it is helpful to know some history and geography.

2 Indonesia is a group of islands in the eastern Indian Ocean. Groups of islands like this are called an archipelago. The Indonesian archipelago has many islands, both big and small. Indonesia is close to India and China. Both of those countries have a long history and strong culture. And both countries helped shape Indonesian culture.

3 Throughout Indonesia’s history, immigrants from India and China brought parts of their culture with them. The religions of Hinduism (from India) and Buddhism (from China) made their way to Indonesia early on. Different art forms also came to Indonesia from other nearby countries.

4 Neighbors influenced one of Indonesia’s most well known forms of music. This music is called gamelan. If you aren’t familiar with Asian music, it may be the strangest music you’ll ever hear. It is very different from Western music.

5 Gamelan is played with lots of different percussion instruments. A percussion instrument is something that is hit, like a drum, cymbal, or bell. In gamelan, many different percussion instruments are used. Bells, chimes, and gongs can be easily recognized. Others are unusual, like the metallophone and bamboo xylophone. Gamelan orchestras arrange their instruments in a specific way.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Purwokerto, Central Java

Purwokerto, city in central western Indonesia, in the central region of the island of Java. Located in the province of Central Java, Purwokerto lies south of Mount Slamet and 50 km (30 mi) northeast of the port of Tjilatjap on the south coast of Java. The city is a center for small-scale production of goods that are sold locally,

and many businesses operate out of homes. The region around Purwokerto is one of Java’s poorest. Most of the rural population farms wet rice on a subsistence level, and Purwokerto serves as a market and provider of services for these people. Purwokerto is on a railway line running from Tegal on the north coast to near the south coast, where it connects to the BandungYogyakarta- line. The route to the Baturaden resort on the southern slopes of Mount Slamet passes through Purwokerto. The city is home to Jenderal Soedirman University, founded in 1963. During Indonesia’s colonial period (which ended in 1949), Purwokerto was a center for indigo, tea, coffee, and rubber plantations. In 1936 it became an administrative city. Population (1990) 196,000.

Lake Sentani, Papua

Treks into most mainland areas require an arrival by flight into the Lake Sentani area located close to the West Papuan capital city of Jayapura. This region is a beautifully dramatic introduction to Papua. A huge wall of vegetation called the Cyclops sits majestically above Lake Sentani and makes for a stunning backdrop to the clear waters.

The best way to see the Lake and adjacent areas is by motorised canoe. This transportation allows you uninterrupted perspectives of the area access to visit the small fishing village built on stilts over the lake. Fishermen have been plying their traditional trade here for many generations.

Lake Sentani is a famous primitive arts centre. Bark paintings, sago bowls and small-carved items are amongst the local handicrafts found here. Kelly is a private collector of primitive Papuan art and therefore he has the depth of knowledge and connections to ensure that you pay the right price and that all items purchased are genuine.

The port city of Jayapura sits on the coast and has a population of around 250,000 including many people from other parts of the Indonesian archipelago. It is not an unattractive city and you will find museums, hotels, an assortment of restaurants, banks and markets for shopping. From Jayapura it is easy to take guided overnight treks to primitive villages and it is a 45-minute flight to Wamena, the main town of the famed Baliem Valley.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Indonesia Train Schedule

Try to find Indonesia Train Schedule. Visit . You can find all indonesia train schedule, ticketing and train route here. Dont worry, its in Indonesian but you can find your destination easily.

Karaton Surakarta Hadiningrat

Since February 17, 1745, Susuhunan Pakubuwono II and his family had occupied the new palace or karaton located along the banks of Solo River, the longest river in Java. The former karaton in Kartosuro (10 km west of Solo) had been abandoned due to severe damages. It was not a proper karaton for the Susuhunan (king) anymore, after being ransacked on 1742 by the invaders. Pakubuwono II with all his family and subordinates made a day long royal procession from Kartosuro to Surakarta. The city of Surakarta could easily connected to east Java main coastal centers such as Gresik, Tuban via Bengawan (river) Solo. This ‘river connection’ was one the reasons to move the palace to Solo. Pakubuwono means ‘center of the world’ (paku : nail, buwono : the world).

The king sat on his royal wagon, Kyai Grudo escorted by high ranking officials, troops, regalia carriers, bringing the pusakas (heirlooms) and other important things to be used in his new palace. The convoy includes also the sacred gamelan, waringin (Banyan) trees, horses, elephants and a special chamber Bangsal Pengrawit. Upon arrival at the new karaton, he announced that starting from today the capital city of the kingdom was Surokarto Hadiningrat (suro : brave, valiant – karto : prosperous – Hadi : great, precious – rat : state).

Coming from the north side of Jalan Slamet Riyadi through a thoroughfare (gladak), a visitor arrives in the North Square (alun-alun Lor). In the center of Alun-alun, there are two waringins (Banyan) trees symbolizing protection and justice.

The throne hall Sasono Semowo or Pagelaran faces the square. In the old days, it was from this hall, the Susuhunan or king delivered his massage and received report from his government read by his Patih (chief minister). Further south, several steps up, there is the Siti Hinggil (high ground) where the GAREBEG ceremonies started (in separate article: garabeg in Solo and Jogya).

Passing through the main gate or kori of Brajanala (braja: ray – Nala: feeling) one enters the fort Baluwerti on Kemandungan square. Enter to Sri Manganti, where one has to wait for audience with the king. And there is the main location called KADATON. In the center is the main throne hall Sasono Sewoko, where the king received obedience from his court family and subordinates. It is also a place he practiced meditation (samadi). There is a small Pendopo (hall) called Pringgitan, where leather puppet (wayang kulit) performs from time to time. Next to Sasono Sewoko is Sasono Handorowino where royal banquets are given.

Leaving Kadaton to south, there is the Magangan court, where the court dignitaries entered the sanctum along this route. There is a pavilion of meditation for princes. There is a sacred meteorite on the rear bank of the pool. From here southward, passing the gate or kori of South Brojonolo, then Sitinggil Kidul, one arrives in the South Square (Alun-Alun Kidul) The Palace’s elephants and buffaloes grazed here in the old days. Due to the existence of the elephants with its ivory trunks, this place is popularly known as GADING (Ivory).

Taking lessons from Kartosuro Palace, which were easy to be attacked by enemies, the new Surakarta Palace fortified itself.

So, the Alun-Alun was also meant to be a battleground to resist any attack. Several batteries of soldiers were installed in Pagelaran and in front of it (GELAR= formation of troops; Pagelaran = a place where battle tactics are decided). The routes encircling the Alun-Alun are called Supit Urang (Supit-pincers; Urang = crab), symbolizing a tactic to defeat the intruders.

The reserves (of soldiers) were held in the square of Kamandungan, Sri Manganti was a rest place.

In Baluarti, there were rice – barns, arsenal and ammunition depot, and stables for horses of the cavalry and the special garrison of the king’s guard (Tamtomo). The palace is also a place of high spiritual meaning of old Javanese faith. As there are seven stairs and seven gates at Candi Borobudur, there are also seven squares at Solo Palace :

1. Pamuraan Njawi
2. Pamuraan Nglebet
3. Alun-Alun Lor
4. Sitinggil
5. Kamandungan
6. Sri Manganti
7. Plataran

And Seven Gates (Gapuros) :

1. Gladag
2. Gapuro Pamuraan
3. Kori Wijil
4. Kori Brojonolo
5. Kori Kamandungaan
6. Kori Mangun
7. Kori Manganti

There is Panggung Songgobuwono (panggung-tower ; songgo-to support ; Buwono the world) in Baluarti, a tower with octagonal form. Some believe that it is a place where Sri Sunan (a popular name for the king) continued the tradition of his ancestors to meet with the Goddess of South Seas (Kanjeng Ratu Kidul) at least at the anniversary of his coronation.

West of Kedaton, there is a place called Mantenan, where there was bandengan, a fishpond with gurameh fishes and turtles (symbols of long age of life). In the old days, Sri Sunan delivered the teaching of life philosophy and cleaned his heirlooms. In the high ground he did meditations and there is a mosque – Pudyosono (a place to worship).
Karaton Surakarta as one of the stronghold of Javanese culture is opened daily to be adored by visitors. It has a museum and art galery where some precious collections are exhibited, such as keris (daggers), masks, leather puppets, etc.

At present, the King of Surakarta is Sri Susuhunan Pakubuwono XII.

Arts, Cultures, Rituals and Other Information of Karaton Surakarta Hadiningrat

Media KARATON SURAKARTA (MEKAS), a monthly ‘newsletter’ published by Yayasan Pawiyatan Kabudayaan Karaton Surakarta

(Suryo S. Negoro)

Jamu (Traditional Herbal Medicine)


‘Back to nature’ is not merely a slogan in Java and Indonesia. The visible proof is the use of traditional herbal medicine of various type of ‘medical plants’, either from the leaves, the fruits, the roots, the flowers or the barks, etc.

These herbal medicine had been used since the ancient time up to now, it is largely consumed by people of different level; lower, middle and upper, in the villages and in the big cities.

The study of jamu had been conducted by Rumphius, a botanist as early as the year 1775 AD by publishing a book ‘Herbaria Amboinesis’. A scientific research for jamu by the research center of herbal medicine in Bogor Botanical Garden, resulting a publication of a book ‘Medical Book for Children and Adults’, composed by E. Van Bent.

The first seminar about jamu has been held in Solo in 1940, followed by a Formation of Indonesia’s Jamu Committee in 1944. In the 1966, a seminar on jamu was held again. In 1981, a book by title of ‘The use of Medical Plants’ was established to support the jamu industry in the country.

The method of using the jamu remains the same as the ancestors did. Some are consumed by drinking it and some are for outside application.

At present one could buy easily ready made jamu packed modernly in the form of powder, pills, capsules, drinking liquid and ointments. Of course there are still jamu shops, which sell only ingredients or prepare the jamu on spot as required by buyers. Some women are roaming the street to sell jamu, is a common view across the country.

The traditional methods of making jamu such as by boiling the prepared herbal ingredients (jamu godok) still prevail in Javanese society. The popular traditional tools of making jamu are still available in many Javanese houses such as; Lumpang (small iron Mortar), pipisan, parut (grater), kuali (clay pot), etc.

What kind of disease could jamu cure?
The reply is almost every disease, jamu could cure. There are various kinds of jamu to combat different kind of illness. In Principle there are two types of jamu; the first is jamu to maintain physical fitness and health, the locally popular are Galian Singset (to keep women body fit and slim) and Sehat Lelaki (to keep men body healthy). The second is jamu to cure various kinds of illness. Except the above, there are special jamu created with the purpose to maintain a loving family harmony. The popular products among other are Sari Rapet, which makes a women sexual organ in a good condition, as for the man the matched product is jamu Kuat Lekaki (strong man). The Javanese are also taking a great care to pregnant women during pre and postnatal period by producing the related jamu. There are also jamu for the babies.

The Herbs for Jamu
There are hundreds of herbs for jamu prescriptions, among other are:

Ginger (Zingiber Officinale)
Lempuyang (Zingiber Oronaticum)
Temu Lawak/ Wild Ginger (Curcuma Cautkeridza)
Kunyit/ Tumeric (Curcuma Domestica)
Kencur/ Greater Galingale (Kaemferi Galanga)
Lengkuas/ Ginger Plant (Elpina Galanga)
Bengle (Zingiber Bevifalium)

Secang (Caesalpinia Sappan Hinn)
Sambang Dara (Rexco Ecaria Bicolar Hassk)
Brotowali (Tiospora Rumpii Boerl)
Adas (Foeniculum Vulgare Mill)

Jeruk Nipis/ Calamondin (Citrae Aurantifalia Sivingle)
Ceplukan (Physalic Angulata Him)
Nyamplung (Calophylum Inaphyllu)

Kayu Manis/ Cinamon (Gijeyzahyza Glabra)

Melati/ Yasmin (Jataninum Sunbac Ait)
Rumput Alang-alang (Gramineae)

It is worth to note that some jamu factories in Java are exporting its products. Besides the export of ready made jamu, 25 kinds of herbal plants and ingredients are also in the list of export to Europe, Australia, USA, Japan, etc.

No Side Effects
The people like to consume jamu due to :

* Availability in many places
* Comparatively cheap price
* No side effects


The Natural Beauty of Woman
A Javanese woman is very much concern for her physical appearance to be always slim, beautiful with an alluring bright smiling face.

As a Javanese idiom says “Ngadi Sarira” to maintain the body to be always in perfect condition is of prime important. The way of life of a Javanese is greatly influenced by the royal culture. Not surprisingly that the art of “Keeping Beauty’ is originated from the court palaces.

The Secret of a Princess Beauty
The Ladies of the Royal Families have a reputation to inherit the beauty of goddesses from paradise.

As told in the story of wayang (leather puppet) by the dalang (puppet master) , all parts of a princess body is always perfect and alluring: the beautiful black thick hair, a smooth skin, bright eyes, charming eye brows, eye lids and nose, bright reddish lips, white nicely teeth, wonderful built neck and shoulder, beautiful hands and arms, a waist like the one of a bee meanings slim and perfectly built.

The dalang with a clear deep voice, like in the poem reading adores the beauty of a princess with a thousands of words. It seems that all words of a complete dictionary are not enough to express of what a wonderful beauty a princess has.

The use of Traditional Jamu and Cosmetics
Nowadays, some secrets of this Karaton (Palaces) culture of “Ngadi Sarira” are known by many women from outside the Karaton walls. The Jamu is widely used to give an inner beauty, due to a good physical health.

Some of the products are consumed directly by eating it, for instance Kepel Fruit (a brown fruit of a chicken egg size), it’s a natural deodorant. By eating it that would fragrant the odor of the body even the urine smells the fragrance of that fruit.

Jambu Mawar ( a kind of rose apple, mawar means a flower of rose) gives a fresh smell of breath. Some cosmetics are for outside application such as bedak dingin (cool powder) and lulur (scrubbing powder).

Beauty Care
Every woman is always proud of her hair – thick and shining, color and style. For natural shampooing, the ash of rice stalks work as a shampoo to clean the hair. After being washed by water, ingredients consist of
coconut milk, jeruk purut (a kind of citrus fruit smells like a lime ) and pandanus leaves are to be applied. It functions as a conditioner to clean the dandruff. The hair then washed by water again, to be dried while vaporizing with ratus fragrance.

Finally, a hair oil by the name of cemceman, made of coconut oil with pandanus , kenanga flower, jeruk purut etc. is applied.

Skin Care
For face caring, bedak dingin (cool powder) is applied. It’s made from tendered rice with special ingredients, such as pandanus, kenanga flower etc.

For other parts of the body, lulur is applied, popularly known as mandi lulur (lulur bathing).

Lulur is also made from tendered rice, pandanus, some leaves of kemuning (with yellow color) and some medicinal roots. The lulur should stimulate the body to throw out the dead cells, replace it with new ones, stimulate blood circulation under the skin, smooth the skin and at the same time scents it.

Steaming the body
Steams of several boiled herbs are applied to ensure body freshness, including the woman organ. The steaming took about a ½ hour.

Besides the traditional cosmetics made by hand, in the country there are some big and well known manufactures of cosmetics, using modern machinery. These products are used widely across the country, even this cosmetics have been exported to many countries of the world.

(Suryo S. Negoro)

Friday, November 10, 2006

Dayak Tattoo

In Dayak culture, tattoo is not only for esthetics reason, but it’s a part of their tradition, religion, and social status and or as an appreciation for someone’s special ability. For dayak people tattoo has a meaning of a torch in their journey to the eternal live after death. More tattoos, means more torches and also means more easier to them to reach the next world. But they can not have tattoos as much as they like since there are tribal laws to obey in making tattoo.

Most of dayak sub tribe have tattoo tradition, but there are sub tribe that do not have it. Every dayak sub tribe have their own rules and laws according this tradition.

The reason behind that tattoos.

There are dayak sub tribe who live in Indonesia – Sarawak (Malaysia) border who have a special tattoo in their finger, as symbol for their ability in medication. Someone with lots of tattoos means lots of medication experience and ability and that’s means these persons are expert and has helped many life.

For dayak Kenyah and Kayan in East Borneo, more tattoos means more wandering to visit other village – in Borneo, they could visit other village thousands kilometers far from their home, including travel by boating along the rivers more than on month!

Tattoo also given to the royal family. Usually they have ‘enggang’ bird tattoo motive, some kind of endemic bird. For sub tribe Dayak Iban, the chief and his clan have tattoo in ‘ski living creature’ motive, like birds etc. The motive for royal family has good quality details and finishing than common people.

For other sub tribes, tattoo is related to their tradition of ‘ngayau’ or slaughtering and cuts enemy’s head on battlefield, more head slaughtered means more tattoo motives they have. This tradition of course can not be done at this time. Tattoo for the brave warriors who slaughtered many enemies’ heads usually placed on the right shoulder. In other sub tribe, the tattoo will be placed on the left arm for middle level bravery, and on the right arm for warrior who have an incredible bravery.

Not only men, women also have tattooed. For women, they only have tattoo on arm and leg, and there is religious motivation to have it, in order to get God blessing and protection from evils. In certain sub tribes, women who does not have tattoo considered as lower class society.

In Dayak Kayan sub tribe, there are 3 kinds of tattoo for women; tattoo on all over of legs and feet and applied for adult women only, on arms and hands, and all over the thighs.

In Dayak Kenyah, tattoo for women created when a girl have her first menstruation or about 16 years old. There is special custom ceremony in the making of tattoo for women. The ceremony is hold in a special house, and no men allowed go outside their houses during the ceremony.

Women have limited motives of tattoo, like black nail on finger or tiger face on arm. Dayak women who have tattoo on their thigh usually have high social status, and also wearing a bangle on the lower legs.

How do they make these traditional tattoos?

In the beginning, tattoos created with natural tools like thorn taken from lemon tree, but in this time they are using needle, but they are still using soot for the ink to get black color tattoo.

So, if you see ‘multicolor’ tattoo on a young Dayak, it must be modern tattoo for ‘modern reason’ instead of traditional tattoo that have a lot of philosophy.

Makasar, South Sulawesi

Makasar (or Makassar) is a trade emporium that rose rapidly to prominence n Indonesia in the C16th and became one of the most important nodes in the vast East Asian international trading network. Renamed Ujung Padang in 1971, Makasar is based on the south of Sulawesi island in the eastern part of the archipelago. Its origins are not entirely clear – indeed, like so much of the region of island Southeast Asia, the early history of Makasar is rooted in a combination of possible reality and legend.

The most likely explanation of the rise of Makasar is that southern Sulawesi consisted of a handful of small individual kingdoms of no great significance. Trading links with Java and further afield had been established for some centuries prior to the rise of the Majapahit state. Traditionally, there were nine such states but it is not clear exactly where each of these were, if anywhere at all. Off the coast of Sulawesi, a couple of chains of tiny islands offered shelter, fresh water and fish and sea food in extraordinary abundance. These conditions were ideal for the Bajau, the name given by Indonesians to the boat-based sea nomads who lived in so many parts of the region for centuries and who have persistently (but not always successfully) resisted attempts to integrate them into the main central state. Together, in an as yet not fully understood process, the Bajau and the native Sulawesians combined to produce Makasar as a complex and sophisticated political state with the ability to host communities of foreign merchants and to produce perhaps the greatest fort that any Indonesians have ever built.

It is interesting that pre-Islamic Makasar and indeed Sulawesi was constituted of what seems to be quite a separate culture than that of other parts of Indonesia, signifying a different ethnic composition. Presumably, this resulted from a unique migration pattern at some distant stage in the past.

Makasar gained a reputation for being kind to strangers, which perhaps resulted from its enactment of laws which regulated the treatment of foreign merchants in the days before the Europeans arrived. Most of these merchants were Malays from various parts of the archipelago and they were guaranteed freedom from official interference in their home and personal lives and justice for them in their professional dealings. Thousands of Malays went to Makasar to settle there and help to establish it as a leading port for trade. Makasarese checked cloth soon became the most popular Indonesian textile and demand for it was strong in many international markets. Makasar leaders used the power of the presence of foreign merchants and the popularity of locally produced products, including tortoise-shell as well as cloth, to obtain a leading position in the lucrative and vitally important spice trade. This was successfully achieved and particularly so after the Portuguese seizure of Melaka in 1511.

However, the success achieved then made Makasar an inevitable target for the Europeans and, despite the immense strength of the fortress constructed to create themselves, the Makasarese were ultimately doomed to the misery of colonisation.

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