Category Archives: Indonesia

Top things to explore in Indonesia

indonesiaa

Comprising of 17,000 magnificent islands and several tiny islets, Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world. Famed for its tranquil beaches, quasi-active volcanoes, hidden reefs, cascading waterfalls and tropical mountains, this stunning coastal paradise is an ideal holiday destination in the Far East. Blessed with the best of nature’s wonders, this beautiful island is packed with numerous fascinating attractions and interesting things to do. Those of you heading to Indonesia on your next holiday, here is a list of things the island has in store for you:

Beaches

indonesia

Lying between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, Indonesia is blessed with some of the most pristine and stunning beaches in the world. Ideal to enjoy the best of sun, sand and surf, these beaches are a major highlight and a prominent attraction in the country. Nusa Dua beach, Kuta beach, Senggigi Beach, Plengkung Beach, Pangandaran Beach, Parangtritis Beach, Dreamland Beach and Parai Tenggiri are few of the best known beaches on the island. Surfing, scuba diving, snorkelling, rafting, sea walking, flyboarding, kitesurfing and wakeboarding are among the popular water sports on the island.

Attractions

Preserving the treasures of prosperous cultural past, attractions in Indonesia are outrightly amazing and fascinating at the same time. Whether it is the ancient architectural wonders or prominent temples or Chinese pagodas or the volcanic mountains, each site and structure on the island is beautiful in its own unique way. Lake Toba, Ubud Monkey Forest, Mount Rinjani, Mount Merapi, Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, Mount Batur, Garuda Wisnu Kencana, Kawah Putih, Semeru, Tangkuban Perahu and Ancol Dreamland are a few of the must visit attractions on the island. With the top of the volcano blown off and the crater emitting continuous white smoke, Mount Bromo is simply an astonishing attraction in Indonesia.

National Parks

Whether it is the king of lizard (Komodo Dragons) or the smallest buffalo (Anoa) , the Sumateran Tiger or Merak, the Javan Rhinoceros or Orangutan or Kijang or sea turtles, Indonesia is home to a vast population of birds and animals including a few endangered ones and a perfect heaven for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. Komodo National Park, Ujung Kulon National Park, Bogani Nani Wartabone National Park, Kerinci Seblat National Park, Way Kambas National Park, Tanjung Puting National Park and Lorentz National Park are few of the most popular national parks and wildlife preservation sites in Indonesia.

Temples

templesFeaturing a long cultural and traditional history, Indonesia is home to some of the largest and oldest Hindu temples. Preserving the legacy of an era bygone, these temples in the island are a major attraction among tourists. Borobudur, Plaosan, Sewu, Candi Jawi, Penataran, Surawana, Mendut, Pawon, Sojiwan and Batu Jaya are few of the prominent temples and Buddhist sites in Indonesia. The architecture and design of most of these structures is quite fascinating. Pura Besakih is the most ancient temple in the country.

Food

A perfect blend of traditional and modern flavours, Indonesian cuisine is simply a delight. Prepared using exotic ingredients and natural spices, food in the island is definitely a must try. Sambal (hot sauce or paste typically made from a mixture of a variety of chilli peppers), Satay (dish of seasoned, skewered and grilled meat, served with a sauce), Bakso (Indonesian meatball), Soto (soup mainly composed of broth, meat and vegetables), Gado-gado (salad of slightly boiled, blanched or steamed vegetables and hard-boiled eggs, boiled potato, fried tofu and tempeh), Nasi Uduk (Indonesian Betawi style steamed rice cooked in coconut milk dish), Ayam goreng (dish of chicken deep fried in coconut oil), Bakmi goreng (spicy fried noodle dish), Rawon (beef black soup) Opor ayam (Mie ayam are) a few of the dishes that you must try on the island.

Shopping

Whether it’s antiques or art, jewellery or paintings, carved jewellery or woven and dyed fabrics or stone carvings or masks and ceramics, Indonesia is a shopper’s paradise. Featuring an array of exclusive handmade goods and items, shopping in the island is a major highlight. Although there are several big malls in the country, shopping at Pasar (traditional markets) is a unique experience. Also, you can try on your bargaining skills with the merchants and craftsmen in these markets. Sanur Night Market (Pasar Malam Sindu), Gianyar Night Market, Kuta Art Market, Garlic Lane and Taman Sari Market are few of the popular night markets on the island.

Festivals

Featuring diverse religions and customs, Indonesia is a country packed with ceremonies, festivals and cultural events. Celebrated round the year and offering a glimpse to the rich cultural legacy of the country, all festivals are celebrated with a great pomp and show. Independence Day of Indonesia, Bau Nyale Fishing Festival, Toraja Funeral Ceremony, Waisak, Bali Arts Festival, Bau Nyale Fishing Festival, Asmat Cultural Festival, Baliem Valley Festival, Nyepi and Galungan are among the popular festivals in the country. Besides the traditional festivals, the island also hosts a range of contemporary music events and shows throughout the year.

Culture

Home to diverse religions and traditions from across the world, Indonesia is a cultural melting pot. From Buddhism to Hinduism to Islam to Christianity to Confucianism, the country has equal tolerance for all religions. From religious practices to music and dance and from theatre to festivals, everything about Indonesia’s culture is fascinating. Minangkabau Tari Piring (plate dance), martial arts, paintings, sculptures and architecture in the country beautifully highlight the cultural aspect of the island.

Top Rated Natural Attractions in Indonesia

indonesia

Straddling the equator and flaunting a fabulous melange of traditions and modernity, Indonesia is truly a traveller’s delight. Blessed with the best of the Mother Nature, this fascinating tropical paradise has rich wildlife, incredible rainforests, magnificent corals, stunning beaches, volcanic mountains, and underwater caves. Read on to learn about some of the country’s most interesting natural attractions.

Raja Ampat Islands

Popularly known as ‘The Crown Jewel of the Bird’s Head Seascape’, Raja Ampat is a famous Indonesian archipelago.  With a location between Pacific and Indian Ocean, the beautiful island is famous for its pristine beaches, intriguing caves, lush mangroves and hidden lagoons. With over 540 different types of corals, 1000 coral fishes, over 700 different types of molluscs, and mantra rays and epaulette sharks living near the coast, Raja Ampat is among the top diving and snorkelling destinations in the world.

Komodo National Park

Located between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores, Komodo National Park is home to over 5000 giant and endangered lizards and a variety of marine animals including blue whales, sperm whales, seahorses, manta rays and octopuses. Not surprisingly, scuba diving remains a popular activity among the visitors here. But the biggest attraction at the Komodo National Park is certainly watching the largest lizards stroll on the coast!

Mount Bromo

Spread across a massive 800 square kilometres, Mount Bromo is a striking, active volcano. Located in a vast plain called the “Sea of Sand’, this mountain is one of the most visited tourist attractions in East Java. You can visit the mountain from the nearby village of Cemoro Lawang. Thereon, you can walk to the volcano. It can take your around 50 minutes. Alternatively, you can opt for an organised jeep tour, which could include a few interesting stopovers.

Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra

Comprising three famous national parks namely Gunung Leuser National Park, Kerinci Seblat National Park and Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra tops the list of most visited places on the island. Designated the UNESCO World Heritage site in 2004, it is home to an estimated 10,000 plant species, more than 200 mammal species, 580 bird species, and reptiles and amphibians. The critically endangered Sumatran orangutans, Sumatran elephants and leatherback turtles are big hits with the tourists.

Tanjung Puting National Park

Established in 1982 and designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1977, Tanjung Puting National Park is another popular attraction for nature lovers in Indonesia. Located on the coast of Java Sea, the park is known for being home to orangutans, clouded leopards, civets, cavort, darting kingfishers and regal hornbills, wild boars and sambar deer. Also, Tanjung Puting is home to different species of crocodiles, dozens of snakes, and frogs.

Best Loved Natural Attractions in Indonesia

Indonesia

From active volcanic mountains and cascading waterfalls to peaceful lakes, Indonesia is blessed with the best of Mother Nature. For those of you heading to this paradise of a holiday destination, here is a list of must visit natural attractions in Indonesia.

Gili Islands, Lombok

Located slightly off the coast of Lombok, Gili Islands is a famous archipelago comprising of three tiny islands. With miles and miles of stunning white sand beaches, aqua blue ocean water and attractive corals, this island is one of the best places to indulge in water sports and enjoy the stunning vistas of the surrounding landscapes. Snorkelling, swimming, surfing and diving are among the popular adventure activities here. Guided boat tours are available on demand. Offering a taste of authentic Indonesian cuisines on the island are popular restaurants and shacks.

Raja Ampat Islands, West Papua

Generally referred to as ‘The Crown Jewel of the Bird’s Head Seascape’, Raja Ampat is a traveller’s paradise. Comprising of over 1000 tiny islets off the coast of New Guinea, the popular island is home to beautiful beaches, attractive corals, hidden lagoons and spooky caves. You can enjoy numerous water sports and adventure activities here, including snorkelling, scuba diving, kayaking and surfing. Bird watching and dolphin spotting are most enjoyed here. Don’t forget to pick some interesting gifts and souvenirs from the nearby markets.

Bunaken Marine Park, North Sulawesi

One of the best places to experience underwater marine life, Bunaken Marine Park is a must visit attraction in Indonesia. First established in 1991, this beautiful reserve today is home to over 39 species of corals, and different types of fishes, mollusc and reptiles. Diving and snorkelling are the best way to discover the underwater marine life. Guided submarine and boat tours are available as well.

Komodo National Park, Nusa Tenggara Timur

First established in 1980 for wildlife protection and preservation, Komodo National Park is one of the most famous national parks in Indonesia. Located right in the heart of the archipelago, the reserve is home to a wide range of komodo dragons along with numerous other animals and birds. Besides spotting these endangered dragons, you can enjoy numerous activities like kayaking, diving and trekking. Safari tours to the interiors of the park and guided island tours are also popular.

5 Reasons You Should Visit Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Comprising of over 1500 small islands, cays, and shoals, Raja Ampat is a popular Indonesian archipelago.

Indonesia

Often considered one of the best reef areas in the world, the isle is known for its pristine beaches, attractive corals, intriguing caves and beautiful hidden lagoons. Here are top five reasons why you should visit the beautiful Raja Ampat.

Beaches

Featuring miles and miles of beautiful golden-yellow sand, it is the beaches and tiny islets that promise a terrific time to the tourists. Corals and lagoons definitely add to the beauty of the island. There are several small shacks and eateries that serve a range of sumptuous delicacies to guests. Few nestaway and wooden guesthouses are available as well.

Snorkelling

Nestled amidst the Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean, Raja Ampat is one of the best destinations to enjoy the wondrous marine lifestyle. As the waves and ocean currents off the coast of West Papua are low, conditions here are favourable for snorkelling and underwater diving. There are special diving schools and dedicated instructors who train tourists. Apart from exploring the underwater aquatic animals, visitors here enjoy swimming and other adventure activities.

Nature

Staying in those tiny wooden huts, and waking up to the sound of the waves and the early morning musical melody created by the birds is an experience of a lifetime. Spending some time away from the glitz and glamour of the city, under nature’s ambit is something much loved by the visitors. There are not many fancy restaurants on the island, but there are several small shacks and cafes serving authentic cuisines prepared by the natives.

Welcoming locals

Although a little secluded, Raja Ampat is one of the most welcoming islands in the Indian Ocean. Featuring a long history of tribal invasion, it is home to some of the oldest aboriginal communities and native population. Festivals and celebrations in the remote villages of Arborek and Sawingrai offer an insight into the popular traditions and customs of the islands.

Souvenirs

Since there are no big gift shops here, seashells, pebbles and sometimes pearls are among the valuable collectables on the island. Available in different colours, shapes and sizes, seashells remain the top choice of many tourists. When the ocean current and waves are high, white pearls can sometimes be seen scattered on the beaches. If nothing is available, click some beautiful pictures of the island and the surrounding landscape for your friends, family and yourself!

A Guide to Popular Museums in and Around Jakarta

Located on the Northwest coast of the island of Java, Jakarta is the beautiful capital city of Indonesia. A former trading port of the Kingdom of Sunda, the city is known for its long, rich history and diverse culture.

Jakarta

Preserving a major chunk of Portuguese and Dutch colonial history, Jakarta is home to numerous museums and cultural sites. For those of you willing to learn more, here is a list of popular museums in and around the city.

National Museum of Indonesia

Located in central Jakarta, National Museum of Indonesia is one prominent attraction in the city. Also known as the ‘Elephant Museum’, the museum is known for honouring Indonesia’s history and heritage for over two centuries. Officially opened in 1778, the museum today features a collection of over 61,000 anthropological artefacts and over 5000 artefacts dating back to the early colonial period. Hindu Buddhist sculptures, inscriptions, ceramics and other relics are among the popular collectables here. Skeletons of Homo sapiens and tools used by them are displayed at the museum.  Excursions to the museum are organised from different parts of the city.

Maritime Museum

Situated in the old Sunda Kelapa harbour area, Maritime Museum is another famous museum of Indonesia. Established in 1977, it originally served as a warehouse for the Dutch East India Company. Today, the structure is known for displaying models of fishing boats and other maritime objects dating back to the colonial era. Ship models and cannons used by the Dutch, Indonesian Navy maps, and pictures of voyages taken up by famous personalities are among the few collectables displayed at the museum. Although exhibitions and workshops are not regularly organised but a small stroll around the site helps tourists understand the maritime history of Indonesia.

Bank Mandiri Museum

Located in the Old Town, Bank Mandiri Museum is a famous economic museum in Jakarta.  Established in 1998 by Bank Mandiri, the preservatory is known for featuring a collection of banking items dating back to the early colonial period. Popular collectables at the museum include old currency notes, accounting machines, bond documents, cheques, security documents, coins, safes and cash counters. Some of the old stocks documents are also put on display.

Jakarta History Museum

Popularly known as ‘Fatahillah Museum’ or ‘Batavia Museum’, Jakarta National Museum is one of the oldest museums in the city. Located in the Old town, it is known for featuring objects and items dating back to the early 16th century. Built in 1710, the museum today has a collection of over 23000 objects and other historical artefacts. Maps, paintings, sculptures, furniture and ceramics are among the popular collectables at the preservatory.  The replica of Tugu inscription is the prized possession of the museum.

Wayang Museum

Dedicated to puppetry, Wayang Museum is a famous museum in Jakarta. Originally built in 1640, it is known for featuring a wide collection of numerous wayang from countries like Thailand, China, Vietnam, France and India. Wayang kulit, wayang golek, sculptures, gamelan sets and paintings are among the popular items displayed at the museum. The plate marking the tombstone of Jan Pieterszoon Coen and Budaixi puppet are the most valued collectables here.

Enjoy Top Travel Experiences on Holidays to Bali

Bali, an Indonesian island, is one of the most beautiful places in the Far East and people travel here from different parts of the world to experience the adventures that this place has to offer.

bali

Besides being a spectacular coastal location for a splendid holiday, Bali is one of the places where you can indulge in a number of fun and interesting things every single day. Have a look at what Bali has in store for you!

Into the wild

Bali offers amazing opportunities for exploring wildlife. There are a number of zoos and national parks here where you can spot animals in their natural habitat. There is also a night safari at the famous Bali Safari Marine Park, where you can get up close to animals while travelling in a completely safe and covered bus. You should book your tickets beforehand so that you get to experience this ride without any delays.

Adventure in Bali

Bali may be the place for peacefully lounging around on the beaches, but if you are looking for some adventure, there are plenty of options for that too. Right from paragliding to scuba diving and from cliff jumping to rappelling, there are several options to get your adrenaline pumping. The most interesting water sport here is fly boarding and you have to try it if you are looking for the ultimate rush. You can find the time for long walks, and sunbathing and surfing, and spas and rejuvenation therapies too, which will help you relax and unwind completely, so that you go back home fresh and happy.

Learn to cook Balinese food

Bali has amazing food and on your trip you will definitely get to try some of the most authentic cuisines here that include a lot of seafood and lamb and a lot of strong coastal flavours. However, won’t it be extraordinary if you could actually learn how to cook some of these delectable dishes? There are a  number of institutes in various parts of Bali that conduct day classes for teaching tourists how to cook some authentic Balinese food. You can learn how to make Betutu, Babi Guling, Tahu, and Pepes and so on. Not only are these cooking classes a great way to learn how to cook, this will indeed be a great way to spend fun times with your friends or family.

Go to an interesting themed restaurant

There are some really crazy themed restaurants in Bali and you have to try them. There is a Barber Shop restaurant (The Barber), and an abandoned plane themed restaurant (Keramas Aero Park) which is actually situated inside an abandoned aircraft, a Greek themed restaurant (Slippery Stone Bali), a park themed restaurant (Big Garden Corner) and so on. There is also a restaurant that greets its visitors with a giant crocodile right at the entrance!

Watch theatre and attend art festivals

The Devdan Show is one of the most entertaining shows in the region and you should definitely take out some time for this amazing Cirque de Soliel production that has something interesting for people of all age groups. You will be enthralled by the complexity of the acts being performed here. There are also a number of festivals such as the Balinese New year and so on, which you can attend to understand the culture of the place.

Adventure and Fun in Bali, the Saga Continues

If your idea of holidaying includes lots of adventure, fun, great food and scenic beauty, there are only a few places that can match the appeal of Bali.

bali

Luxurious resorts, great beaches, a world of adrenalin pumping activities and vibrant night life make Bali one of the best places for adventure and fun. The places mentioned below allow one to unwind to the core.

Snorkelling at Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida

If snorkelling has always excited you, rest assured that Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida will leave you absolutely satiated. These are the two of the most exotic locations for snorkelling, complete with beautiful corals, tropical fish life and colourful vegetation. Lembongan Day Cruises, operated by various agencies, make the experience all the more overwhelming.

Flying Fish experience at Tanjung Benoa Beach

Fly in the air just like a fish by strapping yourself to a rubber boat which has been attached to a speed boat. Yes, though this sounds crazy, it is real. The boat pushes one against the waves making the person fly high. This experience is as close as it can get to personifying a flying fish.

Paragliding at Denpasar

Paragliding is a widely acclaimed adventure sport and Bali offers a great experience in this regard. The trade winds from the Indian Ocean provide the right amount of thrust for a smooth flight from June to October. Various operators conduct tandem flights and even allow you to fly with a professional depending on the deal one has opted for.

Motocross at Bali

A dirt bike takes one to places where all other means of transport may fail. This is what motocross is all about. It lets you penetrate deep into the forests of Bali encompassing rivers, villages, hills etc and gives an amazing off road biking experience. If exploring real Bali is on your agenda, motocross is just the right thing for you to spice up your travel itinerary.

Climbing Mount Batur

After all the excitement and adventure a trek to this beautiful mountain will give you the visual satisfaction of a lifetime. The rising Sun, as seen from the summit of an active volcano is worth taking this arduous trek at the crack of dawn. The return journey involves visiting the tropical coffee plantations.

A World of Entertainment awaits you at Bali Arts Festival 2016

The merry spirit of Bali Arts Festival 2016 will enchant every soul with its unique and vivacious essence. Fly down to Bali, a stunning tourist destination, to enjoy a month filled with colours and merriment.

balii

The 38th edition of the Bali Arts Festival will be held in the city of Denpasar from 11th June to 9th July, 2016. Read on to know what this cheerful art festival has in its kitty for tourists from across the globe.

What does it include?

If culture and traditions pique your interest, come to the festival and discover Bali’s past, culture, people and heritage. Explore handicraft exhibitions and cultural activities together with street performances and more. This enriching festival will rejuvenate you with a sense of excitement and amazement to know more about this beautiful city. As it is always seen, tourists will get an opportunity to witness the whole of Bali celebrating with music, dance and numerous activities.

Every year, the festival is based on a theme and village groups perform classical dances on the same. This year, the festival’s theme is “Pasuk Wetuning Bhuwana: Maintaining Universal Balance and Synergy”. The festival will include art performances, daily exhibitions, shadow puppetry, photography and traditional coconut leaf and bamboo decorations at the Taman Werdhi Budaya Arts Centre in Denpasar.

Explore to the Core!

A month long celebration buoyed by the never ending enthusiasm of the locals, the Bali Arts Festival 2016 will offer a plethora of enjoyable activities. Tourists will get to see village dances, trances performances, classical dances including popular palace dance, musical performances, and also the renowned “kreasi baru” dance from Denpasar.

The Commencement Trail

The festival starts in villages on a merry note. Cultural groups are organised to perform at the Arts Festival. These groups showcase their village’s uniqueness and the resting places of their ancestors through fascinating performances, which have never failed to allure tourists.

The famed cultural event of Denpasar, Bali Arts Festival is truly a fun-packed memorable event. Enjoy with the Balinese people and delve in the magic of art that various ancient villages have possessed for centuries.

Four Incredible Bali Experiences

Bali is an ideal destination for your next trip. The island is known for its marine life, iconic safaris, the Uluwatu sea temple and beaches.

bali

Here, you can enjoy many beautiful moments and indulge in fun filled activities. The unique attractions and green waters of Bali make it an ultimate escape. The island is full of surprises for a perfect holiday.

Go for Bali Safari and Marine Park

Bali Safari and Marine Park is one of the best places for adventure and fun. You can find over 60 species of colourful animals. The freshwater aquarium, feeding displays, and animal and cultural shows are the highlights of this place. You can visit any time between 9:00am to 5:00pm. Also, don’t miss the traditional Balinese fire-dancing show and scrumptious BBQ in the N’kuchiro Bar & Grill.

Watch the Sunset at Uluwatu Temple

The Uluwatu Temple is Bali’s best sea temple. Located 70-metre high on top of a cliff, with sweeping views of the Indian Ocean, it is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Bali. During sunset, locals and tourists gather to view the brilliant sunset. And at that time, the Kecak dance is performed at the temple. It is a traditional dance of Bali. Reach the temple at 4:00 pm so that you get tickets and seats before the performance.

Visit Pod Chocolate Factory and Cafe

Visit the chocolate factory, located within an elephant camp. The Pod Chocolate factory and cafe tour is a different experience altogether. Once here, you will get a chance to learn how cocoa beans are harvested, and later made into chocolate. If you want, you can even try making your own chocolate. The highlight of the visit is the three ‘Honey Bears’ who were rescued from hunters. You can hug them and click photographs.

Enjoy at Asia’s best Water Park

Waterbom is voted as Asia’s best water park. Waterbom Water Park is suggested to every traveller who wants to relive moments from his or her childhood. There are numerous water slides and fun filled activities to do there. You can go for the snake-themed Constrictor, gentle lazy rivers and much more. You can even try fish spa therapy.

Experience the Electrifying Nightlife of Bali!

Bali is one of the world’s most popular island destinations and is largely known for beaches, water sports, and historical attractions.

bali

However, this is not all! Bali also offers a highly spirited nightlife. So, there’s one more reason to book tickets to the destination. Check out 5 terrific places to enjoy the nightlife in Bali.

Sky Garden Lounge and Bar

Sky Garden is a multi-level well-known lounge and bar in Legian. It hosts a number of parties throughout the year featuring local as well as overseas DJs. Tourists from all over world can be seen here dancing, clubbing and enjoying Happy- Hours until midnight. It has a large bar area, free beer on purchase of BBQ Buffet and a rooftop garden lounge. Free parking for bikes and luggage lockers are available. It opens daily from 5pm to 6pm.

District Bali Night Club

District Bali is a popular nightclub situated within a 15-minute drive from the Ngurah Rai International Airport. It is the only live cabaret show venue in the area and also features a karaoke room, a live band and DJ playing English, Japanese, Indonesian, Mandarin, and Korean songs. There are plenty of dining options.

Bounty Sunset Dinner Cruise Tour

The Bounty Sunset Dinner Cruise Tour departs from Benoa Harbor and moves towards the coastal area of Benoa. It is an enthralling experience to spend quality time with your partner while enjoying the romantic atmosphere. The cruise serves international buffet dinner with amazing dance performances and live music. Some of the features are welcome drink, buffet dinner, Balinese dance show, On- board DJ, comedy cabaret show, and return hotel transfers. Total cruise time is 18:00 hours to 20:30 hours.

Devdan Show- “Treasure of the Archipelago”

Devdan is an extravagant stage performance in Bali. This energetic visual tour features a fusion of traditional Indonesian and modern contemporary dance with aerial acrobatics and special effects. During the 90-minute performance, the audience is taken to a magical world of the Indonesian Archipelago. The show is held four times a week and starts from 7:30 pm.