Friday, May 30, 2008

Mount Jayawijaya

Jayawijaya Peak, a roaring mountain is permanently covered with snow, despite its location on the equator. We'll quite never forget meeting an awful-looking Dani, bearing the tusk of a wild pig at the tip of his nose. Despite their groovy looks, these are quite gentle people, shaking your hand politely and always having time for a small chat.

Likewise, women don't wear terribly much clothes. Just a skirt, entirely made of natural materials will do. It is the women's duty to carry out the heavy work on the fields. Observe the nuke, typical cloak-like bark string bags, carried half over the head. Heavily loaded with cabbage, sweet potatoes and sago, they resemble a blanket. A woman covered in river mud, is in grief. A less innocent way to show mourning, is finger amputation, a fate that only women will befall. Despite serious efforts of the government to halt this practice, they continue being reported occasionally.

Baliem Valley

The Valley remains one of the last places on the face of the Earth where people continue living in semi-Neolithic circumstances. Upon the spectacular approach by air, the tourists will notice the total isolation of the area. Sealed of the rest of the world by mighty mountain walls and without any roads leading from the coast to the inner region, the Valley keeps its own secrets.

Villages of no more than a few families are dispersed throughout this rough and mountainous region. Dani is a generic name of a series of tribes, until recently adhering to a Neolithic lifestyle. Only by the sixties of last century, they adopted the use of iron. Their dark complexions underline a Negroid origin, something that differentiates from the other Indonesian people. There are numerous tribes residing in the valley, having quite different languages and customs. The Yali, Kimial, Ok and Eipomek claim the eastern periphery of the magnificent valley. It is relatively easy to find their villages under the shelter of rainforest and highland.
Within the small town of Wamena, most Dani people clad in westerns style clothes. If we venture out however, chances are high we'll have an encounter with a fascinating Dani in full regalia Indeed, the Dani people much prefer to walk around naked save for a koteka or a tube-like yellow gourd, worn over the penis. The bodies of the male Dani gleam with pork fat, applied to fight of the cold. At an altitude of 1.600 m, temperature can be quite low, especially at night.

The Baliem Valley remains one of the most fascinating places on the planet, where man may confront it its prehistoric past. But even in the remotest of area. Civilization is seeping through and will not be kept at bay. Maybe the time is right to visit the wild beauty of the Baliem Valley and its remarkable people.

Taman Safari

The wildlife conservation is located in Cibeureum village, Cisarua. Taman Safari Foundation owns the land in Taman Safari, which is also the management of the tourism object. Facilities in Taman Safari are bus, artificial lake, water cycling, canoe, swimming pool, mini train to see African style village, Bird Park, go cart, children playground, windmill, circus, merry-go-round etc.

Animals from all continents roam freely in this 35-hectare park, 75-km southeast of Jakarta along the Jakarta-Bandung route. Among the animals kept here are some comparatively rare species such as anoas, rhinos, giraffes, white tigers and European, American and Asian bears. Adjacent to the park is recreational grounds with a swimming pool, tennis courts, an artificial lake, waterfall and children's playground and amusement park. There are also restaurants and cafeterias.

Taman safari is a drive through zoo and amusement park and is open every day. On the way from Bandung to Taman Safari we have to pass Puncak, do not try to do this on Sunday or public holiday because we can end up in a big traffic jam, because Puncak is a very popular spot for people from Jakarta. Normally, it take 3,5 hours from Bandung to get to Taman Safari.

Mount Tangkuban Perahu

Tangkuban perahu is a volcano, 25 kilometers north of Bandung direction of Lembang. Its location is in between Sagalaherang village, Sagalaherang district, Subang regency and Cikole village, Lembang district, Bandung regency. This is Bandung's most famous tourist volcano just 28 km north of the city. This volcano offers many places to see and explore. Whether we look into the huge crater or hike down into it, stroll through the forest on its slopes, or simply enjoy the splendid panoramic scenery.

Mt. Tangkuban Perahu is an interesting destination that everyone in the Bandung area is fond of visiting. When seen from Bandung, Mt. Tangkuban Perahu has a distinctive shape, like an upside down boat. Tangkuban Perahu means, in fact, "up-turned boat" This peculiar shape has stimulated the fantasy of the Sundanese people from early times as expressed in the Legend of Sangkuriang. Geologically, Mt. Tangkuban Perahu has played a significant role in the development of Parahyangan highlands. Eruptions have contributed immensely to the hills north of Bandung through lava flowing into the valleys and hardening into rock, thus forming big cliffs over which waterfalls leap. Likewise, mud flows have formed a semi-circular cone of gentle gradient (what geologists call "a fan"), which is now a mass that blocked the valley of the ancient Citarum River near present day in Padalarang (some 18 km west of Bandung), this caused a lake to form covering the whole Bandung plain.

Tangkuban Perahu is a volcano with three craters into which areas tourists can walk through. These three craters are: Kawah Ratu ("Queen Crater"), Kawah Domas ("Domas Crater"), and Kawah Upas ("Upas Crater"). Tourists can go down into the Domas Crater where exist many hot geysers in which they can boil eggs. Though the mountain appears peaceful, mild eruptions occurred in 1969, when Kawah Ratu spewed ash and barrages 500 m high. As recently as September 1992 it was closed to the public for a few days because unusually high seismic activity leads volcanologist to fear a new eruption. On the mountain's northern flank is an area called Death Valley, so named for its frequent accumulation of poisonous gases. On a reasonably clear day, from Kawah Ratu, the main crater, we can see not only the mountain range to the east, with Mt. Bukittunggul as its highest peak (2,209 m), but also two other in a northeasterly direction. The lower and nearer one is Mt. Tampomas (1,684 m) just north of Sumedang some 40 km away. To the right and about 90 km away is Mt. Ciremai close to Cirebon on the north coast. At 3,078 m, Mt. Ciremai is West Java's tallest mountain. At the foot of Mt. Tangkuban Perahu we see the Ciater tea plantation covering the rolling hills. Farther to the left are the northern coastal plains of Java, and on an extremely clear day we may even be able to see the Java Sea beyond.

Kawah Ratu, which means "Queen's Crater", is today just a big gray hole, which sometimes has a pool of water at its center. Poisonous gases sometimes accumulate in Kawah Ratu, thus making it somewhat of a risk to descend to the crater floor. Beyond the saddled shaped depression on the far side of Kawah Ratu is the still active Kawah Upas, the oldest crater on the mountain. On the very far western cliff we see a spot where all vegetation has been destroyed by constantly rising sulfurous vapors. On the crater walls, note the various layers of material consisting of rock, sand, and pebbles. Overtime, new craters have formed again and again in a rather consistent shift from west to east. The most well known of these is the Domas crater, but also there are other smaller ones in jungle on the mountain's northeastern flank. Facilities in Tangkuban Perahu Crater are comfortable parking area, souvenir kiosks, and restaurants.

Romodong Beach

Romodong beach is located at Bukit Ketok village, Belinyu district, Bangka regency. This beach is about 77 km of Sungailiat town. In this beach, the tourists can watch the sunset, because this beach is faced to west side. The length of this beach is about 4 km; it is slope, white sandy and soft. Its water is very clear like a crystal. Enjoy the beautiful of Romodong.

When it low tide, you can walk in the water until in the middle of clear sea. If we see around, we just find the boulders and white sand that spread in the beach. The winds that make the leaves wobbled greet the tourists who looking for an inspiration.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Ternate Island

Ternate is an island and town in the Maluku Islands (Moluccas) of eastern Indonesia, located off the west coast of the larger island of Halmahera. In the pre-colonial era, Ternate was the dominant political and economic power over most of the "Spice Island” of Maluku. Today, Ternate is the largest town in North Maluku province.

Ternate on the north Seram is a center of power and communication. It is the second most important town in Maluku after Ambon. Two-third of the island's people live in Ternate town, the business and market center of the whole region. A visit to the market will give an idea of some of the area's products. Fort Oranje, built by the Dutch and currently being used by the Indonesian police and military is open to the public. Ternate Island

Ternate, an island off the west coast of Halmahera, is just 15 sq. km in size but it offers a treasure of sights and experiences. There is an active volcano named Gamalama, two lakes, an old Sultan's palace, a picturesque port and several good beaches.

Biak Island

Biak, a town built on the rocky soil of an island of the same name on the rim of Cenderawasih Bay, is Irian Jaya's gateway. A big Indonesian naval base, it has an infrastructure that is better than in most other places in the province. Japanese caves are found near Ambroben.

There are some good beaches on Biak island, the most popular of which are Bosnik on the east coast, good for swimming and skin-diving, and Korem on the north coast, where one can watch young men dive for pearls. Supiori Island, just north of Biak, has a recreation forest and villages where visitors are welcome.

Among the nine regencies in Papua, Biak Numfor is the only one that consists of islands. Geographically, it is located between 134° 47- 136° east longitude and 0° 55-30° south langitude. It owns 3 big islands; Biak, Supiori, and Biak Numfor.

Mayura Park

Mayura Park is what remains of the once existing Karang Asem kingdom of Bali. In the middle of a large pond is a structure called Balai Kambang, which at the time functioned as a legal court of justice as well as a hall for important meetings. Curiously, its architecture shows both Hindu as well as Islamic influences, whereas around the place statues made of stone are found in a Moslem hajji form.

Mayura and Bale Kambang, had built on 1743 by Balinese Hindu's Dynasty; Anak Agung Gede Karangasem. It's now become a recreational park when seasonally used for Music Festivals.

Moyo Island

Moyo Island, at the mouth of Saleh Bay, has a nature reserve with wild oxen, deer, wild boars and a great variety bird species. Visits are best made during the dry season from June through August. A few kilometers of the north coast of Sumbawa, the national park island of Moyo Island is probably the most rewarding destination in Sumbawa, surrounded by beautiful coral reefs and home to wild pig, monitor lizards, 21 species of bat, huge herds of native deer and hordes of crab-eating macaques.

The best time to visit is in June and July, though the seas are clear and quiet from April. There are basic private rooms at the PHPA post at Tanjung Pasir on the south coast, where most boats from the mainland arrive. Renting a fishing boat from Tanjung Pasir and going fifteen minutes east to Stama reeft is very rewarding, with lots of sharks and turtles. There's nowhere on Moyo to rent masks and snorkels so bring our own; fins are advisable due to the strong currents.

To get to Moyo, take a bemo from beside Seketang Market in Sumbawa Besar to Air Bari , a small port settlement to the northeast. From Air Bari, we can charter a boat to Moyo.

Further along Nusa Tenggara to the east of Lombok lies Moyo Island and its Reserve. A fantastic place to visit and is a place of adventure.

Moyo Island is an attractive island three kilometres off the north coast of Sumbawa, lying to the east of Lombok. Two thirds of Pulau Moyo is actually a game reserve. The central plateau with its grassy savannah land and intermittent forested areas is ideal for Deer as well as the feral cattle released there.

The coastline has some beautiful beaches of fine coral sand and not the black volcanic sand like we find on a lot of islands in the archipelago. There are beautiful coral reefs, which make it excellent for scuba diving or just snorkeling. The reef at the southern end of the island is probably the best of all.

There are a few inhabitants on the island and this consists of around 21 villages concentrated in the northern end. From Moyo there are splendid views of Mount Tambora (2,821m) to the east, the highest mountain in Sumbawa, which erupted quite violently in 1815 but now has amazingly beautiful forests on its western slopes.

Tambora can be climbed from the side in three days and is well worth a visit. It has an enormous crater and within, a two-colored lake. From the crater there are also spectacular views over Saleh Bay and the rest of Sumbawa to the east, and to the west, Moyo Island to Lombok and Mount Rinjani.

The wildlife on the reserve has adapted to the fairly dry habitat and these include Deer, feral cattle, and numerous birds such as Orioles, Sunbirds, Coequals, Koels and Drongos. Of course there are several species of shore birds along the coastline.

Batu Bolong Beach

Located 9 km from downtown Mataram, this beach has a huge rock with a hole in it. It is an ideal place which to see the majestic sunset from Lombok Strait. After sunbathing, relaxing and frolicking on this beautiful beach-front, try to stay till the end of the day to watch one of the most stunning sunsets you have ever seen when the sun slowly begins to disappear behind Mount Agung with incredibly flaming colors.

A Hindu temple lies on top facing the Lombok Strait and beyond is the contour of majestic Mount Agung of Bali. Colorful and musical religious ceremonies are often held in this beautiful temple.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


Bali's smallest district Klungkung is located between Gianyar and Karangasem, and includes the island of Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Ceningan. Klungkung itself is a bustling town. Based on the decree of the Governor of Bali Province on 1993 number 528, Nusa Penida in one of with also fixed as a tourist resort in Bali.

And then base of the Regency of Klungkung Government on 1996 decree number 284 there are 18 tourist object in the regency inclusive Nusa Penida. On reaching the town centre. Klungkung was the base of the ancient Javanese Hindu Kingdom in Bali, from where the Balinese royalty of today draws its bloodline. It is the oldest kingdom in Bali, with a most exalted Kings. The famous Kertha Gosa or Royal Court of Justice was built in Klungkung in the 18th century, displays one of Bali's masterpieces. It has a wonderfully made ceiling displaying one of Bali's masterpieces (murals portraying the punishment of hell and the rewards of heaven, and elaborated in thousands of panels of puppets) all on the ceiling. Klungkung's golden glory is forever captured in its floating pavilion, elaborate garden, and charming lotus ponds. Klungkung satisfies one's wish of returning to the glory of the ancient past.

Klungkung has played a most important role in Bali's history. It was the seat of rule of Bali's history. It also seat of rule of Bali's most powerful dynasty of rajas, Dewa Agung, under whom the island was united during a glorious period of rich cultural influence. Gajah Mada, head of Majapahit, pacified and united Bali towards the end of the 13th century, incorporating the island into the Majapahit Empire. He set king Kepakisan, the first Dewa Agung "Great Deity". To rule over the island from his court at Samprangan, near the present town of Klungkung. Several generations later this seat of power was removed to nearby Gelgel, where it established much authority and prestige under the fourth succeeding Dewa Agung.

Rote Island

Rote Island is a part of Kupang Regency and is the southernmost island of Indonesia. It is located in the west coast of Kupang. This exotic island can be reached only in four hours. From Kupang by inter-island ferry to dive and tour this untouched beautifully rugged land. Spectacular walls and caverns mirror the hills, valleys, and escarpments underwater. The marine life is so varied and profuse that is hard to believe from Fire-fish to Mantas.

The architecture of Rote is unique, as is their exquisite ikat weaving. See the people is their traditional lifestyle, which has remained unchanged for centuries. Rote has many historical relies including fine antique Chinese porcelains, as well as ancient arts and traditions. Many prominent Indonesia nationalist leaders were born here. A popular music instrument Sasando, which is made of palm leaves. According to legend, this island got its name accidentally when a lost Portuguese sailor arrived and asked a farmer where he was. The surprised farmer, who could not speaking Portuguese, introduced himself, "Rote".
Rote just off the southern tip of Timor Island consists of rolling hills, terraced plantations, and acacia palm, savanna and some forests.
The rotinese depend, like the Savunese, on lontar palm for basic survival, but also as the supplement their income with fishing and jewelry making.

Before Indonesia's Independence, Rote, boasted the highest density of kingdom in the East Indies. Even today the island, the Rotenese and their kingdoms are divided, following ancient tradition, into two domains, one known as Sunrise and one as Sunset. A “male” Lord, a “female” Lord and several advisers, representing the clans within that domain, rules the domain. Each clan that possesses ceremonial rights performs it's own rituals during the annual HUS celebration, a traditional New Year festival. At the HUS, Rotenese men wearing their unique hats make offerings to the clan ancestors and the women dance accompanied by sasando, The Rotenese guitar.

Rote is particularly well know for its surfing, each year surfers flock to Namberala to ride the near perfect tubes formed by the shallow reefs and off-shore winds. Accommodation in Namberala includes a traditional beachfront bungalow resort and several home stays. The beach itself is one of the best examples of a palm fringed pure white sandy beach to be found anywhere. Diving in the area is also exceptional due to the large numbers of Manta and Dugong seen there. A boat trip to nearby Dana or Ndao Islands is also recommended.

Flores Island

Flores, a long island located between Sumbawa and Timor, is strewn with volcanoes in a mountain chain dividing it into several regions with distinctive languages and traditions, scenic beauty, good beaches, and natural wonders. The name is Portuguese for "flower", as the Portuguese were the first Europeans to colonize East Nusa Tenggara.

Occupying a unique position at the junction of the Australian and Asian submarine ridges, between the two distinct fauna regions marked by the Wallace Line, here is one of the world's most dynamic marine environments with nearly every species of coral and tropical fish represented. Predominantly Catholic, there are several examples of its Portuguese cultural heritage like the Easter Procession held in Larantuka, and the royal regalia of the former king in Maumere.

Flores Island, 6,627 sq mi (17,164 sq km), of Indonesia, is one of the Lesser Sunda Islands. Flores is heavily wooded, rugged, and mountainous, rising to 7,872 ft (2,399 m). The inhabitants are predominantly Christian, mainly Roman Catholic; those in the west are chiefly Malayans, and those in the east are Papuans. Corn and coconuts are grown. Ende (1990 pop. 48,966) is the chief town and port.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Anambas Archipelago

Anambas is a group of islands midway between Singapore and Natuna Besar. The main islands are Matak, now a base for oil exploration, Tarempah and Jemaja Andriabu. The population is sparse, mainly simple fishing folk that are the descendants of the once mighty Bugis people. The main source of income is from sea products and coconuts.

The islands has become a popular destination for divers from Singapore, the best known sites are the underwater reef systems of Tokong Malangbiru island, the submerged Acasta Rock, the disused Udang Oil Rigs and the wrecks of the sunken vessels "Seven Skies" and "Sara-D". The closest sites can be reached in a half-day's boat ride from Singapore, while the Udang Oil Rig to the northeast is about one and a half day away. Tours with boats where we can live onboard are arranged from Singapore. The other islands of Anambas archipelago are Tarempah and Jemaja Andriabu.

Tarempah Island is a tiny town with only one scruffy and small guesthouse; we can hire a local fishing boat here for a reasonable price and explore the surrounding area. Tarempah Island was probably the first Dutch territory attacked by the Japanese during WW2. The Tarempah village was heavily bombarded and most of it destroyed, 40 civilians were killed and 100 wounded, the remaining villagers were evacuated to Tanjung Pinang on Bintan. Anambas were occupied by Japanese troops on 26th of January 1942 and used as an advanced naval base, the rest of Natuna were probably occupied shortly afterwards.

Natuna Archipelago

The Natuna Islands are a 272-island archipelago of Indonesia, located in the Natuna Sea between east and west Malaysia and Kalimantan. The islands are officially part of the Riau Archipelago Province. Natuna is one of the northernmost island groups of Indonesia. The main islands of Natuna Archipelago are Natuna, South Natuna and Tambelan. The South Natuna group comprises the islands of Serasan, Panjang and Subi.

The Anambas archipelago, located several hundred kilometers to the west and comprising Terempa, Matak and Jemaja Andriabu Island, are also sometimes included in the Natuna Islands.

Natuna can however offer unspoiled beaches and a landscape and a culture that is absolutely worth a visit. The islands are known for lovely woven textiles and their traditional dance. The Natuna islands are spread over a wide area, located in the South China Sea between east and west Malaysia, Kalimantan and Singapore. The main groups of islands are Anambas to the west, Natuna, south Natuna and Tambelan. One of the largest natural gas fields in the world has been found here, The Natuna gas field in the North and South Natuna archipelago is believed to have 222 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in reserve, 46 trillion of this can be recovered. In the future the Natuna Natural Gas Project will be very important for Indonesia's economy.

The Natuna Islands have a remarkable avifauna with 71 species of bird registered, including the near-threatened Lesser Fish-eagle, the Natuna Serpent-eagle or the rare endemic Silvery Wood-Pigeon. Among other species endangered species, we find the Green Iora, the Brown Fulvetta or the Green Broadbill.

Natuna Besar (or Ranai) is the largest and northernmost of the islands and also one of the northernmost points in Indonesia. Here we can find lovely corral reefs and a large variety of fish. The population is relatively small, but some people have been moved here by the government from other islands in Indonesia and grow products like peanuts and peas. Mount Ranai, the highest mountain in Natuna archipelago at 1.035 m, is located on this island. There are some great areas for diving here, the waters of the South China Sea around the island can offer an unique underwater world, the coral is normally found within five to ten meters below sea level and 50 to 750 meters from the shore. Smaller islands like Senoa to the northeast can also offer white beaches and coral reefs, Panjang to the northwest is known for the protected green turtle, and can be reached by boat from Natuna Besar in 30 minutes. Totally there are about 20 small islands surrounding Natuna Besar.

South Natuna is located between Natuna Besar and the Kalimantan mainland, the main islands here are Serasan, Panjang and Subi. The islands have a strong surf and impressive scenery.

Bintan Island

Bintan is the largest island in the Riau province, with its area is 1.140 sq. km width, with a coastline of about 105 km. The island has a population of about 200.000, and like the rest of Riau this is a true mix of cultures like Malay, Bugis, Chinese and the Orang Laut. Bintan is very close to the equator and have a tropical climate throughout the year, with temperatures ranging from 21° to 32°, with an average of 26° Celsius.

Bintan and Batam saw before the economic crisis huge investments and development, including industrial parks and large tourist resorts. Bintan has since become a popular tourist destination due to its close vicinity to Singapore. Here we can get accommodation of all standards, and it is still possible to find a peaceful spot on Bintan far from other tourists. Most of the tourism is concentrated on the north coast around Lagoi, while the east coast is still unspoiled and worth a visit. In a not so distant past Bintan was completely covered with tropical rain forest. This is now all gone, except a small forest that covers the highest mountain on the island, Bintan Besar. The mountain is the remains of an old volcano, and has an elevation of 376 m, the highest point on the Riau islands.

In Bintan, diving promises to be comfortably civilized, with all underwater needs catered to Mana Mana Beach Club - Bintan Resort's professional water sports center. Out of the water, Bintan will be the place with something for everyone. There's the golf course, horses for riding and jungles for trekking - alternatives aplenty to tempt hardened divers to stay topside.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Laut Tawar Lake

Laut Tawar Lake is located near Takengon, in the highlands of Cental Aceh, is very scenic. Takengon, the capital of the region, lies on the west side of the lake, 1,120 meters above sea level, with an average temperature of 20 C. It has soaring cliffs around the shore, which are ideal for rock climbing.

The scenery is lovely and the area is being developed as a tourist resort with water recreation such as skiing and boating being readily available. The lake is also stocked with trout. There are warm water pools at Simpang Balik. Many caves dot the lake's surroundings, Loyang Koro and Loyang Pukes caves by the side of Laut Tawar Lake are interesting to explore. Motorboats can be hired for fishing and sightseeing. There is excellent hiking in forests filled with exotic orchids, and trekking to the Telong and Tetek volcanoes for the more energetic.

Dieng Plateau

Dieng Volcanic Complex (also called the Dieng Plateau) is a complex volcano. A complex volcano is an extensive assemblage of spatially, temporally, and genetically related major and minor volcanic centers with the associated lava flows and pyroclastic rocks. This is another place worth visiting in Central Java, situated around 2000 m above sea level and 100 km from Borobudur.

This area northwest of Yogyakarta is in the volcanic mountains and over 2,000 meters elevation. The name "Dieng" means "abode of the gods." There the visitor can find restarted temples build around year 800, colorful lakes and steaming ones. On the road we will see how the farmer use all the land available by using terraces. It's also fresher up here and we are almost above the clouds. The plateau, located 2,093 meters above sea level, offers two sunrises, the golden sunrise and the silver sunrise. Both are equally amazing natural phenomena. The golden sunrise refers to the first sunrise between 5:30 and 6 a.m. It is said to be golden because of its sparkling golden red color. We can enjoy this sunrise from a viewing post at a height of 1,700 meters above sea level in Wonosobo. The place, located in a mountainous area, is easily accessible because the roads leading to this area are all paved.

After savoring the beauty of the double sunrise, a natural phenomenon perhaps found only on Dieng Plateau, we could still enjoy the beauty of the surrounding nature. Walk about 10 minutes over a distance of some two kilometers to the southeast of the temple where there is a colorful lake. From the top of a hill the lake reflects a greenish yellow color, the reflection of the sulfate acid that the lake water contains. Beside this colorful lake there is another lake with pristine water. Locals call it the mirror lake because the water is very clear. The surface of the lake water also reflects sunlight. Unfortunately, this beautiful morning panorama is slightly impaired by the rampant felling of trees around the lakes. Unless the tree feeling is checked, this beautiful panorama will soon vanish for good.

Beside the beautiful panorama above, there is also small monuments, which are not more than 50 feet high stand on a crater floor amidst sulfurous fumes and underlined by the presence of a few of the starkest Shivaite temples at an elevation of more than 6.000 feet, are impressive. The site is located four hours from Semarang. In this site, the visitor will see some of the oldest Hindu temples of Java. On the way to the Dieng Plateau, visitors will pass through tobacco plantations and beautiful mountain scenery. This area can reach about four hours from Semarang, the site of some of the oldest Hindu temples on Java. These 50m-foot high monuments stand on a crater floor amidst sulfur fumes. The road to the Dieng Plateau passes through tobacco plantations and beautiful mountain scenery.

Parai Tenggiri Beach

This beach is one of Bangka Island’s prides. The beach is located in Sungailiat district. The visitors can find various forms of boulders in this beach, which add its beauty. This beach is very ideal for having swimming, sun bathing and relax. Parai Tenggiri beach has the complete facilities in Bangka Island.

There are luxurious hotels and water sport facilities. The tourists will enjoy this beach with the local fishermen who always spend their days by looking for fishes in the sea. The calmness and fresh sea wind will greet the visitor when they arrive there. This welcomed course make the tourists feel comfortable to stay here.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Candidasa Beach

Located 85 km north-east of the airport, Candidasa is a relaxing beach area close to cultural treasures like Pura Besakih ("Bali's Mother Temple") While the beach is not one of Bali's best, the tranquility of Candidasa has attracted a number of exclusive hotels like the Amankila and the Chedi.

Candidasa is most often compared to Kuta as Kuta was some 20 years ago. The comparison has some merit -Candidasa is a small village with few inhabitants on the beach with a several- mostly inexpensive hotels that cater to the more adventurous tourists looking for a more laid back atmosphere to explore the cultural heritage of Bali. Being some 85 km from the airport ensures some tranquility, however as more people discover that there is quite a bit to see and do in Candidasa the area is developing rapidly with many first class hotels now sprouting up.

It was a calm small fishing village, but since five years ago, it built with a dozen of losmen (house to stay), hotels and restaurants, and many travelers prefer Candidasa, calmer than Kuta, cheaper than Sanur, and the best place to stay and to explore the oriental part of Bali. It is especially popular among the submarines but the main problem is the beach has erosion as quickly as the new hotels were built.

Nias Island

Nias Island lies about 125 km of west Sumatra Island on the Indian Ocean. It is part of North Sumatra Province. The water surround the island is great for sea activities, such as surfing and scuba diving. The people also have curious culture, which will enrich visitor's heart.

The island has some prehistoric remains, which built on megalithic Stone Age, and considered came from the oldest megalithic culture in Indonesia.The local call their land as Tano Niha or "land of the People", while the people calls them selves as Ono Noha. Ethnically, the Niasers are involved in to the Ptoto-Malay ethnic who once ever get with the Asian Proto-mongoloid world. Niasers speak a kind of language related to Malagasy. Because of the similarity in languages, custom, body size of the Niasers with the Bataks on Sumatra mainland, it is possible that the Niasers have derived from the Bataks.

Surfers will call this island "Paradise on Earth". Together with its beautiful white sandy beach, Lagundri Bay challenge surfers with spectacular waves. In the high season, the waves told to be as high as 3.5 meters. The waves of Sorake Beach on Lagundri Bay have ranked to be within the best ten waves of the world. It is true if some surfers referred of Sorake Beach waves as "the most notorious right-band reef breaks". There are events held for surfers, including the World Professionals Qualifying Series. Surfers are better being ready when your heart cannot leave this island after a visit.

Enormous breakers pummel of Nias Island attracting the best surfers in the world to Lagundri Beach. The unforgiving power attacking the shore seems to have bred the same qualities in the people, whose militaristic culture has fascinated anthropologists for decades. This island lies off West Sumatra in the Indian Ocean. Bawomataluo and Hilisimae villages are curious places to visit, where visitors can see performances of traditional war dances and thrilling high- jump sports, i.e. people making dangerous leaps over 2 meter-high stones. Typical scenes are dancers clad in traditional costumes with bird feathers on their heads, a hall for the Chief-of Tribe built on wooden logs with stone chairs weighing up to 18 tons. There are daily flights from Medan to Nias Island.

To reach this place, there is weekly ship from Jakarta (the capital city of Indonesia) to Gunung Sitoli; There are Ferries from Sibolga to Gunung Sitoli, Teluk Dalam, or Lahewa every day; Before the crisis hit Indonesia, there is daily flight from Medan to Gunung Sitoli, however it is less frequent nowadays. Gunung Sitoli is the capital city of Nias and it is the center of administration and business affairs of regency. There are several travel agencies hotels, public busses and rental cars to support tourism here. There are also some government and private banks available.

Nias Island lies on 10 30' north latitude and 970 98' east longitudes. It covers of 5,625 km2 areas, which is mostly lowland area of ± 800 m above sea level.

It is the biggest in a group of islands on Sumatra side that is part of North Sumatra province. This area consists of 131 islands and Nias Island is the biggest. The population in this area is about 639,675 people (including Malay, Batak, and Chinese). Nias has a very unique culture and nature, which is far different from other areas in North Sumatra. This is because of its separate and remote location from the rest of Sumatra.

Singkarak Lake

Another ideal place for recreation and water sport is Singkarak Lake, 36 km from Bukittinggi. There are several motels and restaurants in the area. Singkarak Lake is located about 10 Km of Solok city and ± 35 Km from Kayu Aro. This lake is located in X Koto district and spread across Solok - Bukit Tinggi way.

The lake is state between two regencies that is Solok regency and Tanah Datar regency with ± 129,70 km2 (± 1.129,29 Ha) width. Siangkarak Lake is the widest lake in West Sumatra and the second widest lake in Sumatra Island after Toba Lake.

The Lake that located in 362,5 m height from the sea level, has special species of fish that only live in this lake and the only in the world. Society around called as Bilih Fish (Mystacoleuseus Padangensis). Uniquely, this fish cannot live in other habitat, both in an aquarium and in a pool. The people around are often selling this fish and the visitors can enjoy the specific taste of this fish in the restaurants that located around the lake.

The Lake is equipped by some facilities, such as; hotels, motels, restaurants and also water sport facilities. Beside used as tourism objects and the economic source of society around, nowadays, this lake also used as the electric source of Sicincin.

Meno's Bird Park

On Gili Meno island, a new tourist attraction introduced by an Australian businessman who live in Bali, with hundreds of various tropical birds from many different rain forests of Indonesia. Bring over a camera to shoot some spectacular moment.

Humidity on Gili Meno is higher than two other Gilis. Equipped you with sun protection and mosquito repellent. There are many options for an enjoyable holiday on the islands. You can rent snorkeling equipment; join a diving course, or just snorkeling off the shore to see the magnificent coral reefs and fishes.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Rafflesia Arnoldi Flower

The world's largest flower is found in many areas in Bengkulu forests, on the slopes of Bukit Barisan Mountains. The flower has a diameter of about one meter in full bloom. It has no visible root or stem, and no leaves.

The weigth up to 7 kg, it takes the buds up to 8 months to mature. The flower stays in bloom from 1-15 days and can be seen during the months of September-December. Rafflesia Arnoldi is a big Flower in the worlds, if one visit Rejang Lebong, the Flower was stand at the City Center of CURUP as a monument, that is why, the people call Bengkulu is A LAND OF RAFFLESIA, or in Indonesian means BUMI RAFFLESIA, because in a certain seasons, if we are lucky, we can see a beautiful flower of Rafflesia, in the forest, which appear in periodic of 5 years or more.

Way Kambas

In the east part of Central Lampung there is a nature reserve named “Way Kambas“ which covers 130.000 hectares areas. To achieve Way Kambas, an asphalted road is built. It takes 2 hours drive from Bandar Lampung.

In nature reserve, there is the first elephant-training centre in Indonesia to train wild elephants which are capture from outside the area because they have disturbed the people's fields.

It is estimated there are about 500 elephants in Lampung, 250 of them are in Way Kambas. In this nature reserve, we can also find other wild animal such as Sumateran tigers, bears, tapirs and other animals such as deer, wild pigs and 286 bird species. If we visit Way kambas, we can see the process of training wild elephants in the elephants training centre, an attraction of elephants are playing football, elephant safari, elephants are swimming and on certain occasions, we can also join catching the wild elephants and watch the elephants which are in the sexual mood which is very rarely found in the world.

According to Zoography, Way Kambas area included in oriental region. It is different than islands eastside of the Wallace line, either Sumatra or Way Kambas does not have endemic species treasures. There is just 15 species of endemic mammals and 20 species of bird. The existing animals in Way Kambas such as Sumateran Elephant, Sumateran rhino, Sumateran tiger, tapir, chevrotain, long tail apes, monkeys and several kind of bird like heron, parrot, and some else.

Way Kambas National Park is the area of raining forest that has 126.000 ha areas. And geographically is located between 4° 37 LS - 5° 16 LU and 105°54 BT, and the highest by 0 - 60 m dpl and the average of raindrops is about 2000 mm/year.

It is about 35 km from Sukadana city. It is easily accessible from Bandar Lampung or Sukadana.
It is well known throughout the countries, and it has some interested tourism object too, tourism such as: Elephant training centre, Way Kanan Resort, and Suaka Rhino Sumatera.

Beautiful Indonesia in Miniature Park (TMII)

Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (Beautiful Indonesia in Miniature Park) is Indonesia's answer to every visitor's prayer to see the magnificent archipelago in just one day. An extensive park to get a glimpse of the diverseness of the Indonesian archipelago,

it represents Indonesia's 27 provinces and their outstanding characteristics, reflected most strikingly in the exact regional architecture of the province. An extensive theme park set in over 100 hectares on the outskirts of Jakarta; the All Indonesian islands are realistically reproduced in miniature in a central lake and around the lakes, there are pavilions. Each pavilions is representative of each province firm the traditional architectural style in miniature to a wonderful display of cultural items and exhibits. The park's centerpiece is a beautiful artificial lake. The complex was the brainchild of Madam Tien Soeharto, the late Indonesian first lady.

It also has its own orchid garden in which hundreds of Indonesian orchid varieties are grown. There is also a bird park with a walk-in aviary, a fauna museum and recreational grounds with a swimming pool and restaurants. The special interest here at Taman Mini is the Museum Indonesia. A richly decorated building in Balinese architecture, it houses contemporary arts, crafts and traditional costumes from the different regions of the country.

Cultural performances, events, and even local delicacies from the provinces are prepared regularly, especially during weekends and holidays, to showcase Indonesia's rich cultural heritage. The park is open seven days a week, giving guests ample time to explore and enjoy the sights. And if a day tour is not enough, visitors can spend the night at the 'Desa Wisata' or 'Wisata Remaja' serviced accommodations.

Ranau Lake

Ranau Lake is located in Banding Agung district, 125 Km from Baturaja, the capital of Oku Regency. Ranau is an 8 x 13 km caldera partially filled by the crescent-shaped Ranau Lake. It is surrounded by hills and has mount Seminung background.

Beneath the Mount Seminung, there is a source of natural warm water. A morphologically young post-caldera strata volcano, Mount Semuning, was constructed within the SE side of the caldera to a height of more than 1600 m above the caldera lake surface.

For most people, Ranau Lake is the climax of a visit to the western highlands of South Sumatra. This blinking Crater Lake is located in the old caldera of Mount Seminung (1340 meters), an active volcano on the border of Lampung province. It's 16 km long and 9 km wide, and has a depth of 300 meters. The climate in these highlands is nice cool and the remote location offers wealthy vegetation, crystal clear water and beautiful trips to a nearby fall, hot source and an island in the lake. However the lake is very popular among the local population in the weekends, it's not spoiled by tourism yet.

Banding Agung, along the northern shore, is the most important agricultural and fishery community along the lake and does have several clean and cheap lodges. The residents live from the cultivation of coffee, tobacco and clove. Furthermore, rice is grown, as well as juicy pineapples, bananas and avocado's, which are sold very cheap locally. The lake is full of fish, which are grilled in small restaurants at the lakeside. The blinking, golden sunset reflects fishermen in canoes on the flat lake, with a silhouette of the mountains at the back.

There's much to do around the lake. A trip of fifteen minutes from Wisma Pusri leads through some forests along coffee plantations and rice fields to the Subik fall, which scatters on the rocks not too far from the lake itself. Other trip, on the lake by a hired boat, takes us to a hot water source at the foot of Mount Seminung. The source now is separated from the lake by a wall, so the hot and the cold water can't mix anymore. But be careful, the warm water really hot, and the sand nearby can be very warm as well. Snorkeling is also possible, and unsure swimmers can get an inflated inner type.

Across the hot water source is a small island, which is known as Marisa Island. A local legend tells about a handsome young prince, Putri Aisah, which had two lovers, Sipahit Lidah (Bitter Tongue) and Simata Empat (Four Eyes). She promised to marry the one, who could build a bridge over the entire lake in one night. When the sun rose, Marisa siland was the only part of the bridge that was finishes, to both lovers were rejected. On the island, the palm trees offer some shade, ideal to have a rest or a sleep. Adventurous people can also make an expedition to the peak of mount Seminung. There also is a centre where elephants are tamed and elephants can be hired for a jungle 'safari'.

Musi River

Musi River is both very broad as well as long, comparable to those found on the big island of Kalimantan, formerly Borneo. The river flows right through the city, cutting it in two halves called the Ulu bank and the Ilir bank and linked by a bridge of considerable size and length, called Ampera Bridge.

If the visitors do not care to make an interesting or unique boat trip down the river, they could still take a walk halfway over the bridge to see the vast panorama surrounding them, rare at any other place in Indonesia. Down below they will see unbelievable traffic of boats, big and small, crisscrossing water lines without accidents as if steered by the most able navigators. From the same spot both halves of the city are clearly visible as well. And if the times were right, sunrises and sunsets as witnessed from the bridge would be an unforgettable sight of beauty. Worthwhile noticing are the floating restaurants and shops on both sides of the river, and other curious scenes of daily habits of the city's inhabitants.

There is an annual event, which is held around the Independence Day, each 17th of August, and is known as Bidar Race in which boats measuring 24.5 m long and only 0,75 m wide compete. Each boat carries as many as 50 oarsmen.

Batur Lake

Batur Lake is the old crater of Mount Batur, a still active volcano next to it. It is located on the northern part of Bali. The largest lake overshadowed by the active volcano is located in Bangli Regency, at the northeast of Bali. Batur Lake is the widest lake in this island. It lies down in the feet of Mount Batur and Mount Abang.

The lake is classified as a "neutral-dilute" lake because there is no known underlying hydrothermal activity, and the abundant rainfall more than quenches any such activity. There is a hot spring right by the lake. We can enjoy the spectacular scenery of Batur Lake from Kintamani. Across the lake, only reachable by boat, lies Trunyan village, where the Bali Aga people live. The surrounding of the lake is a favorite place for picks self up. At Batur Lake we can see the scenic view and feel cool atmosphere. Bangli's mountainous region center is around the spectacular volcanic crater (or caldera) of Batur. Mount Batur adjacent to the volcano is the large crescent-shaped Batur Lake, all surrounded by the high walls of the crater rim. The place is a great day trips, trekking or just to get away from the daily activity.

Mount Batur itself is actually just a small volcano, but sets in the heart of a huge crater 14km in diameter. Adjacent to the volcano is the large crescent-shaped Batur Lake, all surrounded by the high walls of the crater rim. As the road rises steadily from Bangli or Tampaksiring, nothing in the surrounding gray landscape of bushes and garden plots suggests the presence of a volcano. But over one more small ridge a dizzying view awaits the ayes, encompassing the crater and beyond. From Panelokan, the main road runs right round the rim towards Kintamani, the panorama shifting as we circle around the crater. One very interesting excursion in Batur is the climb down the inside of the crater from Penelokan to Kedisan. We can then drive around the smaller Mount Batur, through Songan. From Toya Bungkah, boats cross the lake to a Bali Aga village called Trunyan. This place is notorious for its mortuary traditions. Instead of cremating the dead, as Balinese do throughout most of the island, the Trunyan communities leave the bodies to decompose naturally in a special cemetery.

Lovina Beach

Near the northern tip of the island of Bali lies a stretch of villages by the Bali Sea. Lovina Beach is the name. Lovina is really a string of coastal villages to the west of Singaraja. Escape from the hustle and bustle of Kuta to Lovina Beach located in north Bali, about 100 kilometers from southern tourist hotspots.

It is well known as an excellent site for sunset watching, snorkeling, and diving. Darkly beautiful, Lovina offers quiet and calm, and is popular Asian tourists and those avoiding the hustle and bustle of the southern beaches. A number of coves offer tranquil, protected waters and Lovina is one of them. Although the sand is grey, it is quiet and peaceful, and popular among those who shun the glitzier beach resorts of the south. It is a popular place for dolphin watching; dolphins play in the water off Lovina. Famous for its early morning dolphin-watching boat trips, Lovina also offers good snorkeling and diving, and trekking in the nearby mountains. Diving off Menjangan Island, part of the Bali Barat National Park, is generally regarded as the best in Bali. Boats are readily available to take divers over to the island, where there are no residents or hotels.

Nightlife activities are also abound, as well as chartered boats to go out into the sea. If we like what Kuta offers but do not like the crowd. With a wonderful variety of hotels, restaurants and bars located on or very near the calm beach, Lovina offers something for everyone. It is also a good base to take day trips to the nearby attractions of north and west Bali.

Sewu Temple (Thousand Temple)

Sewu Temple is located 2 km north of Prambanan Temple. This is the second largest Buddhist Temple complex in Java; Restoration is professionally underway to reach its original form. It is a MANDALA, manifesting the universe in the center temple of Mahadeva, surrounded by four rings of 250 smaller temples of Gods.

Sewu Temple complex is located in Prambanan Temple Park area, about 800 meters to the north of Rara Jongrang Temples. The fact that this temple was built near Prambanan Temple, which is a Hindu temple, indicated that the Hindus and Buddhists lived in harmony.

The main temple has 1 main room and 4 small rooms of which are doorways to the temple. The east door serves as main door to the main room. That way, the main temple faces to the east. The structure has 9 'roofs'; each of them forms a stupa on the top. It is believed to be a royal temple and was one of the religious activity centers in the past. Based on the inscription dated back to 792 AD, which was found in 1960, the name of the temple complex was probably "Manjus'rigrha" (The House of Manjusri). Manjusri is one of Boddhisatva in Buddhist teaching. Sewu Temple was probably built in the 8th century at the end of Rakai Panangkaran administration. Rakai Panangkaran (746 AD - 784 AD) was a popular king from the old Mataram kingdom. HC Cornelius studied the temple firstly in 1807. NJ Krom did the first archeological study in 1923.

Merapi Volcanoe

Merapi volcano is one of the world's most active and dangerous volcanoes. It contains an active lava dome, which regularly produces pyroclastic flows. It has been active for 10,000 years. This fire mountain remains one of the most active and dangerous volcanoes in the world.

It can be seen from its name; Merapi from Javanese word 'Meru' means 'Mountain' and 'Api' means 'fire'. The internally giant smoking Mount Merapi is one of the active volcanoes that found in Indonesia. It is presenting its peaceful and sleepy dense forest.

Beyond this, there lies a vast deserted land with its deep and steep valley spread out among the mountain hills where sibilant pines and wild grass make out the dominating vegetation, all presents a very exciting panorama. Merapi is located about 30 km north of Yogyakarta, a city with a population of 500,000. It is tall (2.8 km or 1.7 miles high) and has steep slopes. The top of the volcano sometimes has a normal crater, but usually a broad mound of pasty lava (called a dome) fills the crater. The dome plugs up the volcano, making it difficult for other lava and ash to escape. A broad gouge funnels lava and ash flows from the top of Merapi to the south slopes of the volcano.

During its resting time of volcanic activities, it will enable those who have much interest in mountaineering to have fun and to make them more acquainted with the flora of its tropical rain forest. From the observation post located on Plawangan hill that can be reached through the forest resort of Kaliurang, we will see the incredible sights of molten rocks oozing over the rim, sometimes accompanied with hot lava pouring out regularly and leaving a long trail of smoke.

Kalasan Temple

Kalasan Temple is built in Kalasan village about 2 km west of Prambanan, 15 km from Yogyakarta. _It is dedicated to a Buddhist Goddess, TARA. It is 6 meters tall and has 52 stupas. This unique Buddhist temple is located east of Yogyakarta, on the south side of the main road between Yogyakarta and Solo. It was built in honor of the marriage between king Pancapana of Sanjaya Dynasty and a Princess of Syailendra Dynasty, named Dyah Pramudya Wardhani.

It is beautifully ornamented with finely carved relief and coated with "vajralepa", a yellowish material made from the sap of a certain tree. The vajralepa functioned as an adhesive and as protection against moss and mildew, while at the same time it refined the carvings. This temple is 24 m high and its base built in the form of a Greek cross.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Gili Island

Gili Island is a popular destination in Indonesia. Gili Islands located in the north west of Lombok, featuring three small, coral fringed islands; Gili Air, Gili Meno & Gili Trawangan, each with superb, white sandy beaches, clear water, coral reefs, brilliantly colored fish and the best snorkeling on Lombok.

Visitors, especially young European is attracted to the simple pleasures of sun, snorkeling, beautiful beaches, and socializing. The absence of cars, motorcycles, and hawkers adds greatly to the leasure of staying on the Gilis. "Gili islands" is not the local name. Gili actually means Small Island and there are lots of other gili's around Lombok.

There are many options for an enjoyable holiday on the islands. We can rent snorkeling equipment, join a diving course, rent a kayak, go fishing, or take a glass bottom boat to see the magnificent coral reefs and fishes.

There are lots of quality scuba diving operations on all the islands. The coral around the islands is good for snorkeling, which can be reach from the shore. See rays and giant clams. A must see: Turtles Point, Meno Wall. Dive Schools available on all the islands with many dive programs to choose, from beginners to advanced technical dives.

While divers are able to regularly swim with black tip, those who prefer to just drifts in the currents with a snorkel, fins and mask are never left disappointed by the more than 6,000 species of marine life living just off-shore. Fishing is one of the highlight activities on the islands. Deep fishing remains the best on north west of Gili Trawangan.


Tongging was located 112 km from Medan City. This area is located near to Sipiso-piso Waterfall with 360-foot height. From this place, we could enjoy picturesque scenery of Toba Lake. In the intersection of Merek we could turn to Sipiso-piso in Mount Tandukbenua slope (1.947 m. from sea level).

The surrounding panorama indeed is very much enchanting. From the balcony of the two leveled guesthouse that was located in the south of this plateau, the visitor could see the calm and beautiful nature of Toba Lake.

Sibayak and Sinabung Mountain

Berastagi to Sibayak Mountain distance are only 7 Km, this is why the hikers choose this City, as the closest alternative to reach the mountain peak (2.094 meters from sea level). With the currently available infrastructure, the vehicles could reach close to the mountain peak that was known with its beauty nature.

On the Peak of Sibayak Mountain, we could see a sulfuric crater lake with wide around 200 x 200 meters, with temperature 119.6 Celsius and the temperature of surrounding air is 21 Celsius. The other scenery of Sibayak mountain peak is Sinabung mountain peak (2.451 meters from sea level), located in the west.

Berastagi Town

Berastagi, a tourist town, is another lovely town located in Karo highlands. The town is known for its plantations and various kinds of flowers, vegetables and fruit, most famous which is Marquisa passion fruit. It's 66 km southwest of Medan and is 4.594 feet above sea level.

There is a pleasant colonial-style hotel with a golf course. Other new hotels can also be found. From Gundaling Hill a clear view of Mt. Sibayak and Mt. Sinabung volcanoes can be seen.

From this city, the visitors will enjoy charming scenery to the active mountainside, which are Sibayak Mountain and Sinabung Mountain. To climb Sibayak Mountain require at least 3 hours trip and we could enjoy pretty scenery in these mountains or 3 to 4 hours trip in the forest to see the nature wealth inside, for both the flora and the fauna around this forest.

The atmosphere of green nature from the reflection of the trees from the slope of Rangkap Sibayak Mountain (well known as Sibayak mountain) made the Berastagi city had flooded by tourists. The hill line along with the agricultural field, are always ready to refresh its visitor's eyes. Berastagi which rich with agro-industries became the appropriate choice for recreation spot other than Toba Lake and Samosir Island, which has become a trademark of North Sumatra.

Berastagi has the strategic location to become the stopping place, not just because several tourist attractions are easy to be accessed from here, but also the hotels are well provided. Hotels can be easily found with varying price, by offering the design typical to the locals. However the visitor still have the choice to choose the hotels and villas that historically were the legacy of colonial period.

Lau Kawar Lake

Kawar/Lau Kawar Lake is one of the tourist attractions in Karo Regency ranged about 100 hectare. The distance from Medan City is about 85 Km. This tourist attraction crowded with domestic and foreign tourists on Saturday and on Sunday as well as on holidays.

Legend Of Lau Kawar
The rice harvest season has arrived in Kawar village. The entire citizen was happy with the rice crops that had turned yellow and ripe. Likewise the Kawar village chief was definitely delighted since he had a very wide field. What the village chief hoped for now evidently was granted in this year. As the expression of gratitude to God, the Kawar Village chief held a Guro-Guro Aron Drum party in his field for four day and four the night. The entire citizen was invited to that extraordinary party.

Because the invitation was send by the village chief no one dare to refuse the invitation except an old woman, the mother of the village chief. This woman was alone in the house, while all of her child and grandchild went to the party. Continuously some faint drum voices from time to time could be heard from her bed. Around midday the danced was stopped for lunch break. The village chief and the whole villagers were having luxurious and abundant lunch. Beef and goat as well as pig and chicken were served in the meals; everyone was full, satisfied and happy. But this was just the first day.

After resting for a moment, the dancing and singing was continued came guided by the village chief's child. Strangely while dancing in the afternoon the village chief called his small child, apparently he remembered his mother who was left was alone and hungry at home. Rice with decent side dishes was prepared. The small child was told to deliver it to his grandmother house. However unfortunate fate once again fell on the grandmother, he forgot to delivered the lunch in time, even food he should be delivering was opened by him in the middle of the road and all beef, goat, chicken, and pig was eaten until only the bones left and then the grandchild packed the bone into the original parcel.

Although the lunch was arrived very late on the afternoon but the grandmother still smile to her grandchild who came to bring the lunch. After delivering the lunch, the grandchild then returns the field immediately. Thus the old woman with great difficulty got up from the bed to eat. But when the parcel in opened the grandmother startled because there are only bones in it. For a long time the baffled grandmother gazed at the parcel, did not realized his tear fell wetted his wrinkled cheek. Indeed the grandmother's fate was poor. The child whom she raised into a respected village chief has forgot his mother. The grandmother's conscience was very sad, disappointed and angry. She cried, and swore "I who give birth and raised you, till you have the respected position evidently you could not respect your own parents, this mother's milk as the witness my child, for that is swore” her tears continued to fell on her cheek. Not long afterwards the words of this unfortunate grandmother was granted, dark dew began to close the sky, as the day got dark. Lightning and the thunder swarmed continuously. The whole citizen who was celebrating the party began to panic; moreover the rain began to pour down rapidly.

The party was ended instantly; the entire citizen ran looking for a sheltering place. But the rain does not care, the rain continuously poured down for seven day and seven the night, then suddenly a flood happened. Kawar village that located precisely under Sinabung Mountain Foot was sunk. Nothing could be saved. Kawar village then became a lake, which today known as the Lau Kawar Lake.

Legian Beach

Close to the Kuta action but far enough for some down time, Legian is less hectic than downtown Kuta but still has a funky nightlife zone. Legian is a no-holds barred beach where locals, expatriates and tourists mingle, bargain with the best, play paddle ball and football, indulge in a massage and manicure, catch up on reading, meditate, exercise.

Legian and Seminyak were small villages a few years ago a short distance from Kuta.
Over the last few years, accommodation has expanded around Legian with many simple family-owned guest houses upgraded; complemented by boutique style hotels and first class hotels. Kuta is literally five-minute taxi ride away. Sunset is peak time at Legian Beach, when the beach bars fill up, the football field is at its busiest and the locals knock off work and wade fully clothed, skirts swirling, into the waves. Now part of the greater Kuta area, both offer quieter alternatives and a more sophisticated nightlife scene focusing on dining-out and socializing rather than full-on partying.

Tanjung Benoa

Tanjung Benoa, or the Benoa peninsula just north of Nusa Dua has become much busier over the years and has a wide range of accommodation including prestigious resorts like 'The Conrad'. Benoa peninsula is a scenic 5 kilometers of coconut palms and fine sand. The area is the almost exclusive home of luxury hotels, private villas, fine restaurants, open-air cafes and water sports facilities.

The resort has become busier over recent years with more hotels Bali Resort and Spa joining impressive resorts like the Aston Bali. The shape of the beach, also makes Tanjung Benoa perfect for water sports with no shortage of shops catering to marine sports enthusiasts.

Right at the tip of the peninsula is the quiet port of Tanjung Benoa, with its village like alleyways and rows of traditional fishing boats and yachts. Offshore "Turtle Island" is the site of a sacred sea temple. Tanjung Benoa has something for everyone -especially if we are a water sport fun. Snorkeling, diving, windsurfing, water skiing, powerboats, banana boats and reef fishing. (The reef is just 200 meters from the shoreline at the northeastern tip)

Uluwatu Temple

Pura Luhur Uluwatu is one of Bali's kayangan jagat (directional temples) and guards Bali from evil spirits from the SW, in which dwell major deities, in Uluwatu's case; Bhatara Rudra, God of the elements and of cosmic force majeures. Bali's most spectacular temples located high on a cliff top at the edge of a plateau 250 feet above the waves of the Indian Ocean.

Uluwatu lies at the southern tip of Bali in Badung Regency. Dedicated to the spirits of the sea, the famous Pura Luhur Uluwatu temple is an architectural wonder in black coral rock, beautifully designed with spectacular views. This is a popular place to enjoy the sunset. Famous not only for its unique position, Uluwatu also boasts one of the oldest temples in Bali, Pura Uluwatu. Most of Bali's regencies have Pura Luhur (literally high temples or ascension temples) which become the focus for massive pilgrimages during three or five day odalan anniversaries. The photogenic Tanah Lot and the Bat Cave temple, Goa Lawah, is also Pura Luhur. Not all Pura Luhur are on the coast, however but all have inspiring locations, overlooking large bodies of water.

Pura Uluwatu is located on the cliff top close to the famous surf break on the SW of the Bukit peninsula. Empu Kuturan, a Javanese Hindu priest who built the tiered meru, founded the temple in the 10th century and a shrine here as well as at other key locations longs the Balinese coast. In the 15th Century the great pilgrim priest Dhang Hyang Dwijendra, who established the present form of Hindu-Dharma religion, chose Pura Uluwatu as his last earthly abode: history records that Dwijendra achieved moksa (oneness with the godhead, in a flash of blazing light) while meditating at Uluwatu. The temple is regarded, by Brahman's island wide, as his holy 'tomb'. Legend also tells us that Dwijendra was the architect of the beautiful temple, as well as many other major temples on Bali, Lombok and Sumbawa. In the 17th century Niratha also from Java came to Bali and built temples, adding to Uluwatu.

Behind the main pagoda of Pura Uluwatu's small inner sanctum, a limestone statue of a Brahman priest surveys the Indian Ocean-it is said the statue represents the founding priest Dwijendra. Another shrine within the complex represents the boat on which Dwijendra traveled from, then, Hindu Java. According to legend he arrived at Pura Peti Tenget, north of Kuta.

Uluwatu Beach is known for its surf and, in nearby hostelries, its full moon rage parties. It rages at the temple too but in an orderly way, thanks to the royal house of Puri Agung Jero Kuta, Denpasar, who are the temple's hereditary pangemong (custodians). Hundreds of nobles from this family, and many 'devotees' (pengayah) and village pemangku priests from nearby hamlets, ensure that every seven months (on Anggar Kasih Medangsya by the Wuku Calendar, to be exact) the festival is run efficiently, and most elegantly. The palace is proud of its ancestral role: it manages the awesome logistics with fitting dignity.
Being a popular surfing spot for the very experienced, Uluwatu offers a wonderful vantage point to view a spectacular sunset. Warungs or small restaurants perched on the cliff offer a comfortable spot to survey the vast Indian Ocean beyond and below the 100-meter-high cliffs with panorama on three sides. Monkeys inhabit the temple and cliff face hoping for a banana or some peanuts from the visitors.

Bratan Lake

Bratan Lake is located next to Mount Bratan and Mount Catur. It is the second largest lake in Bali. Filling the crater of the inactive volcano Mount Catur, Bratan Lake sits at over 1,200 meters above sea level. The important temple of Pura Ulun Danu solemnly guards the lake.

The resort area of Bedugul offers excellent views of the lake, as well as a number of water activities. Providing a cool retreat from the hot and humid regions of Bali, its shores provide the traveler with hotels and restaurants and its cool waters offer parasailing, water-skiing, banana-boat rides and other water sports. Some Japanese caves across the lake were dug during World War II. While in the area hike to the beautiful shrines that dot the lakeshore and forested hills around the lake or visit the beautiful Pura Ulun Danu Bratan.

Not far from here are Buyan Lake and Tamblingan Lake, two of the four large lakes on Bali, which can also be worth a visit. Bratan has an altitude of about 1.000 meters, the climate is quite comfortable, at nights we may even need some warm cloths. The area round the lake is well equipped to cater for visitors, with facilities for various water sports (motorboats, water-skiing, bathing) and a good restaurant.

Besakih Temple

Over a thousand years old, Besakih Temple is known as the "Mother Temple of Bali" Perched on the slopes of Mount Agung, at a lofty 1,000 meters (3,000 feet). Besakih is the biggest and holiest of all the Balinese temples. Bali's mother temple stands against a stupendous mountain backdrop on the southeastern slopes of Mount Agung.

Named after the Dragon God believed to inhabit the mountain, it's said to be the only temple where a Hindu of any caste can worship. Eighteen separate sanctuaries belonging to different regencies and caste groups surround the three main temples dedicated to Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu. To the Balinese, visiting the temple sanctuaries is a special pilgrimage. The mountain top setting gives it an almost mystical quality.

The largest on the island, this massive complex of 35 small temples attracts staggering numbers each year, being the main point of pilgrimage for Balinese Hindus. Steps ascend through split gates to the main courtyard where the Trinity shrines, dedicated to Shiva, Brahma, and Vishnu, are wrapped in cloth and decorated with flower offerings. There are number of temples but many of their inner courtyards are closed to visitors. Tracing its origins to prehistoric times, the complex was untouched by the great 1963 eruption of Mount Agung, which wiped out surrounding villages. The complex also houses the oldest remaining gamelan instrument in Bali called selonding. The temple ceremony (odalan) falls on the 10th month of the Balinese calendar, in April. If traveling, try to reach Pura Besakih before 9am, when many tourist buses start to arrive, so that we can take in the lovely temple in the quiet Balinese morning.

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