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MESSAGE BY

THE MINISTER FOR CULTURE AND TOURISM OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA

Dear Readers,

Many plates of Interests of vast natural bea uty, both on land and in the sea are waiting to be explored. There are numerous exciting activities to be done. From surfing in waves for beginners and firsttate surfers surrounded by a magnificent shoreline, to exploring a spectacular underwater world, or simply sunbathing in a white and pristine beach. Exploring Indonesia is never boring; you can find and experience our warm hospitalityeverywhere, but the excitement is never the same. It is a country of a thousand islands, with a variety of culture and traditions. And international standard Hotels and

Resta urants are ava i la ble inmost provinces in Indonesia.

With pride, Indonesians welcome you to their beautifui cou ntry.

Come visit Indonesia and find out how every island or province in Indonesia offers such diverse excitements. There's never enough time to explore Indonesia with so many beautiful places of interests to visit and so many exciting activities to do!

.Jero WaGik

2 - su matra I welcome to indonesia

Sumatera is the. third biggest island in the archipelago. It's a land of diverse landscape, from dense tropical foreets, rugged coastlines, to wide sandy beaches, deep gorges and steamy swamps, most of them forming Sumatera's vast protected reserves, such as the Great Bukit Barisan Forest ;Reserve and Kerinei-Seblat, part of the massive Buklt Barisan mountain range which runs almost the entire length of the island.

Surnatera's rivers offer exciting river adventures, The combination of wild white waters and dense tropical vegetation makes rafting in the region an unforgettable experience. Try the rapids and bends of Krueng Tripa and the 'River Alas.

Sumatera today is divided into ten provinces: Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD), North Sumalera, West Sumatera, Riau and the Riau Archipelago, Jambi, Bengkulu, Bangka-Belitung, Lampung and South Sumalera.

Attractions in the north

North Bumatera is a land of spectacular natural beauty .. The most popular destination in the region must be the ancient caldera, Lake Toba, situated 906 meters above sea level. Formed around 75.000 years ago, the lake covers a vast area of 1,707 km2, making it the largest in Southeast Asia. With a depth reaching 450 meters, Toba is also the deepest lake in the world. Samosir Island on Lake Toba also draws a lot of visitors which has traditional Batak Toba v.illages and megalithic sites, namely Tomo.k, Ambarita. and Simanindo.

The .Karo highlands surrounding 'leba is home of the Balak Karo people. Dominated by two volcanoes, MOlJnts Sinabung and Sibayak, the pretty hill town of Brastagi is famous as a center for vegetables and fruits, such as the luscious marquise or passion fruit and guavas bigger than fists in size.

The Bataks traditionally lived in longhouse that shelter 10 or more families. Built on massive timber piles. these structures have steep saddle-backed, palm-thatched roofs. The structure is made without nails, only rope and weoden pegs. The singa-singa motif which decorates traditional houses of the Batak Toba is meant to. protect Ihe owners from evil and bad luck.

Just 2 hours from Medan, North Swmalera's capital, the Bahorok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center at Bukit Lawang near Medan Is the place to see these rare orange-haired apes up close.

Inspiring West Sumatra

The cool highlands of West Sumatera are one of the most picturesque regions in Sumatera. It offers spectacular view of volcanoes, fertil.e Valleys and canyons, such as the Anai Valley, Sianok and Harau Canyons. The latter is a nature reserve famous for the rare giant, flowering plant, the Rafflesia.

West $umatera is land of the Minangkabau people, known for their beautiful hand-woven songketsand richly decorated homroofed 10nghouses or rumah gadang.

Bukittinggi is a cool highland town with stunning view of two volcanoes, Mounts Merapi and Singgalang. Rigllt in the middle of the town is a city canyon, Ngarai Sianok. Stretching for 15 km, Ihe oliff rises some 100 to 150 meters. 63 krn away is Lake Maninjau, a huge and beautiful orater lake with complete recreational facilities. To get there, you have to past through the famous'kelok 44' (44 bends and curves) down the hillside.

About a to-hour drive from Padang, the provincfal capital is the largest park in Sumatera. Kerinoi Seblat National Park includes the active volcano, Mount Kerinci (3,805 meter) and several highaltitude lakes. The park contains areas of lowland 'rainforest home to rhinoceros, tigers, clouded leopards, elephants and 'a wide variety of bird species. To the east of the. mountain is a botanists' haven, a h igh- altitude freshwater m ars h known as Lake Bentu.

In harmon'Jln Isolation

Given the mountaineous terrain and the dense forests, there are still a number of isolated tribes liVing in various parts of the island.

Off Sumatera's northern coast, the island of Nias still k.eeps alive a megalithio tradition with stone sculptures, menhirs, war dances and ritual combats called Tulotolo and Fahombe, a stone-jumping ritual in which tribesmen jump over 2.5 meters of stone. Facing the open sea, the western coastline of Sumatera and the waters surrounding Nias Island have big Waves making it one of the best surfing spots in Indonesia.

On Mentawai,. in the west, people still hold on to centuries old animistic beliefs. Mentawai Islands is a chain of islands off the western coast of Sumatera, surrounded by beautiful coral reefs that are ideal for diving.

4- sumatra 1welcome to indonesia

A great cloth tradition

Several of Sumatera's ethnic groups are renowned for their beautiful hand-woven cloths. The Bataks are guardians of the ulos. There are several types of ulos, each distinguished by their distinct motifs, which dictate its function and how it should be worn. The west and southeastern regi.ons of Sumatera produce the songket - weavings with glittering silver or goldcovered threads, while the tapis comes from Lampung.

Th.e name of Ble game (West Sumatra)

The name Minangkabau can be loosely translated as 'victorious buffalo'. Legend has it, the Minang were famous far and wide as resourceful and cunning people. Wanting to pit their skills ag.ainst the Minang, the Javanese proposed a buffalo fight. Javanese brought their largest and fiercest bull, which is female bull that still gave milked to her youngcaJf. The Minang on the other hand, prepared a young calf, much smaller in size than the Javanese bull, and for several days before the contest starved their calf of milk. On the day of the contest, the Minang tied sharp knives on the calf's head and the starving animal gored the Javanese bull to death in its search for milk. Thus, the Minang came out the winner.

A flesh-tingling legend of the Batak Toba (North Sumatra)

The stone chairs of Ambarita of Samosir Island on Lake Toba are witness to the viUag.e's chilling history. Once, cannibalism was part of the custom in the village of Ambarita .. Prisoners were tried before the king and court who sat around the stone chairs in the center of the village. The prisoner will end up on the executor's table if found guilty. Later; the insides of the unfortunate victim are shared amon.g the villagers,. while the flesh and blood will be cooked and drunk by the king.

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WESTJAYA

Jakarta lies on the north coast of Java. More than 13 million people from all over the archipelago call it home, seeking fame and fortune in the country's capltal, I! is the center of government, business and commerce; a city that is constantly changing with the construction of skyscrapers, flyovers, hotels and shopping malls.,

So many Ihings 10 see and do

Hidden in the vast urban sprawl are a great number of treasures that would delight the adventurous traveler. There are museums, art and antique markets for those interested in Indonesia's history and culture, art & cultural centers where exhibitions, plays, musical and poetry recitals, tolk art, dance performances and drama from local artists and visiting performers are regularly staged.

Around the archipelago in one day! The Indonesia Miniature Park or Taman Mini Indonesia Indah is an extensive park showing Indonesia's diversity. Visit the orchid garden, bird park, the Keong Mas Imax Theatre and the Museum of Indonesia.

Ancol Dreamland is the number one place for family entertainment and recreation. It is a theme park. boasting Dunia Fantasy for different fun rides, Sea World, Ice World, Atlantis Water .Adventure, fishing, boating, an art market, nightclubs and restaurants.

Despite first impressions of a concrete jungle, Jakarta's lush tropical landscapes and challenging greens come as a surprise in an overcrowded city like Jakarta. There are the traditional tree-lined fairways of Senayan Golf Club in downtown Jakarta, or the long, rolling fairways and greens of Soewama on the way to the intemational airport. An hour's away from the city center, there's Gunung Geulis Country Club with its two 18-hole championship-standard courses and the Imperial Go'if Club off the JakartaMerak toll road.

Old Batavia and Chinatown

Before independence, Jakarta was known as Batavia. A visit to the old town area and Chinatown in North Jakarta is like stepping back in time to the days of the Spice Trade days and Dutch colonial rule. Old warehouses of the Dutch East Indies Company and period buildings now house a variety of museums, An important trading port since the 7th century, Sunda Kelapa still functions as a fishermen's wharf and an inter island port and provides a safe harbor for tall-masted cargo carrying Bugis schooners.

The Glodok area is Jakarta's Chinatown; a bustling commercial center of old Dutch buildings and Chinese shop houses. One of the biggest wholesale oenters and a giant mall for electronic goods are also found here.

welcom e to i ndon es ia I ja ka rta - 7

A city of history

The city's museums tell of the rich and colorful history of Jakarta and Indonesia. The National Museum has a complete collection of bronzes and ceramics of the Han, Tang, Ming Dynasties, statuary and sculpture that display Hindu, Buddhist and Islamic influences, as well as cloth, money, traditional musical instruments, arts and crafts. With its landmark old harbor-master's tower, the Maritime Museum in the Sunda Keiapa Harbor area exhibits Indonesia's seafaring tradition with models of sea going vessels from all parts of the archipelago. The Jakarta Historical Museum is housed in the 17th-18th century Dutch East Indies Company's Town Hall and has displays of old maps and antiquities used by Dutch colonists in the 18th century. The Wayang Museum holds a collection of wayang puppets from parts of Indonesia and Southeast Asia. There are shortened wayang kulit performances every Sunday morning. A collection of over 327 kinds of textiles from allover the country; hand-woven cotton, silk and batik cloths, both of ancient and contemporary designs are housed in the Textile Museum. A small workshop shows the process of batik making.

There's everylbing money can buy

Whether you're a serious spender or half-hearted shopper, there's sure to be something for all tastes and pockets in Jakarta. Check out the city's glittering multi-level shopping centers for designer boutiques or the colorful traditional markets that sell flowers, luscious tropical fruits, decorative birds and fish.

A culinary collection that suit all tastes

You'll never go hungry in the big city. Food are sold from push carts or in semi-permanent warungs, commonly known as 'kakl lima' meaning five feet, referring to the width of a sidewalk. The time of day tells you the type of food usually available at these stroot side stalls, such as bubur ayam {chicken porridge) or bubur kacang [o (mung bean porridge) in the morning, nasi rames (rice and vegetable, egg, meat side dishes) soto (chicken or beef broth) in the afternoons and ik.an bakar (broiled fish) and nasi goreng (fried rice). Do try 8etawinese specialities; gado-gado, an assortment of boiled vegetables with peanut dressing; sotoBetawi, spicy beef soup with coconut milk; and kerak telor, a traditional omelete with a thin layer of crusty sticky rice.

A popular spot for hawker food ·and dining al fresco is at Kelapa Gading in North Jakarta where tempting offers include Indonesian, Chinese and seafood.

Jakarta has no shortage of classy restaurants, cafes and fast-food joints, either. And the hip district of Kemang in South Jakarta has trendy watering holes and lively cafe'Se life that offer gastronomic treats. Many of the restaurants lure the patronage of expatriates with menus designed to cure homesickness. Exotic Japanese, tantalizing Thai, classic French and even sizzling Brazilian cuisines, Kemang is a veritable tribute to the tastes of the world.

welcome to indonesia I jakarta - 9

Islands attractions

A cluster of small islands located just a few kilometers off Jakarta's northern coast make up Kepulauan Seribu or the Thousand Islands. The most visited are the islands of Putri, Pelangi, Sepa, Kotok, Pantura and Matahari which have first-class accommodations. Other islands such as Kalor and Onrust are for the more adventurous with ruins from the Dutch colonial period as their main attraction. A protected area for hawksbill turtles is located on Pramuka Island where eggs rescued from hungry poachers are buried in sand until they hatch and then returned to the sea

10 - jakarta I welcome to indonesia

The Betawi of Jakarta

Despite living in the midst of modernity and outside influences, the Betawi are proud to retain their tradition.

Situ Babakan and Condet in South Jakarta are Betawi cultural reserves where the residents live in tradlticnaldesigned houses, speak in the distinct Betawi dialect and keep alive traditional arts and culture, such as the tanjidor orchestra, Topang Blantek dance and Betawi wayang performances.

Betawi celebrations are full of color and noise. During festlvrtles, large effigies called ondel-ondel are always put on display in pairs, a male and female, either to ward away evil or welcome guests. In parades, ondel-ondels come to life when worn and paraded by men to open the way for the procession and at the same time entertain the audience. Kembang. kelape, which literally means coconut flowers are the standard decorative item. Made out of colored crepe paper, these ornaments enliven any setting.

Urban oases

Escape fromlhe heat, pollution and hectic pace of the city in oases of tranquility and relaxation. Various establishments offer professional pampering service in luxurious surroundings. Floral baths, body scrubs, aromatic oils, massages and medttations: rituals and treatments using spices, aromatic herbs and essential oils promote physical and mental well ness. Jamu, the traditional Indonesian herbal drinks and foods is usually offered as past of the traditional beauty therapies.

wei come to ind onesia I ja ka rta - 11

Java is by far Indonesia's most populated island. It is divided into the provinces of Banten, West Java, Central Java, East Java and the special (administrative) regions of Jakarta and Yogyakarta.

Verdant Parahyangan

Predominantly mountainous with lush green valleys and volcanic peaks, West Java has a host of eco attractions.The Bogor Botanical Garden built in 1817 covers an area of 87 hectares and shelters 15.000 species of rare trees and plants from all over the world, as well as an extraordinary collection of 5000 orchids in its orchid gardens. It borders the Presidential Palace, home of the Dutch Governor General during the colonial period. Experience a typical Sundanese village life at Ginangneng where you can bathe water buffaloes in a rive~, learn Sundanese dances, or take a walk along the paddy fields .. For authentic wayang golek dolls, visit Pak Dase's workshop at Lebak Kantin AT 02NI, Bogor. Get bronze gamelan gongs and instruments at the Gong Factory on JI. Pancasan No. 17, Bogor.

Bandung, the provincial capital, was the favorite leisure destination for the Dutch during colonial times. Even today, architecture In this highland city bears traces of the Dutch heritage. Bandung is also the oenter of Sundanese culture. At Mang Udio's Angklung Workshop in the cool village of Padasuka, enjoy the soothing melody of a bamboo orchestra. Bandung is also famous for its hundreds of factory outlets, and the latest off-therack fashion.

Yet, many have also come for healings in the highlands. The natural springs and cascading waterfalls found on the volcanic slopes of West Java provide the perfect spot for cleansing both body and mind.

There are also activities for thrill-seekers and outdoor lovers, from paragliding, hang-gliding, trekking lnths highlands to white-water rafting, surfing and even diving in a cracked volcanic seascape around Krakatau, in the Sunda Strait.

Cradle of cuHure and classic traditions

The spread of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam in Central and East Java has left spectacular monuments that have stood the test of time; stark Shivaite temples on the Dieng Plateau of Won08obo, Borobudur, the largest Buddhist monument in the world, and the 9th century Hindu Prambanan temple complex in the outskirts of Yogyakarta. The spread of Islam in Java also left several interesting monuments, such as the 15th century Minaret Mosque in Kudus, the oldest mosque in Central Java.

welcome to indonesia I java - 13

The Wayang Kulit or classic leather puppet theater performance usually takes place all through the night until the early hours. It takes its repertoire from either the Ramayana or Mahabarata epics. The court dances of Yogyakarta are among the most refined and sublime of Javanese dances, such as the Golek and Bedoyo, performed by nine female dancers, and the Golek. In the Reog trance dance of Ponorogo, East Java the main performer dances in a trence wearing a tiger mask and a huge headdress made of peacock feather together with other dancers in demon costumes.

A Royal treat

Age-old culture, traditions and values of the Javanese are kept alive in the courts of Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat and Pakualaman in Yogyakarta and Mangkunegaran in Surakarta. The grand and elegant Javanese architecture of the 18th century kratons or palace guards priceless royal heirlooms and precious antiques.

In Yogyakarta, the walled-in kraton compound is a veritable city within a city. It is home to 25,000 people and includes the Sultan's huge palace, the Taman Sari water castle, a bird market and several craft industries. In the outskirts of Yogyakarta, Kotagede boasts lovely traditional Javanese architecture, tranquility and languid pace of bygone eras when Kotagede was the seat of the mighty Mataram Kingdom of the 16th century.

14 - java I welcome to indonesia

A ride into the past

Take a trip on historic steam locomotion built in 1902 to enjoy cool highland scenery from the Ambarawa Train Museum to Bedono Station near Semarang. Climbing green mountain sides, the 45 minute ride covers a distance of 10 km. A coffee plantation established during the Dutch colonial period has been turned into an exquisite hideaway. At Losari, relax and go on a tour of the coffee plantation and the coffee making process. Here, guests have the rare chance of viewing five volcanoes from one location, namely Sundoro, Sumbing, Merapi, Merbabu, and Siamet.

Market targets

Behind the smell, sights and sounds of a traditional market lies the fascinating attraction and enchantment of the region. For years, Tamim Market is Bandung's center for garment and textiles, from jeans, cotton, to batik cloths. Triwindu in Solo is a must for antique lovers. Find wayangs, masks, oil lamps and other interesting bric a'88 braes.

Yogyakarta's market scene is as unique and fascina1ing as its other attraction. For a taste of a traditional Javanese market, Bringha~o is the place where everything you need is there for your senses to feast on. Bird lovers should head for Ngasem, where local species and foreign breeds vie for attention with their plumes and song.

welcome to indonesia I java - 15

16 - java I welcome to indonesia

Batik

Batik originates from the royal courts of Java. For the Javanese, beautiful hand-painted batiks are not merely pieces of cloth but carry much more significance that symbolizes life itself. Different regions have their own unique style. Batik from Java has bright colors, including the batik Pekalongan which has Chinese influence in the design and pastel colors. Cirebonese batik is characterized by the megamendung or stylized cloud motif. Batiks made in Solo and Yogya are tmditionally colored blue, symbolizing earth, brown, symbolizing fire and white symbolizing water and air.

One single piece of batik may take months to finish. First, patterns are drawn on the cloth, and then traced with wax or malam using a special tool called the canting. After the patterns are an covered, the cloth is then dipped in dye. The whole process is repeated until the cloth and motifs are covered in the desired colors, Stamped batiks am a more modern invention and less time consuming to make.

Festivals & Events

Important ceremonies and festivities in Central Java are usually centered at the keraton, such as on the first day of Sura, the Javanese New Year, Grebeg Maulud, an event commemorating the birth of the Prophet Muhammed, and on the 4th day of the third month of the Javanese lunar calendar, when the Sekaten festivities begin in the middle of the night with a procession carrying two identical, ancient sets of gamelan from the kraton to the Grand Mosque. Gmatly imbued with elements of myths and legends, the Labuhan ceremony is held on the 26th day of the fourth month of the Javanese lunar calendar, called Bakdomulud to solemnize the birthday of the Yogyakarta Sultanate. Delicacies, a set of clothing, nail and hair clippings of the Sultan are taken to the south coast, where they are put on a raft and pushed out to the sea as a gift to Nyi Roro Kldul, the goddess of the South Sea.

welcome to indonesia I java -17

JAVA

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18 ~ ba Ii I welcome 10 indonesia

Ball ls an island endowed with great natural beauty and rich culture. Soaring majestic volcanoes tower over emerald rice fields that cling on hillsides in sculpted tiers, idyllic beaches set the stage for fantastic sunsets, shrines and temples provide sanctuary for believers, while five-star resorts are earthly havens fo r tou rlsts,

Despite overwhelming foreign influences, the Balinese have managed to reach a harmonious balance between preserving their culture, their natural environment and accommodating today's changing world. The Hindu Bali religion, ceremonies, festivaJs, age-old dances and the arts are an inseparable part of the life and culture of the Balinese.

Heaven on earth

The Hindu-Balinese faith touches every aspect of the people's life. With every community owning at least a temple or pura, irs easy to believe that there are tens and thousands of temples on the island. Thelarges1 and holiest temple in Bali is Besakih on the slopes of Mount Agung, well over a thousand years old. Steps ascend through split gates to Besakih's main courtyard where the Trinity shrines are wrapped in cloth and decorated with flower offerings. Around the three main temples dedicated to Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu, are 18 separate sanctuaries belonging to different regencies and caste groups. The ancient temple of Tirta Empul is built around the sacred spring of Tampaksiring. Tanah Lot is an important sea temple dedicated to the guardian spirits of the sea. Another famous sea temple isin Uluwatu, perched high on a cliff. On the shores of Lake Beratan, Ulun Danu is often shrouded in mist and hauntingly beautiful.

The Balinese also believe that spirits dwell in every element of nature and many places are considered sacred, such as the ten hectares nutmeg forest of Sangeh which abounds with monkeys. Even sidewalks bear offerings for the spirits.

Ngaben ceremony

In the Hindu-Bali belief, when a man dies, his soul must be cleansed from earthly impurities before it can reach moksa. To do this, the soul must be released from its physical confinement through a cleansing ritual, a cremation ceremony called the Ngaben, after which the ashes are scattered into the sea or the river.

wei come toin d onesl a I bali - 19

20 - bali I welcome to indonesia

Seven days before Ngaben, the family conducts a ritual called mungkah, in which the grave is dug open and the bones oflhe deceased cleansed and wrapped in a white cloth. To accommodate the soul, an adegan or effigy is made from palmyra leaves or sandalwood.

Palebon is the climax of the ceremony. A tower and coffin in the shape of a bull, lion or elephant that will be burnt are cleansed (pemelaspasan). They are all carried in a procession to the cremation site, accompanied by gamelan music. Along the way, the procession deliberately makes many turns to protect the soul. from evil spirits. Upon arrlval, the bones are placed in a petulangan and cremated.

Celebrating the cycle of life

Temples and religious activities are inexorably tied to their daily lives. Balinese ceremonies can be grouped into two kinds; religious (Hindu Balij and traditional. There are five religious ceremonies: Dewa- Yadnya, held at community or family temples, to ask God for His blessings; Pitra Yadnya, ceremony for ancestral souls; Ngaben (cremation); Manusia Yadnya, ceremonies related to the human life-cycle from birth to adulthood, including tooth-filing ceremony, weddings; and Resi Yadnya, an offering ceremony for holy persons (sages).

Temple festivals and rites of passage are held in reference to the Balinese calendar and are often specific to one village. Unes of women richly dressed and carrying colorful beautifully decorated temple offerings are a common sight. Creating beautiful temple offerings is a religious act in itself. Offerings are made otfruits, rice paste and young coconut leaves, stacked high and beauti.fully arranged. Some important celebrations observed by all Balinese are Galungan. Celebrated with rituals and festivities, it is the time to rejoice in the triumph of virtue (dharma) over evil (adharma). Kuningan is the last celebration of Galungan when special rituals are held for ancestral spirits.

During Nyepi or Seclusion Day to celebrate the Balinese

1 Caka New Year, no activity may be done, no fire may be 1ft and no amusement held throughout the day. It's a day of absolute silence throughout the island. The event is preceded by various purification rituals called mslastl. Holy water for the cleansing ritual is obtained from the sea, river Of other natural sources.

Keeping alive ancient traditions

Despite intense exposure to modernization and outside influences, the Balinese faithfully cling to their culture and traditions, some more so. The pre-Hindu Bali Aga tribe still follows ancient pre-Hindu customs, such as in the village of Tenganan in Ea.st Bali where traditional architecture, kinship, government, religion, dance, music and unique rituals of gladiator-like battles using thorny palmyra leaves are still maintained. Under towering Mount Batur volcano, the Trunyans, who consider themselves the Bali Aga or original Balinese, have a unique custom of laying the dead above ground. A visit to Pengliputan villag.e is like walking into the past, even though it is only 50 krn from bustling Denpasar. Penglipuran was founded in the 13th century and still keeps rigid social orders. Its most becoming trait is the orderliness of the village and its warm, friendly inhabitants.

The arts of Bali

Art for the Balinese is a form of worship and expressions of their deepest beliefs. A stretch of road that leads north from Kuta, Nusa Dua or Sanur are full wonderful discoveries of the Balinese gift of art. Pellatan is known as the center of tradhlonal music and dances. Mas is the village of wood-carvers, where many of Bali's old masters stili live. Batuanis known for its dancing, wood panel oarvings and paintings. Batubulan, northeast from Denpasar is famous for its stone carvings and antiques. Northeast of Denpasar, the village of Celuk is noted for its gold and silverworks of jewelry made using age-old techniques. Ubud is the center of Balinese painting and is popular as an artists' village.

The dance, music and drama of Bali are closely related.

The main dance forms are: Kecak dance which illustrates the story of Rama and Sinta taken from the Ramayana epic against a background of about 150 chanting people. The Barong-Kris dance is more drama than dance with the key characters, a mythical lion-like creature, the Barong, and the evil witch, Rangda. Towards the end of the performance, young men get into a trance, and stab themselves with kr.ises.

welcome to indonesia I bali - 21

The trance dances, Sanghyang Dedari, performed by two girls ln trance yet moving in perfect unison, and the Sanghyang Jaran, where a boy dances on a bed of naming coals. Legong dance is considered to be the most complex and graceful of dances, performed' by young girls at the mosl 13 years. of age and who began training since they were five years old.

Relax, rejuvenate and revHalize

Allover the island you can enjoy activities that allow you to unwind and become healthier, body and soul.

Given Bali's climate and geography, water sports are the. most popular activi.ty here. There's white water rafting, sailing, jet skiing, paragliding, surfing or diving. Some of the fabulous diving sites are al Nusa Penida, Padang Bai, Cemeluk, Pemuteran and Candi Dasa, for a variety of dives; on steel shipwrecks, off vertical drop-offs, over sand slopes, Of sea grass beds, off black volcanic outcrops, of limestone shores, in roaming currents or in calm bays. Surfing fanatics should not miss 8 ride on the waves at Kuta, Canggu, Perererl8n, Nusa Dua and the famous surf proving ground, Ulu Walu. Or renl mountain bikes and enjoy the cool highlands in a more intimate way. A spectacular view of the volcano is combined with lush rice terraces and picturesque villages.

Jusllike the Balinese who feel close to nature, the spas around Bali let you connect wilh nature and discover inner peace through the holistic approach, using natural herbs and health and beauty treatments that pamper' both body and mind.

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Everyone's personal paradise

Bali's culture and natural beauties are not just attractions to admire from afar. It promises a more intimate, life-long experience, one that will never let you forget its magic and charm ... Spectacular settings offer the perfect honeymoon location as well as world-class facilities for MICE.

From the cool, misty highlands of Ubud, and beach affairs accompanied by an orchestra of waves to romantic garden affairs among fragrant frangipanis at luxurious resorts, beautiful Bali offers a variety of spectacular settings that allow you to celebrate a special moment with a special Balinese touch. Bali's spell truly captures the magic of the moment.

A touch of the modern

Following Kuta and Legian's footstep as Bali's liveliest resorts, Seminyak can now claim to be the perfect alternative. There are tranquil villas to loose yourself in, local desi.gners boutiques and shops that sell amazingly creative items that only the Balinese can come up with. For fun after the sun goes down, Seminyak has trendy watering holes, good food and throbbing live music.

Long overlooked, the islands beyond Bali are a treasure-trove of fascinating cultures and natural wonders. Around 35 km east of Bali, the Nusa Tenggara or Lesser Sunda chain of islands stretches from Lombok to Timor. Nusa Tenggara consists of two provinces, West Nusa Tenggara (Lombok & Sumbawa), and East Nusa Tenggara, made up of Sumba, Flores and West Timor.

Paradise east of Bali

Traditional Sasak villages dot the southern part of Lombok.

Set in an arid savannah-like landscape, the villages of Sengkol, Pujut and Rambitan take us back to centuries gone by.

Not unlike Bali, Lombok is also a haven for water-based activities. Lombok's Kuta Beach is one of the island's many virgin beaches. For five kilometers along the Indian Ocean. an unbroken stretch of clean white sand and sparkling water are perfect for bathing and swimming. On the 19th day of the tenth month in the Sasak lunar calendar, the Nyale come 10 the sea's surface and Kula Beach becomes the site of great festivities of the Nyale Ceremony. In the west are surfers and windsurfers beaches. On the three offshore islands of Gili Meno, Gili Trawangan and Gili Air, palm-fringed, white sandy beaches spread towards crystal clean waters that teem with tropical reef fishes, turtles and even sharks. Senggigi Beach is one of the most scenic with coral gardens growing just offshore. Climbing Mount Rinjani (3.800 meters) and soaking in the tranquility of the Segaranakan Crater lake and valley near the summit is the ultimate Lombok experience.

Sumbawa SUrprise

Sumbawa is divided into three administrative districts that correspond to the island's former sultanates: Sumbawa Besar, Dompu and Bima, the latter is said to have been the seat of the ancient Bima Kingdom. Made entirely of wood and raised on stilts, the residence of former Sultan of Sumbawa Besar still stands today.

Enjoy beautiful white beaches in Talolai, Hangawera, north of Bima, and Lunyuk on the south coast of Sumbawa as well as the secluded palm-fringed, white beaches and pristine waters around Sape.

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Sape is also the most convenient point of departure for trips to the Komodo Island. In Moyo Island, skin-diving and game hunting (permit required) are the main activities. Wild oxen, deer, wild boars and a wide variety of bird species are found on the island's reserve. For more vigorous activity, hike to the crater of Mount Tambora and get a stunning view of the island, the sea and Lombok in the distance. At 2.830 meters, the caldera consists of four young volcanic cones.

In 1815, the volcano's catastrophic eruption affected world climate causing temperatures to drop to 3°'a1 creating what was known as the 'year without summer' in the Northern Hemisphere. 12,000 people perished from falling debris, hot gases and lava streams while 44.000 more died of hunger in the aftermath of the explosion, including obliterating three kingdoms, Sanggar, Pekat and Tambora.

Whip fighting

Whip fights are held in several villages in the Manggarai district. Long ago, whip fights were an important sign of manhood. Today, it still features in ceremonial occasions. The caci contest, as it locally known, is a whip and shield duel. One man with a stout bullwhip attacks another man with a shield and bamboo baton. Both wear wooden masks. The duel dances to the rhythm of drums.

The dragon's lair

The Komodo Marine National Park in West Flores occupies an area of 1817 km2 and is still an untouched natural wonder. The island's sparse human population is concentrated in small villages along the shores. The most famous inhabitants are the Komodo dragons (varanus komodensis). giant lizards that are descendants of dinosaurs. A komodo may reach up to 3 meters in length and weigh 150 kg. These may lay up to 30 eggs at a time.

Scenic Sandalwood Island

Flores, Sumba, Timor and Alor are veritable hidden gems tucked in the eastern part of Indonesia In Aores, the multioolored crater lakes of Mount Kelimutu are situated at 1.640 meters.

For an adventure under the sea, Flores Sea is a haven for divers, snorkelers, photographers and marine biologists with an outstanding display of marine habitat.

A 40 meters visibility reveals coral reefs, among the best in the world and beautifully preserved. Neighboring Alar Island is famed for its remarkable beaches and underwater splendor. Alar Sea Park is even considered one of the top five dive spot in the world.

Timor is East Nusa Tenggara's biggest island, where the provincial capital, Kupang is located. In the city's oldest district, an old historical harbor faces Kupang Bay. This was the spot where the Dutch first landed when they arrived in Nusa Tenggara in 1613 and eventually took over the region. Today, it plays an important role in the annual Darwin - Ambon Yacht Race.

Fabulous fabrics

The West and East Nusa Tenggara regions are famed for exquisite hand-woven cloths. Lombok's songket is brightly patterned and a visit to Flores won't be complete without taking home exquisite yellow on black embroidered sarungs. Eastern Sumbawa is famous for its weaving of fine ikat cloth and striped and checked sarongs using natural dyes and producing wide mantles called hinggi used by the men and the lau sarong worn by women.

Ikats from different regions display distinct motifs. From West Sumba, the motifs are usually geometrical and symbolic. To the east, these give way to forms of shrimps, cockatoo, and human. Horses, chicken, birds are also common themes. The islands of Roti and Sawu (between Sumba and Timor) also produce highly distinctive ikats. In Dompu district, rich brocades are made with glittering silver threads running through the fabric.

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Kalimantan occupies two-thirds of Borneo, the world'sthird largest island, and shares boundaries with the Sultanate of Brunei Darussalam and the Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah.

The dense, tropical lowland rainforests of Kalimantan is among the last in the world, holding a diverse variety of exotic flora and fauna; 600 species of birds (including the hornbills that are sacred to the Dayaks), orangutans, proboscis monkey, clouded leopard, leaf monkeys, crab eating macaques and ant-eating pangolins.

Kalimantan is the land of the Dayak who long ago were famed as fearless warriors and home to the Banjat in the south. Over 200 Dayak tribes inhabit the island, but the most wellknown groups are the Kenyah and Kayan in the east, the Ngaju in the central region, and the Iban in the west. Travel down the great rivers, such as the Mahakam, in traditional bamboo rafts, motor longboats or klotok/canoes (river bus) or chartered houseboat to see up close Kalimantan's indigenous inhabitants in their natural surroundings. Organized trips are available through travel operators in bigger cities.

Pontianak, the provincial capital of West Kalimantan is right on the equator and has a monument to show it. Indonesia's longest river, the Kapuas River (1,143 km) also wlndsthrouqh in region.

Into the Dayak COUntry

East Kalimantan presents a neverending showcase of rich Dayek culture, from its cuisine, handicraft, dances, and traditions that are infused with myths and superstitions ..

Rivers, such as Mahakam and Kayan, provide access into the island's interior, connecting the coast with the Dayak country. Dayak families have strong communal ties, and live in great longhouses. A Dayak longhouse, called lamin in East Kalimantan, or betang in Central Kalimantan, provides shelter for up to 20 or 30 families.

The easiest way to reach a Dayak settlement is by river using a traditional longboat or motor boats. There are several locations where you can get up close and personal with the Dayak, such as Pam pang, Long Apung, Long Iram Belong, Barong Tongkok, Tanjung Isuy, Muara Muntai, or Malak.

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In some Oayak tribes, the women, especially of the older generation, still have the characteristic long extended earlobes. Their hands and feet are covered in elaborate tattooing. Patterns have different meanings and some may be a protection against evil. Where the tatoos are applied also vary according to a person's status in the community.

Central Kalimantan is home of the more isolated Oayaks of the region, which are the Ngaju, Kahayan, Kapuas, Kalai, Maanyan, Ot Oanum and Tuman. As part of their Kaharingan religion, the Oayaks still practice the tiwah or funerary ritual that involve cleaning the bones of the deceased for their smooth journey to paradise, and animal sacrifices that ensure prosperity and good health for the living. The cleansed bones are then held inside a sandung, a tomb built like a betang.

TrOpical wilderness and beauty

In the upper reaches of the Mahakam River, the 5,000 acre orchid reservation Kersik Luwai has around 72 different species of orchid including the very rare black orchid, Cologenia pandurata. The reserve is encircled by a wide expanse of pure white sand that covers an area of 20 hectares.

The Makassar Strait between Borneo and Sulawesi shelters a diverse ecosystem in a tiny archipelago. At Derawan, sea turtles (green, hawksbill, scarlet and star fruit turtles) come on shore at night to lay their eggs. Surrounded by a shallow lagoon and the reefs, Maratua and Sangalaki has over 500 species of hard and soft corals, manta rays and turtles.

Land of a thousand rivers

On the southeast coast of Kalimantan, Banjarmasin is a bustling trading city crisscrossed with many waterways fed by the Barito River. The river is a way of life for the people of Banjarmasin, houses are constructed on poles and connected to each other by wooden walkways and floating markets a common sight in many towns. Selling fruits, vegetables, traditional snacks and beverages, they provide a glimpse of the kind of life the locals live. Early mornings are the best times to take in amazing sights, sounds and smells of the Kuin floating market near the Trisakti Harbor. Activities begin at daybreak and lasts until about nine in the morning.

Banjarmasin is also known for handicrafts and most notably for its semi preoious and precious stones, mined in the surrounding areas. Rattan and bamboo weaving are from the Tapin district while handicrafts made of gold, silver, brass and iron are from the Hulu Sungai Salatan region. A speoifio textile from South Kalimantan is the sasirangan, a cloth made through a csrtaln dyeing processquite different from those of other parts of Indonesia with symbolic motifs or patterns. When walking round the oily of Banjarmasin during the day, don't be surprised to see the young, the old, male and female with their face covered by a thick mask. No, they haven't forgotten to wipe off their face mask before going out. This Is pupur dingin, a traditional sun block that protects the skin from harsh sunlight, dirt and pollution.

Meet haIry, D.ranga apes

Several of the most important wildlife rehabHitation oenters are found in Central Kalimantan. Tanjung Puting National Pari< and its three camps, Tanjung Harapan, Pondok Tanggul and Camp Leakey, the Orangutan Rehabilitation Center, are where tamed orangutans are rehabilitated and taught to readapt to their natural environment.

All that glitters

Diamonds are mined extensively in Cempaka and Martapura.

Diggings use both simple, traditional toois and modern equipment. Rituals are performed before and during diggings to ensure safety and a successful yield. Banjarmasin and Martapura are good places to buy diamonds, precious and semi preoious stones. You oan buy both out and unout diamonds, ernezalds, sapphires and amethysts at very fow prices as long as know your stones and bargain hard.

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Until a few years ago, one of Sulawesi's main attractions that draw visitors is the beautiful land and unique culture of the Torajans. But Sulawesi has more to offer; from the north till its southern tip.

An amazing variety of flora and fauna share a fabulous tropical setting of rugged mountains, virgin rainforests, lush paddy fields, highland lakes and pristine beaches. Virgin reserves provide a protected habitat for its indigenous species, such as the anoa (dwarf buffalo) and babi rusa (pig deer). the Maleo, black monkey and the smallest species of monkeys, the Tangkasi. The region has also earned the reputation as a diver's paradise with a mind-boggling array of coral formations and a multitude of marine life found in the waters that offer the best possible marine adventure to be had.

Islands of the blacksmiths

Wangi-wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia and Binongko are four islands on Sulawesi's southeastern coast known in short as Wakatobi. These islands are home to the Baja, nomadic sea gypsies that live in the open sea, at one with the elements, on pongkas (covered boats) and stilted houses.

In the past Wakatobi was better known as the blacksmiths' islands because they were mainly occupied by iron-working artisans who worked on the repairs of Dutch ships. Atthough Wakatobi is now famous world-wide as a prime diving and snorkeling destination, there are other attractions In store. A one-hour ride in a speedboat from Wanci on Wangl-wangi will take you to Anano Island where giant turtles come ashore at night to lay their eggs. Wakatobi also offers whale and dolphin watchinq, usually sperm whales, spinner and bottle-nose dolphins.

A haven for underwater explorations

Famous Bunaken Marine Reserve in the north is a low crescent-shaped coral island ringed by a steep fringing reef with a dense population of fish. coral and deep underwater gullies and valleys. Large reefs around the Banggai Archipelago in Central Sulawesi support a tremendous variety of marine life, such as hard and soft coral, reef sharks and turtles, schools of jackfish. tunas and other species.

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It is also the habitat of the endemic ornamental fish called the '8anggai Cardinal Fish'. In the Lembeh Straits there are World War I shipwrecks and unusual black sand bottoms, while the Togean Islands host major reef formations (fringing, barrier, patch and atoll).

Megalithic Valley in Lore Undu

The Napa and 8esoa Valleys in Lore Undu near PaJu, Central Sulawesi, contain megalithic sites that date back thousands of years ago. Huge stone urns, pilla1'$ and statues are scattered throughout the valley. Although stili open to debate, the stone carvings and monuments are believed to be related to ancestor worship.

Tumbilutohe Festival

Since the 15th century, the Gorontalo have welcomed ldul Fitri (the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadhan) with a festival of lights. In their front yards, on fences and in the streets, people light traditional coconut oil lamps. In 2006, the festival entered the Indonesian Museum of Records when over 5 million lamps were lighted and put Gorontalo under the epotlight.

Makassar, the Maritime city

Bustling Makassar (formerly Ujung Pandang) is the provincial capital of South Sulawesi, famous for silk sarongs, silverfillgree and gold works. The 16th century Dutch stronghold, the Fort Rotterdam, is now a museum exhibiting various antiques, ceramics, old coins, manuscripts, musical instruments, costumes and ornaments. Fruits from the sea in Makassar are fresh and delicious. Fish, crab, giant prawns or squid are first marinated In tangy sauce, grilled on coconut husks then served with spicy condiments. A specialty of the Buginese are barbecued ribs (konro) marinated with special sauce, rib soup and coto makassar, a soup with buffalo intestines as its main ingredient.

At Bulukumba, the sea-faring Buginese still build traditional phinisiq ships the way they have been doing for hundreds of years. Along the coast, skeletons of these traditional Bugis schooners are made from hardwood called kadieng orbit!i and wait finishing.

Land of hardy highlanders

A lush valley ridged by steep granite walls greets the first time visitor to Tana Toraja (Tator). 'Tongkonan' traditional houses adorned with buffalo horns shelter extended families. The more horns displayed, the higher is the owner's social status. The roofs of 'tongkonan' rise at both ends like the bow and stern of a ship. According to rilual chants, these shapes are symbols of the vessel that brought their ancestors to the area. Ke'le Kesu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a living museum of the Torajan way of life. Still retaining their ancestral belief of aluk to dolo, the Torajans believe death is the most important part in man's cycle of life. Their funerals are elaborate affairs held to pave the way for the dead so that they may enter the afterworld and bestow blessings on the living. At the end of the ceremony, the dead are then laid 10 rest in cliff-side stone crypts and are guarded by wooden effigies or tau-tau.

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Ambon and its surrounding islands were known as the legendary isles of spice, the world's only sources of nutmeg, mace and cloves. The region was constantly fought over by the Spanish, Dutch and Portuguese. If Bali is known as the island of a thousand temples, Ambon, Maluku's provincial capital, is a city of a thousand churches. Centuries of Dutch and Portuguese occupation have left a trail of beautiful monuments and historical ruins.

The chann of Banda Neira

The Banda Islands consists of ten volcanic islands. Banda Neira is the central island with a small town of the same name. Across the lagoon is the climbable volcano Gunung Api. A hike to the summit is rewarded with a spectacular view of the surrounding deep blue seas. Frozen lava stream from the volcano's last eruption in the 1980 can stili be seen flowing towards the sea. Guides and an early start are recommended.

On one of Banda's many islands, rare species of beautiful tropical orchids are found and preserved.

The eastem strol9tDId

Ruins of forts from the time of the spice trade dot the many islands of Maluku, from tiny Temate and Tidore in the north to the Banda mini-archipelago, such as Fort Duurnstede on Saparua, Fort Belgica and Fort Nassau in Banda Neira, Concordia and Hollandia on Lontar Island and Fort Revingil on Ai Island. The Rumah Budaya Museum in Banda Neira holds many historical artifacts and a church has stone-slab graves inscribed with names of Dutch colonialists.

Off the shores of Halmahera Island, sunken Japanese World War II ships protrude above the water surface. Morotai Island is the site of World War II battles. It served as an airbase for the Allies then for the Japanese. Wrecks of aircrafts and rusting guns still litter the island.

The Islands' treasures

The islands of Maluku are endowed with fine, sandy beaches. The Aru Archipelago, which consists of some twentyfive islands, mangrove swamp and lOW-lying palm forests, is home to an unusual species of butterfly and flocks of birds of paradise.

Warm water, good visibility and strong currents that create exciting drift dives beckon diving freaks to discover an untouched wor1d under the sea. In the small archipelago in the Banda Sea, the deep seas teem with coral and marine life and idyllic surroundings are also perfect for water sports such as seasonal fishing and windsurfing. Around Ambon alone 780 species of fish have been identified.

Accessible by boat from Tulehu or Honimua, explore Pombo Island, the waters around Nusa Laut, Saparua and Tobelo in Halmahera for the best diving and snorkeling sites. Bobale Island's waters may yield the occasional mother-at-pearls to determined scuba divers. It also has a well-kept Japanese bunker.

Nearby in the Tanimbar Islands, the village of Sanglia Dol has a wide megalithic stairway leads to a ceremonial ground where a huge stone boat with a carved prow is located. The boat is believed to be the sacred vessel in which the ancestors reached the islands.

Ternate is the capital of the North Maluku province. It is one massive volcano rising from the sea to a peak of 1,721 meters, Mount Gamalama. In the 18th century the volcano blasted in a gigantic eruption that created a landscape of jagged black rocks, among them Batu Angus (Burnt Rock) is lava flow that reaches towards the sea, and the black sand beach of Sulamadeha.

The mysteries of Maluku

In the outskirts of Ambon, ancient megaliths are found at Soya Atas. At Waai, 31 km northeast of Ambon, huge eels and carp inhabit a sacred pool of crystal clear waters and can be summoned by the shrine priest.

One of the area's most famous attractions is Bambu Gila (Crazy Bamboo). While strolling along a beach, one might chance upon this unusual attraction. Around seven able-bodied young men carry a 2.5 meter bamboo pole, while another stands and murmurs mantra in Tanah, an ancient local language. He blows smoke from a bowl of coconut shell into one end of the bamboo pole, and suddenly the bamboo moves wildly at its own accord, flinging its bearers in all directions, as they struggle to keep hold of the pole.

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Warm water, good visibility and strong currents that create exciting drift dives beckon diving freaks to discover an untouched wor1d under the sea. In the small archipelago in the Banda Sea, the deep seas teem with coral and marine life and idyllic surroundings are also perfect for water sports such as seasonal fishing and windsurfing. Around Ambon alone 780 species of fish have been identified.

Accessible by boat from Tulehu or Honimua, explore Pombo Island, the waters around Nusa Laut, Saparua and Tobelo in Halmahera for the best diving and snorkeling sites. Bobale Island's waters may yield the occasional mother-of-pearls to determined scuba divers. It also has a well-kept Japanese bunker.

Nearby in the Tanimbar Islands, the village of Sanglia Dol has a wide megalithic stairway leads to a ceremonial ground where a huge stone boat with a carved prow is located. The boat is believed to be the sacred vessel in which the ancestors reached the islands.

Ternate is the capital of the North Maluku province. It is one massive volcano rising from the sea to a peak of 1,721 meters, Mount Gamalama. In the 18th century the volcano blasted in a gigantiC eruption that created a landscape of jagged black rocks, among them Batu Angus (Burnt Rock) is lava flow that reaches towards the sea, and the black sand beach of Sulamadeha.

The mysteries 01 Maluleu

In the outskirts of Ambon, ancient megaliths are found at Soya Atas. At Wooi, 31 km northeast of Ambon, huge eels and carp inhabit a sacred pool of crystal clear waters and can be summoned by the shrine priest.

One of the area's most famous attractions is Bambu Gila (Crazy Bamboo). While strolling along a beach, one might chance upon this unusual attraction. Around seven able-bodied young men carry a 2.5 meter bamboo pole, while another stands and murmurs mantra in Tanah, an ancient local language. He blows smoke from a bowl of coconut shell into one end of the bamboo pole, and suddenly the bamboo moves wildly at its own accord, flinging its bearers in all directions, as they struggle to keep hold of the pole.

Celebrating the Sultan's birthday

Legu Gam is the biggest folk festival in Temats, North Maluku, held in April to celebrate Temate Sultanate anniversary. Traditional customs and modern festivities make up the celebrations; from fairs, bazaars, sports, exhibitions, to the kora-kora boat race. Onthe eve of the Sultan's birthday, prayers are held for his well-being and the prosperity of the Temate people. The next day is filled with dance performances and poetry from the four sultanates which long ago formed Moloku Kie Raha, namely Ternale, Tidore, Jailolo and Bacan.

Not many people know that Papua is. the world's second biggest Island. The Last Frontier and the Black Pearl are a few names attributed to this wild and wonderful land, home to an estimated 250 tribes .. Sharing its borders with Papua New Guinea, Papua is a land of snow-capped mountains, deep, lush valley, dense jungles and swamps. Its mountains and valleys are trekkers' paradise. Steep highland trails lead to traditional honai villages and the chanoeto meet friendly local people.

Despite its relatively recent discovery in the 1930s, Papua has an important place in world history. Hamadi beach in Jayapura was the landing site for World War II's allied forces, under the command of General Douglas MacArthur. EVen today, war wrecks litter the area and a monument stands in memory of this historic event.

The provinoial oapital of Jayapura Is the largest town and the gateway into Papua's interior. The Museum Loka Budaya at the Gendrawasih University is worth a. visit for its collection of artifacts from around Papua and a crocodile farm. Take a boat trip to Asel Island on Lake Sentani where local craftsmen produce bark paintings and carvings in the traditional Sentani style characterized by stylized geckos and snakes painted with natural dyes.

The Great Baliem Valley

The highland of Papua is dominated by the snow-capped Trikora mountalne range and the Great Baliem Valley, home 10 the Danl, Lani and Yali tribes. Wamena is the most important town and urban center in the valley. Jibama market in Wamena is an important place and activIty for the Dani people. The market opens at dawn and offers an array of interesting produce and handicrafts, such &5 bows and arrows, koteka or penis sheaths (still worn by the tribes), stone axes and oowry shells, Several villages in the valley, such as Jiwika, KTmbim Pornmo and Wasalma, still keep mummies of their ancestors, tribal leaders and powerful war chiefs. The bodlea are preserved by first covered with a speoial ointment then smoked. In the past, the valleY's tribes often engage in tribal wars. In an effort to promote peace and haffilony among them, every year, the Baliem Festival is held during which three of the main valley

tribes hold friendly 'archery contests, pig races and musical pei1ormanoes using traditional instruments.

Local Delicacies

Sago is the main staple of the Papua, obtained from the trunk of the sago palm tree near its base. Processing sago involves cutting the trunk in half, scrl:\ping the insides and pounding the shavings while water is being passed through. The water and pulp mixture is then .Ieft to stand. The deposit is later dried and processed as sago flour. The Papuans usually cook the sago into a chewy paste and .eat it iogether with a tangy, clear fish soup which helps it to go down.

Iii the lowland region, the Sago Grub Feast is an important event that brings together different clans of the Asmat tribe. After months of preparations, hundreds of sago grubs are harvested and clans attend dances and feasts that last through the night The event marks the completion of a jew or communal hall. On this day, the men of the tribe present sago grub to their female relatives as a token of gratitude, and women are freed from daily routine.

Papuans have their traditional technique of cooking, which is using hal stone's technique. This is mostly reserved for special occasions when their most prized possessions, pigs, are slaughtered and baked. The Papuans also have a unique custom of chewing areca nuts. It's a symbol of brotherhood and enhances communication, albeit the habit; leaves on one's teeth stained reddish black.

Handcraft galore

Treasures from Papua are more than just the famous Asmatcarvings. From Asei Island on Lake Sentani there's the bark paintings made with natural dyes; lime powder for the white, charcoal for black, red clay for reds and turmeric for yellows. The canvas is made from the bark oflhe Kombow tree.

Koteka or horirn (penis sheaths) are still widely used by Papua men. They are made from dried gourds and shapes may vary according 10 the tribe and when it is used. Short and small ones, are perfect when working in the fields, while long and slim ones are used during festivities and important events.

Beauty beneath the sea

Papua diving is an exotic experience that offers a rich variety of dives, a multitude of fish and marine species and amaZing scenery both above and under water. Get up close to World War II fighter ships and planes in their watery graves in the shallow waters of Cendrawasih Bay and in the islands off New Guinea's western tip. Reefs that hold a myriad of colorful marine life surround Wai Island in Sorong. Big and small, from sharks, rays, whales, dolphins, and turtles to giant clams, schools of snapper, parrot fish, surgeon fish, the list goes on.

The jewel of Papua diving, Raja Ampat, is known to harbor the world'S richest coral biodiversity. Among the 1500 small islands in the area, take your pick of a variety of diving sites; shallow bays, lagoon channels bordered by rainforest, rock islands and offshore reefs that contain the 1000 fish species, 699 molluscs and a host of other marine animals.

GEM OF THE EQUATOR

Indonesia is the world's largest archipelago, consisting 01 more than 17,000 islands. Sp read across 5,120 km of ocean and positioned between Asia and Australia, this country is as wide. as the European continent.

Four-fifths of the area is sea, with the major islands of Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Papua.

Unity in Diversity

As the world's 14th I arg est nation, Indonesia's population totals over 200 million, comprising 250-300 ethnic groups that have their own language and dialects but are united with Bahasa Indonesia, the national language spoken throughout the archipelago.

The majority of Indonesi.ans are Moslem, with Christians, Catholics, Hindus, Buddhists and followers of Confucianism making up the rest. Since 2001 the Chinese culture has experienced a welcomed revival that served to enrich the country's cultural diversity.

The Nature

Indonesia's flora and fauna is diversely rich as its land and people. Orangutans, tigers, one homed rhinos, elephants, dugongs, anoas, komodo dmgons are the pride of Indonesia. The seas around the archipelago also hold the country's treasures, a rich marine environment that holds a myriad of species, from fish, corals and marine mammals. National parks arou nd the archipelago serve to preserve this rich natural heritage.

Immigration

All travelers to Indonesia must be in possession 01 passport valid for at least six months lrom date of arrival and have proof (tickets) of onward or return passage. Immigration authorities provide Free Tourist Visas for a period of 30 days to nationals from 12 countries only on the basis of reciprocity. These countries are Thailand, Malaysia, Sinqapore, Brunei Darussalam, the Philippines, Hong Kong SAR, Macao SAR. Chile, Morocco, Peru, Vietnam and Ecuador.

Moreover, Visa On Arrival has been given to nationals from 36 countries. These are Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Czech, Cyprus. Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Laos PDR, Latvia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Maldives, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, People's Republic of China, Poland, Portugal, Oman, Qatar, Rumania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, South Africa, South Korea, Suriname, Swedia, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates.

Visa On Arrival is valid lor 30 days and may be extended under the permission of Indonesian Immig~ation with the conditions as follows: natural disaster occurs in the place visited by thatourist; the traveler is taken ill or meets with an accident during their visit. Other nationals must apply for visa atlndonasia Embassies or Consulates in their home country. In addition, the visa cannot be replaced with any other forms of immigration letters.

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Entry ports where Visa On Arrival may be issued are the Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Jakarta, NgurahRai Airport in Bali, Polonia Airport in MeGian, Sultan Syarif Kasim Airport in Pekanbaru, Minang Kabau Airport in Padang, Juanda Airport in Surabaya and Sam Ratulangi Airport in Manado.

While authorized seaports are at Batarn, the Sekupang. Batuampar, Nongsa and Marina, Teluk Senimba, Bandar Bintan, Talani Lagoi and Bandar Sri Udana Labonin the Riau archipelago, Sri Bintan Pura in Tanjung Pinang, Belawan port and Sibolga in North Sumatra, Yos Sudarso in Ambon, Tanjung Parak in Surabaya, Teluk Bayur of Padang, Tanjung Priok in Jakarta, Padang Bai and Benoa in Bali, the port of Jayapura, Bitung in Manado, Tanjung Balai Kanmun, Tanjung Mas in Central Java, Tenau and Maumere in East Nusa Tanqqara, Pare-pare and Soekarno-Hatta port In South Sulawesi.

Climate

Climate-wise, Indonesia is distinctly tropical. The east monsoon from June to September brings dry weather while the west monsoon from December to March is moisture-laden brinqinq rain. Temperatures range from 210 'a 1 C (70"' a 1 F) to 33"' a 1 C (900' a 1 F), except at higher altitudes which are much cooler.

Health

Valid international certificates of small-pox, cholera and yellow vaccinations are required only from travelers coming from infected areas.

Customs

Customs allow on entry a maximum of one liter of alcoholic beverages, 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 100 grams of tobacco and a reasonable amount of perfume per adult. Cameras, vidoe cameras, portable radios, cassette recorders, binoculars and sport equipment are admitted provided they are taken out on departure. They must be declared to Customs. Prohibited are firearms, narcotics drugs, pornography, transceivers and cordless telephones. For the Chinese traditional medicines must be registered by Depkes ;RI, Films, pre-recorded video tapes and laser disks must be screened by the Censor Board. There Is no restriction on import or export of fore.ign currencies and travelers cheques. However, the import and export of Indonesian currency exceeding Rp. 100 million is prohibited.

Airport Tax

An airport tax of Rp. 100.000,- is levied by the airport authority for travelers on international routes and Rp. 30.000, for those on domestic routes.

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