Monday, November 30, 2015

Lake Tambing in Central Sulawesi becomes favorite tourist destination

An increasing number of tourists are visiting the Lake Tambing ecotourism destination in Lore Lindu National Park (LLNP) in the Indonesian province of Central Sulawesi.

Situated at an altitude of 1.7 thousand meters above sea level and some 80 kilometers from the provincial city of Palu, the lake is the ideal choice for bird lovers and outdoor adventure enthusiasts.

The beautiful lake is part of the LLNP, which is flanked by the districts of Donggala, Poso, and Sigi in Central Sulawesi.

The scenic views around the lake coupled with the melodious songs of the birds greet and mesmerize the visitors, making them feel at home and are no longer keen to return to their lodgings.

LLNP Head Sudaryatna stated in Palu on Monday that the number of tourists visiting Lake Tambing continued to increase in the recent months.

"Over the past three months, the number of domestic and foreign tourist arrivals at the lake continued to rise," Sudaryatna said, adding that several months earlier, there were no tourists due to security breach in the District of Lore and the coastal area of Poso.

However, he noted that currently, an average of 100-200 domestic and foreign tourists from the Netherlands, Denmark, and the United States visit Lake Tambing on Saturdays and Sundays.

He noted that foreign tourists are mostly bird lovers and researchers as the area is home to around 77 bird species, 60 percent of which are endemic to Sulawesi Island.

"In addition to the beautiful lake as a tourist attraction, the visitors can get a firsthand glimpse of the variety of birds in varied colors, which live and breed in the surrounding forest area," he affirmed.

Sudaryatna explained that until the end of November 2015, around three thousand foreign and domestic tourists had visited the Lake Tambing ecotourism destination.

Further, he added that the LLNP had received a budget of around Rp600 million in 2015 to improve the existing facilities at the ecotourism destination of Lake Tambing.

Sudaryatna stated on Monday that the funds from the state budget for the Ministry of Forestry and Environment will be channeled to build and improve the infrastructure and facilities at the Lake Tambing ecotourism destination.

He noted that the infrastructure and facilities being built include a road connecting to the tourist attraction at the lakeside, a home generator to anticipate power failure, electrical installations, procurement of a motorcycle to transport garbage, a parking lot that can accommodate up to 50 cars and motorcycles, a mosque, and an information center.

On arrival, the existing officers at the information center will offer a briefing to the visitors about the lake and the variety of other attractions at the national park.

Sudaryatna noted that in future, the LLNP will also build other facilities, such as a pavilion, cottages, outbound areas, and a bird observation tower near Lake Tambing.

He remarked that a tracking line, orchid breeding garden, and gallery will also be built for the visitors, so that they can enjoy their visit to Lake Tambing and the national park.

"These improvements are urgently needed to attract more domestic and foreign tourists to visit the ecotourism area at the lake and park," he added.

LLNP Head of the Technical Subdivision Ahmad Yani stated in Palu early this month that the national park is a habitat to almost all of Sulawesis endangered animal species, such as the mountain anoa, a dwarf buffalo once common but now rarely seen; babirusa, an animal resembling both a pig and hippopotamus; tarsier, the worlds smallest primate; tonkean macaque; and marsupial cuscus.

The tourists visiting Central Sulawesi can plan a visit to the LLNP for trekking to see the prehistoric relics from the megalithic stone culture in the valleys of Bada, Besoa, and Napu.

Yani remarked in the Central Sulawesi provincial city of Palu that infrastructure and supporting facilities at the park are being improved to draw more domestic and foreign tourists.

"We are performing maintenance work on several facilities at the national park in order to attract as many foreign tourists as possible," Achmad said in Palu recently.

He noted that the park was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1978 and was formed through the unification of three existing reserves: the Lore Kalamanta Nature Reserve, the Lake Lindu Recreation and Protection Forest, and the Lore Lindu Wildlife Reserve.

The park, which is located south of the town of Palu, covers a 2,180-square-kilometer area, with altitudes ranging between 200 and 2.3 thousand meters above sea level.

Achmad noted that the maintenance work on several facilities in the park is part of its preparations for an anticipated increase in tourist arrivals in Central Sulawesi province.

He said the LLNP is also home to the maleo (macrocephalon maleo) breeding site that will continue to be developed into an interesting tourism attraction in the province.

Maleo, well known as the iconic bird in the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, is found nowhere else in the world.

The birds have been fully protected under Indonesian law since 1972 when it was formally recognized that their population was threatened due to overharvesting of their enormous eggs coupled with the loss and fragmentation of their native forest habitat. (Antara)

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Raffles Jakarta - Stay in the heart of Jakarta

Raffles Jakarta is strategically located in the central business district of Jakarta.

This hotel also features unique art experience as it is linked to Ciputra Artpreneur Centre, an art gallery, museum and theatre complex.

Featuring luxurious rooms with soothing colours and warm d├ęcor, the stylish air conditioned rooms are fitted with plush sofa and marble flooring, the room is also equipped with a flat-screen cable TV and complete with a laptop safe. An electric kettle and minibar are also provided. The large en suite bathroom comes with a bathtub, hairdryer and a shower.

Raffles Jakarta operates a 24-hour front desk that provides luggage storage, concierge and laundry/dry cleaning services. A business centre, children's playground and meeting/banqueting facilities are available. Airport transfer, babysitting service and day trips can also be arranged with an additional charge. Other facilities offered on-site include currency exchange, fitness centre, an outdoor swimming pool and a tennis court. Relaxing treatments can be enjoyed at the spa and wellness centre.
Delicious Continental and Asian food can be enjoyed at Arts Cafe by Raffles. Other sumptuous refreshments can also be sampled at Navina Poolside Bar and Writers Bar.

The hotel is a 5-minute walk to Ciputra Artpreneur Centre and a 15-minute drive to Grand Indonesia Shopping Centre as well as Plaza Indonesia. It takes 45 minutes' car ride to reach Jakarta Soekarno Hatta Airport.
Free WiFi access is available throughout the property.
Setiabudi is a great choice for travellers interested in Friendly People, Nightlife and Business

Address:  Jalan Prof. Dr. Satrio Kav. 3-5, Setiabudi, 12940 Jakarta, Indonesia Show map

Related: Hotel insider: Raffles Jakarta, Indonesia

Bali optimistic about traditional dance forms being recognized by UNESCO

The Bali provincial administration is optimistic that nine Balinese traditional dances will be recongnized by UNESCO as part of the World non-object Cultural Heritage during a meeting on December 1 and 2.

"The nine dances have been entered into UNESCOs list. The chance of them being accepted is 98 percent," the Head of Culture Office, Dewa Putu Beratha, said here on Thursday.

The nine Balinese dances are Barong Ket, Joged, Legong Kraton, Wayang Wong Drama Dance, Gambuh Drama Dance, Topeng Sidakarya, Baris Upacara, Sanghyang Dedari and Rejang.

"UNESCO will convene on December 1 and 2," he added.

A Balinese cultural humanist Prof. I Made Bandem is also optimistic that the nine dances will be recognized by UNESCO.

"The Ministry of Education and Culture has set the nine dances as the national non-objects of Cultural Heritage," he said.

This is a guarantee for UNESCO that the proposed dances will be maintained by the government and community.

"I am optimistic we can get funding to preserve the dances. It will convince UNESCO to give recognition to the nine traditional dances," Made said. (Antara)

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Bali rejects sharia tourism

Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika has opposed the idea of developing sharia tourism on the Island of the Gods, saying it had the potential to cause discord on the Hindu-majority province.

Pastika said on Tuesday that tourism in Indonesia's most prominent tourist destination was going well just the way it was.
"I disagree with it. It would only cause an uproar; [tourism] has been running well," he said as quoted by Antara news agency.

Several college students and local people protested at the Bali Legislative Council (DPRD) on Tuesday. Wearing local Bondres masks, the protesters loudly expressed disapproval of introducing sharia tourism on the island.

"Bali is not suited as a sharia tourist destination because it does not fit in with the essence of the locale. Bali has always had its own culture that is recognized worldwide. So there is no need to make any changes," Ketut Bagus Arjana, the head of the Indonesian Hindu Dharma Student Association, told Antara.

Sharia Economic Society (MES) chairman Muliaman D. Hadad previously said sharia tourism was suitable to be developed in Bali and was worth exploring as a business opportunity.

"We are not talking about religion but economics," said the chairman of the Financial Services Authority (OJK) during an event in Bali earlier this month.
He said 7 million domestic travelers and 3 million foreigners visited Bali annually, offering vast business opportunities.

Muliaman said Islamic-based tourism was not only developed in Arab countries. Southeast Asian countries have also developed it, such as Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.
Thailand was recognized as the world's best Islamic health destination at a recent event in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, he said (JakartaPost)

1,100 Japanese tourists visiting Indonesia

As many as 1,100 Japanese visitors, including businessmen, parliamentarians and government officials, have just arrived in Jakarta, as an evidence of cooperation on the visa-free policy between Indonesia and Japan.

The Japanese tourists are being led by the chairman of the Indonesia-Japan Parliamentary League, Toshihiro Nikai, Foreign Affairs Minister Retno LP Marsudi told ANTARA News here.

According to the minister, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) was scheduled to have a get together with these 1,100 Japanese tourists at a reception in Jakarta on Monday evening (Nov. 23).

The visit is aimed at increasing the people exchange programs between the two countries.

Indonesia has issued a policy which offers visa free facility to people in 75 countries for a short term visit to Indonesia.

Under the new policy, Indonesia offers a visa free facility for short term visits to those from South Africa, Algeria, the United States, Angola, Argentina, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, the Netherlands, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, Ghana, Hungary, India, Britain, Ireland, Island, Italy, Japan, and Germany.

Also, Canada, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan Croatia, South Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Maldives, Malta, Mexico, Egypt, Monaco, Norway, Oman, Panama, Papua New Guinea, France, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, China, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, New Zealand, Seychelles, Cyprus, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Timor Leste, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Vatican, Venezuela, Jordan, and Greece. (Antara)


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