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THE OUDSTAD: RELIVE NOSTALGIC COLONIAL DAYS IN SEMARANG OLD TOWN

Tawang Train Station (mapio.net)
Java's north-coast port of Semarang is the capital of the province of Central Java Province, a city blessed with an alluring atmosphere, bearing witness of diverse cultural heritage from those who had played their part in its precious history.
Here the Middle East and Gujarat heritage radiate strongly from the Pekojan – Kauman district, the chinese ancestors who came and settled in Semarang left some of their most oriental legacies in the alleys of Kranggan area, otherwise known today as Pecinan or Chinatown.

In another quarter, The European touch brought by the Dutch during the colonial era remains carved in the buildings at Jl. Letnan Jenderal Soeprapto Street, Tanjung Masarea in a complex known as The Oudstad or the Old Town, a Dutch colonial heritage site not unlike the area in Jakarta called the Old Batavia.

Taken from the old Dutch language, the Oudstad is sometimes referred to as 'Little Netherlands' that has been included in UNESCO's World Heritage Tentative List (http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/6011/). Semarang's Old Town is recognized as one of the best preserved colonial cities with remarkable testimony of important historical timelines in history – with particular reference to economic, political and social aspects in South East Asia and the World. Established in the 18th century when Indonesia was a Dutch colony, its location is currently separated from the more modern residential districts.

At the heart of this quarter is the elegant Gereja Blenduk or Blenduk Church, meaning the Domed Church. This is the oldest Protestant church in Central Java. Surrounding Blenduk Church, are over 50 well-maintained colonial buildings in the Old Town complex, displaying distinct 18th century European architecture.
The Old Town is also popular for those looking for antiques and vintage items like old gramophones, Dutch coins, old telephones, typewriters and the like, for here is also the Antique market.
Source: hellosemarang.com
Also near here is the Tawang Train Station that stil in use until today, connecting cities along the north coast of Java, from Jakarta in the west all the way to Surabaya in the east.

Right at the heart of the complex, at the Old Town's intersection between jalan Glatik Street, Jalan Garuda Street, and the main Jalan Letjen Suprapto Street is an iconic spot frequently appearing on photographs. Rows of antique buildings in their original state decorated by 'becak' traditional trishawslining the street, perfectly portray the classic ambience of the complex.
Stepping into the Oudstad, visitors will definitely be taken back in time into a 200 years' nostalgic trip.
It all started at first with the establishment of the VOC fort that was constructed along the Semarang riverbank. The fort has five bastions, so that it is popularly known as De Vijfhoek or the Five Corners bastion. When the fortified wall was demolished in 1824, a modern commercial business area rose at the site. The Industrial Revolution also triggered acceleration in the development of the region.

Simultaneous with the opening of investments for foreign private firms, this ex-fort area became crowded with commercial activities that included the loading and unloading of goods. The site came to be dominated by office buildings, warehouses, stores, banks, and foreign consulates. Infrastructure development also received attention, such as the widening of the Semarang riverbanks, the construction of a new harbor, and establishment of a reliable transportation system for the public and for goods. Slowly but surely, the city began to expand, and along with it, further development shifted to the southern section of the city, so that the former fortress region came to be known as the Old Town or de Oudstad.

Today, Semarang Old Town has become a definite favorite stop on the tour of Semarang , especially for cruise ships calling on the port for passengers to disembark and take a tour to the magnificent Borobudur temple. The area is particularly attractive for Dutch tourists and other Europeans who seek the nostalgic past as lived by their parents and grandparents in the Far East of yore.

Related articles : 
 1. Discover Semarang’s Unique Views, Museums, Seafood and Cafes 
 2. Semarang Attractions not to be missed 
 3. Mangrove of Maerokoco: The Photogenic Eco Tourism Destination in Semarang, Central Java 
 4. Homey Homestays in Yogyakarta and Magelang, Central Java

Semarang hotels

Barack Obama and family enjoys rafting on Ayung River, Bali

Former US President Barack Obama and family in Ayung River, Bongkasa Village, Badung Regency, Bali, Senin (26/6/2017). (ANTARA FOTO/Wira Suryantala)
Former US president Barack Obama enjoyed rafting down the Ayung River, which is a popular tourist spot in Bali, Indonesia.

Barack and Michelle Obama, along with their daughters Sasha and Malia, arrived at Banjar Dinas Karang Dalem I, Bongkasa Pertiwi Village, Abiansemal Sub-district, Badung District, at 11 am local time on Monday.

The location is a starting point for the rafting expedition.

Several police and military officers secured the site.

Obama was spotted wearing a white T-shirt, sunglasses, a red velvet jacket, and a yellow helmet.

On the occasion, Michelle and her daughters were spotted paddling down the Ayung River.

The rafting ended at the rear side of the Four Seasons Hotel in Sayan Village, Ubud, a hotel near the Ayung River, where Obama and his family are staying.

Obama and his family had earlier visited the Agung Rai Museum of Arts in Ubud and the Jatiluwih rice fields.

The family took a walk through the lush green Jatiluwih rice terrace, a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization World Heritage. (Antara)

All Indonesian Muslims in Lebaran festive mood

Muslims in Indonesia seem to be in a festive mood of Eid al Fitr, better known as Idul Fitri or Lebaran celebration.

The aura of the holiday spirit can now be felt in the Greater Jakarta areas where the normally congested streets are pleasantly deserted, and one can actually take a deep breath without inhaling a lungful of pollution.

Muslims in Indonesia, who account for nearly 90 percent of the countrys population, are celebrating Lebaran on July 25-26 this year.

During this time, the capital city of Jakarta reveals itself as a friendly city, with wide, tree-lined avenues where pedestrians can stroll on the pavements without the risk of being hit by a motorbike.

The prevailing custom of Lebaran in Indonesia is one of the largest temporary human migrations observed globally when workers return to their hometowns to celebrate with their families and relatives and to seek forgiveness from parents, in-laws, and other elders.

Such a mass exodus, or homecoming, is known in Indonesia as "mudik," which is an annual tradition wherein the people living in major cities, such as Greater Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, and elsewhere, travel to their hometowns to meet their relatives.

Early on Sunday morning, mosques in Jakarta and elsewhere were packed with thousands of worshipers performing Eid al Fitr prayers and then listen to sermons, focused on unity and integrity, goodness, social spirit, and many more positive things.

The Idul Fitri prayer service at the Istiqlal mosque in Jakarta was started at 7 am on Sunday with the presence of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), Vice President Jusuf Kalla, and other state officials.

Also present at the Idul Fitri prayer service at Southeast Asias largest mosque with the capacity of 120,000 people were also thousands of Muslims from all corners of the state capital city of Jakarta.

In his Idul Fitri sermon at Jakartas Istiqlal moaque, Prof. Quraish Shihab preached on "Idul Fitri and the Spirit of Strengthening the Unity and Integrity."

Quraish Shihab gave some advice on unity for Muslims both as individuals and in society.

"The unity of the human self consists of the spirit and the body. The unification of the soul and body makes the man intact so that there is no separation between faith and practice, neither feeling nor behavior, deeds with morality, idealism with reality, and these are all complementary parts," Shihab remarked.

In the meantime, Peoples Consultative Assembly (MPR) Vice Chairman Hidayat Nur Wahid in his Idul Fitri sermon at Nurul Hidayah Grand Moaque in Bintaro, South Jakarta, said all the goodness during the holy month of Ramadan must continue to be practiced, although the fasting month has ended.

Hidayat said that even though Ramadan is over, the relationship and efforts to spread goodness must continue to be done. (Antara)

Obama arrives in Bali

Obama dan Michelle Obama (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
Former United States president Barack Obama arrived in Bali on Friday evening for a family vacation. His Gulfstream G-V N50JE aircraft landed at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali at 6.52 p.m. local time, or a bit late from its initial schedule of 5.55 p.m.

Wearing a blue T-shirt, blue jeans and white sneakers, Obama was seen relaxed and smiling when he embarked from the plane, witnesses reported. Meanwhile, former First Lady Michelle Obama, who wore a white T-shirt and blue jeans walked by his side. Obama's daughters, Malia and Sasha, also joined the vacation.

Journalists did not have access to cover Obama's arrival at the airport as requested by the former US president's advance team.
Only four officials welcomed Obama at Ngurah Rai Airport, namely Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika, Ngurah Rai Military Air Force Base commander Col. I Wayan Superman, 9th regional military command (Kodam IX) Udayana commander Maj. Gen. Komarudin Simanjuntak and Denpasar Police chief Sr. Comr. Hadi Purnomo, who represented Bali Police chief Insp. Gen. Petrus Reinhard Golose

Obama left Ngurah Rai Airport for Ubud at 7.17 p.m., with an VVIP escort comprising Indonesian Military and National Police personnel and his advance team.

Arie Ahsanurrohin, communications and legal head of state airport operator Angkasa Pura I at I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport, said clearance processes by the airport’s Customs and Immigration authorities took too long.

“In line with standard operating procedures, customs officers must check all luggage. It took time," Arie said.

Obama briefly engaged in small talk with local officials welcoming him. Obama and his family also posed for photos with the officials before leaving the airport.
Arie said Obama’s arrival did not affect the airport’s flight schedules. Obama will vacation in Bali until June 28, then head to Yogyakarta and Jakarta. (JakartaPost)

Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan

Surrounded by lush tropical valleys by Ayung River, the Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan 
Address:  Sayan, 80571 Ubud, Indonesia


presents an outdoor pool, four dining options and a gym. Guests can indulge in pampering treatments at the spa. Free valet parking service is provided.


Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayang is a 10-minute drive from Ubud Palace and Ubud Art Market, and Monkey Forest is a 15-minute drive away. It takes 90 minutes by car to reach the resort from Ngurah Rai International Airport.

The luxuriously furnished suites and villas each feature a dining area, sitting area with plush sofas, and a private terrace with views of the greenery. Amenities include a safe, flat-screen satellite TV and ironing facilities. Each bedroom has a walk-in closet and a private bathroom with free bath amenities.
Guests enjoy the convenience of on-site business center, currency exchange and vehicle rental services. The staff at the tour desk can assist with sightseeing arrangements, hiking or cycling trips. A library and a kid’s club are available at the resort



Ayung Terrace specializes in Indonesian cuisine, and Jati Bar serves cocktails and light meals. At Riverside Café, guests can enjoy western delicacies for lunch and dinner. In-room dining is possible through room service. 


This is our guests' favorite part of Ubud, according to independent reviews.
This property also has one of the top-rated locations in Ubud! Guests are happier about it compared to other properties in the area.

We speak your language!

Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan has been welcoming Booking.com guests since Sept 30, 2013
Hotel Chain: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts 



Former US president Obama to arrive on Bali this afternoon

Four Seasons Hotel at Sayan, Ubud
Former US president Barack Obama is scheduled to arrive on Bali this afternoon to start a five-day vacation with his family on the resort island. Obama's aircraft will be arriving at the Bali airport at 5:55 p.m. from Guam.
Ngurah Rai Military Air Base commander Col. I Wayan Superman said standard VVIP security measures would be enforced during the landing of Obama's aircraft at the airport.
“There will be no airport closure [for other flights]. However, we will give priority to his plane," Superman said. 
Superman said that he had coordinated with the advance US team, which indicated that Obama had refused the offer of any special treatment during his visit.
Superman said the Indonesian authorities would ensure Obama’s arrival would have minimal impact on other flights at the airport. 
Obama will come with his wife Michelle Obama, their daughters Malia and Sasha, and other Obama family members. He will also bring several special security staff members with him. 
From the airport, Obama will go straight to the Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan, Ubud where he will be staying. The five-star hotel offers a green view over rice fields inside the hotel complex. The hotel restaurant also offers a view over the Ayung River. (JakartaPost)

6 INSTAGRAMMABLE LANDMARKS IN MEDAN

Source: Infohotel.co
Medan, the capital city of North Sumatra Province, is rich in diversity of cultures. Through the centuries, thousands of merchants from China, India, the Middle East, the Malay Peninsula, Singapore and Europe have come to the city to trade and where many settled down, each bringing their own culture. The assimilation of these cultures has created a lively diverse city, as well as fascinating legacies in architecture and culinary heritage.

The city has many distinguished landmarks sculpted with meticulous details and marvelous artworks. Here, you will easily find old buildings standing right next to sleek modern constructions.

Below is a glimpse of the colorful spirit you will find in Medan’s city center:

1. The Maimoon Palace
Built by Sultan Ma’mun Al Rashid Perkasa Alamsyah in 1887-1891, the palace has a total of 30 rooms on its 2,772 sqm land. However, only one main room is open for public, which is the throne room. Its architectural style is a cultural-mix of Malay, Islamic and Moghal heritage. While its interior design takes a more Spanish-Italian ambience. Take pictures of yourself wearing traditional royal Malay Deli costume or sit on the throne of the Sultan and His Queen. The Royal collection of jewelry, antiques and gifts presented by other countries’ royal leaders are also on display here. Address: Jl. Brigjen Katamso, Medan

2.Al Mashun Grand Mosque
Source:ucokmedan.com
This grand mosque is located on a busy street in Medan. The mosque was built in 1906-1909, during the reign of Sultan Ma’mun Al Rasyid Perkasa Alam of the Deli Sultanate. Surrounded by an extensive garden, the architectural style of the main building is a combination of Middle Eastern, Moghal and Spanish influence. It is built in an octagonal shape and has four wings to its south, east, north and west. The mosque was built based on the strictest orders given by the Sultan: that it should be grander than his own grand palace – the Maimoon Palace. An elegant structure with intricate details on the exterior and interior design, this is surely a place you need to visit. Address: Medan 20218, Indonesia  

3. Tjong A Fie Mansion
Source:royhanza25.blogspot.co.id
Visiting this mansion will make you feel immediately transported back in history. Every furniture and accessory in this mansion are arranged exactly as if the mansion is still inhabited by its owner. Located in downtown Medan, the building has a combination of Chinese, Malay and Art-Deco influences. The mansion continues to be well preserved among the surrounding modern structures . Tjong A Fie was a Chinese merchant who tried to find better fortune in the city that is today know as Medan. He rose to become a wealthy entrepreneur, a respected leader and philanthropist. With beautiful carvings, ornaments, antiques and artworks, this mansion was dedicated to his beloved wife. Here’s a fun fact: Tjong A Fie is among the three personalities who financed the construction of the Al Mashun Grand Mosque. Address: Jln. A. Yani 105, Medan 20111  

4. Graha Maria Annai Velangkanni
Source:parokisantopetrus.com
A magnificent structure with intricate façade, The Maria Shrine at Graha Maria Annai Velangkanni is dedicated to the blessed Mother Mary. It was built in 2001-2005. You may well mistake it for a Hindu temple or perhaps a mosque because of its ornamentation and domes. Father James Barathaputra, SJ was the originator of the idea to build this one-of-a-kind Catholic Church. His vision was to make this a sanctuary for people who seek peace, solace, healing and divinity. Address: Jl. Sakura III no. 10 Tanjung Selamat, Medan, Indonesia

 5. Sri Mariamman Temple
Source:justgola.com
This temple was built in 1884 by young Tamil donors named Gurdhuara Sahib and Sami Rangga Naiher. Located at Kampung Madras area (also known as Medan’s Little India), it is the oldest Hindu temple in Medan. It was built to worship Goddess Mariamman and is devoted to the Hindu Gods Ganesha and Murugan. its architectural style was taken from Hindu temples found in South India and Sri Lanka. It is ornamented with vivid colors, statues and beautiful carvings. The temple’s prayer room is closed on Saturdays, but the courtyard is always open on any other day. Address: Jln. Teuku Umar no. 18, Medan 20112, Indonesia

6. Maha Vihara Maitreya
Source:infohotel.co
Being the largest Buddhist temple in Medan, it prides itself with the slogan of “One World One Family”. Built in 1991 on a piece of land covering 4,5 hectares, it was inaugurated in 2008. You can find huge statues around the premise, but unfortunately taking photographs of some of them is prohibited. The interior is graceful and simple, dedicated for devotees to perform silent solemn worship, following the teachings of Maitreya Buddha. The temple has also a playground for kids to play and a souvenir shop. It is strategically located in a housing complex where you can find abundant choice of delicious food and beverages to enjoy after a long day exploring the city. Address: Jl. Cemara Boulevard Utara no. 8, Kompleks Cemara Asri, Desa Sampali Percut Sei Tuan, Medan,20371

There you have it, the colorful nuances of Instagrammable architectural sights to be found in Medan. Get ready to snap them as an inseparable part of your memorable journey to North Sumatra!(Indonesia.travel)

Over two million Chinese tourists to visit Indonesia in 2017

Jakarta (Indonesia.travel)
The number of Chinese tourists visiting Indonesia is estimated to reach more than 2 million tourists in 2017, an official said.

Charge dAffaires of the Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China in Jakarta Sun Weide said here on Tuesday that the tourism cooperation between Indonesia and China continues to grow. The Chinese Embassy has recorded around 560,000 Chinese tourists to have visited Indonesia during the first three months of this year.

"The number of Chinese tourists visiting Indonesia is estimated to reach more than two million this year," Sun Weide said in a press conference followed by an iftar at the Chinese Embassy in Jakarta.

Last year, 1.45 million Chinese tourists had visited Indonesia. The number was the second largest after Singapores with 1,47 million tourists. It is estimated that the visiting Chinese tourists had contributed around two billion US dollars of foreign exchange to Indonesia last year, he said.

Cooperation in the tourism sector between Indonesia and China has been robust, he said. On the same day, delegation from Guizhou Province of China held a conference to promote its tourism potential in Jakarta.
Ren Xiang Sheng, Guizhou Provincial Secretary in southwestern China, said the increased cooperation in the fields of tourism and culture has become part of efforts to strengthen Chinas One Belt and One Road (Obor) initiative.

In 2016, more than one million tourists had visited Guizhou, a region dotted with picturesque mountain in China. Out of one million visiting tourists, 128,000 were Indonesians. Indonesian Ministry of Tourism has estimated that the number of Chinese tourists visiting Indonesia will reach 2.4 million in 2017, surpassing Singaporeans who were estimated to top around 2.275 million in the same year. Achieving its 12 million tourist visit target in 2016, Indonesia has set a target to attract 15 million tourist in 2017.(Antara)

Wonderful Indonesia Video | Manado - Bunaken National Park


Bunaken is an 8.08 km² island in the Bay of Manado, situated in the north of the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia. Bunaken forms part of the administrative city of Manado, capital of North Sulawesi. The marine Park around Bunaken is part of the National Park that also includes the ocean around the island of Manado Tua, Siladen and Mantehage. 

 

In the Bunaken Marine Park, you will encounter a real “mermaid”, and you can also get a glimpse of sea life. Within the Bunaken Marine Park, visitors can see various strange and colourful marine life along its sea bed. To reach this park, you can take a motorboat. The journey from Manado takes around 40 minutes.

The translucent waters of the Bunaken seas enable people to clearly view numerous sea biota. There are 13 species of coral reefs in this park, dominated by edge ridges and block ridges of rocks. The most attractive view is the steep vertical sloppy coral reef that plunges down as deep as 25-50 meters. Feast your eyes on 91 types of fish found in the Bunaken National Park, amongst which are the locally known Gusimi Horse Fish (Hippocampus), the White Oci (Seriola rivoliana), Yellow-Tailed Lolosi (Lutjanus kasmira), Goropa (Ephinephelus spilotoceps and Pseudanthias hypselosoma), Ila Gasi (Scolopsis bilineatus) and others. Divers may also meet mollusk like the Giant Kima (Tridacna gigas), Goat Head (Cassis cornuta), Nautilus (Nautilus pompillius) and Tunikates/Ascidian.

For those who enjoy scuba diving, this is a great place to be. With about 20 dive spots to choose from, divers will have the chance to swim below the sea, and frolic joyfully while admiring the sea creatures. Most diving takes place near Bunaken and Manado Tua, because of the many excellent sites. 

The following are representative of dive spots in the area.Lekuan Walls (I, II, III)This long wall at Bunaken is divided into three sites: the Lekuan I, II and III. Together they are the park's best.
Steep walls are marked with deep crevices, sea fans and giant sponges. The shallows are filled with fishes. The wall, often protected from stronger currents, is frequented by bumphead parrotfish, turtles, and Napoleon wrasses. You can also explore the island on foot or you can take a boat to move from one dive site to the other Just walking around the beach is already a most enjoyable experience. (Indonesia.travel)

Grand Luley Manado

Address: Jalan Tongkaina, Kecamatan Bunaken, 95000 Manado, Indonesia
Show on map – great location
Deluxe Room Garden View  Today's Price: 👉Rp 960,000



The 4-star Grand Luley Resort offers spacious accommodation and features an outdoor pool.

Each room has large windows and great views of the landscape. They are well-equipped with private bathroom facilities, air conditioning and a safe. There is also a minibar and a cable TV.


Grand Luley Resort is located across Bunaken Island, a 35-minute drive from the city centre. Sam Ratulangi International Airport is a 45-minute drive away.



Grand Luley Resort provides services such as tour and diving arrangement, car rental facilities and free WiFi in the entire hotel.

This property also has one of the top-rated locations in Manado! Guests are happier about it compared to other properties in the area. 


Couples in particular like the location – they rated it 9 for a two-person trip.

This property is also rated for the best value in Manado! Guests are getting more for their money when compared to other properties in this city. 


We speak your language!
Grand Luley Manado has been welcoming Booking.com guests since Nov 24, 2010