Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Five less crowded beaches

Pristine, castaway beaches are abundant across the Indonesian archipelago, but many of them are remotely inaccessible.

The Jakarta Post Travel chooses five beaches not far from popular tourist destinations that will give you a sense of being on a secret beach.

Pulang Burung, Belitung The island is famous for its granite rock formations on Tanjung Tinggi beach, but it’s getting more crowded due to local residents and tourists, especially during sunset. Escape via a 20-minute boat ride from Tanjung Kelayang to Pulau Burung (Bird Island). There is almost nobody on the island except tourists from the mainland. The unique formation of giant granites surrounds the main beach. Its long dreamy white sand with calm turquoise water puts the island on a par with the Seychelles, or even the Maldives. There are lots of colorful starfish along the coast, something that makes this island unique compared to the others.

Peucang Island, Ujung Kulon The island is located in Ujung Kulon National Park in Banten province, famous for its almost extinct Javanese Rhino. To reach the island, you have to take a three-hour boat ride from Sumur village, near Tanjung Lesung (a four-hour drive from Jakarta). Once you reach the island, you will understand why it is the closest unspoiled paradise to Jakarta. The beach is a small part of the wildlife reserve, dominated by a tropical forest ecosystem. It faces the main island of Java, protected by a cape, so there are almost no big waves touching the long coastline. While lying on its perfectly white, powdery sand, you will not only see many sand creatures, but also deer, monkeys, or even wild hogs.  

Bias Tugal Beach, Bali Bias Tugal Beach is located a mere 100 meters from Padang Bai harbor - one of the busiest in Bali. On both sides of the harbor stand tall cliffs that block most of the mess and noise made at the harbor. The beach is hidden by the harbor’s western cliff. Surrounding cliffs serve as natural barriers to this 100-meter long coastline. To reach the beach, take a right turn at the harbor from the main road and turn right when you see a welcoming sign saying “Polisi Teman Masyarakat”. The road goes uphill and there’s a left turn at the first intersection leading to a paved road that eventually ends. Bias Tugal is still lacking paved road access. A short but arduous trek gets you to the beach, well worth it once the white sands appear. The beach has no sharp coral or big rocks, and rustic shacks provide quick fixes of coconut water or perhaps a massage. The water is perfect for swimming as the current is gentle save for the occasional big waves, and it is almost immediately of swimming depth, so bring a snorkel if possible.

Dream Beach, Nusa Lembongan You will most probably arrive in Nusa Lembongan at Mushroom Bay. Go further to the south until the end of the road, where you will find a secluded beach under a cliff. The cliff occupies an eco resort with the same name, Dream Beach Resort, but the beach is free to the public. It is a typical southern Balinese beach, where the sand is golden and the water is turquoise with occasionally big waves, only much less crowded. The beach is not ideal for swimming because of the current and coral, but it is perfect for sunbathing.  

Sepanjang Beach, Yogyakarta Yogyakarta, commonly known as a center of arts and culture, also has some beautiful beaches in its Gunung Kidul regency. From downtown Yogyakarta, take the road to Piyungan district and keep going to Karangmojo and Tanjungsari district. As you go south, the road becomes steeper and more challenging. On the other side of the hills lies your destination: pristine, beautiful white sand beaches flanking azure water filled with marine life. Sepanjang Beach is located in Kemadang village. With a very long coastline, white sand and crystal clear water, this beach is often called the “Kuta of the past”, referring to the original beauty of Kuta Beach in Bali before it became overrun with tourists. (JakartaPost)

Ubud Jazz Festival August 8-9, 2014

The Ubud Jazz Festivalreturns to Ubud August 8-9, 2014 sponsored by BRI Bank.

“Awakening Indonesia” has been adopted as the theme of the Ubud Jazz Festival that will see national and international stars take to the stage.

This year’s festival will also include an important educational element, presented in cooperation with The Dutch Jazz Summer School form South Korea. From August 3-8, 40 participants will follow a jazz school held in Ubud.

The “Jazz Camp” will offer 6 course of study including guitar, drum, piano, double bass, vocal and wind instruments with special focus sessions on music theory and jam session performance.

Advance sales tickets can be purchased on line from the Festival’s website.

Among the jazz performers slated to appear at Ubud Jazz festival 2014 are Gilad Hekselman Trio (USA), Dian Pratiwi and Uwe Plath (Germany), Astrid Sulaiman and Yuri Mahatma Trio (Bali), Balawan BID Trio, Rio Sidik, The GAPPProject. Feat Dave Barlow (Australia- Indonesia), Dwiki Dharmawan (Indonesia), Erica Tucceri (Australia (Bali), Ben van den Dungen Quartet (Holland), Deborah Carter (Holland), Endo Seiji (Japan) and Chika Asamoto (Japan-Bali).

The Ubud Jazz Festival traces its roots to 2010 when the first even was held.

Ubud Jazz Festival Website

© Bali Discovery Tours. Articles may be quoted and reproduced if attributed to http://www.balidiscovery.com.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Toraja International Festival 2014: Reinventing the Sacred Highland

The Indonesian Archipelago forms an important part in the history of human civilization in Asia. A number of scientists even speculate that it is here where civilization of modern man  began. Traces of these ancient human civilizations are embedded in the megalithic culture of Tana Toraja inSouth Sulawesi Province and will be unveiled to the world at the Toraja International Festival 2014,  scheduled to take place from 8th to 10th August 2014, at the Sa’adan Village, at Rantepao, Tana Toraja Regency.

Carrying the theme “Reinventing the Sacred Highland”, the festival intends to re-discover the sacred beauty of the “Land of the Heavenly Kings” and celebrate the extraordinary megalithic culture of Tana Toraja.  

The festival will commence on 8th August 2014 with a colossal performance of Opera Toraja. The opera will involve musicians, dancers, acrobats, actors, and other artists from Indonesia and from abroad. On the  9th and 10th August, the festival will continue with musical performances featuring Tana Toraja’s own musicians as well as  national and international performers. The festival will  be highlighted with an exhibition of Toraja’s variety of authentic hand-woven fabrics. There will also be a coffee corner where people can enjoy the world- renowned Toraja Coffee, and a seminar  held on the role of youth in local culture and tourism development.

This year the festival  has invited distinguished guests from England, the United States of America, Zimbabwe, and Korea.

"Discovered" and opened to the world from their long isolation only since the beginning of the last century,  Toraja ethnic group today still adheres to their age-old beliefs, rituals and traditions, although many of her people are modernized or have embraced Christianity. Toraja is most well known for its elaborate funeral ceremonies that can take days and involve entire villages. These are not only moments for mourning but are moreover events to renew family ties and to ensure continued unity among villages and communities.

To reach Toraja you must  first fly to Makassar, capital of South Sulawesi Province. There are multiple daily flights to Makassar from Jakarta, Bali and other parts of Indonesia. Garuda Indonesia also flies to Makassar from Singapore.  Then you must drive by car or bus to  Toraja, The journey takes over 8 hours. If you plan to attend this unique Festival it is best to book your hotel well in advance.  (Indonesia.travel)

Toraja Festival 2013:

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Garuda Indonesia won the "World's Best Cabin Staff" award

Having received the title of "The World's Best Regional Airline" in 2012 and "The World's Best Economy Class" in 2013, Indonesia’s flag carrier, Garuda Indonesia was again awarded "The World's Best Cabin Staff" by renowned flights reviewer, Skytrax, on Tuesday, 15th July 2014.

The award is based on a global customer satisfaction survey conducted by Skytrax of more than 18 million passengers during the period between August 2013 and May 2014. In this survey, Garuda Indonesia managed to outrank Hong Kong’s  Cathay Pacific Airways and Singapore Airlines, in terms of cabin staff performance.

In addition to the award for World's Best Cabin Staff , Garuda Indonesia was also nominated in several other categories for the World Airline Awards, including:  Best Business Class Comfort Amenities, Best First Class Comfort Amenities, Best Airline Staff Service in Asia, World's Best Economy Class, and The World's Best Airline.

The award was handed to Garuda Indonesia CEO, Emirsyah Satar, by  CEO of Skytrax, Edward Plaisted, at the Farnborough International Airshow 2014, - the biggest air show in the world -  in London, England.

"Being awarded The World's Best Cabin Staff 2014 is certainly an honor for all of Garuda's dedicated employees - and in particular our cabin crew, who are wholeheartedly committed to the advancement of Garuda Indonesia and have embraced the challenge together to achieve the level of Service of Excellence" stated Emirsyah Satar as reported by antaranews.com.

“I believe that this award will serve as further inspiration for Garuda and her employees to remain committed and further improve themselves, just as it will also, as a firm, mark another milestone in recognition of the sustained development which we have continued to make over recent years, not only in terms of services, but also throughout all aspects of our company", added Emirsyah.

In 2009 Garuda Indonesia introduced its distinctive service, the "Garuda Indonesia Experience", which is a service concept based on Indonesia's rich cultural heritage. This unique service blends the country's warm and gracious hospitality as well as its unique atmosphere with the airline's professional service, which places priority in safety and comfort. By offering products and services based on Indonesian culture and hospitality, the Indonesian passengers travelling abroad can feel themselves at home during their flight on Garuda Indonesia, while foreign visitors can feel the hospitality and nuances that are uniquely Indonesia, even before they arrive in the country.

Sources: antaranews, indonesia.travel

8th edition of the Bali MICE Guide available

The 8th Edition of the Bali Meeting Guide – also known as the Bali MICE Guide – is now available.

Printed in 12,500 copies and available soon in an on-line edition, the Bali Meeting Guide is the only comprehensive guide for decision makers in the meeting, conference, incentive and exhibition marketplace (MICE).

Bali MICE Guide contains detailed technical data on hotels and venues in Bali. The latest edition also presents a user's guides on recent improvements in the Island’s infrastructure, including the newly renovated Bali International Airport, the Mandara Toll Road and the Dewa Ruci Underpass.

The book is distributed without charge to qualified decision makers in the MICE industry. 

Apply on to qualify for a copy of the Bali MICE Guide 8th Edition

For more information : Email Bali Mice Guide

© Bali Discovery Tours. Articles may be quoted and reproduced if attributed to http://www.balidiscovery.com.

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