Beauty, Balinese style

The Ritz-Carlton Bali Resort & Spa is an iconic destination of this tropical island, accented by the charming traditions and beauty of Balinese landscape and the sparkling Indian Ocean.

Oceanfront view

The 78 luxury oceanfront and ocean view private villas, 219 guest rooms and 71 club rooms and suites comprise the resort’s 368-room accommodation, situated on 77 hectares of verdant greenery. Guests can choose between European seawater therapies and traditional Balinese health, rejuvenation and beauty treatments.

The spa has one of the world’s largest aqua tonic seawater pools, state-of-the-art hydrotherapy treatment rooms and spacious private villas.

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Indonesia's finest

Peter Sellars explains why the future of film lies in Java.

With the passing of artists like Bergman and Antonioni, who will be among the great names of world cinema for a new generation? Garin Nugroho is a name that is definitely going to be on that list. His are works that, like Bergman's and Antonioni's, are made in the spirit of the artist, with no apologies; taking the highest that art has to offer, and in so doing transforming the language of cinema itself.

Nugroho is Indonesia's leading film-maker, creating a new level of artistic and political interest in Indonesian film. We in New Crowned Hope (the arts festival celebrating Mozart's 250th birthday) were looking for film-makers who could make films that were content-rich and at the same time were real works of art. Garin Nugroho seemed the obvious artist to make a film for New Crowned Hope, and Opera Jawa is that film.

Gunung Bromo

Mount Bromo also Gunung Bromo, located in the Tengger Caldera, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in East Java, Indonesia. It is an active volcano and part of the Tengger massif, and even though at 2329 meters it is not the highest peak of the massif, it is the most well known.

According to a local folk tale, at the end of the 15th century princess Roro Anteng from the Majapahit Empire started a separate principality together with her husband Joko Seger. They named it Tengger by the last syllables of their names. The principality did prosper, but the ruling couple failed to conceive children. In their despair they climbed Mount Bromo to pray to the gods, who granted them help, but requested the last child to be sacrificed to the gods. They had 24 children, and when the 25th and last child Kesuma was born Roro Anteng refused to do the sacrifice as promised. The gods then threatened with fire and brimstone, until she finally did the sacrifice. After the child was thrown into the crater, the voice of the child ordered the local people to perform an annual ceremony on the volcano, which is not held today.

Source: Wikipedia
Photo Gallery: Pbase
Travelogue: Volcano Sunrise
Satellite photo: Earth Observatory
Tours: Google search

Aston Sudirman Hotel Opens Online Reservation with Instant Confirmation and Best Rates for Guests

The luxury of the 5-star Aston Sudirman Hotel in Jakarta now extends to its reservation process with the launching of a booking system offering payment-guaranteed reservations with instant confirmation and best rates.

This new service is easily accessed at, and since prospective guests can now reserve direct with the hotel they are assured that their transactions and personal information are protected.

The booking system displays 14 days of real-time room availability with the lowest possible online rates, allowing guests to select rooms based on their tastes and budgets. For reservation guarantees, they need only make a 10% deposit payment, which will be deducted from the total room cost. An automated e-mail will be sent immediately as confirmation and record of transaction.

12th century Buddhist sculptures found in Indonesian cave

An Indonesian cave used for meditation by Buddhist priests in the 12th century contains previously undiscovered sculptures depicting the spiritual journey of Buddha, a religious leader said Wednesday.

The sprawling cave — a reminder of the rich Buddhist past in the world's most populous Muslim nation — was discovered more than two decades ago near Jireg village in East Java province.

But it had never been thoroughly explored because of its remote and difficult-to-reach location, said Dhamma Subho Mahathera of Shangha Theravada Indonesia — the country's largest Buddhist organization — who visited the site on Aug. 12.

"As far as I know it is the only Buddhist cave in the world for meditation of Buddhist priests," Mahathera said. "There are reliefs representing four levels of meditations, from Sutatana to Arahata."

The sculptures include depictions of an elephant, cow, monkey, and a lotus — Buddhism's symbol of peace.

Experts seek plan to save rare species

More than 100 experts and officials met in Indonesia on Wednesday to try to draft an action plan to save Sumatran elephants and tigers threatened with extinction.

Satellite images show large areas of lowland tropical forests, the primary habitat for elephants and tigers, have been cleared on Sumatra island mainly due to farming and logging, the WWF conservation group said.

Between 1990 and 2000, a total of eight million hectares of lowland forests have been lost to development, the group said.

Shrinking habitats have led to conflicts with humans, resulting in the deaths of 42 people and 100 elephants between 2002 and 2007, said the group.

WWF said Sumatran elephants in Indonesia had declined approximately 35 percent over the past 15 years, from 2 800-5 000 in 1992 to 2 400-2 800 animals in 2007.

Responsible Tourism in Bali Recognizes Alila Ubud and Alila Manggis for Practicing Sustainable Tourism.

Bali News: Responsible Tourism in Bali

(12/9/2006) seeks out tourism operators in Asia who demonstrate a "high degree of commitment towards respecting local cultures, benefiting local economies and achieving low environmental impacts."

Supported by the British Government's Global Opportunities Fund and the Langkawi Development Authority, Wild Asia is a Malaysian-based think-tank that specializes in supporting conservation initiatives in Asia. It runs programs promoting conservation in tourism, forestry, and plantations.

Bringing special recognition to Bali were the Alila Manggis and Alila Ubud who came to the selection committee's attention for their deep and abiding respect Bali, its culture, people and environment.

Winners of the Wild Asia award are resorts that focus on making sure that wastewater is not discharged from their resorts. Suppliers are compelled to reduce wasteful packaging practices and utilize local products to help create employment and income opportunities for the local community.

Guided by the Balinese philosophy of Tri Hita Karana, the two Bali resorts strive to maintain balance between man, God and the local community. Immersed and deeply in love with the Bali's local culture, the two hotels are major supporters of the East Bali Poverty Project. Religious celebrations are central themes in the life of staff at both Alila properties. Staff also serve as "leisure concierges" escorting guests to local ceremonies. Employees are recruited from the surrounding communities meaning staff spend their careers at the Hotels where turnover is very small.

Commenting on the award, Jork Bosselaar, General Manager of the Alila Manggis said: "being part of something bigger, is the future in leisure travel. And people see that in the little things we do. We try to be as light on nature as possible and integrate with the local community. When they gain, so do we. These are benefits that are hard to quantify."

© Bali Discovery Tours. Articles may be quoted and reproduced if attributed to All images and graphics are copyright protected.

Riau: Foods of admirals Hang Tuah and Hang Lekir

When in South Jakarta, have you ever driven along the streets named Hang Tuah and Hang Lekir in Kebayoran? Coming from farther south, then of course you will pass the streets named after the two famous admirals of the Riau Archipelago and its neighboring Lingga Archipelago.

Hang Tuah and Hang Lekir's people have in a way been thinking globally for a long time. Lying on important east-west trade routes, the neighboring Riau and Lingga archipelagoes have for centuries also been important cultural centers for the Malays. In fact, the Riau Malay language formed the basis of the Bahasa Indonesia we know today.

Source: The Jakarta Post

Kota Tua to be Heritage area

The city administration on Tuesday announced its plan to Designate Kota Tua, or Old Town, in West Jakarta as a heritage area.

Jakarta Governor Sutiyoso earlier said Kota Tua boasted unique landmarks and its its rejuvenation would draw tourists to the city.

"It is also on the busway route, so tourists staying (in hotels) on Jl. Thamrin -Jl. Sudirman can go there by using the busway," he said.

As part of the rejuvenation of Kota Tua, a pedestrian area has been under construction since last year on Jl. Pintu Besar Utara in Central Jakarta.

Vehicles entering the pedestrian area must not exceed the 30 kilometers per hour speed limit.

The project also includes the restoration of areas along the Besar River and the reconstruction of the Amsterdam Gate replica , which is near the puppet and Bahari museums.

Source: The Jakarta Post

Authentic souvernirs wanting at Jakarta tourist attractions

Jakarta may be a city where you can find most things. But when it comes to souvenirs to remind you of your stay, things can get exceptionally difficult.

In the capital cities of neighboring countries, tourism operators and businesspeople have long sold souvenirs such as fridge magnets depicting Kuala Lumpur's Petronas Tower, Manila's shell handicrafts or the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum.

Back home, the souvenir stalls at Jakarta's tourists spots offer little more than poor-quality T-shirts, paper or plastic fans bearing pictures of Nickelodeon cartoon characters and souvenirs from other provinces.

T-shirts decorated with a picture of a bajaj and the word "Batavia" can be bought for Rp 15,000 (about US$1.80) at garment wholesale markets like Pasar Pagi, Mangga Dua.

According to the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), the number of foreign tourists arriving in Jakarta in January 2007 was 92,117, while in December 2006 the number was 104,608. In April it reached 104,081, just 0.05 percent lower than March's figure of 104,133.

Source: The Jakarta Post

Six Javanese Lutungs released into the jungle

At least six Javanese lutung monkeys (Trachipithecus auratus) which had been treated for one to four years at the Animal Rescue Center (PPS) in Petungsewu, Malang, East Java, were released into the Hyang Wildlife Reserve Highland jungle.

Chairman of ProFauna Indonesia Rosek Nursahid said Tuesday that before the six monkeys led by a male called Rama were released, they had undergone a medical therapy, and trained in the PPS in Petungsewu in how to behave their natural habitat when they are back in the jungle.

"They monkeys had been confiscated by offcials of the Natural Resources Conservation Center (BKSDA) of the Ministry of Agriculture from merchants and individual persons of Probolinggo, Yogyakarta and Denpasar and sent to the PPS in Petungsewu," he said here.

He added that the release of the monkeys had the support of the Born Free Foundation, Humane Society International and Profauna Indonesia, Eiger, and artist Melanie Subono.

The Javanese lutungs are endangered animals and under Law no 5 of 1990 on Conservation of Biological Natural Resources and their Ecosystem, the rare animals cannot be traded, and violaters of this law are liable to a maximum of five years in jail and a fine of Rp 100 million.

Nevertheless, he added, these animals were still on sale in various bird markets in Central Java at Rp 150,000 to Rp 250,000 per head, and worse still, their meat were sold in several regions like Banyuwangi, East Java.

He said that the Hyang Wildlife Reserve Highland covers 14.145 hectares of land, is a convervation area most suitable as habitat of the lutungs, and safe from game hunters.

Previously for about one year, a team of the PPS in Petungsewu conducted a scientific survey of the suitability of the Hyang highland to release the rare monkeys.

Indonesia Tourism Seeking Sales at PATA Mart 2007

Record Number of Buyers and Sellers Registered to Attend Major Travel Show in Bali September 25-28, 2007.

Bali News: Indonesia Tourism Seeking Sales at PATA Mart 2007
(8/25/2007) Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik is estimating that US$500 million of travel contracts will be concluded at the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Travel Mart to be held at Nusa Dua September 25-28, 2007. Of that total, Minister Wacik is eying a US$60 million share for Indonesian travel companies.

Speaking to the Indonesian-language Bali Post, Wacik said: "As the host we hope to maximize the number of potential and actual sales. To achieve this Indonesia will showcase all its individual travel products emphasizing our excellent quality, service and price."

The man in charge of tourism in Indonesia lauded PATA Mart as having the potential to bring financial benefit to the Nation while at the same time enhancing the overall image of Indonesia. Wacik also praised the major travel mart as playing a pivotal role in Indonesia's desire to grow its total tourist arrivals.

Record Participation

According to Wacik, over 1,500 travel professionals are expected to attend the Bali travel show with 428 buyers from around the world already registered to come to Bali. They will meet and negotiate travel transactions with 789 sellers from 38 countries who have rented sales stands for the Bali mart to be held at the Bali International Convention Centre.As an added bonus in exposing Indonesian travel to the world, some 49 leading journalists from 19 countries are also registered to be on hand at PATA Mart.

Little Concern with Bird Flu and Travel Warnings

When asked if fears regarding bird flu will threaten the success of the PATA Travel Mart, the Minister discounted the possibility pointing out that no cancellations have been received from either buyers or sellers and that the current total of 423 buyers exceeds the targeted number of 353 buyers by a factor of 20%.

When Indonesia's Director-General of Tourism Marketing, Thamrin B. Bachri, was asked if travel warnings and EU aviation warnings would somehow diminish the success of the major travel event being held in Bali he discounted any negative effect, pointing out that those countries with negative travel warnings for Indonesia numbered delegations in the top ten of all countries participating at PATA Travel Mart

© Bali Discovery Tours. Articles may be quoted and reproduced if attributed to All images and graphics are copyright protected.

The spice of Indonesian life

The Spice Market at Jinan Road, with its combination decor of Southeast Asia, offers a vast assortment of the region's cuisine.

The decor reflects the individual countries as bronze figurines of Buddha, cane mats, natural plants and as the name of the restaurant suggests, a huge bag of a variety of spices placed artistically on the floor, bringing tradition and ethnicity together.

The best part is actually the wall, which is a mirror, and reflects one entire side of the restaurant, thus giving the feeling that it is double the size.

From the choice of Thai, Malay and Indonesian cuisine, we chosethe last one, to get the feel of its aromatic spices and fresh sea food.

Indonesian cuisine has been appreciated worldwide lately because of its health factor; coconut milk, which is used perhaps in every second dish, and traditional aromatic spices like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, galangaland black pepper cool the mind and help with our indigestion.

Source: ChinaDaily

Rumours of secret passage in Indonesia's Marlborough Fortress

In Indonesia, a 17th century fortress could well hold a secret that promises to boost tourist numbers.

Rumours of a mysterious passageway promises to boost tourism in the Indonesian province of Bengkulu.

Its historic Marlborough Fort is believed to be linked by an underground tunnel to three strategic places - the governor's residence, the popular Tapak Paderi beach, and the local branch of the Bank of Indonesia.

The fortress, now the most famous tourist spot in Bengkulu, is a legacy of British occupation of an area once called Bencoolen.

Source: Indosnesos

Mentawai Islands one of the best boat surfing destinations

Average Wave Height: 6 TO 10 feet The Mentawai Islands, off the coast of West Sumatra, are one of the best boat-charter surfing destinations in the world. With an abundance of surf spots and calm conditions, the islands offer very consistent swell from the southern hemisphere during the peak April to October season.

Being smack on the equator, the islands are extremely lush and tropical, and aside from occasional Christian missionaries and loggers over the past century, they are largely pristine.

All of the Mentawai people speak a unique dialect, a proto-Malay language with the more westernized Christians of the coast also speaking the national language of Bahasa Indonesia and a smattering of Aussie-accented English.

Source: Indosnesos

SambaSunda is a spicy cultural mix

The clash of certain atoms can produce unexpected bursts of energy. In the same way, the clash of musical cultures has the power to produce new entities no one could have imagined before.

Bollywood and Latin hip hop are two popular examples of hybrid musical culture. But that's only the tip of the sonic iceberg.

One that should be new to most Torontonians is a mix of dancefloor and gamelan from Indonesia.

On Monday night, SambaSunda crashes the Latin-friendly doors of Lula Lounge with an infectious mix of tradition and modernity rooted in the old cultures of Java, yet influenced by Latin and North America as well.

SambaSunda's Toronto visit is part of Summerworld, a festival of forward-thinking world music evenings running to Thursday at Lula Lounge and Supermarket.

A gamelan band of one- to two-dozen players that germinated in the early 1990s under a variety of different names, SambaSunda has recorded prolifically, gained widespread popularity in Asia, and toured Europe and Australia.

Indonesia unites dozens of vastly different ethnic and religious groups – the biggest three being Javanese, Sundanese and Malay. Located in the mountains on the island of Java, Bandung shares much of its culture with the Indonesian capital city of Jakarta, a 175-km drive toward the Java Sea.

The musical instruments of a gamelan orchestra cross the ethnic boundaries in Java.

Source: TheStar

Bali resorts to spa-ing

THERE are two ways to go about visiting Bali. You can fry on the beach and shuffle around souvenir shops or escape to the pampering spas in the hills around Ubud.

You can fry on the beach and shuffle around souvenir shops, then end the day by adding curries to your waistline and nightclub bags to your eyes.

Or you can escape the tourist concrete to glorious landscapes and village life, get pampered and pummelled into a state of bliss, and finish off the evening afloat in frangipani petals.

If you think Bali is all about rowdy beach holidays, it's time to head to the hills in the beautiful interior of the island, where time moves at an entirely different rhythm to the tourist resorts of the coastline.

In recent years, dozens of spa resorts have opened in and around the inland town of Ubud.

They offer a slower and more sophisticated alternative to the usual beach holiday and are guaranteed to have you feeling fit and fantastic.

Gone are the days when a massage consisted of being prodded by an elderly lady as you lay prone on the Kuta sand.

In Ubud, you recline in the private plunge pool of a hillside villa overlooking the rice paddies. You get massaged by an expert, then drift off in a cocoon wrap that is a heady mix of mango, ginger and ylang-ylang.


Whistler’s Taman Sari Spa introduces Balinese treatments

The Taman Sari Spa in Whistler, BC, Canada, has introduced a number of new Royal Balinese therapies to its services.

There will be three new treatments on offer – the Balinese massage, ‘boreh’ (body scrub) and ‘murud’ (body wrap).

The spa, which manufactures its herbal and spa products, recruits and trains its own spa therapists while the company behind the spa originates from the island of Java.

The spa is located inside the Summit Lodge and Spa, which is a Kimpton Hotel.

Source: Leisureopportunities

Magic in Bali's elaborate blades

ONCE upon a time, Balinese kings and their courtiers strutted the battlements of the Royal Palace in Klungkung - a renowned artistic centre in the east of the fabled Indonesian island, near the great sacred volcano, Agung. The partly rebuilt palace still stands in the bustling town, and there's another legacy of those colourful days that lives on today - the kris.

These fearsome wavy-edged weapons - in fact, there are also straight-edged examples - were crafted by artist-swordsmiths known as empu, who specialised in forging and folding iron and nickel into blades displaying a curious layered or striated effect known as pamor. Legend has it that much of the nickel came from meteorites that fell on the island.

As well as elaborate blades, great care was lavished on kris hilts and their T-shaped scabbards, which were fashioned from exotic woods, horn or ivory and mounted with gold and gems. The kris was, perhaps in some places still is, thought to have magical properties through which rulers could retain their powers. For this reason, kris makers were revered as sorcerers and worked under royal patronage. Many empu lived in and around Klungkung.

Magic or not, however, the kris-wielding Balinese had little chance against the superior weapons of the Dutch, who overran much of the island in the mid-19th century. Early in the 1900s, many of Bali's last "royals" used their krisses to commit suicide.


Bandung or bust

Last weekend, I opted to break out of town and head to Bandung for a major eating and drinking session.

A number of years ago I used to live in what was once known as the "Paris of Java", but hadn't returned for simply ages, so when an Indonesian friend invited me to accompany him and his family in their Mobil Rakyat (car of the masses), I jumped at the chance.

The new toll road makes it possible to steam across to Bandung in a mere two hours these days; at weekends the city is jammed with cars sporting Jakarta license plates as families from the capital enjoy the countryside, eat fine food and buy garish T-shirts from the many factory outlets that dot the city.

Various voices have been raised recently in the wake of the great floods suggesting -- half-jokingly perhaps -- that the capital should be relocated to somewhere more environmentally amenable.

Visit Bandung and it seems that this process has already started. The business boom here, reinforced by the new toll, serves to remind us that Indonesia is actually quite economically flush at the moment.

Bali Villas – A Private Piece Of Paradise

All luxurious Bali Villas in have been filtered in order to provide you the best Bali Private Villa in experiencing holiday, wedding, honeymoon which guarantee Privacy and Outstanding Personalized Service.

By Simon Pitchforth

Toraja: A celebration of death

WHEN a loved one dies, some of us like to think the dearly departed will then look down on us here on Earth.

On the Indonesian island of Sulawesi there's a place where the deceased literally do.

From cliff-face burial sites in the mist-shrouded valleys of central Sulawesi, life-sized wooden effigies of the dead (called Tua Tua) eerily stare down on their villages, keeping tabs on family, friends and relatives.

The effigies are one of the fascinating, if slightly bizarre, customs connected with death in Tana Toraja, the homeland of Indonesia's most traditional people.

Graveyards can be spooky at the best of times, but there's something especially unnerving about having hundreds of white-painted eyes following your every move. The damp, still air on the morning we explored the grave sites in Tana Toraja added to our trepidation.

The name Toraja translates as "men of the mountains". These former headhunters still practise the "aluk to dolo" - ways of the ancestors - focusing on giving family members and friends a mighty good send-off.


Bali beyond the beach

Journey into the country's interior to experience its culture and critters

By Colleen Cason, ccason@venturacountystar.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
November 19, 2006

Heading north from Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport is the road less traveled.

It definitely is less traveled by a million, mostly western tourists who flood the Indonesian island each year.

Most visitors head for the coastal enclaves of Kuta and Nusa Dua, both on sugar-sand beaches minutes south of the airport.

"You might as well be in Cancun," Nyoman Gunawan, an export executive, said of the generic resorts with their luxury high-rise hotels frequented almost exclusively by foreigners.

The true Bali, said Gunawan, can be found in the desas or villages of the island's interior.


Indonesia extends visa facility to 11 countries

Indonesia has extended the visa on arrival (VOA) facility to 11 more countries, and is considering giving the facility to another 11 countries in an attempt to woo foreign tourists, local media reported Saturday.

The 11 countries includes Algeria, the Czech Republic, Fiji, Latvia, Libya, Lithuania, Panama, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Tunisia.

The Directorate General of Immigration announced Friday that based on a Justice and Human Rights Ministry decree, beginning on May 28, 2007, citizens from a total of 63 countries will enjoy visa on arrival.

Under the system, tourists from selected countries do not have to apply abroad for a visa but can purchase a visa on arrival at Indonesia's international airports and seaports. A seven-day visa costs 10 U.S. dollars, while a 30-day visa costs 25 U.S. dollars.

Source: Indosnesos

Sail Indonesia 2007 Yachts Rally between Darwin and Kupang

In the Eastern part of Indonesia, in July 2007 an international marine tourism event will be underway between the Australian and Indonesian seas. The Cinta Bahari Indonesia Foundation supported by the Indonesian Department of Culture and Tourism will again organize Sail Indonesia 2007, which it has staged since 2001, involving international participants with well-built yachts. Participants will sail from Darwin in Australia to Kupang on the East Nusatenggara island of Timor as Indonesias first maritime entry-point from Australia. The Darwin to Kupang Rally is the first stage of the Darwin-Bali-Langkawi Rally which will take through three countries over a five month period beginning in Darwin and finish at the island of Langkawi, Malaysia in November. This event traces the path known as the Indonesian Passage, bridging the continents of Asia and Australia.

Rally Information and Sailing Instructions

1 The Course
The course will be from the Start Line in Darwin Harbour to the Finish Line off the town of Kupang located at approximately S10 09.5 and E 123 34.3 west of the Kupang Lighthouse.

2 The Start
The rally will start at 1100 hours CST on Saturday July 21st 2007. The Start Line will be West of the Darwin Sailing Club between E buoy which is located at 12 25.5 and 130 48.8. and the start boat which will be in a position 400 meters north of E buoy. The Start Vessel will carry out the following start procedure.

1050 Hours Warning Signal
Code Flag "P" will be hoisted and may be accompanied by a sound signal
1055 Hours Preparatory Signal, Numeral Pennant 1 will be hoisted and may be accompanied by a sound signal
1059 Hours Code Flag "P" will be lowered
1100 Hours Starting Signal, Numeral Pennant 1 will be lowered and may be accompanied by a sound signal.

3 The Finish
Please contact the local committee in Kupang on VHF Channel 77 when you are in the Roti Strait and they will be able to give directions regarding anchoring. After you have crossed the finish line at S 10 09.5 E 123 34.3 250 meters South of the Kupang Light and anchored your boat, you may come ashore for clearance into Indonesia.

Extreme care should be exercised as you approach Timor especially in the Roti Strait and close Kupang as it is a busy port. There is a continuous stream of large ships, dredges and ferries using the port and at night their navigation lights will not always be in accordance with regulations. In addition, throughout Indonesia when you are close to the coast extra care is required as there are usually large numbers of small unlit fishing canoes and fish traps in these areas that are often difficult to see and impossible to pick up with radar.

4 Time Limit
There is no time limit to the rally.

5 Divisions
Division I Monohull
Division II Multihull

6 Rules
The Rally will be sailed under the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea and the SOLAS regulations as prescribed by The Indonesian Sail Training Association APLI and PORLASI.

The use of automatic steering is permitted and when engine propulsion is used it must be logged, totalled and declared at the finish.

7 Handicaps
All yachts will be allocated a Time Correction Factor based on the yacht's measurements. The yacht's Elapsed Time will be multiplied by this T.C.F. to give a Corrected Time and placings.

8 Safety Regulations
The safety of the vessel and its crew is the sole responsibility of the skipper.
All yachts shall have completed a non stop passage of at least 200 miles across open sea and must comply with the SOLAS regulations as prescribed by APLI and PORLASI.

9 Declarations
All owners or skippers of yachts must sign a declaration form stating whether or not they have complied with these Sailing Instructions and hand it to a member of the Rally Committee within 10 hours of finishing in Kupang.Any protest received after that time may not be considered. Protests will be heard by a Protest Jury whose decision will be final.

10 Flags
The yacht's own national flag should be dispalyed at the stern and the Indonesian flag of a size not less that the yacht's own national flag from the crosstrees. Note that the Indonesian flag is flown with red uppermost. When you enter the waters off Kupang you must display the code flag "Q" until you have been cleared by Indonesian Customs.

11 Radio Schedules
The Rally Communication Frequencies are Primary 4483 KHz or Secondary 2524 KHz. All yachts must report in on the Radio Schedules at 0745 hours and 1615 hours while at sea.

The procedure will be as follows; the radio relay vessel will call all yachts in alphabetical order as per your radio schedule list. When called give your latitude and longitude only,( in that order), be brief and concise as there may be many yachts to contact. If you have difficulty with your H.F. radio relay your position by VHF to a yacht equipped with H.F. prior to next schedule.

This position report should be relayed in its correct sequence during the H.F. sched to the Radio Relay Vessel by the relaying yacht.

All yachts that do not report in during the sched will be recalled at the end of the sched and any sightings or relayed positions will be clarified.

The base station in Kupang, call sign "Kupang Rally Control" which will conduct the radio scheds.

12 Retirements
Any yacht retiring from the rally shall make every effort to inform the Rally Committee by radio and continue to give position reports at each sched until safely in port, or if its radio is inoperative, at the earliest opportunity. Yachts returning to Darwin must notify Customs prior to arrival.

13 Time Zones
CST is Central Standard Time (Darwin Time) and will be used throughout the Rally for all communications and time keeping and is the time referred to in these instructions. CST is GMT +9:30, Kupang time is GMT +8:00.

14 Rejection of Entries
The Rally Committee reserves the right to reject any entry at any time up to the Preparatory Signal, in which case the entry fee may be refunded.

15 Sponsors Advertising
Yachts may seek and obtain sponsorship and advertise it in whatever form they choose.

16 After Finishing
At the finish you will be contacted on VHF Channel 77, to guide you to the mooring area where you will complete Customs, Immigration and Quarantine formalities.

17 Presentation Dinner
Details and times will be on the Notice Board at Teddys Bar in Kupang.

18 Additions or Alterations
Any additions or alterations to these instructions will be advised at the Pre Rally Briefing.
To date, Sail Indonesia 2007 has already attracted 134 yachts from some 20 nations around the world. The event is supported by a number of Indonesian governmental agencies including the immigration office and the provincial government, while local communities will stage cultural performances, festivities and offer a variety of handicrafts for participants to shop.

For more information please visit:

World leading travel writer says Bali is safe

One of the world's leading travel writers has emerged from trips to Australia and Bali bemused at the huge difference between the fears about Bali often generated in this country and the exquisitely rich and tranquil experiences of those who actually visit there.

Pico Iyer, author of eight books whose articles are published worldwide in magazines such as Time, the New York Times and the Financial Times. says he encountered superb security, among the best in Asia, and "Aussies who couldn't believe that so many of their friends and neighbors were staying at home".

He also found the island was bustling and crowded with visitors from Japan, Korea, Taiwan and other parts of Asia while many Australians missed out on the attractions of one of the top destinations in the world.

"The island struck me as far safer than Los Angeles, where I maintain a home, or Delhi, which I visited soon afterwards, or New York, or carjack-filled London, or most of the places I visit.

Source: TravelMole

Documentary Film: Balinese Massage


From a series of five films
by Linda Connor, Patsy Asch, and Timothy Asch
Inquire about 16mm rental and sales
video rental $50, sale $245
Video has Medium is the Masseuse with Jero Tapakan
Color, 30 minutes

Will be going back to Indonesia

About a month and half ago I was looking on TT for some suggestion about places to visit in Indonesia. Well, our trip is over. We traveled around East Java (Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Mt. Bromo), Bali, Lombok and Gili Meno - unfortunately, one month wasn't enough to see more. Before the trip we weren't sure if it was a very good or safe place to visit and I am very glad that we went for it. In my opinion, Indonesia is an absolutely amazing county.

Every single bit of it was so interesting. A strange thing to say but the highlight of Jakarta was the traffic (a real Asian city!) Yogyakarta was culturally very interesting. Ramayana Ballet in Kraton was so overpowering! Cycling around Yogyakarta was suicidal, but great fun too. Many temples around Yogya including Prambanan and Borobodur were very interesting places to visit too. And you could never get tired of posing for the pictures with the locals... The smoking volcano peaks in Mount Bromo National Park were a breathtaking picture. Beach time was great too, especially Gili Meno. The place is gorgeous - that's what a tropical island should look like, and also so quiet and peaceful. And Bali... Before my visit to Bali I had a very bad image of it in my head and had a very little interest in going there but, now I know, that I was very unfair. I would never go back to Kuta, but the rest of the island is so beautiful - the beaches, the rice fields, the volcanoes. And the whole place is just like one big temple. No wonder that Bali has a nickname "island of thousand temples"! Ubud was the highlight of Bali for me.

I am gonna recommend to all the people I know to visit Indonesia and I can't wait to go back there again, and next time will hopefully be more than a month.

More: LonelyPlanet



Snared tiger defies poachers on three legs

A tiger in the jungles of Indonesia has defied the odds and managed to survive, despite losing one of its front feet in a snare laid by poachers.

The Sumatran tiger is thought to have chewed off its foot or pulled its leg free from the wire, leaving the foot behind.

In normal circumstances the beast would have been expected to die from blood loss or an infection, or simply to starve to death because of a severely reduced capacity to hunt.

However, to the astonishment of conservationists, the tiger appears to have recovered from the loss and is managing to catch enough food to keep it healthy. “His condition seemed quite stable,” Sunarto, a WWF biologist in Sumatra, said. “He has been surviving – I don’t know how. It’s very surprising he’s still alive.”

Pictures of the tiger were taken by a WWF camera trap in the Sumatran jungle and show the male animal to be in a healthy condition, apart from the missing paw.

Source: Times

Ancient coelacanth caught in Indonesia

An Indonesian fisherman hooked a rare coelacanth, a species once thought as extinct as dinosaurs, and briefly kept the "living fossil" alive in a quarantined pool.

Justinus Lahama caught the four-foot, 110-pound fish early Saturday off Sulawesi island near Bunaken National Marine Park, which has some of the highest marine biodiversity in the world.

The fish died 17 hours later, an extraordinary survival time, marine biologist Lucky Lumingas said Sunday.

"The fish should have died within two hours because this species only lives in deep, cold-sea environment," he said. Lumingas works at the local Sam Ratulangi University, which plans to study the carcass.

The coelacanth (pronounced SEE-la-kanth) was believed to be extinct for 65 million years until one was found in 1938 off Africa's coast, igniting worldwide interest. Several other specimens have since been discovered, including another off Sulawesi island in 1998.

The powerful predator is highly mobile with limb-like fins, and it gives birth to live young rather than laying eggs.

Source: Indosnesos

Orchid exhibit offers colorful experience

In commemoration of its 50th anniversary, the Indonesian Orchid Association is holding a 10-day exhibition at Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, East Jakarta.

Through April 22, visitors can enjoy a stunning array of orchid varieties, including local varieties such as Dendrobium fatahillah and Coelogyne celebensis, at the amusement park's Purna Bhakti Pertiwi Museum.

Officially opened last Saturday, the exhibition is a meeting place for breeders, collectors and hobbyists.

"I hope that our 2007 Orchid Festival will bring together everyone involved in orchids," association chairwoman Mufidah Jusuf Kalla told Antara during last Saturday's exhibition opening.

Exhibition coordinator Rossi Anton Apriyantono said the festival would showcase Indonesia's latest orchid hybrids, allowing visitors to get in direct contact with producers.

According to Rossi, despite Indonesia's richness of orchid varieties, the country still lags behind neighboring Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand when it comes to gaining a share of the global orchid market.

"Singapore will host the World Orchid Conference for the second time in 2011, while Indonesia has never once been appointed to host the event," Rossi said.

Indonesia's share of the global orchid market stands at about US$1.5 million annually, just a fraction of the total yearly orchid trade of $250 million, Agricultural Minister Anton Apriyantono said.

Illega logging is seen as a major threat to the variety of orchids in Indonesia, as more and more species are lost.

Although collectors and hobbyists seem to be in the forefront of orchid conservation, they also contribute to the problem of the lack of mass cultivation of rare orchid species, Anton said.

"Some of them want their rare flowers to remain rare and expensive," he said.

Most of Indonesia's more valuable species, like the Paphiopedilum javanicum, Phalaenopsis javanica and Phalaenopsis gigantia, now often end up in the hands of collectors in Taiwan, Thailand and European countries.

To support Indonesian orchid exports, the Agricultural Ministry is planning to scrap quarantine fees on agricultural products.


Maps of Indonesia

Links to good maps of Indonesia:


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General Information

The name Indonesia was derived from "indosnesos", meaning islands near India, The country is in fact the largest archipelago in the world with a thousand islands, 17,508 to be precise, spread in an area between the Asian continent and Australia, and between the Pacific and the Indian oceans. The islands are inhabited by many tribes with diverse culture and languages, although there is a national language spoken throughout the country, namely Bahasa Indonesia. It is thus appropriate, that the country's motto is Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, which means: Unity in Diversity. Our state philosophy is Pancasila, or the Five Principles. This year is the country's fiftieth anniversary of independence.

Area1,904,000 sq km
Land Area1,010,443 sq km
Average temperature21 - 33 oC
Mean annual rainfall700 mm
Population 216 million (growth rate 1.5%)
Capital city Jakarta (pop 9.3 million)
People There are 365 ethnic and tribal groups. The principal ones are Acehnese, Bataks, Minangkabaus (Sumatra); Javanese, Sundanese (Java); Balinese (Bali); Sasaks (Lombok); and Dani (Irian Jaya)
LanguageBahasa Indonesia (plus 583 dialects), English
Religion87% Muslim, 9% Christian, 2% Hindu
Life expectancy62 years
GDP US$67 billion
GDP per headUS$550
Annual growth-4%
Inflation 0.02%
Major products/industriesOil, gas, textiles, timber, coffee, rubber, coal, tin, copper, rice, pepper, palm oil
Major trading partnersJapan, USA, Singapore

Links on Indonesia Facts:

Aneki site on Indonesia

Lonely Planet Guide Facts for the Traveler

CIA - The World Factbook -- Indonesia

Yahoo Travel Guide

Hobo Traveler Indonesia Facts And Figures

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia entry on Indonesia

MSN Encarta entry on the Republic of Indonesia.

Indonesian Cabinet:

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
United Indonesia Cabinet
May 7, 2007


: Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono

Vice President

: Jusuf Kalla

Coordinating Ministers


Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs

: Adm. (ret) Widodo A.S.


Coordinating Minister for the Economy

: Boediono


Coordinating Minister for People's Welfare

: Aburizal Bakrie



Home Affairs Minister

: Mardiyanto


Foreign Affairs Minister

: Hassan Wirayuda


Defense Minister

: Juwono Sudarsono


Finance Minister

: Sri Mulyani Indrawati


Religious Affairs Minister

: M. Maftuh Basyuni


Agriculture Minister

: Anton Apriyantono


Education Minister

: Bambang Soedibyo


Health Minister

: Siti Fadilah Supari


Social Services Minister

: Bachtiar Chamsyah


Transportation Minister

: Jusman Syafii Djamal


Manpower and Transmigration Minister

: Erman Suparno


Industry Minister

: Fahmi Idris


Trade Minister

: Mari E. Pangestu


Energy and Mineral Resources Minister

: Purnomo Yusgiantoro


Justice and Human Rights Minister

: Andi Mattalata


Public Housing Minister

: Muhammad Yusuf Asy'ari


Forestry Minister

: M.S. Ka'ban


Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister

: Freddy Numberi


Public Works Minister

: Joko Kirmanto


Culture and Tourism Minister

: Jero Wacik


Information and Communication Minister

: Muhammad Nuh

State Ministers


State Minister for Women Empowerment

: Meutia Farida Hatta Swasono


State Minister for Administrative Reforms

: Taufik Effendi


State Minister for State Enterprises

: Sofyan A. Djalil


State Minister of National Development Planning/National Development Planning Board chairman

: Paskah Suzetta


State Minister for Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises

: Suryadarma


State Minister for the Environment

: Rachmat Nadi Witoelar Kartaadipoetra


State Minister Research and Technology

: Kusmayanto Kadiman


State Minister for Development of Disadvantaged Regions

: Muhammad Lukman Edy


State Minister of Youth and Sports Affairs

: Adyaksa Dault



State Secretary

: Hatta Radjasa


Cabinet Secretary

: Sudi Silalahi


People's Consultatives Speaker

: Hidayat Nurwahid


House of Representatives Speaker

: Agung Laksono


Attorney General

: Hendarman Supandji


Supreme Court Chief Justice

: Bagir Manan


Constitutional Court president

: Jimly Asshidiqie


Bank Indonesia Governor

: Burhanuddin Abdullah


TNI Chief

: Marshal Djoko Suyanto

50 species of plants in Indonesia can provide Altenative fuel

About 50 species of plants in Indonesia can be processed into alternative fuel to cope with an energy crisis in the country, Retno Gumilang, a lecturer at the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB ) said here Tuesday.

Indonesia ranks second in the world in biodiversity, so the country`s potential in the provision of basic materials for the production of bio-fuel as alternative energy source is quite high, according to Retno, who also serves as a researcher.

Among the species of plants that can provide bio-fuel to substitute conventional fuel are oil palm, castor oil, candlenut, pinnate seed, four-sided bean, kapok, tengkawang, mindi, margosa, merunggai, canari, rambutan (similar to lychee ), soursop and sesame.

The 50 species of plants that can be used to substitute for kerosene are actually only the smaller part of species in Indonesia that yield vegetable oil to be processed into bio-fuel, however further study is still needed.

"So it is not necessary to be afraid of an energy crisis as Indonesia is rich in natural resources unavailable in other countries," the researcher revealed. The domestic demand for diesel oil and kerosene is high, so the provision of alternative energy sources is imperative to anticipate energy shortage, she added.

The soaring crude oil price on the world market has raised the cost of diesel oil and kerosene production in the country and fuel subsidy, she said. To ensure security of energy supply and to reduce diesel oil import, it is urgent to seek alternative energy sources to substitute diesel oil and kerosene as soon as possible, she emphasized.

Technology that has been developed in Indonesia can be applied in the operation of the bio-fuel industry that produces clean and renewable alternative fuel, she explained, adding that for that purpose, the head of government has issued Presidential Instruction (Inpres ) No.1/2006 on the provision and utilization of bio-fuel as alternative energy sources.

The instruction is directed to the coordinating minister of the economy, the energy and mineral resources minister, the agriculture minister, the forestry minister, the industry minister, the trade minister, the transportation minister as well as provincial governors and regents/mayor in Indonesia.

Responding to Inpres No.1/2006, the Gorontalo provincial administration is determined to begin using bio-diesel from castor oil as an alternative energy source to substitute for conventional fuel as of 2007.

The head of the Gorontalo Research and Development Office, Rusthamrin Akuba, said here on Tuesday that the province is rich in plants that can provide raw materials for bio-diesel.

Some 2,500 ha of land in the province are now provided for the cultivation of castor oil plants that can yield 5.0 tons of castor oil seeds/ha over a span of 50 years, according to Rusthamrin.

In 2005, the Gorontalo administration vowed the use of bio-diesel to substitute diesel oil and kerosene, and in 2006 has begun opening a plantation for 200,000 seedlings of castor oil plants.

The plantations will be expanded up to 25,000 ha by 2009, and the opening of those plantations will be followed by the development of the bio-diesel industry the province, he said.

Source: Antara

Hot, savoury nasi padang

If you have a penchant for Indonesian cuisine, Nasi Padang might be your cup of tea. SURYANI DALIP tells you where to look for this savoury dish.

MOST of us are familiar with Nasi Padang, a Minang cuisine that originates from West Sumatra, Indonesia.

Since Minang people are famous for their strong stomachs, most of the dishes are very hot.
Those with a weak stomach may not be able to digest the gulai lemak daging, rendang sapi, gulai lemak ayam kampung, udang balado, sambal lada hijau and sambal tumis udang.
The main ingredients in Padang cuisine are candlenuts, cloves, cardamom, star anise and coconut milk.
Instead of piling everything on to the rice, each of the dishes is served separately in small plates. You only pay for the dishes that you have eaten.


Shortage of flights threaten Bali tourism

AS a record total of foreign tourists visit Bali, the number of Australians holidaying there is also gradually improving.

But the Balinese tourism industry says it's not just the recent bird flu deaths that are the biggest hurdle to full recovery.

Hoteliers and tourists say the main problem is the lack of seat availability on flights, particularly between Bali and the east coast of Australia.

Qantas stepping aside for Jetstar

It appears that Qantas is gradually bowing out of the holiday destination and allowing its budget arm Jetstar to take over routes.

Qantas flies twice a week to Bali from Perth and Darwin, but it is understood the airline plans to drop its Darwin flights from October.

Meanwhile, Jetstar to double services

Jetstar, which launched services to Bali in early December last year, has already announced it will double its direct services between Sydney and Bali to four times weekly from October 28. This is in addition to twice weekly flights from Melbourne to Bali.

Miss Indonesia: What makes a 'princess', beauty or brains?

Beauty queens don't always seem like the most approachable type. With their model good looks, it's easy to imagine a bit of prima donna behavior to go along with it.

But spending five seconds with the 2006 winner of Puteri Indonesia, Agni Pratistha, dashes any stereotype that has ever surrounded pageant girls.

A lean, towering figure -- even in flats -- Agni's unabashed honesty and warmth are immediately apparent. And this is a girl who won the Puteri Indonesia -- also known as Miss Indonesia -- while sporting some heavy-duty braces on her now flawless teeth. At 19, she's still young, but carries an air of maturity.

Kamidia Radisti crowned Miss Indonesia 2007

Touted as a contest of “beauty, brains, health and Eastern values,” Kamidia Radisti of West Java beat out 33 hopefuls to be crowned Miss Indonesia 2007 Thursday night at the Jakarta Convention Center.
Kamidia, 23, will receive the winning prize of Rp 75 million (US$8,300) in cash and represent Indonesia in Miss World 2007.

An avid swimmer who has competed nationally, Kamidia also participated in the 2006 Wajah Femina or Femina Face competition where she was a finalist. She studies economics at Padjadjaran University and is in her sixth semester.

Verna Gladies Merry Ingkiriwang, of Central Sulawesi was crowned first runner up; the 23-year-old medical student at Samratulangi University will receive Rp 35 million.

Indonesia appears at home and garden expo in Melbourne

Indonesia will have the opportunity to show arts and cultural performance as well as demonstrating national foods at the Home and Garden exhibition in Melbourne, Australia, on August 26, 2007.

Indonesia`s Consul General in Melbourne, Budiarman Bahar, told an ANTARA News journalist who phoned him from Brisbane on Friday said he would promote Indonesia`s tourism on the occasion which would be attended by about 80 people.

"For the purpose, we have received latest brochures on Indonesia`s tourism from the Culture and Tourism Ministry in Jakarta," he said.

Indonesia`s first participation in the exhibition is named `Indonesian International Theme Day`.

On the occasion, Indonesia will also perform traditional dances from West Sumatra, Java and Bali besides introducing furniture products.

"We have the furniture stand and the flag carrier Garuda Indonesia stand as well as the travel bureau stand which introduces the advantages of Indonesia`s tourism," Budiarman said.

The exhibition is also attended among others by Ireland, the United States, Europe, Japan and India which will also feature their respective arts and cultural wealth.

The exhibition has been taking place from August 25 to September 2, 2007, in Melbourne.