Borobudur temple provides shuttle service for tourists

The company managing Borobudur temple, PT Taman Wisata Candi Borobudur, has organized vehicles to shuttle tourists between Pabelan and Borobudur to help tourists circumvent the unsafe Pabelan Bridge.
Pabelan Bridge in Magelang, Central Java, became unstable after being hit by the cold lava flow, disrupting travel from Yogyakarta to Borobudur temple.
“The pickup vehicles are to demonstrate our appreciation and commitment to providing better services to visitors,” chief director of the company, Purnomo Siswoprasetjo, said.
Purnomo said the company had organized a 14-seat and a 40-seat bus and five cars with six to seven seats.
“The shuttle service will start operating today (April 1) from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.,” he said as reported by
He added that only tourists traveling with tour agencies could use the shuttle service for now.
“We will apply a similar system for local tourists, but this is still at the brain-storming stage,” he said.

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Food Talk: Breadfruit Offers Slice of the Tropics

There are many local ingredients that were once staples of the Indonesian diet, but are now almost impossible to find in our supermarkets. Breadfruit is one of these forgotten staples. Originally grown in Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia, breadfruit is a popular treat in many tropical countries around the world.

Shaped like a small football, breadfruit is a melon-sized fruit with green and knobbly skin. When roasted, baked or deep-fried, its cream-colored flesh develops a firm, bread-like texture with the aroma of freshly baked bread. Breadfruit is very rich in starch. It contains 25 percent carbohydrates and 70 percent water. The fruit reveals a dazzling pattern when cut lengthwise or in cross-sections.

I have two recipes this week, one savory and one sweet. The savory recipe is roasted breadfruit with a touch of Mediterranean flavor, with thyme or rosemary and olive oil. The sweet recipe is deep-fried breadfruit coated in palm sugar syrup and cinnamon, with a distinctively Indonesian flavor. Enjoy!

1. Roasted breadfruit with thyme and olive oil
2. Breadfruit coated with palm sugar, caramel and cinnamon

Read more.. (article by Petty Elliott)
Breadfruit images

Bromo reopens to tourists

Local authorities in Malang, East Java, officially reopened the Bromo Mountain tourist site on Wednesday, after it was closed for five months because of volcanic activity in the area.

“The reopening of Bromo to tourists has been considered carefully. Our decision is based on several factors,” said Suwasto, the head of Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park administration, as quoted by on Tuesday.

The first consideration was a significant decline in frequency of volcanic eruptions, as indicated by a reduction of volcanic ash coming from the crater, Suwasto said. The other was the fact that many local people were anxious to get back to work, he said.

“Bromo has been named one of the icons of the 'Visit East Java 2011' campaign, so it has to be reopened,” Suwasto said.

Upon reopening, tourists would still be forbidden from coming within 2 kilometers of the crater, he said.

“We have installed warning signs to inform tourists of the danger,” he said.

Northern Bali to hold folk festival

Indonesia's Culture and Tourism Ministry will kick off the three-day Buleleng Folk Art Festival (PKRB) in the Bali town of Singaraja on Thursday in an effort to promote tourism in less-developed northern Bali.

“PKRB is a folk festival which will feature various traditional art performances as well as concerts featuring music of the young generation and 1970s music,” the ministry's director for domestic tourism promotion, M. Faried, said Tuesday.

He said the festival was expected to be held annually as part of an attempt to attract more visitors to northern Bali, with tourism activities so far concentrated in the south.

“Buleleng regency has a lot of potential tourist attractions. Besides, an international airport is planned to be built there,” Faried said, as quoted by Antara news agency.

He said among the potential was the well-preserved culture and traditions of the locals, as well as the beautiful valley and mountain panoramas and Bali’s northern beaches.

Bali Hotels

Balinese Dance, Papuan Noken And Taman Mini Put Forward for Heritage Status

Indonesia on Monday officially registered three items to be recognized as part of world cultural heritage.

“Today, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism is showing its responsibility to preserve Indonesian culture by proposing three cultural treasures to Unesco,” Culture and Tourism Minister Jero Wacik.

The three items are Balinese dance, Papua’s noken woven bag and the Taman Mini Indonesia Indah recreation park, which is a nominee for cultural heritage protection, development and education space.

Nine traditional Balinese dances were proposed to the UN cultural agency, one for each district on the island.

The noken is an iconic bag woven from the fibers of plants related to orchids. It is used by tribal women in Papua to carry everything from roots and produce to young pigs.

Jero said he hoped the process of seeking recognition from Unesco would get more Indonesians interested in the country’s cultural heritage.

While the government hopes to make more proposals to Unesco, he said, it would probably have to wait for the time being.

“Just to be able to propose three items as world heritage, we had to involve thousands of people,” he said. “So I cannot even imagine how many people we would need to propose all of Indonesia’s cultural treasures to Unesco.”

Aside from the three new proposals, Unesco is expected to announce Aceh’s saman dance as a world cultural heritage sometime this year. The dance features the synchronized movements of dancers sitting in a row, and has been used in Aceh as a medium to spread Islamic teachings.

Source: Antara

Bali is favorite holiday destination according to DestinAsian 2011

Bali received several 2011 awards by Destinasian in the categories best hotel, best spa and best places to visit.
The best hotel was:
The Legian Elegantly crafted all-suite hotel on Seminyak Beach, with design elements from Bali and Java. Stats 67 suites; 2 restaurants; 2 bars. Readers say “Breathtaking views and an escape from the crowds.” Don’t Miss The synchronized massage at the resort’s serene spa.
In the best spa category,
With its expansive Thalasso complex (home to the world’s largest aquatonic pool) and Spa on the Rocks pavilions, Bali’s Ayana Resort & Spa earned this year’s distinction for the best resort spa in the region, winning you over with “well-trained therapists” and “world-class treatments.”
Best Places to Visit
Bali continues to be everyone’s “perfect” holiday island, offering everything from “the posh to the bare-bones, the commercial to the artistic.” On the urban scene, Singapore ranks as the best city for doing business thanks to its “extremely efficient” infrastructure and “easy access.” Come leisure time, however, Bangkok once again prevails, for its “great restaurants and nightlife” and vibrant combination of “the future and the past.”

Ritz Carlton Hong Kong is World's Tallest Hotel

We visited the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong's construction site recently and we're still reeling. The half-constructed Ritz Carlton at the top of the International Commerce Centre in Hong Kong will be the tallest hotel in the world when it opens at the beginning of 2011.

On our visit, we stood at the 102nd floor, where a couple of restaurants are currently under construction, and peered out the large windows to ogle the sight of Victoria Harbour. Vertigo ensued and we had to grab hold of the raw concrete walls to steady ourselves. It wasn't just the distance from the ground -- nearly 490 meters -- that inspired light-headedness, but the sheer beauty of Hong Kong under our feet had a knockout-punch effect on our senses. For a few seconds we forgot to breath, as our eyes met the full 180 degree-plus spread from Tsim Sha Tsui East to Central, to Sheung Wan, and then to the mouth of Victoria Harbour, widening out into an expanse of South China Sea that eventually merged with the shimmering horizon.

In every way, this is a hotel destined for hyperbole, but to say that the view is truly incomparable is no stretch of vocabulary. See the virtual tour  for a taste of what I'm going on about. It was taken from the ICC's observation deck at the 100th floor -- called sky100 -- a couple of floors below where the Ritz Carlton is going to be. It's a good way to warm up before an actual first-hand experience when the hotel is finally completed.

Read more: High at the Ritz: Unrivalled views at the world's tallest hotel |

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