Seminyak La Villais Exclusive Villa & Spa

Exclusive stays await at La Villais, which features modern Balinese-style villas with private pools and free Wi-Fi. A 5-minute stroll from Seminyak Square, it offers free parking and area shuttles to Kuta and Pentitenget Beach.

A 15-minute walk from numerous dining options, La Villais Exclusive Villa & Spa is a 20-minute drive from Ngurah Rai International Airport.

Featuring modern dark wood furnishings, well-appointed bedrooms that open out to views of the private pool. Luxurious villas have a fully furnished kitchen and large bathrooms with over-sized windows. A flat-screen TV and iPod docking station are included.

Guests can enjoy relaxing massage therapies at Adella Spa or lounge in the afternoon sun by the outdoor pool. Friendly staff at La Villais can attend to business and travel needs.

Featuring Indonesian specialities, Membon Restaurant offers hot meals and light refreshments with views of the pool. Room service is available.

Jalan Pangkung Sari Br Taman, Bali, 80361 Seminyak

Indonesia Fashion Week 2012 begins in Jakarta

Indonesia Fashion Week (IFW) 2012 has begun in the country’s capital Jakarta.

About 500 fashion designers and small and medium entrepreneurs are likely to showcase their collections at the four-day event, which is expected to attract about 30,000 visitors.

IFW 2012, organized by the Indonesian Fashion Designers Association, will include fashion shows and seminars on topics like branding and trend forecasts, in addition to display of collections by various brands and designers.

Ami Wirabudi, Head of the IFW organizing committee, said the IFW was a dream come true for local fashion designers and hoped that the fashion week would help the domestic fashion industry to compete in international markets.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by Industry Minister MS Hidayat, Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Mari E. Pangestu, Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan and Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises Minister Syarifudin Hasan.

According to official data, the fashion and apparel industry accounted for Rp 71.9 trillion or about 5.9 percent of Indonesia’s gross domestic product (GDP) last year.

The industry employs around 4 million people and fetches Rp 50.3 trillion in terms of foreign exchange for the country.

The event is scheduled to close on February 26 with display of ‘Ethnic Eclectism’ by Ferry Sunarto, Musa Widyatmodjo and Anne Avantie.

Java Jazz 2012 big draws

What used to be an event for a niche audience has become the annual occasion that many Jakartans feel they must attend.

No longer reliant on bulking together barely known artists with well-past-their-heyday headliners, the Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival now carries an increasing number of respected names in its lineup. And while the event’s “jazz” tag seems to have lost some relevance with the mounting inclusion of musicians who bear no signs of the genre in their sound, it is still the place to go if you want to catch a variety of eclectic music.

One of this year’s big draws is Stevie Wonder , the legendary artist whose influence on the R&B genre is immense. Wonder is popular for his barrage of hits, including the ’70s groovy mainstays “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours ,” “Superstition,” and “Higher Ground.”

His high-profile collaborations have included singles with Paul McCartney , Dionne Warwick and the Jackson 5, among many notable others. For casual Indonesian listeners, Wonder’s most memorable hit was undoubtedly the plaintive (if rather sappy), organ-driven ballad “I Just Called to Say I Love You,” which dominated the radio waves here when it came out in 1984.

Another legend set to perform is Herbie Hancock. Certainly a major player on the jazz scene, Hancock honed his skills as a member of the illustrious Miles Davis’s “second great quintet.” He is seen as being largely responsible for the rise of “post-bop” jazz during the mid-’60s, a genre that indulged in syncopated rhythms and eventually then-new instrumentations such as synthesizers.

Hancock’s popularity surged beyond the jazz scene, however, with his ability to write jazz-infused pop songs that crossed into the mainstream. An example of this dynamism can be found in the rousing hip-hop styled “Rockit” in 1983, which was a minor hit in Indonesia due to its novel usage of vinyl scratching.

Over the years, Hancock’s characteristically funk-ified brand of jazz has made him the go-to guy for artists to collaborate with, including Freddie Hubbard, Quincy Jones, Joni Mitchell and even Stevie Wonder. Over the years, Hancock has won a whopping 14 Grammies and has written or produced hits that many perhaps don’t even know he had a hand in.

Another headliner is Erykah Badu , the soulful songstress whose music contains a seemingly effortless blend of soul, jazz, R&B, reggae and hip-hop, among others. Known to her fans as “The First Lady of Neo-Soul,” Badu found success with her debut release, “Baduizm,” in 1997. The record, as well as its breakthrough single “On & On,” made her a favorite with the Indonesian jazz and R&B crowds. Her strong vocal inflections are an obvious source of influence to many female singers around the country.

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The festival will take place from March 2 to 4at the Jakarta International Expo in Kemayoran.
Ticketing and full lineup info:

Sharing Indonesia's Food With the World

The TV show opened with Indonesian culinary expert Bondan Winarno and his youngest daughter, Gwendoline Amanda Wirastari, standing in front of Prambanan Temple on the outskirts of Yogyakarta. The morning sun filtered though the temple towers, creating a serene, majestic tableau.

The father and daughter scoured the temple and briefly explained its history. Afterward, they went to Pasar Lempuyangan in Yogyakarta to enjoy jadah manten, a traditional sweet and savory snack made of cassava, brown sugar and coconut.

“I love this so much,” Gwen said, smiling at the camera.

Father and daughter were filming an episode for the first season of “Taste of Indonesia,” a TV program that showcases the riches of Indonesian cuisines on the Asian Food Channel.

Based in Singapore, the AFC is a 24-hour cable and satellite TV channel that features Asian foods and lifestyles.

In Indonesia, AFC is broadcast by major cable TV providers, including First Media, Indovision, Aora and Telkomvision.

Through AFC, the “Taste of Indonesia” is being aired in Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Brunei, Hong Kong, Mongolia and Indonesia.

“A survey showed that AFC beat all other channels when the ‘Taste of Indonesia’ was aired in prime time,” according to Foo.

The research, conducted by AGB Nielsen in Malaysia, showed that approximately 3.2 million viewers watched the first screening of the show in that country alone.

“It shows that our viewers are enthusiastic to see more and more Indonesian [culinary] programs,” Foo said.

Reruns of the show are now being aired on AFC in eight countries on Fridays at 8:30 p.m. Jakarta time.

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The Urgent Need for a Bali Tourism Promotion Board

Leading Bali Tourism Educator Says Urgent Establishment of a Bali Tourism Board Required by National Tourism Law of 2009

The Dean of the Tourism Faculty at Bali’s Udayana University, Drs. I Putu Anom, has called for the urgent formation of a Bali Tourism Promotion Board.

Anom’s comments were made on Thursday, February 16, 2012, and reported by

The National Tourism Law No. 10 of 2009, requires the province of Bali to establish a provincial Tourism Promotion Board (BTPB) that involves the participation all tourism stakeholders

Anom said the formation of the BPTB must involve the provincial government of Bali, the regencies and municipalities of Bali, the Bali Tourism Board (GIPI) and its members. He added that the BTPB must also include participation by Bali’s tourism academies, such as the STP Bali, the tourism faculty of Udayana University and others. In order to maintain the organization’s neutrality, Anom also wants to see journalists and the press included in the BTPB’s formation.

The BTPB is envisioned as coordinating all tourism promotion activities and in the preparation of promotional materials that are both valid and up-to-date.

Calling for a promotional model that is clear and well executed, Putu Anom want to see promotional plans targeted on markets with strong potential for producing visitors to Bali.

Concluding his comments, Anom said, “the elements and components of tourism promotion are very complex; we need to establish the BTPB as quickly as possible.”

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Heart of Borneo designated as "world`s lungs"

Kalimantan Island or also known as Borneo is host to a vast area of the country`s remaining tropical rainforests where various endemic flora and fauna can be found.

Rainforests in the Heart of Borneo also have a crucial function as the lungs of the world because they produce oxygen needed to help overcome the impact of climate change.

Given the important role of the rainforests, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on January 5, 2012, signed a regulation authorizing the use of 45 percent of Kalimantan island as biodiversity conservation and tropical rainforest vegetation reserves to make the island the world`s lungs.

"At least 45 percent of Indonesian Borneo will serve as the lungs of the world, with the plan ensuring that local ecosystems are protected and the biodiversity of the island is allowed to flourish," a presidential press release said last month.

Under Presidential Regulation No. 3 of 2012, the government will also make efforts to prevent activities that may disturb the reserve areas.

The regulation covers a massive area of more than 250,000 km2 encompassing vast tracts of rainforest land in the Heart of Borneo and landscapes beyond.

The remaining 55 percent of Kalimantan island, however, can be used to support the government`s program to achieve energy self-sufficiency and the creation of national energy barns for electricity production and develop the island into a mineral, coal, oil and gas mining center, the regulation said.

In addition, it can also be used for sustainable development of oil palm and rubber plantations and timber estates; front veranda and gateway of the country bordering Malaysia; water-based national urban area development center; tropical forest-based ecotourism and Kalimantan culture tourism; inter-mode transportation networks; and food self-sufficiency and national food barn.

The forestry ministry`s secretary general, Hadi Daryanto, said "We hope with the decree, Indonesia will be able to meet its target of reducing gas emissions by 26 percent by 2020."

In a speech to G20 leaders on Sept. 25, 2009, President Yudhoyono said the government was crafting a policy that would cut emissions by 26 percent by 2020 from "business as usual" (BAU) levels.

Welcoming the signing of the presidential regulation on Kalimantan`s rainforest, Adam Tomasek, head of the WWF`s Heart of Borneo Initiative, said the new decree offers a fantastic opportunity to secure the future of Borneo as a place where sustainable development exists in balance with a practical and beneficial conservation regime.

"WWF has been working for a long time with both National and local governments to develop spatial plans, and engage businesses and communities to drive conservation and sustainable development in Borneo. The decree is a leadership statement from the President of Indonesia that will help ensure the previous commitments on the Heart of Borneo will be met," Tomasek said in a press release posted on the website of WWF Indonesia.

The governments of Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia and Malaysia signed a declaration on Heart of Borneo on February 12, 2007, committing themselves to the conservation and sustainable development of a 22 Million-hectare `Heart of Borneo` (HoB).

The three countries which share Borneo or Kalimantan Island, are working with WWF to conserve 220,000 km2 of rainforests - almost 1/3 of the island - through a network of protected areas and sustainably-managed forests.

Kalimantan`s tropical rainforests are the habitat of endemic animals such as orangutan, Rhino and Pygmy Elephant.

Coinciding with the HoB project`s fifth anniversary, Tomasek on February 12, 2012, released a scientific report entitled The Environmental Status of the Heart of Borneo.

"For the first time the environmental health of the HoB has been assessed using a series of scientifically derived biological and ecosystem indicators and the results have indicated the HoB is currently in good health," Tomasek said.

According to the report, most forest types in the HoB are currently rated as good or very good. This is particularly important for lowland forests which are under severe threat across the rest of the island of Borneo.

In fact, given that lowland forests are the prime habitats of the Pygmy elephant, orangutan and Rhino, the HoB may be the last stronghold for the preservation of this type of forests on Borneo, the WWF report said.

However, HoB still remains under serious threat from industrial conversion of natural forest to palm oil and other agricultural crops, as well as illegal logging and unsustainable rates of legal timber extraction.

Forest fires, mining and overhunting of wildlife are also major threats. During the El Nino of 1982-83, fires burned about 9.1 million acres (3.7 million hectares) of forest degraded by commercial logging and agriculture in Kalimantan. These fires may have been the largest in human history.

To raise awareness of the high conservation values of the HoB, a Heart of Borneo Festival will be organized in Jakarta, April 2012.

A key event of the Festival will be a 3-day scientific, policy and youth forum which will reveal the true value of the HoB`s natural capital and its vital role in the development of a green economy in the region

Missing Australian tourists found off Bali

Four Australian tourists reported missing on a chartered boat off the coast of Bali on Sunday night have been found alive.

A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson told The Australian that all four Australians were safe.

The tourists and three crew members were on board the wooden boat heading out to an island off the coast of Bali to embark on a three-day diving holiday when the engine failed on Sunday afternoon, the ABC reported.
Search and rescue teams were deployed but their efforts were interrupted by bad weather.

The crew have now made contact with the boat's owner, Ayi Fajri Iskandar, who said the Australians were shaken but safe and heading back to Bali, the ABC said.

Search for Australian tourists missing off east coast of Bali

Indonesian authorities say they are searching for a boat carrying four Australian tourists feared lost at sea off the east coast of Bali.

The boat owner, Ayi Fajri Iskandar, says he alerted Bali search and rescue authorities after the crew told him its engine had failed late yesterday afternoon.

When search teams contacted the crew by marine radio several hours later they were still adrift and unable to restart the engine.

The last contact was around midnight local time.

Mr Iskandar says it was carrying four Australians who are all members of the one family. But he says the authorities have incorrectly noted their names.

While the boat has been missing for more than 24 hours, its owner says it is large and seaworthy and he is confident it will not sink.

The passengers were on their way from Bali to Nusa Lembongan, just off the east coast, for a three-day diving and snorkelling holiday.

Search and rescue teams say their efforts have been hampered by bad weather.

Java Jazz 2012: Where jazz finds a home

Jakarta International Djarum Super Mild Java Jazz Festival 2012 scheduled for 2, 3 and 4 March and to take place at JIExpo Kemayoran, has been a topic of discussion amongst many. The kick off was the first Java Jazz on the Move for the season, was held on January 20th at fX Sudirman, Jakarta. Since then, a series of JJOTM has taken place in various venues in Jakarta and its surrounding area.