26 March 2009

Pontianak – West Kalimantan : Comeliness of Robok-robok

Lancang on Mempawah RiverThe pangeran ratu’s boat sailed quietly on the Mempawah river. That famous yellow lancang (fast sail boat) leave from Keraton Amantubillah. At the Mempawah mouth, a punggawa keraton peal azan from the top of the boat. That was a short impor quotation of Robok-robok ceremony, which held on march every year. (Punggawa = court official in Java shadow play)

Since morning, people have already stand by next to the Mempawah river, about 200 meters form the estuary. Some young couples came by motorcycles, some families came by private cars, some of those people came by bus and truck. Eventually, about 200 meters from the location is bog down. Throughout the street, there are so many merchantmen sell their products such as clothes, beverages, accessories, VCD, DVD and other things.

Even the weather so hot and ting, the sun shining so bright, it’s not loosen the people desirable to come in here. Their destination is only one, watch the robok-robok while shopping and enjoy the free entertainment. Some foreign tourists appear in the middle of thousand local people.

On the field, some invitation guess has already sat on the chairs roofed with big tent facing the river. Not for a long time then yellow boat carry Pangeran Ratu group from Amantubillah Pallace, DR Ir Martian Adijaya Kesuma Ibrahim, MSc move to the side of the Mempawah river about 20 meters from the guess chairs. When entering the Mempawah mouth, Pangeran Ratu was picked up by prince and some punggawa keraton using yellow lancing. Then, the prince do the offerings ritual, on the ocean to push away all disasters. Next, Pangeran Ratu and the queen consort visit upon the guess, while prince come back to the palace.

Robok-robok CeremonyThis year, robok-robok was celebrated different than last years. This year celebration was concentratable at the Mempawah river presented by King and Queen and some keraton in Indonesia. They become special guess. After the ceremonial opening Keraton National Art and C ulture II and West Kalimantan Festival of Malay Art and Culture IV, all guess were entertained with west Kalimantan dance, anging mamiri (from Bugis-South Sulawesi), Malay welcome dance and 6 girls dance.

After the Closing prayer, Kings, Queens and all guess invited by the queen to have lunch inside the Amantubillah palace. This lunch procession use saprahan tradition (eating together ala coastal area people). After that, some guess make a devotional visit to a sacred place to Ompu Daeng Manambon.

The meaning pf robok-robok tradition is a welcome mat of Ompu Daeng Manambon. Robok-robok was believed as united massage from all ethnic and religion in West Kalimantan. That massage was a legacy, left by Ompu Daeng Manambon when he establish Mempawah city. Another evidence of the harmony can be seen in the Ompu Daeng Manambon funeral complex. In that funeral, there are Dayak Black commander’s, Patih Humantir’s and Damarwulan’s (Java man), Lo Tai (Chinese man), and some other ethnic grave.

Robok-robok DanceJust like years before, the robok-robok celebration has become one of the national tourism agenda and a free charge entertainment for the local people. Many attraction were showed such as water motor, traditional dress and custom, qasidah, traditional song karaoke, hadrah, albarzanji, panjat pinang (banana tree climb contest), smack pillow, tarik tambang (pull rope contest), ping pong, volley ball, soccer, dugout contest, traditional dance, and other art attraction from Pontianak. These activities were held at the next of the Mempawah river from morning until night.

For some local people, Robok-robok is a blessing. They earn money by selling products and souvenirs around that location. Usually they start to sell a week before and after the robok-robok celebration.

18 March 2009

Krakatau - West Java : Challenge The Big Sunda Strait Wave

Krakatau MountainKrakatau Mountain which located at the Sunda strait can be seen from the boat at the Merak-Banten to Bakauheni, Lampung. After take a rest for a while at the Travellers Krakatoa Nirwana Resort, my friend form Jakarta and me go to Krakatau. We use wood boat with 30 passengers, then we leave Krakatoa Nirwana Resort dock in the morning.

Yundi Nayadilaga, Activity Manager Travelers Krakatoa Nirwana Resort the tour guide said, morning wave and wind on the ocean is friendly now. "Usually the wind change on noon". Even it still quite, it is advisable to always wear the orange buoy.

The boat that we use, carry passengers from Canti dock, a small dock at the Kalianda city to Sebesi island. This way also become one of alternative way to go to Krakatau. From Sebesi island, we can continue the journey using rental wood boat. But don’t forget, you have to have simaksi (license to enter the Conservation Area from Badan Konservasi Sumber Daya Alam (BKSDA) Bandar Lampung).

KrakatauIf the wave and the wind calm, the journey from Krakatau Mountain takes about 3 hours from Travelers Krakatoa Nirwana Resort or 2 hours if you leave from Canti dock. The journey could be faster if we use speed boat which offered by the resort. The price is Rp 3.5 million for 10 persons. It takes 2 hours from resort or 1.5 hours from the Canti dock. This packet also offer 7 hours adventure, include visit the Sebesi Island and Umang-umang island. Those islands has beautiful beach and you can swim in there.

Our boat speed up through Merak Belantung strait and bamboos to catch fishes. This become a very unique scenery. Out form the small strait, our boat entering the Lampung strait which is bigger than the strait before. Entering the Sunda strait, our boat start to shake. The ocean water splashes the boat.

Yundi said our journey is still save. The wave and the west wind which predicted hold until the end of February from Kalianda-Anak Krakatau still more gentle than if we depart from Anyer or Carita, Banten. "We not use the straight way, but we take the back street through the Sebesi island and Sebuku island. We can hide at the back of these islands. Besides, the scenery is beautiful too", said Yundi.

Krakatau MountainWhen we arrived at the east side of the mountain, we found no other boat. Whereas, on Saturday usually there are at least five boats from Kalianda or from Anyer. Black sand and pumice stone is beautiful, many miners take it. That mountain is result of three island volcanic activity Rakata, Sertung, and Panjang, Krakatau giant eruption scrap on 27th April 1883. When it blow up, more than 3,500 people died, plus with the earthquake and darkness that cover up this planet because of the volcanic dust. This volcanic activity still grow until know about four centimeter each year.

The blowing wind flied dust to our nose and mouth. You can smell strong sulfur here. After 30 minutes hiking we arrive at the hill. It’s look like a bulwark, we pass sand and rocks which are made from lava and ocean pine. We can hear birding combine with the sound of the wave and the wind.

17 March 2009

Samarinda - East Kalimantan : Discover Dayak Kenyah Village

Dayak VillageIf you heard Dayak tribe, you may think that the tribe was deep in the middle of kalimantan jungle which is hard to reach. But not for Dayak Kenyah tribe, you just go to the north of Samarinda, East Kalimantan, the exact location was in the Pampang village.

Dayak Kenyah village is not too hard to reach. You don’t have to climb or hike mountain or even travel through the jungle. This village only about 20 km from Samarinda and you can use motorcycle or car because the road is smooth.

Dayak DanceActually, Dayak tribe who live in the Pampang village is Dayak Kenyah sub-ethnic. Long time ago, this area was a jungle, but after Dayak Kenyah people (35 people) from Long Us village, immigrated, this are began to develop until now. Now, Pampang’s citizen is about 1,000 persons. Even, they got modern culture form outside the village, the citizen still hold their tradition.

Dayak sub-tribe in all of Kalimantan are about 19 sub-tribe. Each sub-tribe has their own leader (chieftain) and has different culture. Dayak Kenyah People in Pampang still hold their ancestor tradition, such as weave, carve, and make some handicraft. There is also Lamin (long house, the Dayak’s house). For tourists who want to buy some souvenir, they can but it from the seller who sell beads, wood statue, or key hanger around it.

Dayak DanceEvery holiday, Dayak people celebrate many traditional dance in Lamin, like Kancet Lasan dance, Kancet Punan Lettu, Kancet Nyelama Sakai, Hudog, Manyam, Pamung Tawai, Burung Enggang, and Leleng dance.

Every year they celebrate traditional ceremony, they called it Pelas or Alaq Tau. You’ve got to be struck if you see it. Pelas is a ceremony to thank to God after harvest moon which is celebrate every June, but the date is always change depend on the good day.

DayakThe ceremony begins with greeting from the chieftain then continue with attraction show and Dayak Kenyah’s traditional dance. Those dancers were kids and elders and often invited to show their dance in Indonesian embassy such as Japan, China, USA, German, Switzerland, and other countries.

Dayak Kenyah life is just like other people. They knew technology and many of Dayak Peoplethem work on non government company and government office. So, if you don’t have much time to see the original Dayak people, the Dayak tattoo, the Dayak long ear, Lamin and craved statue, you can go to Budaya Pampang village in Samarinda. To come to the Budaya Pampang village, you have to rent a taxi or you can use vehicle’s motor through Samarinda-Bontang high way. This culture village only 5 Km from the high way.

Here, you can see Lamin or Dayak tribe traditional house, traditional dance and Dayak Kenyah ceremony. Every Sunday you can see traditional ceremony. It starts from 2 pm. Try to be polite if you interact with them. If you take a picture of the Dayak Kenyah elders who have long ear, they will ask you to pay them about 20,000 – 50,000 rupiahs.

04 March 2009

Batik Danar Hadi Museum : Get Close With The Batik Craft

Batik Danar Hadi MuseumNot only collecting 10,000 sheets of ancient batik cloth original from Indonesia, The Batik Kuno Danar Hadi Museum also smell jasmine and ylang ylang flower. The using of this nature flower is turn out to be one way to keep the quality of the Batik so it’s still durable and long lasting. If using synthetic perfumery, the quality of the Batik cloth will be descend.

Management also forbid visitors touch the cloths or take a picture with blitz. "Man’s hand contain salt so it can damage the cloth while the blitz light from the camera can fade the color of the cloths," said Tuti, the public relation of Batik Danar Hadi Museum.

Ancient Batik Danar Hadi Museum has collections almost 10,000 sheets ancient batik cloth. But, not all of the collections were displayed in the museum, only about 700 sheets displayed. "Every seven to nine months we’ll change the other collection," Tuti explained.

This Museum has a theme "Batik : Ages influence and environment". According with the theme, the collection of batik cloth which displayed were categorized in several type. There are Dutch’s Batik, China’s Batik, Java’s Batik, hokokai, India’s Batik, Batik Kraton, batik sudagaran, batik petani, batik Indonesia, and batik Danar Hadi. Visitors not only see batik but also see the manufacturing of batik cloth : batik tulis (handwriting batik), batik cap (stamped batik) or batik printing at the back of the museum.

To make visitors easier to go around and get information about batik easily, This museum was completed with instruction, guidelines, tour guide and communication aid about history of batik cloth, the specific characteristic, and motive of the batik cloth which placed on every batik clothed which displayed.

BatikThe existence of Ancient Batik Danar Hadi Museum is dedicated to conserve batik and also to catch tourists as many as it can to come to Solo "We have orientation to tourism not for commercial. We will promote batik as the Indonesian original culture. We also have packets for heritage tour," said Diana Santoso as Managing Director House Danar Hadi.

Visitors can follow the packet trip which offered by this museum, such as packet tour for ancient batik and ancient Java architecture, nDalem Wuryaningrat and discussion about batik in the gallery. It costs about Rp 30,000 s/d Rp140,000 for a man. There is also workshop for making batik tulis (handwriting batik) one color, about 175,000 a man, handcraft packet (batik course) for 5 days, costs about Rp 500,000 up to Rp 840,000 a man.

First day was start with visiting the ancient batik museum and ancient Java architecture at nDalem Wuryaningrat. Then continue with discussion about batik which located in the gallery. Items of detail and theory about process manufacturing of Batik was given after lunch.

On the second day, participants will be given a theory about raw material, coloring agent, patterning, and then practice to make batik. Third day was start again with practicing how to make batik again then continue with how to dye (coletan). On the fourth day, participants will be given practice about menutup (closing process) then continue with dye and sunken process. And for the last day, participants are practicing to closing, yoga, sunken and end up with evaluation.

BatikHouse of Danar Hadi (HDH) officially launched by Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik, on August 22nd 2008. HDH is One Stop of Batik adventure, you can get information about Indonesia batik and shopping especially products made from batik at the batik Danar Hadi showroom. Inside the HDH area, there is a historical building, Dalem Wuryaningratan. This place was belongs to KPH. Wuryaningrat regency, grandson of Pakubuwono IX, and son in law of King Surakarta I.SK.S Pakubuwono X. This building was established in 1890. HDH also facilitated with Sasana Mangunsuka building, contain Danar Hadi Batik Collection and stage for fashion show.

Not for long time again, HDH will built souvenir shop which sell handicraft and souvenirs from HDH and also HDH CAFÉ which serve many kind of Solo food and beverage.

23 February 2009

Natsepa Beach, Ambon - Maluku : Beautiful White Sand Beach

Natsepa BeachAs capital city of Maluku-East Indonesia, Ambon is very well known for its white sand beaches. More over because most of those coast line always visited by fish boat from morning till the end of the day to sell their catching.

On of the beautiful beach is Natsepa beach, located at Suli village, Salahutu, Center Maluku. This beach was so famous for its white sand, suitable for play, sunbath, swimming and other beach activity. Ambon’s people said, you never go to Ambon if you never go to Natsepa beach.

Natsepa BeachAccess to reach this beach is so easy. From Besar station at Ambon city, you can ride public transportation to Suli for about Rp 5,000. You’ll arrive to Natsepa beach for the next half hour.

Those Public transportations were start operation at 05.00-07.00 WIT (local time). If you use private transportation, only need 20 minutes from Ambon, about 18 km from down town. Ticket to enter this place is Rp 1,000/man and the parking cost is Rp 2,500/car and Rp 1,500/motorcycle.

At daylight, you’ll not able to hold to swim to the beach. It is clear and has small wave. At afternoon, when the water get high, many visitors rent boat to travel through the coast line and see many workers carry plywood to go to Tripleks Batu Gong factory (plywood factory), located across the Natsepa beach. Cost for rent boat was Rp 20,000 for one hour. This boat can be ride for 10-15 persons.

As the story goes, if you submerged for more than one hour at Natsepa beach, surely, when go back home, all your pain and disease will be gone with the Natsepa’s wave. Believe it or not, my self do the same experience, when I got flu and high fever when I visit Ambon at last December. Even my temperature was so high (390 C) and trembling, I coerce myself to submerged for about 1.5 hour, while pray to God really cures me. And it was like a miracle, when I finish and dry myself, I fell great, not feel trembling anymore.

RujakAfter swim and walking around the beach, you can relax at the small tent at the side of the beach. You can order fried banana, tuber, fried cassava, sweet coconut, or Natsepa’s rujak which famous with its peanuts spices. The rujak is costs about Rp 5,000. Those fresh fruits came from Suli village.

Don’t get rush to go home, when the night come. If you walk about 700 meters from the first location (still near the beach), you’ll find fresh fish market, just arrive, brought by fisherman who sail from morning. If the weather is good, the fish prize is very cheap. One Cangkalang fish about hand size was Rp 5,000. But if the weather is not friendly, the prize is double.

Believe me, when you step up to go back home, it’s feel so hard to leave that beautiful beach.

14 February 2009

Oenesu Waterfall – Kupang : Knitting Love Under The Rumble Waterfall

Oenesu Waterfall“Above the sandstone, next to Oenesu, we met. Near the rumble waterfall, we knitting yearn. My fidgetiness has gone, after long time separated. Here, we united again.”

Morning has not come yet. Sun still hide in the shelter. But, Lorita has been woken up from her dream. She can’t sleep tight. In her mind, there’s only Reynald, her beloved. They promise to meet after one year not meet. Wish can change the time, she really wants to wake the sun and the capon.

This also happen to Reynald at the same time, at different place. He felt what his lover felt. He suffers from his missing so deep. He can’t close his eyes and always imagine meet his beloved.

Time has pass, leave all behind. The only thing left only history and old story. That morning, Oenesu still quite. Sunshine still can’t breakthrough the trees and leaves. There, a couple sweetheart meet and look the eyes each other. They are Lorita and Reynald.

Oenesu WaterfallThe rumble Oenesu became the witness, the happiness they united again. For them, Oenesu is not only a natural location for traveling. This place was their memory how they met as lovers.
That was one of many stories that happen in Oenesu. Oenesu often visited by falling in love couple. Besides them, many local and foreign tourists (especially Australia) came this multilevel waterfall.

Oenesu is the most crowded main tourist place in Kupang. At weekend or holiday, this place could be visited by more than 1,500 people. Oenesu has 0,7 Ha wide area. The topography is quite challenging, it’s hilly. So, it’s suitable for you who love outbond activity such as cross the jungle or follow the river. There are wild animals and wild bird inside the jungle. When I came to Oenesu, I saw young men search shrimps by wood lance.

Oenesu WaterfallOenesu is a special waterfall, it has four levels. The water fall from one level to the next level and there is a big nature pond in the middle of the waterfall that tease everybody to swim.

When rainy season come, the water bulk and water volume is overwhelming, but the water still clear and pure. While when summer come, the water never dry only the volume decrease, not as many as rainy season, but the water getting more clear.

Now, Oenesu become the most favorite place to visit. You can swim, take a bath, camp or traveling the jungle around the waterfall. Visitors can use the stairway to go the waterfall base easily. There is also wood bridge to go to the jungle. While, area surroundings the parking area, there are gazebos as rest place or to buy some food and beverage around it.

Sun get more lay to the west, Oenesu start to abandoned by the visitors one by one. But nor for the Lorita and Reynold. They still comfortable sitting on the sandstone next to first level waterfall. They still enjoy their time together.

Oenesu WaterfallOenesu waterfall was located at West Kupang regency, about 17 kilometers from Kupang city, East Nusa Tenggara. Access to this waterfall is very smooth, only couple kilometers at the waterfall gate the road a little bit broke.

Oenesu can be reach by private or public transportation. If you use public transportation, you can rent a travel car from Kupang, it’s about Rp 500,000 / day and 1.5 trip from Kupang. The Ticket to enter this location is Rp 1,500 / adult and Rp 1,000 / child while the parking fee is Rp 2.000 for car and Rp 1,000 for motorcycle.

Segara Anakan, Cilacap : The Unique Lagoon

Segara AnakanMany regions in Indonesia have wide areas, but not all of them have many tourists object. Cilacap is one of the largest regency in Central Java Province. But, the name Nusa Kambangan Prison makes Cilacap has bad image as prisoner place whereas, there is an area called Segara Anakan, a wide mangrove forest, a place to take a marine biology adventure.

Segara Anakan is a lagoon with 40,000 Ha wide at South Java beach. Not only mangrove forest, but also the diversity of flora, fauna, caves, and the living place for mysterious creatures available and very attractive.
Nusa Kambangan Island
Sleko Port is the main gate to enter the Segara Anakan tourist area. Segara Anakan was located at the back of Nusa Kambangan Island. To reach this place, you can utilize small boat or compreng, only costs Rp 50,000 – 100,000/man.

Segara AnakanIt’s about three hours journey from upper course to lower course. You can see mangrove forest after entering the small river. Here you must slow the speed to avoid the crushing with the mangrove tree. Mangrove forest wide range is about 9000 Ha.

Fishermen often cross this area to bring their catch. The original Segara Anakan citizen is very hard to find fresh water and fuel. So, they bring many drums filled with fresh water and fuel which they bought in Cilacap.

In this area, the atmosphere is so alive with the kuntul’s birdling. There is a fruit which believe as a living place for mysterious creatures. Segara Anakan area still well protected against human kind even only small area (about 1200 Ha).

Slowly, the mangrove forest starts to ran out, whether naturally (coz by the shallow process) or human deed (chop the mangrove wood). We need hard work to safe this area.

BoatIt’s not describes since when fisherman settle exist. This was the settle for the aborigines. This area also well known as Kampung Laut, pretty hard to reach coz the location is quite cloistered.

We move closer to Kampung Laut, ujung Aru. It was like a remote place, so quite. There are 3 villages here. People here consider Segara Anakan like couple beloved which can not be separate with Kampung Laut. People here very depend on the lagoon coz there was their resource.

We met one of the citizen, her name is Yani. She lives with her son, Ujang. Their really depend on mangrove crab in this area. They start to collect in the morning then count it at night. They sell their catch to big city such as Semarang and Jakarta. It’s about Rp 40,000-50,000/kg. The prize will increase twice if we eat it at the restaurant.

Nusa Kambangan IslandKampung Laut’s dead or life really depends on the mangrove crab. They wish the prize will raise up at the market. The problem is, they don’t know until when these crabs will whelped while Segara Anakan region getting threatened.

Kampung Laut is not the end of the Segara Anakan story. For some people who ever came to this place , part of this area was surrounded by magic and mysterious things. There is also a cave, called Masigitsela cave, located at the hillside Nusakambangan island.

13 February 2009

Tanjung Marthafons – Ambon – Maluku : City Gate of Ambon

AmbonAmbon, after social riot several years ago, has been changed from dead city to beautiful city. Diverse and attractive tourism passed off for couple year, has been rework since 2008.
And the result, slowly, Ambon tourism began to show up again. Every weekend many tourists come to the tourist area around the city. While for the foreign tourists which usually come from Dutch, also come to locations around the beach.

But, where is the location for tourists area in Ambon? J Watratan, Head of Culture and Tourism Department of Maluku Province said each tourists area in Ambon is attractive and has its own special quality compared to tourists area in Java and Bali. See Tanjung Marthafhons (Marthafhons Cape) and the City Gate, It has a very wonderful attractive power.

Tanjung MarthafonsTanjung Marthafons or Tanjung Martha Alfons, located across the Ambon city. To reach that place, citizen can utilize ferry or dugout. Tanjung Marthafons has slope slightly beach, beautiful sand and completed with edge (border coast) made from wall, one meter height. At this wall, people can enjoy the calm cape coolly.

"That’s why every Sunday night or holiday Tanjung Marthafons never been quite from visitors," said Samuel Hehanusa, security guard of Tanjung Marthafons.

Samuel said that when Ambon still completely safe in Orde Baru periode (President Soeharto still in charge), Tanjung Marthafons region was governable by Pertamina (Government industry). The land was owned by Pertamina. Not wonder if this location often used by Pertamina’s managers as asylum. There are night show, karaoke, and place for dancing, all available here.

But in Social crisis area, several years ago, all entertainment facilities including asylum and villas have been burnt. Now, we can only see the debris which still exists.

Tanjung MarthafonsThe beach atmosphere still gorgeous, "We sell the atmosphere to all the tourists so that at weekend and holiday this area never been quite from visitors," said Samuel. Ambon Tourist Department also established this location as traditional dugout competition.

Other activity which held routinely is garbage diving in the cape. "Last year, when the traditional dugout held lots of local tourists come to this location. Maybe because many artists from Ambon follow that show", said Samuel again.

Then what is the attract power of the city gate? J Watratan told the story, for ordinary people consider the city gate as a “gate” to enter the city. Actually, city gate is a tourist location.

When you arrive to the city gate you can see a square hole at the hillside. If the whether is bright, visitors can see the Ambon’s atmosphere at night from the hole. What a beautiful scenery, city view, full of light. You also can see many boats and ships come and go.

Banten – West Java : Exotic, Mystic And Magic Trip

The mystic Baduy people, the beautiful white sand coast. the lush Ujung Kulon jungle, the supernatural attraction, here is Banten.

DebusCreeps!! That was your first impression when you saw Debus attraction, unique and rare attraction only available in Banten. Debus is combination of Pencak Silat (martial art) and traditional music with strong magic. If you see debus, you’re like see Superman who invulnerable to sharp weapon and not burn fried in fire. Not wonder if this special Banten tradition not only popular in Indonesia, but also popular in world wide. The magic and religic thing in debus has already start since 16 century, when Banten lead by Sultan Maulana Hasanuddin.

DebusDebusDebus used as device for Ulamas to spread Islam at Banten and around it. This quite reasonable, because the character of Banten people still hard till now. When Dutch come to Banten, debus present the firing the spirit of Banten warriors against colonizer. Now, debus shows up with different face. This attraction was packed nicely, so many tourists can show the attraction.

DebusA moment before the show, Usually players do some special ritual to prepare their self with fasting and praying so that they’ll gave safety at the show, minimal 2 days before the show. Generally, all players have pencak silat skill. But, it doesn’t mean all pencak silat players can play debus. They must have some special skills to do debus.

Debus starts with gembung (opening) when all players read shalawat (prayers) to Nabi Muhammad and dzikir with percussion musical chairs. Half hour later, those prayers getting louder and intercommunicate each other. This stage called beluk. Together with beluk, all players start to attract; stab stomach with spear, chop hand with machete, glut fire, stab tongue or cheek skin with wire without bleeding (even if bleeding can be heal with one hand stroke!). Yes, it seems so horrible! But, this was the attract power.

For researches and anthropologist, Budaya Baduy Village which located at Kanekes village, Leuwi Damar regency, Lebak, become a big magnet. Their life are still traditional and unique, very interesting to observe and study. Because of them, now Kanekes village become famous and many local and foreign tourists come to see them.

To go to Budaya Baduy village, you have to go to Rangkas Bitung. Then, continue your journey to Ciboleger, 38 kilometers from Rangkas Bitung. Actually, there are other ways to enter the Baduy area, but local government has already make Ciboleger as main gate. The road is nice, but still in several location is quite Baduy Villageabrupt and landslide. So be careful!

Before on to the Baduy area, all tourists have to report their company and ask permission to the chairman of the village. Then, you can start your journey again. There are two options to cross Baduy area. If you have lots of times or more than one day, you can cross to Cibeo, Cikertawana or Cikeusik, also known as Baduy Dalam (deep Baduy). It’s about 12 kilometer from Ciboleger and traveling by walk. While for you who don’t have lots of time, Gajeboh which located 3.5 kilometer or 2 hours trip from Ciboleger, can be your option.

Woven FabricFor you who visit this place for the first time, Guide will be very useful. You can find the guide at Ciboleger station and if you bring to much stuff and difficult for traveling, you can pay for a porter. The thing you must watch before enter Baduy region, there are several rules you must obey. One of the rule is : only Malayan (dark skin and dark eyes) can enter Baduy Dalam. While caucasian (Eropean) or Chinese people can not enter it. They only permissible enter the Baduy luar (beyond Baduy) or until Gajeboh village. As long as the tour, you’ll pass pathway in middle of the jungle and Baduy village, better if you wear sneakers or trekking.

During the journey, you can see Baduy women woven fabric, men go back home while carry fruit from farm or children playing in front of their houses. At Baduy Luar area, you still can take a picture, except one, a ccustom house not far bridge made of bamboo at Gajeboh village. While at Baduy dalam you can’t take a picture at all. You must obey this rule!

12 February 2009

Tanjung Puting – West Kalimantan : Orang Utan Habitat

Tanjung PutingTanjung Puting has no competitor. Here, you can see Orang Utan closely, you can even touch and get interaction with them. This area has already popular in all world traveling. But, there are several rules you must obey to do that.

Indonesia is very rich for its biological variety especially the tropical. This was a very good capital to build business tourism. This country has two most famous species : Komodo and Orang Utan.

Orang UtanOrang UtanMany foreign people get obsessed to see this two unique species. Why? Komodo was known as ancient legacy which still left in this world while Orang utan is great apes which leave outside Africa. In fact, there still one other unique species Tangkasi. But it’s hard to see.

As one of orang utan’s habitat, Tanjung Puting has big potency to visited by local and foreign adventurers and this has already happen since 1970’s, but has not manage maximally yet. Compared with other orang utan habitat, Tanjung Puting has lots of superiority. Tanjung Puting is the first place in Indonesia for orang utan’s rehabilitation. It means people guarantee can see orang utan.

Orang UtanOrang UtanWorld has admit that Tanjung Puting is one of the most important area for research and has been well known by lots of people. Orang utan become a magnet conservation in this area because this area has the biggest population compare with other area in Kalimantan. This conservation has 415,040 ha wide.

There is other orang utan conservation area at Bohorok, North Sumatera. But, the management doing mistake by built this area without concept. There are lots of concrete walls everywhere. You can’t feel the nature and can’t go for trip.

Tanjung PutingAnother great capital of Tanjung Puting is the free promotion by the adventure television, National Geographic. This was the only place that ever been visit by Hollywood top artist, Julia Roberts. If we take care this area carefully, orang utan could live prosperously and many tourists will come here.

Tourists who come here have different characteristic with other tourist. They were people who already studying the Indonesia’s geography before leave. So, when Bali and Jakarta been bombed, they not cancel the travel.

Tanjung PutingCall rate data showed from the head of Balai Taman Nasional Tanjung Puting (TNTP) in 2001 is 400 tourists. In the next year, visitors increase to 850 tourists and for 2008 data show more than 1000 tourists come here.

Tanjung Puting is not only dominated by orang utan. We also can enjoy the fresh air when the light rain drop, the bright sky at noon, the shining stars at night, and of course the sunset. That’s why many people call this place as Garden of Eden.

Marsegu Island - Maluku : Unforgetable Adventure

Marsegu IslandMarsegu Island was located at west side of Seram Island (Nusa Ina / Ibu Island) which famous with its Taman Nasional Manusela (National Park Manusela). Marsegu island was at West Seram regency, Province of Maluku. Local people named this island as Marsegu because it has so many bats in there. Marsegu come from the local language means bat.

May be if you hear bats, the first thing that crossing in your mind could be Dracula, a man who suck your blood and can change his body into bat. But, this island was not terrifying at all. In fact, many the gifts of nature and gorgeous sceneries you can see in here, as place for recreation or place for botanical ocean research.

Marsegu IslandBesides bats, you also can see protected species suach as Gosong Megaphodius reinwardtii (Burung Maleo/bird) and coconut crab (Birgus latro) or local people say "kepiting kenari". There are many other birds which make this island as a place for finding food, for play or for sleep.

Marsegu Island or “the bat island” was part of the protected forest area which established by Keputusan Menteri Kehutanan Nomor: 10327/Kpts-II/2002, in December 30th 2002; It has 240.20 Ha wide. The sea area was part of Taman Wisata Alam Laut (Ocean Park Trip) with 10,000 Ha wide, established by SK Menhutbun No. 114/Kpts-II/1999, in March 5th 1999. This area has a very potent ocean resource, many colorful coral and flora and fauna in different shape and size available here.

FishFor you who love seafood, all you can eat is available! You can get the seafood by fishing your self or buy from the fisherman. You can choose what ever fish you like and cook it with your own way, whether roast, burn, fry or other way.

In Marsegu, you can see some forests, one of them was secondary jungle which created by people as land for farming. This secondary forest community was growth on a coral stage by stage in weathering process. Previously, this area was a primer forest with trees diameter more than 100 cm.

Half of this island was mangrove forest, which contains mangrove species such as Rhizophora mucronata, Rhizophora apiculata, Brugueira gymnorrhiza, Brugueira sexangula, Ceriops tagal, Xylocarpus mollucensis, Xylocarpus granatum, Heritiera littoralis, Lumnitzera littorea, Aegiceras corniculatum, Excoecaria agallocha, Pemphis acidula and Scyphiphora hydrophyllacea.

Marsegu IslandThe most outside zone of the mangrove area is Rhizophora mucronata which then mingled with Rhizophora apiculata and at the middle is Brugueira gymnorrhiza, Brugueira sexangula, Ceriops tagal, Xylocarpus mollucensis and Xylocarpus granatum. Well, here you can find the peacefulness which can’t be found in your neighborhood.

At the east side of Marsegu island, there is jungle beach vegetation which has white sand throughout 1600 meters. Type of vegetation in this zone is Cordia subcordata, Pongamia pinnata, Terminalia catappa and Baringtonia asiatica.

While at the north side of white sand beach, you can find Ipomea pescaprae zone which dominated by rumput angin (Spinifex littoreus) and Katang-katang (Ipomea pescaprae). This location is suitable as tourist area. The ocean scenery is very beautiful and you can heal the fresh ocean air.

Marsegu IslandFor you who want to camp or leave for a couple days, there are two wells as fresh water sources which used by people surrounding the wells to drink, take a bath and washing.

So, you don’t have to doubt to visit this exotic location. Well, start to make a plan to trip to Marsegu Island, guarantee you’ll be satisfied and have an unforgettable adventure.

11 February 2009

Cirebon – West Java : Your Next Tour Destination

CirebonNorth Java coast is the best place for Chinese culture acculturation. You can see from cities such as Batavia, Gresik, Tuban, Madura, Semarang, and Cirebon. At least there is other culture beside Chinese that give those city “the colour of life”. There are four big groups In Batavia: Betawi, China, Arabian, and Europe. You also can see those culture in Cirebon.

Cirebon is not only name without history. The name Cirebon is come from the word ‘Caruban’ means place to meet or intersecting street. Some said Cirebon is come from the word ‘carub’ in Javanese means mixture. By Tome Pires, the word “caruban” was recorded as Choroboarn and because of the Sunda influence which always have “Ci-“ prefix (means water), then the name was changed became Cirebon (Ci=water and rebon=Shrimp), Shrimp river. You can see it from the souvenir. Always made from shrimp, whether the food or handicraft.

There’re only few Indonesian people make Cirebon as a tour destination. Whereas, this city has lots of tourists area, especially for the historical relics and the food. At least, there are 10 foods which difficult to find, available in here.

At Jamblang, there are lots of buildings in lines with Chinese style still exist. Those buildings now become the place to sell or workshop. But basically, all of those buildings seem to be sleazy. This area was lengthwise just like the watercourse. A note at one of the old buildings wall at Jamblang inscribed 1833. There’s possibility the most expansion going in early 19 century.

There are Three keraton (kingdom) at Cirebon and they are brothers. We tow the story about Keraton after saw the Gunung Jati cemetery. Gunung Jati was the name of Sunan (title for the holy men who first brought Islam to Java) titled Gunung Jati, and his real name is Faletehan or Syarif Hidayat Fatahilah. He is a Chinese muslim. Later, the established of sultanate at Cirebon is his interfere.

At the end of Demak kingdom, Chinese settle at the north java coast is improving quite big. Most of them came from Yunnan and their religions are muslim. One of the famous Ulama(Muslim Scholars) was Haji Tan Eng Hoat. He was the one who lead Fatahilah to establish the kingdom of Cirebon.

CirebonThereby, the Sultanate of Cirebon in 1522 established by Haji Tan Eng Hoat otherwise called Mohamad Ifdil Hanafi together with Sunan Gunung Jati. Sunan Gunung Jati become the first king for Kasepuhan. And then in 1553, Sunan Gunung Jati married the daughter of Haji Tan Eng Hoat, Ong Tin also known as Princess Chinese. We can find their graves at Gunung Jati funeral. The funeral called Wukir Sapta. It’s pretty good, surrounded by white wall with Chinese porcelain.

Back to Keraton! There are three big Keraton, Kasepuhan, Kanoman, and Kacirebonan. Two of them were Chinese–Java architecture (Kasepuhan and Kanoman). While Kacirebonan has Europe architecture (Indische). Jus like Java Keraton, these three Keraton were facing to the North complete with hall and mosque at the west side.

Keraton Kasepuhan has holy mosque : Agung Sang Cipta Rasa, also become the sunan Gunung Jati cemetery. Keraton and the other support facilities, such as mosque, Regol, and Pendopo have hundreds of Chinese ornament, such as porcelain, furniture, and jewelry. In this area, the guide will welcome mat you. You can listen to the guide about history and add your insight.

Do you love shopping? Here you go : Batik pesisiran had a great vogue in this city. An area called Trusmi, Plered, dedicate itself as the batik producer in central java. Start from di Jln. Panembahan and Jln. Buyut Trusmi.

Batik PesisirThere are two kind of Cirebon’s batik : Batik Pesisir which influence by Chinese and Batik Keraton which influence by Hindu and Islam. Motif of Batik pesisir marked with the picture of flora and fauna, such as fish, trees, and leaves. While batik keraton motive marked as ornament such as stones (wadas), kereta singa barong (Lions train), naga seba (Dragon Seba), taman arum (arum park) and ayam alas (Chicken alas).

There are many other things you can search in Cirebon. This small city was ever be the center of economic development in java. Cirebon with the three culture, Cirebon with three keraton.