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.

09 February 2009

Mountain Rinjani - Lombok : The Challenging Mountain

Rinjani MountainThe amount of Rinjani mountaineers increasing in this past 2 years. Facilities around Rinjani became the attractive power. Rinjani become more popular in world wide. The Rinjani management as tourist area got international award. The award was gave from National Geographic Society and Conservation International for Destination Stewardship category.
Since last couple years, Rinjani was managed by Badan Pengelola Rinjani Trek (BPRT) and a consultant from New Zealand. Ranjani area itself was part of the Taman Nasional (National Park). This mountain has 3,726 meter height and located at west, middle and south Lombok. Rinjani was managed together in this area.

Rinjani MountainPreviously, there are many complains from tourists who climb Rinjani. They report that they have been robed or got unpleasant treatment. Of course this situation adverse not only the tourists but also people who live around Rinjani. People involvement has been proved can handle those problems.

For you who love adventure, Rinjani is quite challenging. There are several routes to get to the top of Rinjani, such as Senaru, Sembalun Lawang or Sesaot. Usually, you need three or four day trip from the last village to the top of the mountain. How long the trip was depends on the situation and condition in the field and the route you choose.

One of the favorite route is Senaru. Senaru is small city at North of Lombok island. The distance between Mataram and Senaru is about 89 kilometers or less than 2.5 hours journey. You can reach Senaru by using motor vehicle. The road is pretty good. Cross the mountain range and the shore side to Senaru made an impression on. For example, at Pusuk, you can find long tail monkeys at the side of the road. Those monkey become friendly if you give them food. There are lots of Hotels and villas in this area.

Rinjani MountainFrom Senaru, you walk to Babanan (next caldera at North), then go to Kokok Putih river. It’s one hour trip by walking. You can see telaga Segara Anak (a lake) before the summit. After that, you can choose which route you take to go to the top. The most route taken by tourist was through Senaru, coz this was the easiest way.

You can access another route such as route Sembalun Lawang. Sembalun Lawang is a small city at the east of Rinjani mountain. The distance between Sembalun Lawang and Mataram is about 110 kilometer or 4 hours trip by using motor vehicle. Continue the journey from Sembalun Lawang to the west, to Segara Anakan is about one day trip. Then go to Plawangan baru to the top of the mountain. Sometimes mountaineers go straight to Plawangan and go to the top. Sembalun Lawang Route is the hardest route.

Other alternative is Sesaot. Distance between Sesaot and Mataram is about 21 Km or a half hour trip using motor vehicle. From Sesaot we go to the Babanan then go to Kokok Putih. It’s two days trip, crossing mountain range and jungle. For those who love the nature scenery, the journey from Sesaot to Kokok Putih has the most beautiful view. After reach Kokok Putih, we go to Plawangan and then go to the top of Rinjani.

Rinjani MountainBeside those three routes, many mountaineers improve new route by themselves. People around Rinjani also often hike the mountain with different route. Although they choose different route, at the end they must be meet the same point, Plawangan. From Plawangan (also known as Plawangan Sembalun) we cross footpat and climb a steep hill. Mountainers call this area as 'Tanjakan Penyesalan', means regret steep. Guide or porter is available here.

Guide and porter can help you prepare your daily needs, such as food and beverage or keep your stuff when go leave the place for take a rest. At Senaru, there is place for you to rent tent and sleeping bag.

Rinjani MountainFrom Senaru, we can see culture trip, such as see the tradition of Sasak people which also known as Waktu Telu community. In this village, we can see their house that established orderly, and built with no nail at all. Not far from Senaru, there is other natural tourist object, a waterfall : Sindang Gile and Tiu Kelep.

Brastagi – North Sumatra : Peace of Mind Destination

BrastagiBored with the randy city? Sick spend all holidays go around the mall and the city? Why don’t you try to feel the mountainous atmosphere? Inhale the mountain air makes your body and joints more fit, well, and peaceful. You can come to Brastagi. Brastagi was located at the south slope of Mountain Sibayak. Administratively, Brastagi located at Tanah Karo regency with its capital city Kaban Jahe, 78 Km from Medan (capital city of North Sumatra).

The green feel from the leaves at the slope of mountain Rangkap Sibayak makes Brastagi feel more cool and chilly, and many tourists love it. Not only the mountain, the hill and the farms make your eyes ‘green-green’. Brastagi is very potent for its agroindustry, and become the perfect place to traveling around Toba lake and Samosir island (trade mark of North Sumatra).

Brastagi position is very strategic as transit place. Many tourist objects reach easily and many hotels available. The rate for the Hotels is variable and offers unique local design. You can choose hotel or villa which historically those places were archaeological remains at the colonial area.

The distance between Bratagi and Sibayak mountain is only 7 Km. This position makes many mountaineers choose this city as the nearest alternative to go up to the top of the mountain with 2.094 meters height. With suitable infrastructure you can utilize vehicle to get closer to the mountain.

At the top of the Sibayak mountain, you can see a lake from crater. Its wide is 200 x 200 meters , with active sulfur production, 119.60celsius. The temperature air around the lake was 210celsius. You also can see the top of the Sinabung mountain which has 2,451 meter height.

Daulu VillageNot only that, not far from Brastagi, to the top of Sibayak you can see lokasi Lau Debuk-Debuk (Hot water source tourists). It was located at Daulu village. This hot water temperature is 350celsius, appear from the crack of lava flow at the slope of the mountain. Many mountaineers take a break for a while in here.

At the upper course of the sources which temperature is up to 1500C, you can see power plant. Visitors can see the nature process of fume power plant. It produce energy which is pollutant free and no radioactive effect.

Brastagi also has hill and mountain range tour, known as Bukit Gundaling (Gubdaling hill) 3 Km from Brastagi. To reach the hill, you can walk or rent sado. Sado is a kind of wheel transportation using horse. This hill offer the beauty of its park and suitable for relaxing or jogging. At the peak of the hill, you can see the scenery of Sibayak volcano and Sinabung volcano with their amazing volcanic activity.

Mean while, tourist object Tongging also offers scenery in Brastagi. It was located at the south about 35 km from Brastagi, at the side of Lake Toba. Here, you can see the beauty blue of Toba Lake and the mountain range at Samosir island clearly. This special scenery was completed by the peak of mountain Sipiso-piso and Tongging waterfall. Kampung Lingga is not just natural tour of Brastagi, but also a culture tour which become the mainstay of this city.

Kampung LinggaThere is kampung Karo culture tour about 16 km to the south of Brastagi, at kampung Lingga (Lingga village). This was a place that offers Batak Karo ethnic legacy. You can see Batak traditional dance called Batak Karo and Batak Karo traditional house. It was estimated has been 250 years old, with its special and unique shape, different with other traditional house.

Traditional buildings such as custom house, jambur (place for meeting), geriten (place to keep corpse), lesung, can be seen in here, complete with its culture. All of this makes Brastagi become more intact, all at once as culture tour.

06 February 2009

Semarang - Central Java : The City of Sam Poo

SemarangSemarang is one of important port in colonial time. Its range is 373.67 km2 and become the capital city of Central Java province. Now, Semarang become the biggest community for Chinese decline in Indonesia.

If you ask where does the name Semarang come from, you’ll two version which completely different, depends on who are you asking to. Java aborigines will tell you about the combination between asem (tamarind) and arang (charcoal). The combination of these two words become “Semarang”. While Chinese people in here will tell the story about an admiral from china who ever came to this city, Admiral Chen Ho.

Semarang journey in this modern area is like walking through the past. Old buildings still established through the street. This area was well known as Kota Lama (Outstadt), the Netherland colonial period. Gereja Blenduk (Blenduk church at St. Jend. Suprapto, PT. Perkebunan XV Persero building at st. Mpu Tantular and post office building not far from the Berok bridge are mute witness.

Merchantmen with their small kiosk through the canal Berok, also offer unique scenery from the past. Freeland massager, traditional Chinese treatment, kiosk, coffeshop kopi, voucher hand phone kiosk were found in here.

Simpang Lima SemarangNot far from the outstadt, you can visit another historical area. It’s called Kawasan Pecinan Semarang; crossed the KH. Wahid Hasyim street and then branching to small narrow street (called “gang”), such as Gang Pinggir, Gang Warung and Gang Lombok. There are also china temples between the Chinese eatery which spread the food smell and flirt your appetite.

Pecinan SemarangFood is become one of the high yield commodity in Semarang. Not only Chinese food, but also all kind of food exist in here. One of the center is Kawasan Simpang Lima. Simpang Lima is the hearth of Semarang city. It was full of shopping centers, office buildings and grand hotels. It never off from morning till night. On weekend this area was closed and made for market 'pasar kaget' which sell many things from very cheap scarce plant until dancing attraction.. You name it! You got it!

Lawang SewuThere are two luxurious buildings in Simpang Lima area, the legend Lawang Sewu (= means 1000 doors) and Raya Baiturrahman Mosque at the west side of the center park. These two building become the favorite place for architect, photographer and artist. Lawang Sewu itself was very well known as a place for test your guts, people say this building was hunted by ghost from the past.

Lawang Sewu has independence historical moment. In August 1945 14-19th, thousand young warriors as Angkatan Muda Kereta Api (AMKA) died in war against Netherland. Five of them be laid to rest in Lawang Sewu yard. This moment was known as 'pertempuran lima hari' (5 days fight).

Sam Poo Kong TempleBesides the historical buildings, center of Chinese religious place in Semarang also offers many interesting story. The most famous is Klenteng Sam Poo Kong (Sam Poo Kong temple) around the Gedung Batu (Stone building). It was one of the oldest religious complex in Indonesia and become the symbol of the glamour Chinese heritage in Semarang.

This place has already renovated and added several new buildings. Every year many people celebrate the Admiral Chen Ho arrival in Java land. In fact, at the 600th Admiral Chen Hoo arrival, last year, were celebrated regally. There are prayer together, Barongsay, Liong-Samsi, art show, China lantern party, firework, and bazaar.

Avalokitesvara PagodaThere is another great place you should come, up the hill at the side os the main road to the Ungaran. Avalokitesvara Pagoda, also known as Metta Karuna Pagoda which mean loving kindness, were declared by the governor of Central Java, Mardiyanto recently.

This Pagoda has 7 level, and become the resident for about 30 lovely and gorgeous sacrifice statue. A giant statue exist in the middle of the Pagoda, around by so many fruits and flowers as tribute. Very unique! This 45 meters Pagoda is now become the newest landmark in Semarang.