Archive for 2011

Bandung - Parijs Van Java

Bandung is the largest metropolitan city in West Java at once became the capital of the province. The town is located 140 km southeast of Jakarta, and is the third largest city in Indonesia after Jakarta and Surabaya. While in Bandung Raya is the second largest metropolitan area in Indonesia after the Greater Jakarta. In this historic town, established a technical college in Indonesia (Technische Hoogeschool, now ITB) [2], the scene of battle in time of Independence, and had been a venue for the Asian-African Conference 1955, a meeting that voiced the spirit of anti-colonialism , even the Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru in his speech said that Bandung is the capital of Asia and Africa.

In 1990 the city became one of the safest cities in the world by Time magazine survey.

The city flower is another name for this city, and formerly known as the Parijs van Java. In addition, the city of Bandung is also known as the town shopping, with malls and factory outlets widely spread in the city. And in 2007, the British Council makes the city of Bandung as a pilot project terkreatif town as East Asia. Today, the city of Bandung is one of the main destinations of tourism and education.

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Appeasing a God

The Tengger tribe's most important celebration, Yadnya Kasada, commenced smoothly and without incident at the increasingly active Mount Bromo in Probolinggo, East Java.

Thousands of Tengger tribespeople, along with domestic and foreign tourists who had come to witness the annual fes­tival, gathered on Sept. 7 for the ritual procession up the mountain.

The Tengger are believed to be descendants of a 15th-cen­tury princess of the declining Majapahit kingdom, Roro Anteng, and her husband Joko Seger, who fled to eastern Java's Tengger mountains. According to legend, the childless couple climbed the volcano and prayed to Bromo's god, who granted their wish for children on condition that they would sacrifice their youngest to its crater.

This year's Kasada was colored by the heightened alert sta­tus of Mt. Bromo, from Level 2 (Code Yellow) to Level 3 (Code Orange). With a possible eruption hanging over the festivities, the start of Kasada was delayed several hours as the Tengger people prayed to calm the sacred volcano - but without any visible effect.

An eruption is taken as a sign that the god is very angry. "It is our hope that nothing untoward will occur during this Kasada," said a festival participant.

And this hope was fulfilled as the ritual procession made its way across the desert plain - the Sand Sea - surround­ing Bromo and up through the cloud-covered, chilly heights to its peak.

There, Tengger shamans prayed as others amassed the offerings they had carried up the volcano's slopes, then released them into the gaping crater. (The Jakarta Post, Sunday, September 24, 2006, pg. 20)

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More Singaporeans visit Bali

The Bali Central Statisics Agency (BPS) says almost 17,000 Singaporean tourists visited the resort island in January, an increase of 121.4 percent over the same period last year.

"The significant increase was a result of various factors including the image of Bali as secure place for a vacation, its many unique attractions and the relatively short flight time between Singapore and Bali," Bali BPS chief Gede Suarsa said Tuesday as quoted by Antara.

Almost 5,900 tourists from Singapore visited Bali in January 2010. For the whole year of 2010, the total number of Singaporean visitors to Bali was 97,402, up from 55,992 in 2009.

In terms of their numbers and country of origin, Singaporean tourists constituted the eighth-largest group to visit Bali in 2010, after those from Australia, China, Japan, Russia, South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan, Suarsa said.

In January 2011, Bali received a total of 209,093 visitors, a 16.6 percent increase over the same period last year.

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Rob Rambini Proudly Welcomed in Bali after Sailing Solo from California

After sailing solo for over 10,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean, Rob ”Rama” Rambini  finally arrived at the Balima Pier,Tanjung Benoa Port, Bali at 01.30 am. Western Indonesia Time on Saturday, April 2nd 2011. The Italian born Indonesian citizen began this long voyage from Oakland, California, United States of America on May 8th 2010. The journey, which took 10 months and 27 days, landed Rob in the pages of the Indonesian Museum of Records (MURI) as the first Indonesian ever to sail solo from California to Bali.  The MURI certificate of recognition no. 4810/R.MURI/IV/2011 was handed by MURI representative attended by DR. Sapta Nirwandar,  Director General for Tourism Marketing of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Indonesia at the Serambi Mariana, Tanjung Benoa Port, Bali.

Upon arrival, the tired and shabby looking sailor was immediately hugged by his mother, KRAY Tri Sutijikamal. “I want to say thank you to the government and everyone involved in this. I want to meet my mom, whom I have not seen for quite a while. It’s been 30 years since my last visit to Indonesia. I almost fell asleep on my way to Bali, everything feels new here”, said Rob as reported by He also stated that in his younger years he often traveled to many parts of the world in search of new experiences. “My intention to come to Indonesia is because I have been longing to see my mother; that is my motivation”, he added.

The 53 year-old veteran sailor set sail in a 30 feet (10 meters) Jensen Marine Cal 30 sailboat named Kona. Rob self funded the voyage that cost him no less than 250 million rupiahs. Detikcom reported that Rob carried 7 sails, with two broken sails and 2 other patched sails. “This is a small boat for a long voyage”, he said. Rob sailed out from California to Hawaii, then down to the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, later to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea before finally reaching Bali. 

He almost forfeited his voyage when a 12 meters high wave hit him just three days off the coast of San Francisco. “My sail was torn, making it difficult to sail. There are only two options; head back or continue sailing into the nearest island in Hawaii. Fighting desperation, I decided to go on with the journey”, said Rob as reported by

Sapta Nirwandar stated that Rob Rambini’s quest gave a positive value for Indonesia's tourism promotion. Rob has shown to the world that Indonesia as an archipelagic nation is potential to be developed as a world class sailing and marine tourism destination.

“We ought to be justly proud of Rob Rambini, who has managed to sail across the Pacific Ocean all on his own. This can be used as a motivation and to encourage the spirit of the youth. Rob Rambini’s accomplishment is also solid proof that we are still great seafarers today, as were our ancestors” added Sapta.


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Jawa Timur


East Java is one of Indonesia provinces. It is located on the eastern part of Java Island and also includes Madura and Bawean islands. It state in the West neighbor of Bali, across the small Strait of Bali. East Java has a variety of attractions, from temple sites to scenic beaches, a sand-sea, highland-lakes, volcanoes, marine gardens and wildlife reserves. Magnificent mountain scenery include the crater and sea of sand at Mount Bromo, the "sulfur mountain" Welirang and rugged lien Plateau. Little of the former glory of Majapahit Empire, still stands in East Java to day with the exception of temple ruins and some archaeological discoveries. East Java's claim to fame in modern history is its vanguard role in the struggle for independence against colonial forces in 1945.

The administrative center of the province is located in Surabaya, the second largest city in Indonesia and a major industrial center and port. Its capital, Surabaya is second to Jakarta in size, population and commerce. East Java is also the most industrialized province in the nation. Its economy is based on agriculture, fishery, oil industries, coffee, mangoes and apples. Connected with the rest of Java by good motor roads and train services, there are also air services between Surabaya and other major cities in the country including Bali which is only half an hour's flight a way. It is also easily accessible by road and regular ferry from Bali and Java. Madura Island, famous for its bull races, is part of the province of East Java, though it has its own traditions and language. Fossilized remains of prehistoric animals and the site of the Java man at Trinil, Ngawi, will tantalize the archaeologist, as well as numerous temple ruins dating from the 7th century AD.

The wide of East Java area is 47,921 sq km. Two thirds of the area is mountainous with approximately 48 mountains. The highest peak, Mount Semeru is the highest in Java. The Brantas (314 km) and Bengawan Solo (540 km) are the two big rivers. This area is located between 5o 37' and 8o 48' South Latitude and between 110o 54' and 115o 57' East Longitude. East Java is bordered by:
North side: Java Sea
South side: Indian Ocean
West Side: Central Java Province
East side: Bali Strait

The East Java Province consists of 29 regencies, 8 municipals and 2 administrative towns with Surabaya as its capital city.

Its topical climate means that October to April is the wet season, and May to September is the dry season with an average temperature of 20-30 C. The rainfall in East Java is relatively low, on average of 2,000 mm per year.

East Java province consists of various communities such as Javanese and Maduranese with their culture, tradition and customs.

The population is almost 33 million people occupy about 48,000 square kilometers (including Madura island).

Cultural Attractions of East Java
Angklung: An ensemble of bamboo instruments quite popular in Banyuwangi.
Gandrung Dance: A classical dance dedicated to Dewi Sri, the goddess of rice. Popular in Banyuwangi as well.
Bull Race (Karapan Sapi): a regular attraction at the stadium of Pamekasan, Madura.
Labuhan Sesaji: a thanksgiving ceremony held by fishermen of Muncar, Banyuwangi, and Suro.
Reyog Trance Dance: traditional Ponorogo dance with 15 dancers wearing peacock-feather headdresses and tiger mask.
Tayub Dance: a popular social dance from Nganjuk, 120 km southwest of Surabaya. This dance is usually performed at wedding parties or other celebratory gatherings where the dancers use their scarfs to invite guests to join them.

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Foreign tourist arrival in Indonesia down in January

The number of foreign holidaymakers arriving in Indonesia in January decreased by 14.81 percent to 548,800, year on year, the National Statistic Bureau announced on Tuesday.

But, the number of foreign holidaymakers visiting Bali, the center of country's tourist industry, rose by 16.81 percent to 208,300, year on year, Head of the Bureau Rusman Heriawan told a press conference at the bureau office.

More than 7 million foreign tourists visited Indonesia last year, exceeding the initial target of 7 million people.

The government is targeting 7.7 million foreign tourists this year, and expecting them to spend 8.4 billion U.S. dollars from 7. 6 billion U.S. dollars in 2010.

Indonesian tourism industry has recovered from the impact of terrorism and epidemics.

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Blogcritics Book Review: Healing Spices

"Healing Spices is a detailed look at the healing and curative properties in many spices, both ordinary and more exotic. Part one of this book discusses ancient medicines and how spices have been used throughout history from about 2,600 BC. This glimpse into history includes the cultures of India, Indonesia, Syria, Egypt and even Rome.

The first part of the book also includes a brief introduction to spices, what they are, and how they work. It also explains epidemiological studies and what they've discovered about different types of spices. There's also information on phytonutrients contained in a variety of different types of spices.

Part two of Healing Spices is a detailed breakdown of 50 different spices. There are fifty chapters and each chapter focuses on one specific spice. The author has only included spices that have been shown to be beneficial based on intriguing or established science. Every spice chapter highlights the specific health condition that is potentially affected by this spice.
Each chapter includes information on the medicinal and culinary history of the spice. They also explain what traditional foods you probably already eat are prepared with the spice."

Read more:

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Batik Madura: Trapped in Complex Patterns

For most Madurese women, being a part of the batik-making process is a matter of centuries of tradition. Thanks to the geography of the island, batik Madura, as it is popularly dubbed, is famous for its vibrant colors and various motifs, most representing the area’s plentiful flora and fauna. Some people say that the batik’s lively colors represent the nature of the Madurese people, who are said to be exuberant and direct.

Tiyema, 60, said she has been making batik pieces for nearly five decades.

“I make batik every day,” she said. “But I always do it after I finish with the house chores, like cooking, at around nine in the morning. When do I stop? It depends on how long I can endure sitting on the floor to do the work.”

While making the fabric provides Madurese women with a steady income, these batik-makers have had to abandon their dreams of ever being able to “do anything else,” in exchange for the little money they earn per each piece of the material.

“I admit that apart from preserving the tradition, I’m doing this work also because I have no other choice,” said Khatijah, from Paseseh Village in Bangkalan district. Khatijah started learning batik-making from her mother at the tender age of 11. “I don’t earn a lot of money, but I have to be able to earn enough to somehow make ends meet.

Traditional batik is made by using wax and dye to create patterns on fabric. The creation of one piece of batik tulis (handmade batik) involves a long process that consists of at least seven stages. These stages are often undertaken by different people, depending on their expertise.

Full article by Ade Mardiyati

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