Indonesian Wonder

Indonesian Wonder (117)

15
April

Lombok is an island which becomes favorite tourism destination of foreign and domestic tourists. Although most of Lombok people are Muslims, they can live in harmony. Because religious tolerance in Lombok is very strong. This can be proven at Lingsar temple. Lingsar temple is located at Lingsar village in Narmada district, West Lombok regency. To go to the temple, you can use public transportation from Bertais terminal at center city to Narmada. Then, you transit by using bus to Lingsar temple. At the temple, there are 9 sacred fountains as symbol of representatives of Wali Songo. Walisongo were 9 persons who spread out Islam on Java Island. The fountains are used by Muslims for ‘Wudhu’, purifying themselves with water. People say that these fountains are also believed to bring about blessing, success and happiness. Lingsar temple was built in 1741 by King Anak Agung Ketut Karangasam, as unifying symbol of Lombok people and it is considered as the holiest temple in Lombok. At this temple, Hindu people and Muslims of Sasak tribe worship together. To strengthen relations among the followers between Hindu and Islam, the people use the Lingsar temple to hold ceremony which is called ‘Topat war’. In the ceremony, Muslims and Hindu people throw 'Ketupat' each other. This is as gratitude on harmony which has been established so far and it is abundant fortune.

10
April

Like an incident in a science fiction, Batu Cermin cave which is also called Watu Sermeng by local people, is able to reflect light on the stone’s wall to another area in the cave, like a miror. The cave is unlike other caves, is able to muffle sound, so there is no echo which is caused by the sound. The cave can be accessed from Labuan Bajo and takes around 15 minutes by using car or motorcycle. Its road is relatively smooth.Along the street, your eyes will be spoiled with green hills and trees. At Batu Cermin cave, visitor can find a restaurant and parking area which is quite wide. After buying ticket, visitor should walk around 300 meters to access the cave. You do not have to worry to get bore because there is a cluster of shady bamboo trees which will spoil your eyes. Sometimes, the visitor will see monkeys which are hanging on tree or sitting at the left and right of the road.Batu Cermin cave got attention for the first time by the world in 1951 due to archaeologist research who was also missionary from the Netherlands, Theodore Verhoven. Million years ago, the cave’s position was under the sea. In the past, there was earthquake, so that some regions on Flores island sank. But there was also some regions arose to the surface, one of them is Batu Cermin cave. The reflection of the sun at the valley can light up around 60 percent of the cave. But this moment does not happened every day, it depends on the movement of the earth and position of the sun. The reflection of the light which enters the cave becomes original name of the cave. A 20-30 minutes tourism activity in Batu Cermin cave will make the visitor to rememember the past story of Flores by witnessing historical heritages such as animals’ fossil and coral reefs that are still protected. This uniqueness makes this tourist attraction never empty of visitors, both domestic and internatonal.

08
April

Selayar Island is located in Selayar Island regency, South Sulawesi Province, Indonesia. The island is one of islands which is separated from South Sulawesi land with around 2,000 square-kilometers (km2) extending from the North to the South between Sulawesi and Takabonerate island. The western and northern coasts are rocky and steep. Meanwhile, the east coast and part of the south coast are flat and with forest product area and people’s plantation. The characteristic of Selayar Island is to have various kinds of endemic and interesting fauna such as Tarsius tarsier. This animal has brown reddish body with grey skin, big eyes with ears facing to the front and has wide shape. The peculiarity of the island is that there are almost all ethnics, religions, tribes and cultures which are in Sulawesi. Most of the tribes who live in the island are Makassarese, Bugis, and Mandarese. Besides its natural beauty, Selayar Island also has historic heritage such as Gong Nekara, The Home of the Selayar Regent and Pakarena dance. From Makassar City, Selayar Island regency can be accessed by land transportation and then crossing by Ferry in Bira port, Bulukumba regency to Pamatata port in Pamatata village, Bontomatene district. From Pamatata port to Benteng, it can be accessed around 1 hour.

01
April

Ngarot tradition is a traditional ceremony at Lelea village, Lelea district, West Java. It has a meaning being ‘grateful’ on planting season. The ceremony is usually held on Wednesday, the third week in November or December. It is conducted because Wednesday is considered holy and good day to plant rice. Ngarot comes from Sundanese language meaning drinking. While, in Sanskrit “Ngaruat” means free from the God’s curse or sin. The first Ngarot culture was conducted by Ki Buyut Kapol, a figure who was loyal and influential in Lelea village. He was willing to give his rice field as wide as 26,100 square-meters as realization of Ngarot event and welcomed by Lelea villagers. The ceremony is usually conducted by youths of the Lelea village. Ngarot ceremony consists of three parts, namely parade, giving and performance party. The participants, who take part in Ngarot, must wear typical clothes. The girls wear Kebaya with shawls and accessories such as necklace, bracelet, ring, bros, gold safety pin, and hair ornament. While, the young men wear Komboran clothes and Gombrang pants or loose pants and head-bands. The ceremony begins at 08.30 A.M. and all the participants of Ngarot gather at house of village’s head to be made over. Thus, the youths parade to go around the village. Afterwards, the participants enter village’s hall and they are welcomed by regional dances. Then, they start performing the main event by first opening, reading Ngarot history, welcoming speech of Village’s head and handing over process to the youths.

25
March

Watotena beach is located at the Southeast of Adonara Island, precisely in Nelerereng village, Ileboleng district, East Adonara, East Flores. The beach is still visited by few tourists so that the beach is appropriate to enjoy relaxation and beautiful scenery. Besides white sand and blue sea, the interesting beach has black stones or magma stones with various kinds of shapes and formations which decorate the seashore that add the beauty of Watotena beach and this beach is quite different from other beaches in Flores land. The name of Watotena means boat from stone, or stone which has shape boat. It can be seen from magma stone which has shape like boat. There are a lot of magma stones which appear on white sand surface. The exotics of the beach is more beautiful with Mt. Ile Boleng scenery behind it. You can do many activities over there, beginning from going down the beach, playing sand or water and looking for interesting spots to take picture. To play at the sea water, you should be careful because sometimes its wave is quite big. To get access to Watotena beach, you can use motor boat from Larantuka and anchor at Terong or Waiwerang port on Adonara Island. The beach has a distance around 6 kilometers from Waiwerang port and takes around 30 minutes from Waiwerang and entirely takes around 3 hours from Larantuka port. The most important point is that the tourists should pay attention to the cleanliness. They are prohibited to throw away garbage carelessly. Smoking is forbidden and no littering on the beach. This is certainly aimed at making the beach very clean without pollution.

18
March

East Nusa Tenggara -NTT has not only amazing natural tourism object, but also cultural tourism object, such as Mbaru Embo Traditional House which is located at Mok hamlet, Mbengan village, Komba district, East Manggarai regency, Flores, East Nusa Tenggara province. The Traditional House is unique because it is never occupied by human beings. Mok hamlet is a place where Mbaru Embo Traditional House is old hamlet which is occupied by Nanga tribe. The villagers believe that Mbaru Embo is a house for the ancestors. Couples of Embo Lenang and Embo Teje were believed as the main elders of the ancestors of the traditional house’s occupants. In accordance with traditional demands, Mbaru Embo stands on hill, part of hamlet’s upstream. Its building has hollow, circle shape with one point which is peak of its roof. The situation of the ancestors’ house is always silent because it is unoccupied and its location is a little bit separated around 50 - 200 meters from residential area. The location of Mok hamlet has a distance 30 kilometers in the North of  Borong, the capital city of East Manggarai regency. Visiting the hamlet is not difficult because its road has been paved. If you visit Mbaru Embo Traditional House, there are 5 rules which must be obeyed. Firstly, the visitors must be at the outside of the house. Secondly, they are allowed to smoke. Thirdly, they do not wear red clothes. Fourthly, the visitors are allowed to take picture of traditional house. And the last rule is that the visitors are allowed to  carry out lighting tools.

13
March

Sontiri hill is a regency which consists of 29 districts and it some beautiful natural sceneries. Not many people know that the heaven of the world is hidden in this regency. Sontiri hill is one of tourism destinations which should be visited.The best time to visit Sontiri hill is in the morning and evening. You can see the beauty of the nature. Green grass is always decorated with spider’s net every day, so that there is beautiful white color on it. Sontri hill is also known as Teletubies hill, kids’ figures on television.The hills stretches like a green carpet,  moreover when glow of light illuminates the hill, it will add to the beauty of the scenery. Interestingly, Sontiri hill will be more beautiful in the morning or evening. Sontiri hill is usually visited by a lot of local people to spend their time to enjoy sunset.Sontiri or teletubies hill is located not far from Sentani city. It has a distance around 15 kms and takes around 20 – 30 minutes through Jalan Kemiri. If you are on the hill, you will see amazing scenery of Sentani lake. Besides, you can also see Sentani original houses at the shore of the lake, precisely under the hill.

04
March

Masjid Agung Batam or also called Batam Great Mosque is located in  Batam Center that is the downtown of the government of Batam. The dome of the mosque has a unique shape, like pyramid. Because of the uniqueness and the beauty of its building, the mosque becomes not only worship place, but also tourism attraction in Batam. The location of the Masjid Agung Batam is easy to visit. From Hang Nadim airport, you can directly take taxi. But, if you want to go by public transportation, you can get on Damri bus to Batu Aji or Jodoh and get off at Kepri Mall. From Kepri Mall bus shelter, take Trans Batam bus to Batam Center, then get off at the mosque shelter. From the shelter, you only need to walk a few steps to Masjid Agung Batam. Masjid Agung Batam or Batam Great Mosque was initially built in 1999 and finished in 2001. The building is  Malayan motif, and architecture of the mosque is categorized unique because the mosque does not have pillar so that its room looks spacious. The mosque is equipped with high tower around 66 meters. Its dome has a shape pyramid and divided into 3 parts. It has vertical perspective towards one point above as a relation symbol between human beings and the God.

01
March

Gantar dance

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Published in Indonesian Wonder

Danish Travel Show-Ferie for Alle, the most visited tourism exhibition in Scandinavian region was held on February 22nd  to 23rd  in Herning City, Denmark.   Indonesian Embassy in Copenhagen takes part in the exhibition annually to promote Indonesia in Scandinavia region, especially Denmark. In the exhibition, the Indonesian booth promoted alternative tourism destinations besides Bali. The promotion wass managed into natural and cultural tourism packages. Visitors who came were also served with Indonesian food, such as Uduk rice, meat stews, chicken curry, dumplings, taro chips and green bean porridge. A number of dances, such as Selayang Pandang, Merak, Jaipong, Mask Bapang Malang, Ngapotek, Lancang Kuning, Gantar and Enggang were also performed for the visitors. From a number of traditional dances performed at the Danish Travel Show-Ferie for Alle, we  introduce one of them,  Gantar dance. Gantar dance is a social dance of young people from  Benuaq Dayak tribe and Tanjung Dayak in East Kalimantan. In  the Gantar dance, the dancers use a stick and short bamboo. This dance illustrates the expression of  joy of the dancers and also  hospitality of the Dayak people in welcoming guests. This dance is also meant to welcome guests or tourists who attend the traditional East Kalimantan event. In the show, Gantar dance is usually performed by female dancers. The dancers are dressed in traditional attire of the Dayak tribe. Besides, they also wear various accessories, such as bracelets and headbands necklaces. In the performance, Gantar dance is also accompanied with traditional Dayak ethnic music. Gantar dance is divided into three types, namely Gantar Rayatn, Gantar Busai and Gantar Senak and Kusak. Gantar Rayatn dance only uses one tool, namely a long stick which  is decorated with a skull wrapped with cloth. In the dance, the people dance, sing and wave hands in accordance with  the rhythm. The Gantar Busai dance uses only a piece of bamboo. When dancing, the dancers wave gracefully and play bamboo based on the rhythm.The bamboo used is given 12 bracelets to make it sound when moved. The last is Gantar Senak and Kusak. Senak in this dance is a stick held with left hand. While Kusak is a bamboo that is held with right hand.The bamboo used in this type is filled with seeds so that the sound produces loud sound. In the Gantar dance, the dancers play a long stick and stomps and follow the sound of the bamboo by swinging it.

20
February

The beauty of Indonesian nature becomes benchmark for domestic and foreign tourists to explore it.  Indonesia has a lot of small islands that are unknown by tourists. One of them is Bungin Island in Sumbawa regency. The island is located at 70 kilometers to the West of Sumbawa Besar district. Bungin island can be accessed by speedboat. Village of Bungin Island is mentioned as the most populous in the world. This small island is occupied by Bajo tribe that comes from South Sulawesi. There is almost no empty land of the island. Every year, the island continues to get wider because there is reclamation to accommodate the newly married family. Averagely, there are 100 new houses every year on this island. The island which has 8.5 hectares wide is occupied by around 3,400 people. Most of the Bungin people are descent of Bajo tribe, South Sulawesi. They are well-known as sea nomads and skillful divers. Since baby, Bungin children have been introduced to maritime through Toyah ceremony. In Toyah ritual, a baby is seated on 7 women’s thigh alternately by swinging. The swing is alluded as sea to be faced by the child when he/she grows up and becomes a sailor. The origin of Bajo tribe to occupy the island is when the first settlement was pioneered by Palema Mayu, a son of six children of King Selayar at the19th century. According to folk story, Palema Mayo came to Sumbawa before Mt. Tambora erupted in 1812. At that time, Bungin island which has white sand was still empty and only overgrown by mangroves. Although the island is relatively small, there are 2 piers at the West and South of the island. Alas- Bungin as crossover is quite crowded. 8 Jonson boats cross Bungin-Alas since morning until night. Because of its uniqueness, Bungin Island becomes one of tourism objects of Sumbawa regency.

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