5 Places to See in Penyengat Island

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Officially named Penyengat Indera Sakti, the island is situated just off the coast of Bintan’s capital Tanjung Pinang and was renowned as the cultural and royal seat of power for the Malay Riau-Lingga sultanate in the 19th century.

Penyengat is where one of the most famous Malay poems, Gurindam Dua Belas, was written by Raja Ali Hajji. He is also known as the person who first wrote about the basics of Malay grammar through his book Pedoman Bahasa (language guidelines), which later became the standardized reference for the modern Malay language. Continue reading

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How to Spend 24 Hours in Makassar

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The provincial capital of South Sulawesi, Makassar is renowned for its thriving port and superb local delicacies. It also offers interesting historical sites and charming ocean vistas.

Although the urban conglomeration covers 2,473 square kilometers, you can get around the city in the space of one day.

Here are seven ways to occupy yourself from dawn till dusk – what order you see them in, though, we’ll leave up to you. Continue reading

An Interesting Trip to Long Duhung, East Kalimantan

“Where is the market here in Long Duhung?” I innocently posed the question to Ibu Dolba, a Punan Dayaknese woman who took me for a boat ride on a traditional canoe called a ketinting along the Kelay River.

In answer to my question, Ibu Dolba suddenly burst into laughter — apparently, at me — and then said: “No, we don’t go to a market. Everything we need is here [in the forest and the river].”

I was bemused, for her answer to me was quite unexpected. However, her prompt answer struck me as a reality that I had apparently not been aware of — that Long Duhung is one of a few isolated villages situated in the depth of East Kalimantan’s dense forest, as isolated as my knowledge about a Dayak tribe that its members still mostly rely for their living on hunting and gathering. Continue reading

5 Unique Airbnb Accommodations in Jakarta

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The lodging rental website Airbnb has been growing and trending these past few years, and Jakarta is no exception.

The digital marketplace enables property owners to rent and share their private accommodations with travelers at low and reasonable rates. Not only is it cheaper than staying at a hotel, but renting rooms via Airbnb is a great way to get a more personal experience with your destination’s local culture and peoples.

If you plan to set foot in the capital city and would like use Airbnb, I have picked five accommodations that might offer a welcome alternative to a hotel. Continue reading

4 most romantic cities in Indonesia to fall in love with

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Sometimes it takes only a short getaway to rekindle the sparks between you and your loved one. Here are four cities in Indonesia that you should visit for a honeymoon or just to fall in love all over again. Continue reading

3 Interesting Places to Stay in Garut

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With Bandung now receiving direct international flights from Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Singapore; traveling to West Java should have gotten easier than ever. But as the result of more exposure in the spotlight, Bandung has become more and more packed of tourists and shoppers especially on weekends. Traffic jams during public holidays and over weekends has been slowly suffocating not only people who visit Bandung, but also those who get to call this city as their home.

When it gets more crowded in Lembang and it takes much longer just to reach Dago Pakar, expanding your holiday options to other regions beyond Bandung is perhaps the best decision you can make to escape the bustle of the city. Continue reading

Berkelana ke Masa Lalu di Pingyao

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Tanah Tiongkok tidak pernah benar-benar menjadi destinasi perjalanan impian saya. Imaji kota yang penuh sesak, keramaian yang memekakkan telinga serta toilet umum yang kotor dan berbau pesing membuat saya enggan menempatkan Tiongkok di peringkat atas daftar perjalanan impian saya.

Namun, perkenalan dan percakapan saya dengan seorang pria Indonesia yang bekerja sebagai manajer penginapan di sebuah kota mungil di utara Tiongkok belum lama ini berhasil melunturkan keengganan saya berpelesir ke negara terbesar di Asia ini. Continue reading

5 Things To Do When Visiting Jayapura

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Hot yet beautiful. That was my first impression of Jayapura, the biggest city in Papua situated by Youtefa bay on the easternmost part of the archipelago. Used to be a headquarter for allied army in World War II and still is a frontier army base for Indonesia’s military troops as well as for community development workers and Christian missionaries, Jayapura is a melting pot of many ethnic groups in Indonesia.

Although starting to be packed by traffic jam, Jayapura is still a pretty sight to see with its lush forested hills, steep roads and busy port. Here are five picks of activities that you can do if you have a chance to set your foot in Jayapura. Continue reading

Discovering The Eco-Friendly Ciwaringin Batik

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Inhaling the strong scent of boiling wax, I stepped inside a house where elderly women were busy transferring the scalding substance onto fabric.

In that house in Ciwaringin, Cirebon, West Java, they were using a small, pen-like tool to fill in the previously drawn patterns.

This art of decorating cloth using wax and dye that is batik was declared a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2009.

During my short trip to Cirebon with Santika Indonesia Hotels & Resorts, I had the chance to visit Ciwaringin village, the lesser known batik village, when compared to the famed Trusmi Batik village located in the same region. Continue reading

Know a Bit of Jakarta’s History by Riding The Jakarta City Tour Bus

citytour1Notorious with its heavy traffic jam, Jakarta still can offer tourists an interesting way to enjoy the hustle and bustle of this Indonesia’s capital without getting lost in the city.

Starting from February 2014, five city tour buses named Mpok Siti (mpok is a Betawi term refers to an older woman and Siti is Bahasa Indonesia’s spelling of the English word city) are operating to take curious passengers on a short round trip surrounding Jakarta’s touristic and historical spots. Continue reading