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November 08, 2016

INDONESIA: Experience the Wonders of Indonesia on your Next Trip in 2017!

November 08, 2016

INDONESIA: Experience the Wonders of Indonesia on your Next Trip in 2017!





by Sheila Renei Gómez

Getting the opportunity to visit Indonesia was one of the most eye-opening journeys for me. Along with 20 style, travel, and local influencers, I traversed Komodo-filled forests and plains, watched legendary sunrises, swam with a hundred species of fish, conquered steep hikes that led to stunning vistas, and immersed myself in a culture that is both unique and unforgotten.

I am incredibly thankful to the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism for making everything happen. Had I not been part of this year's Trip of Wonders, I would have missed out on one of the best trips of my life!

Here are my #TripofWonders highlights in Indonesia ... 

INDONESIA TRAVEL
Sapta Pesona Building, Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat No.17, Jakarta
Website: www.indonesia.travel
Facebook: Indonesia.Travel
Instagram: @indtravel
Twitter: @indtravel

THE TRIP OF WONDERS INDONESIA SERIES 2016

INDONESIA: Experience the Wonders of Indonesia on your Next Trip in 2017!
BANDUNG: Top Must-See Destinations at The Weekend Capital of Indonesia
BOROBUDUR TEMPLE: Experiencing the Most Wonderful Sunrise in the World!
• SASAK TRIBE OF LOMBOK: How Ancient Traditions Still Endure in the 21st Century
• KOMODO NATIONAL PARK: On Dragons, Terrific Treks & Pink Beach!
• THE ROYAL AMBARRUKMO: Rubbing Elbows with Kings & Presidents through History
• ALILA SEMINYAK: Bali’s Prime Luxury Resort Destination!


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BANDUNG: Indonesia's Weekend Capital

Dusun Bambu

Our journey officially began in the city of Bandung. Previously a colonial garrison, the Dutch established quaint communities and plantations in the area. As more municipalities were built, Bandung grew into a cosmopolitan space—earning it the name “Parjis van Java” (Paris of Java).

Bandung is known as the weekend capital of Indonesia. Its cool weather makes it a perfect retreat from the humid, crowded cities, and its cultural centers and artsy hangouts are favorites among creatives.

 

NuArt Sculpture Park

Nuarte Gallery

NuArt Sculpture Park is home to the bronze and copper masterpieces of Mr. Nyoman Nuarta, whose works stem from the socio-economic issues within Indonesia and around the world.

 

Nuart Sculpture Park

One of the goals of the Art Park is to an introspective place for artists, designers, and art-enthusiasts. Going here is a great way to get your creative juices flowing!

 

Nuarte Gallery

NuArt Sculpture Park has easily become one of my favorite places in Bandung for its creative vibe that not only inspires, but makes us reflect.

READ MORE: BANDUNG: Top Must-See Destinations at The Weekend Capital of Indonesia 

 

NUART SCULPTURE PARK
Setra Duta Kencana II No. 11, Bandung 40151, Indonesia
Telephone: +62 22 2017812
Operation Hours:
Monday - Thursday 8am-5pm
Friday - Saturday 8am-10pm
Sunday 8am-5pm
Email: sculpturepark@nuarta.com | studionn@yahoo.com
Instagram: @NuArtPark
Facebook: @NuArtPark
Website: www.nuarta.com

 

Saung Angklung Udjo (The Angklung House of Udjo)

Saung Angklung Udjo

The Angklung House of Udjo helps keep Sundanese traditions alive by reviving the greatness of the humble Angklung. The Sundanese are a mostly Muslim ethnic group native to West Java.

 

Saung Angklung Udjo

The Angklung is a traditional Sundanese instrument carved from bamboo, that when shook, resonates a particular note. Each set is strategically tuned into octaves to represent one pitch; thus, multiple Angklungs are needed to play a song.

 

Saung Angklung Udjo

Aside from Angklung performances, there are also a variety of performances like puppet shows, Ethnic dances, and singing. Morning shows are different from the afternoon programs.

 

Saung Angklung Udjo

My experience at the Angklung House was pleasantly surprising. I thought it would be just another traditional variety show, but it ended up being more engaging than expected. Sung Angklung Udjo is a must-see for anyone traveling to Bandung.

READ MORE: BANDUNG: Top Must-See Destinations at The Weekend Capital of Indonesia 

 

SAUNG ANGKLUNG UDJO
Jl. Padasuka 118, Bandung, 40192 West Java, Indonesia
Telephone: +62 22 727 1714 | +62 22 710 1736
Operation Hours:
Sunday - Saturday 8am-5pm
Afternoon program starts at 3:30pm daily.
Email: info@angklung-udjo.co.id
Instagram: @AngklungUdjo
Facebook: @SaungAngklungUdjo
Website: www.angklung-udjo.co.id

 

YOGYAKARTA: Path to Borobudur

Borobudur Sunrise

The majestic BOROBUDUR TEMPLE lies in the heart of CENTRAL JAVA. Its nine tiers overlook rolling hills and lush greenery that are best viewed at sunrise. Borobudur is only an hour’s drive away from Yogyakarta City, the center of education and traditional Javanese arts.

Built in the 9th century during the Sailendra Dynasty, this marvel boasted 2,672 bas-relief panels and 504 Buddha statues in its prime. And get this--no mortar or cement was used in the process. These massive structures were expertly “glued" together with interlocking volcanic stones. It's no surprise this temple is widely considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World! 

 

Borobudur Sunrise

Officially named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991, Borobudur Temple is now recognized as the largest and greatest Buddhist monument in existence. 

 

Borobudur Sunrise

The structure is designed in a Javanese-Buddhist fashion, which explains the combination of Indigenous Cult Worship and Buddhist Tenets in the bas-reliefs. Divided in 3 levels, the temple is made up of the Kamadhatu (world of desire), Rupadhatu (world of forms), and Arupadhatu (world of formlessness). The top tier is representative of the highest form of inner peace called Nirvana, or a transcendent state of nothingness and absolute content. 

 

Borobudur Sunrise

In spite of the inevitable commercialization of Borobudur from Buddhist Temple to tourist site, it was still such a humbling experience for me. The sense of wonder I had for the place is enough to keep me coming back to Borobudur. 

READ MORE: BOROBUDUR TEMPLE: Experiencing the Most Wonderful Sunrise in the World!

 

MANOHARA HOTEL BOROBUDUR
Komplek Taman Wisata Candi Borobudur Jl. Badrawati Borobudur, Magelang 56553 Jawa Tengah, Indonesia
Telephone: +62 293 788131, 788680
Email: reservation@manoharaborobudur.com
Website: Manohara Hotel Borobudur

 

LABUAN BAJO: Gateway to the Komodo Islands

Padar Island

The Komodo National Park makes up 26 of the 17,508 islands of the Republic of Indonesia. Situated in the Lesser Sunda Islands between East and West Nusa Tenggara, the park covers 1,733KM squared of land and water. Established in 1980 then officially declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991, the Komodo National Park is home to countless aquatic species, coral, and the fearsome Komodo Dragon endemic to the area.

 

Komodo Islands

Komodo Dragons can grow up a little over 3 meters and can weigh over 70KG. Although they are not social creatures, they’re capable of recognizing individual faces.

READ MORE: KOMODO NATIONAL PARK: On Dragons, Terrific Treks & Pink Beach!

 

Padar Island Trek 

Padar Island

Padar Island is the 3rd largest in Komodo and is about a 3 hour boat ride from Labuan Bajo. Surrounded by calm waters and rounded hills, this land nearly uninhabitable and relatively untouched—save for the trekking paths.

 

Padar Island

The trek on Padar Island is easily one of the most breathtaking treks I’ve been on. Getting to the peak a little challenging due to the loose soil and scorching sun, but I assure you that it’s totally worth it.

There are no dragons to see here, as they went extinct on Padar due to human activities.

READ MORE: KOMODO NATIONAL PARK: On Dragons, Terrific Treks & Pink Beach!

 

Pink Beach

DJI_0029Drone footage and pictures by Wahyu Mahenra of @iwwm. Taken from a a DJI Phantom 4.

Pink Beach, or Pantai Merah, is one of the seven pink beaches in the world. Tucked unassumingly into the Komodo Islands, this beach gets its blushing hues from Foraminifera, the microscopic organisms that give coral its bright, red colors.

 

Pink Beach

The Komodo Islands are part of the Coral Triangle, or the most biodiverse aquatic zone on the planet—this includes parts of the Philippines, Malaysia, Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands. This area has more than 500 reef-building organisms and is home to a rich array of marine life—within these waters you can find whale sharks, manta rays, pygmy seahorses, dolphins, sperm whales, dugongs, and blue-ringed octopuses.

READ MORE: KOMODO NATIONAL PARK: On Dragons, Terrific Treks & Pink Beach!

 

Rinca Island

I discovered a newfound love for the giant monitor lizards that rule the islands. Truth be told, I had so much fun writing this article because it meant learning more about Komodo Dragons! They are simply astonishing creatures that have surprised me every step of the way.

To wonder, to discover, to fear, to be in awe, to fall in love—these are all the things you can look forward to when you visit Wonderful Indonesia. 

READ MORE: KOMODO NATIONAL PARK: On Dragons, Terrific Treks & Pink Beach!

 

LOMBOK: Home of the Indigenous Sasak Tribe

Sasak Sade Village

The Sasak, a predominantly Balinese ethnic group, makes up 85% of Lombok’s population. Lombok was previously a feudal state divided into small, ruling kingdoms that followed mixed belief systems such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Animism. By the 16th century, the majority of the Sasak converted to Islam, but maintained old religious practices—creating a uniquely Lombok blend of a Islamic, Hindu, and Buddhist religion jointly called Wetu Telu.

On our #TripofWonders to the Island of Lombok, we paid an essential visit to one of the quaint cultural villages of the area. At Sade, the ancient weaving practices of the Sasak Tribe endure in the midst of Lombok’s touristic development. 

 

DSCF5707

The are around 700 inhabitants in the village and 150 households. The 15 generations that have lived here also married their cousins, as per Sasak custom. This ensures a pure bloodline.

Marriage occurs in one of two ways. The first way, called Nyongkolan, involves the male asking the female’s family for her hand in marriage. The second, more adventurous way is referred to as Merarik—when the male kidnaps the girl from her family!

Did you know?: Aside from farming, weaving is one of the main sources of income for the Sasak Tribe. It’s expected for a girl to learn how to weave a Tenun (the vibrant tapestries) before getting married.

 

Sasak Sade Village

This picture is ironic. You will observe a Tenun in the making—a deeply cultural artifact with generations of history and meaning; then you see a modern, and cheaply made packet of potato chips probably produced in less than 5 seconds. Slowly, but surely, the modernities of the 21st century are unabashedly creeping into Sasak culture. 

I’m positive, however, that protected villages like Sasak Sade can help preserve the ancient traditions longer—but we can’t be sure for how long.

READ MORE: SASAK TRIBE OF LOMBOK: How Ancient Traditions Still Endure in the 21st Century

 

DJI_0127

Drone footage and pictures by Wahyu Mahenra of @iwwm. Taken from a a DJI Phantom 4. 

Indonesia, you surprised me every step of the way. Given that this is one of my last big trips as part of Our Awesome Planet, I can gladly say that I will remember you for many years to come. In my downtimes, there will always be an ache to come back to you sooner or later―to roam the land with Komodo Dragons, feel the burn of the sun on my skin at Padar, swim in the pristine waters of Pink Beach, and crave the comforting taste of Mi Goreng.

May we meet again, Indonesia. You are truly wonderful.

 

THE TRIP OF WONDERS INDONESIA SERIES 2016

INDONESIA: Experience the Wonders of Indonesia on your Next Trip in 2017!
BANDUNG: Top Must-See Destinations at The Weekend Capital of Indonesia
BOROBUDUR TEMPLE: Experiencing the Most Wonderful Sunrise in the World!
• SASAK TRIBE OF LOMBOK: How Ancient Traditions Still Endure in the 21st Century
• KOMODO NATIONAL PARK: On Dragons, Terrific Treks & Pink Beach!
• THE ROYAL AMBARRUKMO: Rubbing Elbows with Kings & Presidents through History
• ALILA SEMINYAK: Bali’s Prime Luxury Resort Destination!

 

Live an Awesome Life,

sheila signature

SHEILA of Team Our Awesome Planet

Disclosure: Travel and style bloggers from Indonesia, Philippines, Cambodia, Singapore, and Malaysia were invited by the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism in the second run of #TripofWonders. During the course of our adventure, we experienced various destination highlights in Bandung, Yogyakarta, Lombok, and Labuan Bajo. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights. 

P.S. To truly experience Indonesia, I advise you to eat local as much as you can! What people eat speaks volumes about their culture. 


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