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Indonesia Land: Agustus 2007

Indonesia Land

Agustus 29, 2007

Where to Dive in Bali

All of our diving location are carefully selected based on through study and survey by the experts and recommended by well traveled experts, you may experience fascinating beauty under water in Bali. Here are some famous diving sites those are highly recommended:

It’s about 20 kilometers from the Airport, you could see beautiful under water panorama with thousands of colourful tropical fish, soft corals and spongers growing on the 25 kilometers of barrier reef. It’s good for Diving course and general information for beginners.

This island is located in the east of Sanur (45 minutes by speed boat), it’s actually one of the three sister islands of Bali. The white sandy bottom and exceptionally crystal cool water present you with assortment of fishes and marine vegetation.

Spectacular under water panorama. Should you dive to Manta ray, here is the place where we can take you to dive in 12 to 15 meters depth, it’s only 50 minutes by boat from Sanur.

It’s about 125 kilometers from the Airport, A US Merchantman sunk during world war II in 6 to 30 meters provide unforgettable diving experience. The wreck is fully grown with different varieties of clams, gorgonia, sea fans, corals and with feeding fishes in the lave flowing area mount Agung.

It’ about 3 hours drive to get this place , An under water park famous for its great variety of corals, sponges, tropical reef fishes and its crystal clear water and spectacular wall diving that drops off to 40 meters down.

It’s about 125 kilometers from the airport, this dive side is good for all divers or for fun diver, you’ll see a myriad of soft corals and fishes life. Amed has nice wall that drops of to 40 meters down.


Agustus 23, 2007

Orangutans In Tanjung Puting National Park

Located in the peninsula on the south coast of the world's third largest tropical rain forest of Borneo, in Indonesian province of Central Kalimantan, the park consist of 300.040 hectares (741,100 acres). Started as a game reserve for the protection of orangutans in 1936 and 1937, it was upgraded to a National Park in 1982. It is the only protected area in South East Asia with vast tract of wetlands, lowland, mature tropical heath and swamp Forests with large rookeries that provide breeding grounds for a wide population of waterfowl. The needs of Orangutans and other primates are also available in the park, such as the 400 species of trees which van be consumed by them.

In Tanjung Puting Park, you will see the orangutans - a lot of ex-captive orangutans - rehabilitated in the park. you will also meet the king of this area, the largest and the oldest orangutan who is still living in a wilderness of a national park.

The romantic forest, the romantic river and the romantic atmosphere of the park are also offer different experiences especially for those who want to have an adventurous honeymoon

Physical Features
The soils in the park consist of yellow-red podsolic, laterite, organosol, podsol, glei humus and alluvial. the area is predominantly flat, undulating to an altitude 0-100 . Above sea level, Based on Schmidt and Ferguson Climate Classification, the park is included in the A and B types with mean annual rainfall of 2,400 mm, falling mainly in the rainy season (September-February). The relative humidity of the area ranges between 55 and 98 percent and the temperature varies from 22 - 32 degree Celsius.

Flora & Fauna
Among tree species commonly found are Ramin (Gonistylus bancanus), Jelutung, Kayu Besi (iron wood, eusideroxylon zwagerri), Meranti (Shorea sp.) and Keruing (Dipterocarpus). all of them have high value for industry. Other plants such Bakung (asian tricum), Pandans (Pandanus tectorius), Nipah (Nypa sp.) which growing on the riverside.
The park is also rich in wildlife with the commonly seen is Orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus pygmaeus) - the best known species that makes the National Park best known, Proboscis monkeys (Nasalis larvatus) - a large monkey which is found only in Borneo, long tail macaque (Macaca fascicularis), birds - especially horn bills, kingfishers, myna, oriental darter and over 220 bird species. Furthermore, the list of fauna living in the park are include the occasionally can be seen: Agile gibbon (Hylobates agilis), grey gibbon (Hylobates mulleri), red leaf monkey (presbistis rubicunda), Malayan sun bear (helarctus malayanus), wild lige (sus barbatus), estuarine crocodile false ghavial (Tomistoma schlegelli). The rivers together with the swamps and sesonal lake rookeries support the life of many species of fish that have very high values in term of ecology and economy.


Located about 30 minutes to the right from the branch of Sekonyer river. Camp Leakey was established in 1971 to support research activities in Tanjung Puting Wildlife Reserve. Now this area also functions as orangutans rehabilitation center. The Camp and surrounding area is designated as a special utility zone. Over the years, the camp has served the research efforts of several scientist and students. Tourist will be able to walk on certain trails of the trail system without disturbing the research activities. On the way to Camp Leakey (on Sekonyer Simpang Kanan river), you may occasionally see crocodiles and the false gavials.

The first guard post in the park that was constructed in the late of 1970's. Tanjung Harapan was the original site of the Sekonyer Village, which was moved across the Sekonyer river. The area surrounding is designated as utilization zone. In this area, several facilities for park management as well as for visitors have been constructing. Tanjung Harapan is also an alternate orangutan center.

New established rehabilitation center for orangutans. Located between Tanjung Harapan and Natai Lengkuas, this are also designates as a special utilization zone.

Agustus 14, 2007

Spending Night in Bali

As another glorious day in Bali comes to an end and the sun sinks into the ocean, thoughts turn to evening entertainment. Bali has a myriad of options, from candle-lit romantic dinners and sedate tropical lounges to lively theme pubs and nightclubs thundering all night long.

Kuta is the main pulsing heart of the night scene, with entertainment from dusk till dawn.

Kuta, Legian & Seminyak

Hard Rock Cafe
Located right on Kuta beach. The regular live bands draw big crowds, and start at 11pm and go until 2am.

Hard Rock Hotel
Bali's coolest unplugged bar with live bands nightly at center stage.

The Jaya Pub
Jalan Raya Legian Kaja Seminyak. An old favourite with an interesting blend of tourists and locals. The live bands are often joined by both professional and amateur visiting musicians. Open until 2am.

Located right next to DOUBLE SIX on the beach at Seminyak, Crusoes is constructed in true castaway style!

A Bar
Jalan Dhyana Pura Gado-gado Seminyak. Named after Absolute Vodka, A bar draws a crowd of resident ex-pat thirty-somethings. Really good drinks.

Q Bar
Abimanyu Arcade, Jl Dhyana Pura, Seminyak. Bali's premier gay watering hole.

O'Barrel Pub
At Bali Padma Hotel - Top-40 house band.

Bali Peanuts Club
One of the most popular venues in the Kuta area, the scene is young and sprinkled with locals, who all take to the huge dance floor in the cave-like air-conditioned interior. Pool tables and plenty of entertainment. Rock and Roll and Disco music compliment the very reasonably priced drinks on Jalan Raya Legian.

The New Bounty Ship
Jalan Legian, Kuta. Inside the ship is a very popular bar that has a great DJ from 10.00pm until late every night.

Buddha Bar
Jalan Dhyana Pura Gado-gado Seminyak. Psychedelic bar, fluro lighting and cool chill out back room. Transvestite show upstairs.

Cafe Del Mar
Jalan Dhyana Pura Gado-gado Seminyak. Cool cocktail bar, great drinks, relaxed atmosphere, funky music, open air, super smooth crowd.

The Club at The Villas
Bali's newest state-of-the-art night club, located on Jalan Kunti, Seminyak in the Villas new entertainment complex. Fridays always capture the late crowd from 5am - 10am!

Champagne Bar
Also at The Villas in Seminyak.

One of Bali's main gay hang-outs. Plenty of non-gays join in the fun.

Santa Fe
Open 24 hours serving everything, need we say more.

Bali Rock Cafe
Elvis Parsley comedy show every Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 9.30pm

Cafe Luna
Stylishly decorated and attracting a gay crowd. An Italian menu, indoor/outdoor seating and two bars make this a popular choice. Open until 2.30am, Jl. Raya Seminyak.

Goa 2001
Jalan Raya Seminyak. One of Bali's best bars, home to all types, ages and persuasions. A giant Bali-style venue with a long bar, a small bar, a sushi bar, a coffee bar and plenty of tables, Goa has one of the best DJs on the island playing a huge variety of music and always able to pick up the mood of the crowd. Great spot to meet people and the draught beer is always cold. Crowd picks up as it gets later. Open until around 2.30am.

Double Six
Open every night, the music is pure dance and there is always a good crowd. Open at midnight, it usually starts to fill up at around 1am. Three bars and late night pizzas. Open till sunrise. Entry cost Sunday - Friday Rp40.000, Saturday's Rp50.000. Featuring the only night bungee jumping in the world with AJ Hackett from 2.00am.

Full Moon Parties
Usually held down on Yang Yang Beach at Hotel Puri Bali and Padang Padang Beach. Sometimes also held down in Nusa Dua. Check out our calendar for full moon dates.

Located in Poppies Lane famous for it's TJ's Frozen Margaritas and great Mexican food. Has been in operation for 15 years.

All Stars after Dark Back Stage Club
Live music catering to all types.

Poco Loco
Jalan Padma Utama tequila shots and jugs of margaritas - make your own fajitas.

BB Discotheque
Very popular with the locals, BB's at the Bintang Bali Hotel is a high tech disco playing the latest music with lots of party nights. Also check the Alun Alun Lounge with a live jazz band and Bali's best bartender. Also houses the Taipan Karaoke with its stylish Japanese nightclub interior.

O'Brien's Fun Pub at Holiday Inn Balihai

Dance performances - Traditional dance. Ask for details at the tourist office (daily 10am-8pm) in the centre of Ubud. There are up to five different dance shows every night - the most popular and dramatic are the kecak (monkey dance) and barong (lion dance). The most atmospheric venue is Ubud Palace.



Agustus 13, 2007


The Wallace Line, named after 19th century naturalist, Alfred Russell Wallace, marks a point of transition between the flora and fauna of Western and Eastern Indonesia and acts as the Western boundary of West Nusa Tenggara, which includes Lombok Island and Sumbawa. Lombok is noticeably different to its close neighbor, Bali.

The northern part of the island is mountainous and lush with tall trees and shrubs. The South on the other hand is arid and covered by savannas. Large Asian mammals are absents and replaced instead by large numbers of marsupials, lizards, cockatoos and parrots. The difference becomes more pronounced as one moves further east where dry seasons are more prolonged and the land is dry and bush-like, and so in many areas corn and sago are the staple food, instead of rice. At first Islam time come to these islands in the 16th century, four Hindu Kingdoms co-existed in apparent peace what is now called West Nusa Tenggara and is still the religion embraced by those in the west of Lombok, which are primarily Balinese. Lombok experienced strong Balinese influences in the past, but has still retained a unique identifies. The indigenous people of Lombok, the Sasaks, are predominantly Moslem and have a strong, distinguished tradition, as do the people of neighboring Sumbawa. Soft white sand, virgin beaches are typical in Lombok, where the motto is 'You can see Bali in Lombok, but not Lombok in Bali'. Famous for its 'tenun ikat' hand-woven textiles, the island has exceptional charm and its relatively undiscovered, except for Senggigi City, which becoming a major resort area. Regulars shuttle flights from Bali and Surabaya as well as ferries provide excellent transportation links within the islands of the province as well as with the rest of the country.
The two largest islands in West Nusa Tenggara province are Lombok in the west and the larger Sumbawa Island in the east. Mataram, on Lombok, is the capital and largest city of the province. The province is administratively divided into six regencies and one municipality, Mataram. The Sasak ethnic group mainly inhabits Lombok, with a minority Balinese population then, Sumbawa and Bima ethnic groups inhabit Sumbawa. Each of these groups has a local language associated with it as well. The population of the province is 3.821.134; 71 percent of the population lives in Lombok.

Geographically, West Nusa Tenggara Province is located 115'45 - 119°10 east Longitudes 8°5 - 9°5 south latitudes. Its area boundaries is:
North Side: Java Sea
South side: Hindia Ocean
East side: Sepadan Strait
West side: Lombok Strai

Wide Area
The wide area of West Nusa Tenggara is 49.32,19 Km2 that contains of 20.153,07 Km2 land and 29.159,04 Km2 of sea. The two big islands is Lombok Island with its wide area about 4.738,70 Km2 (23,51%) and Sumbawa Island with 15.414,37 Km' (76,49%) wide area. Beside that, it also surrounded by thousands small islands, such as Gili Air, Gili Meno, Gili Trawangan, Gili Gede, Gili Nanggu, Gili Tangkong, Moyo Island, Bungin Island, Satonda Island, Kaung Island, and Panjang Island.

Government Administrative
Administratively, the capital of West Nusa Tenggara is Mataram city and contains of 7 regencies and 2 cities. The four regencies/cities are located in Lombok Island and 5 regencies/cities state in Sumbawa Island.

sources: indonesia-tourism

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Agustus 07, 2007

Underwater Encounters: The Bunaken Marine Park

The Bunaken Marine Park, off the island of Sulawesi, has some of the best-preserved coral reefs in the world. Here Nick Hanna discovered some of the most bizarre sea creatures he had ever seen

It's just after 5pm on a tropical afternoon as three other divers and I splash noisily into the sea and descend slowly to the reef below us. We find a clear space on the seabed and settle down facing an innocuous-looking pile of coral rubble. As the sun sinks, we wait in the gathering underwater gloom. Suddenly, there's movement among the coral, and a tiny red and green fish pokes its head out of a hole. It's followed by another, slightly bigger, and then two or three more of different sizes. As we watch, the bigger fish perform a courtship dance, teasing out the smaller females.

At almost exactly 5.30pm, these tiny fish, no larger than my little finger, pair off and dart up from the reef, mating briefly a few inches from our masks before scurrying away to the safety of their coral homes.

What I have just witnessed is the courtship and mating of mandarin fish. It took only a few seconds but it's something I've never seen before in 25 years of diving. This is what diving in North Sulawesi is all about: the opportunity for rare encounters, special meetings with some of the most wonderful and bizarre marine life on the planet.

The Bunaken National Marine Park, off-shore from the coastal town of Manado in North Sulawesi, is one of the focal points for diving in this region. Covering more than 185,000 acres around a cluster of small islands, the park is home to some of Indonesia's finest coral reefs. It lies at the epicentre of the riches of Indo-Pacific marine biodiversity.

Bunaken is one of the great success stories for marine parks in Asia - or, indeed, globally. "The amount of fish has increased dramatically in the past five years," says Christiane Muller of Froggies Divers, based on Bunaken Island. "And we're also getting new fish that we didn't see before." Froggies is at the heart of the marine park, with easy access to some of the best and most spectacular dive sites.

Siladen Island also lies within the marine park. The resort has the best beach within easy reach of Bunaken's reefs, but you can't really swim because it's too shallow (although there is a great swimming pool). It's a small, intimate place with an attractive, open-sided bar/restaurant area and spa centre. The villas are very romantic, with four-poster beds and open-air bathrooms. The dive centre is well run, with most Bunaken dive sites less than 10 minutes away; the house reef has spectacular shallow-water corals.

The proof of Bunaken's conservation success is in the diving: this is a fabulous, once-in-a-lifetime experience, well worth the long journey to get here. Sheer reef walls, resplendent with coral, plunge down into the depths. Trevallies, bannerfish, angelfish, snapper, butterflyfish and many more species flash their colours against a backdrop of sponges, gorgonians, anemones and hard and soft corals. Tuna, turtles, rays, sharks and jacks can be spotted out in the blue. Pilot whales, dolphins, and whale sharks are also sometimes seen. Even orcas sometimes pass through.

There is also first-class snorkelling: the shallow reef tops are glorious, every square inch packed with life from colourful corals to encrusting sponges, crinoids, sea fans, and other plants. Swarms of anthias and basslets dart here and there in the shallows, while the bigger schooling fish flow like rivers of liquid colour over the reef crest and down into the depths.

All this is even more amazing given that you can still see bombed-out areas where dynamite fishing had destroyed entire sections of the reef: the vibrant, living reefs which now thrive in most of the park are testament to the huge success of the Bunaken Marine Park. More than £1,000 a year is channelled back into each village in the park from divers' fees. All divers and snorkellers in the park pay $17 (£8.70) for an entrance pass, which funds ranger patrols, village improvement programmes, waste disposal, and other conservation projects.

Outside of the marine park, there's excellent diving and snorkelling around the northern tip of Sulawesi, accessible from resorts such as Gangga Island. This Italian-managed resort, three miles from the north coast of the mainland, has a gorgeous beach and a terrific pool. The 30 chalets, with verandahs overlooking the beach, are set in luxuriant tropical gardens. Standards of food and service are high: this is the top choice for island luxury and has an excellent spa. There's great diving and snorkelling within easy reach of the island, and they run regular trips to Bunaken. You can walk through neighbouring villages and get a feel for island life, which you can't do elsewhere.

The other main diving area is in the Lembeh Straits, on the eastern side of the mainland, which is famous for its "muck diving"; this involves exploring the seabed looking for some of the extraordinary marine critters that live there. With ghost pipefish, hairy frogfish, pygmy seahorses and orang-utan crabs, this is heaven for macro-photographers and ichthyologists.

The Eco-Divers operation at Kungkungan Bay in Lembeh Straits is efficient and friendly, however the resort itself is tired-looking; boat traffic in the straits is noisy, and the beach is black sand. I'd recommend it only if you're passionate about muck diving.

Despite Bunaken's worldwide reputation, diving here is still very low key and dive sites are uncrowded: there are only 2,000 or so divers per month, spread across more than 100 dive sites. Bunaken does have some strong and unpredictable currents, which means it's not suitable for novices.

North Sulawesi is a fascinating region, and it's worth taking the time to explore inland as well as underwater. It's worth making a day trip to the Minahasa Highlands (see 24 Hours, below), as well as visiting the Tangkoko Natural Reserve on the north-west coast, about 90 minutes from Lembeh or Manado. This is a little gem of a nature reserve alongside the beach. The rainforest is home to crested black macaques that live partly on the ground and are quite used to humans since there's a research station based here. As a result you can stand among them as they carry on with their daily round of foraging, feeding and socialising.

Further into this magnificent forest you may get a rare opportunity to see the world's smallest primate, the tarsier spectrum. These cute little creatures, no more than six inches tall, live in pairs and eat only insects: your guide will collect insects so that the tarsiers come out to feed.

A predominantly Christian area, North Sulawesi is dominated by large, elaborate churches that have been built in even the smallest of villages. And everywhere you go, you'll be met by warm smiles and given a big welcome.



Nick Hanna travelled as a guest of Regaldive (0870-2201 777;, which offers seven nights' b&b at Tasik Ria from £989. Diving costs from £245 for five days (including three guided dives per day, lunch, tanks and weights). Seven nights' full board at Kungkungan Bay Resort ( costs from £1,129, with diving costs starting from £200 for 10 dives. Seven nights' full board at Siladen ( costs from £1,280, where 11 dives costs £198 including tanks and weights. All the above prices include return flights, transfers, and a one-night room-only stop-over in Singapore.

Gangga Island ( is featured by Snooba Travel (0870-162 0767;, which offers 10 days from £1,450 including return flights, transfers, nine nights' full board, 16 dives, and a one-night stop-over on the return journey. Non-divers start at £1,170.

Clients at Froggies ( are usually independent travellers. Other dive operators for North Sulawesi include Dive Worldwide (0845-130 6980; and Explorers (0845-644 7090;


The North Sulawesi Watersports Association is very active in supporting the marine park and working on conservation projects. For details visit


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