Indonesia An Endless Summer For Surfing

Bali, Java and Lombok Good Starting Points For Surfers

Indonesia is ideal for surfing all year round, although the winds and waves shift from season to season. June to August usually produces the largest swells. Some of the best waves are within easy reach off Bali, but other rewarding destinations are found on dozens of islands, including Java, Lombok, and Sumatra. Some of these destinations are extremely remote and require some work.

surf Sumatra

Bali was the first place to feel Indonesia’s international surfing craze. Now, avid surfers trek to Nias island, East and West Java, Sumba, and Sumbawa, just to name a few of the top surfing destinations. The waters around Sulawesi and Kalimantan are sheltered from the swells and are better for underwater pleasures.

Ocean swells are generated from the poles and Indonesia is the first land to break the waves from the South Pole. For this reason, some of the best waves in the world pound the southern shores of Indonesia. Waves in excess of 10 feet are common in places like Ulu Watu off Bali or G-land off Java. Some areas are cursed with strong shore-hugging currents, which are challenging for beginners and swimmers.

Water temperatures are in the mid 70s, but a vest or spring suit can come in handy on windy days. The sun is very strong this close to the equator so lots of protection and rash guards are recommended.

Surfers may have to pay a surfboard tax upon arrival. It is arbitrarily applied, but a reality nonetheless. Surfing supplies are available on Bali and surf tours can be arranged through local travel agencies.

Kuta Beach Bali

Surf Bali

Not only does Bali have some of the best waves in Indonesia, it also is one of the most interesting islands in Indonesia. Bali is probably the only place in this country where visitors can easily navigate around the island without knowing a word of Indonesian.

Bali still lies at the heart of the Indonesian surf experience and is a mandatory stop for first-time visitors. Bali offers 30 top-quality breaks on the southwest and southeast coasts of the island and around the Bukit Peninsula. Some of these breaks, such as Padang Padang and Ulu Watu, are world-class, barreling, reef breaks. Others range from good fun, like the beach-breaks around Kuta and Sanur, to seriously challenging bowl opportunities.

The surf in Bali is usually modest in size—most often in the two-six foot range. However, larger waves do occur on some of the exposed reefs. Due to its 180-degree exposure to swells, surfers can always find a manageable surf break on Bali. Because Bali has surf breaks both on its west-facing and east-facing coasts, it is always offshore somewhere on the island on any given day. Given the number of breaks and the quality and consistency of the waves, it is possible to find great surf with small to moderate crowds.

With its greater share of the tourist traffic, especially from Australia, the needs of sporting tourists are more obviously catered to in Bali than elsewhere in Indonesia. Good places for surfing in the west monsoon (October to March) are Nusa Dua and Sanur. Between April and September, Kuta Beach usually offers better waves than Sanur. Advanced and serious surfers find Ulu Watu a worthy challenge and a rewarding experience.

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Surf Java

The best surfing on Java is on both the western and eastern tips of the island. The central coast is beautiful, but sadly lacking in quality surf.

Grajagan, East Java: This spot is known as “The Legend” or “G-Land,” which tells you it is special. Located at Plengkung Bay, on the southernmost peninsula of Java, is the renowned Grajagan. “G-Land” was discovered in the 70s by a couple of intrepid surfers on a flight between Jakarta and Bali. The long lines of surf were unmistakable perfection and the discovery that followed is now regarded as the world’s best left-hand breaks. The movie All Down the Line exposed this area to the surfing world. The Quiksilver Pro surfing competition is now an annual event at G-Land. This area is one of the most popular surfing attractions in all of Indonesia. The waves break over a shallow reef and provide a tough test for even the best. For goofy‑foot surfers, this is said to be one of the best waves in the world.

G-Land draws surfers from all over the world. They flock to the Javanese jungle each year between March and November, when the swell is generally constant and flat spells are rare. According to experts, it has the longest and fastest left‑hand tube known. The waves here swell up to 12 feet (4 meters), but one slip can be disastrous and medical help is hours away.

The western beaches of the Blambangan Peninsula, Java’s easternmost extension, also has attracts surfers. The whole peninsula is a nature reserve with sea turtles nesting on the beaches and good waves. Most surfers reach it by boat from Bali.

Batu Keras: A good place for beginners, but still satisfactory for the more advanced is the beach near Batu Keras, west of the local resort of Pangandaran. Small but steady right-handers roll in over a sandy bottom. Boogie boards are fun here, too. Avoid the bay between Batu Keras and the Pangandaran Peninsula, as strong currents run parallel to the shore except in the sheltered cove near the reserve itself. Batu Keras is about an hour’s drive west of Pangandaran village, where there is ample accommodation.

Pelabuhan Ratu: Another area becoming increasingly popular with surfers is at Pelabuhan Ratu, a three-hour drive from either Jakarta or Bandung, situated on Java’s southern coast. A few miles from this fisherman’s port going west on a scenic coastal road, there are adequate facilities. But the best place to go to is beyond the 4-star Samudra Beach Hotel, towards the village of Cisolok where beach surroundings are lovely, distinctly tropical, and where the ocean is at its best.

Uluwatu Bali

Surf Lombok

Lombok is a good alternative for those looking for nice, quiet beaches and surfing. The best waves on Lombok are found at Desert Point, on the southwest tip. This area can rival Grajagan or Ulu Watu. It offers long rides, with perfect tubes rolling over shallow coral reefs.

Desert Point: This remote spot is widely regarded as one of the best and heaviest left-hand barrels in the world. Desert Point is notoriously fickle, though. It lies in a remote mountainous region on the southwest coast of Lombok and is best accessed by boat. Lombok is for those surfers seeking a greater variety of setups, including rights, point breaks, beginner, and intermediate level waves.

During the dry season (May – October), the trade winds blow from the southeast, which provide offshore winds for Desert Point as well as many of the left-hand waves on the island. Alternately, the winds in the wet season (November – April), blow from the southwest, which results in more right-hand breaks.

The main surf center of Lombok is Kuta Beach, which is located on the eastern side of the southern coast. Many good hotels are nearby, including the three-star Kuta Inda to the luxurious five-star Novotel Coralia. They feature guide services to help you find the best waves at the right times (except for Desert Point which is more easily accessed by surf charter boat, usually en route to Sumbawa). From there, most surf breaks are within an hour’s drive. Desert Point, however, is a half-day away from Kuta Beach.

Lombok is best accessed from Bali by ferry, which takes about 2 hours. Ferry cost is minimal, but they do charge extra to transport surfboards. The Mabua Express is a high-speed passenger ferry with comfortable seating and even a movie for the ride over. From the port at Lembar, land transfers are available to Desert Point or Kuta Beach. Another option is flying to Mataram, the largest city on Lombok, from Bali or Singapore.

Surf Sumbawa

This island has some of the most perfect waves in Indonesia, but you must speak some Indonesian to find your way around. This island, much like neighboring Lombok, is much drier than Bali and other parts of Indonesia. The land is mostly barren with many steep cliffs dropping straight into the sea. The two main surfing areas are West Sumbawa and the Lakey area.

West Sumbawa: This area is mostly made up of hollow left-hand breaks that are best accessed by boat charter. The charters will pull up and anchor at the best breaks for easy access to the surf.

Lakey: During the dry season (May – October), the trade winds blow from the southeast offering offshore winds to the lefts of west Sumbawa. Alternately, the winds in the wet season (November – April), blow from the southwest which results in more right breaks. Water temperatures are in the mid 70s, but a vest or spring suit can help on windy days.

Some hotels and surf camps are located right in front of the main breaks of Lakey Peak and Lakey Pipe, with other waves within walking distance. Most waves are a long paddle or walk across the reef depending on the tide. Reef boots are recommended.

Travelers can access Sumbawa from Bali by air or sea. It takes about seven hours by the fast ferry. There also is a surfboard tax of 15,000 rupiah for each board bag. Merpati Airlines operates daily flights from Bali to Bima, Sumbawa. Most of these planes can take surfboards. Upon arrival in Bima, it’s approximately 2.5 hours to Lakey Peak by overland transfer. West Sumbawa is best accessed by surf charter boat. Charters typically depart Bali for a minimum of seven nights.

Surf Sumatra

North Sumatra is one of Indonesia’s last surfing frontiers. It consists of several small islands, including the Hinako Islands, Nias, Telos, and two other island groups to the north. North Sumatra enjoys its best surfing season from May to September. Despite Indonesia’s reputation for hollow left-hand breaks, in North Sumatra, right-handers are more common. While Lagundri Bay at Nias has been surfed for decades, it is the more obscure rights like Bawa (a right-hand bowl with 15-footers or more) and Treasure Island (a long, hollow, mechanical right-hander that rolls for 200 meters) that have attracted the attention recently.

Nias Island: The professional surfing tour came here in 1994. Nias is home to waves with a right‑hand break, in a region where they are rare. The waves at Nias are fickle and you may need plenty of time to catch them at their best. About 125 kilometers off the western coast of Sumatra, Nias was barely known until a television commercial exposed its charms to Australians.

The best time of year to venture here is between June and October. Nias has one of the best right-handers in Indonesia. It is situated at the western end of Lagundri Bay and pumps out 15-foot waves regularly. It also produces hollow, deep waves. Accommodations in the area are basic and affordable. Daily flights are available from Medan and daily ferries are available from Sibolga.

Mentawai: The Mentawai Islands are about 100 kilometers off of the west coast of Sumatra. They consist of four main islands with many smaller islands scattered throughout. From north to south, the main islands are Siberut, Sipora, North Pagi, and South Pagi. These islands block most swells from reaching the mainland on Sumatra, but they offer some of the most perfect surf in the world. Access to the islands is by sea only with regular ferries to the main trading ports. The best way to access the surf is by charter boat.

The best time for surfers to visit is between May and November. Ferries can be accessed in Padang and organized tours can be arranged from there as well. Independent travelers must speak some basic Indonesian.

Asu: This island offers world-class left-hand waves, while its neighboring island of Bawa features classic right-handers. Located in the Hinako group of islands, west of Nias.

Indonesia tourism marketing and public relations firm

Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and founder is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Indonesia Promoting Marine Destinations

Tourism Plan Showcases Diving, Surfing, Wildlife

Indonesia hopes to double the number of tourists that visit from other nations by 2019. This year, the island nation will launch an initiative to upgrade several tourist destinations around the archipelago in a bid to lure tourists to destinations other than Bali.

scuba diving Indonesia

Top New Tourist Destinations Include

  • Lake Toba (North Sumatra),
  • Tanjung Kelayang (Belitung),
  • Tanjung Lesung (Banten),
  • the Thousand Islands (Jakarta),
  • Borobudur Temple (Magelang),
  • Mount Bromo (East Java), Mandalika (South Lombok),
  • Labuan Bajo (East Nusa Tenggara),
  • Wakatobi (Southeast Sulawesi), and
  • Morotai (North Maluku).

Komodo island Indonesia

Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism has added Komodo Island as one of the major marine tourist destinations in the island nation. Other primary destinations in the list are:

  • Wakatobi in Southeast Sulawesi,
  • Derawan in East Kalimantan,
  • Raja Empat in Papua,
  • Nias in North Sumatra,
  • Mentawai in West Sumatra,
  • Ujung Kulon in West Java,
  • Anak Krakatau in Sunda Strait,
  • Tomini in Central Sulawesi, and
  • Bali West Nusa Tenggara
  • Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara.

Indonesia tourism

“The islands are the foundation of the blueprint for marine tourism development as we promote Indonesia,” Welly Rame Rohimone, acting head of the provincial tourism and creative economy office, said.

Komodo Island, the natural habitat of the Komodo dragon (Varanus kommodoensis), has been selected as one of the new seven Wonders of Nature. The tourist area is ideal for diving and cruise tourism. The Komodo dragon in Komodo National Park can be found on the islands of Rinca, Padar and Komodo. Komodo Island, with a land area of 390 square kilometers, has a population of over 2,000. The island has a beach with sand that appears pink as it contains a mixture of white sand and red sand, formed from pieces of Foraminifera.

sailing Indonesia

In 2015, Indonesia’s top ten source of tourists were Singapore, China, Malaysia, Australia, Japan, Egypt, Britain, India, Germany, and the US. Further promotions will be held in these countries in cooperation with the local government, tourism agencies, airlines, media, Indonesian embassies, and the Indonesian diaspora there.

Indonesia Tourism News via

Indonesia tourism marketing and public relations firm

Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and founder is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Indonesia’s Deadliest Volcanoes

Indonesia Has More Active Volcanoes Than Any Place On Earth

Indonesia has more than 400 volcanoes, including 128 active ones. The tallest, Kerinci on Sumatra, Rinjani on Lombok, and Semeru on Java, for example, reach more than 10,500 feet above sea level.

The country covers one of the most volcanic and seismically active regions in the world. The volcanic ash yields extremely productive crops, which lures people to risk their lives farming in the shadows of these dangerous mountains. Thousands of farmers and their families have lost their lives as a result.

Mt. Bromo Java Indonesia

These mysterious mountains now lure hikers and mountaineering clubs, which have sprung up in Jakarta, Bandung, and other cities. Adventure travelers from other countries also find these volcanoes worth the trip.

The most popular volcanoes to climb are:

  • the twin volcanoes of Gede and Pangrango in West Java;
  • Semeru and Kelud in East Java;
  • Merapi in Central Java; and
  • Rinjani on Lombok.

On rare occasions, expeditions are made to the snow-covered summit of the Jayawijaya Range in Papua. Although it was not formed by volcanic activity, it is the highest point in Indonesia and one incredible adventure at 5,050 meters (16,000 feet).

Mt. Merapi Indonesia

Indonesia’s most famous volcano is Krakatau (known in the Western world as Krakatoa) in the Sunda Strait, between Java and Sumatra. When it blew up in 1883, the explosion and its after-effects circled the world. This volcano and many others have killed more than 150,000 people in Indonesia over the last 200 years.

Indonesia’s Deadliest Volcanic Eruptions 

Mt. Tambora, Sumbawa: In 1815, it killed 92,000 people. This eruption was greater in size and power than the more famous eruption of Krakatau. About 10,000 people were killed directly as a result of eruptions and ash falls, while about 82,000 were subsequently killed by starvation and disease. Lake Toba formed in its massive caldera.

Lake Toba Sumatra Indonesia

Mt. Krakatau, Sunda Strait: This well-known volcano erupted repeatedly over August 26-27, 1883. The northern part of the island vanished into the air and sea. It killed more than 36,000 people, mostly those who lived on the neighboring islands of Java and Sumatra. The massive tsunamis caused by the explosion surged 10 miles inland on these two islands to kill most of the victims. The explosions were heard 3,000 miles away and the shock was felt as far away as California, 9,000 miles from ground zero. Since 1925, this volcano has visibly been regenerating itself and is violently active again.

anak krakatau Indonesia volcano

Mt. Kelut, East Java: In 1586, Kelut (also called Kelud) erupted and killed about 10,000 people. Most of the victims were killed by lahars—violent mudflows comprised of volcanic ash and debris saturated with water from the volcano’s crater lake. In 1919, this volcano erupted again and killed more than 5,000 people.

Mt. Galunggung, West Java: In 1882, this volcano erupted and killed about 4,000 people with mudflows and hot ash.

Mt. Awu, Sangihe Besar Island in North Sulawesi: In 1711, Awu erupted and killed more than 3,000 people. In 1856, it erupted again and killed about 2,800 people. In 1892, it erupted again and killed about 1,500 people. In 1812, this deadly mountain killed another 960 people.

Mt. Merapi, Central Java: In 1672, Merapi, which means mountain of fire, erupted and killed about 3,000 people. In 1930, Merapi erupted again and killed about 1,300 people in the valleys below. In 1994, a scorching heat cloud from the volcano killed 66 villagers and farmers living on its slopes.

Mt. Papandayan, West Java: In 1772, this volcano killed about 2,900 people with its ash flows.

Bali pura besakih

Mt. Agung, Bali: On March 17, 1963, an eruption blew the top off of the volcano and killed nearly 1,200 people. Agung is the island’s highest and most sacred mountain.

gunung Raung Indonesia East Java

Mt. Raung, East Java: In 1638 this volcano erupted and killed about 1,000 people. This volcano is active again now and disrupting travel across Java and Bali.

Mt. Iliwerung, Lomblen Island, which lies between Flores Island and Alor Island, East Nusa Tenggara Province: In 1979, this remote volcano erupted and killed about 500 people.

Mt. Semeru, East Java: In 1965, Semeru killed more than 250 people. This is the highest mountain on Java. In 1981, Semeru killed another 250 people.

Mt. Kelut, East Java: In 1966, Kelut killed more than 200 people. In 1966, Kelut killed another 90 people.

Mt. Dieng, Central Java: In 1979, this volcano killed about 150 people. The Dieng volcanic complex in Central Java Province consists of two main volcanoes and about 20 smaller craters, several of which emit poisonous gas.

Indonesia tourism marketing and public relations firm

Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and founder is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Lombok A Diverse Tourist Destination

Island Offers Beaches, Golf, Waterfalls, Volcano Treks, History

Lombok is often compared to Bali. The neighboring islands have many similarities and many differences. They are only about 20 miles apart. Lombok has much in common with Bali, but it is less known, less commercialized and visited less by world travelers. It is working to increase its visibility and appeal.

Both islands have Hindu and Muslim influences, but in opposite proportions. Both islands have beautiful highlands and white sandy beaches, but Lombok is quieter and dryer than Bali. The largest city on the island is Mataram.

Lombok beaches

Until 1987, few visitors made the trip to Lombok. Today, Lombok is growing in popularity, but it is still relatively quiet and undeveloped. Tourism is already is the second-largest industry on Lombok. Mount Rinjani, beautiful coastlines, coral reefs, and stunning waterfalls highlight the list of popular destinations on Lombok.


The Gelgel Balinese Kingdom conquered Lombok in the early 18th century, which brought a large population of Balinese to the island. The Balinese population of Lombok today consists of about 300,000 people. The Balinese have influenced the Wektu Telu religion of Lombok with the Hindu religion.

The Dutch first visited Lombok in 1674 and settled the eastern part of the island. The Dutch left the western half of the island to be ruled by a Hindu dynasty from Bali. The Sasak people of Lombok were restless under Balinese rule and a revolt began in 1891. The revolt ended three years later with the annexation of the entire island to the Netherland’s East Indies. 

The People and Language Of Lombok

About 2.5 million people reside on Lombok. About 85 percent of the residents are Sasak, who follow a mixed religion comprised of Islam and animism. The other 10 percent of the people who live on Lombok are Balinese and a small fraction is Chinese, Arab, Javanese, and Sumbawanese. About 90 percent of the people in the west are farmers. They grow rice, soybeans, tobacco, and other crops. The Sasak language belongs to the Bali-Sasak-Sumbawa family of languages.

Lombok’s Diverse Geography and Geology

Lombok is part of the chain of the Lesser Sunda Islands, with the Lombok Strait separating it from Bali to the west. The Alas Strait separates Lombok from Sumbawa to the east. The Lombok Strait is part of the Wallace Line—the dividing line between the fauna of Asia and the distinctly different fauna of Australasia.

Mt. Rinjani

The island’s topography is dominated by Mount Rinjani, a massive volcano that rises 12,200 feet out of the ocean. It is the second-largest volcano in Indonesia and it often is shrouded in clouds. The most recent eruption of Rinjani was in 1994. The volcano, and its sacred crater lake, is protected by Rinjani National Park, which was established in 1997. The towering volcano collects a great deal of rainfall, which tumbles down the mountain through a series of cold and cascading waterfalls below.

Most of the southern part of the island is a fertile plain where corn, rice, coffee, tobacco, and cotton are grown. However, parts of the southern side of the island are too arid to produce healthy crops.

My Favorite Temple On Lombok

Pura Batu Bolong (POOR-rah BAH-too BOH-lohgn ): This Hindu sea temple is one of the most interesting temples on Lombok. It sits on the rocky coast facing Bali’s holy mountain, Gunung Agung, while constantly absorbing large waves from the sea.

Batu Bolong temple Lombok Indonesia

It is located between Mataram and Senggigi. Visitors must wear a sash around their waist to enter the temple. For a small donation, you can borrow a sash from the attendant. A hole in the rock under the temple lets waves come through, which adds to the site’s charm. Located between Mataram and Senggigi.

Arts, Crafts, and Culture

Lombok is famous for its baskets and pottery. However, its artisans don’t use the bright colors found on Balinese art. Local artisans weave baskets tight enough to hold water. The unique local pottery often features inlaid eggshells and leafs to create an artistic flair. Some artisans weave basket cases around the pottery for an unusual effect. Local artisans incorporate geckos on much of their work because they believe that geckos bring them good luck.

On Lombok and Bali, you can tell the married women from the single ones by looking at the flower behind their ears. If the flower is placed behind the left ear, the woman is not married. A flower behind the right ear indicates that a woman is married. In addition, people on Lombok never wear yellow because they believe it is bad luck.

Indonesia tourism marketing and public relations firm

Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and founder is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Bali’s Most Stunning Temples

Religion The Center Of Balinese Culture

No visit to Bali would be complete without a trip to see at least one of Bali’s many Hindu temples. There are over 20,000 pura (Balinese for temple) in Bali, a widespread marker of Bali’s reverent culture. The most impressive temples include:

Pura Besakih

The holiest of all temples in Bali, the Mother Temple of Pura Besakih is located some 3,000 feet up Gunung Agung in East Bali. This sprawling complex consolidates 23 separate temples, some dating back to the 10th century. The temple’s main axis aligns with the peak of Gunung Agung, the tallest mountain and holiest site on Bali.

Bali pura besakih

Pura Besakih narrowly escaped destruction in 1963, as lava flow from Gunung Agung’s killer eruption missed the temple by mere yards. Today, Pura Besakih is a major draw for tourists and for devout Balinese.

Pura Gunung Kawi

Located about a mile south of Tampaksiring, Bali’s “Valley of the Kings” is located in a ravine between ricefields. The Pakerisan river flows through this ravine, and the cliffs flanking the river feature shrines carved into the stone honoring kings and queens from the 11th century. The Balinese – big believers in the holiness of water – believe that the river sanctifies Pura Gunung Kawi.

Bali temple Gunung Kawi

The site isn’t a temple per se, nor is it a tomb – the royalty honored here were likely cremated according to Balinese custom.

Tirta Empul

The sacred spring that feeds Tirta Empul provides holy water for priests and bathing for ordinary Balinese, who believe that a dip hereabouts can bring good fortune and health. An offering must first be made at the temple before you can climb into the long main pool to bathe and meditate.

Bali tirta empul temple

Legend has it that the god Indra created the spring Tampaksiring (namesake of the nearby town) as an antidote to a poisonous spring created by an evil demon king. In reality, Tirta Empul was probably built in 926 AD during the Balinese Warmadewa dynasty. A villa complex nearby houses government VIPs; it was originally constructed for former President Sukarno in the 1950s.

Goa Gajah

Known as the Elephant Cave, Goa Gajah seems strangely free from elephants until you realize it takes its name from its proximity to the Elephant River. (Which is also strangely lacking in elephants.) Goa Gajah’s key attraction is the menacing entrance to the cave – the surrounding rock has been carved into a face, mouth agape.

Bali Goa Gajah

The interior of the cave features a statue of the Hindu god Ganesha and a worship area devoted to the Hindu god Shiva. Goa Gajah probably dates back to the 11th century, and is mentioned in a poem that dates back to the 1300s.

Pura Tanah Lot

Perhaps the most frequently featured temple on Bali’s postcards due to its unique offshore setting and sunset backdrops, Tanah Lot also happens to be one of Bali’s most important temples. Tanah Lot stands on a rock some distance from the shore, towering over the sea. Access to the temple is limited to low tide; even so, this picturesque temple is barraged by visitors.

Tanah Lot temple Bali

The temple’s construction was supposedly inspired by the priest Nirartha in the 15th century; after spending the night on the rock outcrop where the temple now stands, he instructed local fishermen to build a temple on that site. Today, Tanah Lot is regarded as one of Bali’s most important directional temples. A multimillion-dollar restoration effort in the 1990s saved Tanah Lot from falling into the sea.

As one of Bali’s most popular temples, Tanah Lot is surrounded by crowds and vendors. Do not visit if it’s peace and quiet you’re after, but do come if you’re after a great sunset view.

Pura Taman Ayun

Built in the 1600s by the King of Mengwi, Pura Taman Ayun survives today as a beautiful example of a royal public temple. The descendants of the Mengwi royal family still sponsor the temple, which also serves as the clan kawitantemple (a temple dedicated to the worship of the deified ancestors, in this case the previous rulers of the Mengwi royal family).

Bali's temple Taman Ayun

“Taman Ayun” means “beautiful garden”; a moat surrounds the temple, which gives the complex the appearance of floating on water. A landscaped front courtyard entered through an ornamental candi bentar (split front gate) adds to the temple’s beauty.

Pura Ulun Danau Bratan

This temple on the shores of Lake Bratan is second only to Pura Besakih in significance, but for rice farmers in Bali, this temple is the foremost on the island. Pura Ulun Danau Bratan is the primary temple in the many temples and shrines that punctuate the subak irrigation system popular in Bali. The temple is dedicated to the worship of the goddess of lakes and rivers, Dewi Batari Ulun Danau.

Lake Bratan temple Bali

Part of the temple is located on the mainland, while a significant section seems to “float” on the lake, being set on an island just off the mainland temple complex. An 11-roof meru (pagoda) sits on the island section, a towering beauty surrounded by a placid lake.

Pura Luhur Uluwatu

Pura Luhur Uluwatu is both a major Balinese temple – one of the six sad kahyangan revered by all Balinese – and the site of a nightly kecak performance that reenacts the Ramayana through chanting men, masked actors and a dramatic fire-dance.

Uluwatu temple Bali

Pura Luhur Uluwatu was first constructed by a Javanese Hindu guru in the 10th century. The whole temple stands on a cliff soaring 200 feet above a prime Bali surfing spot in the westernmost part of South Bali – the temple’s name refers to its position “at the head of the rock”, and visitors get an eyeful of the sea as it breaks against the base of the cliffs below. The view is especially beautiful during sunset.

Pura Goa Lawah

The temple of Pura Goa Lawah in East Bali iincludes a cave inhabited by thousands of bats. A black-sand beach nearby makes Goa Lawah a popular site for post-cremation purification, for the Balinese families that can afford it.

Bali pura goa lawah temple

The Javanese priest Nirartha supposedly visited the cave back in the 15th century. Legend has it that the cave interior extends over 19 miles underground to emerge at Pura Besakih.

For more information about Bali, visit

Indonesia tourism marketing and public relations firm

Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and founder is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Indonesia’s Top Travel Destinations

Travel To Bali, Borneo, Java, Sumatra

Indonesia is a huge country, in both population and land area, with significant cultural and geological diversity. With 18,110 islands, 6,000 of them inhabited, it is the largest archipelago in the world. The population of around 240 million people is derived from 300 ethnic groups who speak over 250 different languages. While Bali is usually the destination most familiar to foreign visitors, there is a wealth of other top tourist attractions in Indonesia to discover in this vast and varied country.

Lake Toba Sumatra Indonesia

Lake Toba, Sumatra. Lake Toba on the island of Sumatra is an immense volcanic lake about 100 kilometers long and 30 kilometers wide. Formed by a gigantic volcanic eruption some 70,000 years ago, it is the largest resurgent caldera on Earth. Genetic estimates suggests that there were only a few thousand humans that survived the catastrophe. The island in the middle – Pulau Samosir – is the largest island within an island and contains two lakes. Besides visiting “a lake on an island within a lake on an island” tourist also come here to kick back and relax and swim in the volcanically warmed waters.

Indonesia orangutan conservation

Tanjung Puting, Kalimantan. The Tanjung Puting National Park is located on the island of Borneo in the Indonesian province of Central Kalimantan. The park is a popular ecotourism destination, with many local tour companies offering multi-day boat tours to view wildlife and visit the research centers. Wildlife include gibbons, macaques, clouded leopards, sun bears, pythons, crocodiles and – most famously – orangutans. Unfortunately the park is heavily threatened by illegal logging and forest clearing for agricultural uses.

Dani tribe Papua

Baliem Valley, Papua. The Baliem Valley in the highlands of Papua (Western New Guinea) offers a glimpse into what was recently a stone-age world. The valley was not known to the outside world until 1938 when an aerial reconnaissance flight southwards from Hollandia (now Jayapura) discovered a large agricultural population. Wamena is the starting point for most visitors who come nowadays to marvel at the mountain views, roaring rivers, tribal villages and at the tough but sweet spirit of the warm Dani people.

Mt. Bromo Java Indonesia

Mount Bromo, Java. Gunung Bromo is an active volcano and part of the Tengger massif, in East Java. At 2,329 meters (7,641 feet) it is not the highest peak of the massif, but it is the most well known. The area is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Indonesia and Java. The top of the volcano has been blown off and the crater inside constantly belches white smoke. It is surrounded by the Sea of Sand of fine volcanic sand. The overall effect is unsettlingly unearthly.

Bunaken Sulawesi scuba diving

Bunaken, Sulawesi. Located at the north of the island of Sulawesi, Bunaken is one of Indonesia’s most famous dive and snorkeling areas. The island is part of the Bunaken Marine Park where you can see more than 70 percent of all fish species that live in the western Pacific ocean. The best time for diving in Bunaken is between the months of April and November.

Tanah toraja

Torajaland, Sulawesi. Torajaland (Tana Toraja) is a highland region of South Sulawesi, home of the Toraja people. Torajans are famous for their massive peaked-roof houses known as tongkonan and spectacular but gruesome funeral rites. After a person’s death, the body is kept – often for several years – until the actual funeral ceremony which can last for several days. The deceased is then finally buried in a small cave or in a hollow tree.

Gili islands Lombok Beach

Gili Islands, Lombok. Lombok’s most popular tourist destination, the Gili Islands are an archipelago of three small islands: Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air. The islands are very relaxed and laid-back, with countless little beachside cafes still playing reggae and no cars or motorbikes to disturb the peace. Note that the name “Gili Islands” is rather redundant as gili simply means “small island” in Sasak and there are many other islands around the coast of Lombok with Gili in their names.

Komodo dragon

Komodo National Park, Komodo Island. The Komodo National Park is a national park located within the Lesser Sunda Islands that includes the three larger islands Komodo, Padar and Rincah, and 26 smaller ones. The park is named after the Komodo Dragon, the world’s largest living reptile that can reach 3 meters or more in length and weigh over 70kg. Although Komodo dragons eat mostly carcass of dead animals, they are formidable predators and will also hunt prey including birds, and mammals. Attacks against humans are very rare.

Borobudur temple Java Indonesia

Borobudur, Java. Located 40 km (25 miles) northwest of Yogyakarta on Java, the Borobudur is the one of the most famous Buddhist temple in the world. The Borobudur was built over a period of some 75 years in the 8th and 9th centuries by the kingdom of Sailendra, out of an estimated 2 million blocks of stone. It was abandoned in the 14th century for reasons that still remain a mystery and for centuries lay hidden in the jungle under layers of volcanic ash. Today it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Indonesia.

Bali rice terraces

Bali. Bali is one of the world’s most popular island destinations and one which consistently wins travel awards. The varied landscape, rugged coastlines, tropical beaches, lush rice terraces and volcanic hillsides all provide a picturesque backdrop to its colorful, deeply spiritual and unique Hindu culture. The combination of friendly people, a magnificently visual culture infused with spirituality and spectacular beaches with great surfing and diving have made Bali the unrivaled number one tourist attraction in Indonesia.

Indonesian tourist destinations


Indonesia tourism marketing and public relations firm

Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and founder is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Scuba Diving In Indonesia

Indonesia Is Diving Paradise

Indonesia is an epicenter of underwater biodiversity, hosting a greater variety of marine life than anywhere else on earth.

The South China Sea, the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean converge here, on the world’s largest archipelago of more than 18,000 islands, and the result is spectacular diving. Thriving off Indonesia’s vast coastline are more than 600 coral and 3000 fish species. While place names such as Bali, Komodo, Java and Sumatra bring jungles and tigers and land-based adventure to mind, the underwater world here is simply in a class of its own.

scuba diving Indonesia

The diving is nothing short of outstanding. There’s exhilarating drift diving, extensive reef diving, fantastic night diving, unique muck diving and breathtaking steep walls. Tec divers probe the deep trenches and wreck divers love the many World War II relics. Still one of the few relatively undiscovered dive locations, Indonesia has something for divers of all levels.

Bali, one of the most popular places for learning to dive, is also a hot spot for giant sunfish encounters and has some stunning drop-offs. East of Bali is Komodo, where nutrient rich currents underpin a vibrant ecosystem and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Off Lombok, the Gili Islands are casual, beautiful and tranquil, with turtles, cuttle fish, octopus, lionfish and scorpion fish to delight new divers.

To the north, Sulawesi features fabulous diving at Wakatobi, Lembeh Strait, Bunaken and Manado. Wakatobi’s world-class drop-off is famed for its action and color, with everything from blue ringed octopus and ghost pipe fish to resident sea turtles cruising past soft corals and gorgonians. Lembeh is renowned for muck diving. With a sharp eye, you’ll find banded snake eels, pygmy seahorses, octopus, scorpion fish and literally hundreds of extraordinarily well-camouflaged critters. Almost anything could be hiding in the black sand.

Best known for its tigers and orangutans, Sumatra’s diving is also stellar. The best sites are found off the northwestern coast in the shelter of islands such Pulau Weh. The deep waters here are home to abundant marine life,ranging from giant pelagics to marvelous macro critters.

The USAT Liberty Wreck, a 119-meters/390-foot US Army transport ship, was torpedoed in the Lombok Strait during the Second World War and lies just 30 meters/100 feet from shore in Tulamben Bay off Bali’s northeast coast. The deepest point is about 30 meters/100 feet. The structure attracts great barracuda, napoleon fish and scribbled file fish among myriad other marine denizens.

Indonesia scuba diving

A National Marine Park, Menjangan Island revels in legions of tropical fish, lush seascapes and pristine coral environments. It also has sea turtles, sharks, rays, eels and great schools of jacks.

Nusa Penida and its tiny sibling, Lembongan Island, are current-washed pelagic attraction devices. Over the healthy hard coral substrate, look for sunfish, mantas, sharks, eagle rays, turtles and big shoals of trevally and sweet lips. The currents can be strong as well as surprisingly brisk.

Just off of Lombok, the three Gili Islands  Trawangan, Meno and Air – are small, casual islands boasting white, sandy beaches and excellent diving. Currents can be quite strong and drift diving is the norm along the walls, ridges, canyons and slopes. You’ll encounter cuttlefish, octopus, lion fish and scorpion fish. If your trip coincides with a full moon, you’ll also get to see the school of huge bump head parrot fish that visit the area. Others critters include a variety of rays, sea snakes, reef sharks, moray eels, the occasional whale shark, masses of turtles (both green and hawks bill) and an immeasurable variety of hard and soft corals. The environment is well cared for as the Gili Eco Trust collects contributions from visiting divers and snorkelers to fund special projects such as beach cleanups, recycling initiatives and reef conservation activities.

Komodo Island is directly south of Sulawesi. The national park is legendary for its “dragons” – the world’s largest living lizard – but it’s the ocean that draws divers. With strong currents, Komodo is best for intermediate to advanced divers. But, those strong currents also bring nutrient-rich waters and sustain a remarkable variety of marine life. Dive Komodo and you’ll likely see a multitude of fish and some larger pelagics and marine mammals such as mantas, dolphins and sharks.

Labuan Bajo is the gateway to Komodo, Banta and Rinca Islands and Komodo Marine Park. There are dozens of dives sites within day boat reach and hundreds in reach of dive safaris 8-10 hours away. The best known of these, Manta Alley, End of the World and German Flag, lie to the South of Komodo.

Indonesia sailing

South of Rinca Island the water is cooler and more exposed to the Indian Ocean. Dive sites here include Cannibal Rock (a lush seamount covered with extraordinary invertebrate life, pygmy seahorses, frogfish, dozens of nudibranchs and abundant Coleman shrimp) and Batu Tiga (frequented by big pelagics such as mantas, sharks, masses of trevally and eagle rays).

To the north of Gili Lawa Laut are Crystal Rock and Castle Rock, where reef sharks, turtles, barracuda, yellow fin tuna, wobbegong, grey reef and bull sharks thrive. Lighthouse Reef offers nearly endless drift dives (bring a surface signaling device) on a variety of dive sites with sharks, turtles, dolphins, mantas, trevally, surgeonfish and rays regularly encountered.

North Sulawesi offers a plethora of dive sites and is suitable for divers of all experience levels. Near Manado, one of the top dive destinations, Bunaken Marine Park, comprises 89,065 hectares / 220,000 acres and boasts clear water, steep walls and world-class coral gardens. You are likely to encounter large schools of fish, spinner dolphins and pilot whales. You can also spot many of the other 2000 species in the area – including seahorses, scorpion fish, octopus, sea fans, sponges, whip corals, hard corals and nudibranchs. Near Molas Beach, just outside Manado on the mainland coast, you’ll find the wreck of the Molas. This Dutch freighter sank during the World War II and its hull has become home for many fish species.

Lembeh is renowned for macro diving over a moonscape of black sand. The dive sites at Lembeh Strait have wonderful names: Nudi Falls, Hairball, Police Pier and Angel’s Window. Hairy frogfish, stargazers, flamboyant cuttlefish, Ambon scorpion fish, mimic octopus,decorator crabs, seahorses, snake eels and leaf scorpion fish top the list of what divers flock here to view.

Batee Meureuron is a rocky outcrop washed by strong currents. It’s a great place to see clown fish in their host anemones, stingrays, turtles, moray eels and big schools of black snappers hanging out in the shallow water between the rocks. Seulako’s Drift lets you fly while diving. You’ll soar over rocks, hard corals and gorgonians in the deeps and fields of soft leather corals in the shallows. It’s a high voltage dive. For a unique experience, the Hotsprings are a must see. In a small area, hot water bubbles up from the sandy bottom. The cracks and vents change shape and size every dive. It’s definitely worth diving.


Those who make the journey to Wakatobi are well rewarded. Above water, the islands are stunning. Below, the diverse and memorable house reef is home to creatures ranging from the small and strange to giant mantas and resident turtles. In addition, the readily accessible coral garden at Teluk Maya harbors Pegasus sea moths, pipe fish, and an endemic pygmy seahorse species. Many dive sites feature thick forests of vibrant soft corals, which hide lots of animals. Seamounts dominate the extraordinarily photogenic dive at Blade where sea fans, sponges and corals abound and seem to have positioned themselves in the most picturesque places on the reef.

Indonesia travel information

Raja Empat 

The waters of Raja Empat (not “Ampat.” Spelled correctly, it means “four kings”) boast more than 1200 marine life species. This is generally live-aboard country with some stunning dive sites. The reefs at Kofiau are crammed with colorful soft and hard corals that hide myriad creatures while blue and gold fusiliers flow like living rivers of color overhead. These coral bommies and gardens harbor some of the highest marine biodiversity in the region. At Northwest Misool, a blue water mangrove maze of trees meets the color of the reef. If you’re a photographer who likes over/under images, you’ll want to take up permanent residence. The Passage is a narrow river of sea between Waigeo and Gam Islands, the coral here grows pretty much to the surface and you’ll find piles of nudibranchs, sharks, cuttlefish and octopus among the soft corals.

Indonesia scuba diving

Indonesia Dive Summary

Depths: From snorkeling to beyond 40 meters/140 feet.

Visibility: Six meters/20 feet to more than 50 meters/160 feet, depending on area and timeof year.

Currents: Mild, but currents vary throughout. In some areas,currents can be very strong.

Water Temperature: Temperatures range from 20-28° C/71-85° F throughout the year, depending upon site and island.

Dive Season: All year but the best time to visit is from May to September. The monsoon season runs from December to June. Sunfish sighting season runs from July to October.

Weather: Indonesia is tropical with a consistently warm, humid climate. Temperatures range from 23-30° C/73-86° F in coastal areas throughout the year. At sea or in the mountains, the climate tends to be cooler. The dry season runs from June to October while December and January can be very wet.

Access: There are direct flights from most countries into Bali and Jakarta. You can access the rest of the region from either of those hubs. Shore diving and boat diving – including live-aboard trips – are common.

Skill Level: From non diver to advanced. Certain areas in Indonesia are perfect for learning to dive while opportunities for advanced divers, especially in current-rich environments, also abound.

Scuba Gear: Tropical dive equipment is common. PADI Dive Centers and Resorts frequently offer full hire facilities, usually including dive computers, but it’s always best to bring as much of your own equipment as possible.

Length of stay: Two weeks allows for some travel between the islands.

Featured Creatures: More than 3500 marine species live in Indonesian waters. From pygmy seahorses and schooling hammerhead sharks to manta rays and sunfish (mola mola), the marine animals are spectacular. Octopus, moray eels, cuttlefish, turtles, sharks, jackfish, dolphins, emperor angelfish, groupers, goatfish, sweetlips, frogfish, pipefish, lionfish, scorpion fish and leaf fish abound. Invertebrates also flourish here. Divers can check out sea fans, sponges, soft corals, feather stars hard corals, hydroids, whip corals and colorful nudibranchs.

Indonesia News Source

Indonesia tourism marketing and public relations firm

Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and founder is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Garuda Indonesia Raises Passenger Target

Indonesia’s Tourism Booming

Having a population of around 245 million people and comprising about 17,500 islands stretching from Papua to Sumatra, Indonesia is a very promising market for the airline industry.

“The market potential that had not yet been exploited was large,” National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia President Director Emirsyah Satar stated in Jakarta last week.

golf Indonesia

Indonesia’s air traffic passengers rose to 94.9 million last year or 39 percent of the total population of the country, which was 244.5 million. While in several other countries the number of air traffic passengers was higher than the population of the countries, for example, Singapore, which had an air traffic passenger of 39 million while its population was only 5.4 million or 722 percent of its total population.

The country’s flourishing economy had also contributed to the airline industry’s improving potential. Indonesia was predicted to become the worlds seventh biggest economy by 2030.

Sumatra tiger conservation

As part of its business expansion strategies, Garuda had improved its services, convenience and security as well as established alliances with a number of other airlines by joining the SkyTeam. The airline had received the certificate of IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) from IATA, meaning that Garuda had fully met the international flight security standard.

Garuda, which carried 90,108 Indonesian hajj pilgrims to Saudi Arabia last year, won the title of “The Best Airline” for the Hajj Season 1434H/2013 from the kingdoms Abdul Aziz International Airport aviation authorities. Last year, it also won “The Worlds Best Economy Class 2013″ award from Syktrax and was placed 13th in the Skytrax Global Airline Rankings. Emirates, Qatar Airways, and Singapore Airlines ranked first, second and third, respectively, in the Global Airline Rankings 2013.

surf Sumatra

“With the successes that were achieved over the past few years, Garuda Indonesia had made a quantum leap to develop and dominate the Indonesian aviation market,” he asserted. Its strategies to boost growth include expansion, fleet rejuvenation, brand strengthening, improvement of its product and service quality, efficiency in cost structure and improvement of the human resources quality and quantity.

In 2014, Garuda Indonesia had set a target to serve 30 million passengers, an increase from 25 million passengers who flew with Garuda in 2013.

“We target an increase of 15-20 percent in 2014,” Emirsyah Satar stated.

Garuda booked an operational income of US$3.72 billion in 2013, up seven percent from the previous year. However, Garuda recorded a decrease in its profit from US$168.1 million in 2012 to US$56.4 million last year, because of its investments in fleet expansion and Citilink as a low-cost carrier. The seat load factor (SLF) in 2013 marginally dropped to 74.1 percent from 75.9 percent in the previous year.

Indonesia orangutan conservation

“The performance of Garuda in 2013 was severely affected by the rupiah depreciation and high growth as well as investments on improving the airlines position in the future,” he explained.

In the first quarter of last year, Garuda expanded flight networking to six new international routes to Europe and the Middle East–Frankfurt, Brussels, Milan, Dusseldorf, Munich, and Bahrain–served by Ettihad Airways. In the second quarter, Garuda signed a funding agreement for two jetliners B777-300ER using the Syariah (Islamic law) principle and paid syndicated debts worth US$55 million, which was a commercial loan from Citi Club Deal. In the third quarter, Garuda paid debts of US$75 million from Indonesia Exim Bank.

Expanding its businesses, the airlines started flying to nine domestic destinations and 25 domestic routes that contribute to an 80 percent increase in its domestic flights per day. It also plans to open three new international destinations in 2014. “The new international flight destinations were London, England; Manila, the Philippines; and Mumbai, India,” Emirsyah Satar said.

Flores Indonesia

Last year, Garuda Indonesia had opened two international destinations and six international routes. The new routes were expected to develop and to strengthen the airline’s flight network as well as to meet the anticipated increase in the number of airline passengers.

The airline until the end of 2013 had 140 airplane, consisting of 23 company-owned ones and 117 leased ones. Of the total, 30 airplane were operated by Citilink, its subsidiary, with 25 leased and five company-owned airplane. He pointed out that Garuda’s aircraft were younger, from mostly 6.5 years old in 2011 to 5.8 years old in 2012.

To support its flights to new routes, Garuda planned to increase its fleet from 140 at the end of 2013 to 169 planes by the end of this year.

“We will increase our fleet to 169 in 2014,” Garudas CEO Satar said. “We will increase the number of our airplanes prudently based on growth,” he added.

Indonesia Travel Guide

Indeed, the aviation sector in the Asia-Pacific region, including Indonesia, according to Airbus research, was the fastest-growing market and was expected to need 11 thousand airplanes in the next 20 years.

“There was no doubt that the Asia Pacific market was important currently as well as in the future,” Airbus chief operating officer John Leahy said in a written statement on April 1, 2014.

In view of that, he stated that Airbus will continue dominating sales in the region because the company had the type of aircraft needed by airline companies in the region. He asserted that various airline companies in the Asia-Pacific region will receive 10,940 passenger and cargo airplanes from 2013 until 2032, worth a total of US$1.8 trillion.

“This represented 37 percent of the total deliveries across the world in the next 20 years surpassing those for Europe, North America and the Middle East,” he added.

Indonesian art and culture

Regionally, Garuda Indonesia was ready to compete in a free market after the implementation of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) in 2015.

“Garuda Indonesia had prepared itself with marketing and operational strategies,” General Manager of Garuda Indonesia for Manado branch Piktor Sitohang said.

Garuda’s subsidiary budget airline Citilink had also expanded its operation internationally by launching its first international flight service from Surabaya in East Java, Indonesia, to Johor Baru, Malaysia, recently. Citilink also planned to serve the routes between Surabaya and Kuala Lumpur next month, Singapore in May and later Hong Kong, Taipei and Perth.

The airline hoped to facilitate transport for migrant workers, tourists and other passengers to those cities, Citilink CEO Arif Wibowo said recently. Arif said Citilink hoped to fly 800,000 Indonesian migrant workers to and from the five cities a year.

Citilink operates a fleet of 24 units of the latest series of Airbus A320, including two units of the Sharklets type, to serve 32 domestic routes.


Indonesia tourism marketing and public relations firm

Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and founder is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Borneo Countries Push For Common Visa

Plan Promotes Island Tourism

Foreigners visiting Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia will only have to apply for a single visa if an agreement could be reached between the three countries on the framework. Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said he had discussed the matter with his counterpart from Brunei when the latter was here recently and there shall be a follow-up discussion in Miri.

“Officially, we are discussing with Brunei. We have asked Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz to discuss with his counterpart from Indonesia.

Sulawesi sunset

“Meaning that if the visitors have visa issued by any of the countries, they are able to travel in these three countries – Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia,” he told a press conference after attending a dinner with the business community in the state and airline operators from China and Hong Kong on Sunday.

Abang Johari said within the context of BIMP-Eaga and Malindo, the state government will hold talks with Kalimantan provincial governments once the Indonesian government had given the green light to the framework.

“For immigration purpose, we can initiate it and then work together with Tourism Ministry and Home Ministry on that and perhaps the Foreign Affairs Ministry. There is actually a framework now to work together.”

Indonesia travel information

He noted that so far in the Asean region, only Thailand and Cambodia had reached an agreement for a single visa to visit the two countries.

In a related development, Abang Johari spoke of a new trend in the tourism sector towards adventure and nature, rather than the beach.

“Last time it was the sun and beach but now they (tourists) want something challenging and adventurous. Somebody commented to me why don’t we have flying fox to be done here in Kuching and I said wait until we got all the facilities.”

Based on the feedback he got from a tourism industry player from Hong Kong, he said many young people there prefer to go for adventures.

“For them, there is a catchment of 100 million people along the Pearl River. These are some of the young people who want to experience adventure and we can try to formulate a certain package in order to cater for these people, including for the expatriates working in Hong Kong.”

boat travel across Borneo

Abang Johari said he would visit Hong Kong and China at the end of April to aggressively promote Sarawak to the two states, adding that he believed that the state could reach out to the market there with the support of stakeholders in the two areas.

“I must admit, our promotion effort previously was not that great. We were a little lacking in terms of promotion. This time around, we have to be aggressive.”

In terms of the shopping patterns among Sarawakians, Abang Johari said he noticed nowadays that many of them liked to visit Hong Kong to spend their weekends and go to Guangzhou for shopping.

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Indonesia tourism marketing and public relations firm

Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and founder is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Indonesia Creates World’s Largest Manta Ray Sanctuary

Ocean Conservation Important To Indonesia

Good news for Indonesia’s scuba diving enthusiasts. The Manta Trust, WildAid, Blue Sphere Media, the Indonesian Manta Project and Save Our Seas Foundation are today celebrating the signing of a new regulation creating the world’s largest manta sanctuary, encompassing a massive 6 million square kilometers of ocean, enforcing full protection for Oceanic and Reef Manta Rays (Manta birostris and Manta alfredi) in Indonesia. The Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Pak Agus Dermawan, signed the agreement in Jakarta; the event was attended by the Ministry of Tourism, national and international NGOs as well global media.

Indonesia Manta Ray conservation

“Manta rays thrive in Indonesian waters and it is one of the only places in the world where divers and snorkelers can encounter both species at the same time and place,” said Sarah Lewis, Indonesian Manta Project Leader. Realizing the value of a living manta ray as a sustainable source of income through tourism, Indonesia’s forward thinking move to legally protect its manta rays will not only ensure the survival of this vulnerable species but will provide economic benefits for many local communities for generations to come. Coming from one of the world’s largest manta fishing nations this news marks a milestone for manta conservation and awareness not just nationally but on a global scale.”

Indonesia travel information

Manta rays are regarded as one of the most charismatic marine species in the world. In recent years manta ecotourism has grown in popularity across their tropical, sub-tropical and temperate range. A peer-reviewed study led by WildAid, The Manta Trust and Shark Savers estimated that manta ecotourism generates USD$140 million in annual revenues globally; and USD$15 million per year in Indonesia alone, making the species vital for many Indonesian communities who rely on ecotourism for their livelihood. However, manta rays are highly threatened by targeted fisheries which annually generate USD$400,000 in comparison. Although there is clear evidence that stocks are in decline, these fisheries continue to increase their fishing efforts, posing a huge threat to the survival of populations.

Manta rays are targeted for their gill plates, which are sold as a medicinal tonic on the Asian market. However there is no historical foundation in Traditional Chinese Medicine and no scientifically proven health benefits.

Research carried out by WildAid and Manta Trust’s Manta Ray of Hope campaign revealed the growing threat to manta and mobula species due to this growing market and these organizations remain heavily involved in the continued conservation of the species. Both organizations provided critical data and media in support of the 2013 CITES Appendix II listing of both Manta species, including The Manta Trust’s mobulid species identification guide.

Indonesia Travel Guide

The Manta Trust and the Indonesia Manta Ray Project continue to research and monitor the Indonesian population, aiming to increase our knowledge base and understanding. The project aims to identify and map manta ray distributions throughout Indonesia, whilst conducting research into the ecology and biology of these populations. A large aspect of the project is to examine the scale and impact of manta fisheries, working closely with the local community to increase awareness and support of alternative, sustainable incomes. Recognizing that manta rays are a vital source of revenue for many communities, the Indonesian Manta project also surveys their current and potential contribution to eco-tourism.

“Manta rays are iconic species, they symbolize what is at stake if we choose not to protect our oceans and their inhabitants for our future generations,” saidGuy Stevens, Chief Executive of the Manta Trust. “The Indonesian Government’s decision to legally protect manta rays is a great step along the road to effective conservation of these increasingly vulnerable species. I applaud the government for this positive action and I strongly urge other nations to follow in their footsteps”

“Indonesia’s decision to protect manta rays will not only help the species, it will safeguard nascent manta ray ecotourism to generate many hundred times more revenue and jobs than the destructive gill trade,” said WildAid’s Executive Director Peter Knights. “We hope that other nations will follow their lead.”


Indonesia tourism marketing and public relations firm

Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and founder is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia