Indonesia’s Top Tourist Attractions

Adventures Await Beyond Bali

Indonesia has more than 18,000 islands and 6,000 of them are inhabited. It is the largest archipelago in the world. It includes more than 240 million people from more than 300 ethnic groups. They speak more than 250 different languages.

Bali is the most popular island, but many other tourist attractions await across this vast and diverse country.

Lake Toba Sumatra Indonesia

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.

Tanjung Puting Indonesia

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

The Baliem Valley in the highlands of 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

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 scuba diving Indonesia

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% 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

Toraja land  or Tanah 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.

Lombok Indonesia snorkeling

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 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 Java Indonesia

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.

Ubud Bali Indonesia

Ubud is considered the cultural heart of Bali and one of the top tourist attractions in Indonesia. There are dance and music performances every day throughout the city as well as numerous art galleries and craft shops to explore. Although Ubud has long been valued as a great place to learn about Balinese culture, tourism in Ubud boomed exponentially in the last decades. Fortunately, it only takes a short walk or bicycle ride to escape from the crowds and commercialism.

Indonesia Tourism Tips via http://www.touropia.com/tourist-attractions-in-indonesia/

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 gary@crossbow1.com. Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Posted in Destinations, Islands | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Indonesia Among Nations Most Vulnerable To Zika Virus

Singapore Experiencing Rapid Surge 

Indonesia is among countries most vulnerable to the spread of the Zika virus in Asia and Africa according to a study published by The Lancet medical journal.

The researchers identified countries with high numbers of travelers arriving from Zika virus-affected areas of the Americas from Dec. 1, 2014 to Nov. 30, 2015, those with large populations at risk of the mosquito-borne Zika virus infection — countries which are hot and humid, a potential breeding ground of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the main carrier of the virus — and countries with low health expenditures per capita (and poor sewage management).

Rinjani volcano Lombok Indonesia

Based on these factors the researchers said, “we found that India, the Philippines, Indonesia, Nigeria, Vietnam, Pakistan and Bangladesh have some of the highest expected risks for Zika virus importation and population health impact.”

Ironically, the report did not include Singapore, which has confirmed more cases than any other nation in Asia, so far. The mosquito-borne virus, which has afflicted people in as many as 70 countries, was “highly likely” to spread across Asia, WHO director Margaret Chan said.

Thailand has reported as many as 350 cases of Zika since the start of this year. This includes 25 cases of pregnant women. A total of 387 Zika cases were confirmed in Singapore. Alarmingly, this includes 16 pregnant women have been confirmed to have Zika virus.

Indonesia destinations

“As the Zika virus epidemic in the Americas intensifies and expands, hundreds, and possibly thousands, of infected travelers are now transporting the virus to distant regions of the world,” the report said.

Despite China’s population as the world’s largest, its health expenditure per capita was larger than other high risk countries, said the report of the study funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“If you’re thinking about how to use resources, here are the places and times where you would want to use resources in the most efficient ways possible.”

The study was conducted at a time when world alarm on the Zika virus focused particularly on Brazil ahead of the recently concluded Olympic Games and the rest of the Americas. Confirmation of Zika infection in Singapore triggered worldwide alarm. Some 2.6 billion people live in Asia and the Pacific in dense tropical areas and lacked medical resources.

Meanwhile agencies quoted the World Health Organization’s (WHO) emergency committee statements that “there should be no general restrictions on travel and trade with countries with Zika transmission including Brazilian cities hosting the Paralympic Games.” Many countries including Indonesia have issued travel advisories to Singapore.

The Zika infection is known to be mild for adults but is potential dangerous for fetuses, potentially causing abnormal small heads and brain defects. However reports cited experts saying pregnant women need check ups only if they show the main symptoms including a high fever and rashes.

The WHO committee also stressed that the virus “continues to be an international health emergency due to continuing geographic expansion and considerable gaps in understanding [issues surrounding the virus].”

Meanwhile, The Star reported from Petaling Jaya in Malaysia that its citizen who became infected in Singapore was recuperating in hospital.

The husband and wife had visited their daughter in Singapore on Aug. 19 and returned on Aug 21. A week later, the woman developed rashes and a fever, and her urine tested positive for the Zika virus.

Zika Virus in Asia via http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2016/09/03/indonesia-among-most-prone-zika-new-study.html

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 gary@crossbow1.com. Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Posted in Destinations, International Cooperation | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Volcano Erupts On Lombok

Hundreds Of Tourists Missing On Mt. Rinjani

Almost 400 tourists are missing after a volcano erupted in Indonesia, spewing a massive column of ash into the atmosphere. More than 1,000 vacationers have been evacuated from the area, according to the country’s disaster agency.

Around 389 tourists are missing after the 3.7-km (12,224-foot)-high Mount Barujari volcano erupted on Tuesday afternoon, spewing an ash column 2km (6,560 feet) into the air. The crater is also known as the ‘Child of Rinjani,’ as it is located in the caldera of the better-known Mt. Rinjani.

Mt. Rinjani Lombok Indonesia

Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the tourists are mostly foreigners, and that the agency hopes to locate them to “find out their condition and to evacuate them immediately,” the New Zealand Herald reported.

Nugroho said the foreign and local tourists had been registered since Sunday to climb the mountain, leaving from Sembalun monitoring post, located about 11 kilometers (7 miles) from the crater. Officials believe they are still on the trails, as it takes around three days to complete a trek around the mountain.

About 120 tourists, mainly foreigners, have already been located and are heading down the mountain, according to Heronimus Guru, deputy operations chief at Indonesia’s Search and Rescue Agency, as cited by AP.

Nugroho tweeted a photo of some of the tourists who have already descended safely down the mountain. So far, there have been no reports of deaths or injuries.

Mt. Bromo Java Indonesia

The incident interrupted flights for several hours at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali, and Selaparang Airport in Mataram. Nearby farms and trees were coated in a thin layer of ash, but Nugroho stressed that nearby towns and villages were not in any danger.

Rinjani is one of about 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia. The area is prone to eruptions and earthquakes because of its location in the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire.’

Indonesia Travel News via https://www.rt.com/news/360912-tourists-missing-volcano-indonesia/

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 gary@crossbow1.com. Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Posted in Destinations, Lombok, Volcanoes | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Indonesia Has Many Of The World’s Largest Islands

More Than 17,500 Islands Across The Equator

Indonesia includes some of the largest and most exotic islands in the world, including Bali, Borneo, Java, Komodo, New Guinea, and Sumatra. There are more than 17,500 islands in all. Indonesia shares two of its largest islands with other countries. The Indonesian state of Papua, formerly known as Irian Jaya, occupies the western half of New Guinea—the world’s second largest island. Indonesia also controls part of the island of Borneo, which is the third-largest island in the world. Indonesia shares the island of Borneo with Brunei and Malaysia. Indonesia’s share of Borneo is called Kalimantan.

cropped-cropped-Explore-kelimutu.jpg

In addition to these large islands, Indonesia controls all of Sumatra, which is the sixth-largest island in the world. Meanwhile, Sulawesi and Java rank as the 11th and 13th largest islands on the planet. Java is the most populous of the Indonesian island—more than 60 percent of all Indonesians live here—and it is the most populated island in the world. Java,is home to the capital city of Jakarta, where about 25 million people live. Despite the population density on Java, hundreds of other islands in the country are uninhabited.

The real beauty of Indonesia is found in the eyes and smiles of its people. Taking the time to learn some simple Indonesian words and phrases will help you unveil more of this country’s wonderful treasures.

Indonesia has a lengthy history that includes some of the earliest human civilizations, as evidenced by the archeological discovery of Java man on the island of Java in the 19th Century. Java Man is the name given to fossils discovered in 1891 at Trinil on the banks of the Bengawan Solo River in East Java, one of the first known specimens of Homo erectus. Its discoverer, Eugène Dubois, gave it the scientific name Pithecanthropus erectus, a name derived from Greek and Latin roots meaning upright ape-man. For more than a century, these were the earliest known human fossils, which unleashed speculation that this region of the world could have spawned human civilization.

Archaeologists made another significant discovery in Indonesia in 2003, when the remains of hobbit-sized humans were found on the remote island of Flores. This human relative, dubbed Flores Man, dates back about 18,000 years, which makes it a more modern skeleton than Java Man or Solo Man. It’s called hobbit because the stature of the newly discovered species is about three feet tall. These people walked upright and had a brain about the size of a chimpanzee.

The country also will play an influential role in the future of human civilization, due to its enormous population and valuable resources. With more than 230 million people, Indonesia is already the fourth most-populous country in the world, behind China, India, and the United States.

Sumatra tiger conservation

Indonesia is home to the world’s second-largest rainforest and hosts many endangered species, including the Sumatran tiger, Javan rhinoceros, orangutan, Komodo dragon, and many others. This tropical country stretches more than 3,200 miles across the Equator. The islands form a massive dotted line that separates the Indian Ocean from the Pacific Ocean.

Although the country does not have an official religion, Indonesia is the largest Islamic country in the world. It has a diverse religious history, including animism, Buddhism, and Hinduism. It also has a varied religious climate today that includes virtually every faith in the world.

Most Indonesians are happy, friendly, and curious people. They often will speak to you as you cross paths. They typically will ask where you are from and where you are going. When you have the opportunity, try to converse with locals. It can be educational, informative, and rewarding. Most Indonesian people know at least a few English words and are eager to learn more. Many Indonesians are very articulate in English, especially those involved in tourism, retail, and international business.

Lombok Rinjani

Taking time to study this book will help you get the most from your trip. Study the chapter on “Essential Phrases” until you are comfortable with many basic words and phrases. The ability to manage a basic vocabulary will help you get the most out of your time in this fascinating country. This book will help you handle almost any situation you may encounter. When you find yourself at a loss for words, be creative—body language and hand gestures can be helpful. In many situations, you can find someone nearby who can interpret for you.

Most Indonesians work very hard to support their families. Treat them with respect and most Indonesians will return it ten times over. To show your respect, try to say some words in their language and offer to tip the people who help you. It also helps to smile when conversing with locals. You also should avoid crossing your arms against your chest when conversing with, or observing, locals. This is a hostile stance in most of Asia and can generate a cold response.

travel Indonesia

One of the most important phrases that you should remember is Terima kasih. (TEHR‑ree‑MAH KAH‑see) Thank you. These simple words often will generate a smile and a nod. In response, the person will likely say Sama sama, which means Same to you or the equivalent of You are welcome. The person might also say, Terima kasih kembali, which also means thank you in return or you are welcome.

There are approximately 300 different cultures throughout this large country, including more than 250 different languages. Bahasa Indonesia, or Indonesian, is the official and most common language (“bahasa” is the Indonesian word for “language.”). It is spoken in part by almost every culture throughout the vast country. Bahasa Indonesia contains aspects of many other languages, including Javanese, Malay, English and Latin. It also includes Arabic, Chinese, Portuguese, and Dutch influences. Dutch colonialists revised Bahasa Indonesia during their occupation of this tropical country.

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 gary@crossbow1.com. Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Posted in Bali, Destinations, Islands, Jakarta, Java | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Bali, Java Have Most Of Indonesia’s Golf Courses

World-Class Golf Found Across Indonesia

Indonesian golf courses, typically beautiful and challenging, appeal to golfers of all levels. World-class golf courses are found on the shores of picturesque lakes, inside a volcanic crater, on ocean cliffs, surrounded by lush tropical rain forest, on mountain sides, amidst rice paddies, and in valleys with a panoramic views.

Bali golf course Nirwana

Most golf courses are concentrated on the islands of Java near Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta, and Surabaya. There are more than 50 golf courses within an hour of Jakarta alone. Bali also hosts three world-class courses.

International professionals, including Jack Nicklaus, Robert Trent Jones, Jr., Greg Norman, and Gary Player, have designed many of the golf courses in Indonesia. The courses include clubhouses with amenities, such as international restaurants, bars, showers, locker rooms, and massage services. Many courses and clubs are at higher elevations, which offer relief from the heat below.

Playing golf is relatively affordable in Indonesia. Green fees vary from 75,000 – 200,000 rupiah during the week and 10,000 to 350,000 rupiah (and more) on weekends and holidays.

golf Indonesia

Caddies in Indonesia are predominantly young women. Caddy fees range from 16,000-40,000 rupiah. It is customary to tip the caddy 50,000-100,000 rupiah when your round is complete.

Most golf courses offer a driving range. There also are several driving ranges in Jakarta, including multi-level facilities that reach into the sky like small skyscrapers. Check the Jakarta Shopper’s Guide for current information.

Indonesia has hosted numerous international golf tournaments on Java and Bali. In recent years, these have included the Johnnie Walker Super Tour, The Alfred Dunhill Masters, Volvo Asian Match Play, and the Bali Classic. The Indonesian Open is played in Jakarta and is the largest international tournament in the country.

golf Indonesia

Some courses are very crowded on Saturday mornings. It could take up to five or six hours to play 18 holes on busy days. Some courses are walking courses and some are cart courses. People who cannot handle walking distances in the tropical heat and high humidity should use the cart courses. Heat stroke is a real possibility, so drink plenty of liquids out on the course, and don’t forget your sunscreen and hat.

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 gary@crossbow1.com. Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Posted in Bali, Destinations, Golf, Java, Tours | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Indonesia Named Top Diving Destination

Scuba Divers Find Paradise In Indonesia

Indonesia has been awarded as The Most Beautiful Diving Destination 2016 during Diving and Resort Travel Expo 2016 (DRT) held Taipei, Taiwan, on June 17-19.

“We had closely observed Indonesia for this award. We went directly to Indonesia. We dived, we witnessed the beauty of Indonesia. We made coordination with our team in Indonesia. And finally, we decided that Indonesia deserves this award,” said Jason Chong, Chairman of the DRT Organizing Committee.

Indonesia sailing

Indonesia has more than 700 scuba diving and snorkeling spots which are extraordinarily beautiful, according to Jemadu. The dive spots include Sonegat, Keraka, Syahrir Batu Kapal, Hatta, and Ai island. 

Similar spots are also found in Bunaken and Lembeh Strait in North Sulawesi Province, in Wakatobi Marine National Park in Southeast Sulawesi, and on Weh Island in Aceh Province. Labuan Bajo, Komodo, Rinca, Cenderawasih Bay and Raja Empat (not Ampat) also are known for amazing scuba diving and snorkeling locations.

scuba diving Indonesia

Indonesia’s 17,500 islands compose the largest and most varied archipelago on earth and span more than 3,100 miles from Asia to Australia. The country is more than 80 percent water, which includes more than 80,000 kilometers of coastline—equal to nearly one-third of the earth’s circumference. This vast coastline offers more coral reefs than any other place in the world.

Indonesia lies in the middle of the Indo-Pacific basin. This region extends from the Indian Ocean waters off East Africa all the way to the Hawaiian and Marquesas Islands in the South Pacific. The trench is a term used to describe the seam of two tectonic plates deep under the oceans in the area. An upheaval along this trench caused the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and the deadly tsunami that killed thousands of people throughout the region, on December 26, 2004.

More than 3500 marine species live in Indonesian waters. From pygmy seahorses and schooling hammerhead sharks to manta rays and sunfish, 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.

“There are no other scuba diving destinations comparable to Indonesia. Our nature attractions are unbeatable,” he said.

Indonesia scuba diving

Seven of the 10 priority tourist destinations being developed and promoted by the Indonesian government are maritime tourist resorts comprising coastal, underwater and sea zones. He said his ministry will continue to boost the promotion of marine tourism.

Indonesia Tourism News via http://www.antaranews.com/en/news/105294/indonesia-awarded-as-most-beautiful-diving-destination-2016-in-taiwan

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 gary@crossbow1.com. Visit Indonesia.

Indonesia travel book

Posted in Destinations, Ecotourism, Islands, Ocean Conservation, Scuba Diving | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Indonesia’s Indigenous Communities Embrace Ecotourism

Green Indonesia Helping Save Rain Forests

Six indigenous communities have launched an ecotourism initiative that would show off their ancestral forests. They hope to develop alternate economic models that local governments in Indonesia could embrace, other than extractive industries such as mining and palm oil plantations. The initiative, called GreenIndonesia, would ultimately help the communities secure the rights to their own lands, an elusive goal that they have long pursued.

Sumatra tiger conservation

Indonesia has the third largest area of rainforest in the world, and the Indigenous Peoples and local communities who live in and depend on these forests play an important role in conserving them. With global climate change challenges looming—deforestation is the leading source of Indonesia’s greenhouse gas emissions—the fourth most populous country in the world is searching for a green economic pathway to lift people out of poverty.

GreenIndonesia sees significant potential in community based eco-culture tourism—one recent study found that for 26 percent of the traveling population, sustainability and responsibility play a big part in their decision making.

muck diving Sulawesi

Indonesia is blessed with a more than 400 ethnic groups who inhabit the largest archipelago in the world, over 17,000 islands. The six partner communities of GreenIndonesia are:

  • The Sui Utik Indigenous Forest in West Kalimantan;
  • The Mollo Sacred Lands in Nausus, Timor Tengah Selatan;
  • The Paluanda Lama Hamu cloth weavers, in East Sumba;
  • The Guguk Indigenous Forest in Jambi, Sumatra;
  • The Sawai community in Seram Island, Maluku; and
  • The Jatiluwih community in Tabanan, Bali.

Through GreenIndonesia, women weavers from all over Indonesia connect, share knowledge, and keep their traditions alive. The communities work with many local plants to create unique colors and pay close attention to maintaining the environment where the vegetation grows.

The Sawai community, on the island of Seram, Maluku, have transformed themselves over the last decade from poaching endangered birds for illegal wildlife traders to sustainable forest managers of one of the best birdwatching havens in Eastern Indonesia. Other partners also have inspiring successes. The Guguk Ancestral Forest community, for example, has kept logging and palm oil expansion in their territory at bay. Their forests provide a sanctuary for the critically endangered Sumatran tiger, whose population has dwindled to about 250.

The communities hope to show that resilient and green economic development is possible when local community land rights and the integrity of natural ecosystems are equally protected. The national government has been supportive, endorsing the initiative and sponsoring a booth at Norway’s biggest tourism expo in early January. This support reflects the new government’s focus on addressing climate change and Indigenous community rights in an effective and fair way.

Indonesia Travel News via http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2015/01/23/greenindonesia/

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 gary@crossbow1.com. Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Posted in Ecotourism, Islands, Tourism Industry, Tours, Wildlife Tourism | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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.

Indonesia tourism information

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 gary@crossbow1.com. Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Posted in Bali, Destinations, Islands, Java, Lombok, Sumatra, Surfing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Australian Tourists Now Enter Indonesia Free

Australians Granted Free Entry to Indonesia For 30 Days 

Aussies will no longer have to pay for a visa on arrival in Indonesia. Late last week President Joko Widodo​ signed a decree waiving the $35 visa requirements for another 79 countries, including Australia, bringing the list of visa-free countries to 169.

“Indonesia’s decision to add Australia to the list of countries visa-free is smart and timely,” ambassador Paul Grigson said. “We expect it to add approximately 3.4 trillion Rupiah ($239 million) into the economy of Indonesia.”

Bali monkey dance

More than 1 million Australians already visit Indonesia every year, contributing 18 trillion rupiah ($1.8 billion) to the local economy. The visa-free policy is part of a plan to lure more visitors to Indonesia, as the government aims to attract at least 20 million foreign tourists to the country over the next five years.

Australians who wish to stay in Indonesia for longer than 30 days or to conduct “journalistic activities” are still required to apply for a visa in Australia.

Indonesia recorded a 19 percent increase in tourists from countries that received visa-free access in 2015.

In March last year, amid tension between the countries over the execution of Bali nine heroin smugglers Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, Indonesia removed Australia from a group of 45 countries whose tourist visa fees would be waived, blaming a lack of reciprocal arrangements.

In September, the Indonesian tourism minister again promised Australians would be granted visa-free access, before leaving them out of the policy that began on October 1.

In November the Australian government said it would introduce an option of a three-year, multiple-entry visa for Indonesian visitors to Australia in 2016 – an extension of the current one-year visa.

Mt. Merapi Java Indonesia

The government would also expand online visa lodgement to all Indonesian citizens by 2017, making the process of applying for an Australian visa simpler for Indonesian tourists and business people.

But Indonesia Institute president Ross Taylor said it was astonishing that while Australians would enjoy visa-free entry to Indonesia, the Australian government would still demand Indonesians pay $130 per person just to apply for a tourist visa.

“Then add to that we tell Indonesians to complete some 15 pages of questions per person,” he said. “And we wonder why so many Indonesians choose to travel elsewhere on holidays.”

Kuta Beach Bali

Indonesian Tourism News via: http://www.smh.com.au/world/australian-tourists-finally-granted-free-entry-to-indonesia-20160322-gnovx3.html#ixzz43kzYuC4D

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 gary@crossbow1.com. Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Posted in International Cooperation, Politics, Tourism Industry | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Indonesia Falls Short Of Tourism Target

Jakarta Terrorist Attack Takes Toll On Tourism 

Indonesia missed its target to attract at least 10 million foreign tourists in 2015 despite various promotion attempts, according to the Central Statistics Agency. Indonesia attracted 9.73 million tourists last year, in comparison to 9.44 million tourists in 2014.

Indonesia tourism

The report also showed that there were 913,828 foreigners who visited Indonesia in December, up from 777,976 visitors in November, but the number slipped from 915,334 visitors in December 2014.

Despite the setback, Indonesia aims to attract at least 12 million tourists this year and generate foreign exchange equivalent to Rp 172 trillion ($12.61 billion). Arief also said that the tourism sector must contribute at least five percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and contribute to the creation of 11.7 million jobs. Indonesia’s tourism sector contributes just four percent to the GDP now.

Indonesian language and words

“We should build a spirit that Indonesian tourism can beat Malaysia or Thailand. Tourism must become the main foreign exchange generator for Indonesia,” Arief said.

According to the minister, Indonesia will adopt a so-called “single destination, single management” concept this year to develop 10 priority tourist destinations including Borobudur in Central Java, Mandalika in West Nusa Tenggara, Labuan Bajo in Nusa Tenggara, Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park in East Java, Thousand Islands north of Jakarta, Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Wakatobi National Park in Southeast Sulawesi, Tanjung Lesung in Banten, Morotai Island north of Halmahera and Tanjung Kelayang in Belitung.

The concept — which according to the tourism minister has been widely adopted as an international technique to promote tourism  — allows for a specified authority to run and manage various tourist spots.

orangutan Camp Leakey

Indonesia faces a drop in tourist numbers, following the recent terrorist attack in central Jakarta. Southeast Asia’s biggest economy is now growing at its slowest pace since the financial crisis.

An Indonesian and a Canadian were killed, along with five attackers, while 20 people, including a Dutchman, were wounded. Two of the militants were taken alive. The attack could frustrate Indonesia’s ambitions to nearly double tourist arrivals to 20 million people by 2019. Some travel agents said they received calls from worried tourists, but they predicted that the effects of the attack would be short-lived.

Way Kambas Sumatran elephants

“This incident will definitely have an impact on travel to Indonesia, especially to Jakarta,” said Terence Cheong, director of Orient Travel and Tours, a travel agency based in Kuala Lumpur.

Indonesia Tourism Trends via http://www.jakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/business/indonesia-misses-target-10m-foreign-tourists-2015/

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 gary@crossbow1.com. Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Posted in Destinations, Jakarta, Tourism Industry | Tagged , , | Leave a comment