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/

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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.

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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 http://en.tempo.co/read/news/2016/01/13/199735509/Komodo-Island-Named-Indonesias-Main-Marine-Tourist-Destination

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.

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Indonesia Racing To Develop Resorts On Lombok

Lombok Expected To Divert Tourists From Bali

The Indonesian government is impatient to see the completion of the Mandalika tourist resort development, which is also being built as a Special Economic Zone (KEK) to drive local economic activities and boost growth.

Vice President M. Jusuf Kalla, when inspecting preparations for the construction of four star-rated hotels in the area Saturday, asked PT Indonesian Tourism Development Corporations (ITDC) management to accelerate the development of Mandalika, which is being groomed as a world class tourist resort and special economic zone in Central Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) province.

Lombok Indonesia snorkeling
The development of the Mandalika Special Economic Zone and Tourist Resort Area should be accelerated so that the local people could soon enjoy its economic benefits and improve their welfare, the Vice President said. The Mandalika KEK project was planned 25 years ago but several constraints had always hampered its realization, he said.

“The constraints included inadequate road infrastructure, the absence of airport, electricity and clean water supplies. But all these have been overcome so there is no reason to slow down the development of Mandalika,” he said.

West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) province is expected to have a world-class tourist resort comparable to Bali, when the Mandalika Resort Development project in Central Lombok District is completed.

The development of the US$3 billion Mandalika Resort, which is expected to attract one million tourists annually, began in October 2011. Then President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono inaugurated its groundbreaking. Sitting on a 1,175 hectare area in Kuta, Pujut subdistrict, Central Lombok, the Mandalika Resort will be developed into one of the national tourism destinations.

Mt. Rinjani Lombok

The development of the project was continued under the present government of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi). After all, the Jokowi government is launching the development of dozens of Special Economic Zones (KEKs) in various parts of the country to spur the peoples local economy and improve their welfare. The government is developing eight special economic zones (KEK) in various parts of the country and will later open seven additional zones to drive economic activities and help boost economic growth. One of the KEKs is the Mandalika zone which is also being developed as an international tourist resort.

“I want the development of the Mandalika KEK and resort area to be expedited. Sometime in the past, we faced three main problems, namely water supply, electricity and airport. That time, the airport was still in Mataram (NTB provincial capital). We need over one hour to reach Mandalika. But now, we can count it in several minutes only to arrive at Mandalika (as airport is already available),” the Vice President said.

The government will continue to develop the Mandalika area for it to become one of the countrys main tourist destinations comparable to the international tourist resort province of Bali and the Komodo Island, he said.

Lombok surfing

“Now, Mandalika has become more complete. After all, the development of this resort has been planned for 25 years,” Jusuf Kalla stated during his inspection of the Mandalika Resort.

The tourist resorts in many parts of the country should be able to attract foreign tourists, he said. For this, they should have many innovations in their development so that they would remain attractive to tourists and invite more investment.

tourism Lombok Indonesia

“The easiest effort to attract investment is by developing the tourism business because the capital needed for that purpose is not too big,” the Vice President said during an Indonesia Attractiveness Award 2015 event in Jakarta recently.

Indonesia Tourism News via http://www.antaranews.com/en/news/102007/indonesian-govt-wants-acceleration-of-mandalika-resort-development

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.

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Travel Companies Helping Orangutans

Travel Companies Helping Orangutans On Borneo

Khiri Travel Indonesia, Wow Borneo and Asia Transpacific Journeys have joined forces to draw attention to the thousands of orangutans and other species whose habitats are being destroyed by fires in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo.

orangutan conservation

According Khiri Reach, Khiri Travel’s not-for-profit arm, an estimated 10,000 orangutans, along with cloud leopards and hornbills, have been impacted by forest fires this year. And dozens of animals rescued by the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF) are in need of shelter, medication and nourishment.

“We want to mobilize the support of partner organizations, not just in Indonesia, but across the region to help the orangutan, preserve forest habitats, and encourage a halt to the burning of forests,” said Pharatah Senapan, chief ambassador of Khiri Reach. “A long-term sustainable solution is needed to ensure protection for the habitat of this unique species.”

Birutie Galdikas Camp Leakey Indonesia

“The foundation welcomes initiatives on orangutan and habitat conservation from partners,” said a spokesman. “We are keen to fulfill the Orangutan National Action Plan to put all orangutans in the rehabilitation centers back in the forest by 2015.”

Orangutan conservation Borneo

Apart from a donation to BOSF, Khiri Reach has also launched an awareness campaign for staff and travel industry partners across Indonesia.

“We can’t stand still and not take part to help with the situation,” said Khiri Reach Indonesia spokesperson, Elske de Vries. “In fact, we believe everyone should join.”

Members of the travel industry and the public can support the BOSF’s rescue work by either donating funds online or adopting an orangutan at donation.orangutan.or.id.

Indonesia News via http://www.traveldailymedia.com/229643/travel-companies-unite-to-help-borneos-orangutans/

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.

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Indonesian Flights Held Hostage By Volcanic Eruption

Rinjani One Of Indonesia’s Most Popular Treks

Flights have been grounded across Indonesia due to ongoing eruptions from Mt. Rinjani. Rinjani is ejecting ash up to 14,000 feet and causing hazardous flying conditions in and around the airports on the islands of Bali and Lombok.

The eruption has caused airport closures for over 120 miles, including the Bali International Airport, where airplanes have been grounded and wrapped to ensure ash does not infiltrate the aircraft engines. To date, 6,000 passengers have been stranded Rinjani eruption.

Despite the significant disruption to air traffic in the area, this eruption is minor for Rinjani, which has had larger eruptions periodically. The last eruption was from February 2010 to May 2010 with a Volcanic Explosion Index (VEI) of 2. The Rinjani caldera (a crater formed by volcanic collapse or explosion) formed in the 13th century with a VEI of 7. This eruption was large enough to deposit ash and sulfur in the Arctic and is thought to may have triggered the Little Ice Age, a global cooling period starting around 1250 AD. This eruption was the largest in the past 2000 years and is a significant eruption in literature as the timing was coincident with humans learning to write.

Mt. Rinjani Lombok Indonesia

Since the 13th century, Rinjani has been known to repeatedly erupt at low levels that do not pose significant risk to local residents and has become a normal part of life in an archipelago with 127 active volcanoes. Rinjani is part of what’s known as the Pacific Ring of Fire, a string of volcanoes that wrap around the greater Pacific Ocean.

Approximately 90% of all earthquakes around the world occur as a part of this Ring of Fire. These eruptions are due to the slow spreading of the Pacific Ocean along the East Pacific Rise as part of global plate tectonics. 

Mt. Rinjani volcano Lombok Indonesia

What’s certain is that the volcanism occurring from subduction of the Pacific Plate underneath the Australian Plate will cause future significant eruptions along the string of Indonesian islands. With better technology and monitoring, volcanologists can hopefully better predict the likelihood of a large eruption and warn local populations across Indonesia.

Indonesia Adventure News via http://www.forbes.com/sites/trevornace/2015/11/06/flights-cancelled-across-indonesia-rinjani-eruptions/

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.

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Indonesia Marks 50th Anniversary Of Deadly Coup

Democracy, Justice Denied Across Indonesia

By Joshua Oppenheimer, New York Times Contributor

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the beginning of a mass slaughter in Indonesia. With American support, more than 500,000 people were murdered by the Indonesian Army and its civilian death squads. At least 750,000 more were tortured and sent to concentration camps, many for decades.

The victims were accused of being “communists,” an umbrella that included not only members of the legally registered Communist Party, but all likely opponents of Suharto’s new military regime — from union members and women’s rights activists to teachers and the ethnic Chinese. Unlike in Germany, Rwanda or Cambodia, there have been no trials, no truth-and-reconciliation commissions, no memorials to the victims. Instead, many perpetrators still hold power throughout the country.

Merdeka Square Monas National Monument Jakarta

Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous nation, and if it is to become the democracy it claims to be, this impunity must end. The anniversary is a moment for the United States to support Indonesia’s democratic transition by acknowledging the 1965 genocide, and encouraging a process of truth, reconciliation and justice.

On Oct. 1, 1965, six army generals in Jakarta were killed by a group of disaffected junior officers. Maj. Gen. Suharto assumed command of the armed forces, blamed the killings on the leftists, and set in motion a killing machine. Millions of people associated with left-leaning organizations were targeted, and the nation dissolved into terror — people even stopped eating fish for fear that fish were eating corpses. Suharto usurped President Sukarno’s authority and established himself as de facto president by March 1966. From the very beginning, he enjoyed the full support of the United States.

I’ve spent 12 years investigating the terrible legacy of the genocide, creating two documentary films, “The Act of Killing” in 2013 and “The Look of Silence,” released earlier this year. I began in 2003, working with a family of survivors. We wanted to show what it is like to live surrounded by still-powerful perpetrators who had murdered your loved ones.

Look Of Silence Indonesia

The family gathered other survivors to tell their stories, but the army warned them not to participate. Many survivors urged me not to give up and suggested that I film perpetrators in hopes that they would reveal details of the massacres.

I did not know if it was safe to approach the killers, but when I did, I found them open. They offered boastful accounts of the killings, often with smiles on their faces and in front of their grandchildren. I felt I had wandered into Germany 40 years after the Holocaust, only to find the Nazis still in power.

Today, former political prisoners from this era still face discrimination and threats. Gatherings of elderly survivors are regularly attacked by military-backed thugs. Schoolchildren are still taught that the “extermination of the communists” was heroic, and that victims’ families should be monitored for disloyalty. This official history, in effect, legitimizes violence against a whole segment of society.

The purpose of such intimidation is to create a climate of fear in which corruption and plunder go unchallenged. Inevitably in such an atmosphere, human rights violations have continued since 1965, including the 1975-1999 occupation of East Timor, where enforced starvation contributed to the killing of nearly a third of the population, as well as torture and extrajudicial killing that go on in West Papua today.

Military rule in Indonesia formally ended in 1998, but the army remains above the law. If a general orders an entire village massacred, he cannot be tried in civilian courts. The only way he could face justice is if the army itself convenes a military tribunal, or if Parliament establishes a special human rights court — something it has never done fairly and effectively.

With the military not subject to law, a shadow state of paramilitaries and intelligence agencies has formed around it. This shadow state continues to intimidate the public into silence while, together with its business partners, it loots the national wealth.

Indonesia can hold regular elections, but if the laws do not apply to the most powerful elements in society, then there is no rule of law, and no genuine democracy. The country will never become a true democracy until it takes serious steps to end impunity. An essential start is a process of truth, reconciliation and justice.

This may still be possible. The Indonesian media, which used to shy from discussing the genocide, now refers to the killings as crimes against humanity, and grassroots activism has taken hold.

Joko Widodo

The current president, Joko Widodo, indicated he would address the 1965 massacre, but he has not established a truth commission, issued a national apology, or taken any other steps to end the military’s impunity.

We need truth and accountability from the United States as well. U.S. involvement dates at least to an April 1962 meeting between American and British officials resulting in the decision to “liquidate” President Sukarno, the populist — but not communist — founding father of Indonesia. As a founder of the nonaligned movement, Sukarno favored socialist policies; Washington wanted to replace him with someone more deferential to Western strategic and commercial interests.

The United States conducted covert operations to destabilize Sukarno and strengthen the military. Then, when genocide broke out, America provided equipment, weapons and money. The United States compiled lists containing thousands of names of public figures likely to oppose the new military regime, and handed them over to the Indonesian military, presumably with the expectation that they would be killed. Western aid to Suharto’s dictatorship, ultimately amounting to tens of billions of dollars, began flowing while corpses still clogged Indonesia’s rivers. The American media celebrated Suharto’s rise and his campaign of death. Time magazine said it was the “best news for years in Asia.”

But the extent of America’s role remains hidden behind a wall of secrecy: C.I.A. documents and U.S. defense attaché papers remain classified. Numerous Freedom of Information Act requests for these documents have been denied. Senator Tom Udall, Democrat of New Mexico, will soon reintroduce a resolution that, if passed, would acknowledge America’s role in the atrocities, call for declassification of all relevant documents, and urge the Indonesian government to acknowledge the massacres and establish a truth commission. If the U.S. government recognizes the genocide publicly, acknowledges its role in the crimes, and releases all documents pertaining to the issue, it will encourage the Indonesian government to do the same.

This anniversary should be a reminder that although we want to move on, although nothing will wake the dead or make whole what has been broken, we must stop, honor the lives destroyed, acknowledge our role in the destruction, and allow the healing process to begin.

Indonesia History via http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/30/opinion/suhartos-purge-indonesias-silence.html?_r=0

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.

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Orangutans, Tigers Under Pressure In Indonesia

Sumatran Tiger The Last Of Indonesia’s Three Subspecies

Most visitors to Indonesia hope to see the Sumatran tiger. However, this beautiful animal rarely shows itself. Unfortunately, human development and destruction has already pushed two other tiger species in Indonesia into extinction. The Javan tiger was declared extinct in 1994 and the Bali tiger was last seen several decades before that. Fewer than 300 Sumatran tigers are left in the wild and the number is dropping steadily.

Sumatra tiger conservation

If habitat destruction and poaching across Asia are not stopped, wild tigers have just a few years to survive. Tiger bones and body parts are sold on the black market for use in traditional Chinese medicines. This demand alone is putting tremendous pressure on these beautiful animals. Meanwhile, the forests where they live are being destroyed for timber, mining, and farming–especially palm oil plantations. Each animal needs up to 20 square miles to survive and forests are a vanishing resource in many regions.

Orangutan Habitat Torched On Borneo, Sumatra

The orangutan is another favorite attraction among wildlife enthusiasts. In Indonesia, its name means man of the forest. The orangutan is the only great ape found in Asia and it is highly endangered because of habitat destruction and illegal poaching. Orangutans live in the wet and hot forests of Sumatra and Kalimantan (Borneo).

The orangutan is one of the most impressive and famous apes in the world. The orangutan is the largest tree-dwelling animal on the planet and the second-largest great ape behind the gorilla. A full grown male is as large as a man, but several times stronger. The mature male has large, fleshy cheek pads and a heavy throat pouch. It can weigh more than 250 pounds. The full-grown female is about half that weight.

orangutan Camp Leakey

Adult orangutans have an intelligence level similar to that of a five-year-old child. They move through the forest high in the canopy, swinging from tree to tree. Orangutans range over large areas in pursuit of food, including fruit, bark, leaves, flowers, and insects. They live a nomadic lifestyle that depends on food availability.

The males frequently come down to the ground to travel longer distances, while the females rarely leave the trees. They have a solitary lifestyle, unlike other species of monkeys or apes. However, mothers will intentionally bring their young together to play. They make new beds high in the trees every day because they refuse to use the same bed more than once.

Orangutan conservation Borneo

Females are not sexually active until they are about 15 years old. They usually reproduce about once every seven years, because the mothers care for their babies for about five years. Females rarely give birth more than three times in their life, which is the longest birth interval of any mammal. This fact doesn’t bode well for a species under siege.

Orangutans also are the victims of an illegal pet trade. Illegal poachers take the baby orangutans after killing their mothers. They sell the babies as pets in places such as Taipei.

Indonesian law has protected orangutans since 1925, but enforcing the law and confiscating orangutans from people is a complicated process. In the past, when a government official found someone possessing an orangutan, the animal either had to be released immediately or put to sleep. Since the government rarely had the facilities or the training to properly prepare the animals for release into the wild, and since no one wanted to destroy the animals, few orangutans were confiscated. Thanks to the development of orangutan rehabilitation centers, such as Camp Leakey, Wanariset Station, and others, captured orangutans now have a better chance to return to the wild. Unfortunately, reintroduction is very challenging and does not always work.

Sumatra tiger conservation

Habitat destruction is the greatest threat to the survival of the orangutan. It depends on the rainforest to survive. More than half of the world’s tropical rainforests have been destroyed in the last 30 years and some estimate that 80 percent of the orangutan’s habitat has been destroyed in just the last 20 years. Illegal logging, slash-and-burn agriculture, gold mining, and forest fires threaten their survival. Only about five percent of the surviving orangutans live in protected areas, such as nature reserves and national parks, which means this species might be gone from the wild in 10 years.

The current number of wild orangutans is estimated at fewer than 60,000 animals on both Sumatra and Borneo combined. There were twice as many just 10 years ago.

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.

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Indonesia’s Museum’s, Monuments Loaded With History

Museums, Monuments Found Across Indonesia

Indonesia’s monuments and museums are found throughout the country. They represent the whole spectrum of Indonesian life, thought and history. The best-known and also the oldest in existence of the museums of art, culture and history is the Central Museum in Jakarta.

Museums of natural history are found in Bogor and Bandung. Of equal scientific interest, though small in size, is the Sangiran museum of paleontology and anthropology near Solo (Surakarta).

Sangiran Museum

Sangiran Museum
A small museum in this village, 15 kilometers from Solo, displays prehistoric fossils found in the region. This area is found along the Solo River. It has an outcropping of the earth’s prehistoric surface, which has yielded many major anthropologic finds. Among them were the remains of Solo Man, one of the earliest human fossils known. The fossilized remains of Java Man were found not far away in 1881 by the Dutchman Dr. Eugene Dubois near the village of Trinil, East Java.

Indonesia mask

Central Museum
Jakarta’s Central Museum is one of the finest in Southeast Asia. Founded in 1788, it still has the world’s most complete collection of Indonesian artifacts. Its Hindu-Javanese collection is one of the finest in the world. It has one the richest collections of Han, Tang and Ming porcelain, and an array of Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese export ceramics. Its monetary collection includes rare specimens of cloth-money used in the past in various areas of Indonesia. The National Library is adjacent to the museum. It features more than 700,000 old and recent volumes of books, manuscripts and periodicals covering virtually every subject on Indonesia.

Jakarta History Museum fatahillah square

Jakarta History Museum, Fatahillah Square
This open-air museum in Jakarta has three main structures. The first is the Jakarta Museum, which exhibits the colonial history of the city, but also includes relics from the pre-colonial past. The building on the east, formerly the Supreme Court, houses the Fine Arts Gallery and the Ceramics Museum, which contains an excellent Chinese and Southeast Asian ceramics collection. On the western side of the square is the Wayang Museum, filled with puppets used in the indigenous puppet theater. The largest part of the collection consists of wayang kulit, the popular flat leather puppets from various regions. Demonstrations of the shadow play are given every Sunday morning.

Maritime Museum
The Maritime Museum is at the northern end of Jakarta. It has exhibits displayed inside the historic Dutch East India Company warehouses. In small-scale models and pictures, the museum attempts to give the visitor an idea of Indonesia’s seafaring tradition and the importance of the sea to the economy of present-day Indonesia. The museum features models of fishing boats from most parts of Indonesia, including the legendary pinisi schooners of the Bugis people of South Sulawesi.

Merdeka Square Monas National Monument Jakarta

National Monument
The 137-meter tall monument, also known as Monas, symbolizes Indoesia’s independence with a gold-leaf flame at the top. It faces the Presidential Palace in Jakarta. The basement of the monument houses a Museum of History with dioramas about Indonesia’s history—from prehistoric times through the present. A good portion of the display is devoted to the national war for independence, which raged from 1945 through 1949. You can hear the voice of Indonesia’s first president, Sukarno, in the Hall of Silence at the foot of the National Monument. The monument is located at Merdeka Square (freedom square).

Armed Forces Museum
The Satria Mandala Museum, or Armed Forces Museum, is located in the southern part of Jakarta. It features an interesting collection of arms, including Japanese fighter planes from World War II, Russian and American guns, and armored cars.

The Textile Museum
The Textile Museum in Jakarta has about 600 different kinds of traditional Indonesian textiles, from batik to ikat and Dayak bark cloths. In many regions, such textiles are still used to pay fines, avert illness, and mark other social and religious purposes. Some of the oldest Indonesian ornamental designs are found in their original textiles.

Museum Indonesia
The Museum Indonesia, a three-story structure in traditional Balinese architecture, is located inside the Taman Mini Park. The museum has a vast collection of contemporary Indonesian arts and crafts, traditional costumes from the various regions, puppets, musical instruments, masks, and a large variety of utensils and equipment used in daily life across the islands. Mannequins and replicas display the various rituals concerned with the passage of life.

Museum Sono Budoyo
Founded in 1935, this museum faces the Kraton (Sultan’s palace) in Yogyakarta. It is built in traditional Javanese architecture. Its collection includes weapons, leather and wooden wayang puppets, masks, statues, textiles, curios, and old Javanese gamelan instruments. A library also is attached.

Museum Radjapustoko
The Radjapustoko Museum is located next to the Sriwedari amusement park in Solo. It features an interesting collection of art objects and mementoes from Java’s past.

Zoological Museum
The Zoological Museum in Bogor has a vast collection of preserved Indonesian animal species, from birds and reptiles to mammals and conchs displayed in life-like dioramas. The museum includes a library about the Indonesian animal world as well.

Geological Museum
The fossilized skull of legendary Java Man is featured at the Geological Museum in Bandung. The museum was founded in 1929 and includes collections of fossils, rocks, minerals, volcano models, maps, and more.

Other Monuments and Museums

Museums of local culture and history are found in many provincial capitals and towns across Indonesia, including the Bukittinggi Museum in West Sumatra, the Makkasar Museum in the former Fort Rotterdam in Ujung Pandang (Makassar), South Sulawesi, and the Simalungun Museum at Pematang Siantar, in North Sumatra.

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

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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 gary@crossbow1.com. Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

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Indonesia’s Archaeology Still Unfolding

Hidden Gems Across Indonesia

Many of the world’s most important archaeological sites have been found in Indonesia. Java man, Flores (Hobbit) man, Borobudur, Prambanan and many other discoveries have drawn explorers from near and far. Much more ancient history is unfolding across Indonesia today.

gunung padang

Gunung (mountain) Padang is a megalithic site located in Karyamukti village in the West Java Province. It’s about 50 km southwest of the city of Cianjur. Some are calling it the largest megalithic site in all of Southeast Asia.

The massive Indonesian site was put on the international map in the publication Rapporten van de Oudheidkundige Dienst (Report of the Department of Antiquities) in 1914. Dutch historian N. J. Krom also mentioned it in 1949. Employees of the National Archeology Research Centre studied the site in 1979.

gunung padang Indonesiapadang pyramid

The site in West Java covers a hill in a series of terraces bordered by retaining walls of stone that are reached by about 400 andesite steps. It is covered with massive rectangular stones.

Sundanese culture considers the site sacred. They believe King Siliwangi built the structure in one night. It faces northwest, toward the Mount Gede volcano. The site was completed by 5000 BC. The entire hill may itself be an ancient pyramid. So far, researchers have found:

    • Based on geoelectric, georadar, and geomagnetic testing, there is a structure beneath the surface with large chambers;
    • Many man-made artifacts have been discovered;
    • The construction of the site spans four eras;
    • The site was dated 6,500 years BP (before present) by carbon radiometric dating at 3–4 meters below the surface (12,500 years at 8 to 10 meters below the surface), and the artifacts at the surface date to about 4,800 years BP;
    • The site area is approximately 25 hectares. The massive Borobudur temple occupies only 1.5 hectares.
    • Walls of the terraces are similar to those found at Machu Picchu in Peru.

Dr. Danny Hilman is responsible for the archaeological team on the site. They also announced the discovery of a metal device that is presumed to be the worlds oldest electrical instrument. According to researchers, this object is made out of gold and copper and seems to resemble a primitive capacitor. 

Indonesia pyramids

The discovery of the electrical device at  Gunung Padang  is getting a lot of attention. Former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia visited the site and congratulated the researchers. According to archaeologists, the subsurface layers at Gunung Padang might be more than 12,000 years old. Finding an electrical device in that area suggests that ancient man mastered electricity thousands of years ago.

Previously, the researchers found giant bowls, rivers and springs, domes, towers, aquifers and a transmitter. Magnetic anomalies are found in these locations.

Mount Sadahurip is another pyramid shaped hill in West Java, near Cicapar Sand Village. Mount Sadahurip, dubbed the Garut Pyramid, is undergoing verification tests to see if the mount is indeed a man-made (or partially man-made) structure.

Garut Pyramid Java Indonesia

The Garut Pyramid is larger than the Great Pyramid of Giza and could be far older. By using geo-electric instruments, surveyors are measuring the resistance of the geological layers, while seeking additional funding to begin excavations. An initial survey determined that the structure is unlikely to be of natural formation.

Bada Valley, Sulawesi features several megaliths throughout a remote area in the Poso Regency on the island of Sulawesi. It is part of Lore Lindu National Park. Bada Valley features dozens of ancient megaliths and several large stone caldrons. The objects remain a mystery.

Bada Sulawesi monolith

Bada Valley Indonesia archeology

Bada Valley Indonesia

Bada Valley Indonesia monolith

Sulawesi monoliths

The carved megaliths are between 1,000-5,000 years old. They’re scattered across the valley. When asked about the origin of these statues, locals explain that they’ve always been here. Some believe they were used in ancestral worship or may have had something to do with human sacrifice. Others believe that these statues ward off evil spirits. One legend tells that they are criminals which were turned to stone, and there is even a superstition that the statues can disappear or move from place to place. Some have even been reported found in slightly different locations. These statues are made from a type of stone not found anywhere near the area.

Tanah Toraja, Sulawesi. More monoliths are found throughout Torajah land and lives.

torajah sulawesi

Tanah toraja monolith

Cipari, Java is a Neolithic settlement in the Kuningan district of West Java, northeast of Bogor. Megalithic formations are found here. They are dated at around 1000 BCE.

cipari Indonesia archaeology cipari

Sumba features many monoliths, including tombs:

sumba east nusa tenggara

Pyramid Lalakon, West Java. Much work remains, but it fits the profile of similar-shaped mounds in the region.

pyramid lalakon West Java

Candi Sukuh, West Java resembles Mayan-style temples.

candi Sukuh Temple

Gunung Kawi, Bali

gunung kawi bali

Nias, Sumatra

Nias Sumatra monolith

Candi Sambisari, Java

Candi Sambisari temple

Indonesia is best known for its famous and elegant temples, including Borobudur, Tanah Lot, Uluwatu and many others. However, these emerging and lesser-known gems are worth the trip. As a fan of Ancient Aliens and ancient arts and culture, this is a topic that I love. If you have stories and photos to share, please contact me.

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

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