Indonesia’s Top Tourist Destinations

The Road To Bali, Borneo

With more than 180,000 islands, Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world. The islands are home to 167 active volcanoes, more endangered species and more beaches than any other nation.

Indonesia has some of the largest remaining tracts of tropical forest anywhere in the world. It also features some of the best scuba diving and snorkeling spots in the world. Adding to the beauty are millions and millions of smiles along the way. Where should you visit?

Indonesia scuba diving

Raja Empat: Located off the northwest tip of the island of New Guinea, Raja Empat (the Four Kings) comprises more than 1,500 small islands. Marine surveys suggest that the marine life diversity around these islands is the highest on Earth. It’s one of the greatest diving destinations in the world. The abundance of marine life is due in part to its incredibly low human population density and the nutrient-rich ocean currents nearby.

Orangutans Indonesia

Tanjung Puting National Park: The Tanjung Puting National Park is located on the island of Borneo. 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.

Borneo is home to the world’s most dense and remote rainforests, as well as about 12 million people, 75 percent of whom live in Indonesia’s Kalimantan region. Given the harsh nature of Kalimantan’s interior and lowlands, most settlements are along the rivers and coasts.

Unfortunately illegal logging and forest clearing for agricultural uses (including palm oil) are a major threat to the park. If you are lucky, you can meet founder and director, Birute Galdikas, who has devoted her life to orangutan conservation and research.

Komodo dragon Komodo island

Komodo National Park: Encompassing both Rinca Island, Komodo Island and a number of smaller ones, Komodo National Park is famous as the home of the Komodo dragons, giant carnivorous monitor lizards. The reptiles roam freely over the islands, and visitors rely on experienced tour guides for sightings and safety. Komodo National Park also is a world-class scuba diving destination.

Komodo is dry, hot and barren, with rainfall occurring between November and March. Komodo is a small island of 280 square kilometers. It is located between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores. The Island has about 800 human inhabitants and double that number of dragons.

Kelimutu volcano Flores

Flores: Lying to the east of Komodo, the island of Flores offers an array of natural and cultural sights. The most famous attraction in Flores is the Kelimutu volcano caldera, which has three lakes fed by volcanic gas. The lakes change color according to the amount of oxidation in the water.

This island is home to hundreds of different ethnic groups who speak many languages. It seems to be a transition point between the Malay and Papuan races. The west coast of Flores is one of the few places, aside from the island of Komodo itself, where the Komodo dragon is found in the wild.

Tanah toraja

Torajaland (Tanah Toraja): This highland region of Sulawesi is home of the Toraja people, who are famous for their massive peaked-roof houses and spectacular burial sites. The region also features some interesting monoliths.

Sulawesi, or Celebes, is one of the most beautiful destinations in Indonesia. It’s the world’s 11th largest island. With abundant beauty and natural riches, Sulawesi could become one of the major nature-based tourism centers in Southeast Asia.

Mt. Bromo Java Indonesia

Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park: Best known for its awesome scenery of a vast, ancient volcanic crater and a host of picturesque volcanoes. The park is named after two mountains, Mount Semeru, Mount Bromo and the Tengger people who inhabit the area.

Semeru is the highest mountain on Java as well as one of Indonesia’s most active volcanoes. The smoldering cone of Bromo stands in a sea of volcanic sand, surrounded by the towering cliffs of the crater’s edge.

The region also is famous for Java Man (homo erectus), a set of human fossil remains, which date back about 500,000 years. The fossils were found near the Brantas River in East Java. Since then, evidence of other prehistoric cultures also has been found, including the Solo Man discovery in Central Java.

Mt. Rinjani Lombok Indonesia

Lombok: This island is just east of Bali. It has similar landscapes as Bali, with less commercialism and fewer crowds, but it’s gaining fast. The island’s northern area is dominated by Mt. (gunung) Rinjani, which climbs to 12,224 feet out of the sea. Trekking draws many tourists to Lombok. The full climb takes several days.

The three Gili Islands, just off Lombok’s northwest coast are the most popular beach destination, but the island is developing its version of Kuta Beach on the south side of the island. The traditional market in Senggigi is worth a visit.

Prambanan temple Yogykarta

Yogyakarta: This ancient city is the most popular tourist destination on Java, due to its proximity to the famous temples of Borobudur and Prambanan. The city is a center of art and education.It offers good shopping and it’s known for its unique batik fabrics.

It’s also one of the nation’s centers of influence. The sultanate of Yogyakarta, was formed in 1755 when the Sultanate of Mataram was divided in two by the Dutch East India Company. The Sultan Hamengkubuwono I spent the next 37 years building the new capital, with the kraton, or palace, as the centerpiece. To this day, this is the sacred sanctuary where Javanese culture is preserved.

Yogyakarta lies in one of the most seismically active parts of Java and has been struck by several earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. In 2006, an earthquake flattened more than 300,000 houses. In 2010, Mt. Merapi erupted again and killed dozens of people.

Bali arts

Bali: This small island is one of the world’s most popular beach destinations. The varied landscape, rugged coastlines, tropical beaches, lush rice terraces and volcanic hillsides all provide a picturesque backdrop to its colorful, deeply spiritual and unique Hindu culture. Be sure to visit the great temples, including Uluwatu, Tanah Lot, Danau Bratan and Besaki. The combination of people, culture, spirituality and spectacular beaches have made Bali the most popular tourist destination in Indonesia for years.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and CEO is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at gary@crossbow1.com. Visit Indonesia.

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

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.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia