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PICTURES: Panglipuran Village, Bali, Indonesia

Just recently, Panglipuran Village in Bali is awarded as one of the cleanest village in the world. The village process litter. The locals sell their products and goods at home, where visitors can enter their home, that the village alley is very clean. Not only the green ambiance in the village, it still has its bamboo forest where visitors can walk there to breath the fresh air. The bamboo is preserved as it is used as the main establishment when they built a house.

Lake Gunung Tujuh, Kerinci Seblat National Park, Sumatra, Indonesia

Lake Gunung Tujung is located in Kerinci National Park. Gunung Tujuh means seven mountains, and it is called so as the lake is literally surrounded by seven mountains, namely: Mt Gunung Tujuh (2.735 m), Mt Jar Panggang ( 2.469 m), Mt. Madura Besi ( 2.418 m), Mt Hulu Tebo ( 2.525 m), Mt Lumut  (2.350 m) , Mt Hulu Sangir (2.330M ) and Mt. Selasih (2.230 m)

On the other side of the lake, which can be reached by 2 hours rowing boat, there is lake beach which can be used for camping and in the morning they can enjoy sunrise at the lake. 

The lake is located in Pelompek, from the mainroad , visitors must go further to Pintu Rimba, where the trail starts. It takes about 3 hours to reach the lake. The path is steep, and mostly is natural stairs created by roots of the trees. Prepare with hiking shoes and raincoat when climbing, and do not forget food and water. In the weekdays can be very quiet but on weekend locals usually visit the lake for weekend getaway. 

The closer we get to the lake, there will be more gurgling of water, which derives from lake water falling to the valleys. Prepare with hat and long sleeves and trousers, we ware of some flies that might bite you. Apply bugs repellent just in case. 

The path is actually easy to find, only one path directly to the lake. However it is recommended to hike with friends or if you travel alone be accompanied by tour guide, especially on weekdays. 


PICTURES: Brahma Vihara Arama, Bali, Indonesia

This monastery is located on a hill side, quiet and has a stunning view. The architecture is a mixed of Chinese, Buddhist and Balinese. At the front gate, there is a big Buddha statue, and there are other Buddha statues in the area. It opens for public, visitors can visit to the meditation chamber located in the miniature of Borobudur Temple. As it was blessed by Dalai Lama, there is a stupa which stores the belongings of Dalai Lama, even on the othre side of the area, ther is a statue of Dalai Lama. The main establishment is the miniature of Borobudur Temple which, and it has two gold statue of monks . In front of the Borobudur miniature there is a yard for activities, like Yoga. Under the miniature, a chamber for meditation can be used publicly.

Raflessia Arnorldii: The Gigantic Flower, Indonesia National Flower

Rafflesia flower is known as the biggest flower in the world. Its scientific name is Rafflesia arnoldii, derives from the name of first people who discovered this flower, Thomas Stamford Raffles and Dr. Joseph Arnold. The size ranges from 60 cm till 120 cm when blooming. It grows in Java, Sumatra, Borneo, Malaysia and The Philippines, usually in rain-forest environment. Rafflesia has never been successfully cultivated.&nbsp

Rafflesia is like parasite, it grows from Tetrastigma root, from the family of grape. It appears from the ground in small bud and then grows bigger over 1.5 years and then blooms for 7 days. The first time i see it, it was so strange and beautiful, unlike any flower i have seen in my life, it has no leaves, it is on the ground and it is gigantic, red, thick, with white dots all over the 5 petals and spikes inside. 

The flower has rotten meat smell, that it attracts female carrion flies. On Day 1 and Day 2 bloom, the smell is very subtle, and we need to sniff it close to smell it. However on Day 3 and more it smells stronger. The smell maybe was caused by the heat generated by the flower , similar thing happened to skunk cabbage (Harvard

Pollination of Rafflesia is  very difficult and rare. Maybe that is why that this flower is not easily found. Here are the factors the scarcity of Rafflesia pollination:   one flower can be male or female only, flowers do not bloom at the same time, flower blooms in few days only.

Rafflesia’s pollen is not powdery but viscous fluid, that attached and dries on carrion flies backs. Presumable it is viable for long time and it flies few miles to female flower and it rub its back in the stigma of the female flower. And when the flower finishes blooming will create seeds which takes 6-8 months. And then how the seeds infect the new host plant? It is still remains a mystery. 

A theory says that ants spread the seed, and then put it in the vine, or the ants attracted to sugar water from the bark of the vine caused by animals,  or ants carry seeds and stored nearby the vine roots and infected the host itself. This can be true as the vine has broken bark, which might be easily infected by Rafflesia seed. In West Sumatra, the local people call Tetrastigma as paca paca means broken due to scratched surface. 

And it is already known that the flower has an organ called haustorium  which functions to take nutrient and water from the host. Vine is known for having much water in it. And it takes much water to make the flower to bloom. If we touch the petals we can feel it contains much water. Flower does not grow on any Tetrastigma, but usually Tetrastigma located nearby water source in primeval or secondary forest.

Other mystery of the flower is regarding its relationship with the host plant. The flower is very dependent to then host that they do not do photosynthesis.  According to a research, there is a massive gene transfer between the two organism without sex.  This case is very unusual.  Horizontal gene transfer is mostly hereditary.  The host contributed 2-3 percent to the genes in cell nucleus, and 50 percent of the genes that govern energy production. This is probably why Rafflesia is invisible to the host as they share so much genes that the difference between them is not distinctive. The gene transfer seems like a mean to camouflage .

Kampung Biru Arema and Kampung Warna Warni Jodipan, Malang, East Java, Indonesia

Kampong Biru Arema is located on the other side of the bridge of Kampung warna Warni Jodipan. And as its name, the houses in this kampong are all painted blue. This project is supported by the kampong, Malang government, a paint producer and AREMA, Malang football squad.

This project started in 2017, beside painted blue, the kampong is also decorated with some ornaments such as recycled water bottled, mural images and potted plants. To enter the kampong, one visitor must pay IDR 3,000, and therel be a gift from the village, a handmade blue key holder.

Visitors can stroll along the village, say hi, mingling take photograph. The kampong is also connected to Jodipan, the colorful kampong which starts its color project earlier and already famous among domestic visitors.

Even strolling along the village alley is interesting to do, however in my opinion seeing it from the bridge is the best view.

Kampung Warna Warni has two zones: 3D (Tridi) Zone and The Colorful Village Zone. The first mentioned zone is decorated with images that visitors can take picture with the image, creating 3D effect. The restriction is IDR 3,000 as well as visitor will also get handmade key holder. (Agus)

Batu Secret Zoo, Batu East Java, Indonesia

Batu Secret Zoo has now a popular destination for family. Beside some pro cons about the zoo operation world wide lately, zoo turns out still attracts visitors for education and tourism. Here visitors can see various animals from Indonesia and also from another countries.

There are some zones here, such as reptile garden, aquarium, river adventure, African village, tiger land. Children can learn more about the animals and how critically endangered some species are.

You need only to purchase the one ticket and can see all the zone including riding boat for river adventure where you can have short sail with some birds swimming and also hippo waiting.

In Tiger Land we can see various big cats, such as lions, and tigers.

There are other parks located in the same location of Batu Secret Zoo, Ecogreen Park and Museum Satwa (Animals Museum).

Ecogren Park has abundant birds, beautiful chicken, world pheasant, animal farm, and butterflies. The park has also Javan Peafowl conservation breeding program. Visitors can feed some unique species from some countries.