Category Archives: Indonesia Blog

Swiflet Nest in Indonesia

Swiflet nest or scientifically known as Collocalia Fuciphaga has been very popular among Chinese and Hongkong market, as it is believed to be very good medicine, for health and beauty.  China is the biggest consumer of the nest, and as Chinatown is everywhere, the demands keep growing.

Indonesia is the biggest producer of swiflet nest. The bird live in some dark, damp places such as in  caves. And beside some wild swiflet habitat where farmer harvest the nests, there are so many swiflet nest produced in  buildings.

For wild swiflet, the nests are harvested 3-4 times in one year. For example like in Kebumen regency of Central Java, the harvest is an interesting activity and off course not for the fainted heart. There will be a festival to celebrate the harvest time of wild swiflet.

PICTURES: JANUARY 2019 Temples, Rice Terrace Day Tour on the Slope of Mount Penanggungan

Mount Penanggungan slope is rich of natural and cultural beauty. Located only 2 hours from Surabaya, this tranquil village can be a shore excursion destination for cruise passenger if they dock at Tanjung Perak Port of Surabaya (Surabaya North Quay). It takes about 7-8 hours tour in total. The tour will give you a different experience, as this area is slightly off-the-beaten-path.
Belahan Temple is one of springs located on slope of Mount Penanggungan among 33 springs located there. The two goddesses statue are Laksmi and Sri, the wife of Wisnu, the manifestation of King Airlangga and his two wives. This spring temple was built in the 11th Century.
Jolotundo Spring Temple or Candi Jolotundo, is a 10th Century spring temple built by King Udayana to welcome the birth of his son, Airlangga.
The gate of Candi Jolotundo
Jedong Temple, another temple located on slope of Mount Penanggungan, similar to fortress construction made of red brick and andesit stone with kala decoration.
And you can also see the rice terraces on slope of Mount Penanggungan. Farmers here harvest rice 2-3 times a year, the area is rich of water.

And you can see the farmers working in rice field to get the soil ready for rice plant.
Experience and share smile and greetings and a little chat with the locals.

Java Off The Beaten Paths

Java is the most populated island in the world, however it has many beautiful to see and experience be it natural and cultural stuffs. If you have visited Java for once or more, maybe you would love to see other hidden beautiful places in this island. The places i am willing to share is the place that is not so well known among foreign travelers and in my experience when i visit those places, i do not meet foreign travelers, yet beautiful, exotic and relatively tranquil.

Mount Prau. It is famous among Indonesian travelers, recommended to climb in the weekdays and non holiday. I rarely see foreign travelers visiting Mount Prau, which only takes 3 hours hike to the peak and get pampered with the majestic view of Mount Sindoro with its golden sunrise shimmering.

Cycling at Dieng Plateau. Dieng Plateau maybe popular for day trip from Yogyakarta, however this plateau is rich of natural phenomenon to be discovered by cycling. Mostly people visit Dieng Plateau only to the complex of Hindu Temples, Sikidang Crater and Lake Warna area. However this area has other lakes, other craters, and you can explore the area by cycling. Cycle to hidden temple of Dwarawati, narrow village passage, say hello to the locals and if you are lucky you will meet the naturally dreadlock hair children which can only be found in the plateau area and nowhere else in the world.

Posong View Point and Embung Kledung. Both is locatead nearby to each other, nestles on the slope of Mount Sindoro. The view is marvelous and the access is convenient. Located on the mainroad to/fro Yogyakarta. Posong View Point is also a nice place to see golden sunrise, best time to visit on June-September, on dry season and when local farmers plant tobacco, the local commodities. Embung Kledung is a water basin, and the view to Mount Sumbing and Mount Sindoro is breathtaking.

Candi Selogriyo and Rice Terrace. Indeed Magelang is popular with its Borobudur Temple, however it has many other temples scattered. One of temple located hidden is Selogriyo Tempe. Located on slope of Mount Sindoro, this temple accesses is not so easy to find. Once you arrive at village without any sign of parking area, you will need to walk to the Hindu temple. And enroute the view of rice terrace is amazingly beautiful. Recommended to depart in the morning from your hotel in Borobudur or Yogyakarta area and then enjoy full day of slow walking at the rice field.

Pasar papringan, or Bamboo Market. This traditional market opens twice in 35 days. As its name, the market is under bamboo forest. We can find various traditional foods here. In Wonosobo there is a market similar to this, called Pasar Kumandang which opens every Sunday.

Yogyakarta Temple Tour. Not just Prambanan or Borobudur Temple, there are many temples located in Yogyakarta. If you love culture and history, exploring the temples might be a good option. My favourite temples are Candi Sari, a two floor temple that almost quiet everyday. And also Candi Sojiwan, Candi Barong and Candi Plaosan. We can cycle from one temple to another, i have tried from Prambanan Temple to Sojiwan Temple.

Mount Penanggungan. This mountain is not as popular as Mount Semeru, however it is unique as it has more than hundreds of temples and ruins scattered on its slope. If you climb this mountain it takes only about 5 hours to the peak. The mountain is rich of water, it has 33 springs. And one of the most popular is Jolotundo Holy Spring Temple and Belahan Temple. The village of Mount Penanggungan is very quiet and there is a very nice rice terrace where you can enjoy sunset if you stay nearby. At Mbiting village, located a lodge that offers bungalow and restaurant for FIT or group to do various activities, tours and learn about environment.

PICTURES: Komodo Live Aboard Boat, Komodo National Park Tour

Due to the location of islands in Komodo National Park, most of the tours to see the dragon is best to be enjoyed by staying one night on boat. Boat ride to Rinca or Komodo Island is at least 3 hours sailing that if you stay overnight on boat will be time efficient and cost effective. You can explore more and not rushing from one place to another.

Please find below boat pictures for overnight on board.

Sembilangan Lighthouse, Madura, East Java, Indonesia

SEMBILANGAN LIGHTHOUSE (Mercusuar Sembilangan)

This lighthouse is located in Bangkalan, the western part of Madura Island, only about 30-45 minutes’ drive from the city center of Surabaya. As you may have known, there is a bridge connecting Surabaya to Madura Island, that the access to the lighthouse is easier for your short visit to Surabaya.

There are two lighthouses  in Madura Island, the other one is located in Sumenep area. The lighthouse still functions well today even though it was built in the 19th Century, in the year of 1879 by ZM Willem III. As we may have known the lighthouse is not so necessary like in the past due to the GPS technology.

The lighthouse opens for visitors. Visitors can take photo from outside the lighthouse and also can enter the lighthouse and climb to the peak . The lighthouse is 65 meters high and it has 17th floor. From above you visitors can see the view of Madura Strait, view of mangrove located in the vicinity.

From above we can see why the lighthouse was paramount in the past. It navigated dangerous spots such as corals and it controls the traffic of ships from Tanjung  Perak Port of Surabaya.

Birds in Ketingan Hamlet, Sidoarjo, East Java, Indonesia

Ketingan Hamlet is located isolated in the middle of fishponds on the eastern coast of Java. It takes about 45 to 60 minutes motorboat ride from Bluru Kidul dock. Along the trip once start sailing, there are plastics  garbage along the rives, very sad. 

But once enter the mangrove area, you will enjoy the sphere of the vast river, the mangrove trees, and some faunas from birds to reptiles. We can see various birds, but i see so many white birds flying above rivers and some grey bird and kingfisher bird. 

According to, thera are about 23 bird species in Ketingan mangrove area such as: 

Blekok Sawah/Javan pond heron (Ardeola speciosa)
Kowak Malam Kelabu/ Black crown night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)
Kowak Malam Merah/ Nankeen Night Heron (Nycticorax caledonicus)
Raja Udang Biru / Cerulean Kingfisher (Alcedo coerulescens)
Udang Punggung Merah/The Oriental dwarf kingfisher (Ceyx erithacus)
Kuntul Kecil / The Little Egret(Egretta garzetta)
Kuntul Karang/ Pacific Reef Heron (Egretta sacra)
Kokokan Laut/ Mangrove Heron (Butorides striatus)
Srigunting Hitam/ THe black drongo (Dricrurus macrocercus)
Bubut Jawa / The Sunda coucal (Centropus nigrorufus)
Cucak Kutilang/ The Sooty-headed Bulbul (Pycnonotus aurigaster)
Merbah Cerucuk/ The yellow-vented bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier)
Layang-layang Batu/ The Pacific swallow (Hirundo tahitica)
Walet Sapi/ The glossy swiftlet (Collocalia esculenta)
Dara Laut (Sterna Sp.)
Pecuk Padi Kecil/ The little cormorant (Phalacrocorax niger)
Cekakak Sungai / The collared kingfisher (Todirhampus chloris)
Kacamata biasa/ Lowland White-eye  (Zosterops palpebrosus)
Prenjak Rawa/ The yellow-bellied prinia (Prinia flaviventris)
Kirik- Kirik Senja / The chestnut-headed bee-eater (Merops leschenaulti)
Bentet Kelabu/ The long-tailed shrike (Lanius schah)
Cipoh Kacat/ The common iora (Aegithina tiphia)
Bambangan Hitam (Dupetor flavicollis)
Cerek (Charadrius Sp.)
Bondol Jawa (Lonchura leucogastroides)
Cabai Jawa (Dicaeum trochileum)
Tekukur Biasa (Streptopelia chinensis)

Regarding how many birds species there are in the location, actually this hamlet is suitable for birding or bird watching. 

Annually the hamlet holds Nyadran ceremony to thank god for good fish harvest. The hamlet preserves syncretism over Islam and Hindu Java belief and tradition. 

There is a popular site among locals, the grave of Princess Sekardadu from Banyuwangi, the monther of Sunan Giri one of nine saints spread Islam over Java.

This village and mangrove is only known for domestic market for pilgrimage to Princess Sekardadu and enjoy boat riding along river. It is still not yet promoted for foreign travelers, even though it is not so far from Surabaya City, due to the lack of amenities and cleanliness along the boat ride. 

Indonesia National Museum, Jakarta, Indonesia

The museum is a windows where we can see the glimpse of the history of Indonesia, from prehistoric period, Hindu-Buddha Period, colonial era until independence period. 

The Museum is located not far from Monas (National Monument), and the name of National Museum is not well-known among locals. Locals more familiar with Museum Gajah or Elephant Museum, which derives from the bronze elephant statue in front of the building. The statue was a gift from King Chulalongkorn (Raja Rama V) from Siam in 1871 for Batavia city. 

The museum houses more than 140,000 artifacts. We can browse through the museum with some precious collection and knowledge. From prehistoric era in Indonesia where in some parts found remnants from the period such as burial, settlements, and cave. One of the interesting prehistoric period of Homo Florensis, a hobbit human found in Liang Bua Cave in Flores island, East Nusa Tenggara. 

There are also other collections of traditional houses and architecture of some parts of Indonesia and also traditional textile, wardrobe and fashion, such as jewelries and hats. 

Some important inscriptions which reveals the history of Nusantara can also be found here in Pallawa or Old Javanese letter

Some treasure found in Wonoboyo site which consists of more than 35 kg of pure gold is also displayed. 

The museum host some social-cultural events which involve students and public almost every month. 


If all this time you think that you can only explore Malang when you are in the city or in Batu, youclearly don’t know about South Malang. South Malang has a bunch of hidden treasure inside it like;Beaches, water springs and many more. One of beautiful treasure is Pantai Tiga Warna or Three Colored Beach.

Why is it named Tiga Warna (Three Colored)? It is because of its water colorgradation. It is located in Tambakrejo village, Sumbermanjing Wetan sub-district, South Malang. It takes 75 kilometres from the city. And then, the visitors have to walk for 2 kilometres to get on to the beach.

Tiga Warna beach is also a conservation for mangroves and coral reefs. That is why the number of visitors is limited per day except for Thursday due to cleaning up the beach. Also the visitors must have booked the reservations before visiting day. Before trekking for 30 minutes to reach the beach,the visitors will stop for a little while at the hut and will be told by the caretaker to count their loads especially in plastic form, papers, and many more. Also, their loads should be remain on the same amounts as they left beach. Then, the local guide will guide the visitors to go through the forest to the beach. And then, as the visitors reach the beach, they can do snorkeling, diving, and camping on the beach. (Lila)