Category Archives: Indonesia Blog

Dua Warna (Two Colors Waterfall ) , North Sumatera

Dua Warna Waterfall or literally means Two-Colors Waterfall, also has other name: Telaga Bitu Waterfall. It is located on 1475m latitude and its height is about 75m falling at the upstream of Sinembah River and was formed by the eruption of Mt Sibayak, hundreds years ago.

The waterfalls have two colors, blue color with cold clear water with a mossy cliff. While the other one  has clear transparent water, and warm.  Both waterfalls are separated by smaller waterfalls decorating the cliff.

The access to the waterfall is challenging, and can not be accessed through river, as there are rocks covered in moss which blocks the possible path. The only way is by climbing hill slope passing forest of Mt Sibayak for 3 hours.

 

 

 

Sipiso piso Waterfall, North Sumatera

This waterfall is located not far from Tongging Village, on the 800 m latitude, surrounded by pine forest.  The waterfall height is about 120 m ans has been popular among domestic and foreign travelers.

Before heading to the waterfall you can overlook the waterfall from a view point located on top of a hill, with Karo land as the background, and aslo you can see the exotic Samosir island in the middle of Lake Toba. Afterwards  you can proceed your trip to the waterfall along slope. The trek is easy, there are stairs built for visitors. Total trekking would be about 1 hour. Along the trek you can stop by at some scenic places of Lake Toba. Arrival at the lake you can enjoy the music of the walling water, pine trees and maybe lunch you carry.

 

If you are from Medan, you can take bus or rent car to Kabanjahe Town, about 2 hours drive. And from Kabanjahe to the waterfall location is about 24 km or can be reached within 30 minutes drive.

 

Tongkonan: Tana Toraja House, Sulawesi

Tongkonan is traditional house of Tana Toraja, South Sulawesi. The architecture is very unique with the shape of the roof is like a boat.  It is said that the boat-shaped is inspired by Chinese empire ship in the past. And Tongkonan still occupied by the Torajan.
Tongkonan derived from tongkon which means sit. Tongkonan was the center of government in the past and also to see how the Torajan life changes. The house is not owned by individual, yet it is owned collectively in a family tree.
Toraja has a strong traditional culture and those must be obeyed in the daily life within the community.
 
Tongkonan upper part, usually used the keep weapons and other valuable belongings. While the middle is residential area.
Tongkonan has 3 rooms: North, South and Midle. Usually, the north or called as Tengalok is for children bedroom, living room and for ritual. South room is functioned for the head of the family. And the middle room or Sali used as dinig room, kitchen and to put dead body if any member of the family die.  The lower part is used for chickens and livestock and to keep farming tools.
 
There are 3 types of Tongkonan: Tongkonan Layuk, Tongkonan Pekaindoran and Tongkonan Batu Ariri. The first mentioned, Tongkonan Layuk is where religious is manadeg. Tongkonan Pekaindoran is used for custom and tradition function. And Tongkonan Batu Ariri is a supporting tongkonan.
In Torajan believe that god things arrive from the North and their ancestors came from the north.  No wonder that Tongkonan faces north. And the barn faces the south.
In Torajan culture, Tongkonan is symbol of mother and barn (alang sura) is symbol of father, that both built face to face.
Tongkonan is decorated with bull head, which shows the social and economic status of the family. The bull head is attached at the pilar at the front area. The more bull horns in front of the house , means the family has higher social class. Bull usually is sacrificed whenever family member dies.
Tongkonan of royalties are different from common Tongkonan. That of royalties has different decorative motives and more refined.
 
 

Kenjeran: Chips Home Industry

Kenjeran is located in Bulak district of Surabaya. Different than the central of Surabaya which are mainly business, in Kenjeran area you can still see fishermen village with their various activities, such as drying fish or fixing fishing net.

Local people also has process their fishing into chips. There are many kinds of chips you can buy and try here, such chips of fish skin, fish stomach, and various fish chips.

Since 2016, Kenjeran has its new building for fishermen to sell chips, smoked fish and souvenirs and stalls selling seafood menus.

Some villages are painted in colorful color to make the village more interesting for visitors.

Pulau Samosir (Samosir Island)

Samosir Island lies in the gigantic volcanic Lake Toba. Samosir Island is administratively a regency. It is 245,714 Ha, consists of  an island and lake.

Samosir Island can be reached from Medan by 4-5 hours driving to Parapat and then cross to Tuktuk wehere there are  most of hotels and homestays can be found.

Samosir temperature ranges from 17-29 Ded Centigrade, and humiditi rate: 85,04%. The indigenous people of Samosir Island is Batak tribe consists of Batak Toba, Batak Karo, Batak Simalungun.  Samosir is considered as the origin of all Batak ethnics. There are numerous of historical sites in Samosir Island.

  • King Sidabutar Grave, known as the first person living in the island. To enter the grave area , one must wear ulos, weaving from Samosir. 
  • Ambarita Village, where there are old  traditional Batak houses can still be seen. And there is a megalithic remains, a big court table made of rock which is locally known as Batu Persidangan.

Samosir has abundant of interesting places such as:

  • Pusuk Buhit Mountain, the highest peak in Samosir Island
  • Sampuran Efrata Waterfall
  • Lumban Suhi Suhi Village, the village of Ulon weaving maker
  • Aek Rangat Hotspring
  • Sigale Gale effigies
  • Parbaba Beach
  • Museum Hutabolon Simanindo
  • Museum Batak Tomok
  • Tele Tower View Point
  • Aek Natonang Lake
  • Aek Sipitu Dai Spring
  • Batu Hobon Site
  • Sidihoni Lake

 

 
 
 
 
 

Tanjung Puting National Park, Borneo: Home of Orang Utan

Tanjung Puting National Park and Biosphere Reserve is located  in Central Kalimantan, in Kalimantan Island or also known as Borneo Island. The indigenous population is Dayak tribe which is still faithful with animist belief. 

Tanjung means a peninsula, administratively is part of Kotawaringin Timur with its office in Sampit and Kotawaringin Barat with its office in Pangkalan Bun.

The Park covers swampy alluvial peninsular between Kumai and Serunyan River and Sekonyer River in the north . And since 1978 the southern boundary has been extended until Serimbang River to Segintung Luar River.

The Park has various vegetation types, such as dry land where species like Shorea spp, Mysristica, iron wood can be found and the swamp forest, mangrove and coastal forest.  And the most famous fauna live here are Orang Utan (Pongo pygmaeus) and probiscis monkey (Nasalis larvatus). Both primates were discovered during Dutch colonial era in the 1930s.  Both live in the swampy and dry land.  Other primates live here are: agile gibbon (Hylobates agilis), long tailes macaque (Macaca fascicularis) , ppig tailes macaque (Macaca nemestrina), red leaf eating monkey (Presbytis rubicunda) , silver leaf eating monkey (Presbytis cristata). Deers, civet, leopard, squirrel can also be found here. The most significant bird here is storm’s stork (Ciconia stormii), and there are other bird species that are most of them are endangered.

Visitors usually visit to see Orang Utan in its habitat and centered around orang utan rehabilitation center by cruising through Sekonyer river.  Below are the interesting spot in Tanjung Puting National Park:

  1. Tanjung Harapan which has information center, orang utan feeding, Orchid,  Herb, and trekking route to from Tanjung Harapan-Pesalat-Pondik Tangguy.
  2. Pesalat, reforestation area
    Pesalat is the second camp which can be visited by visitors or researchers. Activities can be done here : camping, trekking, herb garden and planting trees. 
  3. Pondok Tangguy
    This third camp visitors can see orang utan feeding, short trekking trail and long trekking from Pondok Tangguy-Pesalat-Tanjung Harapan.
  4. Pondok Ambung
    This third camp usually visited to observe wildlife, night trekking and tower.
  5. Camp Leakey is the last station for visitors in Sikonyer river route, This is a must-visit camp in Tanjung Puting National Park. Visitors can see orang utan feeding, trekking and information center is available here.
  6. Camp Leakey
  7. This is a must-visit camp in Tanjung Puting National Park. Visitors can see orang utan feeding, trekking and information center is available here. 
Now Buluh Besar river is also developed for tourism, is part of Tanjung Puting National Park located at Teluk Pulai Resort, here visitors wil sail the natural forest along the river, deer sanctuary, wildlife observation along the river.
 
Arut Tebal is another river in the national park located in Sungai Cabang Resort, which has white sandy beach, turtle conservation and release baby turtle.

Japanese Graveyard in Surabaya

Working in tourism industry, i have encounter various tourist with special interests. Sometimes their motivation of travel is more serious, like pilgrimage.

As an old city, Surabaya has witnessed historical events, struggle, change and development. The evidence of the historical event can still be seen today, such a graveyard of the Dutch and Japanese.

Last week, i favor Japanese groups to visit the Japanese Graveyard.
Below are the pictures.

Sukawati Kingdom

In the outset Ubud was one of regions of Sukawati Kingdom which was ruled by its first king Dewa Agung Mayun (1710-1745). The second king of Sukawati, Dewa Agung Gede (1745-1770) and his queen Ni Gusti Agung Mengwi was the relative of I Gusti Agung Putu Agung Mengwi.

When Dewa Agung Mayun reigned, Sukawati was safe and prosperous. He, then retired and his son succeeded him, and he made a resting house at Patemon village, located about 15 km Northeast of Sukawati Palace. His two sons, Dewa Agung Gede and Dewa Agung Made has fight often that it made him sad.

Dewa Manggis Api of Beng village served Dewa Agung Gede Mayun, and always kept him entertained. When the king felt his death was near, he called his both sons, but due to the conflict, they did not attend, until the king died.

Dewa Agung Made wanted Sukawati to be devided into two, yet his brother did not agree. The people were also divided. Meanwhile, in Ubud which was region of Sukawati, there was two big families, I Gusti Padang tegal and I Gusti Taman. Both had different opinion about what was happening at the kingdom. I Gusti padang Tegal was on the side of Dewa Agung Gede to replaced his father, yet his brother did not agree as Dewa Agung Gede was too clumsy and ignored people aspiration, and he believed that Dewa Agung Made was wiser. Both than prepared their own army. I Gusti Padang Tegal assumed that Sukawati army was on Taman’s army, while Taman’s army thought the opposite that both worried and escaped to cross Ayung river and stayed there. The village resided by Taman’s people now called as Taman Village, while village resided by Padang tegal is now called as Punggul Village. To avoid same conflict in other areas, Dewa Agung Gede then secured other villages such as Peliatam, Ubud, Petulu and Gentong. And there was no other conflict happened in Sukawati.

Campuhan Hill, Ubud, Bali

If you stay overnight in Ubud area and would like to do something physical whether it is cycling, jogging or just walking. It is located just nearby the main  street, located about 100 meters from Campuhan River, if you visit Blanco Museum maybe you can walk to Campuhan Hill.

You can follow the route from Villa Ibah leading to Campuhan Hill. The route is not so far, perhaps just about 45 minutes if you walk slow. The path is developed with concrete for 1.5 meters. It is an easy path and definitely not steep either. The air is fresh, the scenery is green, the atmosphere is quiet. Not just foreigners, you will meet locals walking along this hill as well, especially on weekend.

Best time to walk here is during the morning or in the afternoon for sunset. Or if you stay in Ubud area  you can come everyday for jogging. There are some restaurants and villa along the way.

The highest peak has rice beautiful rice terraces. When i visited there the rice paddy was already yellowish, perhaps it took only 30 days until harvest. Unfortunately i did not take picture of the path of Campuhan Hill as usually seen on the internet. I think it is okay, i am thinking it is the memory not the picture.

 

Museum of Masks and Puppets, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

A friend i met, recommended this Museum few months ago, located nearby her house, in Ubud, Bali.  She said it is a great museum set in a Javanese traditional houses. And i loved it there.

Indonesia is rich or arts, including mask. Each area has its own characteristic. Some areas have very raw carved of mask, which are my favorite.

Setia Darma House of Masks and Puppets is located in Jalan Tegal Bingin, Mas, Ubud, Kemenuh, Gianyar, Bali. I find it a little bit hidden. Yet it is worth the effort, the museum is very quiet and set in a beautiful area and the entrance is free.

The main buildings are 3 joglo buildings, Javanese wooden traditional house. The houses were old houses transported from Java to house the masks and puppet collections. There are about 6,900 masks and puppets collections displayed here.

There are masks from various parts of Indonesia, also from overseas such as from Japan, Africa, China and Korea. From Indonesia, we can see the collections from Madura, Bali, Jember, Ponorogo, Yogyakarta, Cirebon, Wonosobo, Papua, Sumatera Island and Kalimantan. You may have been very familiar with some of the masks, but there are some that will be new to you.  For me masks from Papua are very interesting, also from Sumatera and Borneo, similar to that of Africa.

The museum has open stage overlooking rice terraces. And visitors can site and enjoy the coconut trees view from the restaurant which offers various menus.

Even though the entrance is free, you can also support the museum by giving donation.

by Wid Saija