Seram Island

>> Thursday, 26 February 2009

Seram, the largest and among the least known islands in Maluku, hovers over Ambon, Saparua and lots of sea. Many of Ambon's tradition are said to have originated from Seram, including the division into two sets of customs, patasiwa and patalima, as well as pela alliances between two villages often located far apart. Seram is also replete with magic, for the Amboneses anyway, with many anecdotes of men who can fly, kill at a distance and change their shape at will. While the western part of the island has lost its mystery, thanks to thriving lumber industry, the remote eastern mountains is where the magic is now concentrated.

Masohi the capital of the central Maluku district is on Seram's south-central beach. The plains around the town have received a population boost, with migrant from overcrowded Saparua and some of the isolated islands to the south, as well as resettled mountain dwellers from Seram itself. One group of mountain people, the Naulu with their familiar red headbands live fairly close to Masohi.
Mount Api, active Volcano Island directly opposite Banda Neira last erupted in the late 1980s but fortunately almost all the lava and ash fell on the side away from the town. The view from the summit is spectacular. To climb, go with a guide and get start early to beat the heat of the day. Count on 20 - 30,000 for a guide, including the canoe ride to and from Banda Neira. A guide isn't really necessary since once you land on the dock on the East Side of Mount Api, there's only one way up and it's pretty obvious. If you're alone and safety conscious, you may wish to take a guide since the trail is quite treacherous.
Tual is the capital of Southeast Maluku district and the transportation for an extensive network of roads and sea-lanes. A half an hour drive away is Dullah village, where Belaway Museum boasts a splendid ceremonial conoe, complete with carved decorations. From Tual, canoes depart daily to the mysterious island of Kei Besar. Occasionally, the boats from Tual also head for Dobo, the largest town of the Aru archipelago. This spread of some 25 islands, all mangrove swamp and low-lying palm forest, is the home of unusual butterflies and flocks of birds-of-paradise.


West of Seram

West of seram are doing now, related to the potential of the excavation. Pembenahan can be done with the hope to support and enhance the potential of local PAD. One of the tourism sector Kabupaten Seram Bagian Barat prioritize potential Icon 7 which is considered ready to sell. Hopes, Seven potential that can sustain the target in the PAD Earth Mese Nusa Saka

Piru - Kabupaten Seram Bagian Barat (following) are doing now pembenahan, related to the potential of the excavation. Pembenahan can be done with the hope to support and enhance the potential of local PAD. One of the tourism sector Kabupaten Seram Bagian Barat prioritize potential Icon 7 which is considered ready to sell. Hopes, Seven potential that can sustain the target in the PAD Earth Mese Nusa Saka

Kadis Tourism and Culture of West Seram regency H. Namadullah explains, the potential for tourism which is the priority to be developed namely, Pulau Kasa, Island and Island Marsegu while OSI Waisarisa objects in nature that consists of a waterfall Kamarian and Rumahkay. While the potential of cultural tourism in the Village of cultural objects Tumalehu District Manipa. and various traditional culture of local ethnic dance art Alifuru

Seven to sell the potential of tourism, the Tourism Department of West Seram District at this time has built infrastructure on the island and Pulau Kasa Marsegu. At this time we have to build some buildings for the development of tourism potential. Infrastrukutur that we wake up gradually. Use the convenience of tourists wishing to visit our area, Kadis said Tourism and Culture to the following KBOmaluku

Kabupaten Seram Bagian Barat which consists of 62 islands have potential for tourism object which is very diverse, this is evidenced with the achievement of diraihnya in ivent gebiar nusantara Year 2008 tour that took place some time ago in Jakarta.

Regent Seram Bagian Barat Yacobis Putuleihalat, said while his side to focus more on some of the island following the district to serve as the nautical tourism objects, such as Pulau Kasa, islands and island Marsegu OSI. "

"We are rich with a variety of this island, rich with a variety of wealth such as coral terumbuh, a beach so beautiful that the District is not invincible, and this is one of the tourism potential that can sell to the outside so that they can push up the PAD district us from the tourism sector. "clear regent

In the future potential of tourism on the coast of West Seram regency still can indeed optimized. If been a serious, can be enchantment exotic beach nan Seram Bagian Barat Regency was able with the other regions in the ground water as a world tourist destination.


Banda Island

The Banda group, about 160 kilometers southeast of Ambon, consists of three larger islands and seven smaller ones, perched on the rim of Indonesia's deepest sea, the Banda Sea. Near Manuk Island, the water reaches more than 6,500 meters depth. Of the three biggest islands Banda, Banda-Neira and Mount Api, the first two are covered with nutmeg trees and other vegetation. The third however, is entirely bare and highly volcanic. The last eruption of Mt. Api occurred only a few years ago. The seas around Banda are the sites of the famous Maluku sea gardens with their bright corals and colorful fish darting through the crystal-clear waters. Facilities for sightseeing, snorkeling and skin-diving are available, as well as clean, comfortable cottages.

Banda saw some of the bloodiest episodes of Maluku's past history during the 17th century. In 1609, the Dutch East Indies Company (VOC) dispatched Verhoeff to the islands to obtain the contested spice trade monopoly at any cost. Confronted by a superior power, people Banda were forced to allow the company to establish a fort, but in that same year Verhoeff was killed together with 45 of his men. The Company retaliated, but peace was not restored. In 1619, V.O.C. Governor-General Jan Pieterszoon Coen arrived at the head of a penal expedition and exterminated the entire population of Banda. The land was divided into lots, called "perken”, and given to former company employees, the "perkiniers", who were obliged to grow nutmeg and sell them at predetermined prices to the company. Slaves did the actual work in the fields. The old "perkenier houses", or what is left of them, and old churches still retain a peculiar colonial character to the port town of Bandaneira today. Two old forts Belgica and Nassau are inside the town limits. Others are found elsewhere on the islands. See also the former Dutch Governor's mansion, the History Museum in Neira, and the huge nutmeg plantation nearby.



Ambon City

The name of the island Ambon is believed to come from the word apon, meaning "plantation'. Indeed, Ambon was one of the firsts Moluccan islands to be occupied by the Portuguese and used as a plantation. Ambon City is the Main City and seaport of Ambon Island, and is the capital of Maluku Province. It is one of the largest cities in eastern Indonesia.

Ambon, the provincial capital of Maluku, which is built on a hillside overlooking the bay, has a number of interesting sites of historical and cultural interests. Among them are the remnants of some old forts built by the Dutch East Indies Company during the heydays of the spice trade and the Siwa Lima Museum with its local arts and crafts collection. More ruins of forts are found such as the Dutch one at Lima and those of the Portuguese at Hila, which are almost entirely hidden underneath the contorted roots of a giant Banyan tree.

The ANZAC War Cemetery near Ambon town is the site of services held every year to commemorate the Allied soldiers who died in the region during world War 11. Ambon is at Maluku end of the annual yacht race between Darwin, Australia and Ambon. The race usually takes place in August.

Ambon, as a beautiful city, has a lot of tourism objects that offer the tourist much beautiful scenery. On arrival in AMBON, you will be met at Pattimura airport, transfer to your hotel. After lunch, visit WAISELAKA POND in WAAI, its clear crystal water inhabited by holy eel, The Crazy Bamboo Performance. You can have dinner and overnight at your hotel.



Maluku (Moluccas), a region of Indonesia formerly known as the Spice Islands, was once the source of cloves and nutmeg, spices highly valued for their aroma, preservative ability, and use in medicine before people learned how to cultivate the plants in other parts of the world. Maluku is a cluster of about one thousand islands totaling 74,504 square kilometers, forming part of the Malay Archipelago in eastern Indonesia near New Guinea. The region is divided into two provinces, Maluku with its capital in Ambon, and North Maluku (2002 estimated population 913,000), with its capital in Ternate; other important islands in the group include Halmahera, Seram, and Buru.

Its approximately 1000 islands support a population of less than 1.7 million people. The average population density figure is 19 people per-square kilometer, but the distribution is uneven. Air and sea transportation is the main means, which link the islands together. The province has 32 seaports and 20 airports, and only about 160 km of roads. However, good roads on many of the islands provide easy access to the often-remote places of tourists' interest.

Maluku lies in the transition zone between Asiatic and Australian flora and fauna and has a tropical climate. Maluku's flora includes meranti trees and many kinds of orchids; distinctive fauna includes cuscuses, birds of paradise, wild goats, and parrots. The economy is based on subsistence agriculture, especially sago (the sago palm, producing a starch used in food), and on the export of such products as spices, cacao, coffee, coconuts, fish, and minerals. Important indigenous groups include the Ambonese.

A great variety of endemic plant and animal species are found in the rugged forest-covered and mountainous hinterlands of most of the islands. A few of the best known are the Rucker-tailed kingfisher, the red-crested Moluccan cockatoo, and various brilliantly colored lorikeets and parrots. Most of Maluku sits astride one of the world's most volatile volcanic belts.

Maluku province with its capital Ambon, stay at 30 north latitudes 8,300 south latitudes and 1250 - 1350 east longitudes with the area boundaries:
North side: North Maluku Province
South side: Timor Leste and Australia
West Side: Southeast Sulawesi and Central Sulawesi
East Side: Irian Jaya Province

The wide area of Maluku province is 712.479,69 km_, with the land wide is 54.185km_ and sea wide is 658.294,69km_.
The Maluku Province plain is 85.728 km2 width or 8.572.800 Ha contain of 3 part that is:
- Flat Land: 1.251.630 Ha width (14,6%)
- Wavy Land: 2.417.530 Ha width (28,2%)
- Hilly and Mountainous Land: 4.903.640 Ha width (57,2%)
Almost, Maluku has no upland. The mountain is a back that spread in the middle of the island, forming the mountain with the highest of 3.055 m.

Maluku province consists of mountains, islands that spread from west to east and form north to south among 1150 km.

Administratively, Maluku Province divided into four regencies and one city that is:
1. Central Maluku regency with 15 districts, 296 villages and 6 sub-districts.
2. Southeast Maluku regency with 8 districts, 229 villages and 6 sub-districts.
3. West-Southeast Maluku regency with 5 districts, 187 villages and 1 sub-district.
4. Buru regency with 3 districts, 62 villages.
5. Ambon city with 3 districts, 30 villages and 20 sub-districts.

Maluku has 2 seasons, that is: west season or north, and southeast or east. West season in Maluku is come from December until March, while April is transition season to southeast season. Southeast season is average 6 months begin from May and end on October. The transition to West season is on November.
The homogenate seasons are give different affect to the land and its sea in this region. The temperature is about 26,2 C (in Southeast Maluku especially in rainy).


Iboih Recreational Forest

>> Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Iboih is a small and friendly village. Its people will happily serve the tourist in any way. In a place where the tourist come one by one, the people here have retained their sense of curiosity towards westerners. Helpful guides are available to accompany the tourists to Iboih and the Sea Garden.

Iboih Recreational Forest is situated adjacent to Rubiah Sea Garden. This forest covers about 1300 hectares area and is also protected as a special nature reserve for Weh Island. This forest is a thick tropical rain forest and although it is dense a difficult to wander trough, visitors are encouraged to explore it. This are is as home to many kinds of animals. See wild monkeys, small and big reptiles and colorful birds, or try our skill at spotting the Nicobar pigeon, not found in any other part of the Indonesian archipelago. At dusk wild boars and swarms of giant fruit bastes are sure sighting. Where the road ends is a great lookout over the Indian Ocean.



Lhok Nga is a great beach for picnicking. Ujung Bate is a black sand beach nice for walking and collecting seashells. For swimming the best is the exquisite white sand beach at Lampu'uk. Remember to dress appropriately, local women swim fully clothed.

Weh boasts a wide variety of beaches waiting to be explored by visitor. Kasih Beach (Love Beach) is the nearest beach to the town of Sabang. About 2 km to the southwest lays a rocky beach with over hanging palm trees stretching the length of the peninsula. Along this northern peninsula we will find World War II gun emplacements. Some have decayed while others have remained intact. Following the coast two kilometers further will lead us to Tapak Gajah Beach (Elephant Step Beach). If we go on, we will reach Sumur Tiga Beach (Three Well Beach). This is generally considered to be Weh's most beautiful beach. Its soft white sand and crystal clear water make it an ideal place to swim and snorkel.



Takengon is a town located in the central area of Aceh. It is being promoted as a tourist resort since its temperature is about 2O degree C (68F), cool enough for a holiday resort. The main feature of the town is Laut Tawar Lake. It offers soaring cliffs around the shore, which are ideal for rock hiking. The lake is also stocked with trout. It is a pleasantly cool holiday resort, at an altitude of 1,200 meters above sea level. Central Aceh is one of Sumatra's foremost producers of high quality coffee. A warm water pool at Simpang Balik, Loyang Koro and Loyang Pukes caves by the side of Laut Tawar are also interesting objects.



Gunongan had erected by Sultan Iskandar Muda (1607 - 36) as a private playground and bathing place for this wife Putro Phang (From Malaysia). This whimsical architectural fantasy had access to the sultan's palace through the traditional 'Pintu Aceh', used by royalty only. This building likely functioned as an important recreational peace located in the Taman Sari Park for the Queen and other royal family members to climb. It is quite enjoyable to visit this place during the late afternoon or sunset.


Laut Tawar Lake

Laut Tawar Lake is located near Takengon, in the highlands of Cental Aceh, is very scenic. Takengon, the capital of the region, lies on the west side of the lake, 1,120 meters above sea level, with an average temperature of 20 C. It has soaring cliffs around the shore, which are ideal for rock climbing. The scenery is lovely and the area is being developed as a tourist resort with water recreation such as skiing and boating being readily available. The lake is also stocked with trout. There are warm water pools at Simpang Balik. Many caves dot the lake's surroundings, Loyang Koro and Loyang Pukes caves by the side of Laut Tawar Lake are interesting to explore. Motorboats can be hired for fishing and sightseeing. There is excellent hiking in forests filled with exotic orchids, and trekking to the Telong and Tetek volcanoes for the more energetic.


Cut Nyak Dhien House

The house is a replica of the heroine Cut Nyak Dhien House, from the Aceh War. The colonial forces burned down the house but a replica was built later. This house in Lam Pisang, about 6 kilometers from Banda Aceh, now is a museum. The house is located in Lampisang Village, Lhok Nga subdistrict, Greater Aceh district. Although Lhok Nga was the area worst hit by tsunami, the Tjut Nyak Dhien House survived. The daughter of a chieftain, Tjut Nyak Dhien joined the fight against the Dutch invaders in 1875. Her first husband fell in battle, and she remarried. When her second husband also died fighting, she continued the struggle with her children. After six years in the jungle, she was captured by the Dutch and exiled to West Java where she passed away in 1906. Tjut Nyak Dhien is recognized as one of the National Warriors of Indonesia.


Museum Negeri

There is a museum in Banda Aceh located near the Governor's residence. The main building of the Museum is a house built in a traditional style by the Dutch Governor Van Swart in 1914. The museum has 3 floors filled with antique weapons, gold jewelry, ceremonial costumes and household furnishings. The 'Rumah Aceh' is an excellent example of traditional architecture, built completely without nails, being held together by cord and pegs. Among the exhibits is a big clock Cakra Donya, a gift from China Emperor and brought to Aceh by the famed Admiral Cheng Ho in 1414. On the bell can be found a Chinese script, Sing Fang Niat Toeng Juut Kat, no one knows what it really means.


Baiturrahman Mosque

Sitting in a vast expanse of green fields, the white washed walls and minerals, and charcoal blacks domes of the Grand Mosque are the most famous landmark in Aceh. The Great of Baiturrahman Mosque is the main feature of Banda Aceh today. Lying at the heart of the city completed with excellent architectural style, this mosque is really one of Indonesia prime tourism sides. The Mosque was built in 12 Century and had caught fire several time include when the Dutch attacked Kutaraja (Banda Aceh) in 1873. Another mosque to replace the former one was later built by Dutch Military Government that was completed in 1883. The Mosque is extra ordinary in architecture and ornamentation. It has five onion shaped domes, two tall mine rates, wide white walls, and around is pillars various kinds of beautiful ornament.


Glen Labuhan Guest House (Monkey Beach)

Glen Labuhan beach Guest House (Monkey beach) is situated between two jungle covered mountains comprising a sheltered 120 m length of beach, with dense rain forest and lake immediately behind. Some 80 % of the bay is coral rock, the home of uncountable tropical fish. The Northern end of the beach is sand, suitable for swimming out and snorkeling behind the coral. The beach has long been favorite picnic site of expatriates working in parts of Sumatra. The Guest House is on the Beach (within 15 meters of high water line), and overlooks the shoreline trees to islands of Northern tip of Sumatra. It is a first class private Guesthouse with family accommodations in a tropical paradise. Alternative accommodation (for Tarzan enthusiasts) is tree house, some few meters a long beach. All meals are inclusive.


Mount Leuser National Park

Brief Description
The 2.5 million hectare Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra site comprises three national parks: Gunung Leuser National Park, Kerinci Seblat National Park and Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park. The site holds the greatest potential for long-term conservation of the distinctive and diverse biota of Sumatra, including many endangered species. The protected area is home to an estimated 10,000 plant species, including 17 endemic genera; more than 200 mammal species; and some 580 bird species of which 465 are resident and 21 are endemic. Of the mammal species, 22 are Asian, not found elsewhere in the archipelago and 15 are confined to the Indonesian region, including the endemic Sumatran orang-utan. The site also provides biogeographic evidence of the evolution of the island.
Justification for Inscription

Criterion (ix): The Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra represent the most important blocks of forest on the island of Sumatra for the conservation of the biodiversity of both lowland and mountain forests. This once vast island of tropical rainforest, in the space of only 50 years, has been reduced to isolated remnants including those centred on the three nominated sites. The Leuser Ecosystem, including the Gunung Leuser National Park, is by far the largest and most significant forest remnant remaining in Sumatra. All three parks would undoubtedly have been important climatic refugia for species over evolutionary time and have now become critically important refugia for future evolutionary processes.

Criterion (vii): The parks that comprise the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra are all located on the prominent main spine of the Bukit Barisan Mountains, known as the ‘Andes of Sumatra’. Outstanding scenic landscapes abound at all scales. The mountains of each site present prominent mountainous backdrops to the settled and developed lowlands of Sumatra. The combination of the spectacularly beautiful Lake Gunung Tujuh (the highest lake in southeast Asia), the magnificence of the giant Mount Kerinci volcano, numerous small volcanic, coastal and glacial lakes in natural forested settings, fumaroles belching smoke from forested mountains and numerous waterfalls and cave systems in lush rainforest settings, emphasise the outstanding beauty of the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra.

Criterion (x): All three parks that comprise the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra are areas of very diverse habitat and exceptional biodiversity. Collectively, the three sites include more than 50% of the total plant diversity of Sumatra. At least 92 local endemic species have been identified in Gunung Leuser National Park. The nomination contains populations of both the world’s largest flower (Rafflesia arnoldi) and the tallest flower (Amorphophallus titanium). The relict lowland forests in the nominated sites are very important for conservation of the plant and animal biodiversity of the rapidly disappearing lowland forests of South East Asia. Similarly, the montane forests, although less threatened, are very important for conservation of the distinctive montane vegetation of the property.

from : whc.unesco

Mount Leuser National Park is one of the largest national parks in the world, containing over 800,000 hectares of virgin rainforest. The park is home to orangutans, gibbons, monkeys, elephants, tigers, and among the last of the Sumatran rhinoceros. There are research facilities for the study of primates, birds and insects, the Orangutans rehabilitation center at Bukit Lawang being the most popular with tourists. It is possible to raft Alas River from Ketambe to the Indian Ocean on a 4 - 5 day expedition. The journey takes us through exciting white-water rapids to the calmer, crocodile-infested waters of the lowlands. Basic accommodation is available at Ketambe.

The Leuser National Park of Gunung Leuser is probably the wildest in Indonesia, located in Southeast Aceh, can be reached from either Kutacane, or Takengon. This magnificent national park has a wealth of flora and fauna. The Leuser Ecosystem is an outstanding wilderness in Aceh northern Sumatra. It is one of the richest expanses of tropical rain forest in Southeast Asia. More than 2.5 million hectares in size, it is the last place on earth where elephants, rhinos, tigers, clouded leopards, and orangutans are found within one area.

The first official statement of intent to protect the Leuser Ecosystem was signed in 1934. The Leuser International Foundation (a non-profit non-government organization) was established in the late 1990's when the ecosystem was seriously under threat from illegal logging and wildlife poaching.
Geographically, the Leuser Ecosystem lies between 3-4.5° North and 96.5-98° East. It covers approximately 2.6 million hectares of tropical rain forest, encompassing 890,000 hectares of designated national park, as well as extensive areas of protection and production forests. The ecosystem contains two major volcanoes, three lakes, and nine major river systems that flow to the east and west coasts of the island.

The Leuser Ecosystem has an enormous level of biodiversity. It contains at least 127 mammal species, including the Sumatran elephant, Sumatran tiger, Sumatran rhinoceros, and Sumatran orangutan. About 8,500 different plant species grow in the beach, swamp, lowland, mountain and alpine ecosystems of the Leuser Ecosystem. Of the 10,000 plant species recorded in the West Indo-Malayan Region, 45% are found in the Leuser Ecosystem. Spectacular plants such as Rafflesia (the largest flower in the world) and Amorphophallus (the tallest flower in the world) are among the plants protected there.

Mount Leuser National Park is one of the biggest national parks in Indonesia (950,000 hectare). Actually, it's a collection of various nature reserves and forests: Nature Reserve Mount Leuser, Nature Reserve Kappi, Nature Reserve Kluet, Sikundur Langkat Wildlife Reserve, Ketambe Research Station, Singkil Barat and Dolok Sembilin. Most parts of the national park lie in the region Aceh Tenggara (SE Aceh). Other parts are situated in the region east Aceh, south Aceh, and Langkat.

Mount Leuser National Park comprises more than 100 kilometers of the Bukit Barisan Mountains. Because of that, the park consists of steep, almost inaccessible mountainous terrain. The altitude ranges from 0 meter, in Kluet (South Aceh), to 3,381 meter, on top of the mount Leuser (Southeast Aceh). The Alas River cuts the park into an eastern and western half. Apart from mountains we find several other ecosystems: beach forest, swamp areas, lowland rainforest, alpine and mountain forest. In Bukit Lawang is the Orang Utan Rehabilitation Station and in Ketambe stands the Ketambe research station.

from : tourism-indonesia



Aceh is rich of events, attraction and unique cultures that it will fascinate anyone. Aceh is also rich in natural beauty, waves and sea garden, which is suitable for diving. Some of most beautiful Aceh tourism and historical sites and beaches have been damaged by the massive earthquake and Dec '04 Tsunami. The name of Aceh Darussalam is come from Aceh language means the welfare and peace Aceh country. Aceh is located in the Northwestern of Sumatra Island with the area of approximately 57,365.57 km square or 12.26 % of size of Sumatra Island. It consists of 119 islands, 73 major rivers and 2 lakes.

Aceh is surrounded by:
North side: Malacca Strait
East Side: North Sumatra Province
South and the west Side: Indian Ocean.
The capital of Aceh is Banda Aceh. The Special Province of Aceh with its area of 57, 365.57 square kilometers covering 1.17 per cent of Indonesia is situated at the northern tip of Sumatra Island, between latitudes 2

In the central part of this province runs Bukit Barisan Mountain ranges with Tangse, Gayo, and Alas uplands. Also, there are several mountains found in the region such as Pasee Mountain with its peak, Geureudong" (2,595 m), and Peut Sagoe (2,708 m), Gayo Mountain range with its peak Burni Telong (2,566 m), and Ucap Malu Mountain range (3,187 m). Other mountains include: Alas mountain with its peak Abong-abong (3,015 m) Leuser (3,466 m), Aceh" Raya Mountain range with its peak Seulawah Agam, (1,762 m) and Seulawah Inong Mountain (868 m).

The area also has several lakes such as Laut Tawar Lake in Central Aceh with an area of 60 square kilometers and a height of 1,225 meters above sea level, and also lake Aneuk Laot in Sabang (Weh Island).
Besides the mountains and lakes, there are also several major and lesser rivers, which run into both of Malacca Strait or into the Indonesian Ocean. Among the rivers running into Malacca Straits are: Krueng Aceh (Aceh River) in the Greater Aceh Regency, Krueng Peusangan and Krueng Jambo Aye in North Aceh Regency, Krueng Baro in Pidie Regency, and Krueng Peureulak and Krueng Tamiang in East Aceh Regency; The rivers running to the Indonesian Qcean are Krueng Teunom and Krueng Meureubo in West Aceh Regency, Krueng Kluet, Krueng Simpang Kiri and Krueng Simpang Kanan in South Aceh Regency.

On the west and south coasts, there are both large and small islands, some of which are inhabited and others, which are uninhabited. These islands are Weh Island, Breuh Island, Nasi Island, Simeulue Island and Tuangke Island (Banyak Island).

Weather & Climate
The dry season in Aceh usually lasts from March through August. The rainy season starts in September to last until February. The average annual rainfall ranges from 2,000 mm to 3,000 mm, with temperatures ranging from 25 to 30° Celsius. In the highlands, the average temperature is 200 Celsius. The amount of rainfall varies between all parts of Aceh. The western and southern coasts have more rainfall than the other parts. The weather along the coastal areas is usually warm. In the mountains tend to be cooler. The humidity varies from 65 to 75 percent. The wind from the west begins in June through November while the wind from the east begins in December through May



>> Monday, 16 February 2009

Jayapura, founded on 7 March 1910 as Hollandia, had developed into a city with modern civil, educational, and medical services in 1962. Since Indonesian administration services have been replaced by Indonesian equivalents such as TNI (the army) replacing into Papua Battalion. The name of the city has been changed to Kotabaru, then to Sukarnopura and finally to its current official name. Among ethnic Papuans, it is also known as Port Numbai, the former name before the arrival of immigrants.

Jayapura is the largest city, boasting a small but active tourism industry; it is built on a slope overlooking the bay. Cenderawasih University (UNCEN) campus stays at Abepura that is the houses of University Museum. Both Tanjung Ria beach, near the market at Hamadi (site of the 22 April 1944 Allied invasion during World War II) and the site of General Doughlas MacArthur's World War II headquarters at Mount Ifar have monuments commemorating the events.

from : indonesia tourism


Jayawijaya Peak

Jayawijaya Peak, a roaring mountain is permanently covered with snow, despite its location on the equator. We'll quite never forget meeting an awful-looking Dani, bearing the tusk of a wild pig at the tip of his nose. Despite their groovy looks, these are quite gentle people, shaking your hand politely and always having time for a small chat.

Likewise, women don't wear terribly much clothes. Just a skirt, entirely made of natural materials will do. It is the women's duty to carry out the heavy work on the fields. Observe the nuke, typical cloak-like bark string bags, carried half over the head. Heavily loaded with cabbage, sweet potatoes and sago, they resemble a blanket. A woman covered in river mud, is in grief. A less innocent way to show mourning, is finger amputation, a fate that only women will befall. Despite serious efforts of the government to halt this practice, they continue being reported occasionally.

The Baliem Valley remains one of the most fascinating places on the planet, where man may confront it its prehistoric past. But even in the remotest of area. Civilization is seeping through and will not be kept at bay. Maybe the time is right to visit the wild beauty of the Baliem Valley and its remarkable people.


Baliem Valley

The Valley remains one of the last places on the face of the Earth where people continue living in semi-Neolithic circumstances. Upon the spectacular approach by air, the tourists will notice the total isolation of the area. Sealed of the rest of the world by mighty mountain walls and without any roads leading from the coast to the inner region, the Valley keeps its own secrets.

Villages of no more than a few families are dispersed throughout this rough and mountainous region. Dani is a generic name of a series of tribes, until recently adhering to a Neolithic lifestyle. Only by the sixties of last century, they adopted the use of iron. Their dark complexions underline a Negroid origin, something that differentiates from the other Indonesian people. There are numerous tribes residing in the valley, having quite different languages and customs. The Yali, Kimial, Ok and Eipomek claim the eastern periphery of the magnificent valley. It is relatively easy to find their villages under the shelter of rainforest and highland.
Within the small town of Wamena, most Dani people clad in westerns style clothes. If we venture out however, chances are high we'll have an encounter with a fascinating Dani in full regalia Indeed, the Dani people much prefer to walk around naked save for a koteka or a tube-like yellow gourd, worn over the penis. The bodies of the male Dani gleam with pork fat, applied to fight of the cold. At an altitude of 1.600 m, temperature can be quite low, especially at night.



Papua is one of Indonesia province comprising a majority part of the western half of New Guinea Island and nearby. The province originally covered the entire western half of New Guinea, but in 2003, the western portion of the province, on the Bird's Head Peninsula, was declared in Jakarta as separate province named West Irian Jaya. The legality of this separation has been disputed, as it appears to conflict with the conditions of the Special Autonomy status awarded to Papua in the year 2000. The status of West Irian Jaya province is not yet resolved as of early 2006.

Papua is the official Indonesian and internationally recognized name for the province. During the colonial era the region was known as Dutch New Guinea. The province was known as West Irian or Irian Barat from 1969 to 1973, and then renamed Irian Jaya ("Victorious Irian") by Soeharto. This was the official name until Papua was adopted in 2002. Today, natives of this province prefer to call themselves Papuans rather than Irianese. This may be due to etymology (variously identified as a real etymology or a folk etymology) the name of Irian, which stems from the acronym Ikut Republik Indonesia, Anti Nederland (join/follow with the Republic of Indonesia, rejecting The Netherlands). The name West Papua is used among Papuan separatists and usually refers to the whole of the Indonesian portion of New Guinea.

The capital of Papua province is Jayapura. Most of the population depends on subsistence farming, especially the cultivation of rice and maize. The main industries include copper (with the largest concentration of copper in the world at Tembagapura), palm oil, copra, maize, groundnuts, pepper, tuna, gold, oil, coal, and phosphates. It is mostly a mountainous and forested region, with the Maoke Mountain range rising to 5,029-m/16,499 ft at Jaya Peak. The population comprises Melanesians (original settlers of Western New Guinea), Papuans, Negritos, and Europeans. Indigenous animism prevails. The province declared independence from Indonesia, as West Papua, in June 2000. However, the president of Indonesia stated that the declaration was unrepresentative of true feeling in the province.

A central East-West mountain range dominates the geography of New Guinea, over 1600 km in total length. The western section is around 600 km long and 100 km across. Steep mountains 3000 to 4000 m and up to 5000 m high along the range ensure a steady supply of rain from the tropical atmosphere. The tree line is around 4000 m elevation and the tallest peaks are snowbound year round.

Both North and West of the central ranges the land remains mountainous mostly 1000 to 2000 m high covered by thick rain forest and a warm humid year round climate. The third major habitat feature is the southeast lowlands with extensive wetlands stretching for hundreds of kilometers.
Mamberamo River sometimes referred to the "Amazon of Papua" is the province's largest river, which winds through the northern part of the province. The result is a large area of lakes and rivers known as the Lakes Plains region. The famous Baliem Valley, home of the Dani people is a tableland 1600 m above sea level in the midst of the central mountain range; Jaya Peak, sometimes known by its former Dutch name Carstensz Pyramid, is a mist covered limestone mountain peak 5030 m above sea leve

Wide Area
The wide area of Papua is 420,000 sq km/162,000 sq mi.

Papua population based on 2000 est. is 2,220,900. It has some 240 different tribal peoples, each with its own language and culture. Indigenous Papuans in West Papua and Papua New Guinea speak some 15% of the world's known languages. West Papua together with the rest of the island of New Guinea, are the lungs of the Asia-Pacific, containing the last great surviving virgin rainforest after the Amazon.

The population of Papua province and the neighboring West Irian Jaya, both of which are still under a united administration, totaled 2,646,489 in 2005. Since the early 1990s, Papua has had the highest population growth rate of all Indonesian provinces at over 3% annually. This is partly a result of high birth rates, but also from immigration from other regions in Indonesia.

According to the 2000 census, 78% of the Papuan population identified themselves as Christian with 54% being Protestant and 24% being Catholic. 21% of the population was Muslim and less than 1% were Buddhist or Hindu. There is also substantial practice of animism by Papuans, which is not recorded by the Indonesian government in line with the policy of Pancasila.

A vital tropical rainforest with the tallest tropical trees and vast biodiversity, Papua's known forest fauna includes marsupials (including possums, wallabies, tree-kangaroos, cuscuses), other mammals (including the endangered Long-beaked Echidna), many bird species (including birds of paradise, cassowaries, parrots, cockatoos), the world's longest lizards (Papua monitor) and the world's largest butterflies. The island has an estimated 16,000 species of plant, 124 genera of which are endemic.
The extensive waterways and wetlands of Papua are also home to salt and freshwater crocodile, tree monitor, flying foxes, osprey, bats and other animals; while the equatorial glacier fields remain largely unexplored.

In February 2006, a team of scientists exploring the Foja Mountains, Sarmi, discovered numerous new species of birds, butterflies, amphibians, and plants, including a species of rhododendron, which may have the largest bloom of the genus. Ecological threats include logging-induced deforestation, forest conversion for plantation agriculture (especially oil palm), small holder agricultural conversion, the introduction and potential spread of non-native alien species such as the Crab-eating Macaque, which preys on and competes with indigenous species, the illegal species trade, and water pollution from oil and mining operations.

Indonesia structures regions contains of regencies and sub districts within those. Though names and areas of control of these regional structures can vary over time in accord with changing political and other requirements, in 2005 Papua province consisted of 19 regencies. The regencies are: Timika, Yapen - Waropen, Biak - Numfor, Nabire, Puncak Jaya, Paniai, Jayawijaya, Merauke, Sarmi, Keerom, Waropen, Tolikara, Yahukimo, Bintang Mountain, Boven Digoel, Mappi, Asmat, Supiori, and Jayapura. In addition to these, Jayapura city also has the status of regency.

Papua province has governed by a directly elected governor (currently Barnabas Suebu) and a regional legislature, DPRP (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Papua). A unique government organization that only exists in Papua is the MRP (Majelis Rakyat Papua / Papuan People's Council) that was formed by the Indonesian Government in 2005 as a coalition of Papuan tribal chiefs, tasked with arbitration and speaking on behalf of Papuan tribal customs.

from : indonesia tourism



>> Wednesday, 11 February 2009

It is said that this little village came into at the time of the big deluge. It is situated on the slopes of Mt. Merapi, thought to be the cradle of the Minangkabau culture. This historical village still reflects the pure social structure of the Minangkabau conception of a village. A mosque, a council house and traditional houses with rice-barns form the nucleus of the village.


Ngalau Indah Caves

On the road from Bukittinggi to Payakumbuh these caves extend deep into the mountainside. The domains of thousands of bats, which we won't see but only, hear and sense as they fly close over our head. At the main entrance is a stone with an outline of an elephant visible on its face. The coolness and damp air is refreshing after the tropical heat outside. The path through these caves leads out to the top of the mountain from where it is quite panoramic. The drive up to the hillside itself is worth making because of the variety of the exquisite views along way.


Anai Valley

The surroundings of the Anai Valley are magnificent. The dense tropical forest all around is most impressive and is a nature reserve. Below runs the river Anai with its crystal clear water. Just on the side of the road is a 40 m high waterfall.


Mentawai Islands

Four islands make up the Mentawai cluster of the West Sumatra coast: Siberut, Sipora, Pagai Utara and Pagai Selatan. The people of these islands still live in comparative isolation, maintaining their age-old ways. Siberut is well known for its untouched forests; a part of a nature reserve inhabited by a number of animal species not found anywhere else, among them some rare monkey species. Beautiful coral reefs are found offshore.

from : indonesia-tourism



Payakumbuh is a picturesque village and market place. Fine basketry is available here. It is 35 km from Bukittinggi and a little further up is the most dramatic view on the Harau Valley. Harau canyon, near Payakumbuh is a deep canyon with beautiful waterfall and many butterflies. Near Lake Meninjau, Batang Palapuh a sanctuary, giant rafflesia flowers are sometime found.

Harau Valley
Along the road to Harau Valley is a lovely countryside. Steep granite walls shelter the fertile valley. A waterfall, 150 meters high falls into a basin. The Harau Valley is a nature and wildlife reserve, where tapir, siamangs, boars, wild goats and tigers still roam. The Harau Valley is 15 km from Payakumbuh.


Talang Lake

Talang Lake tourism object that located in Lembang Jaya districts is state ± 2 Km of the twin lakes (Diatas Lake and Dibawah Lake). The Lakes that located about 1.400 m of sea level is state between the cool and fresh hills with fruits and vegetables fields.

The nature lover who likes to hiking, the small lake with about 1,9 Ha width, that actually is one of the two of Mount Talang Purba crater, can reach by foot from Alahan Panjang or the twin lakes in one hour walking.


Singkarak Lake

Another ideal place for recreation and water sport is Singkarak Lake, 36 km from Bukittinggi. There are several motels and restaurants in the area. Singkarak Lake is located about 10 Km of Solok city and ± 35 Km from Kayu Aro. This lake is located in X Koto district and spread across Solok - Bukit Tinggi way. The lake is state between two regencies that is Solok regency and Tanah Datar regency with ± 129,70 km2 (± 1.129,29 Ha) width. Siangkarak Lake is the widest lake in West Sumatra and the second widest lake in Sumatra Island after Toba Lake.

The Lake that located in 362,5 m height from the sea level, has special species of fish that only live in this lake and the only in the world. Society around called as Bilih Fish (Mystacoleuseus Padangensis). Uniquely, this fish cannot live in other habitat, both in an aquarium and in a pool. The people around are often selling this fish and the visitors can enjoy the specific taste of this fish in the restaurants that located around the lake.

The Lake is equipped by some facilities, such as; hotels, motels, restaurants and also water sport facilities. Beside used as tourism objects and the economic source of society around, nowadays, this lake also used as the electric source of Sicincin.

from : indonesia-tourism


Maninjau Lake

A winding road with 44 sharp turns descends to Maninjau Lake, 36 km from Bukittinggi. A crater lake abounds with fish. There are also facilities for swimming and water skying. Matur village, overlooking lakes, arranges dance performances on request. To the west of Bukittinggi, Meninjau Lake is a Crater Lake renowned for its scenery and remote beauty. Visitors can rent canoes and motorboat at the lakeshore. To the east of Padangpanjang, Batusankar we can see the Splendidly restores palace, with its wonderful carved and painted facades. Balimbing village have many traditional Minang houses.

from : indonesia-tourism


Taman Hutan Raya Bung Hatta

It is a botanical garden covering 70,000 ha, with a rare collection of flora and fauna, situated on the way to Solok, about 300 - 1,000 m above sea level. The cool mountain air and panoramic views make this area a popular resort for both the young and old. Monkeys and other animals can be seen here, and are protected by Park Warden. The transportation to Taman Hutan Raya Bung Hatta is easy.

from : indonesia-tourism



The heart of the highlands, Bukittinggi is a two-hours drives through beautiful of Anai valley countryside and up to the Agam Plateau. A center of attraction is the town's clock tower, topped with a horn- shaped roof and referred to by the people as Jam Gadang. It overlooks the market square and the city's magnificent surroundings. Located 930 meters above sea level, Bukittinggi, formerly named Fort De Cock by the Dutch, has a cool climate and is surrounded by three volcanoes: Tandikat, Singgalang and Merapi. In the outskirts of Ngarai Sianok town, a canyon that separate Bukittinggi from Gadang City, 12 km away overland. Gadang City is renowned for its fine silver filigree and hand embroidery.
Also worth visit the Museum, which is a Rumah Gadang, a traditional extended family house built in the 19th century. There are dance performances at the museum's open stage every Sunday and on public holidays. Night dance performances are at Sliguri. It is also worth seeing the bullfights at Padang Lawas (6 km south of Bukittinggi) every Tuesday at 5.00 p.m. The delightful hill town, Bukittinggi nestling amid mountain greenery at 920 m above sea level is the Minangkabau capital (victorious buffalo) people. Bukit Tinggi means 'high hill' is stunningly located with views over fertile valleys to two volcanoes, Mt Merapi and Mt Singgalang. It is laid out in tiers down the steep hillside, each level connected to the next by precipitous stone steps and passageways.

The central landmark in Bukittinggi is the clock tower, with its stylized roof, standing in the town square. Geographically, the town's highest point is the Rumah Adat Baandjuang Museum. It is 140 years old classic rumah adat (clan house). It exhibit include wedding and dance costumes, head dressers, musical instruments, village crafts and historic weaponry. Panorama Park has spectacular views over the Sianok and Ngarai canyons.

from : indonesia-tourism


Siberut Island

Siberut Island (4.030 km sq) is the largest island of four islands in the Mentawaian archipelago. It is located about 155 kilometers of West Sumatra coast, across the Mentawaian strait. The Mentawaian islands belong administratively to Padang Pariaman Regency in West Sumatra Province. Siberut is divided into two districts: North and South Siberut with administrative centers at Muara Sikabaluan and Muara Siberut which also service as respectively market centers of Siberut.

We can meet the indigenous Mentawai people who live close to nature and still live in comparative isolation, maintaining their age-old ways. Its virgin rainforest, is inhabited by a number of animal species that cannot found anywhere else in the world, among them some rare monkey species, pleasant surprises wait to explore.

The island also offers continuous spectacular white sand beaches with shallow shelves jutting out to the sea and fringing coral reefs, excellent for snorkeling and leisure a luxury for most of the islanders. It can only be found a few coastal communities. We will be rewarded with stunning views and beautiful jungles abounding with unique plant and wildlife. The real highlight of our journey though, is the chance to meet the Siberut people, traditionally hunter, gatherer clans who are now coming into contact with the modern world. We will stay as guests of a local Kerei (medicine -man) in the Uma (traditional family house). Here, where conditions are basic, we will gain a unique insight into the lives of these people who maintain a belief system based on living in total harmony with nature.

Siberut island recently received international attention as a priority conservation area, for the unique culture of the ethnic Mentawaian and endemic of its biodiversity that need to be preserved. Although the island has plenty to offer, the potential has not been utilized fully especially for tourism. Most visitors to the island are only interested to see the culture at the indigenous tribes, such as the communal clan life in the traditional UMA house along the riverbanks.

Siberut National Park occupies the western half of the island, ranging from the northern coasts. At present the Integrated Biodiversity Conservation Project organized by PHPA, MOF, together with local government, local NGOs and other institutions, conducts the community based conservation program.

Topography and Climate
Siberut Island is characterized by a wet equatorial climate, with minimum and maximum temperatures of 22o C (71.6F) and 31o C (87.8F). The dry season is from February to June and the raining season is from July to January. Siberut is hilly with wide variations in elevation. Almost 60% is covered by tropical rain forest with many forest types such as: primary dipterocarp forest, primary mixed forest, swamps forest, Barrington forest and mangrove forest. Also, there are many rivers on the islands with a complex system of tributaries.

Community and Culture
Although Siberut is only a small island, the internal variations in language, culture, life styles, and in resources is rather substantial. There is no clear indication of when the first man arrived on Siberut, but anthropologists suggest that the bataks of North Sumatra first settled on the island several thousand years ago. In many ways, the Siberut people are among the most archaic people in Indonesia.

The Mentawaian are traditionally organized as matrilineal groups and the social life centered around the UMA, a communal long house which held a clan of people related through a common ancestor. The UMA vary in size between 30 to 80 members divided in nuclear family units, referred to as LALEP. Because of internal friction, the clan might split up and form a new group or a single family. The Mentawaians believe that all living objects, men, plants and animals are supposed to have spirits. The only specialist in the community is the medicine man, KEREI, responsible for communication with the spirits and the souls. In case of misfortune or illness, he is called in to restore harmony within the group or in relation with the spirits in the environment. An elaborate Taboo system based on religious beliefs with respect to the environment is a dominant characteristic of traditional life on Siberut.

Visit and stay in a Mentawaian village, trek to the jungle, learn about sago processing and bark cloth processing, and do other activities that will heighten our interest in and fascination with the natural philosophy of the Mentawaians.

Jungle Adventure
Very few visitors have explored the thickly forested island. Visiting a cave in central Siberut or waterfalls in the northern and southern parts of the island, are possible upon request with our guide. Be observant of our surroundings. We may have the chance to see and hear some endemic wild life. Siberut has four endemic primates that in local names are called Bilou (Hylobates klossi), Simakobu (Simias concolor), Bokoi (Macaca pagensis), and Joja (Presbytis potenziani). There are at least five species of squirrels and chipmunks and birds abound everywhere on the island. Padding a canoe trekking on muddy trails balancing on a shipper log, wading through a shallow river, brushing through a dense jungle - are all parts of an unforgettable jungle adventure on Siberut.

Coastal Discovery
Some good coral reefs can be found along the east, south to southeast part of Siberut and the surrounding small islands. Along the coast, continuous, white sand beaches, magnificent lagoons, enfacing mangroves and Coral Sea gardens all promise an exciting coastal adventure. Dolphins (Stenela longirostris) can be seen along the east coast. Other sea mammals such as digong (Dugong dugong) occasionally can be sighted near the sea grass by the mangrove along with three protected species of sea turtles.

A motorized boat can reach Masilok Beach on the southern part of Siberut within an hour. The island's resort, dominated by coconut grows, a lagoon with beautiful white sand beach, promising a very relaxing environment. The west coast breaks from Siberut Island, connected only by sea garden and mangrove that lie side-by-side making it a unique experience for diving. Accommodation and fresh clean water are available. If we plan to travel to nearby islands, it can be arranged with local owners. In the southwestern part of Siberut lies Sagulubek Beach, with calm and clear waters making it ideal for wind surfing. In the northern part, Sikabaluan beach offers an excellent dip in warm water to soothe the soul.

from : indonesia-tourism



Padang is the capital of West Sumatra. The town is quite nice and deserves a longer visit. The main sights in the city include Adityawarman Museum (close to the bus station) in a traditional Minangkabau house and featuring a good collection of antiques and the cultural center where we can see traditional dances on Sundays. It is an arts institute, which often stages Minang dance and pencak silat (martial arts) performance. The cultural center also offers free tours to the city.

Padang has several houses built in traditional architecture, including Padang Museum, which houses objects of cultural and historical interest. Its beach on Bungus bay with its white sands is good for swimming, boating or just watching the fishing boats going out to sea in the afternoon. Small boats can be hired from here to some small islands nearby: Sirandah, Sikoai, Pagang, Parsumpahan.

Padang is a prosperous city and major ports, which has retained the atmosphere of a market town. It is the third largest city of Indonesia with a population of more than 300,000. South of Padang, the massive Kerinci-Strait, Nature Reserve is Indonesia's largest national parks sprawls across a 345 sq km stretch of Jungle Mountain dominated by the volcanic core of Mount Kerinci, which is Sumatra's highest mountain.
Padang has some pretty beaches. The most popular ones are located south of Padang. The beaches are good for swimming, boating or just watching fishing boats going out in the afternoon. On Sundays, the beaches are usually crowded with families and youngsters enjoying their weekly day off. On other days, however, we will find the beaches deserted.
One of the most famous attractions in Padang is the renowned 'Nasi Padang'. Numerous restaurants serve it. One of the most famous is Simpang Raya, which has branches throughout West Sumatra and Riau, but also in other cities in Indonesia. When we sit down at a table, in no time the waiter will fill the whole table with plates, containing Kari, chicken and fish prepared in coconut curry, Rendang, meat in coconut gravy and Dendeng Balado, thin slices of dried and fried beef served with red chilies.

Since the 16th century Padang has been a trade centre. During the 16th and 17th century pepper was cultivated and traded with India, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. In 1663 the city came under the Dutch authority. The city came under British authority twice, the first time during the war between United Kingdom and the Netherlands (1781-1784) and again when the United Kingdom managed the area for the Netherlands during the Napoleonic wars (1795-1815). Afterwards the city was transferred back to the Netherlands. Up to approximately 1780 the most important trade product was gold, originating from the gold mines in the region. When the mines where exhausted, the emphasis turned to other products such as coffee, salts and textiles.

from : indonesia-tourism


West Sumatra

West Sumatra is one of the most beautiful areas of Indonesia. It is mountainous and divided by three valleys. There are lovely lakes and spectacular volcanoes. But Minangkabau land is very special and has the most friendly population group of Indonesia. They love to talk with visitors and will tell us about their unique society. If a visitor tries to understand the culture and Minang traditions he will soon feel himself a member of the clan. He will be invited as a guest to their homes - a unique way to become acquainted with real Indonesian life. Most of our hosts and hostesses are English teachers so language will not be much of a problem. They will show us the community and explain their customs.

The land of the Minangkabau, West Sumatra has a distinct culture, which distinguishes it from the rest of the island. A land of scenic beauty with blue green lakes and mountains, West Sumatra's Centre of culture and tourism is Bukittinggi in the highlands, north of the provincial capital of Padang. Most prominent in the landscape is the horn-shaped roofs of the houses nestled in the coconut groves. The name Minangkabau means triumphant buffalo. It leads a community and family life based on a matrilineal system, which clusters around mosques and the traditional houses. As it is the women who have the properties, the men are known for their wanderlust and entrepreneurship. Traveling is considered a mark of success and therefore many of them are found "merantau" (emigrated) to other parts of the country. This is proof that many Minang or Padang restaurants, serve very spicy food, found in all major towns in the nation. The people are hospitable and eloquent in a poetic style of speech and ceremonies. Festivals are colorful occasions.

West Sumatra has a coastline where the capital is situated. The hinterland is a range of high mountains, which dip into picturesque valleys and lakes. Amongst them are the remnants of the old Minangkabau kingdom of Pagaruyung, (the art centers for silver, hand-weaving, embroidery and woodcarving).

West Sumatra province has about 49,778 sq km width, which is located between 0o 54' North Latitude and 3o 30' South Latitude and between 98o 36' and 101o 53'. The boundaries of this regency is:
North Side: Riau Province
South Side: Indian Ocean
West Side: North Sumatra Province
East Side: Jambi and Bengkulu Province

Wide Area
West Sumatra Province has 42,297.30-km2 areas. The West Sumatran coastline faces the Indian Ocean and stretches 375 km from North Sumatra province in the northwest to Bengkulu in the southeast. West Sumatra lakes include: Maninjau (99.5 km2), Singkarak (130.1 km2), Diatas (31.5 km2), Dibawah (14.0 km2), Talang (5.0 km2). West Sumatra rivers include: Kuranji, Anai, Ombilin, Suliki, Arau. The mountains & volcanoes of West Sumatra are included: Marapi (2,891 m), Sago (2,271 m), Singgalang (2,877 m), Talakmau (2,912 m), Talang (2,572 m), Tandikat (2,438 m).

The temperature of West Sumatra province has ranges between 22o C and 32o C, and the rainfall is 2,289 mm per year.

West Sumatra Province is divided among 8 regencies and 6 municipals with Padang as its capital city.

The people of this province have a strong tradition leaving their hometown to make their way of life. Indeed, West Sumatra communities (Minang) are easily found in each province of Indonesia. In 1994, the total population reached 4,265,900 people with its density amounted to 101 people per Km2. In the 1990-1994 period, the people grew at a rate 1.6% per year or in the lower level that of the population national growth amounted to 2.144% per year.

from : indonesia-tourism


Labuhan Ceremony, Merapi Mountain

>> Monday, 9 February 2009

Before the Labuhan ceremony starts, there will be selamatan or kenduri (a ritual asking for successfulness and well-being) in the house of juru kunci (the keeper, person in charge of the area). Some food from the selamatan will be brought together with the Labuhan items to the certain place of performing the labuhan, by walking on foot. Another selamatan is performed again there. The labuhan place locates on kendhit (mid slope) on the southern part of Merapi Mountain. The items or offerings for the Labuhan are placed on a box, and the juru kunci will take the empty old box of last year’s Labuhan ceremony and replace it with the new box of this year’s.

Labuhan on Mount Merapi is dedicated to:
a. Empu Romo
b. Empu Ramadi
c. Gusti Panembahan Prabu Jagad (Sapu Jagad)
d. Krincing Wesi
e. Branjang Kawat
f. Sapu Angin
g. Mbok Ageng Lambang Sari
h. Mbok Nyai Gadhung Mlati
i. Kyai Megantoro

The items that are thrown (dilabuh):
a. Sinjang (a long piece of cloth) of Limar, 1 sheet
b. Sinjang Cangkring, 1 sheet
c. Sumekan (kemben, a cloth used to cover body from the breast) of Bangun Tulak, 1 sheet
d. Sumekan Gadhung, 1 sheet
e. Destar (kind of scarf to cover the head), 1 sheet
f. Penyingset (kind of belt, made of cloth) udaraga, 1 sheet
g. Penyingset jingga, 1 sheet
h. Kambil watangan, 1 sheet
i. Kampuh Poleng, 1 sheet
j. Ses (cigarettes) wangen, 1 contong
k. Selo (kemenyan), ratus (perfurmed powder) and konyoh (param, balm), 1 pouch
l. Yatra (money) tindih of Rp 8.33, put in 1 envelope
m. Pelana kuda (horse saddle), 1 set; this one is only in the year of dal (according to Javanese calendar)
After reciting a prayer lead by juru kunci, the Labuhan ceremony is over.


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