Wonder Indonesia

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                                                                  Wonder Indonesia

                                                        Story by Chaton Chokpattara / Photos by Kris Surachatchaikul
If you have to name a place where wonders exist, “Indonesia” would be one of the undeniable answers. This archipelago of over 17,500
islands has the most amazing landscape on land and underwater, and it is riddled with history, culture, and unique tradition. While
preserving its history and tradition, Indonesia continues to move forward with the modern world and blend the old with the new to create
its unique charm.

The Land of Active Volcano
Located on the “Ring of Fire”, Indonesia is home to 147 volcanoes, including 41 on Java alone. Surprisingly, around half of them are active
volcanoes! It may sound too adventurous, but some volcanoes are opened for tourists all year round.

– Mount Bromo: As one of the most gigantic volcanoes on Java, Mount Bromo is known as the “Breathe of Java” since the volcano
continues to “breath” out smokes high up into the atmosphere all the time! During its calm state, Bromo is the number one most visited
volcano. The majestic volcano stands 2,329 meters tall above the Tenger Caldera, and despite being active, the weather is nice and cold all
year. To witness its magnificence, catch a bus from Surabaya to Probolingo and you could stay at Lava View Lodge for the spectacular
morning view of Mount Bromo.

– Ijen Crater: From Mount Bromo in central Java, we fly to the edge of east Java to visit Ijen Crater. The size of Ijen is beyond anyone’s
imagination, and you would definitely understand how extraordinary nature is and how insignificant we are once you reach the top of Ijen!
Hiking up takes around 3-4 hours to reach the mouth of the volcano with huge emerald green lake in the center. Ijen Crater is one of a few
volcanic sites on earth where you can witness Blue Flame firing up from underground with the temperature of 600 oC! Ijen is also an active
sulfur mine, so don’t be surprised to see local miners.

– Sulfur Waterfall: Nestled in Ijen Crater not far from the park office, Sulfur Waterfall may look like an ordinary waterfall, but what makes it
special is the yellowish green water and white foam. The water is high in sulfur generated from the volcano, making the landscape seem
like a landscape of another planet!

– Coffee Farms: The Dutch planted coffee trees around Ijen since the colonial era and coffee has since prospered wonderfully here on rich
volcanic soil. Some farms offer homestay service and it’s a great place to learn local lifestyle. Every day, hundreds of women work the
coffee field while the men go up the volcano for the precious sulfur.
 

The Unseen Banyuwangi
Located east of Java, Banyuwangi is just a few minutes ferry ride to the famous island of Bali. Most tourists overlook this fringe town, but if
you spent a few days here, you’ll realize why it is called the “Diamond Triangle” .


– Banyuwangi Ethno Carnival (BEC): If you think the carnival in Brazil is the best, try visit Banyuwangi in October for the Street Carnival of
your life! Forget Brazil, Banyuwangi Ethno Carnival boasts spectacular parades with tens of thousands of participants in their fancy
costumes and traditional dresses fill the street with colours and lively beats!

– Boom Beach: Boom Beach is one of a few rare black sand beaches in the world. This is a great spot for watching romantic sunrise, enjoy
water activities, ride a horse, stroll along the spectacular beach, and take memorable photos. Though it looks tough, the black sand
actually feels soft!
Kemiran Village: Situated in Glagah district, Kemiran Village is a large community of Osing or Using Tribe which separated itself from the
 ancient Majapahit Empire. Osing people are proud of their distinctive language, food, cloth, and culture, and it village welcomes endless
stream of visitors all year round.
 


Besides rare handicrafts and unique food, Kemiran Village is also known for its world-famous Coffee Luwak (or Kopi Luwak).History said
that, in 1830-1870, the Dutch colonized Java and began cultivating coffee. Native labours were not allowed to consume what they
produced. However, they saw civets eating coffee cherries and had indigested coffee beans in their feces. The workers collected these
beans, cleaned them, dried them before roasting them and turned them into a beautiful cup of coffee, even more aromatic and delicious
than normal coffee! Coffee Luwak is now a renowned product sold around the world at an unbelievable price.

Malang Green Land
Being the second largest city in eastern Java, Malang has a long history dated back thousands of years to the Singhasari Empire. The old
tradition is mixed with western tradition during Dutch colonization, making this resort town a unique destination to visit.

– Malang Kusuma Agro Resort: A sanctuary amidst the mountains, Malang Kusuma Agro Resort let you take a lungful of fresh air while
strolling along an organic apple grove which you can just pick and eat it right from the tree. The resort is surrounded by wonderful
landscape and flower gardens with bright pink rhododendron dominating the scene.


– Singhasari Temple: Located in Candirenggo Village, Singosari, Malang, Singhasari Temple is an important Hindi temple. Facing Mount
Arjuno, the temple was built in 13th century with volcanic rocks. At the gate are 2 statues of formidable giants protecting the temple throughout the centuries.


World Class Museum
You won’t believe it until you see it! Java is home to 9 world-class museums and zoos! These attractions are operated by Java Timur Park
Group and you will definitely be more than impressed!

– Museum Satwa: This cool stuffed animal museum is located in Batu. Find a wide range of stuffed animals, from insects, birds, to
mammal displayed like they are actually alive. The animals are from every corner of the world, so expect to see a polar bear, desert animals,
safari animals, rain forest faunas, mountain faunas, etc. The exhibition isn’t only limited to indoor, right outside the museum is Batu Secret
Zoo
 which may need another hour or two to explore.
 
– Museum Angkut: If you plan to visit Museum Angkut in Malang, make sure you give it at least half a day. Museum Angkut highlights cars
and motorbikes from different period around the world. Each unique car and bike is given its own private room decorated to fit its history
and origin. The Vespa room definitely transports you to a coastal town in Italy! Amazing!



– Bagong Adventure Museum Tubuh: Bagong Adventure Museum Tubuh is not just another museum in Batu because this museum is
getting more and more popular every day! The museum miniaturizes you and takes you through each part of a human body, from what’s
inside your skull, arms, stomach, and intestine, to what are blood cells, blood vessel, etc. The highlight of the trip is the display of real
human bodies. These bodies are displayed in various actions, and to take it another step, the skin is removed to show the muscles and
blood vessels. This is surely an educational, yet creepy, activity!


Bali the Land of God
Bali is the dream island destination for many. Although it is known as romantic getaway destination, the island is home to Hindi temples
which will transport you to the era of gods and dhevas.



– Ubud: Ubud is the center of Balinese art and culture. Surrounded by valleys, beautiful rice terraces, and ancient temples, the charming
city welcomes countless visitors every year. Shop for traditional dresses, handicrafts, and handmade textiles at Ubud Art Market, visit art
galleries around town, stroll through Ubud Monkey Forest, and enjoy traditional Kecak Dance while you taste delectable local dishes. The
Kecak Dance features hundreds of dancers performing the classic tale of Ramayana.

– Tanah Lot: Tanah Lot, or locally known as Pura Tanah Lot, is the most famous seaside Hindi temple in Bali. Pilgrims and locals visit the
temple every day to perform religious rituals while tourists are welcomed to experience the activities. During high tide, the temple sits on a
small rock island offshore, but as the tide lower, the path to the temple is revealed and you can walk there. Besides being a religious
destination, Tanah Lot is a famous spot for watching sunset and surf!

– Ayung River Rafting: Ayung River stretches 75 km through the mountains and forest of Bali. Being the longest river on the island, the river
provides intriguing spots for rafting. You won’t just get to row the boat because along the way are swimming spots, scenic spots, and
waterfalls that excitingly enhance the rafting experience.

Special Thanks : Indonesia Ministry of Tourism for supporting the wonderful media trip (for more info please visit www.indonesia.travel)

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