Sunday, March 29, 2009
astonishing luxury sailing and diving charters in exotic islands, Indonesia’s Eastern Islands are yours to discover in comfort and safety.
there are some package tours available aboard these traditional modernized boat.
Ombak Putih - white waves cruise
The Buginese schooner "Ombak Putih" (which means "White Wave") was custom designed for Western travellers and built in 1996/1997 by traditional craftsmen in Kalimantan. Each of the 12 twin cabins has its own shower and toilet and its own air-conditioner, and there is a crew of 15 to take care of the passengers' needs.
You can book 2-day to 10-day cruises on the "Ombak Putih" during all times of the year, and you have a wide choice of destinations. There are visits to the Lesser Sunda Islands east of Bali where you can swim and snorkel at pristine beaches or explore villages where women still weave the traditional ikat cloth.
The most popular cruise is the 7-day trip Bali-Komodo-Bali to visit the famous dragons who only here have survived from the Jurassic age.
from November to February, the "Ombak Putih" sails to South Sulawesi, a sun drenched island that once drew explorers and traders from all parts of the world. Historic Dutch colonial buildings and forts evoke the shadow of the past – equally impressive are today's vibrant local culture and magical beliefs that still play an important role in everyday life.
In the Lesser Sunda Island [sumbawa, sumba, flores, timor] as well as around Sulawesi you'll also find coral reefs that are amazing both in their colour and in the variety of life they sustain. these cruises offer new experiences and unforgettable impressions for every traveller to Indonesia.
phinisi sailboat silolana cruise
Conceptualized as a luxury passenger vessel, the Silolona was designed to be classic in line and style, and to reflect the stringent demands dictated by Lloyd's Register for wooden vessel construction, ensuing the highest levels of safety, stability and performance.
Luxury Cruises in the islands of East Indonesia, to visit the Komodo Dragons or Papua Tribes, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar and the Andaman Sea, are the perfect exclusive sailing holiday for families or private yacht charter honeymoon..
Silolona is a traditional wooden sailboat, a Phinisi, built by hand by the Sulawesi Konjo people in 2004. Since her first days of sailing in the waters of East Indonesia and East Malaysia and Thailand, she has surprised more than a few with her breathtaking décor, spacious decks, delightful Asian fusion cuisine and the smiles of its professional crew.
Although the schooner will blend right into the local scene, she has been specially designed and built to International Lloyds specifications with passenger comfort and safety in mind. All the romance of sailing the ancient spice routes with billowing sails and polished teak decks remains, while you are pampered by all the latest amenities and a gracious crew of 17.
Silolona includes five spacious cabin suites, a teak lounge and dining area surrounded by large windows, on deck dining area, and well equipped dive area.
Silolona offers luxury yacht charters for sailing in Indonesia from April to November every year, before going up to the West Coast of Malaysia and Thailand and up to Myanmar, from December to March for more luxury cruises.
Phinisi sea safari cruise
The Buginese schooner "Sea Safari" was custom designed for Western travellers and built in 1996/1997 by traditional craftsmen in Kalimantan. Each of the 12 double/twin cabins has its own shower and toilet and its own air-conditioner, and there is a crew of 15 to take care of the passengers' needs.
a wide choice of destinations. There are visits to the Lesser Sunda Islands east of Bali where you can swim and snorkel at pristine beaches or explore villages on remote islands.
At other times the "Sea Safari" sails through the exotic Moluccas, a sun drenched group of islands that once drew explorers and traders from all parts of the world in search of precious cargoes of nutmeg and cloves. Historic Dutch and Portuguese forts evoke the shadows of the past – equally impressive are today's vibrant local cultures and magical beliefs that still play an important role in everyday life.
In the Lesser Sunda Island as well as in the Moluccas you'll also find coral reefs that are amazing both in their colour and in the variety of life they sustain. Therefore, these cruises offer new experiences and unforgettable impressions for every traveller to Asia.
Raja laut - king of the sea cruise
Raja Laut is a classic gaff rigged schooner designed for private yacht charter. Over 100ft in length, Raja Laut can accommodate 12 guests in 6 spacious and beautifully appointed cabins with ensuite bathrooms, hot showers and air-conditioning. She has an interior dining area full of classic charm and a spacious saloon for relaxing. Above deck there are also areas designed for relaxation and dining whilst you enjoy the magnificent natural cruising grounds of Southeast Asia.
seven sea cruise
From Bali to Komodo, Wakatobi, Alor, the Banda Sea, Raja Ampat and the Papua Bird's Head, all the great destinations within reach from a single comfortable liveaboard. With its tropical climate, warm waters, staggering array of wildlife above and below the water and stunning scenery, this is the land explorers returned to time and again. Welcome aboard the luxurious 30m schooner for your own voyage of discovery.
bali hai cruise
Cruise the spectacular waters of Bali to beautiful Lembongan Island with Bali's leading marine tourism company, Bali Hai Cruises. Their comprehensive cruise programmes and Hai Tide Huts offer a variety of activities with world-class facilities. Operate in and around Bali only.
Muhamad Anwar, 32, bled to death on his way to hospital after being mauled by the reptiles at Loh Sriaya, in eastern Indonesia's Komodo National Park, the park's general manager Fransiskus Harum told CNN.
"The fisherman was inside the park when he went looking for sugar-apples. The area was forbidden for people to enter as there are a lot of wild dragons," Harum said.
Other fisherman took Anwar to a clinic on nearby Flores Island, east of Bali, but he was declared dead on arrival, he added.
Komodo dragons, the world's heaviest lizards, can grow up to 3 meters (10 feet) in length and have a toxic bite that they use to kill prey such as buffalo, returning to feast when the animal succumbs to the poison.
Despite their ungainly appearance, the carnivorous reptiles can run as fast as a dog in short bursts, jump up on their hind legs, and kill animals with a blow of their powerful tails.
Attacks on humans are rare, but Monday's incident is the latest in a series in which the monster lizards -- which have forked tongues and fearsome claws --have killed or injured people.
Last month a park ranger survived after a Komodo dragon climbed the ladder into his hut and savaged his hand and foot. In 2007 an eight-year-old boy died after being mauled.
Divers battled Komodo dragon before rescue
In June last year, a group of divers who were stranded on an island in the national park -- the dragons' only natural habitat -- had to fend off several attacks from the reptiles before they were rescued.
Park rangers also tell the cautionary tale of a Swiss tourist who vanished leaving nothing but a pair of spectacles and a camera after an encounter with the dragons several years ago.
An endangered species, Komodo are believed to number less than 4,000 in the wild. Access to their habitat is restricted, but tourists can get permits to see them in the wild within the National Park.
All visitors are accompanied by rangers, about 70 of whom are deployed across the park's 60,000 hectares of vegetation and 120,000 hectares of ocean.
Despite a threat of poachers, Komodo dragon numbers are believed to have stabilized in recent years, bolstered by successful breeding campaigns in captivity.
On Monday, a zoo in Surabaya on the Indonesian island of Java reported the arrival of 32 newborn Komodos after the babies all hatched in the past two weeks, the Jakarta Post reported.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Flores Island lies east of Bali and Lombok, approximately 1800 km east of
Jakarta, between Sumbawa and Timor islands
It is about 2 hours flight from Denpasar - Bali by Fokker 27 of Merpati Airlines.
Centuries earlier, Portuguese explores discovered it as the jewels in the neckless of Indonesia Islands and gave the island its lyrical name "Cabo da Flores" means "Cape of Flowers" after the beautiful coral formations of its underwater gardens that shimmer in her crystal sea.
Flores island is one of the island on East Nusa Tenggara province. The east Nusa Tenggara cover the area 49,880 sq km and it has a population of 3,500,000.
Flores becomes one of the biggest island on the territory of East Nusa Tenggara or NTT which comprises 566 islands, including many smaller islands which are not in-habitated and unnamed.
The three main islands are Flores, Sumba and Timor from which comes the term 'Flobamor', which has been familiar as one of the names of NTT.
The other permanently inhabitated islands are Lembata, Adonara, Solor, Palue, Nules, Komodo, Rinca, Sumba, Sabu, Raijua, Rote, Semau, Alor and Pantar.
Nusa Tenggara [means islands in the south east], the island chain stretching east of Bali towards Australia, Flores is a skewed cocktail of lush paddy fields, arid plains, rugged hills and dense jungle. Vast volcanoes, fourteen of which are active, make Flores one of the most geological unstable places on earth. Shifts in scenery are sudden and dramatic, as if the landscape is being distorted by a fairground hall of mirrors.
Flores is a volcanic island and has unique and spectacular attractions. Flores is a home of unique culture, nature beauties and more.
Flores promises an unforgettable vacation for those who want to relax on a palm fringed beach, explore the enchanting coral playgrounds. Venture inland to discover the island's rich cultural heritage, the magnificent of "Kelimutu" - the Three Color Lakes, see the Giant Lizards - Komodo Dragons on their natural habitat, and much more .....
Flores Island is a dazzling kaleidoscope of prehistoric dragons and wild horses colored lakes and actives volcanoes, traditional villages and megalithic cultures, coral reefs and untouched beaches
The Flores archipelago itself is endless in diversity. Starting in the west lies the KOMODO ISLAND, where the biggest lizard in the world (the Komodo Dragons), can be seen. The sea around these island also offers excellent coral reefs to explore.
East of Komodo island is the main island of Flores. Unique to this island is the world famous Mt. Kelimutu with its three colored lakes.
Flores also offer traditional villages with megalithic cultures set in an untamed volcanic landscape, sunny beaches, coral reefs and beautifully hand made textiles.
Wildlife includes species of lizards, monkeys and parrots. There is also abundant marine life with reef sharks, sperm whale dolphins and tropical fish.
East of the island lies the Outer Island. Rich in colonial history, but still strong in traditional ways of living and beliefs. In the sea around these island one can also see whales and enjoy game fishing.
people and megalith custom
Predominantly Catholic, they have retained several aspects of the Portuguese culture such as the Easter parade held annually at Larantuka on the eastern part of the island and the Royal Regalia of the former King of Sikka.
Portuguese traders and missionaries came to Flores in the 16th century, mainly to Larantuka and Sikka. Their influence is still discernible in Sikka's language and culture.
Flores came under Dutch influence c.1618. The Dutch gradually gained control of the island, although Portugal held the eastern end until 1851 and the natives were not completely subjugated until 1907.
Although 85% of Flores population are Roman Catholic. Christianity is fused with traditional beliefs.
Divided by mountain chains and volcanoes, the island populated by ethnic groups with their own traditions and languages.
Many people still follow their old ways, by living in traditional villages and placing food offerings on megalithic stones, to appease their ancestor.
In the mountains, around Bajawa, the Ngada people still follow the law laid down by their ancestors. The Ngadanese are divided into set, clans, that have head chiefs and elders who decide over matters such as land-rights, funerals, marriages and other ceremonies.
The area Lio, Mt. Kelimutu, has a legend about four brothers who migrated from Java and formed the first Lio clans. All clan that live and form the same area, elect lords and chiefs to decide over community matters. Each clan owns a clan house where the bones of important ancestors are kept, and rituals are held. The Lio village is a cluster of houses with large high steep roofs erected around sacred stones, and megalithic.
Women throughout Flores still hand-weave their textiles using natural dyes and handspun cotton, known as Ikat weaving. Flores textiles are rustic in color with abstract motifs of chickens, mountains and traditional houses. Some weaving areas are, Pagal around Ruteng, Wolotopo, Nggela in Ende region and Sikka nearby Maumere.
mount Kelimutu, three colored crater lakes
Mount Kelimutu has become a favourite destination, with its three crater lakes of different colours.
Set high among the mountains in the middle of Flores island is Mt. Kelimutu with its three volcanic craters, each with it's own colored lake. Most visitor make an early start to reach the summit and see the sunrise, which through its rays reveals the true colors of the lakes.
Local believe the colors are influenced by the kind of spirits that dwell in them.
Mt. Kelimutu, 1.690m fifty years ago, had three lakes, one lake was blue green, one fiery green and one red. Thirty years later, the colors had changed to blue, red brown and cafe au lait.
Now, Ata Bupu (Lake) is a dramatic dark-brown. Ata Polo are dark red-brown, and only Nuwa Muri remains aquamarine or turquoise as it apparently always was.
No one can explain the cause of such color changes except to suppose that different minerals are dissolved in the waters of each lake.
The countryside surrounding the lake, though no longer so "natural" as in the days of early Dutch visitors - some hundred years ago - is still mountainous and dramatic enough with panoramic views all side.
explore the unique Flores underwater world
Flores coral reefs, the treasure of coral reefs, rich with colorful sea gardens, giant clams, caves, and clear water that teems with more species of fish than can be found in all the rivers and lakes of Europe.
Occupying a unique position at the junction of the Australian and Asian submarine ridges, between the two distinct fauna regions marked by the Wallace Line, here is one of the world's most dynamic marine environments with nearly every species of coral and tropical fish represented.
There are three location, Labuan Bajo, Riung, and Maumere that offer facilities for snorkeling and certified divers. Labuan Bajo, the perfect location to explore untouched coral in Komodo National Park.
Maumere also offers the opportunity to explore great marine life, around 40 different dive sites in the Marine Garden of the Bay of Maumere. Dive into the crystal clear water with normal visibility of 60 - 150 yard and the right temperature of 26 - 28°Celcius, where you will see more species of fish than anywhere else and exciting marine life.
How to get to Flores
There are several daily / scheduled flights from Bali to some city in Flores such as Labuan Bajo and Maumere or Regular local ferry is also available departing from Benoa Harbour-Bali to Labuan Bajo. Alternatively, you can come through land transportation from island to other island. From Bali, you have to cross 3 straits on 2 island Lombok and Sumbawa island.
Major town or cities of Flores are Labuhan bajo in the west coast [also gateway to komodo island], bajawa and Ende in south central of the island, Maumere and Larantuka in the east.
The largest town is Maumere harbor.
The island is split into five regencies (local government districts); from west to east these are: Manggarai, Ngada, Ende, Sikka and Flores Timur.
sailing boat at labuhan bajo bay
From Flores visitors can also explore other islands of Nusa Tenggara such komodo island, Sumba Island, West Timor, Rote Island, Alor & Lembata Island, Savu Island, Rai Jua Island, Dana Island.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
The island of Lombok is located east of Bali island and can be easily accessed by air or by sea. Tourism is not quite as developed yet as Bali and it is that reason which makes Lombok the perfect getaway.
Escape to picturesque mountainside landscapes to white sand beaches of the Gili Islands. A place to relax and unwind from the daily life back home.
Lombok also has the third largest volcano in all of Indonesia, Mount Rinjani, which extends 3726 meters high with a crater lake called Segara Anak.
Mt. Rinjani is one of the largest mountains in Indonesia. On a clear day you can see break taking views from the summit. There is a crater lake, Segara Anak and a natural hot springs there. The trek usually takes about three days and it is advised to go with an experienced guide.
The main season here are wet season which starts from November to May and dry season start from May-October. The best time to come is in the month of May when the weather is just perfect with bright daylight and green scen
The local inhabitants of Lombok are called Sasaks. They speak Indonesian as well as their local Sasak language. The other main ethnicity’s include Balinese, Chinese, Arabian, and Javanese.
Lombok has three main districts with three capital cities: Mataram in the west, Praya in central and Selong in east Lombok. The majority of commerce is in the capital city of Mataram in west Lombok. The majority of the population on Lombok are Muslims. Every Friday around 12.30 noon, Muslims go to the mosques j
Visitor can explore the tiny island by using various kind of transportation such as: Chartered/Car Hire, Taxi, Bus, Bemo/Angkot (local’s public transportation) and Motorcycle.
There are plenty of activities you can do to complete your holiday. Sightseeing or touring organized by reputable local tour operators is the best option to discover what Lombok has to offer. Renting a car or motor cycle is also good alternative to get around, either self-driving, or with a driver so you can relax and enjoy the view. Car rental in Lombok is more expensive than Bali. Tip driver pocket money for meals if you stop for lunch or diner. If you are pleased with service, tip the driver or local guide at the end. If you collide with anything, or it collides with you, you are responsible for all costs.
Senggigi is the most developed area for tourists on Lombok. You can find a variety of restaurants, bars, discotheques, travel agents, photo processors, money changers, souvenir shop and a range of accommodations starting from budget guest house to 5 star hotels. Restaurants and small cafes line the colorful main beach road. Swimming off the beach is safe.
Most visitors to Lombok usually start their stay at Senggigi, Lombok's most famous resort area. Private villas, boutique hotels giving more options to the visitors of Lombok
The town of Senggigi spreads out along nearly 10 kilometers of coastal road. This road continues north to Bangsal, port for the Gili Islands. Along the way be in store for winding turns, steep hills, and a fantastic scenery of the coast.
Senggigi bay area, is much cooler than Bali. Senggigi is a four-kilometer strip of beach front, restaurants, and luxury resorts. Located about half an hour ride by car from the airport, it was first established and developed as a tourists area in 1986 by the Indonesian government.
The majority of the four- and five-star hotels in the island are located here. Its fame comes mostly from the breathtaking view of its bay facing the Lombok strait, which is also paralleled by the lush hills that blow a cool breeze to the whole Senggigi area.
The simple pleasure of sunshine, white sandy beaches in quieter settings, unique culture, and eco tours makes Lombok a perfect getaway for honeymooners, families or those who look for a total relaxing holiday
Surfing In Lombok
KUTA BEACH & SOUTH LOMBOK
The best-known place on the south coast is Lombok's Kuta Beach (Sometime spelt Kute Beach) a magnificent stretch of white sand and blue sea with rugged hills rising around it, famous for its surfing spots.
Kuta Beach Lombok attract visitors for its beautiful virgin beaches and surfing spots. Surfers from all over the world find Kuta Lombok as a surfer paradise. South coast of Lombok is famous for the high waves and Kuta Lombok is a good base for the surfers.
Many visitors come back year after year to surf the famous Kuta waves. Whether you are an experienced surfer or a beginner you will find the surf spot for you. Surf boards & boogie boards are available to rent or bring your own. You will need transport to the waves from Kuta, most guests choose to rent motorcycles which come with a special surf rack attached.
People usually head out to south Lombok for the best waves. Kuta Beach Lombok has white sandy beaches with good reef breaks.
You will need to take a boat to reach most spots. Another famous surfing spot is Bangko bangko, or known by most surfers as "Desert Point".
Like Bali, it has a beautiful surfing beach named Kuta. But unlike Kuta in Bali, which is densely populated with hotels ranging from the local inns to the five-star hotels, the Kuta beach in Lombok is remote and ideal for honeymooners. There is only one five-star hotel there where most up-market tourists stay.
Near the beach are several Sasak villages where the native Sasak people live. Their ancestors migrated to the island from the ancient Hindu Majapahit Kingdom in East Java at the end of the 14th century. Though the majority of the Sasak today are Moslems, anthropologists have noted that their language, songs, and dances show a strong link with the Hindu and Buddhist cultures that once dominated the Indonesian archipelago
Scuba Diving & Snorkeling
The Gili Islands is where everyone goes to dive and snorkel. Clear blue-green waters with abundant undersea life. There are many professional dive shops on the Gili’s with certified dive masters. The most popular ones are Blue Marlin, Dream Divers, Trawangan Dive, Dive Indonesia, Blue Coral, and Manta Dive. Trips are from beginners to advanced. A note of caution if snorkeling alone due to strong currents.
the sasak traditional costume
Lombok has great woven textiles like songkets and ikats that can be used as a sarong, wall hanging, table cloth and more. The design woven is special to each weaver and it is passed down through the generations before. There is a traditional hand weaving village in Puyung, central Lombok. You can even try on a traditional Sasak costume.
peaceful lombok countryside
Banyumulek (West Lombok), Penujak (Central Lombok) and Masbagik (East Lombok) are famous villages in Lombok for making pottery. Lombok pottery has gained popularity and is shipped throughout the world. There is a wide range of selections and it can custom made to your liking. We hope to develop the economy of the area by directly meet them with serious buyer from all over the world.
There are many traditional handicrafts you could take back as a souvenir i.e. wooden masks, baskets made out of ketak grass, wooden boxes designed with bits of shells, or other things made from bamboo or rattan.