Daily Archives: July 10, 2010

Preshistoric petroglyph rock paintings in Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia

By Dian Hasan | July 10, 2010

It is no secret that Indonesia holds many wonders that attract visitors from far and wide. An ancient land with stunning natural beauty, the world’s largest archipelago has witnessed many a travelers traipsing through, while migrating to other places. Many of whom, of course, stayed on to form the multiethnic mozaic that makes up Indonesia today.

Among those earlier visitors who “stopped by” Indonesia must have included ancient tribes – most probably Aborigines from Australia – who ventured as far as Papua and left their markings in the form of rock paintings (or “Petroglyphs“) in and around Misool Island in Raja Ampat.

Local guide, Merdeka, showing the rock painting site. Photo: Marit Miners

This is the known lore of people around Raja Ampat, and much is to be learned still, with further scientific and archeological studies, on how these well-preserved rock paintings ended up there. They are mostly done in ochre depicting various human figures, fish, flowers and plants, tools and vessels, and occasional hand. It is estimated that they are anywhere between 3,000 to 5,000 years old.

And adds yet another fascinating fact about Indonesia’s offering to the world. And while Raja Ampat is by no means the only area in Indonesia with ancient rock artwork, one could argue that Raja Ampat is Indonesia’s answer to France’s famed Lascaux Paleolithic cave paintings. These are of course much older, estimated at around 17,000 years old.

The following is a first-person account on the Misool petroglyphs, from Marit Miners, co-founder of Misool Eco Resort, arguably Indonesia’s most chic and eco-sensitive dive resort. Swedish-born Marit is the better-half of Brit Andrew Miners, and together the couple created Misool Eco Resort. Here’s Marit’s excerpt from her blog post:

Some of the amazing paintings are as clear as the day they were painted. Makes you think of graffiti adorning major urban areas! All photos: Marit Miners

Marit Miners entering the cave in a boat. The remote location, accessible only by boat may explain the well preserved condition of the ancient rock paintings. Photos: Underwater Austrasia (L), Marit Miners (R)

One of the rock paintings that appears to resemble a ball bearing of sort. Photo: Marit Miners Continue reading

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Green & Chic | Lagació Mountain Residence, Dolomites, Italy

Lagació spa 1-2

In the breathtaking Dolomites, stay at new eco-chic hotel Lagació Mountain Residence and you’ll be traveling greener.

Owners and hosts Margareth and Pio Canins decided to erect a sustainable and ultra-low-energy building that is certified standard A CasaClima.  Their philosophy behind it “focuses on people and their desire to live in an eco-friendly and healthy environment.”

The 24 luxury eco-apartments in San Cassiano blend “age-old culture and modernity”.  They are characterized by low energy consumption, compact design and a high level of thermal insulation.

Lagació, apartment 1-2

Inspired by nature, the residence was created with natural materials such as new and reused local timber, loam, wooden and stone floors, and choice loden and linen fabrics.

Each apartment features cooking facilities and can accommodate from 2 to 6 people on a B&B basis.  Continental breakfast changes daily, offering breads, herbal teas and jams made by the owner.  Guests may also pre-order a shopping crate and organic box with South Tyrolean specialties, and local organic food, fruit and vegetables.  The organic box can be delivered to guests’ doorsteps three times a week and fresh bread and rolls every day.

Lagació, reception_bar-2

LA PALSA (which means relaxation) is the mountain residence’s wellness area (shown above).  It  features a Finnish sauna, a steam bath, a low-temperature sauna, crushed-ice well and rest area.  Guests can enjoy a range of wellness treatments here  including  softpack baths, beauty treatments, massages and bodywork.

Other services include its mountain bike area with its bike rentals, equipment, Garmin navigation devices, route maps to lunch boxes.

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Green & Chic | Misool Eco Resort, Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia

By Dian Hasan | July 9, 2010

Many travelers who visit Raja Ampat come back with a common story: “If paradise existed on earth it must be Raja Ampat”! Such is the breathtaking beauty of nature that astounds any one who ventures the enormous distance to get there.

It is said that none other then Jacques Cousteau was responsible for discovering Raja Ampat decades ago, identifying as part of The Coral Triangle.

The Coral Triangle is a geographical term referring to the tropical marine waters of Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste that contain at least 500 species of reef-building corals in each ecoregion. This region encompasses portions of two biogeographic regions: the Indonesian-Philippines Region, and the Far Southwestern Pacific Region. The Coral Triangle is considered to be the global epicenter of marine biodiversity, [3] and a global priority for conservation. For this reason, WWF considers the region as a top priority for marine conservation, and the organization is addressing the threats it faces through its Coral Triangle Program, launched in 2007. ~ wikipedia

Located on a private island in Raja Ampat, Misool Eco Resort is fringed by powder-white beaches and protected by stunningly clear lagoons and abundant reefs. This truly eco-friendly resort has only nine deluxe water cottages and a brand-new beautiful villa, all built with indigenous materials by local artisans. Every single piece of construction wood and all the furniture was milled or carved from salvaged driftwood and free-fallen timbers, thus creating a living art gallery for all visitors and staff. While eco-friendly, the accommodations are luxurious with natural stone flooring, ceiling fans, air-conditioning (the walls are insulated and plastered to keep the cool in), full bathrooms, large verandas with inviting hammocks, and lovely views over the ocean even from your bed.

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Green & Chic | Tambo del Inka, Sacred Valley, Urubamba, Peru

Tambo del Inka, the first luxury hotel to break ground in Peru’s Sacred Valley of the Incas (and Luxury Collection’s second property in Peru), opened its doors today. Its location, smack in between the historic ruins of Machu Picchu and the modern city of Cusco, seems to be echoed in the hotel’s ethos—its 128 floor-to-ceiling-windowed rooms are decorated in keeping with ancient Peruvian tradition, while its bright, contemporary architecture (from Miami-based firm Arquitectonica) leaves no modern luxury to be desired.

We love the property’s authentic details, and trust us, you will not be at a loss for things to do here—you can hit the spa (directly accessible from all guest rooms) for indigenous treatments, sample Novo Andina locavore cuisine at in-house Hawa restaurant, or take a train from the hotel’s private station up to the hilltop Macchu Picchu.

Surrounded by an abundance of natural—the Andes and Vilcanota mountains, the Urubamba river, Lake Piuray—and historical beauty, not to mention easy access to the country’s capital city to alleviate travel-day hassle, this super-new, super-gorgeous hotel is high on our list of new-comers. Special introductory rates start at $387 through September 2010.

Source: Travel & Leisure


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