By Dian Hasan | September 29, 2009
As the world’s largest archipelago, Indonesia is home to over 17,508 islands (the actual count varies between low and high tides!), that stretches an eighth of world’s mid-section, the diversity of her landscape is simply staggering.
Lush tropical rainforest teeming with wildlife, many of which are among the world’s most critically endangered species, volcanic peaks that are never quite dormant, and a choice of tropical isles surrounded by sandy beaches and waters of all imaginable hues. Sailing is therefore a natural attraction, and most activities take those with a zest for adventure eastward towards Lesser Sunda Islands, to the Land of the Komodo Dragons! Komodo Island forms part of Indonesia’s protected Komodo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and only known habitat of the Komodo giant monitor lizards.
Here’s a brief look at look at the beauty of this far corner of the world from aboard the indomitable traditional double-masted Phinisi Schooner, which to this day is still handcrafted by the Bugis people of South Sulawesi (Celebes) . Another day in Paradise, no doubt!
Dreamland is a beach located in Bali’s Bukit Peninsula, in Indonesia. An excellent beach for surfing, sunsets and solitude. Dreamland started life when surfers discovered it enroute to the other nearby surfing spot of Uluwatu and Padang Padang. Now that the “secret is out”, Bali-based expatriates and visitors alike have converged upon it.
The white sandy beach and the world-famous surf-break for long rides, coupled with its remote setting, makes for the perfect escape from all the worldly cares.
By Dian Hasan | September 23, 2009
As a travel destination, Indonesia clearly has earned the bragging rights to the world’s most diverse. The variety is, quite simply, staggering! And can be found nowhere else on the planet. The closest would probably be Brazil, with its Amazon, the world’s largest rainforest. While Indonesia plays second fiddle, replete with all its contents. Flora, Fauna… and indigenous tribes that still dwell in the hinterlands. Some of whom are still carrying on a sustainable life based on whatever the earth bestows on them. In the past, we’d simply lump everything into one category “primitive”, but with the world’s rising fascination with eco-consciousness and sustainability, we are quickly realizing that we have plenty to learn from these groups of people that have survived with their way of life for… eternity! Or so it seems. Here’s a look at the Kombai people of Indonesia’s West Papua with their unique tree houses dwellings.
By Dian Hasan | September 21, 2009
Move over Amazon & Costa Rica, Indonesia is the new adventure travel destination. Rugged and unspoiled, awaiting the world’s adrenaline junkies seeking Extreme Adventure! Hurry, before the cat’s out of the bag!
Lake Toba, South East Asia's biggest lake and the world's largest crater lake, makes for a great kayaking adventure. Photo: Halim
It’s a mixed blessing for Indonesia that’s attempting seriously to develop itself into a formidable travel destination in the region, as tourism is a long-term development that requires deep long-term strategy of attaining the right balance between Profit, People, and Planet. Ensuring enough basic infrastructure investment and deep-pocket tourism promotional dollars spurned by the Government, would attract private investors to develop the facilities, while benefiting the local economy and not endangering the environment that tourism touches. For now though, let Indonesia shine through her greatest gift to the modern traveler: the planet’s ultimate adventure destination. And that may not be an overstatement. We’ll look at how others – mostly adventure travelers – are enjoying Indonesia, her intoxicating natural beauty, her oft impenetrable wilderness, and the indelible culture of her warm-hearted people. Here’s a look at Extreme Kayaking in the world’s biggest crater lake on Lake Toba, North Sumatra, as appeared in Playak.
Nusa Penida is a diver’s playground with numerous sites worthy of exploring and home to the rare Mola-Mola and Manta Rays.
I shudder at the thought of hypothermia.
At a chilly 19° Celsius and 30 metres down, my three-millimetre wetsuit is no match for the brutal thermocline: the wild temperature variations as steep as 8° Celsius in the space of mere metres. I rub my arms vigorously in an attempt to maintain my body temperature. We are on a hunt. Photo hunt, that is.
“When I dive, I feel alive. Everything else is just a surface interval”, said Dr. Phil Nuytten, a renowned Canadian ocean explorer. Continue reading