Located just east of Bali, Lombok in many ways lives up to or exceeds the promotional term, “an unspoiled Bali”. With beautiful beaches, enchanting waterfalls, the large, looming volcano of Mount Rinjani combined with relatively few tourists, Lombok is indeed the paradisiacal tropical island that many people still mistakenly imagine Bali to be now.
Lombok and Bali are separated by the Lombok Strait. Calling Lombok paradise does not mean it is all things for all people. With a few exceptions, the natural landscape and the traditional way of life have remained unchanged for hundreds of years. Virtually all small to medium size businesses are run by local families. Many of these businesses sell a wide variety of merchandise, where villagers can find food, hardware, and toys all in a single small store. While it is possible to find five-star hotels run by global corporations this is the exception not the rule.
From Bali (Denpasar) to Lombok (Mataram) is only a short distance by air (flight time 25 min) with several daily flights. Garuda Indonesia Airways serves the direct daily flight from Bali to Lombok (Lombok International Airport).
More information on Lombok, please browse at http://wikitravel.org/en/Lombok
Komodo Island (Komodo National Park)
Komodo National Park is located in the center of the Indonesian archipelago, between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores. Established in 1980, initially the main purpose of the Park was to conserve the unique Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) and its habitat. However, over the years, the goals for the Park have expanded to protecting its entire biodiversity, both terrestrial and marine. In 1986, the Park was declared a World Heritage Site and a Man and Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, both indications of the Park’s biological importance.
Komodo National Park includes three major islands: Komodo, Rinca and Padar, as well as numerous smaller islands creating a total surface area (marine and land) of 1817km (proposed extensions would bring the total surface area up to 2,321km2). As well as being home to the Komodo dragon, the Park provides refuge for many other notable terrestrial species such as the orange-footed scrub fowl, an endemic rat, and the Timor deer. Moreover, the Park includes one of the richest marine environments including coral reefs, mangroves, seagrass beds, seamounts, and semi-enclosed bays. These habitats harbor more than 1,000 species of fish, some 260 species of reef-building coral, and 70 species of sponges. Dugong, sharks, manta rays, at least 14 species of whales, dolphins, and sea turtles also make Komodo National Park their home.
While most visitors enter Komodo National Park (KNP) through the gateway cities of Labuan Bajo in the west of Flores or Bima in eastern Sumbawa, the departure point for your trip is actually Denpasar, Bali.
More information on KNP and how to get there, please visit the website; http://www.komodonationalpark.org/
Yogyakarta is often called the main gateway to the Central Java as where it is geographically located. It stretches from Mount Merapi to the Indian Ocean. Yogyakarta is commonly considered as the modern cultural of Central Java. Although some may prefer Solo as a good runner up, Yogyakarta remains the clear front-runner for traditional dance, Wayang (traditional puppetry) and music. Yogyakarta has more than just culture though. It is a very lively city and a shopper’s delight. The main road, Malioboro Street, is always crowded and famous for its night street food-culture and street vendors. Many tourist shops and cheap hotels are concentrated along this street or in the adjoining tourist area such Sosrowijayan Street.
You can visit the most beautiful and famous temples in the world, Borobudur and Prambanan Temples. Borobudur is the biggest Buddhist temple in the ninth century measuring 123 x 123 meters. It was completed centuries before Angkor Wat in Cambodia. This Buddhist temple has 1460 relief panels and 504 Buddha effigies in its complex. Millions of people are eager to visit this building as one of the World Wonder Heritages. It is not surprising since architecturally and functionally, as the place for Buddhists to say their prayer, Borobudur is attractive. This temple is located 40 kilometers from the city center of Jogjakarta. Borobudur was built by King Samaratungga, one of the kings of Old Mataram Kingdom, the descendant of Sailendra dynasty. Based on Kayumwungan inscription, an Indonesian named Hudaya Kandahjaya revealed that Borobudur was a place for praying that was completed to be built on May 26, 824, almost one hundred years from the time the construction was begun. The name of Borobudur, as some people say, means a mountain having terraces (budhara), while other says that Borobudur means monastery on the high place.
Prambanan Temple is the masterpiece of Hindu culture of the tenth century. The slim building soaring up to 47 meters makes its beautiful architecture incomparable. Prambanan temple is extraordinarily beautiful building constructed in the tenth century during the reigns of two kings namely Rakai Pikatan and Rakai Balitung. Soaring up to 47 meters (5 meters higher than Borobudur temple), the foundation of this temple has fulfilled the desire of the founder to show Hindu triumph in Java Island. This temple is located 17 kilometers from the city center of Jogjakarta, among an area that now functions as beautiful park.
Garuda Indonesia Airways (www.garuda-indonesia.com) and AirAsia (www.airasia.com) serve the direct flight from Bali to Jogjakarta (Adisucipto International Airport). The flight takes nearly one hour.
More information on Jogjakarta, please find at http://wikitravel.org/en/Yogyakarta
Jakarta, officially known as the Special Capital Territory of Jakarta, (Indonesia: Daerah Khusus Ibu Kota Jakarta), is the capital and largest city of Indonesia. Located on the northwest coast of Java, Jakarta is the country’s economic, cultural and political centre, and with a population of 10,187,595 as of November 2011, it is the most populous city in Indonesia and in Southeast Asia, and is the twelfth-largest city in the world. The official metropolitan area, known as Jabodetabekjur, is the second largest in the world, yet the city’s suburbs still continue beyond it. Jakarta is listed as a global in the 2008 Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network (GaWC) research and has an area of 661 square kilometres (255 sq mi). Based on Brooking Institute survey about growth, in 2011 Jakarta ranked 17th among the world’s 200 largest cities, a significant jumps from 2007 when Jakarta ranked 171st. Jakarta has seen more rapid growth than Kuala Lumpur, Beijing and Bangkok.
Jakarta is full of destinations worth visiting. Many of the most popular ones are grouped together on a mini-bus tours run by local tour operators and bookable through the guest relations officers at nearly all Jakarta hotels. However, visitors can easily take self-guided tours by taxi and, in the process, probably pass through some interesting neighborhoods along the way. Blue Bird Taxi Group is highly recommended. Places of interest include the National Monument (Monas), Indonesia in Miniature Park (Taman Mini Indonesia Indah), Old Town (Kota Tua), Jalan Surabaya Flea Market, Sunda Kelapa Harbour, Ancol Dreamland, Istiqlal Mosque (the largest mosque in Southeast Asia), Portuguese Church, Cathedral Church, National Museum, Puppet Museum, Jakarta History Museum (Fatahillah Museum), Fine Arts & Ceramics Museum, Textile Museum, Bank Indonesia Museum, the Thousand Islands (Pulau Seribu), and Shopping Hints.
All big local airlines and some international airlines serve the direct flight from Bali to Jakarta. The flight takes one hour and fifty minutes. In addition, many local airlines serve the direct flight from Jogjakarta to Jakarta. The flight takes nearly one hour. It is recommended to book Garuda Indonesia Airways (www.garuda-indonesia.com) and AirAsia (www.airasia.com).
More information on Jakarta, please find at http://wikitravel.org/en/Jakarta
Bandung sits some 180 km / 112 miles to the south-east of Jakarta and can be reached in just under three hours, along the Cipularang toll road, meaning that a day trip here is possible if you are prepared for an early start. Ask the hotel staff about the travel agent. Another alternative, you can get ‘Argo Parahyangan’ train from Jakarta to Bandung. The train departs six times a day. Take a Blue Bird Taxi from your hotel to Gambir Station. Currently the third-biggest city in Indonesia, Bandung serves as the capital of West Java. Known in colonial times as the Paris of Java because of its European ambiance and sophistication, Bandung shares with Miami a fine legacy of Tropical Deco architecture dating from the 1920’s. Situated on a plateau in the beautiful Parahyangan mountains, Bandung’s pleasant climate and lush surroundings have offered an escape from the heat of the lowlands since the mid 19th century when it was the heart of the region’s most prosperous plantation area. Host to the historic Asia Africa conference in 1955, Bandung is now a center of higher education and commerce which despite its modern amenities still retains much of its colonial era charm. Bandung offers a large amount of Dutch Colonial architecture as well as a beautiful botanic garden, golf courses, and a wide variety of food offerings.
AirAsia serves the direct flight from Bali to Bandung (Husein Sastranegara International Airport). The flight takes one hour and forty five minutes. To book the airline, please visit the website at www.airasia.com
More information on Bandung, please see at http://wikitravel.org/en/Bandung
There are many good reasons for day trippers to pay a visit to Bogor (from Jakarta), with the city’s exceptional Botanical Garden (Kebun Raya Bogor) coming highly recommended, where both the Orchid Garden (Rumah Anggrek) and the Presidential Palace (Istana Bogor) await. On a sunny day, the walking trails next to the canals and rivers become especially appealing, while golfers will enjoy playing a round at either the Klub Golf Bogor Raya, the Rainbow Hill or the Riverside Golf Club. Get a Blue Bird Taxi or Express Taxi to visit Bogor. The passenger is responsible for toll road charges.
More information on Bogor, please browse at http://wikitravel.org/en/Bogor
Positioned in Southeast Asia, Indonesia is an archipelago which comprises of 17,000 islands between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. While Java is one of them, the other prominent islands are Sumatra, Bali, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, the Nusa Tenggara islands, the Moluccas Islands, and Irian Jaya. Surrounded by Malaysia in the north, Papua New Guinea in the east, Indonesia has peculiar geographical features which have two kinds of flora and fauna across Wallace’s line – one Asian and another Australian. This country extends across nearly 1 million square kilometers but the islands on the whole, occupy more than 5,000 kilometers. You will be surprised to learn that nearly one-fourth of Indonesia consists of 400 volcanoes, which are still active.