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TOURISM DESTINATIONS IN INDONESIA

Jakarta, The Colorful Capital City

As a cosmopolitan city, Jakarta is always dynamic day and night. From the skyscraper buildings, to Old Dutch style architects are one of the interesting objects. Every year, Jakarta always has new things to build, starting from entertainment places, buildings, restaurants, to art and cultural events. Jakarta is divided into five areas: North Jakarta, South Jakarta, West Jakarta, East Jakarta and Central Jakarta. Gold Artifacts, Jakarta History and Traditional Puppets The Monumen Nasional or Monas is at the heart of Jakarta, located in the center of Merdeka Square. This monument is a majestic marble obelisk topped with a flame covered in gold.

The National Museum is one of the finest museums in South East Asia. There are wide range collections from prehistoric, ethnographic and archeological artifacts. You can see an outstanding collection of South East Asian Ceramics and Hindu Javanese Art.
Drive further North from Jakarta and meet the Taman Fatahillah. This place was named after the Prince who defeated the Portuguese in the 16th Century. Near this square, you can visit three most prominent museums in Jakarta: The Jakarta History Museum, The Wayang (Puppet) Museum and The Fine Art and Ceramic Museum.

If you do not have time to take a long vacantion throughout the archipelago, you can visit Taman Mini Indonesia Indah. With the area of 160 hectare, the beauty and the diversity of Indonesia culture will greet you. Besides showcasing the miniature of this country, they also have cultural performances, usually on Sunday.Playing with Marine AnimalsGoing North means dropping into Taman Impian Jaya Ancol. Children will love this place because they can enjoy the recreational park with lots of amusement rides at Dunia Fantasi (Fantasy World). Water slides, bumper cars, rollercoasters and other surprising rides will boost your adrenaline.

Inside the Ancol area, do not forget to go to Sea World. Through a big tunnel, you can journey into a tremendous aquarium tank with more than hundred marine species. Besides the huge aquarium, there are smaller tanks with distinctive species such as crocodiles, sea turtles, sea snakes, little ray fish and much more. Children can touch several species that are not harmful.
In the morning, go to the fish market auction at Sunda Kelapa. The location is far North Jakarta. Based on the history, this port was a trading place between the Portuguese and the Hindu Pajajaran Kingdom in the early 16th century.

For more fresh air and cooler weather just go to Puncak. It takes about two hours by car and you will enjoy the tea plantations at the high mountains. On the way to Puncak, you can stop by at the Taman Safari, a drive through nature park that allows visitor t mingle with everything from the Sumatran tigers, docile llamas, anoas, giraffes, bears from America, Europe and Asia.Festive Art & Culture Events and Hundreds Traditional-International CuisinesOn the past few years, more cafes and restaurants have sprung up and around the city. Along Kemang area you will meet lots of traditional and international cafes and restaurants, with cozy atmosphere. Besides cafes and restaurants, there are galleries, gift shops and reproductions of Indonesian antique furnitures. At the Ciputat area (South Jakarta) and Surabaya road (Central Jakarta) also sell repro antique furniture, interior decorations, old textiles, record players and other interesting antique Indonesian handicrafts from wood, brass, or silver.

At the Geding Kesenian Jakarta and Taman Ismail Marzuki (both at Central Jakarta) you could see art performances such as dance, music, drama, performed by local or international artist. Every year, Jakarta also held the Jakarta International Film Festivals; which screens independent feature filmes and documentaries throughout the world.Shop Till You DropJakarta is the city of fashion too! Every year, local designers will show their work of art to fashion lovers. Their label presence in big shopping malls is side by side with international fashion brands such as Prada, Louis Vuitton, Gucii, Giorgio Armani, Christian Dior. Need more cheap goods and free to bargain? No other place is as cheap and interesting as Manggua Dua, a huge mall at central Jakarta; Which sell electronic equipments, carpets, apparels, computers and many more!
Last but not least, do not forget to bring home Indonesian Handicrafts. From batiks, ikats, rattans, silverwares, jewelries, to interior decorations will amaze you at Sarinah or Pasaraya Grande.

The Heart and Soul of Java
Java is divided into four provinces: West Java, Banten (new province since 2001), Central Java and East Java. Yogyakarta is located in the southern part of Central Java and has a special privilege to be a special region.

An Ecology Journey

You can start the ecological travels from Bogor (60 km from Jakarta). Visit the Kebun Raya Bogor. Hundred tropical plantation species had been planted in this huge botanical garden.
If you like more on the rough side and trekking, try Ujung Kulon (South-western of West Java). This virgin tropical rainforest is he home o the one-horned rhinoceros. Many species co-exist such as wild ox, deer, wild boar, panthers, crocodiles, snakes and birds. Wild water rafting at Citarik river is also one of the best activities to drive your adrenaline, or rock climbing at Citatah mountain.
Banten, as the new province also is an interesting place. The Badui community is a reclusive group of some 3,000 people, living in the remote Kendeng mountain. The term of Badui is used by the outsiders, but for the people itself they called as Urang Kenekes. This is a unique society and refuse modernization.
Parang Tritis beach is located south of Yogyakara faces the Indian Ocean and it is famous with he mythology of Nyai Roro Kudul, the goddess of The South Seas. Every year, The Sultan f Yogyakarta would make a special offering to her in he Labuahan ceremony.
Move to East Java, and you can reach Mount Bromo. The ascend to the rim will take about 50 steps. he vast expanse of sand is formerly a caldera. Every year, based on Tenggerese calendar year, the local people will have a Kasada ceremony. They will surround the holy volcano and bring their humble offering the God of Bromo. This ceremony will be held on the 14th of Kasada.

Exciting Cultural Performance and Delicate Crafts

From Surabaya, you can cross to Madura island by ferry. In this island, you can see the Karapan Sapi, a colorful bull races held every year after harvest season. Only bulls with specific standard in color, weight and condition may enter in the competition. They are judged both by their appearance and their speed. The grand finale will be held on August at Pamekasan.
Take a trip to Ponorogo (East Jaa) and see the Festival of Reog Ponorogo. Reog is a combination of traditional dance and drama. One person in a trance wears an unusual big mask with the height about one and half meters. With live traditional music, they will perform their dance. In this performance, a little boy rides a tiger toy and dance together with other dancers with Reog itself.
Puppet performance is also interesting to watch. In Central Java, the puppet is made from leather called Wayang Kulit with the Dalang as the puppet master, you will see the fight, the wisdom or the jokes in Javanese language. You see the shadow of the puppet through a big screen with a torch to give a mysticism effect. The story is usually taken from the epic of Ramayana or Mahabarata.
West Java have its own puppet performance called Wayang Golek. This wayang puppet made from wood with colorful clothes. Through a stick attached in the puppet’s hands, the puppet master will play the puppet attractively and humorous. The puppet can do martial arts, smoking a cigarette and other tricks.
Once again, never leave Indonesia without any handicrafts in your hands. The best silverware will be in Kotagede near Yogyakarta. Metal crafts could be found at Cisaat, a small village near Sukabumi (West Java). In Tasikmalaya, especially in Rajahpolah is the center of rattan handicrafts. From fashionable bags, purses, hats to home furnishing and cute souvenirs. Do not forget the batik cloth. Every single place like Yogyakarta, Solo, Pekalongan or Pamekasan has its own style.

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