Bali Named The Best Island… Again!

Travel + Leisure Magazine has concluded its annual survey of the discerning travelers who comprise its readership asking them to name their favorite cities, islands, hotels, resorts, airlines, cruise ships and even rental car agencies.

Bali: World’s Best Island

For many years, Bali consistently ranked as the world’s best island in the prestigious poll, slipping momentarily in the 2008 polling to the number two slot. However, the 2009 Travel + Leisure survey has returned Bali to the coveted #1 spot, followed by Galapagos, which displaced Bali in the 2008 rankings.


The Phinisi In Luxury

Meet Silolona, a traditional wooden sailboat, a Phinisi, built by hands of the Sulawesi Konjo people in 2004. Since her first days of sailing in the waters of East Indonesia, 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. A traditional wooden schooner with such charm and luxurious comfort has not been seen in South East Asia and Silolona, while promoting Indonesian traditions and culture, enchants the most seasoned yacht travelers.

Silolona is truly an experience.

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.

As you will see on her schedule, the luxury cruises of Silolona are planned by blocks of 5, 7, or 9 days although it is possible to either take several blocks or the number of days you desire. By deciding when you want to enjoy a private cruise with Silolona, you will have the choice to have a quiet beach and luxury diving charter in the Andaman Sea and in Komodo National Park or one of the most memorable cultural trips you can dream of by visiting the tribes of Irian Jaya (Papua), attending the Asmat Art Auction for their tribal art and visiting the remote and rich Spice Islands and discover the trade posts and beautiful islands visited during the height of the Spice Trade.

For beach and sailing, cultural trips or astonishing luxury diving charters in Komodo National Park or Raja Ampat, Indonesia’s eastern islands are yours to discover in comfort and safety. You have the dream of discoveries far beyond the beaten paths of tourism, visiting the tribes of Papua and exploring their culture but on board a luxury yacht charter? Our expert guides with years of personal contact with the tribes can plan the Private Journey, holiday of a lifetime. Patti Seery, well known in the Private Expeditions world, has brought many groups over the years to visit the Dani tribes of Papua and experience their ceremonies and traditional art.

Whether you wish to walk the treks of the Orangutan’s reserve in Borneo to see them in their own habitat and discover the work of the Orangutan Rehabilitation Center (Tanjung Putih Park, Kalimantan) or visit the Mergui Archipelago’s pristine beaches and the Myanmar Coast, ours are custom made tours, off the beaten track, and personalized to your dreams fulfillment.

Enter this site to find out more

A New Face Of Lombok Island Soon

A $600 million resort project will soon take place on the beachfront of Kuta Beach and Tanjung A’an, Lombok Island. This project will be jointly developed by Dubai-based Emaar Group and government of Indonesia. This follows the completion of gleaming Lombok International Airport (LIA) which will soon be functioning. A direct new road will also be built from LIA to the planned resort.

Emaar has earlier said that due to global economic downturn, it’d postpone the project, but it seems the project will soon take-off. The resort is said to be ”specially-designed” for tourist from the Middle East, and there’ll be direct flights from the Middle East cities to Lombok.

Pics taken from Visit Indonesia 2009 official website.

What Global Recession? Bali Arrivals Are Growing!

Bali by the Numbers: Arrival Numbers Grow as Australia Displaces Japan as Bali’s Top Source Market for Foreign Visitors.

Foreign tourist arrival to Bali in April 2009 totaled 179,879 representing the best April on record for Bali tourism and 21.94% improvement over April 2008 (147,515).

View cumulatively, the first four months of 2009 saw 645,061 foreign tourists come to Bali, an increase of 8.15% when compared to the same period last year (596,469).

As predicted by, April 2009 also saw the historical unseating of Japan by Australia from its top-ranking as the largest source market for Bali. Through the end of the first four months of 2009 Australian arrivals totaled 102,179 – increasing 30.08% as compared to the same period in 2008. Meanwhile, reflecting their troubled national economy, Japanese visitors decreased 7.45% for the first 4 months of 2009.

Similarly, South Korea, which is traditionally Bali #3 source market, declined to a #5 ranking as that nation’s economy faltered and arrivals dipped 5.62% over the first four months of 2009. Taiwan which has long been Bali’s #4 market, is now relegated to the #7 position.

The Winners
Markets clocking improvements for the period January-April were: Australia (+30.08%), People’s Republic of China (+54.03), Malaysia (+37.70%). Russia (+4.75%), The Netherlands (+0.42%) and France (+25.32%).

The Losers
The markets in decline for Bali over the first four months of 2009 were; Japan (-7.45%), Taiwan (-23.24%), South Korea (-5.62%), U.S.A. (-1.80%), Germany (-11.66%) and the United Kingdom (-6.50%).


Pic from Ngurah Rai International Airport.

Yogya, Jogja, Or However You Like It!

When grief’s overwhelming, I rise from misery by recalling your smile, I am touched. Amid this anguish, I expect of a shelter, and I  always want to return to you, Jogjakarta…

Above is part of the lyrics of the song titled ”Return to You, Jogja” sung by a famous Indonesian singer, Katon Bagaskara. Many say that if you visited the Special Region of Yogyakarta (DIY in Indonesian) once, it is believed that you would want to return to the city. Don’t believe it? Then there’s only one way to find out. Go there!

Yogyakarta offers many tourist attractions, from natural scenery, art and tradition, the nation’s struggle legacies, to culinary. It is famous for its good schools and universities, and the quality of human resources. It is also famous for beautiful handicrafts and souvenirs,  furniture, and other art-based products. For me, I love Yogyakarta because of the friendly people; wherever you go you’ll find people smiling to each other, sometimes they smile to even  someone they don’t know.

I have a friend, a Malaysian, she comes to Jogjakarta again and again, visiting the same spots, same people, and yesterday she said that she will come again. Wanna know why? Ask her yourself.

Here is a nice website to guide your experience in Jogja, YogYES.

And here are pics of some nice spots in the city, taken from YogYES.

A True Lover Of Indonesia

I have a friend, young, energetic, full of passion, and she loves Indonesia so much, and she is Malaysian. She has been visiting Indonesia more than 20 times, and she also attracted her fellow Malaysians to visit Indonesia. Her love to Indonesia is simply reflected by the hi-level of knowledge of places in Indonesia, its history, and its people. To me, the most remarkable one is that she speaks Indonesian as fluent as I do.

I am not sure what was the reason behind the sincere love towards Indonesia, all I know is that she writes many good things about Indonesia in her blog. You may leave comments and ask.

Thank you, Miss. I know you love us. We love you, too!

Australian Tourists To Bali Up 14 Pct

Denpasar, May 17, 2009 – The number of Australian tourists visiting Bali in the first quarter of 2009 rose 24.85 percent to 71,970 from 57,647 in the same period last year. ANTARA News reported.

“The Australian tourists accounted for 14.67 percent of the total tourists coming to the Island of Paradise in the first quarter which reached 490.454,” Head of the Bali Office of the Central Statistics Board (BPS) Ida Komang Wisnu said here on Sunday.

The figure placed Australia in the second place after Japan with 83,470 tourists, he said.

China came in third with 56,030 tourists, followed by Malaysia with 29,971 tourists, he said.

He said 71,199 of the Australian tourists came to Bali via Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar and the remaining 771 through the city`s seaport.

Last year, a total of 313,313 Australian tourists visited Bali, jumping 52.68 percent from the year before when the figure was 205,205, he said.

He said Bali which was geographically not too far from Australia was the “second home” for many Australian tourists.

Only recently, Bali received an award as The Best Island in Asia Pacific 2009 from the Hong Kong-based DestinAsia Magazine.

Bali, The Best Island In Asia Pacific

Kompas reported on Bali as the best island in Asia Pacific according to a Hong Kong based magazine, DestinAsia. It’s such an honor, but is it that surprising? Bali has snatched that title four times already. Apparently foreign tourists still love Bali so much.

I bet there are still hundreds, or even thousands, of islands in Indonesian archipelago that would be the next best island, only if they were as well-known as Bali. Check out Lombok, Sikuai Island, and some other natural islands! Don’t be surprised if soon in the future the list of 10 Best Islands would be all Indonesian’s.

Credit: Thanks to Anak Indonesia for the tip.

Indonesia’s Tourism Going Wild

Tour de Singkarak 2009

Indonesia’s tourism is going wild, in a good way, of course. After spending about Rp 6 billion on Tour de Singkarak, the Culture and Tourism Ministry is betting hard left and right to boost Indonesia’s tourism industry. The Jakarta Post reported that the latest attempt was to stitch the Visit Indonesia Year 2009 logo on Manchester United’s jersey. This bid is certainly over the budget, but our government is still working on the negotiation. The Culture and Tourism Ministry has a promotional budget of Rp 289 billion this year.

After a massive promotion on Padang with its new resort of Sikuai Island, Lombok seems to be the next big project.

So, don’t miss it, visit Indonesia while you can! And be sure to fly with Garuda Indonesia from five cities in Europe and three cities in the U.S.!

Here are some pictures of the next Bali, Sikuai Island.

In An Unsteady World Economy, Bali Foreign Arrivals Hold On . . . Just

March 2009 foreign tourist arrivals to Bali (161,169) increased month-on-month 4.7%, as compared to the same month in 2008. Arrivals covering the first three months of the year (Q1) totaled 465,182 – improving 3.61% over Q1 2008 (448,954).

In the midst of a very uncertain business climate internationally, that Bali has managed to record its best-ever opening quarter ever is remarkable, contradicting – at least for now – pundits prophesizing a collapse of Bali’s overseas travel markets.

Bali’s salvation remains it steady source of regional travelers coming from the Asia-Pacific and Asia. During Q1 2009, tourists hailing from the Asian-Pacific region increased 4.89%, while ASEAN visitors increased 19.91%. Meanwhile, reflecting the sluggish economies of Europe and the Americas, total visitors from those markets decreased 3.56% and -3.12%, respectively, during Q1 2009.

• With the exception of a dip in arrivals during February 2009, monthly arrivals for January and March registered strong growth over 2008. February’s lackluster performance may be traceable to the lack of any major holiday falling within that month that might have otherwise bolstered regional arrivals.

• Cumulative arrivals over the first three months of 2009 improved from Australia (+25.92%), the People’s Republic of China (+39.99%), Malaysia (+19.89%), Russia (+6.33%), the Netherlands (+2.96%), and France (+19.36%). Meanwhile, market “losers” recording decreased numbers for Q1 2009 included Japan (-11.59%), Taiwan (-24%), South Korean (-8.81%), U.S.A. (-7.9%), Germany (-19.35%) and the United Kingdom (-17.83%).

Changing economic fortunes are also seeing a shift in the hierarchy of key markets to Bali.

A Changing of the Guard

At least for now, Japan remains the top market source to Bali followed by Australia in number the number two rank. If, however, Australia numbers remain buoyant and Japanese numbers continue to decrease, look for Australia to take over Japan’s traditional role as Bali’s top producing market ranking. Japan’s toppling from the top position could happen as early as April or May, if current trends persist. Remember the Bali travel warning issued by Australia?

A new player in Bali’s top 5 producing markets is the People’s Republic of China, now ranked at the number 3 post, eyeing a chance to become number 2 as the year progresses. In the number four ranking is Malaysia. South Korea and Taiwan who have traditional been Bali’s third and fourth largest source markets are now some distance back in the pack, involved in a neck-on-neck battle for fifth and sixth place.