365Indonesia Day 37 – World Peace Gong in Ambon, Maluku – Indonesia.

Hello again from Ambon, Maluku. there’re a lot of places that you have to visit and things you should see, and this Gong is one of them.

this gong was made for the commemoration of the 29th World Peace Day, on 2009. since then the gong the gong who is made from pure gold and displays flags from every country in the world has been kept in one of a park in Ambon, and opened for public display.



visit my travel blog madalkatiri for more amazing pictures of Indonesia and follow @madalkatiri

365Indonesia, Day 36 – Sunset in West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia.

Hello, sunset lovers!

As a traveler who’s been to several incredible places in Indonesia, i have to reassure you that Indonesia, is a perfect place for sunset lovers. there are countless number of sophisticated spots for you to watch the sun set that will make you feel really grateful for everything. especially, grateful for being an Indonesian.

anyway, this picture was taken in one of the beach in West Nusa Tenggara. you might not be familiar with this province, but that’s really normal. West Nusa Tenggara is a province in Indonesia that consists two major island, Sumbawa and Lombok (now you know Lombok is in which province!). just like Bali, there’re so many tourism spots that you can visit when you go there. the best part is the fact that tourism spots in West Nusa Tenggara is cleaner and quieter than Bali, so you’ll get double pleasure.

see you in other pictures of sunset, guys!


Check my blog Mad Alkatiri for more cool places and follow @madalkatiri

365Indonesia Day 35 – One Out of Many Cultural Characters of Bali

Hellooo everyone!

See that picture? yup, Bali. never get tired of Bali. the beaches, amazing tourism spots, incredible people, and the sophisticated culture will always attract you.

I won’t tell anything about that picture because honestly, i don’t even know what that is. i was really amazed when i saw it, so i didn’t have the chance to ask anyone about it. i was busy taking pictures!

one thing i know, you’ll find the answer in Bali.



Check my blog travel Mad Alkatiri for more cool places and follow @madalkatiri

365Indonesia. Day 34. The other side of Toba, North Sumatera.

Hello guys!

Let’s go back to one of the biggest lake in Indonesia, Lake Toba. have you ever been there? if you haven’t, then you should, someday. because, not only the lake that will surprise you, but also the scenery and the history too.

according to wikitravel, Lake Toba is an immense volcanic lake covering an area of 1,707 sq km (1,000 sq km bigger than Singapore) with an island in the center. Formed by a gigantic volcanic eruption some 70,000 years ago, it is probably the largest resurgent caldera on Earth (even i didn’t know that before!). Some studies say it might have been associated with causing previous ice age/climate change and the largest human population bottleneck ever. Genetic estimates suggests that there were only a few thousand individuals that survived the catastrophe. The island in the middle – Pulau Samosir – was joined to the caldera wall by a narrow isthmus, which was cut through to enable boats to pass; a road bridge crosses the cutting. Samosir island is the cultural centre of Batak tribe who are mostly Christians in the modern days.

Lake Toba was perhaps once more popular than it is nowadays, but for many it remains a firm fixture on the Banana Pancake Trail. It is a great laid back place to chill out for a few days after jungle trekking etc. The location is very popular with Chinese tourists around Chinese New Year, when availability drops dramatically and accommodation costs sky rocket.

to get there, you just have to fly to Medan, North Sumatra. once you arrived in Medan’s airport, Polonia, rent a car and travel to Prapat. it usually takes about 4 hours to get there, but trust me, Lake Toba is really worth it.



Check my blog Mad Alkatiri for more cool places and follow @madalkatiri

A Visit to Kupang’s Famous Fish Market

[The Jakarta Globe]: On the last day of a recent business trip to Kupang, in East Nusa Tenggara, I had some time to travel around the city before my afternoon flight back to Jakarta.

The night before I had arranged for Geby Djari, a local woman I met earlier in the trip, to pick me up in the morning so I could join her at the local fish market.

Geby, 31, runs a small business in Kupang selling ikan bakar , or grilled seafood. After living in Jakarta for more than 10 years, she returned home and is now a vendor at the famous Kampung Solor night market, where my travel group ate dinner one evening.

The Kampung Solor market occupies one of the city’s main streets, which looks completely different in the morning. At the night market, vendors sell incredibly fresh fish, crab and squid.

Locals suggest that you check the vendors’ prices before you decide to sit and order. The seafood in Kupang is generally of much higher quality than it is in most Jakarta restaurants, and it’s also a lot cheaper.

“We have a great selection of seafood, especially fish. The most popular thing here is red snapper, I think,” Geby said. “We locals eat fish every day, so we know what’s good and what isn’t. You can never fool us with fish that isn’t fresh.”

Located on the western tip of the island of Timor, Kupang is one of the province’s busiest cities. Its airport, El Tari, welcomes flights from other major cities in Indonesia as well as the neighboring countries of East Timor and Australia.

“Flights to Australia are around Rp 1 million [$110] from here,” Geby said.

The city is a melting pot where people from outside the province, mainly from Bali, Java and Sulawesi, have come to start businesses. It even has an area called Kampung Bugis, where Bugis people, one of Sulawesi’s main ethnic groups, have settled.

Beaches are also less than an hour away by car, and they become more beautiful the farther away you get from the city, Geby said.

“If only you had more time, my dad and I would take you on our boat to Pulau Kera. Although it’s not big, it is the most beautiful island, with white-sand beaches,” she said.

December is the best time to travel to Kupang for many reasons, she added. The temperature is more bearable then, usually about 35 degrees Celsius, which is below the year-round high of about 39 degrees. Because the weather is so nice, she said, sailing is also a breeze.

“That’s why fish are generally cheaper starting in September, because fishermen catch more thanks to the good weather,” she said.

At the fish market near Oeba, hundreds of vendors sell a wide variety of fish and other types of seafood that they purchase directly from fishermen. Every morning as early as 3 a.m., boats arrive at the small port near the market, bringing fishermen from Kupang, Ende, Sulawesi and elsewhere to deliver their catch.

“While local fishermen from Kupang go to the sea at around 3 o’clock in the afternoon and return the next morning, Bugis [fishermen] from Sulawesi spend weeks at sea and bring tons of fish. That’s why it can take up to three days to unload the boats,” Geby said.

When it comes to food, she added, Kupang’s specialities include seafood, se’i (smoked pork or beef) and bose (corn-based porridge).

“Pork se’i is especially popular here,” she said. “Tourists will look for it when they’re in Kupang.”

Indeed, in Kupang, pigs are just like dogs, walking freely in the streets, near the market and in the yards of local homes.

Although people from across Indonesia live in the city, Catholics and other Christians make up a majority of the population. Churches are easy to find and images of Jesus are everywhere, including on murals, on public transportation and on the outsides of homes.

“People are very religious here, so you won’t find any open shops on Sunday mornings because everyone goes to church,” Geby said. “Shops typically open at four in the afternoon on Sundays, but you can still go to the market.”

One of the most interesting sights in Kupang is the city’s notorious public transportation system of bemos . These minivans are decorated on all sides with large stickers, which usually include some words in English and sometimes don’t make sense.

The bemos were designed to attract attention, a fellow journalist from Kupang told me, and they have been dubbed “moving discotheques” because the drivers often blast disco and rap music.

“The local administrator has even issued a regulation capping the maximum volume of the music played in bemos,” the journalist said. “It’s annoying, but school kids won’t ride a bemo that doesn’t play loud music.

“A lot of young men from Kupang have failed the test to join the military because they have hearing problems. How can they not, when they’ve been abusing their ears since they were very young?”

In order to go deeper into the island of Timor, travelers can ride buses, which run frequently, Geby said. Some go as far as Atambua, the city closest to the border between Indonesia and East Timor.

Geby said it was her love of Kupang that brought her back home from Jakarta. “No matter how poor we are here, there is no place like Kupang in Indonesia.”

Desa Kamot, Pulau Alor, NTT: Keindahan dan Kebudayaannya

Di timur Indonesia terdapat wilayah Nusa Tenggara Timur yang didalamnya terbentang rangkaian pulau yang salah satunya adalah Pulau Alor, yang merupakan salah satu kabupaten di Nusa Tenggara Timur, dengan ibu kota kabupaten di Kalabahi. Secara astronomis Kepulauan Alor berada diantara 8°6’-8°26’ LS dan 123°48’-125°8’ BT. Pulau Alor merupakan salah satu pulau terluar  Indonesia.

Terletaklah salah satu desa di Pulau Alor bernama Desa Kamot. Keistimewaan yang masih bisa kita lihat dari Desa Kamot ini adalah keberlangsungan sebuah upacara tradisional memanggil hujan yang unik. Upacara ini dipercaya telah berlangsung dari zaman prasejarah dan masih dijaga kelestariannya hingga kini.

Penduduk Desa Kamot hidup dengan bertani. Dalam setiap pekerjaan yang berkaitan dengan pertanian suku Alor selalu melakukan upacara-upacara. Dari adanya upacara ini kita dapat mengetahui bahwa suku Alor merupakan suatu suku yang mempercayai adanya kekuatan diluar dirinya yang menentukan kesejahteraan manusia.

Pada konsepsi kepercayaan masyarakat bercocok tanam mereka memiliki ciri khas selalu mengikuti perkembangan penemuan-penemuan barunya sehingga muncul anggapan bahwa tanah merupakan salah satu unsur penting dalam kehidupan. Salah satu yang segi yang menonjol adalah sikap masyarakat terhadap alam kehidupan setelah mati. Hal ini dapat dilihat dari ritual upacara menurunkan hujan oleh suku bangsa Alor.

Dalam sistem upacara selalu mengandung empat aspek didalamnya yaitu: tempat upacara, saat upacara, benda-benda atau alat upacara, orang-orang yang melakukan upacara, dan memimpin upacara. Keempat aspek ini dapat ditemui di kehidupan keagamaan suku bangsa Alor umumnya dan Desa Kamot khususnya.

Hal-hal mengenai upacara masa prasejarah yang dilakukan masyarakat Alor yang hingga kini masih dapat kita nikmati seharusnya membuat kita bercermin. Masyarakat Alor masih terus memegang teguh dan setia kepada kepercayaan yang diturunkan oleh nenek moyang. Meski mereka terus digempur budaya lain ketika Pulau Alor didatangi oleh bangsa Portugis kemudian hadir masa Islam dan kini masyarakat Alor digempur pembaharuan dan modernisasi. Dalam rasa tradisional mereka tetap membuat inovasi dan pembaharuan agar dapat beradaptasi dengan masa kini tanpa sedikitpun melupakan akar budayanya.

Beragamnya kepercayaan dan agama masyarakat Alor pun tidak menimbulkan perpecahan. Masyarakat Alor hidup rukun dengan keragamannya hingga kini. Hal-hal seperti inilah yang membuat kita harus merekat Pulau Alor lebih erat lagi. Masyarakat Alor memberikan kita banyak nilai luhur baik budaya, ekonomi, maupun sejarah. Sungguh suatu nilai yang tidak mudah dapat kita temukan di negara lain. Dari segi rasa nasionalisme pun dapat kita ketahui bahwa masyarakat Pulau Alor mempunyai rasa nasionalisme yang tinggi meskipun letaknya sangat jauh dari pusat pemerintahan. Namun, mereka begitu antusias mengikuti upacara-upacara hari besar nasional yang kini sudah mulai banyak ditinggalkan pun oleh masyarakat yang letaknya lebih dekat dengan pemerintahan.

Sudah seharusnya lah Pulau Alor yang memiliki beragam kekayaan seperti kekayaan alam dengan Pantai Mali, Pantai Maimol, Taman Laut Pantar dan kekayaan alam seperti pegunungan yang begitu indah sebagai tempat tujuan para wisatawan luar dan dalam negeri ini diperhatikan dengan baik. Sektor pariwisata menjadi salah satu nilai penting bagi Pulau Alor dan mampu memberikan Indonesia ragam nilai kebudayaan tinggi di mata negara lain dan nilai ekonomis bagi Indonesia dengan datangnya para wisatawan ke daerah Alor. Letak Pulau Alor yang jauh dari pusat pemerintahan berbatasan dengan laut lepas dan negara tetangga Timor Timur harus kita genggam erat. Sehingga akhirnya mereka tetap merasa menjadi bagian dari NKRI dan tidak memilih meninggalkan NKRI. Seperti pulau lain yang pernah lepas. Haruskah kita kehilangan pulau potensial lagi? Sungguh sangat disayangkan jika itu harus terjadi lagi. Sekali lagi mari kita rangkul bersama-sama sebagai satu Indonesia untuk menjaga pulau-pulau terluar di Negara Kesatuan Republik Indonesia untuk lebih erat dan memberikan mereka kepercayaan bahwa mereka adalah bagian dari Indonesia dan akan selalu begitu.



365Indonesia Day 33 – Laying Down on White Sand of Ngurbloat Beach

Another beautiful white sand!

It feels so good when you can lay down on the beach just to feel the fresh air and the sea breeze. You can sunbathing too in here.

This is a continuing photo from 365Indonesia day 10. I said it again, if you love beaches, white sands, Ngurbloat beach is a worth place to visit.



Check my blog travel Mad Alkatiri for more cool places and follow me @madalkatiri

365Indonesia Day 32 – Underwater Scenery of Sangalaki Island

Hello there!

It’s been a while for me not posting  photos because I’m too busy admiring how beautiful Indonesia is.

Well then, welcome to Sangalaki island. It is located in East Kalimantan, 45 minutes from Derawan island if we take a speedboat to go there. Sangalaki island is known for manta rays and turtles. Not only that, it also known as the most important green turtles nesting in Southeast Asia, perhaps even in the world. If you want to see the turtles laying eggs, you have to stay in Sangalaki because turtles laying eggs at night. It is about 10-30 turtles nesting in Sangalaki every night year-round. Moreover, there are also turtles conservations conducted by Turtles Foundation NGO, removing turtles eggs in the morning to safer place.


Manta Rays photo taken from: www.wisatakita.com
Turtles photo taken from: www.beritalingkungan.com



Check my travel blog Mad Alkatiri for more cool places and follow me @madalkatiri.

Hospital, For Tourist Only…

Indonesia’s Bali island, which attracts a huge number of foreign holidaymakers every year, has now come up with the idea of setting up a hospital exclusive for tourists.

Bali governor Made Mangku Pastika said the hospital was needed to boost services to tourists, Xinhua reported.

The hospital would be built on a three-hectare plot of land in a ‘strategic location’, he told the Jakarta Post.

Over 244,400 foreigners visited Bali in October 2011, a 6.43 percent increase over the same period last year, the statistic bureau announced Dec 1.

Indonesia aims to attract 7.7 million foreign tourists to the country this year and eight million next year, said minister for tourism and creative economy Mari Elka Pangestu.

Over seven million foreign tourists visited last year, the tourism ministry said.

The government expects a $8.4 billion revenue from tourists’ spending this year, up from $7.6 billion last year.

News Source: The Jakarta Post

Singkarak Lake named West Sumatra tourism icon

[The Jakarta Post]: Singkarak Lake in Solok and Tanah Datar sub-districts in West Sumatra was named a tourism icon representing the province, a move which is expected to boost the number of tourists visiting the area.

“We hope that Singkarak Lake can represent all tourist destinations in West Sumatra,” West Sumatra Governor Irwan Prayitno said in Padang on Tuesday.

“Singkarak” is used as an icon in an international sports and tourism event, Tour de Singkarak, held annually by the Tourism and Cultural Ministry and the West Sumatra administration.

Prayitno said that the event had been a valuable promotional tool for the region.

He added that he hoped all sub-districts and cities in the province would arrange tour packages in the near future to support the move, kompas.com reported.