Category: History/Culture

Get Ready To Wave The Red And White

With the Independence Day holiday fast approaching and the country already painting itself red and white, August is always a great time to immerse yourself in a touch of...

All Aboard Transjakarta To See Jakarta’s Sights

The TransJakarta Jakarta Explorer tourist bus routes proved a success over the holiday break with visitors flocking to the Istiqlal Mosque bus stop to take in the...

Indonesia’s old manuscripts are waiting to be deciphered

Mehamat Boru Karo Sekalu, a lady working in North Sumatra Museum reads an ancient book written in Batak letters, eloquently. The visitors of Nusantara Old Manuscripts...

Borobudur Reliefs Tell Wise Tales

Borobudur Temple was built in the eighth century and has more than 2,670 reliefs. Each set of reliefs tells a wise tale that portrayed the beauty yet obliviousness of...

Lakoat Kujawas: Comfort Food and Literature from the Heart of Timor

Munching on shrimp dumplings fried in lard (babi oangke) at lively garden weddings, dipped in a tangy chili sauce bursting with flavours of Timorese cilantro, mint and...

Alfred Raquez’s Trip to Batavia

“Alfred Raquez” is the pseudonym of Joseph Gervais, a bankrupt French lawyer who fled to the Far East in the late 1890s. He wrote prolifically about China and...

British Bengkulu: A Forgotten Imperial Outpost

Bengkulu, October 1685: The fort stood atop a small hillock on the banks of a coffee-coloured creek. To the west the Indian Ocean stretched blank and white and empty. To...

Tana Olen, the Forbidden Forest

“We call this place Tana Olen,” Philius, the Dayak elder explained. “In Kenyah Dayak language this means forbidden forest – forbidden to destroy.” The locals...

Menteng Pulo: Field of Honour

The most astonishing experience when entering the Netherlands Field of Honour Menteng Pulo (Menteng Pulo Ereveld) is the silence. Just beyond the gate is the noisy...

Life Back Then

Author of Olivia & Sophie, Rosie Milne, explores what expat life was like 200 years ago. My novel Olivia & Sophia explores the lives of two predecessors of...

The Influence of Javanese Music on Early Jazz

“Jazz has borrowed from other genres of music and also has lent itself to other genres of music.” – Herbie Hancock Previously I wrote about the arrival...

Rebuilding Ruins: PT Pembangunan Kota Tua

Most of Jakarta is made of new developments and expanding suburbs, however look to the North and you’ll find Kota Tua, or ‘Old Town’, which was where the original...

Tugu Kunstkring Paleis: A Culturally Rich Dining Experience in the Heart of Menteng

On a quiet, leafy-tree street corner set amongst stately white mansions and European luxury cars parked roadside is a structural gem designed by the Dutch architect and...

The Mapping of Java

The islands of Java and Bali located 8 degrees south of the Equator in the Indian Ocean are two of the 17,000 islands that make up the Republic of Indonesia, the...