Category: Travel

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The Virgin Dancers of Belu

Like endangered species, magical encounters with pure and unadulterated Indonesian traditional culture have become increasingly rare events in the 21st century. While...

Wakatobi Diving

Diving Wakatobi

“What a great idea – if only I had thought of it: take a trip to paradise, stay in a cozy bed, get around by boat, snorkel and dive everyday like there’s no...

119. Kaarspellers: A photograph taken by Jean Demmeni showing gambling in central Java (circa 1911) - courtesy of Bartele Gallery

Uneasy Money

Gambling, like prostitution and corruption, is an age-old vice that is part of Indonesia’s culture. Despite being criminalized in the 1970s, the gaming industry is...

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The Eco Island of the Not-So Tigers

Most people don’t get over-excited when you mention the Thousand Islands (Pulau Seribu), myself included, however one of these one hundred or so islands (I know, the...

De Boroboedoer

Treading in Jogjakarta’s Ancient History

Jogjakarta and its Hill of Stones Anyone with but the flimsiest knowledge of Indonesia will know the pivotal role Jogjakarta has played. In culture, in rebellion, in...

From_afar,_the_crater_of_Rinjani_looks_beautiful_and_unspoilt

The Rinjani [Rubbish] Trail

The naturalist John Muir is credited with a quote most mountain climbers have memorised and tend to recite after a few beers or moments of beauty and sheer awe. Climb to...

Iwaka Biro 5

Sticks and Stones won’t Break by Bones and Artfully they Speak for me – the Eco in Kamoro Art

Long and heavy it lies on the wet morning grass, the dew licking its undersides. Young sunlight grazes its skin. Carvings cover it end to end, its trunk hollowed out....

Jakarta on a clean air pollution day

Jakarta for the Weekend?

Jakartans leave their work early on Fridays, hoping they can beat the traffic to the airport and enjoy a weekend in Bali or Singapore, away from the pollution. On the...

Plate 2.1

How Indonesia’s Spices Unrolled the Map of the World

  As Indonesia prepares to celebrate 66 years of independence it is an appropriate moment to turn the clock back 560 years to the middle of the 15th century, before...

Bung Karno and Sudjojono

Art and Revolution

S. Sudjojono, 1913-1986 One of the ultimate tools of revolution is art. So, too, revolution ideas often stimulate revolutionary visuals – posters and icons that embody...

Photo courtesy of Bartele Gallery

Did You Know…?

In 1602 eight early British expats were dropped off in what is now known as Banten Lama by the first voyage of the East India Company. They were told to make money and...

A view of Puncak where the riding happens

Riding Jalur NuRa

As the crow flies Puncak is a mere 80 kilometres to the south east of Jakarta. In the hills of Puncak lies Puncak Pass where a rustic institution for the thrill-seeker...

Majapahit Piggy Bank

The Origins of the Piggy Bank

In the west the Piggy Bank has long been a time-honoured rite of passage, a whimsical but didactic tool for inculcating children with the benefits of saving. While today...

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It’s a Swamp Out There!

There isn’t a lot of green space left in Jakarta. Perhaps more than people realise, but still very little. What remains is worth preserving, not just because it looks...