Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Kemang is The Modern Village

The modern Village in kemang, jakarta

The Kemang area is located in the Bangka subdistrict, Mampang Prapatan district, South Jakarta.

No other area in Jakarta is as unique as Kemang with its touches of international lifestyle. It is an area that is most popular among the expatriate community.

Take a walk in the area and you will spot fair skinned men and women with blond or brown hair dining out in a restaurant or browsing in one of the many art galleries or boutiques found there. No other area in Jakarta is as unique as Kemang with its touches of international lifestyle. It is an area that is most popular among the expatriate community.

Take a walk in the area and you will spot fair skinned men and women with blond or brown hair dining out in a restaurant or browsing in one of the many art galleries or boutiques found there. It is home to some 18,000 Indonesians and more than 1,600 foreigners, mostly Australian, Korean, Japanese and European. Among them are 28 permanent residence cardholders.

According to official data, some 36,000 foreigners lived in Jakarta in 2004. Many of them lived in South Jakarta. Before the economic crisis, Kemang had the highest number of expatriates in the mayoralty, but today more expatriates live in Pondok Indah.

The past few months, however, saw a slight increase in the number of expatriates. In January, for example, the subdistrict registered 155 newcomers, in February 141 and in March 81. Sodikin estimates that about 200 expatriates left the subdistrict in the same period.

Even though many expatriates have not returned to the area, business is running well.

Amigos restaurant, for example, continues to attract many dinners. The difference is that before the economic crisis, between 80 and 90 percent of its patrons were foreigners, whereas now the number of foreigners is around 60 percent.

Overall, Kemang is doing great as seen from the increasing number of commercial buildings. The Bangka subdistrict in 1997 registered 180 business outlets. The number increased to 240 in 1999, and now is about 280. Recent data shows that among the commercial facilities are four hotels, 10 apartments and townhouse complexes, six international schools and playgroups, two gas stations, four supermarkets and minimarkets, nine mini-shopping malls, seven office buildings, 10 banks and 62 cafes and restaurants. The number of cafes and restaurants does not include those located in hotels, malls and office buildings.

The growing business has created jobs for about 4,000 people and contributes more Rp 1 billion in outdoor billboard taxes annually. The subdistrict also collects about Rp 14 billion in annual land and building taxes. Along with the rising prices of land and property, rental fees have also increased. The monthly rental fee of a house in Kemang now hovers at between US$1,000 and $3,000.

Living costs in Kemang are also a bit higher than in other places. Even maids’ salaries in the area, especially those working for expatriates, are higher than in many other parts of the city.

But Kemang has its own trademark and somehow people do not mind spend a more money for good food, quality products and a nice atmosphere. Business is thriving; new cafes and restaurants as well as shops and boutiques are opening.

In the 1970s, Kemang was a still a quiet place with lots of big trees and fields. Its serenity and fresh air attracted more and more people, including expatriates. It started to grow and keeps growing until this day. The roads are busy and the bustling area has become a favorite place to live and to hang out for both foreigners and locals from various corners of the city.

In Kemang, expatriates live in harmony with locals, 50 percent of whom are Betawi. Like in many parts of the metropolis, some poor people can be found living in small alleys behind the luxury houses and buildings in Kemang.

Kemang Festival, an annual street fair that was held for the first time in 2001, attracts a huge crowd and created traffic jams in the area. Some 4,000 visitors come every day during the event that features more than 300 stands offering mostly clothes, accessories and food.

The festival is over but business in Kemang continues to thrive and draw visitors, both locals and expatriates who drop by to enjoy the nice atmosphere, shopping, dining or to just hang out with friends and family.

Komodo Island

Komodo Island: Lizards, legends and natural beauty

Komodo village is located around two kilometers west of Long Liang, a local sea terminal and village. Its inhabitants live in closely built houses on stilts, some 200 meters from the sea. With wooden walls and galvanized iron roofs, the large dwellings are usually occupied by several families. Behind their homes are open fields where village youths play football. Motorboats and sampans are moored off the coast. The village also has a mosque.

The island's barren, wild and remote conditions seem to defy human habitation. But people have lived on Komodo for a long time, long before the island's conversion into a national park. Hunting and occasional fishing used to be their livelihood. After they moved, they were banned from hunting. Now they are mostly fishermen, with some working as vendors and craftsmen producing wooden komodo replicas.


The old story and the Komodo culture are only part of the charm the island has to offer. Various beautiful places can be found in Komodo National Park (TNK), including Banu Nggulung, Merah Beach, Poreng-Sabieta, Mt. Ara and Mt. Satalibo. Komodo lizards also remain a major magnet bringing tourists to the island.

Komodos are the last surviving monitor lizard species capable of reproduction. The cold-blooded reptiles were first discovered by a Dutchman, JKH Van Steyn, in 1911. They became famous in the world of science in 1912, after researcher and biologist Mayor PA Ouwens in his article ""On a Large Varanus Species from the Island of Komodo"" gave the dragons a scientific name, Varanus komodoensis.

The prehistoric lizards can reach over three meters long and weigh as much as 90 kilograms.
Banu Nggulung is the location to watch and photograph komodos with ease. Some two kilometers east of Loh Liang, it is 45 minutes' walk along village paths lined with lush vegetation that for the most part resembles the trees of Darwin, Australia.

Large, wild komodos often appear on the route to Banu Nggulung, poised to devour the unwary. Therefore, visitors are not allowed to walk alone; they must be accompanied by national park guides or forest rangers.

Pantai Merah, which means Red Beach, is among the island's most gorgeous spots. Tourists often call it Pink Beach. Its name comes from the reddish sand that covers its sloping shore. A favorite of sunbathers, the beach is also an interesting place for swimming, snorkeling, diving and fishing, since it offers a magnificent coral reefs as well as diverse commercial and ornamental fish species. Some tourists claim that its aquarium fish and coral are among the best found in Indonesia.

Komodo Island also boasts a beautiful panorama of two brownish hills, Poreng and Sabieta, with expanses of grassland and rows of palmyra trees. Wild buffaloes frequently graze there, and tourists who are lucky can see blackish adult komodos searching for their prey.

Another lovely spot is Mt. Ara, which is 510 meters above sea level and has a campground. One can get there via an 8-kilometer path from Loh Liang. Finally, Mt. Satalibo is the farthest destination from Loh Liang. With an altitude of 735 meters, it is the tallest mountain on Komodo. One can see the whole panorama of the island, including the sea and nearby islets, from its summit.

How to reach Komodo kingdom

Komodo Island draws wealthy tourists and backpackers alike. Those with money to spend often visit the island after Bali and Lombok. Spice Island Cruises and Evening Star are among the luxury ships that ply the route.

Tourists who are adventurous or short on cash go by bus, passenger ship and ferry. According to some backpackers, the ferry journey is more challenging because of the storms that frequently break out in Batu Tiga waters, between Labuanbajo and Komodo. The violent storms locals call kala-kala have swallowed a motorboat and a ferry, claiming passengers' lives.

Labuanbajo, Flores, is the gate to Komodo and the other islands within the Komodo National Park (TNK). The other entrance is Sape, on Sumbawa Island in West Nusa Tenggara. Tourists can take a ferry from Labuanbajo or Sape and disembark in Komodo Island waters before proceeding by sampan to the Loh Liang terminal. Fishermen's motorboats or speedboats can also be hired at negotiable fares. It takes 4 hours to travel from Labuanbajo to Loh Liang by motorboat. A speedboat takes only about an hour, but is more expensive. It is cheaper to visit Rinca Island due to its proximity to Labuanbajo.

You can reach Labuanbajo by any major form of transportation. It takes four days by bus or sea from Jakarta. In order to save time, visitors can fly from Jakarta to Mataram, Lombok, and then go by bus to Sape and further by speedboat to Loh Liang.

The Loh Liang tourist village is the gate and ticket counter for Komodo Island. It has complete facilities, such as a forest rangers office, a hostel that houses dozens of guests at reasonable rates, a cafeteria offering typical seafood and a cooperative selling souvenirs. For a tour of Rinca Island, tickets are available in Loh Buaya. Rinca, also providing accommodation, has a five-kilometer path through a hilly area where tourists can see long-tailed monkeys, wild horses and komodos.

Remote land

Komodo National Park feels like a remote area. That is because its natural and geographic conditions are different from most other regions in the country. Some of its islands are hilly, the results of centuries-long geological shifting. Other islets were formed by coral reaching as high as 200 to 400 meters.

The climate is relatively dry, with average rainfall of 800 to 1,000 millimeters. Its rainy season, which runs from January to April, and its longer dry spell affect the forms and types of flora and fauna. Its vegetation is dominated by grassland interspersed with tamarind, waru (hibiscus), wild cotton, kesambi (lac) and lontar (palmyra) trees.

The park has a combination of mangroves, seasonal and tropical rain forests, which are not as dense as the jungles of Java, Papua, Kalimantan and Sumatra. Its wildlife has only about 185 species, representing such Asian-Australian transition species as eagles, pigeons, cockatoos, Timorese deer, snakes, wild horses, and komodos. But its marine creatures are diverse: a survey by an international agency found that TNK waters contained around 900 marine biota species, including over 100 fish species like napoleon, groupers, red snappers and rayfish, as well as 260 species of coral, especially Acropora sp. Dolphins, sharks and blue whales are often found, too.

Covering an area of almost 220,000 hectares, the TNK mainly comprises Komodo (33,937 hectares), Rinca (19,625 hectares) and Padar (2,017 hectares), plus Gili Motang and a number of islets and their waters. Flanked by two provincial borders, it lies in the Sape Strait between the western tip of Flores and the eastern tip of Sumbawa.

Given the natural wealth, beauty and unique features of Komodo Island and its adjacent islets, the government declared the entire zone a national park on March 6, 1980, with the primary aim of protecting komodos and their habitat. UNESCO designated it as a Natural World Heritage Site in 1991. Under the Soeharto government, komodo dragons were declared the national animal in 1992. And in 1997, UNESCO declared it a Man and Biosphere Reserve.

Prambanan Temple

Prambanan, the Most Beautiful Hindu Temple in the World
Prambanan temple is extraordinarily beautiful building constructed in the tenth century during the reigns of two kings namely Rakai Pikatan and Rakai Balitung. Soaring up to 47 meters (5 meters higher than Borobudur temple), the foundation of this temple has fulfilled the desire of the founder to show Hindu triumph in Java Island. This temple is located 17 kilometers from the city center, among an area that now functions as beautiful park.
There is a legend that Javanese people always tell about this temple. there was a man named Bandung Bondowoso who loved Roro Jonggrang. To refuse his love, Jonggrang asked Bondowoso to make her a temple with 1,000 statues only in one-night time. The request was nearly fulfilled when Jonggrang asked the villagers to pound rice and to set a fire in order to look like morning had broken. Feeling to be cheated, Bondowoso who only completed 999 statues cursed Jonggrang to be the thousandth statue.
Prambanan temple has three main temples in the primary yard, namely Vishnu, Brahma, and Shiva temples. Those three temples are symbols of Trimurti in Hindu belief. All of them face to the east. Each main temple has accompanying temple facing to the west, namely Nandini for Shiva, Angsa for Brahma, and Garuda for Vishnu. Besides, there are 2 flank temples, 4 kelir temples and 4 corner temples. In the second area, there are 224 temples.
Entering Shiva temple, the highest temple and is located in the middle, you will find four rooms. One main room contains Shiva statue, while the other three rooms contain the statues of Durga (Shiva's wife), Agastya (Shiva's teacher), and Ganesha (Shiva's son). Durga statue is said to be the statue of Roro Jonggrang in the above legend.
In Vishnu temple, to the north of Shiva temple, you will find only one room with Vishnu statue in it. In Brahma temple, to the south of Shiva temple, you find only room as well with Brahma statue in it.
Quite attractive accompanying temple is Garuda temple that is located close to Vishnu temple. This temple keeps a story of half-bird human being named Garuda. Garuda is a mystical bird in Hindu mythology. The figure is of golden body, white face, red wings, with the beak and wings similar to eagle's. It is assumed that the figure is Hindu adaptation of Bennu (means 'rises' or 'shines') that is associated with the god of the Sun or Re in Old Egypt mythology or Phoenix in Old Greek mythology. Garuda succeeded in saving his mother from the curse of Aruna (Garuda's handicapped brother) by stealing Tirta Amerta (the sacred water of the gods).
Its ability to save her mother made many people admire it to the present time and it is used for various purposes. Indonesia uses the bird as the symbol of the country. Other country using the same symbol is Thailand, with the same reason but different form adaptation and appearance. In Thailand, Garuda is known as Krut or Pha Krut.
Prambanan also has panels of relief describing the story of Ramayana. Another interesting relief is Kalpataru tree that - in Hindu - the tree is considered tree of life, eternity and environment harmony. In Prambanan, relief of Kalpataru tree is described as flanking a lion. In Indonesia, Kalpataru is used as the logo of Indonesian Environment Institution. This tree of life is also seen in the gunungan (the puppet used as an opening of traditional puppet show or wayang kulit). This proves that relief panels in Prambanan have been widely known throughout the world.
If you feel tired of enjoying the relief, you can take a rest in the beautiful garden in the complex. Since 18 September 2006, you can enter zone 1 area of Prambanan temple. The damage caused by the earthquake on 27 May 2006 is being reconstructed. Please come and enjoy Prambanan temple.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


This beach locate about 50 km from Serang, Banten Regency. Why it famous as Karang Bolong...when you come to the beach, you will know why this beach is called Karang Bolong Beach. This beach has a big hole rocks which formed naturally, one of the side of the rock was in the beach and the other looked toward the beach. Very likely Karang Bolong occurred cause the eruption of Krakatau Mountain in 1883. On the top of it, there is a little green area and where the tourist can relax while enjoy the high seas panoramic. It is so have to visit it...see you there...

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