Thursday, February 19, 2009
Kopi Luwak or Civet coffee originated from Indonesia. It is a type of coffee made from coffee berries which have been eaten and passed through the digestive area of the Asian Palm Civet (an animal). The Civets eat the berries, but the beans inside pass through their system undigested. This process takes place on the islands of Sumatra, Java and Sulawesi in the Indonesian Archipelago, in the Philippines (where the product is called Kape Alamid) and in East Timor.
Kopi is the Indonesian word for coffee, and luwak is a local name of the Asian Palm Civet. When the civet eats the coffee berry, the inner bean of the berry is not digested, but it has been proposed that enzymes in the stomach of the civet add to the coffee's flavor by breaking down the proteins that give coffee its bitter taste. The beans are defecated, still covered in some inner layers of the berry. The beans are washed, and given only a light roast so as to not destroy the complex flavors that develop through the process.
Kopi Luwak is the most expensive coffee in the world, selling for between $120 and $600 USD per pound, and is sold mainly in Japan and the United States. It is increasingly becoming available elsewhere, though supplies are limited; only 1,000 pounds (450 kg) at most make it into the world market each year.
Batik is a wax-resist dyeing technique used on fabrics. Batik is considered as national art in Indonesia, Javanese batik, especially from Jogjakarta, where it has special meanings, as it is rooted to the Javanese idea of the universe. Traditional colors include indigo, dark brown and white, which represents the three major Hindu Gods and royals can only wear certain patterns. Patterns similar like the Javanese batik is also found in several countries of West Africa, such as Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Uganda and Mali, and in Asia, such as India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Iran, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Burma, which displays the influence of the Indonesian batik internationally. Other regions of Indonesia have their own unique patterns.
Batik has been both an art and a craft for centuries. In Java, Indonesia, batik is part of an ancient tradition, and some of the finest batik cloth in the world is still made there.
Modern batik is markedly different from the more traditional and formal styles. For example, the artist may use etching, discharge dyeing, stencils, different tools for waxing and dyeing, wax recipes with different resist values and work with silk, cotton, wool, leather, paper or even wood and ceramics.
A woman applying melted wax to the cloth
A man dipping a cloth in a dye.
Melted wax is applied to the cloth before it is dipped in dye. They usually use beeswax and paraffin wax. This is because the beeswax holds the fabric and the paraffin wax allows cracking, which is a characteristic of batik. The dye will not penetrate wherever wax has seeped through. Sometimes more colors are used with dyeing, drying and waxing steps.
Some other methods of applying the wax are pouring it, painting it on with a brush, applying it to pre-carved wood or metal wire block and stamping it onto the fabric. Thin wax lines can be made with a canting needle, a wooden handled tool with a tiny metal cup with a tiny spout, out of which the wax seeps.
A Batik painting depicting two Indian women.
After the last dyeing, the fabric is hung up to dry. Then it is dipped in a solvent to dissolve the wax, or ironed between paper towels or newspapers to absorb the wax and reveal the deep rich colors and the fine crinkle lines that give batik its character. This traditional method of batik making is called Batik Tulis, which means Written Batik in English.
Batik clothing usually has an intricate pattern. Traditionally, wider curves were reserved for batik produced for the upper class. Traditional batik’s natural colors are tones of indigo and brown while modern day’s has more variety of colors. Javanese batik typically includes symbols. Some pieces may be mystic-influenced, but very few.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
If you are looking for comfortable accomodation in Indonesia, then there are multiple choices to select from varied range of hotels. Inspite of many independent hotels, Indonesia also houses hotels of world famous groups that provide quality of comfort and great hospitality for the travelers. Some of the well-known hotel groups can also be found in Indonesia.
Borobudur in Jakarta is one of the premium hotels in Jakarta where the superlative luxuries and contemporary comforts abound to offer the guests a wonderful experience.
Area : Central Jakarta
Address : Jl. Asia Afrika Senayan Jakarta 10270
Hotel Location : City Center
Area : South Jakarta
More hotels from Jakarta..
Dharmawangsa - Jl.Brawijaya Raya No 26 Kebayoran Baru Jakarta 12160 Indonesia
Grand Hyatt - Jl. M.H Thamrin Kav. 28-30 Jakarta 10230 Indonesia
Four Seasons - Jl. H.R. Rasuna Said Jakarta 12920 Indonesia
Shangri-La - Kota BNI. Jl. Jenderal Sudirman Kav. 1, Jakarta 10220 Indonesia
Nikko Hotel- Jalan MH Thamrin 59
Le Meridien- Jln. Jenderal Sudirman Kav 18-20 10220 Jakarta Indonesia
The most popular tourist destination in Indonesia, Bali also offers its visitors a wonderful nightlife and shopping experience. Thousands of vacationers, honeymooners, surfers, and spiritualists from all over the world visit Bali every year. There is ample choice of accommodation in Bali, ranging from luxury hotels and resorts to affordable budget hotels and lodges. Bali Hotels offer world-class accommodation, along with traditional Indonesian hospitality, promising a comfortable stay for their guests.
Address : Jl. Duyung 99 Sanur Denpasar - Bali
Hotel Location : Beach
Area : Sanur
More hotels in Bali.....
St. Regis Bali - Kawasan Pariwisata, Lot S 6 Po Box 44 Nusa Dua, Bali 80363, Indonesia
Four Season Sayan - Sayan Ubud Gianyar 80571, Bali Indonesia Ubud
Le Jardin Boutique Villa - Jalan Sarinande No.7
Hotel Location : City Center
Amanjiwo -Borobudur, Central Java, Indonesia Java (Jogjakarta)
Hyatt Regency -Jalan Palagan Tentara Pelajar 55581 Yogyakarta Indonesia
Novotel - Jl. Jendral Sudriman No.89 Yogyakarta 55223 Indonesia
Melia Purosani-Jl Mayor Suryotomo 31 55122 Yogyakarta Indonesia
The Sheraton Hotel in Surabaya in Indonesia is one of the 5 star Hotels in Surabaya in Indonesia. The hotel offers quality, comfort and great value for money. The Location of Sheraton Hotel in Surabaya in Indonesia is in the center of the central business and leisure districts of Surabaya. The hotel is connected to the city's largest shopping arcade, convention center, and entertainment complex and other tourist spots. The location of Sheraton Hotel in Surabaya in Indonesia makes it a favorite accommodation option for leisure and business travelers from around the world.
Address : Jl Embong Malang No 25-31 Surabaya 60261 East Java Indonesis
Hotel Location : City Center
Sheraton-Jl Embong Malang No 25-31 Surabaya 60261 East Java Indonesis
Shangri-La-Jl. May.jend,sungkono 120, Surabaya 60256, Indonesia
JW Marriott-Jalan Embong Malang 85-89, Surabaya 60261, Indonesia
Ts Suites-Townsquare Surabaya, Jalan Hayam Wuruk No. 6, Surabaya 60242, East Java-indonesia
Hotel Majapahit-Jalan Tunjungan No.65 Surabaya 60275 East Java Indonesia
Toraja Heritage Hotel in Sulawesi is perhaps one of the best getaways among the Hotels in Sulawesi in Indonesia to experience the tranquility and the serenity in the tropical heaven of Bali. Toraja Heritage Hotel in Sulawesi is located in the rugged mountain peaks of South Central Sulawesi which gives you an experience of your lifetime. The Location of Toraja Heritage Hotel in Sulawesi is convenient for the guests explore the city. The warmth of their hospitality is what makes Toraja Heritage Hotel in Sulawesi special and makes you look forward to it.
Address : Jl. Kete Kesu - Rantepao,Toraja South Sulawesi Indonesia.
Hotel Location : Mountainside
Toraja Prince - Bala Salu, Rantepao, Sulawesi 13000, Indonesia
P.S.* : As the pictures are not complete, please go to the link shown below to see the pictures. Sorry for any inconvenience caused!
Monday, February 16, 2009
If you've spent much time visiting outlying provinces or rural areas, it will be quickly evident during a trip to the capital city that Jakarta showcases the wealth of Indonesia. Skyscrapers, impressive monuments, wide boulevards (albeit crowded) and large malls rival those of any major world capital. In traditional Indonesian society, open common areas in villages and towns or the courtyard of the Sultan's palace have long been a place to gather and spend late afternoon and evening hours. Small vendors set up their wares, food carts gather and people stroll around meeting friends and sharing gossip. Jakarta's shopping malls are a modern urban equivalent of traditional meeting points – a place to shop, eat and gather with friends and have some fun on the weekends. Shopping in Jakarta takes many forms from the most traditional pasar (markets) to glitzy world class malls with international designer shops.
Most expatriates shop most comfortably in malls and grocery stores without the need to bargain or deal with curious stares. However, that is no reason to avoid the more colorful traditional markets. International fashion items may not be at the top of a tourist’s Jakarta shopping list, but expatriates may look at these shopping opportunities differently! If you enjoy window shopping and following fashion trends, you'll enjoy the fashion showcased at Plaza Indonesia, and Plaza Senayan and Senayan City. Shops offer the latest collections from the fashion capitals of the world – Milan, London, Paris and New York – to titillate the fancy of well to do Indonesians and expatriates alike. Prior to the opening of luxury malls, Indonesians had to shop in Singapore, Europe or the U.S. to buy such well-known international brands as Bvlgari, Prada, Cartier, Versace, Louis Vuitton, Bally, Aigner, Ferragamo and Escada. Now, these brands, and many more, are available in Jakarta.
Other famous shopping malls are Grand Indonesia, Plaza Indonesia, Ex and more. Or, if you're feeling like you need to flex up your legs a little bit, don't hesitate to check out Mal Taman Anggrek(Taman Anggrek Mall) which easily has the biggest skating rink in Asia! If you are interested in learning Ice Skating, they even have tutors specialized in Skating there to help you and give you private classes. You are also, of course, free to just play around.
Amongst Indonesia's emerging middle and upper classes international brand-consciousness is strong. Discerning shoppers seek original goods, which these shops can guarantee. Often, due to special sales or discounts, international fashions may actually be cheaper in Jakarta than in other fashion centers. If, indeed you are from a small town in your home country, you may find better shopping in Jakarta than you do back home! While fashion malls don't offer as many recreation opportunities as the family-oriented malls, a big attraction is 'people watching' for the see-and-be-seen crowd. The elegant marble, expansive open spaces and lofty atriums offer a sense of luxury that is further enhanced by no-smoking policies, good housekeeping, and security. According to some social analysts, malls have replaced traditional town centers as locations for community interaction.
So, if you're a tourist in Indonesia and you're supposedly just sitting there, bored at home, get off your seat NOW and hurry along to one of Indo's famous shopping malls! See you there!
Jl. Asia Afrika Lot 19 Senayan,
Tel (62-21) 723-7979
Jl. M.H. Thamrin Kav. 28-30 Central
Tel (62-21) 310-7272, 390-3728
Gelora Bung Karno Jl. Asia Afrika No. 8
Senayan, Central Jakarta 10270
Tel. (62-21) 572-5555
Mal Taman Anggrek
Jl. Letjen S. Parman Kav. 21
Slipi, West Jakarta 11470
Tel. (62-21) 560-9964
Here are a list of more shopping malls which you can find in Indonesia:
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Rafflesia arnoldii is a rare flower found in the rainforests of Indonesia. It is a rare flower and also the WORLD'S largest single flower! It can grow to 3 feet across and can weigh up to 11 kilograms. A parasitic plant, with no visible leaves, roots, or stem. Rafflesias are always found on a host plant which it uses for its nutrients and water needs. Many of the Rafflesia species are threatened or endangered, the major reason why Indonesia adopted Rafflesia as one of its National Flower - to help in the conciousness of preserving the nature around us and the Rafflesias.This flower take months to develop, and when it reaches it’s most developed state, it will only last a few days. The Rafflesia flower only lives in primary rainforests (i.e. undisturbed), making it even more difficult to keep it alive and thriving.
Flowers are important things for Balinese, since in every single day, Balinese need flowers for praying and also as offering to God. However not many Balinese know what kind of flowers is appropriate for praying and offering such as Canang (an opened-square made from coconut leaves use in praying and giving tribute to God). Examples of flowers being offered to the Gods:
Based on Ngurah Nala’s article (Sarad Magazine edition January 22nd 2002), all flowers can be used for praying. Although, there are some rules in choosing flowers if wanted to be used for praying. Flowers which are withered are forbidden. More over, using flowers that are picked from the ground, because it falls off from its twig, is also forbidden.Examples of flowers that cannot be used to offer to the Gods:
It is better to use flowers that are picked from its twig intentionally. Fresh flowers without bug bites are suggested. Actually dirty flowers cannot be used for praying but the Balinese use it anyway, although, with many considerations and of course they will wash that flower with clean water first. In addition, before using it for praying, the flower must be purified above burning incense with special incantation ; “om puspa dantaya nama swaha”.Balinese believe that gemitir (a fragrant orange flower), a flower which grows in the graveyard, and flowers which are struck by lightning are forbidden to use in praying.
However there are no sources that explain it.Generally, the explanation about the forbidden flower are only based on the myth in lontar (an old manuscript). In Lontar Aji Janantaka, Siwa (a goddess) changes all of the people in Janantaka to be trees. Siwa did it because he wanted to come to Earth in order to help the people of Janantaka and he wanted to meet the humans directly.Finally, he came to Janantaka. All of the trees and other plants came to him to be purified. Altough, Jempiring alit (tuludnyuh) and salikonta did not come and there are no explanations about the reason why. So, Siwa forbade these flowers to be used in praying.It is important to remember that Balinese use flowers to pray, therefore flowers which are used must be clean and holy.
An Indonesian meal may include a soup, salad, and another main dish. Whatever the meal, it is accompanied by at least one, and often several “sambals”(chili), spice relishes that are mixed with the food. One main food that can always be found in and Indonesian meal is rice. Rice is a staple for all classes in contemporary Indonesia and it holds a central part in Indonesian culture: it shapes the landscape; is sold at markets; and is served in most meals as a savoury and sweet food. Rice is most often eaten as plain rice (nasi putih) with just a few protein and vegetable dishes as side dishes. It is also served, however, as ketupat (rice steamed in woven packets of coconut fronds), lontong (rice steamed in banana leaves), intip (rice crackers), desserts, noodles, brem (rice wine), and nasi goreng (fried rice). Indonesian meals also always have chili. Almost everybody living in Indonesia always have a good tongue for chili. In Indonesia, we can also find street snacks, that is, people selling food such as meatballs, fried chicken and other fried food (gorengan). The street snack sellers put their food in a portable stall so that they can move their stall around. For example, if it is raining, they can easily find shelter and save the food. The portable stall has wheels and usually a glass case to put their food inside. This is convenient for the Indonesians because if along the way they are hungry, there is always a street snack nearby!
In Western and Central Indonesia, the main meal is usually cooked in the late morning, and consumed around midday. In many families there is no set mealtime where all members are expected to attend. For this reason, most of the dishes are made such that they can last and remain edible even if left on the table at room temperature for many hours. Whereas in Eastern Indonesia, where the natives are more influenced by Pacific islander cultures such as on the island of Papua and Timor, the meals can be centered around other sources of carbohydrates such as sago and/or grain.
Indonesian markets abound with many types of tropical fruit. These are an important part of the Indonesian diet, either eaten on their own, made into desserts, or even savoury dishes (ie, rujak).
Many of these fruits are indigenous to Indonesia (Mangosteen) or the Indonesian archipelago in general (Rambutan), others have been imported from other tropical countries, although the origin of many of these fruits is disputed.
Banana and Coconut are particularly important, not only to Indonesian cuisine, but also in other uses, such as timber, bedding, roofing, oil, plates and packaging , etc.
There are many dishes in Indonesia but the most famous ones are Nasi Goreng, Satays, Mie Goreng, Gado-gado, Soto Ayam, Sayur Asam, Otak-otak and some desserts and drinks like Es Cendol and Lapis legit.
1.Nasi Goreng is mainly fried rice. More ingredients can be thrown in such as eggs, chili, even sausages!
2. Satay is either chicken, beef and sometimes lamb pieces on a stick. It is served in special Indonesian sauce that goes great with the satay.
3.Mie Goreng is fried noodle. Like the Nasi Goreng, additional ingredients can be mixed in.
4.Gado-gado is for light meals. It is mixed fruit in a spicy and sweet sauce.
5.Soto Ayam is noodle with chicken in a soup which is yellow in colour.
6.Sayur Asam is a sour but yet sweet soup with veggies, corns and other foods inside.
7.Otak-otak is made from fish and is rectangular shaped.
8.Es Cendol is a cooling drink that all Indonesians love to drink. It has colourful jellies in it and its sweet taste makes it a must-try!
9.Lapis Legit is a yummy dessert. It tastes sweet and is actually made up of “layers” of something like bread. That is why it is called lapis legit, as layer means lapis in Bahasa.