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  • What's on Board
    25 Jul 2016

    PATA (The Pacific Asia Travel Association) has  just announced its Grand and Gold Awards for 2016 where Indonesia won 3 Gold Awards.  The Ministry of Tourism of Indonesia won the Marketing-Primary Government Destination Gold Award for its marketing campaign in attracting visitors to Indonesia for the the Total Solar Eclipse of 2016.   Dr. Mario Hardy, PATA CEO, stated that: “On behalf of PATA, I would like to congratulate the 2016 Grand and Gold Award winners and to thank all of this year’s participants for their submissions. This year’s winners exemplify the values of the Association in working towards a more responsible travel and tourism industry in the Asia Pacific region and we look forward to celebrating their accomplishments at the PATA Gold Awards luncheon and presentation at PATA Travel Mart 2016 in Indonesia.PATA Gold Awards announced won by Indonesia are the following:PATA Gold Award 2016Marketing – Primary Government DestinationTotal Solar Eclipse IndonesiaMinistry of Tourism Republic of IndonesiaPATA Gold Award 2016Heritage and Culture – CultureLalare OrchestraMinistry of Tourism Republic of IndonesiaPATA Gold Award 2016Travel Journalism – Travel PhotographJourney of the Wanderer by Handi LakonsoColours, Inflight magazine of Garuda Indonesia, April 2015Agency Fish, IndonesiaIn addition, Indonesia’s senior tourism Journalist Mimi Hudoyo in cooperation with  TTG’s Raini Hamdi also won the Travel Journalism – Industry Business Article.  PATA Gold Award 2016Travel Journalism – Industry Business ArticleThe New Glamorous, TTG Asia Luxury December 2015by Mimi Hudoyo and Raini HamdiTTG Asia Media PTE LTD, SingaporeThe Awards will be officially handed to the winners during PATA Travel Mart  2016 to be presented on  Friday, 9 September 2016 at the  newly established Indonesia Convention Exhibition (ICE) Hall in Greater Jakarta, in the Banten province.

  • What's on Board
    25 Jul 2016

    If you think Bali is merely all about sun, sand, and barreling waves, then you definitely need to explore a bit further because this enchanting island offers so much more. Among the picturesque landscape of lush rice paddies and breathtaking hills of her interior, you can also find a number of beautiful traditional villages with typical Balinese houses with an authentic traditional way of life that is still practiced by its people until today.  One particular village which stands out and was recently recognized among the top three cleanest villages in the world, is Penglipuran village situated in the Bangli regency.As quoted from okezone.com and liputan6.com, Penglipuran is regarded  as one of the world's cleanest villages along with Giethoorn in the Netherlands and Mawlynnong in India.Located not too far from Kintamani and set along a hilly countryside, the village of Penglipuran is a delightful, well-kept village composed of wide, brick roads, lined with rows of charming, antique traditional houses interspersed with neatly manicured gardens. The village is traditionally constructed,  remaining true to traditional methods of bamboo architecture. In this bamboo village, almost everything around you is made from the abundant plant; kitchens, majestic gates and doorways, furniture, roofs and gates. Many of the styles and creations, such as the bamboo roof shingles, are unique to this little community and not found elsewhere.Most definitely, the beauty of the village radiates from its cleanliness. This is because, here the significance of environmental awareness is part and parcel of daily culture and is taught since early childhood for generations. Both local villagers and tourists are not allowed to throw trash carelessly, while smokers are only allowed to smoke in certain designated smoking areas. As part of the environmental friendly activities, every month all housewives of the village gather to collect and sort the trash. The organic trash will be processed into fertilizers while plastics and other inorganic trash are sold for recycling or collected in a “trash bank”.Visitors may visit the village any time of the year, but the best time to visit Penglipuran is nearing the  Galungan  religious festivities. On these days, the village will be decorated with rows of “penjor” or decorative bamboo poles on which are suspended unique accessories. Atthese occasions, you will also see young girls in Balinese traditional dress carry towering banten  of trays of offerings on their head as they step gracefully from each home to the village pura or Hindu temple.Sources: okezone.com,  liputan6.com, pegipegi.comPhoto Source : pegipegi.com

  • What's on Board
    12 Jul 2016

    A mere 50 miles across the sea from Bali is another island that has long lived in the shadow of its popular neighbor. But the secret of Lombok is getting out and it's quickly becoming a favorite destination. Lombok allures first time visitors with its spectacular beaches, lust and misty forests, then steal the hearts of even the most seasoned travelers with volcanic hot springs, unexpected waterfalls, and mountain peaks soaring into the clouds.Head north up into the mountains past rice and tobacco fields. Here stands the second highest volcano in the country. Mt. Rinjani or Gunung Rinjani might be one of the most varied and dramatic multi-day treks one can do. It is a place better experienced rather than talked about, but impossible not to talk about once experienced. Camp in the forest next to a crater lake or soak weary legs in hot springs heated by the steaming volcano. Hike under the stars to catch sunrise at the summit, an unforgettable unfolding of color and light at high elevation. Don't miss the Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep Waterfalls, located in Senaru near the base of where the trek to Mt. Rinjani begins. The short hike is a treat unto itself with the trail taking you to picturesque river crossings in a tropical jungle. Swim in the turquoise clear pool as water cascades down a wall of smooth stone and verdant foliage.In the south, rent scooters in Kuta Lombok and then get out of town to explore the southern coastline and headlands. Adventurous types can strap a surfboard to the side and navigate a bumpy dirt road to find Mawi – a  long bay with perfect peeling left handers and small islands dotting the distant horizon. Watch in the early evening light as farmers let their cattle graze alongside the road or horseback ride on the beach at sunset. Wade through the shallow tide pools and watch as streaks of pink and orange illuminate the sky. Take a quick boat ride across the channel to the tiny Gili Islands. Quaint enough to ride a bike around (there are no cars only horse drawn carts) but still bustling with activities to do, the Gili Islands still have that remote, dreamy island feel. There are numerous opportunities to freedive and scuba dive or simply enjoy the clear blue water. Whatever the reason for coming to Indonesia, Lombok is a host of diversity and beauty with the convenience of an emerging tourism destination.Written by Chelsea Yamase (@chelseakauai)

  • What's on Board
    9 Jul 2016

    The holiday islands of Batam and Bintan in the Riau Archipelago, better known as Kepri, continue to report fully booked golf courses, hotels and ferries over the Eid holidays. This is in spite of recent flyers and messages on social media that warned that terrorists were aiming at visitors there. In response to these notes, Minister of Tourism Arief Yahya, informed the press that the Indonesian authorities, in particular the Police and the Mobile Brigade have heightened security measures on the islands, especially at harbors and resorts. All authorities are also in constant contact with the Singapore Consulate in Batam. On Bintan, security measures have also been tightened across the island, including along the northern coast at Bintan Resorts. Minister Arief Yahya affirmed that all measures have been taken to keep Indonesia safe, including on Batam and Bintan, so that all holiday makers, both Indonesians and foreigners may enjoy their vacation as planned. 

  • What's on Board
    8 Jun 2016

    For many Western travelers, east Java is simply an area they pass through or hear about on their way to and from Bali. Things are changing though, and Banyuwangi, the city on the eastern tip of Java is earning a reputation for being a jump off point for the more intrepid traveler.As the largest regency in Java, Banyuwangi is a wonderfully varied area which hosts activities to suit every level of adventure. Rise at dawn to release tiny baby turtles with the help of a park ranger at the remote Sukamade Beach. Hike up Ijen Crater at night to see its famous blue flames and then stay to watch the sun illuminate the largest highly acidic lake in the world. Hikers can purchase pieces of sulfur that have been hand cut and carried out of the crater by traditional miners. After the hike, be sure not to miss the many waterfalls near the base of Ijen. Blawan Falls is easy to access and still a relatively unknown gem. Go on safari in the 25,000 hectare Baluran National Park, a forest preserve with miles of savannah grasslands and wild animals.Ocean lovers can surf world-class, completely empty lefts at G-land. Watch at dawn and dusk as wild deer pick their way across the dry reef and feed on algae. Swim at the picturesque Green Bay beach. Lounge on the rope swing bench at the end of the beach for a truly relaxing afternoon. Take a boat from Green Bay to land on a black sand beach one cove over. Hundreds of boats of every color dot the shoreline of this shallow bay. Local kids play pick up games of soccer or build their own kites from materials they find on the beach. Ask nicely enough and you just might get to join in!written by Chelsea Yamase (@chelseakauai)

  • What's on Board
    8 Jun 2016

    Whether it is for their sand, sun, surf and amazing snorkeling, or merely for their serene ambience, the beaches on the enchanting island of Bali never fail to offer something for everyone. Having built  its reputation since the 80’s, some of the more well known beaches such as Kuta, Sanur, or Nusa Dua area already popular worldwide.Here, the beautiful coast of Bali fringes around luxurious resorts and popular tourist attractions. Over time, more amazing secluded beaches were “discovered” surrounding the island, continuously adding to the splendor that spells Bali.So, whether you are a frequent traveler or a first timer, these are some of the island’s most fascinating beaches that may not have been in the spotlight, but are most definitely worth a visit.1. Balangan BeachRanked 1st in CNN Go’s “Bali's best 5 hidden beaches” released on January 2012, this secluded paradise lies about some 30-40 minutes from the highly popular Kuta Beach. A perfect place to stroll down and enjoy the tranquility of nature at its finest, Surfers aficionados find at  Balangan  beach  Bali’s longest left-hander breaks.2. Dreamland BeachNot quite a secret beach anymore but still slightly ‘hidden’ due to its secluded location, Dreamland, Balangan’s ‘next door neighbour’, truly lives up to its name. A vast stretch of soft pearly white sand, clear blue sky over the crystal clear blue waters, and nothing but the fascinating sound of waves hitting the shores; this is where nature interprets  your dream.3. Suluban BeachWorld-class thrilling waves meet jaw-dropping scenery at the secluded surfers’ paradise of Suluban Beach.  Be it for a surfing holiday or a romantic getaway, the waves together with the spectacular scenery at Suluban Beach are indeed a true gem that make Bali sparkle.4. Amed BeachAmed Beach East Bali is everything you dreamed it would be: a rare and special paradise of outstanding exotic beauty, vibrant culture and friendly people. Snorkeling and diving off the black-sand beach here is exceptional, the variety and number of fish species here are among the best in Bali5. Pandawa BeachConcealed behind high cliffs and overgrown shrubbery, Pandawa beach has long remained secluded from the crowds of tourists, due to the less-than-easy path that has to be taken to access it. Seemingly endless stretches of pure white sand span from one end to the other. The clear blue water heaves to shore with the swell of the ocean in hypnotic rolling waves, from where the sea touches the sky.  6. Pemuteran BeachThe coastal Village of Pemuteran in North Bali is as far as it gets from the hustle and bustle found in the south of this fabled island. Instead, here peace and tranquility welcome all to its secluded beaches and captivating hilly background.  The charm of Pemuteran also lies below the surface of its calm waters, in the many diving spots, and most especially its phenomenal Underwater Temple.

  • What's on Board
    6 Jun 2016

    In October 2016, coinciding with the arrival of yachts at the coast of West Kalimantan by participants of the Sail Indonesia and Sail2Indonesia Rallies from Australia, the Sail Karimata Strait Yacht Rally awaits covering the area from the Strait of Karimata to the Riau islands of Bintan and Batam, before yachts finally leave the Indonesian border to Singapore. More Yachts from Singapore and Malaysia are also expected to join the rally at Karimata to converge with yachts that have already sailed across Indonesian waters from Darwin and Cairns Down Under ever since August.The Strait of Karimata is the sea that flows between the province of West Kalimantan on the island of Borneo and the provinces of Bangka-Belitung, and Jambi on Sumatra to the west, and the Riau islands province to its north, where the sea then meets the Strait of Malacca.Leading the preparations, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs, Rizal Ramli, recently urged participating Governors to take advantage of this important occasion to boost their respective regional economies. In support of this event, and furthermore, to serve the needs of the provinces to grow  marine tourism in their regions,  the national government plans to build the necessary infrastructure including building main roads, clean water supply, and floating docks , besides supporting strategic events held  in this context that are aimed at the wider regional development. The event is fully supported by the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs, the Ministry for Tourism, Ministry for Transportation, and the Ministry for Marine and Fisheries. In response, The Riau Islands Province has determined that Sail Karimata activities will be held together with the Riau Islands (Kepri) Marine Festival, to take place from 20-30 October 2016. Sail Karimata is expected to be officially opened by Vice President Jusuf Kalla and to be held in the evening of 28 October 2016 in Tanjung Pinang, with as highlight the Sail Pass of a flotilla of Naval ships and participating Yachts.The 28 October 2016 happens to be the nation’s  historically significant Youth Pledge Day, when Indonesia’s youth in 1928 pledged to create: One Country, One Nation, One Language: Indonesia.   Meantime, the Riau Islands Marine Festival will be filled with a Fashion Carnival, Drum Bands parade, Dragon Boat races, art performances, an expo and Culinary Bazaar, besides Competitions in Traditional games such as Top Spinning, Swimming competition between Tanjung Pinang to the island of Penyengat, and much more,  for everyone to enjoy and participate. More details will follow nearing the event.

  • What's on Board
    3 Jun 2016

    This August make the island of Nias in the Indian Ocean your choice destination. From 6 to 8 August 2016, all district governments together with the people of Nias have joined hands to present the highlight of their 2016 Calendar of Events, which is filled with a cultural festivalcalled Ya’ahowu and the staging of the International Surf Competition .   Nias is already wellknown worldwide for its unbelievable rolling surf barrels, - the darling of surfers, - and the earliest discovered living Megalithic culture in the Indonesian archipelago, which still thrives on the island until this very day.These and other exciting cultural performances will be shown during the festival at Gunung Sitoli, that include the amazing famous barefeet high jumps over piles of stone, a mock battle , and other  unique and colorful traditional ceremonies of Nias. And for a more modern touch there will also be fashion shows and a culinary bazaar for all to enjoy.    At the same time the exciting International Surf Competition will be ongoing at Sorake Bay and Lagundri Beach.The Festival will close with popular Indonesian singers and 1,000 lanterns released into the sky.As part of the province of North Sumatra, the island is reachable by regular flights from the Kualanamu International Airport of Medan, capital city of the province to the Binaka Airport at Gunung Sitoli. While Sorake Bay is only some15 km from Gunung Sitoli. There are surf camps available there for surfers.   Medan receives flights from Singapore, Malaysia, Jakarta and other major cities in Indonesia.For more details see Related links attached to this article and click on the following link: http://indonesia.travel/sites/site/831/all-time-nias-surfing-at-sorake-bay-and-lagundri-beach

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  • What's New
    25 Jul 2016

    To be held on August 13, 2016, with expected participants near to 1,000 avid runners from across Indonesia and abroad, the Toraja Marathon Committee offers easy packages for both participants and supporters. As Tana Toraja lies in the central highlands of South Sulawesi some 328 km north of Makassar, capital city of South Sulawesi, Toraja can be reached by plane from here to a small airport at Pongtiku near Makale, the largest town in Tana Toraja. Nonetheless, most still prefer the 8 hours overland journey, which, though strenuous, provides unforgettable scenery.Exotica Toraja, the appointed travel agent offers a number of packages to suit all needs as follows: Bus Package of IDR 570,000 includes transfer in/out from Makassar's Hasanuddin Airport to Toraja including shuttle bus service from the hotel to the venue and back. Basic Package (Hostel/homestay including breakfast) starts from IDR 1,500,000/2N or  IDR 2,200,000/3N, transfer in/out from Hasanuddin International Airport, shuttle bus from/to the hotel to the venue Comfort Package (1 or 2 stars hotel including breakfast) starts from IDR 2,170,000/2N up to IDR 3,170,000/3N, transfer in/out from Hasanuddin International Airport, shuttle bus from/to the hotel to the venue Family Package Basic (Hostel/homestay include breakfast) starts from IDR 3,450,000/2N to IDR 3,850,000/3N, which comprises transfer in/out from Hasanuddin International Airport, shuttle bus from/to the hotel to the venueFamily Package Comfort (1 or 2 stars hotel including breakfast) starts from IDR 4,050,000/2N to IDR 4,260,000 for 3 Nights which include transfer in/out from Hasanuddin International Airport, shuttle bus from/to the hotel to the venue.While, for those who wish to experience more of Toraja while there, Exotica Toraja also offers packages. Tana Toraja has a unique culture set in stunning scenery. The villages of this mountainous area provide a fascinating unique architecture and rituals,  the most elaborate funeral rites in the world, graves high up in caves atop rocky cliffs, then taste the spicy torajan local cuisine and enjoy  Toraja's  legendary  Arabica coffee.To experience Toraja during the event, there are a number of additional tour packages available on the  11th. 12th 14th, 15th, and 16th August, as follows:One day tour, covering a visit to the traditional village of Ke’te Kesu, the Lemo Cave in Londa, Baby Grave at Kambira and the tall statue of Jesus in Makale. (8-10 pax)/IDR 470,000 per person by ELF minibus.(4-5 pax) IDR 515,000 per person by Avanza (mini MPV), (4-5 pax) IDR 560,000 per person by Innova (compact MPV)2 Days Tour, covering a visit to Batutumonga the best points to view the highlands, Lokomata, Pallawa and Bori. There is also a chance for tourists to witness the Rambu Solo’ funeral ceremony. Stop by at Sa’dan Barana, guests are entertained by traditional music and dance performances and learn Toraja traditional weaving .(8-10 pax)/IDR 940,000 per person by ELF minibus.(4-5 pax) IDR 1,030,000 per person by Avanza (mini MPV), (4-5 pax) IDR 1,120,000 per person by Innova (compact MPV)For more information log on to www.torajamarathon.com.

  • What's New
    21 Jul 2016

    This year, Indonesia will host the prestigious 6th TAFISA (The Association for International Sport forAll) Games  2016, to be held 6th-12th October 2016 at the sprawling Ancol Dreamland along the north coast of Jakarta, capital city of Indonesia. Carrying the theme : “Unity in Diversity”, Indonesia won the bid over the Netherlandsduring the 22nd Tafisa World Congress 2011 in Antalya, Turkey. Over 110 countries are expected to join and compete in the wide range of sports and challenges, while the host country is also allowed to introduce its own traditional sports and games. TAFISA World Sport for All Games is held every four years, and this year the event will highlight and help reintroduce Indonesia’s traditional sport and games among which; traditional archery, Jet Ski, yoga, gymnastics, BMX racing, street football games, pencak silat together with aikido from Japan under the category of traditional martial art. According to Haryono Isman, Chairman of this year’s Organizing Committee TAFISA Games Haryono Isman, Indonesia as host will introduce and promote its traditional sports such as pencak silat,enggrang-stilts walking, the poco-poco dance, onthel –old style- biking, traditional wrestling and  many more. “It is a good opportunity to make the most benefit from this event for Indonesia to promote our culture, traditional sports and tourism sports activities in particular” stated Haryono. Moreover, the Ministry of Tourism and the Jakarta local government have also given their full support in preparing packages for participants to travel to some of Indonesia’s amazing destinations that include Tana Toraja, Lombok, Lake Toba and Raja Ampat. Started in the 1960s in Bonn, Germany,  TAFISA began  as a semi-regular gathering of international individual personalities and leaders interested and working together in the field of sports for all, then under the title Trim and Fitness. In 1991 in Bordeaux, France, the organization TAFISA was officially formed and registered as Trim and Fitness International Sport for All Association. In 2009 TAFISA officially changed its name to “The Association for International Sport for All” and has grown rapidly since then with 270 members from 160 countries.

  • What's New
    20 Jul 2016

    The reputable lifestyle Travel & Leisure magazine recently picked Nihiwatu Sumba Resort on the little known indonesian island of Sumba in East Nusa Tenggara, as World's Best Private Hotel 2016, selected from a list of 100 hotels across the globe based on the magazine's readers' survey for its annual World’s Best Awards. Nihiwatu Resort topped even other famous hotels like The Spectator, Charleston in South Carolina (USA), Huka Lodge, Taupo (New Zealand), and Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island (Australia) and the Peninsula Shanghai with its fancy rooftop bar offeringa view of Shanghai skyscrapers.Nihiwatu Resort well deserves this accolade because of its luxurious accommodation built in local architecture set amidst some stunning landscape. Here the tropical forest, rice terraces, grasslands and protected white sandy beachfront of Nihi Beach blend harmoniously with authentic local experiences.Located  55 minutes flight from Bali, Sumba island is known for its superlative waves so popular with surfers. One of the world’s most exclusive wave “Occy Left” remains its most famous draw, luring surfers from the world over, limiting itself to 10 surfers at the break per day. Besides surfing Nihiwatu offers a wide range of  activities that include spa options, waterfall hikes, biking, scuba diving and snorkeling, yoga, day trips or horseback riding.James McBride, Managing Partner of Nihiwatu stated that Nihiwatu offers a unique personal journey for those who stay there since it involves guests in developing surrounding villages through its social reponsibility program.  The resort aims to follow the principles of sustainable tourism by donating profits to the Sumba Foundation, that funds malaria clinics, run poverty prevention programs, build water wells and schools for the locals on the island. During their stay, guests are introduced to the Foundation's efforts through an impactful presentation and short film. The resort is the largest employer on the island where locals make up more than 90% of its total workforce. For rates ranging from USD 650 for One Bedroom Villa to USD 12,000 for a Five Bedroom Estate, guests find their stay at Nihiwatu rewarding since with the Resort they also become benefactors and give back to local communities funds for education and development."Hospitality-centric luxury has changed," Nihiwatu’s owner Chris Burch said in a press release.  "It is more than just the finer touches.  It has evolved to a custom-made itinerary, a personal journey, unexpected experiences, and a curiosity for the unknown.  We have been extremely fortunate to exceed everything we set out to deliver with the Nihiwatu concept." Travel behaviour of today’s consumer is changing rapidly. Today they seek a new type of luxury: one that is experiential in scope, activity-driven, culturally steeped and philanthropic, with attention to details that encourage guests to discover the very best in adventure, immersion, and fun. For more information log on to : www.nihiwatu.comThe Top 10 private hotels named in Travel & Leisure's 2016 World's Best Awards are: Nihiwatu Sumba, IndonesiaThe Spectator, Charleston, South Carolina, USAHuka Lodge, Taupo, New ZealandSouthern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island, AustraliaMontage Kapalua Bay, Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii, USAThe Lodge, Glendorn Bradford, Pennsylvania, USAThe Willcox, Aiken, South Carolina, USACasa Gangotena, Quito, EkuadorTwin Farms, Barnard, Vermont, USAThe Singular Patagonia, Puerto Bories, Chile

  • What's New
    20 Jul 2016

    For the first time, the ceremonious Changing of the Guards at the Merdeka Presidential Palace in Jakarta will be exhibited to the public. The impressive ceremony which involves 24 members of the Presidential Security Detail (Paspampres), will be routinely held on the front yard of the Merdeka Palace every second Sunday of the month at 8 AM (WIB).Previously a closed affair, the public will now be able to witness the ceremony first hand when Paspampres members inspect weaponry, ammunition  and uniforms,  also showcasing a variety of impressive skills such as weapon throwing.Paspampres Commander Maj. Gen. (Marshal) Bambang Suswantono stated that the public display of this ceremony comes as a directive from the President himself with the aim to promote stronger ties between the government and its people.Merdeka Palace is usually a secure and private venue, reserved for official events and limited to government staff and foreign dignitaries except at Indonesia's Independence Day celebrations. The move to invite the public to observe the prestigious grounds and ceremony at closer range, is expected to invoke a stronger sense of confidence and togetherness among the people.“Indonesia wishes to follow other countries, where this ceremony is often open to the public” Bambang said. The President also hopes tthat his will change the public image of the Paspampres as this opportunity will allow the public and media to be better acquainted with their duties and take photos with the “once intimidating looking Paspampres members”.  Image Source: nasional.kompas.com

  • What's New
    19 Jul 2016

    Thought-provoking and award-winning independent films from around the world from all genres of fiction, documentary, feature, and others will highlight the 10th Annual Bali International Film Festival or BALINALE 2016. This highly anticipated film festival will be held from 24th to 30th September 2016 centered at the Cinemaxx, a state-of-the-art five studio multiplex theater capable of exhibiting in 2D & 3D and located at the popular and conveniently located Lippo Mall Kuta Jl. Kartika Plaza, South Kuta Beach, Bali.In Celebration of a Decade of BALINALE, the theme chosen for this year’s festival is “No Boundaries” – a bold statement that illustrates that there are no limits to creativity and the means of expression.As always, a program of daily film screening of independent movies from around the world as well as some of Indonesia’s best cinema will be the main highlight of the festival. As this is a community based event, an important part of the festival’s commitment and attraction is the annual event's showcasing performances by local entertainment and free Children’s Film Program & Open Air Cinema (locally known as ‘Layar Tancap’) at Lippo Mall Kuta presented for a wonderful mix of audience comprised of film journalists, festival guests, festival enthusiasts, tourists, as well as the local community. The festival is also supported by a number of filmmakers, celebrities, cultural centers, and community leaders.Since the 1930's, the geographically and culturally diverse island of Bali has inspired the creative, artistic and spiritual with its unique traditional cultural and colorful ceremonial life. Bali International Film Festival, also known and registered as BALINALE, invites international filmmakers to present their work to a discerning audience that's a wonderful mix of locals and expatriates from across the globe.Recognized internationally for the diversity of its programming consisting of Indonesian and international independent and award winning fiction, documentary, feature and short films, it is also credited for the quality of the associated events where filmmakers enjoy BALINALE's relaxed and familiar manner informally meeting to discuss films, trends and the demands of a growing fast paced industry.BALINALE actively participates and contributes to other industry events developing affiliations with Motion Picture Association, Asia Pacific Screen Awards (Brisbane, Australia), ASEAN International Film Festival & Awards (Kuching, Malaysia), Asian Film Commissions Network (20 member countries), American Film Showcase and Sundance Institute's Film Forward. The festival holds the honor of receiving the endorsement of the National and Provincial Government for its proven efforts in delivering cultural, political and economic benefits to the country.More information available at: http://www.balinale.com/

  • What's New
    18 Jul 2016

    The vast Lake Toba in North Sumatra with picturesque Samosir Island in its center will be the site of yet another exciting running event when the Samosir Lake Toba Ultra 2016 takes place on 17th September 2016. Forming part of the Toba International Detour 2016 series of events along with the Greatest Caldera Ride, Toba in Harmony, Toba Gran Fondo 2016, and others, the event promises lots of excitement and fun for all participants. Divided into categories of 5 km, 10km, 25km and 50 km, the race will take runners into the breathtaking beauty around the world’s largest caldera lake, through numerous captivating traditional villages, and on to Samosir Island and its amazing heritage sites. This is truly the race that will take runners right into the heart of North Sumatra’s Batak land to experience its spectacular beauty and cultural features.A total of 1,500 participants including over 100 international athletes and many of the world’s best runners as well as running enthusiasts are expected to take part in the race.At over 1,145 square kilometers, and with a depth of 450 meters, Lake Toba is the largest volcanic caldera lake in the world. Toba is the perfect place to come to relax and absorb some beautiful, almost untouched natural surroundings. It’s hard to imagine a more scenic place to come and enjoy hiking, swimming and boating, although once you arrive, it might be difficult to resist the anesthetizing effects of the lake. The cool clear water coupled with the relaxed atmosphere and friendly people are what draw visitors from all over the world to Toba.Situated in the center of the lake, measuring 45 km by 20 km (almost the size of Singapore), Samosir Island together with its surrounding areas form the heart of Toba Batak culture. This is the perfect place to come and enjoy the legendary Batak hospitality. The island has many traces of ancient heritage including stone tombs and traditional villages, such as Ambarita which has a courtyard with stone furniture where in the old days convicts were tried and beheaded. Or visit Simanindo where traditional Batak ritual dances and music are performed. Here is where you'll be able to discover unique and ancient Toba culture. While at Tomok find mementos and typical Batak handicraft to take home, including the local ulos hand-woven materials.

  • What's New
    15 Jul 2016

    Reviving the memory of the historic voyages of Admiral Cheng Ho from China into Indonesian waters, the provincial government of Central Java in collaboration with the leaders of the Tay Kak Sie Temple, Sam Poo Kong Temple, and the Chinese Community of Semarang will stage the Cheng Ho Cultural Festival on 30th to 31st July 2016 in Semarang, capital city of Central Java Province.The festival will start with prayers and rituals, and highlight art performances, seminar and business meetings, with as pinnacle a cultural parade starting from the Tay Kak Sie Temple moving to the Sam Poo Kong Temple. Thousands of people will join the 6Km cultural parade carrying a statue of Admiral Cheng Ho - elsewhere better known as Zheng He. The cultural parade follows the voyages made by the great admiral and his fleet as they made their way to reach Semarang.Since he commenced the expeditions in 1405 until he passed away in 1433, Admiral Cheng Ho conducted 7 (seven) consecutive international expeditions, visiting 37 countries in the course of 28 years. In these expeditions, the admiral called on countries from Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. In his 5 expeditions to the Indonesian Archipelago, Cheng Ho successfully introduced Chinese technology and lifestyle to the population. At each place he visited, the admiral also planted a strong feeling of brotherhood with the inhabitants by building mosques and houses of prayer that show acculturation, fusing the culture of Islam with Chinese traditions and local beliefs and ways of life. During one of his voyages in the 15th century, the admiral set foot on the northern coast of Java at the Simongan Beach in Semarang. Finding a small cave in a rocky hillside, Cheng Ho chose the site to pray and later built a small temple on the location. After a short sojourn Cheng Ho left Java, however, many of his officers and crew decided to remain and settle in the area. They inter-married with local women evident from the many Simongan residents today who are from Chinese descent.In  later years the Sam Poo Kong (also known as Gedung Batu/the Stone Building) Temple was constructed on the site where Cheng Ho prayed and meditated. The temple still stands today and is the oldest Chinese temple in Semarang.

  • What's New
    15 Jul 2016

    At low tide boats in the harbor hover in one foot of silky water waiting for their respective owners to finish their morning ritual of tea or coffee. The sun is rising in the distance to the right as we motor out of the harbor of Tomia island. I admit I am curious and anxious for my first glimpse into diving here in Wakatobi, a collection of islands famed for their clear water and incredible biodiversity. It's only about five minutes to our first dive site the captain tells us and the donning of wetsuits, the matching of fins to feet ensues. A cursory look over the side of the boat to check the conditions before we get in reveals very little, but the ocean's deep blue color here implies depth.Once in the water a gentle current sweeps us over a pinnacle into a confluence of currents. A school of 20 pound jack fish flanked by two giant trevally materialize and dart in bait ball formation 30 feet below the surface. Small baitfish scurry closer to the surface their iridescent blue scales catching the morning light. I dive under again and drop after drop they not only tolerate our presence, but almost seem mildly intrigued. They swirl and surround me through their own volition as I slowly sink from the surface trying not to disturb their ranks. It is a surreal sight, unlike anything any of us have experienced before. Time, like our underwater movements, seems suspended and slowed. Underwater we cannot yell to each other, but behind each mask is a set of crinkling eyes that matches the joyful smile in my own. Our next dive takes us to an area 60 feet deep with a wonderland of fan corals. Some resemble human size underwater roses. Tiny reef fish hide in their congregated folds. Turtles and a few barracudas drift by. We finally stop pointing at each other every time we see something new and just enjoy the brilliance of nature. Sometimes happiness needs no words. Good thing, because here in Wakatobi especially, speechless, wide-eyed, and excited seems to be our new normal. Written by Chelsea Yamase (@chelseakauai)