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Indonesia

Gili Island Beach

Gili Island Beach

Essence Offerings
Essence Offerings

 

Indonesia, located in Southeast Asia, is a vast and beautifully diverse country stretching for more than 5,000 kilometers across the equator. It is a nation consisting of over 13,000 islands. Only 6000 of these islands are inhabited. The islands spread between the Indian and Pacific oceans, linking the continent of Asia and Australia.

 

Indonesia
Indonesia

   The main islands are Bali, Sumatera Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Irian Jaya, and Java. Indonesia shares the islands of Kalimantan with Malaysian, and Irian with Papuau New Guinea. The name Indonesia is composed of two Greek words: “Indos” which means Indian and “nesos” which means islands.

It would simply be impossible to see everything that the world’s largest archipelago has to offer in a short length of time. In the past, the most popular destination for Indonesia has undoubtedly been Bali. In recent years however, other areas have become popular and these are: Jakarta, West Java, Central Java, Yogyakarta, East Java, West Nusa Tenggara, East Nusa Tenggara, Aceh, North Sumatra, West Sumatra, South Sumatra, Riau Bengkulu, Lampung, South Sulawesi, North Sulawesi, Southeast Sulawesi, East Kalimantan, West Kalimantan, South Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, Maluku, and Irian Jaya.

Prayer Time

Prayer Time - Bintan, Indonesia

 Variety is the spice life and nowhere is there more truth in this statement than in Indonesia. No two places are alike in unspoiled beauty, art, culture and people. The towering mountains and primitive cultures of Irian Jaya contrast sharply with the terraced hills, and highly sophisticated societies of Bali and Java with the animistic beliefs that still have a major influence on the way of life in South Sulawesi.

Lake Temple
Lake Temple

  “Unity in Diversity” is the country’s motto and it accurately describes these diverse cultures and extraordinary people brought together to create one nation with one national language known as Bahasa Indonesia. For the traveler, Indonesia offers a fine blend of scenic beauty, fauna and flora, culture, marine parks and a wide collection of modern accommodation.

Itinerary

 Sumbawa & Sumbawa Besar (or Badas)   

 

 This is the Island’s Ancient Capital. The island of Sumbawa is located between Lombok and Komodo and stretches 280 kilometers in an east-west direction and between 15 and 90 kilometers north to south. The terrain is rough and mountainous without any fertile plain. According to the “Guinness Book of World Records”, the 1815 eruption of 2,850 meter high Mount Tambora was the greatest volcanic eruption in known history during which over 150 cubic kilometers of rock and ash were propelled upward.

Badas, also called “Sumbawa Besar”, is the ancient capital of the western part of Sumbawa. In the 14th century, this island became prosperous through trade in native horses, rare timber, and the fragrant sandalwood. The Buginese of South Sulawesi introduced Islam to Sumbawa and installed a lineage of royal sultans in Bima in the east. A Muslim adventurer from South Kalimantan seized the throne in Sumbawa Besar in 1820.

The town and its surrounding villages offer insights into this centuries-old culture. The various ancient tribes living on Sumbawa are divided into two linguistic groups that for many centuries could not understand the languages of one another. During your visit to this island you’ll experience a mixture of multiple cultures and exotic customs.

Wooden Sailing Boats in Java
Wooden Sailing Boats in Java
Island of Komodo – the last home of fierce dragons from the Jurassic age. Komodo, a hilly island of dry tropical savannah, is located between Sumbawa and Flores about 500 kilometers east of Bali. The 600 people living in the island’s only village are descendants of convicts sent in the past from Flores to Komodo as a punishment.

This island is the home of deer, wild boar, sulphur-crested cockatoos, noisy friar birds, and rare, mound-building megapode birds. Baleen whales and dolphins are often sighted in the water, and so are sharks, sea snakes and saltwater crocodiles that can reach 7 meters in length. The Komodo National Park is the habitat of the world’s largest pre-historic lizard, also known as the “Komodo Dragon”.

Komod Dragon
Komod Dragon

The komodo dragon (Varanus komodensis) was discovered as late as 1911.  Everywhere else in the world these fierce reptiles have been extinct since the Jurassic age. Their current number on Komodo is estimated to be around 1,600. There are also about 600 dragons living on nearby Rinca Island and some others on Flores. Komodo Dragons grow up to 3 meters in length and weigh as much as 200 kilograms. They have fearsome looking jaws that can disjoint to swallow large chunks of their prey, strong legs with sharp claws, and a tail that is a dangerous weapon. Their flicking, forged tongue protrudes up to half a meter and is used to taste and smell. They are said to be able to smell a prey from 8 kilometers away.

Visiting the Komodo Dragons

After finishing an early breakfast by 7:00 a.m. and while it’s still cool and the dragons are most active, you start the easy 4 kilometer walk into the wildlife preserve.  You are escorted as small groups by experienced Park Rangers and you will be able to safely view and photograph the dangerous reptiles at close range from an area surrounded by a fence. You might catch a glimpse of one or two dragons during your walk to the “dragon area” but this special spot is where you will see at least three or four and sometimes many more of these huge lizards. After lunch on board your charter yacht will be able to visit “Pink Beach” which offers excellent snorkeling.  

Indonesia

Indonesia

 Lombok  

Bali’s eastern neighbor is often described as “Bali before Tourism”. Large areas of this island are still rather untouched, and many people are as poor as Bali’s inhabitants were 40 or 50 years ago. A visit to these villages – where people still live in primitive mud huts with a dirt floor and without doors, and have hardly any personal belongings, decent medical care or a chance to obtain reasonable education – is highly recommended for those visitors who like to complain that Bali has been “spoiled” and the locals have “not preserved” their way of life. 
 

 

 

Fauna and flora in Lombok are also quite different from Bali because the island is located east of the “Wallace Line” and governed by Australian climatic influences. You won’t see much of Bali’s lush green tropical vegetation but instead only bananas and coconut palms, many thorny plants, and scrubby, barren hills. The island is towered over by one of Indonesia’s highest mountains, the 3,726-meter high, still active volcano Gunung Rinjani in the north.

Sasaks, the natives of Lombok, are officially Muslims that unofficially retain many of their ancient animist beliefs and practices. They grow rice and to a lesser extent, coffee, kapok, tobacco, and cotton. The island is also known for traditional weaving, plaited basket-ware, bags and mats, and it’s worthwhile visiting some villages specializing in one of these crafts.

Soft Coral
Soft Coral

 

The island’s capital is Mataram where you can visit an interesting local market. All international standard hotels are located near Sengiggi Beach, although there are also a few nice beaches (without proper hotel facilities) on the other side of the island. The three Gili islands are a short boat ride away from Sengiggi and offer white beaches and crystal clear water — ideal for snorkeling and diving. However, accommodation on these tiny islands is quite primitive.

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