Sunday, July 15, 2012

Exploring the Wonders of Indonesia

Executive summary by darmansjah

Escape to an unspoiled white-sand beach, a climb a mist-wreathed volcano, explore the mysteries an ancient culture, or delight in the beauty of living artistic traditions. With 17,000 islands waiting to welcome you, Indonesia offers endless wonders in one unforgettable destination.


One of the largest and most intriguing of Indonesia’s  17,000-plus islands is Sumatra. The backbone of this 470,000 square-kilometer landmass is the Barisan Mountains, a volcanic range that endows the land with fertile soil and beautiful scenery. Its centerpiece is the Toba caldera, a vast crater formed millennia ago by the explosion of a super-volcano, and the site of the largest volcanic lake in the world. Home to almost a quarter of the country’s population, Sumatra also harbors a rich variety of flora and fauna, including rarities like the Sumatran tiger, rhinoceroses, and clouded leopards.

Padang, on the west coast of Sumatra, is the launching pad for tourists visiting the west Sumatran highland and for surfers heading out the Nias and Mentawai Islands. The Mentawais are a wave-rich cluster of about 70 islets that have a reputation for possessing some of the world’s most consistent surf. It had been the secret site for local and pro suffers, until the location was inevitable leaked. It is now one of the most popular surf destinations in Indonesia. Nias island also hold the honor for having world-class waves. Among the countless islands of Indonesia, of which two-thirds are uninhabited, the ultimate surfer’s  fantasy of crowd-free and unnamed breaks can still be experienced.

Hotel Sedona Manado, A luxurious gateway to Bunaken

A holiday in Manado, the provincial capital of North Sulawesi in Indonesia, is full of adventure, with wild rain forests, cultural heritage, and breathtaking diving. Hotel Sedona Manado is an idyllic tropical retreat set on sprawling 24-hectare site. Boasting its own private beach lagoon, the hotel offers an intoxicating blend of sunshine, azure waters, great food, and warm, attentive service. The 247 rooms are spacious and come with private balconies that overlook the Sulawesi Sea or lush gardens.

 The hotel’s friendly service and comprehensive facilities make it the ideal venue for meetings, events, or team building sessions. It is also a dream location for romantic weddings, where couples make their vows in a beautiful garden pavilion, with sunny skies and the sparkling sea as a backdrop for their special day.

There are ample recreational facilities to keep guests entertained, including canoeing, snorkeling, scuba diving, beach volleyball, and tennis. Satiate a healthy appetite after all that activity at the hotel’s Kopi – O restaurant, which offers Indonesian, Western, and Asian cuisine. For some leisurely lunging try the Taman Laut Pool Bar or have a drink at the Pantai Lobby Lounge, with panoramic views of the sea and live music at sundown.

Named Indonesia’s Leading Resort at the 2008 World Travel Awards, Hotel Sedona Manado also offers canoeing, snorkee ot the ling and diving expeditions to explore Bunaken Marine National Park, one of the top 10 diving sites in the world.

Jl. Raya tanawangko, desa tateli, kec pineleng, kabupaten minahasa, Sulawesi Utara-Indonesia; 62-431/825-8888; e-mail;

A fusion of luxury and nature…

Hosted in the unspoiled environment of a lush rainforest river valley, traditional Balinese villages and verdant rice fields, Maya Ubud is a tranquil haven of tropical gardens, private pool villas and luxury accommodations.

With the award-winning Spa at Maya, two dramatic infinity-edged swimming pools, great dining choices and a host of activities-both on-site and in the surrounding countryside-Maya Ubud offers the ultimate alternative to the beach culture. Naturally.

Jl. Gunung sari, peliatan ubud – Bali 80571 Indonesia; P.O.Box 1001 Ubud, Bali 80571 Indonesia; ph +62 361 977 888 fax: +62 361 977 555

 the restaurant facade of Komaneka at Bisma

“This is a fantastic hotel. The suite I had was spacious and comfortable with complimentary fruit an cookies. It had a large balcony overlooking the rice fields far below. The balcony had sun loungers all set up should I just have wished to laze around. The hotel is brimming with art and it is worth just having a wander  around just to see what you can discover. One thing that you can’t fail to miss is the swimming pool. Avery long infinity pool which has all the guests reaching for their cameras. Certainly worth an early morning dip. Overlooking the iconic pool is a very nice restaurant spread over two floors. Breakfast there was excellent. It is an a la carte service with a plenty to choose from and all delicious. – SY. Manchester – UK.

The  neighboring island of Flores, is one of the jump-off points for visiting Komodo Island. Flores is also home to Mount Kelimutu and its multicolored crater lakes, which vay in color periodically. Just south of Flores is Sumba, one of the more unspoiled pars of the country. Substantial grasslands make it one of Indonesia’s leading horse-breeding islands. The annual Pasola festival, which showcases terrifically frightening mock battles fought on horseback, add to Sumba’s off-the-beaten-track appeal.

Maluku and Papua

The island of Ambon is the ideal base for diving excursions around the famed spice islands of Maluku. Known for its white sandy beaches, Ambon is a great place to while away a couple of days relaxing under coconut palms in between fascinating reef and wreck dives. For those wishing to venture farther afield, the waters around Biak Island off the north coast of Papua offer a rare look at eerie World War II wrecks and relics, while rushing waterfalls dominate the forested terrain.

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