"Indonesia" Personal Page by Daihappydai
I'm often horrified when Australian tourists say they are travelling to Bali to get an Indonesian experience and when I ask where they are staying they say 'Kuta' or 'Legian'. To me, Kuta and Legian are simply not Bali - the beaches aren't even that good. Bali has a unique culture with its own form of Hinduism - that culture can really only be experienced away from the tourist traps of Kuta and Bali. Climb a mountain, walk through ricefields, witness offerings at Hindu temples, go snorkelling or diving, take a bike ride through villages, watch a wayang orang performance, listen to the Balinese gamelan and more....
Two trips to Sulawesi and I want more - at least two months more! From Bunaken, Manado, Tangkoko National Park and Tomohon in the north, through to the Togean Islands in the centre, onto Rantepeo for Tana Toraja, and down to Sengkang and Bira in the south, Sulawesi has so much to offer. I'd really like to get to south east Sulawesi some time soon. But if you've only got a short time, try the route from Makassar to Tana Toraja, back down to Sengkang, then Bira and back to Makassar. All have something unique to offer.
The islands of South Maluku are fascinating for many reasons. There is a strong Dutch influence as the are was the original 'spice islands'. Nutmeg, cloves and other spices are still grown in abundance in the Banda Islands. One can explore old Dutch forts and nutmeg plantations although the highlight of the Bandas is definitely the snorkelling. On the Kei Islands, life is fairly relaxed. There are some beautiful beaches on both the north west and south of Kei Kecil. Pulau Sapurua and other Lease Islands are also worth exploring. The Malukan people are very friendly - especially those from smaller islands such as Pulau Ai in the Banda. Although transportation to and from the islands in South Maluku can be difficult, it is in some ways what keeps them special - few tourists, more authentic.
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- Posted in Travel Malaysia Forum "Re: Planning Malaysia Dec 19-27"
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