Baluran National Park

This park is a forest preservation area that extends about 25.000 ha on the north coast of East Java. The location is in Sumberwaru village, Banyuwangi district, Situbondo (on the east border of Java Island). You can enjoy the panorama of savannah and mount Baluran (inactive volcano) in the center of area that becomes habitat of many exotic animals such as wild pigs, deer, peacocks, wild chicken, some species of monkeys and also bulls as the protected animals in the area.

You can enjoy the amazing scenery of the forest and do the safari activities in the wild life and feel the magic of the forest. This park is so unique because 15 km from the main entrance, you can find a beautiful white beach called Bama Beach, here in the habiat of coral reef, fish and mangrove.

You also can observe hundreds species of birds such as hornbills, peacocks and bulbuls. If you like to observe the tropical forest vegetation, the park is a heaven for many species of trees, plants and flowers such as pecan nut trees, Maja, Gadung, Java tamarind trees and mount Widara.

There are several activities that you can do in this park such as: - Safari Forest - forest adventure - Diving and snorkeling - Mountain hiking and mount climbing - Hill walking - Beach adventure to watch the fishermen's daily activities and seed seekers - Canoeing, rowing or boating until you the Fresh Water Gulf, Sejile Gulf and Bilik Beach.

Conducting some scientific researching (with prior permission).
If you prefer to safari to Baluran National Park, there are some cottage designed in Madurese style and operated by Environmental Education Center. There is also a main lodge that will serve you European and Indonesia cuisine.
Villas and lodges, you can rent them with your group members (about 20 persons capacity) and the also provide a praying room and a canteen.
There are two guesthouses by the beach, but you should have prior reservation.
Baluran Information Centre and a small museum that has several preserved animals by the main entrance operated by The Forestry Conservation Region Office.
The visitor can do many activities, such as; Diving, Swimming, boating, snorkeling
A beautiful camping area that is located in Sumberwaru village (outside of the forest preservation area)
Watching Towers that are usually used by rangers to watch or to observe the animals' behaviors and the region surrounding (you can bring a pair of binoculars or telescope to have a better look at the beautiful panorama)

Try to consider the wide ranges of this area, you will be better visit Baluran by your car or rent a car from Denpasar or Surabaya. You can also rent a car at Pasir Putih tourist resort or Situbondo. There is also motorbike public transportation called “ojek” in the main entrance that will take you to Bama Beach (with Negotiated cost)

The Route
o If you take a car, it takes 5 hours from Surabaya and 4 hours from Denpasar, Bali.
o For tourists who stay in Pasir Putih, it takes 1.5 hours and only 1 hours from Situbondo.

Gua Jepang (Japan Cave)
In Baluran National Park, you can see a historical place called “Gua Jepang” (Japan Cave). Gua Jepang is one of historical witness that in this place (Baluran National Park) was happened battle between Indonesia army against Japanese army. Because unequal power, there are a lot of Indonesia army who died in that battle, so this place also called Batangan. Gua Jepang has wide about 12 km that contains in 2 chambers. The north chamber was used to save the weapon, while the south chamber was used as a fissure to see an enemy.

Bekol Savannah
Beside Gua Jepang, in the Baluran National Park, you also can see Bekol savannah. It's about 12 km from the entrance Baluran National park. You will see a flock of deer, bulls, etc, in the morning and in the afternoon (when the sun goes down) to do their activity. You also can see their activity and behavior of those animals from the height.

Bama Beach
Bama beach is located in the east of Baluran National Park. You can see the original beach and the fantastic panorama in here. Beside that you can see the mangrove forest, Bama source and Mantingan source. One of special moment here is that you can see monkey with the long tail (Macaca fascicularis) that fishing crabs with their long tail. If you like go on food, you can pass the truck and you can see the beautiful panorama of Bama Beach on the height. Just with 15,000 Rupiahs per person you can spend the night in Bama Beach to enjoy the beautiful panorama at night here.

Top Hostel in Europe for Backpackers

Top Hostels in Europe

Good hostels offer more than just inexpensive accommodation. They allow the traveller to meet new people from all over the world and garner information about other great places to visit. The more unique hostels, in fact, are those located in rail cars, castles, and even lighthouses.

These hostels are scattered all over Europe, but here is a list of the best ones and their features.

The Bulldog Hostel (Amsterdam)
A sense of humour is a fine thing to have, and the Bulldog Hostel has plenty. Along with a bar, a common room, guest kitchens, and luggage storage, this hostel also offers a Ninja Assassin wakeup call and even a Film Making Studio. Dormitories go for $27 a night.

The Cat's Hostel (Madrid)
This is truly backpacker paradise, as this offers more than the usual rooms and lounge areas — it also has 24-hour reception, WiFi (wireless) in the rooms and free Internet access, telephone and fax, and security lockers. Dormitories start at $22.

Finale Ligure Youth Hostel (Italy)

Located in a real castle, this hostel is open to those who want to experience a fairy-tale like holiday. It's based right along the sea and near Finale trails.

Yellow Hostel (Rome)
This popular hostel offers a 24-hour reception desk, travel information desk, free Internet access, telephone and fax, and even a lift. Dormitories (non-smoking) are at $29.

The Globetrotter Inn Hostel (Edinburgh)

This hostel offers a travel information desk, Internet access, a bar, bicycle rental, parking, a BBQ area, and even a gym. Their hostel shuttle goes for just a $1 a day. Dormitories are $19 a night.

Keep Healthy

Keeping Healthy

Before you take off to Europe for that much awaited backpacking adventure, make sure that you’re ready to endure the rigors and physical hardships that are synonymous with this activity.

When you decide to go backpacking, visit your doctor first and have a general check up. You need to know the exact status of your overall condition so you would know what parts of the body you need to work on. Even if your doctor gives you a clean bill of health, you should still hit the gym. You will need to work on your legs, back and abdominal muscles. Give yourself an additional year to work your muscles out for the trek.

Lying curled up in a dingy hostel burning up with fever is not how you want to remember your backpacking adventure, right? And looking gaunt and coming home ill is not a good way to prove that you’ve really gone out backpacking. Therefore, when you are finally in Europe, make every effort to maintain your general health and physical well being. Though drinking vitamin supplements would help, the basic steps to follow are these:

Drink lots of water and eat properly
Nothing nourishes, strengthens and keeps the body in tip top shape than the proper amount of food and drink. Consuming too little food would hasten your fatigue, subject you to dehydration, lower your resistance and make you susceptible to unwanted infections. Ingesting too much would not only cause indigestion but make you feel ill at ease and sluggish which might affect your backpacking itinerary. If you feel hungry, keep some energy bars at the top of your pack, to make it easy for you to reach them.

When you feel tired, rest
Backpacking is not a race and it is not about competition. If you are getting tired or weary, don’t wait until you collapse out of sheer exhaustion before you decide to stop and take a break. Don’t force yourself to reach a particular destination or goal before you pause to rest. Forcing yourself beyond your physical capabilities at the risk of getting injured is never a good idea.

Wear protective clothing
When you are out backpacking, make sure that you put on the right clothes for the right kind of temperature. If you go during summer, wear light clothes and shorts; if you’re out in autumn, wear warmer clothes. Leaving your body exposed to the elements may increase your chances of getting a virus and getting ill in a strange country does not sound very appealing.

Also, you need to pay special attention to your skin and your feet. Bring several bottles of sun block (ideally, at least SPF 25) to protect your skin from the strong UV rays of the sun, and increase your shield by using caps or hats to protect your eyes and face. Since you’ll most likely be walking a lot, it pays to invest on good fitting shoes and padded socks. These not only make walking more comfortable, they also prevent the skin of your feet from getting blisters. Even if you are confident about the quality of your shoes and socks, bring ointments to combat blisters.

Protect yourself from insects
Aside from protecting yourself from the elements and other physical injuries, you also need to arm yourself against bugs and insects. Though most bugs and insects are harmless, there are still some that carry harmful diseases. Since you cannot select the insects that bite you, might as well protect yourself from the whole lot. To ward off insects, apply bug-off solutions to exposed parts of your body (usually the arms, legs and neck) and always wear socks (especially at night).

Lift your backpack properly
One of the most common injuries sustained by backpackers is due, not to external elements such as bugs, ravines, cliffs, storm, sleet, hail or snow — but by their own carelessness. When you are backpacking, your back carries least 35 pounds of dead weight most hours of the day. A good way to injure your back is to jerk the backpack off the ground and hoisting it over your shoulders. You may not feel the pain at first, but constant repetitive movements may (in the long run) damage tendons and muscle tissue. To care for your lumbar area, lift your backpack carefully and properly.

If you consciously make an effort to follow these tips, hopefully, you would be able to return from your journey stronger, healthier and happier than before you left. If others doubt that you’ve left because you’re not sallow and all skin and bones; just show them your pictures (and watch them turn green with envy).

How to make Budget

How to Make a Budget

Like any activity, you have to plan carefully for your backpacking adventure. It’s not enough that you know what trains to take, which places to stay in and what food to it, you have to make sure that you have enough money to sustain you until the end of your journey.

Although backpacking seems like a very non-costly activity, in reality, it is. There are a lot of things you need to buy and prepare for, and it’s not just a sturdy pair of shoes and an all-weather backpack. You will need guidebooks, a digital camera, travel accessories, basic medicine — the works! In fact, preparing for a backpacking trip is harder than planning for a usual out of town holiday.

When you’re preparing your backpacking budget, you divide your estimated costs into two categories: Pre-departure and Post-departure. The pre-departure expenses cover everything that you need to buy before you reach your destination. This will include the following:

Round Trip Plane Ticket - Unless you live in Europe and can just walk out of the door to start your backpacking experience, you will need this.

Eurorail Pass - Rate varies depending on the length of your stay and your age. If you’re below 24 or above 50, you get a discount.

Travel Insurance - Will vary depending also on the duration of your trip.

Backpack - Get a sturdy backpack. You don’t want to rip it halfway through your journey and then end up buying a new one.

Guidebooks - There are general and country specific guidebooks. Select which one you think would be most useful.

Travel accessories - Aside from the clothes on your back (and inside your backpack), you will need your usual toiletry supplies (soap, shampoo, toothpaste), first aid kits (band aids, alcohol, gauze bandages, pain relievers, cold medicine, insect repellants), travel pouches, money belts, flashlights, umbrellas, etc.

The Best Campsites in Europe

The Best Campsites in Europe

It is a known fact that backpackers may at times, when hostels are fully occupied, stay in campsites. Many people, backpackers and non backpackers alike, have pre-conceived images of what a campsite may look like. Tents pitched in grassy knolls, bonfires, and campers being bitten by gargantuan mosquitoes and bugs are what usually come to mind.

However, contrary to popular belief European campsites are in fact not dark, desolate and rustic places devoid of any fun and laughter. Modern campsites have facilities that can rival even the most modern hotels in any country. Situated beside beaches, near lakes, at the slopes of mountains or within splendid grounds, these campsites boast of having bars, restaurants and novelty shops, among others. It’s surprising that backpackers manage to tear themselves away from these comfortable resting places and forge through unfamiliar terrain just to reach their next destination.

What makes a specific campsite stand out from the rest? It depends really, on the clients’ tastes and preferences, but generally, the quality of European campsites are judged based on basic standards. The camps should always run smoothly and efficiently. The grounds and the facilities should be well maintained and the management should always make sure that the sanitation and washing facilities or equipment are functioning properly.

It would matter too if the campsite had its own outdoor and indoor swimming pools, waterslides, and jacuzzis. Other more upscale camps even have recreation areas not just for adults but for kids as well. Some camps have game rooms, tennis courts, and kiddie play areas. In addition to these, some even have bars, shops and restaurants (complete with waiters and full course menus) located within the confines of their compound.

Good campsites should also be versatile. Clients and guests vary depending on the season. During the peak season, they should be able to address the needs of their teenage guests. When it’s the non-peak season, the same campsites should be able to provide for the needs of families and toddlers too. Naturally, there are some sites which target only a specific age group. If you come across one, don’t just brush them off. These campsites are no less desirable than campsites that reach out to a larger market. Since they are market specific, they may have more facilities that would meet your needs.

It would be difficult to actually recommend one specific campsite for backpackers as these sites have different facilities, amenities and cater to different clientele. The quality and “star rating” of a campsite will depend entirely on you. Know what you want first and identify the facilities you need. Once you have determined these, it would be easier to pinpoint a campsite for you to stay in.

If you decide that you refuse to rough it out and opt to stay at one of these campsites during your backpacking adventure, you are more than welcome to do so. You can search for a listing of Europe’s top campsites over the internet.

Though you may come up with several camps and you may glean information from the camp directors or administrators themselves, don’t rely on these alone. Do additional research. Ask around, talk to friends, or visit backpacking forums and ask for advice. Remember that nothing beats the testimonials of those who have, at least once in their lives, stayed at these places. Because at the end of the day, the best campsite is not the one that has the most facilities or the most expensive rates — it is the one which makes you feel most comfortable and safe, and one that meets all your needs.

10 Commandment For Backpackers

10 Commandments for the Backpacker

There are literally hundreds of rules and tips that a backpacker has to know, but not everyone has the time nor the inclination to read through everything. Here are 10 commandments that a backpacker should follow:

1. Know what to bring. Backpacker should only bring what is necessary to their travel plans.

2. Always have with you identification. Bring with you at least two forms of identification in case authorities need extra proof of identity. Keep copies of them and do not put them all together in case of theft.

3. Arrange to have any visas needed. Some countries in Europe require it.

4. Break in any new equipment. You'll need to be familiar with what you'll be bringing.

5. Do a trial packing run. This is to check whether everything you'll be bringing will fit and leave some room for souvenirs, etc.

6. Know where to stay. Check out possible hostels/bed and breakfasts/campsites in your country of choice and see if they are acceptable for you.

7. Get travel insurance. If you plan on doing some risky activities such as skydiving or bungee-jumping, make sure you have travel insurance or check if your regular insurance can be extended during your trip.

8. Be familiar with local currency. Backpackers should arrive in countries with at least a working knowledge of local currency in order to spend it better. It's not wise to bring a lot of cash; convert what you have slowly.

9. Know the mode of transportation. Many countries offer budget air travel, car rentals, rail passes for trains, and even bicycles for rent.

10. Keep your health in mind. It's usual for backpackers to try local delicacies or to wander to rustic areas. Have the necessary shots and take a first-aid kit.

Bunaken Sail

Ever fancy yourself being a mermaid? Being able to swim along with other creatures of the sea , moving to the rhythm of the waves? In the Bunaken Marine Park, you will encounter a real “mermaid”, and you can also get a glimpse of sea life here.

Bunaken is an 8.08 km² island in the Bay of Manado, situated in the north of the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia. Bunaken forms part of the administrative city of Manado , capital of North Sulawesi. The marine Park around Bunaken is part of the National Park that also includes the ocean around the island of Manado Tua – or Old Manado, Siladen and Mantehage.

Within the Bunaken Marine Park, visitors can see various strange and colourful marine life along its sea bed. To reach this park, you can take a motorboat. The journey from Manado takes around 40 minutes. Entrance fee is 25,000 rupiahs per person per visit.

The translucent waters of the Bunaken seas enable people to clearly view numerous sea biota. There are 13 species of coral reefs in this park, dominated by edge ridges and block ridges of rocks. The most attractive view is the steep vertical sloppy coral reef that plunges down as deep as 25-50 meters.

Feast your eyes on 91 types of fish found in the Bunaken National Park, amongst which are the locally known gusimi horse fish (Hippocampus), the white oci (Seriola rivoliana), yellow-tailed lolosi (Lutjanus kasmira), goropa (Ephinephelus spilotoceps and Pseudanthias hypselosoma), ila gasi (Scolopsis bilineatus) and others.

Divers may also meet mollusk like the giant kima (Tridacna gigas), goat head (Cassis cornuta), nautilus (Nautilus pompillius) and tunikates/ascidian.

For those who enjoy scuba diving, this is a great place to be. With about 20 dive spots to choose from, divers will have the chance to swim below the sea, and frolic joyfully while admiring the sea creatures.

Make sure to visit Bunaken during its best season between May to August. That way you can explore the Park to its fullest.

Backpacking Tips

Backpacking Tips
Planning the Trip of a Lifetime

People all over the world from very different backgrounds, regardless of age, find backpacking a fun, rewarding and life changing experience. Most consider their first experience backpacking as being like birth into the world.

Without constraints or firm schedules, backpackers are completely free. With only your pack on your back, there are no limits to what you can do or see. Experiencing different cultures, overcoming language barriers, and making new friends (locals and other travelers) are all part of the adventure.

Backpacking across Europe can be confusing, exhausting and possible dangerous. Therefore, preparations need to be made. However, no matter how much you plan for your travels, adjustments will need to be made. Therefore, you should plan for these adjustments and set backup plans when possible. This web site is provided as a guide for those planning to set out on the adventure of a lifetime.

Essential Gear for Your Trip

Backpack (Invest the extra money to get a comfortable backpack that fits well. Your backpack is your constant companion and the key to comfort and convenience on your trip...use care to choose the right pack. You’ll be glad you did! Anything larger then 4500 CUI is going to be more trouble then it is worth)

Fast Drying Towel (These are available as most camping stores. The last thing you want to do is pack a wet towel in your backpack.)

Walking Shoes (When walking to and from the train stations, you’ll be happy you have comfortable shoes.)

Socks and Underwear (Bring an extra pair. It’s not also easy to do laundry and you don’t want to recycle these essentials.

Long Underwear (Depending on the season and whereabouts you are travel. Hostels are not also that well heating so long undies are crucial.

Pillow Case (If you are planning to sleep in Backpacker Hostels, your own pillow case is nice.

Sleeping Bag (Backpacker Hostels require you to rent sheets or use a sleeping bag. The latter is less expensive.)

Passport (Don’t leave the country without it.)

Spy Wallet (Pickpockets are all around and they love travels. Since your lively hood is in your wallet. It’s not a bad idea to divide your money up.)

Day Pack (Many backpacks come with a detachable daypack. If yours doesn’t, it might not be a bad idea to bring one along.)

Camera (Digital is nice but you’ll need a lot of extra storage space.)

Journal (If you don’t have anything else to do, why not write in your journal.)

Flip Flops (Use them in the shower!)

American Express Traveler’s Checks (Perhaps more trouble then they are worth. It can be difficult to find someone to accept them.)

Wet Wipes (Nice to have in a pinch and don’t require much space in your pack.)

Landry Detergent (An extra travel pack might come in handy.)

Space Savers (These are key. They are available at most camping stores and make packing much easier.)

Rain Coat (If you are going to be traveling for a while, it is going to rain.)

Lock (Backpacker Hostels usually provide lockers but you need to provide the lock.)

Band Aids (Chances are that someone is going to fall or cut themselves. Be prepared.)

Travel Guide (Travel Guides are great. However, those thick books weigh down your pack. Take a razor blade and cut out the pages you don’t need.)

Shampoo, deodorant, soap, toothpaste (You know the drill.)

Clothing (The night before you leave, pack everything that you think you need then take out half. Clothing just ways too much. You can only take what you can carry.)

Backpacking Europe. Australia. Alaska.

Travel between destinations can be difficult. Dealing with schedules can be especially frustrating. When possible, it is best to plan your travel schedule well in advance. When traveling by train, timetable booklets are not always accurate. Therefore, it is recommended that you visit the information desk at the train station a day or so in advance and firm up your plans. Long journeys often require reservations in addition to tickets. If your journey is longer then six hours, you may want to consider reserving a sleeper on an overnight train. Sleep reservation are relatively inexpensive and can save you the cost of a hostel or hotel. The difference between first class and second class are usually minimal. Therefore, there is no reason to shell out the extra cash.

As with inner city travel, it is important to weigh the pros and cons when deciding whether to purchase single destination tickets or multi-destination tickets. For travel throughout Europe, there are multiple options. A Eurorail pass can be purchased that is valid for unlimited travel during a specific time period or a Eurorail Select pass can be purchased that allows travel within a certain number of countries for a certain number of days.

Non-American owned airlines offer great deals on travel and you can cut your travel time way down. For travel within Central and South America, you are limited mostly to bus travel. Bus travel is typically less comfortable then train or air travel. However, the fares are cheaper. You have to make due with what’s available.

Backpacker Hostels And Budget Hotels

Backpacker Hostels cater to the backpacker’s needs and are the preferred choice for budget travelers. Hostels usually offer single beds in private rooms, doubles, or dorm rooms. Dorm rooms typically contain 6 to 12 bunk beds from which you get your choice. Most hostels only allow travelers under the age of 30 and there is typically a limit on the number of nights you are permitted stay. Beds usually come with a heavy blanket and a pillow. Many hostels require that you either rent sheets or use your sleeping bag.

Private and double rooms often come with a private shower. These rooms go pretty quick and usually require a reservation well in advance. More often then not, you will be stuck in a dorm room. You’ll have access to a community shower. Community showers vary from hostel to hostel. However, don’t expect too much and always bring a pair of flip-flops.

Hostels are becoming more and more modern. Many hostels provide internet access, laundry, and free breakfast. Use your travel reference to find a hostel that satisfies your needs. Breakfast is served during a specific time period. Be sure you know when breakfast time is so you don’t miss it. Many hostels also provide access to a community kitchen. Vending machines are also common.

During the daytime, there is usually a lockout time from early morning to late afternoon when the rooms are being cleaned. Most hostels provide free lockers but you’ll probable have to either rent a lock or use your own. Keep your pack locked up and spend the day sight seeing. In the evening, Backpacker Hostels provide a social setting. There are typically community area with couches, TV’s, pool tables, etc. where you can hang out and mingle with other travelers. Bars inside the hostels are also common and offer cheap drinks. As the evening rolls on, you may want to set out into the night with your new friends. However, be aware that many hostels have curfews.

Backpacker Hostels are very affordable. Prices are usually around twenty-five dollars per night. Since backpackers are almost always on the go, there isn’t much need for more. However, when the going gets tough, many backpackers find relief at budget hotels. From time to time it’s nice to stay at a hotel where you can sleep in, get a hot shower, and most importantly have some privacy. Discounts are often available on the weekends when business travelers are away. Don’t forget…if you’re traveling with a group, budget hotels can be as inexpensive as hostels.

Eating on a Budget

By being mindful of your budget and taking advantage of the resources available to you, you can eat well and cheap. First and foremost, if the hostel or hotel that you are staying at offers free breakfast, make sure you get up in time and eat as much as you can. After all, it’s free. The breakfast offered might not be the tastiest, however, you are not going to find a better value then this. Secondly, many hostels provide kitchen access so put forth the extra effort and pick up some items at the local grocer and make use of it. Other travelers may leave leftovers in the kitchen. This food is usually up for grabs. Check it out and see if anything looks appetizing.

Buying food from street vendors is a great way to go. Prices are economical and you get to experience authentic foods. If all else fails, you can almost always find a McDonald’s wherever you travel.

Mastering Public Transportation

Backpackers need to master public transportation. It’s a little overwhelming at first. However, most likely you’ll settle into it after your first few days as a globetrotter. Besides from dealing with transportation schedules, knowing how to get the best value on ticket prices is the biggest obstacle. I keen traveler will also have a grasp on what modes of public transportation are available in a specific region.

Especially in Europe, most major travel destinations have extensive public transportation systems that include buses and a metro system. Alternatively, taxis are usually available but are almost never worth what they cost. Taxis drivers are also known to take advantage of travelers by charging higher fares. Tour buses are another option. In addition to a lift to key tourist attractions, you’ll usually be provided with an overview of the sights. Of course, tour buses cost a little bit more. Further, backpackers, working off a limited budget, are usually better off exploring on their own.

Most metro systems are divided into zones. Therefore, you should be aware of what zones you will need access to. Metro tickets that permit travel in multiple zones cost more. Therefore, only purchase tickets for zones that are necessary. Pocket size metro maps are typically available for free at tourist office and metro station information desks. We recommend that you pickup one of these as soon as you arrive. Large wall maps are also on display at metro stations and act as a good reference when you’re on the go.

Depending on how much ground you plan to cover, multi-day passes might save you money. However, weighing the costs is advisable. If you only need to use public transportation a couple times a day, you’re probable better off purchasing single trip tickets. When purchasing single trip tickets, be sure you have the correct change. Ticket machines often do not give change and/or require exact change.

When you first arrive at the train station or airport, your first trip should be to the tourist office. Here you can pickup the all important tourist map. This map usually includes all the main tourist attractions and main metro stations. Backpackers often find themselves on foot quite a bit. The tourist map is a vital guide.

Seeing the Sights The Quest for Adventure

Taking excursions away from your original plan is part of what makes backpacking fun. However, when you arrive in these “unplanned” destinations you might not know what there is to do or see. Upon arrival, your first stop, regardless of whether the destination is on your original travel itinerary or not, should always be the tourist office. Here you can pickup a free tourist map and ask questions about what to do or what to see. Tourist maps usually contain all the vital tourist information. You could get by with just this. However, a travel reference guide is ideal. Reference guides provide useful information such as tour fees and the time required to visit specific sights. There is also a wealth of information available for free on the internet.

Ijen Plateau

Ijen Plateau- Home-Grown Sulfur

Ijen plateau or known as "Kawah Ijen" is highly recommended to mountain buffs and hikers. The Plateau was at one time a huge active crater, 134 sq km in area. Today, Ijen is a quiet but active volcano, and the landscape is dominated by the volcanic cones of Ijen (2,368 asl) and Merapi (2,800 asl) on the northeastern edge of the Plateau, and Raung (3,332 asl) on the southwest corner.
The magnificent turquoise sulfur lake of Kawah Ijen lies at 2148 m above sea level and is surrounded by the volcanos sheer crater walls. The vent is a source of sulfur and collectors work here, making the trek up to the crater and down to the lake every day. Sulfur collectors hike up in the morning and return around 1 pm when the clouds roll in. They carry shoulder basket of pure sulfur from a quarry on the lakes edge under the shadow of the sheer walls of the crater. The mineral at Kawah Ijen is purer and is worth commercial exploitation despite the horrendous labor involved: Javas homegrown sulfur is a natural source of sulfuric acid, in great demand in the oil-refining business and in the production of fertilizers.

Getting There

The Ijen Plateau can be reached through Bondowoso from either the northern or the southern coast. It is closer to Banyuwangi, but the road is very steep and badly deteriorated. A 4 WD is essential, although difficult to hire in Banyuwangi and outrageously expensive. Most people walk the last 8 km along the road to Pos Paltuding (the PHPA Post, the starting point or the trek to the crater).

Where to Stay

You can choose your places of stay at Bondowoso or Banyuwangi. There's a few type of accommodation with varied price and facilities.

Moving Around

You can take a walk for about 1-1 1/2 hour to the crater rim.

Dining Guide

Before start trekking, hiking or climbing, be sure that you have already eaten, or you can bring some food and drink from your places.of stay. Otherwise, you can buy some food and non alcoholic drink on the nearest supermarkets for your supply during your activities on mountain.

Souvenir Tips

The sulphur diggers will approach you for playing a guide and sell some nice sulphur statues for 5.000 till 10.000 Rp (probably their day-income).

Other Things to See or Do

At the rim itself you have a nice view on the lake. You can walk around the rim or go immediately left so you can walk down to the lake for about 40 minutes.

Travel Tips

The walk starts at Pal Tuding. Its a basic camp where you can stay overnight. There is a block with showers and toilets
At night it can be pretty cold up there,(it is suggested that you carry a sleeping bag). Take your own picnic, since the food you can buy at the parking lot isn't up to much.
The walk up to the crater rim takes 60-90 minutes. It's pretty steep. Halfway is a small post where the sulphurworkers take a break. A cup of tea is available here.
The path is just one-way so there is no need for any guidance.
An absolute must is a handkerchief to put in front of your mouth and nose to avoid inhalation of the sulphur gases.
If you buy some souvenirs like statues, they are very breakable so tape them in with toilet paper and take precious care of it.


Jajaghu Temple

Jajaghu or Jago temple was constructed in 1275 - 1300 AD. It believed as the burial place of King Wisnuwardhana ashes, the fourth king of Singosari kingdom. The temple itself has three famous reliefs and each relief has their own story.

Kunjakarna relief which tells us about Kunjakarna who is doing Buddha meditation in Mt. Semeru in order to be free of his demon mind in the next incarnation. The second relief is about Arjuna journey to Indrakila mountain to train himself so he could be able to get Siva’s help and in this relief, it is told that Arjuna is succeed. Krisnayana relief is the third relief and it tells us about the marriage between Maharaja Wisnuwarddhana and his wife Nararya Waning Hyun in which symbolized the marriage between Visnu the God and Sri the Goddess.

There is also one remained statue in the yard of this temple, Amoghapasa the Highest God in Tantra Buddha whom has eight hands holding different things in each hands.

It is extremely interesting that the temple has ornament similarities to those of Penataran temple in Blitar Regency. It lies at Jago village, Tumpang District, the eastern part of Malang (about 22 km).

Sumber Awan Stupa

There are a lot of temples in Malang area, but Sumber Awan is the only building which is shaped in stupa. Lexically, Sumberawan comes from Sumber/spring and Awan/pond that means springs in the pond. This stupa was found in 1904 and renovated in 1937 by Dutch architecture Van Romondt.

The height of this temple is 2,23 cm and situated in Singosari District. To reach this area, we need to take a walk for 1,5 km and walk along a river banks with fresh clear water. The local settlements around the temple that are usually use the river to take a bath around the river side. Besides, you would also passing through fields’ area with its activities.

The spring water is believed as Amerta Water which usually drink by Gods and for people who drink it, it is believed that the drinker would be forever young and live longer.

The place around stupa was also called as paradise because its beautiful sceneries and natural surrounding. Nowadays, the temple area is still green and the surrounding is still far away from city touch.

Kidal Temple

The narrative poem Nagarakertagama identifies Candi Kidal as the burial shrine of King Anusapati of Singosari, who died in 1248. The temple may then be dated around the middle of the 13th century. A statue of Shiwa, said to have come from Kidal and thus assumed to be the portrait of Anusapati, is in the possession of the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam.

This temple is located in Rejo Kidal village, Tumpang Sub District, 24 km away to the East from Malang. The Real height of the temple is 17 meters, but now it's just 12,4 meters. The temple base has a square shape. The door is one the West side. Above the door of the temple. there are " Kepala Kala " (Head of Giants) and lions. The temple was decorated using ornaments, which depict Mahabharata story not in sequence.

There is a well-known relief at the wall of this temple which is Garuda. The story is about Garuda’s journey in rescuing his mother from his stepmother’s slavery. The name of Kidal also related to the way the relief was pictured. It started from the left side, back side and finally the right side of the temple.

Malang Regency at a Glance

Malang, which is noted as one of the most fascinating town in east java lies in 90 km away to the south of the capital province, Surabaya. It considerably becomes one of clean and cool cities in east java. It is stretching out from 112′ 17′ 10,90″ to 112 57′ 0,00 East Longitude and ranging from 744′55, 11 to 8 26′ 35,45 South Latitude. Malang has border of Blitar and Kediri Regencies on the west; Jombang, Mojokerto and Pasuruan Regencies on the north; Probolinggo and Lumajang Regencies on the east and Indonesia Ocean on the south.

Without any doubt, Malang has distinctively been marvelous since a long time ago. Historical remnants scattered around Malang showing that it had played many important roles.

Malang is now officially divided into three administrative districts namely Malang Regency, Malang City and Batu City. Each of the three area has its own specialty of tourism attractions that you might stay in minimally 3 days to enjoy them.


The Special Region of Yogyakarta is the smallest province of Indonesia (excluding Jakarta). It is located on the island of Java. Yogyakarta is the only province in Indonesia that is still governed by that area's precolonial monarchy; The Sultan of Yogyakarta serves as the elected governor of the province. In English it is pronounced which derives from its Dutch spelling Jogjakarta. It is also referred to more casually as Jogja.


Yogyakarta is located in south-central Java. It is surrounded by the province of Central Java (Jawa Tengah) and the Indian Ocean in the south. The population of DIY in 2003 was approximately 3,000,000. The province of Yogyakarta has a total area of 3,185.80 km2. Yogyakarta has the second-smallest area of the provinces in Indonesia, after the Jakarta Capital Region. However it has, along with adjacent areas in Central Java, some of the highest population densities of Java.
Administrative divisions
Yogyakarta province is subdivided into four regencies (kabupaten) and one city (kota):
• Bantul Regency (506.86 km2)
• Gunung Kidul Regency (1,485.36 km2)
• Kulon Progo Regency (586.27 km2)
• Sleman Regency (574.82 km2)
• Yogyakarta City (32.5 km2)
Yogyakarta city
Located within the Yogyakarta province, Yogyakarta city is known as a center of classical Javanese fine art and culture such as batik, ballet, drama, music, poetry and puppet shows. It is also famous as a center for Indonesian higher education. At Yogyakarta's center is the kraton, or Sultan's palace. While the city sprawls in all directions from the kraton, the core of the modern city is to the north.
The Yogyakarta Sultanate, formally the Sultanate of Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat, was formed in 1755 when the existing Sultanate of Mataram was divided by the Dutch East India Company (VOC) in two under the Treaty of Giyanti. This treaty states that the Sultanate of Mataram was to be divided into the Sultanate of Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat with Yogyakarta as the capital and Mangkubumi who became Sultan Hamengkubuwono I as its Sultan and the Sultanate of Surakarta Hadiningrat with Surakarta as the capital and Pakubuwono III who was the ruler of the Sultanate of Mataram as its Sultan. The Sultan Hamengkubuwono I spent the next 37 years building the new capital, with the Kraton as the centerpiece and the court at Surakarta as the blueprint model. By the time he died in 1792, his territory exceeded Surakarta's.
The ruler Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX (April 12, 1912 - 1988) held a degree from the Dutch Leiden University, and held for a time the largely ceremonial position of Vice-President of Indonesia, in recognition of his status, as well as Minister of Finance and Minister of Defense.
In support of Indonesia declaring independence from the Dutch and Japanese occupation, in September 5, 1945, Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX of Yogya and Sri Paku Alam VIII in Yogya declared their sultanates to be part of the Republic of Indonesia. In return for this support, a law was passed in 1950 in which Yogyakarta was granted the status of province Daerah Istimewa (Special Region Province), with special status that recognizes the power of the Sultan in his own region's domestic affairs.
By this act, Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX was appointed as governor for life. During the Indonesian National Revolution against the Dutch after World War II (1945-1950), the capital of the newly-declared Indonesian republic was temporarily moved to Yogyakarta when the Dutch reoccupied Jakarta from January 1946 until August 1950.
The current ruler of Yogyakarta is his son, Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X, who holds a law degree from Universitas Gadjah Mada. Upon the elder sultan's death, the position of governor, according to the agreement with Indonesia, was to pass to his heir. However, the central government at that time insisted on an election. In 1998, Sultan Hamengkubuwono X was elected as governor by the provincial House of Representatives (DPRD) of Yogyakarta, defying the will of the central government. "I may be a sultan," he has been quoted in Asia Week as saying, "but is it not possible for me to also be a democrat?"
2006 Earthquake
The province of Yogyakarta bore the brunt of a 6.3-magnitude earthquake on 27 May 2006 which killed 5,782 people and left some 36,299 persons injured. More than 135,000 houses are damaged, and 600,000 people are homeless. The earthquake extensively damaged the local region of Bantul, and its surrounding hinterland. The most significant number of deaths occurred in this region.
The coincidence of the recent eruption of Mount Merapi, and the earthquake would not be lost on the older and more superstitious Javanese - as such natural phenomena are given considerable import within their understanding of the spiritual aspect of such events.
Yogyakarta is served by Adisucipto International Airport. There're two train stations named Lempuyangan and Tugu. At south side, in Bantul region, there is a biggest bus station in Indonesia, called Giwangan.



Bali is famous through the world for its beauty of nature and also its ancient culture that makes many people curious. One of the assets to increase the income is from that part and Ngaben becomes one of the famous culture in Bali. Ngaben is a traditional burial ceremony. It is the part of ancient belief of Balinese. They believe that one’s soul will be accepted by God if their body were burned. They believe that their soul “fly” to the sky with the smoke from the burned body/corpse. And the family and relatives will be blessed by God due to this ceremony.

Unfortunately, Ngaben is an expensive culture. Not all people can afford to do it when one of their family passed away. To do Ngaben is not easy, it need along difficult preparation. Many things need to be provided, and it costs a lot of money. As a matter of fact, most rich Balinese people did not feel it as a trouble. But for most poor people it is hard to do. Consequently, they usually join another one to make this ceremony in order to make intensive expense.

There are some steps in the process of Ngaben ceremony. The corpse will be laid down in a burning place then it will be put in buried place. The priest make a ritual program of ceremony and many people follow. Many foreigners sometimes like to see the unique process of this ceremony. It seems that Ngaben is a wonderful burial ceremony. Many tourists in Bali think that it is an interesting event to see because they never see in another island in Indonesia.

Finally, not many of us know what Ngaben is like, even we do not know the process of it. Ngaben is one of valuable traditional ceremony in Indonesia. In Bali, Ngaben is one of the tourism attraction that can invite many tourist. Therefore, it is necessary to keep this tradition in order to enrich our culture.