Back to Bali: 8 Things to Love About Indonesian Island Life

Speck on the Globe


Back to Bali.  I returned this year to kickstart my big trip, visit a friend and get back into spending winter in my favorite place: Southeast Asia.  Last year was filled with so many remarkable experiences that Indonesia for me sat quietly on the sideline and I wanted to come back and dig into the culture and the country to find out a little bit more after only scratching the surface the year before.  This year it was easy to see why I had returned and I quickly remembered what drew me here in the first place.  Here is a list of 8 of the many reasons you’ll travel back to Bali year after year.

1.  Intriguing religion


Bali is an island of spirituality and it’s religious customs are deeply rooted in its culture.  The good with the bad is present in everything, showing even in the black and white…

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Jakartans warned of rising
dengue fever

Agency head Kusmedi encouraged all people living in Jakarta to carry out the government’s 3M procedure: mengubur (bury), menguras (drain) and menutup (cover), referring to three ways to eliminate the standing stagnant water in which mosquitoes breed.

He also advised people to boost their immune system by eating nutritious food, so as to guard against any of the diseases that occur during the wet season.

“We recorded 265 dengue fever cases throughout January, with one dead patient. We now all need to stay alert because we are going to enter the peak of the rainy season,” he said as quoted by Antara news agency on Saturday.

The peak is predicted to fall between the end of this month and March.

According to the agency’s data, there were 865 dengue fever cases in January last year, the figure rising to 1,067 and 1,476 cases in February and March, respectively. (nfo)(+++)

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Teaching. Traveling. Writing.

A lot of people have asked me for suggestions regarding what to do while during their travels in Indonesia, specifically those in Java and Bali.    Consequently, I have sent a lot of emails of compiled recommendations and ideas, so I figured, why not put them all out as a blog post?

Now, realize that this list is for the first time traveler to Indonesia, and is designed for someone who does not speak bahasa Indonesia, would feel nervous trying to figure out how to go snorkeling in Bunaken, travel on a Klotok in Kalimantan, or surfing off the Gili Islands. This is the beginner’s guide, if you will.

So, here is my list of things to do and where to do them.  It spans both the island of Java and the Island of Bali, and is centered largely around things to do in Jakarta and Jogjakarta (cities which are…

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17 dead, nearly 100 missing in Indonesian landslide: official

A rescue team remove victims bodies of a landslide triggered by torrential downpours at Jemblung village in Banjarnegara, Central Java province Saturday. AFP PHOTO / HIMAWAN

A rescue team remove victims bodies of a landslide triggered by torrential downpours at Jemblung village in Banjarnegara, Central Java province Saturday. AFP PHOTO / HIMAWAN

Torrential downpours triggered a landslide on Indonesia’s main island of Java, killing at least 17 people and leaving nearly 100 others missing, with persistent rain hampering rescue efforts, officials said Saturday.

Hundreds of rescuers were digging with shovels through mud and rubble after the landslide buried scores of houses in Jemblung village in central Java late Friday, the national disaster agency said.

The landslide swept down a hillside in the village, sparing only two houses, an AFP correspondent said.

“The rescue team have found 17 bodies,” the national disaster agency’s spokesman, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, told AFP, adding that 11 others were badly injured and rescuers were searching for 91 people still missing.

The disaster agency said that 200 rescuers and 500 volunteers had joined the search for the missing.

Heavy excavation equipment was also imported into the area to speed up the rescue work, which had to be halted on Saturday afternoon as fresh downpours sparked fears of more landslides.

Eyewitnesses said they heard a “thundering sound” as the ground shook when the landslide came crashing down and buried the tiny village.

“I ran carrying my daughter to higher ground, and I was crying because I could hear people calling out for help from below,” Bini, who like many Indonesians goes by one name said. Her husband and 14-year-old son are still missing.

“It took just five minutes before soil and trees suddenly covered the village,” another survivor, Harno, said.

Rescue efforts have been slow because the ground was still unstable. Thousands of curios bystanders have also caused traffic jams, hampering operations.

Bad phone signal in the area have made coordinating rescuing efforts difficult, officials added.

The search and rescue agency said that the operation would only resume once the rain stopped.

If the downpours persist, the search would resume early Sunday, it added.

“We pray to God that we can still find survivors,” the head of central Java search and rescue agency, Agus Haryono, told AFP.

Landslides triggered by heavy rains and floods are common in tropical Indonesia during the rainy season.

The national disaster agency estimates around half the country’s 250 million population lives in areas prone to landslides.

The vast Indonesian archipelago is one of the most natural-disaster-prone nations on Earth, and is also frequently hit by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

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