Share |

Bali, Lombok, Borneo - greetings from Indonesia

pic: Uccio

 Greetings from Indonesia! We are just traveling through some great places and have a report for you.


 We arrived in the beginning of March, just few days before balinese new year celebrations.  We saw preparations of the huge models of hindu gods right in the streets of Kuta and the night ceremony with massive sounds of traditional music instruments. All generations of balinese take part in this night - night of noises and lights - all this to distract evil. One night before total quiet when the life in this island fully stops. This day balineses stay at home, they are not allowed to drive the cars or visit friends. The tourists are not allowed to leave the hotel, you get all day food served right at the place where you stay as all the restaurants and shops are closed. There are not even flights in or flights out of the island operating that day. 

Bali is such a tiny island in vast Indonesia. In spite of that it has such a rich culture, of which are locals very proud of and can profit of quite well. In every family you can find at least one dancer or an artist.

After, we moved inlands to Ubud - considered to be the centre of balinese culture we were staying with a hospitable family of a religionistics teacher. Every week  he performed traditional dance called Kecak. This is the only balinese traditional dance which is not accompanied by any live music, all the sounds are made by a group of men surrounding the dancers performing the scenes from a great hindu epic - Ramayana.  

In Ubud you find guesthouses in the ricefields, traditional dance performances scattered all around the town every night, they are usually open air so you can hear music from everywhere. Here come people hungry for art from all around the world to look for the masterpieces of painted art or sculptures. On every corner there's so much art breathing on you. Balinese are masters in stone and wood carving and they are also great gardeners. Every house's entrance reminds the temple's entrance. Local climate which is pretty constant all year long provides great conditions for all kinds of flowers and plants. You can feel balineses have strong esthetic feeling and love to stay in touch with nature. Each property is actually made of few smaller houses where its most important part is porch. Thanks to the weather you can stay all year outdoors and surrounded with green plants. All generations stay living together, and this I really mean because also ashes of the ancestors have their tiny houses right in the garden of their family. Day by day there are offerings brought to them by the females in the form of fresh flowers, rice and incense. Every day we could witness the charming moves of offerings brought by the female part of the population. Here the females are females in every single way - beautiful rich long hair, perfectly groomed, full big lips, gently profumated by essential oils - a dream of every man. Can you imagine the pioneer sailors coming from the western world after the neverending journey finding this clean exotic beauty?


Lombok is lying to the east from Bali and still hasn't been discovered by the masses. Mostly visited by the individual travellers or Australian surfers. It is a perfect destination  for those who prefer the wilderness and untouched beaches. It was a pleasure to find the place not destroyed by massive tourist industry after almost twenty years! And the people smile all the time! Here you can feel the greatness of Indonesia. Every bay is kilometers long, regular low and high tides make good conditions for mangrove forests with its monkey population. Only the big geckos seem to have dissapeared. We still could hear them but none wanted to show up this time. When I was here, almost twenty years ago, there were only houses and bugalows made of bamboo construction which used to be good shelters for this sometimes up to half meter lizzard friend. Well, it was not very friendly of him walking above our heads and starting to make his intestines empty. My Italian cousin decided to move the bed to the porch as he found about a half meter gecko inside his bungalow. The staff refused to move the gecko as they were sacred. In the morning, they found destroyed bottle of painkillers in their room  and half of the medicine was missing.  


 The huge island known as Borneo is shared by Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei Sultanate. Indonesian part's name is Kalimantan. It is mostly covered by the jungle crossed by the huge rivers and palm oil plantations. The jungle is home of many species of fauna and flora. Tanjung Puting National Park belongs to two places on earth where still live orangutans. There is another orangutan popullation in Sumatra. Our quest to shake hands with our relatives, orangutans, became a true mission. As we started to plan this part of the trip in Lombok, where not even ten hours of prepaid internet (thanks to its speed) were not sufficient to obtain any needed information. The first mistake was to fly to the city of Banjarmasin instead of Pangkalan Bun. Banjarmasin is called the city of thousands rivers. Yes, it sounds quite refreshing and clean. The reality is different though. The heart of the city is basically one giant slum spreading on the river channels. We asked for a carride from Banjarmasin but it would be a 24hour trip on mostly uncovered roads through the Borneo jungle at the end of the rain season.. That's why we decided to take more comfortable way of transport - fly with a local airline. Only hoping in its speed would be responsible enough. And it was! After the tiny plane lands in Pangkalan Bun you take a deep breath again! It's so clean and green. And from here it is only a short distance to Kumai which is a gateway to Tanjung Puting National Park .

On the day of our meeting which we have been longing for so long we managed to arrive to the port on time but our so called guide didn't show up. Dissapointment was only short thanks to a sympathic local named Danny Hamdan who offered to be our guide. After 15min we were heading the mighty Kumai river waters for our adventure with a tiny tom&jerry-like a boat four persons on board. Of our meeting we let the photos speak... We would like to express our full support to the foundation of orangutan rescue and protection and the crew which made up to establish this national park!!
Otherwise the whole rainforest would be  destroyed by massive palm oil industry and mining. This park was also founded like an orphanage because thanks to this machinery many of little orangutans loose their parents as they loose their way and find themselves in the palm plantation... and then they are just shot by the plantation guardians. We also have seen the photos of orangutans burnt with hot oil thrown on them..
Hopefully the nature protection will win at this little part of huge Kalimantan and the natural habitats for fauna mostly endemitic for this area will be forever protected!

 For guiding into Tanjung Puting National Park and other parts of Indonesia please contact us through our page

 For more photos, traveling and guiding requests visit our public facebook page




view counter
Webové aplikace by iQuest s.r.o.