Thursday, March 6, 2008

Shoppers in Yogyakarta

"Beringharjo” Traditional Market.
“Beringharjo” Traditional Market. This traditional market sells many things from batiks to traditional cuisines in the north of the kraton. You can see

Jalan Malioboro
Jalan Malioboro. Food stalls replace souvenir stands on Jalan Malioboro and serve the Yogya’s specific menu “gudeg” rice with young jackfruit cooked in coconut milk. Enjoy the food in “lesehan” (seat on the woven mats) foodstall along the pavement and enjoy the Yogya’s specific menu “gudeg” rice with young jackfruit cooked in coconut milk.

Kasongan famous for its artistic export quality pottery. It is located some 7 km from Yogyakarta.

Taru Martani cigar
Taru Martani cigar was founded in1918, created to satisfy the craves of cigar lovers. Until now the company produces 14 types of cigars which are well known worldwide : Cigarillos, Extra Cigarillos, Senioritas, Panatella, Slim Panatella, Half Corona, Corona, Super Corona/Grand Corona, Boheme, Ro¬yal Perfecto, Rothschild, Churchill.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Nature of Yogyakarta

MERAPI : One of the World’s Most Active Volcanoes

Living in the shadows of active volcanoes is like sitting on a time bomb, especially when one of them is called Fire Mountain or Gunung Merapi in Indonesian language. Merapi is one of some 500 volcanoes in Indonesia, of which at least 129 are considered active. It lies in one of Indonesia’s most densely populated regions, and is only a few kilometres from the sultanate of Yogyakarta. Despite frequently giving out smoke, the mountain still attracts hikers and climbers. It takes 5 hours to climb up and 3 hours to return.

How to Get There:
From Yogyakarta, go further North to Kaliurang hill resort by public transport
or by car. Kaliurang stands at 900 m on the slopes of Merapi.
The Best Season to Visit:
May to September every year


Kaliurang is a popular mountain resort 24 km from Yogyakarta and lies on the slopes of Mt. Merapi is surrounded by enchanting countryside. Mt. Merapi active volcano 2,968 m above sea leree. It takes 10 hours to reach the top.

Sewu Hills

Sewu Hills Karst area formed by rock dissolubility. Covers about 13,000 km2 with unique geomorphology, indicated by conical limestone, domes, valleys (doline and poltje) and caves with stalactites and stalagmites inside, and also underground ri¬vers. Based on its unique scientific values and also social phenomenon, the International Union of Speleology proposed that the Sewu hills area in Gunung Kidul regency, to be World Natural Heritage. Enjoy rock climbing at Siung Beach (Seropan and Watu Grupit). Caving (Cerme, Seropan, Bri¬bin, Grubug, Jomblang and Kalisuci Cave), Historical and Religious Tourism (Rancang Kencono, Braholo and Maria Tritis Cave).

Parang Tritis Beach

Parang Tritis Beach. A popular seaside resort 28 kms south of Yogyakarta on the Indian Ocean, Parang Tritis combines rocky hills, dunes, and a white sandy beach. It is famous in Javanese mytho¬logy as the home of the Goddess of the South Seas, who was married to Panembahan Senopati, founder of the Mataram Kingdom. Every year the sultans of Yogyakarta make special offerings to her in a beachside ceremony called “Labuhan”.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

06 February 2007 - Brussels, Borschette Centre (Belgium): Conference "Social Tourism in the EU : Youths and Senior Citizens"

The European Commission has successfully built up an excellent working relationship with major European stakeholders in social tourism issues. This collaboration has enabled the Commission to draw upon the assistance and expertise of such stakeholders in some of its very own initiatives too. The Conference on Social Tourism organised by the Commission in January 2006 was a clear example of how and why full cooperation with stakeholders can lead to achieving desired objectives.

During this Conference in January 2006, the Commission presented the results of a survey (« Tourism for All 2006») on social tourism it had undertaken, and examined a number of good practices linked to the senior citizens` market.

As a follow-up to this successful conference, and within the context of the “European Year 2007 of Equal Opportunities for All”, the Tourism Unit organised a stakeholders' conference on the 6th February 2007 on “Social Tourism in the EU: Youths and Senior Citizens” in Brussels at the Borschette Centre.

The main objective of the conference was to identify whether there exists the possibility of extending collaboration on social tourism in different Member States that are currently less active than others in this field. The Conference was of primary interest to Member States but also to the existing stakeholders in this field, since the programme presented best practices and engaged the delegates in focussed discussions about the future directions for social tourism.

The overall theme was based on the Lisbon Strategy and incorporated two main topics in the day long event, focussing on youth tourism in the morning and senior citizens in the afternoon.

The morning session consisted primarily in an exploratory exercise to identify problem areas and increase awareness on best practices within the youth travel field. Important stakeholders such as the World Youth Student and Educational Travel Confederation and the European Union Federation of Youth Hostel Associations lent their support to this Conference, alongside other speakers from Germany, Italy and Slovenia that elaborated upon some good practices in their own particular country.

The European Commission presented the results of a Survey on Youths (see below presentation of Mr Ianniello) which was carried out in collaboration with the “Bureau International du Tourisme Social" (BITS). The Tourism Unit distributed two questionnaires (see below), one to Member States and the other to several stakeholders linked to the youth’s sector. Sixteen National Public Bodies, of which, two are candidate countries, returned the completed questionnaires. This is an encouraging response rate since besides these sixteen countries, Holland, Austria and Liechtenstein informed the Commission that they do not have any specific national research in the field of youth tourism.

Apart from the sixteen countries, twenty-two stakeholders provided feedback on the questionnaire. There was good geographical distribution, since even non EU countries replied. This allowed a sufficiently good indicative overview of the problems and issues within the youth sector as part of the Survey Analysis.

One of the questions asked within the questionnaire was to provide information through a pre-defined template on examples of good practices across Europe in the youth tourism field. In this regard, the Commission is facilitating the dissemination of such good practices by placing them on the Tourism Unit’s web site, in order to raise awareness at Europe-wide level and to facilitate networking between the stakeholders themselves.

Any additional stakeholders who may wish to indicate their good practices are invited to do so by compiling this document (word version) and returning it to . Potential respondents are requested to send feedback only on the proposed template, to ensure uniformity.

The afternoon session gave rise to a more focused approach built on the findings of the January 2006 Conference. By examining the European applicability of successful national models as previously identified in this Conference, the focus was on one excellent good practice, the one adopted by IMSERSO in Spain and which was presented and highlighted in the Commission’s first Conference. This time however, speakers did not discuss the scheme per se, but rather focused on examining whether this national model had the potential to become an Europeanised model that allows for low season exchanges in social tourism between a number of Member States.

Speakers in this afternoon session were top officials from either Spain itself or neighbouring countries like France, Portugal or the Republic of Andorra that have already experienced contact with IMSERSO. It is through the prospects and practical difficulties faced by these key players that delegates discussed and reflected upon the possibility of giving this good practice, or other similar initiatives, a more accentuated European dimension.

The European Commission agreed to actively participate in initiatives led by competent bodies like BITS in forming a network of interested parties to closely monitor developments in the field of social tourism.


More specific aims of EDEN are to:

– enhance visibility of the European tourist destinations

– create awareness of Europe’s tourist diversity and quality

– promoting all European countries and regions

– help de-congestion, combat seasonality, rebalance the tourist flows towards the non traditional destinations

– awarding sustainable forms of tourism

– create a platform for the exchange of good practices at European level, and

– promote networking between awarded destinations which could persuade other destinations to adopt sustainable tourist development models

The Commission has worked in close cooperation with the Member States for the implementation of EDEN.

The European Commission launched the first phase of the pilot project "European Destinations of Excellence" in 2006.

For the year 2006, the theme of the pilot project was related to rural tourism. The subtitle of the award for this specific year was “Best Emerging Rural Destinations” .

Eligible destinations were those which have implemented in any of the last 3 years initiatives that have contributed to the promotion of the local tourist offer through a better appreciation of the rural natural and cultural heritage. Moreover, each participating Country has outlined more specific criteria of eligibility.

Selections procedures were carried out at national level in the first semester of 2007 by the 9 Members States which joined this pilot project: Austria, Belgium (Wallonia), Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia and Malta, plus 1 candidate country: Croatia.

The 10 winning destinations of excellence have been awarded in a European-level conference which took place at the Annual Forum on Tourism in Portugal in October 2007.

If you want to discover the 10 winning destinations, visit our dedicated page.

If you want to know more about how national administration organised the 2007 selection phases, follow me.

The European Commission launched the second phase of the pilot project "European Destinations of Excellence".

The theme of excellence for 2007 is "tourism and local intangible heritage".

Those destinations which have developed a new tourism offer based on the appreciation of their specific local intangible heritage will have the possibility to compete at national level and be selected as 2007 destination of excellence.

18 Member States and 2 candidate countries are participating in the project. The national competitions, open to all eligible destinations according to the selection criteria chosen by the National Administrations in charge of tourism, will take place in the first half of 2008. It is expected that the winning destinations are selected in June 2008.

If you wish to have more information about national selection procedures in your country (selection criteria, application forms, etc), you can get in touch with your national contact point:

What & Where is Bali?

Bali: An Overview
Bali is an island of incredible mystery, beauty, enchantment, culture, hospitality, variety, and serenity; who wouldn't fall under its irresistible spell?

Bali's spectacular beaches, volcanoes, lakes, temples, and terraced rice fields -- combined with its deeply artistic roots and its legendary hospitality -- have made it one of the most visited places on earth. The religion and culture of Bali are unique in the world, and the Balinese have preserved their traditions in spite of the island's growing tourist industry.

While many destinations offer beautiful scenery, few have the variety of Bali, and none has its unique art, culture, and natural hospitality.

Located 8 degrees south of the equator in the midst of the 8,000 islands of the Indonesian archipelago, Bali measures approximately 140 km by 80 km and has an area of 5,620 square kilometers. Immediately east of Java, Bali is the first of the Sunda Islands. Its mountain range consists mostly of dormant and active volcanoes, with the highest, the active volcano Mount Gunung Agung, reaching 3,142 meters. Stretched to the south and north of these volcanoes, Bali's fertile agricultural lands produce abundant crops of rice.

The thinly populated West is the only non-cultivated area and includes Bali's National Park, a deeply forested area with many varieties of plants and birds. The eastern and northeastern slopes of Gunung Agung are arid, as is the extreme south of the island. The climate of most of the island is hot and humid, with an average temperature of 28 Celcius, but the higher altitudes can be quite cool. The rainy season lasts from October to March, and the humidity fluctuates between 75% and 80% depending on the season. Winds tend to blow from the West during the rainy season and from the East during the 'dry' season.

Balinese Life
The strong cultural identity of Bali is based on a combination of closely related elements that include its unique religion, its language, its castes, its community life, and its art.

Although the official language is Indonesian, Balinese remains the everyday language of the people of the island.

The ancient caste system -- still alive but no longer of any official or formal significance -- divides the Balinese into four distinct castes: Priests ('Brahmana'), Rulers ('Ksatria'), Warriors ('Wesia'), and commoners ('Sudra'). Unlike India, Balinese Hinduism has no 'untouchable' caste. Ninety percent of Balinese are commoners, while the remaining ten percent are divided among the three higher castes.

Numerous ceremonies mark the progression of life in Bali, starting, of course, with birth. Children are treated with respect and gentleness; corporal punishment is rare. In adulthood, marriage becomes compulsory and represents the individual's official entry into the community as an adult. Subsequently, participation in the meetings of the Banjar (village association that manages village affairs) becomes obligatory.

The management of the all-important water supply falls under another essential community organization called the Subak, to which each village landowner belongs. Bali's irrigation system, unique in the world, is managed by these associations, which ensure the fair distribution of water and carry out the traditional ceremonial rites to the gods of agriculture.

No discussion of Bali is complete without mentioning Bali's native inhabitants, the so-called 'Bali Aga'. They are the descendants of the first known inhabitants of Bali, and their customs are of prehistoric origin -- long before the arrival of Hinduism. Now their culture represents a unique combination of their animistic origins and Balinese Hinduism. There are only a few villages of Bali Aga left; the two best known are Tenganan in Karangasem and Trunyan in Kintamani, Bangli.

It is believed that Bali's first inhabitants came from China at the beginning of the Iron Age, around 3,000 BC. Some Buddhist inscriptions date from the 9th century AD; it was only in the 11th century that Hindu influence from Java began to make its mark on the island. The 13th century saw the emergence of the Majapahit dynasty that ruled over Java and Bali for the next three centuries.

At the end of this era, chased by the arrival of Islam, the Javanese aristocracy and its priests and artisans fled to Bali. Bali then entered an intense period of cultural development, the main traits of which are to be found today in the caste system, the rituals, and certain artistic styles.

The first Dutch seamen landed in Bali in 1597. Starting in 1800 in the north of Bali, the Dutch began a long and troubled campaign to colonize the island. Their efforts climaxed with the collective suicide of 14 September 1906, when 4,000 Balinese killed themselves rather than capitulate. Dutch colonization lasted until World War II, when they were ousted by Japanese forces.

The Japanese occupation lasted from 1942 to 1945. 0n 17 August 1945, Sukarno, the first President of the Republic of Indonesia, proclaimed independence. After the end of World War II, however, the Dutch tried to re-assert their colonial control over Bali and Indonesia. At the battle of Marga (Bali) in 1946, the Dutch faced a group of 94 Balinese soldiers led by Lt. Col. I Gusti Ngurah Rai, all of whom died refusing to surrender. In 1949, the Dutch finally relinquished their claims on Indonesia.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Women in RI surfing tour - Headline

The Jakarta Post, Kuta, Bali

The organizers of Indonesian Surfing Championships (ISC) announced Saturday that they would include a women's division in its tour season this year.

Spokesman for the organizers, Tim Hain, said that three sponsors had already committed to including the women's division in their events this year.

"Incredibly, without any formal announcement being sent out, six women have already come to the ISC office and signed up to get their ISC membership cards this week," he said in a statement.

The first event will be the Roxy Open at Keramas Beach in April during the Quiksilver Open, the second will be at Legian Beach in mid-October at the Villa Mana Charity Surf event, and the season closer will be during the Rip Curl Surf and Music Festival at Kuta Beach in late October.

"The point's leader at the end of the year will receive the women's championship trophy at the ISC awards presentation scheduled for early November," he added.

With the rapidly growing popularity of the sport of surfing in Indonesia, more and women are getting into it and finding that the thrill of riding waves is not only for the guys. The stigma of surfing being a purely man's sport in Indonesia is being blunted by the alluring images of women at the beach and in the water, from the young daughters of famous Australian, American, and Hawaiian surfers in magazine ads to movies like Blue Crush and the MTV series Boarding House-North Shore.

"Not to mention movie stars like Cameron Diaz seen taking surfing lessons from Rizal Tanjung at Dreamland Beach in Bali," Tim added.

According to him, some major international surfwear companies have created brands exclusively for the women's market, such as Quiksilver/Roxy, Rip Curl Girl, Billabong Girls and Rusty Chix.

Bali's own Surfer Girl is a company dedicated exclusively to providing surfing and beachwear products to women of all ages, recently adding a surfing school as well.

Rip Curl holds "Girls Go Surfing" days several times per year at their Rip Curl Surf School, inviting women and girl celebrities from Jakarta to give surfing a try alongside tourists and locals.

BINTAN: Tourism Destination

This is information for everyone who want to travel to Bintan Island