Funny, Weird and Interesting

Indonesia is home to the most exotic and unexpected things. With 17,800 islands which can give you a variety of things to do, explore and experience, you will not run out of things which can be pretty surprising.

Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours has these following spoilers:

  1. Flora and Fauna

Being rich in natural resources, Indonesia has proved to be a natural habitat once again when in 2010, 200 new species of animals. Some of the most famous animals to be reviewed most of the time are:

  • Javana Rino

In no other place can you find these majestic beasts.  A local in Indonesia, they are treated with respect. If any other place claims it, they may be talking fraud.

  • Komodo Dragon

On the island of Komodo lives Komodo dragon. Komodo dragon it is a dangerous big reptile and it can eat a human. Komodo dragons live only in the national park of the Komodo Island.

  1. National Cuisine

Some people may find it weird to eat snakes or crickets but not in the streets of Indonesia. There are more than a lot of choices for those who are sensitive eaters to turn their stomachs upside down.

Rice remains a staple food just like any other parts of Asia. The combination though comes from different cultures around the world. One of the most traditional is the Soto Soup which is served differently depending on the region.

  1. Movies

Unlike other neighboring countries, Indonesians watch their movies through subtitles and prefer not to dub them.

  1. Corpse’s tea time

In cultures where passing over to the ancestors is a cause for celebration, funerals can be very grand affairs. A handful of Indonesia’s 300+ ethnic groups celebrate the death of their loved ones with ritual sacrifice lasting several days. In Toraja, in the highlands of Sulawesi, whole villages are built just for the funeral and dozens of buffalo will be slaughtered.

Death in Indonesia is a very big event even when you are in Jakarta which most practices are already westernized. In this event, the corpse serves as the host and is placed in the center of the living room.

In the south-eastern island of Sumba, the dead person sits in a specially-built bamboo chair in their own house and hosts the guests from there. They provide pork, rice and endless cups of tea and coffee every day for at least a week; on the final day horses and buffalos are killed and skinned in the village center. When the feasting is done, the host is bundled into a megalithic tomb along with the other ancestors.

  1. Forest Nomads

You might be able to meet these nomads while trekking. They set their tents on some rich part of the forest, plant their crops and hunt for food and move on when it is already infertile.

Where to Go to in Jakarta for 48 Hours

Ever felt like going out of the country but you only have the weekends free? If you think 48 hrs. is too short to travel and experience a lot of things, then, think again. Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours is going to show you that you can experience a lot in only 2 days. Our destination to review: Jakarta, Indonesia.

First Day

On your first day of tour, you may want to check in first in a nearby hotel. After freshening up, Jakarta hotels mostly offer great views from the balcony but to really experience the place, we suggest you head out.

For a little peek in the city, Monas, a 132-obelisk at the center of Medan Merdeka, topped by a golden flame is one of the most famous to go to. Since this is a popular place though, you may want to keep your wallets in close range. A lot of fraudsters are in the lookout for tourists’ valuables.

Wander through the charming residential lanes south of Kebon Sirih to an alley which is known as the Culinary Centre, but is actually a row of foodstalls and folding tables that offer cheap, freshly cooked food from across the region.

Historic city of Kota is also a place to see which is also to Jakarta Bay so it can give you a fresh stroll of both modern and old city. The well-to-do suburbs, Menteng and Kuningan, sit just to the south of the city centre while trendy Kemang and Blok M, further south and south west respectively, offer an array of bars, clubs and restaurants. We also recommend experience riding Bajaj (motor-rickshaws) and ojek (motorbike taxis).

Second day

Take a brunch on the Social House and meet other expatriates. From Plaza Indonesia, head east into upmarket Menteng, which has wide, tree-lined streets and a smattering of small parks. Find delicately-cut shadow puppets, carved wooden masks and an array of chandeliers, silks and metalwork miscellany at the antiques market along the length of Jalan Surabaya, a five-minute walk away. Prices vary considerably according to quality, condition and your haggling prowess – aim for half the initial price.

Another place to visit is the dark-domed Immanuel Church and if you are visiting on a Sunday, you may get a chance to experience a grand service. The church might be faded but its grandeur says more. After that, you may want to experience snorkeling or just ferry riding. Thousand Islands have silver beaches and clear water that’s perfect for that kind of sport.

Diving in Indonesia

Indonesia is one of hotspots in diving. From Bali to Sumatra and even the depths of the ocean near Jakarta, the archipelago is at your disposal when you need to find a different change of air and environment (literally). Many tourists go to Indonesia just to dive.

Diving is one of the most sought-after sports nowadays and a lot of people are more and more attracted to it.

It is therefore important to check and review the basic fundamentals in diving. Here are some tips gathered by Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours for you to use:

  1. Fine a reputable operator

The most important on your checklist is to find a reputable operator. Surf the net patiently and read other people’s comments on each operator. A reliable travel guidebook usually provides some recommended ones. It is better to trust your safety to someone who knows his way underwater than some fraud “instructor”.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the dive sites

Research as much information as possible on the dive sites in the location you’re planning to visit, whether they are current-affected, their seascapes (sandy slope, wall, etc.) water temperatures, marine lives, best times to dive, and so on.

  1. Know more about the coral reefs

Most Indonesia’s reefs are very rich and colorful, but they are also very fragile. Educate yourself about coral reefs, especially about the fact that they are living, breathing, animals that can easily be damaged even with a minor touch of fingertips, let alone and incidental blow of your fins.

  1. Practice taking a picture

You’d think taking pictures underwater is easy enough. Obviously, the weight and the current are far different below the sea than on land. At the very least, you should already master your buoyancy control skill before even thinking of taking an underwater camera.

  1. Check your Depth Regularly

The best sites in Indonesia, particularly in the east, are blessed with amazing visibility and sunlight that penetrates deep into the ocean. It is easy to be enchanted, thinking that you’re still in shallow while in fact you could already be too deep. Check your depth regularly.

Scuba diving is a scary thing for beginners. When you think about it, because of the change of environment, your body may be surprised and may go into all the survival mode instinct it got. A sudden underwater claustrophobia and vertigo may suddenly shock you as well. It is better to check all your options to enjoy a worth-it dive in the beautiful underwater experience in Indonesia.

The Real Cost in Traveling to Indonesia

When asked, so many foreigners who visited Asian countries have a lot of versions regarding the cost of things in each nation. Indonesia, like Malaysia had a lot of varying reviews from fellow travelers when I asked about the prices. Tourists should understand that the cost of things in these nations differ depending on the demand of the product in the place. For instance, rice in Jakarta City is a lot more costly than that in Candirejo Village. One thing is easy to agree on though: Indonesia is a big country and it isn’t that easy to get around.Financial travelers as members of Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours have listed the following pointers to help you in your expenses in the archipelago.

Transportation

First thing’s first. Indonesia can be really cheap or can be quite expensive depending on the transportation. There is a huge discrepancy between private, tourist transport and local transport. A private car can cost $100 one-way while a public bus cost $1.50 traveling the same distance. It is best to ask some local first and learn the basics of fares when going around.

If you are traveling in public, don’t let a tout sell you a ticket. Pay the attendant on the bus directly. Even if you’re dropped off outside of what appear to be ticket windows, they take a cut. Climb onto the bus that is going where you want to go, and you’ll be approached once the bus gets going by an attendant who will quote a price. Don’t be afraid to say,“mahal” (expensive) if it sounds astronomical. In general, a public, non-air-conditioned bus should not be more than a few dollars. Also be aware that many people smoke in Indonesia, and even enclosed busses will sometimes have smokers on board even if a cigarette smoking is already punishable by law. If you see a warning sign near you, don’t hesitate to get the attention of the smoker and point to the signage. This will stop him from smoking.

Accommodation

There were far fewer dorms available in Indonesia as compared to countries such as Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand. Naturally, for a solo traveler, this forces the costs to go up. Accommodation in Sumatra is cheapest if you are going alone. In Java, you may need to pay up to $15 at a guesthouse.

Food and Drink

This is where Indonesia became fabulously cheap. You can already eat a full meal for only a dollar. The way to do this is to find a warung which cater more to locals and serve local foods. Indonesian food is delicious, so why not eat local? It helps to know what a few of the items on the menu are before ordering, as they may not be listed in English and it’s possible the cook will not speak English.

Packing

Have you gotten tired of reading some packing tips which doesn’t just seem to work for you? Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours, one of the longest running and most trusted traveling consultant online, may help you in your baggage issues:

1. Security and Safety in Details

Scan your passport, passport photos and paper tickets. Store this in your web based email account. You can also store the details of your emergency ‘lost card’ telephone numbers in your web based email account so you know who to contact if your credit card or ATM card is lost or stolen. This way, even if you lose everything, you have immediate access to all of your important information. You can even email the details page of your passport to the embassy or consulate when applying for a new one.

2. Split up your valuables

Split up your bank cards, cash, travelers’ cheques and credit cards as much as possible in different pockets, your bags and wallet when packing. In case you do get robbed, at least you won’t be strapped for cash. Make sure you do this before strolling in busy streets of Jakarta, Indonesia or Bangkok, Thailand as there are many pick-pocketers and scammers in these areas.

3. Use Nalgene or Small Bottles

Use nalgene/small bottles to pack toiletries and other small items. There are several sturdy and waterproof ones, with clear/see through ones being preferable. You can also use small bottles to repack shampoo or lotions so that you don’t have to always carry a big bottle with you. This is especially useful if you normally take these items in your carry-on luggage.

4. When Using Backpacks

When you are packing things into a backpack, place the lighter items at the bottom and the heavier ones on top. Your bag will feel lighter this way as the pack rests on your lower back. It is also smart to place the things you use the most on top. Dirty clothes are perfect to pack at the bottom of a backpack.

5. Clothes

Pack only what you know you will use and if you are travelling for more than three weeks, plan to wash on the road. You can cut back on the number of clothes items by packing multi-purpose clothing, for example items that can both be worn during the day and as sleepwear.

6. Local Tourism Offices

The best source of information is usually local. Check out Tourism Offices to find unbiased feedback on the best accommodation to suit your needs. Exercise caution and make sure you know the warning signs in each country.