Tour de Singkarak 2011

Minister of Culture and Tourism (Menbudpar) Jero Wacik; together with West Sumatra Governor Irwan Prayitno, Director General of Marketing at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Indonesia Sapta Nirwandar, and PB ISSI Chairman Phanny Tanjung; officially inaugurates the giant event of Tour de Singkarak 2011 in a cultural art ceremony in Taman Budaya Padang (literally means “Padang’s Garden of Culture”). This spectacular ceremonial opening is marked by drumming the Gendang Tasa, an … [Read more...]

Grande Bretagne: A Clasy Taste of Europe

Any plan to visit Greece in the near future..? If you do, don’t miss the chance to pay a visit, or even spend the nights at Grande Bretagne, an antique historical building in Athens. Located in the center of Athens, the Hotel Grande Bretagne is a precious local landmark and has been the Greek State’s Official Guesthouse. Built in 1862, the most celebrated grandiose hotel of Europe has been a silent eye-witness to many historical political events that have altered the country’s history. It has … [Read more...]

Anantara Seminyak Resort & Spa: An Escape to Paradise

Situated in the most intoxicating beach area of Kuta, Bali, Anantara Seminyak Resort & Spa is no less than a new prestigious sanctuary for those seeking to escape the hustle-bustle of everyday life. The venue offers both luxury and comfy for anyone craving for a self-indulgence. Its 59 stylish suites and 1 luxurious Penthouse are well equipped with state-of-the-art electronic gadgets: BOSE DVD player, a surround-sound system, 42 inch LCD TV, 80 GB iPod with docking station, WI-Fi internet … [Read more...]

Taleb Rifai: Propitious Potential

Many speak of economic and geopolitical doom and gloom. But the secretary general of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) acknowledges that the ASEAN tourism sector as the bloc has great potential to flourish. In his remarks at the opening ceremony of the 15th ASEAN Tourism Forum in Manado, North Sulawesi last January, UNWTO secretary general Taleb Rifai says that Asia’s share of international tourism by the year 2030 will grow from 20 to 30 percent. “And the good news is Sou … [Read more...]

Mari Elka Pangestu: Boosting Creativity

Tourism sector is a fertile environment for entrepreneurship. In the case of Indonesia, it has the potential to grow small and medium businesses and to better position the country on the world’s economic map, according to Mari Elka Pangestu. “Indonesia needs market diversification to anticipate the decreasing number of tourists from the West, mainly impacted from the unfavorable economic conditions in European countries and the United States,” Mari Elka Pangestu, the newly elected Minister of … [Read more...]

ASEAN Tourism Potential for Economic Growth

Secretary General of UNWTO (the United Nations World Tourism Organization) Taleb Rifai expressed his optimism that the tourism sector is one of the big potentials for ASEAN countries to boost their economic growth.  Speaking in front of a group of journalists at the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2012, which is taking place in Manado from January 8 to 15, Rifai said he was delighted that UNWTO has developed a strong relationship with ASEAN.   To help ASEAN countries realize such a propitious potential i … [Read more...]


Buckle up for an excursion to this vibrant Indonesian town a couple of hours’ drive from the Indonesian capital of Jakarta WORDS  AULIA R SUNGKAR  PHOTOGRAPHY TIMUR ANGIN Located some 150km south-east of Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia’s West Java province has a quaint atmosphere. With a population of approximately 2.5 million, Bandung has a laid-back lifestyle that is different from the country’s capital with all its hustle and bustle. Just a two-hour drive from Jakarta puts you within … [Read more...]

The Lonely Rickshaws

Fancy taking a bajaj from Jakarta all the way up to Thailand? No, we didn’t think so…   Powered only by diminutive 175cc motorised rickshaws (which are known to Jakarta residents by their brand name of bajaj), a group of thrill seekers recently tackled an arduous trek from Jakarta all the way to Krabi in Thailand as they rose to the challenge of the first ever ASEAN Rickshaw Run. Looking perhaps a trifle fatigued but still smiling, the run’s participants finally sputtered towards the finishin … [Read more...]

Hotel Tugu: The Romance of History

Featuring the legacy of Indonesian heritage with first-class luxury and service, the presence of Hotel Tugu in four regions in the archipelago has won the heart of worldwide prominent guests. Also known as a monument to the art and romance of Indonesian ancient history, Hotel Tugu has developed a concept that displays historical and artistic objects, allowing guests to have a distinguished experience that a common hotel does not facilitate. It is such a cultural haven, indeed, especially … [Read more...]

End of a Cycle

This form of three-wheeled public transport is vanishing from the streets of Jakarta. Fifty-seven-year-old becak (rickshaw) rider Dulatif regularly sits inside his vehicle from dawn to dusk on the corner of Larangan Street, in Ciledug, Tangerang, on the outskirts of western Jakarta. “It’s IDR5,000 (S$0.70) for travelling a distance less than 600m. And I usually charge my customers IDR10,000 (S$1.40) for a distance up to 2km,” he says. On average, he earns about IDR35,000 (S$5.90) per day, w … [Read more...]