Indonesia’s Raja Ampat: A perfect marine wonderland

Ared soldierfish, sheltered in a crevice, is looking bashfully at me with big doll eyes, like a wee escapee from a Japanese anime film. Then silvery trumpet fish with Pinnochio noses shimmy past. I am hovering above a gloriously alive coral reef in my wetsuit, blowing bubbles and loving the sensation of weightlessness again after a hiatus of long years from scuba diving. Raja Ampat, meaning Four Kings, is a quartet of islands (Waigeo, Batanta, Salawati and Misool) on Indonesia’s far e … [Read more...]

Stunning Samosir

Once ruled by kings for nearly 400 years, this ancient island at the centre of the world’s largest volcanic lake is a wonderland of nature and culture Words: Aulia R. Sungkar     Photography: Suwandi Chandra    Jetstar Asia Magazine, February 2014 A four-hour drive from Medan to Parapat, a small town on the Uluan peninsula, followed by a 45-minute ferry ride, takes me to Samosir Island, a wedge-shaped landmass roughly the size of Singapore at the centre of Lake Toba. It’s a tiring journe … [Read more...]

Victory City

As one of several Asian nations enjoying highly favourable economic growth rates, Indonesia is increasingly appearing on the international investment radar. Southeast Asia’s largest economy continues to show a positive outlook for real estate investors, with a growing number of high net worth individuals contributing to a boom in Jakarta’s luxury condominium market. The Indonesian capital has seen significant price increases at the luxury end of the property market this year. According to … [Read more...]

Bali: beyond the usual suspects

Bali may have its fair share of tourists seeking nothing more than seven days of sun, sand and sex in the southern party triad of Kuta, Legian and Seminyak, but this only forms a small part of what’s on offer. In reality, Bali is a lush Indonesian island teeming with cultural experiences, delicious food and exhilarating adventures. For those after a little slice of Balinese culture, food and adventure, consider the following, less visited possibilities: 1. Southern Bali: Bukit Pe … [Read more...]

W Retreat & Spa Bali

neighbourhood Petitenget is the name of the fab lane where designers, artists and socialites, not to mention jetsetters, are often spotted rubbing shoulders in this neck of the woods. It's an eclectic neighbourhood whose establishments form a microcosm of hip Bali – Mantra with its rustic charm, Biku with its modern translation of traditional Balinese, and Potato Head Beach Club with its reputation as the island's concert Mecca. In that context, the existence of W brand in the area only cements … [Read more...]

MEDAN: 1 Holiday 3 Ways

Words: Aulia R. Sungkar     Photography: Suwandi Chandra Jetstar Asia Magazine, June 2013 Enthusiasts of art-deco architecture, foodies and nature lovers will find the charms of Indonesia’s third largest city well worth exploring FOR HISTORY BUFFS Alongside the modern infrastructure that Medan is building to propel the city forward, you can still find traces of Dutch colonial history. Stay: Emerald Garden Hotel is truly an old hotel with a new look. Nestling on Yos Sudarso Road … [Read more...]

Gamelan: is it game over?

Can this traditional Indonesian musical ensemble continue to mark the rhythms of human life? Words: Aulia R. Sungkar     Photography: M.I. Mappasenge Jetstar Asia Magazine, June 2013 NEW PASSION Despite fears that the popularity of gamelan is fading in Indonesia, Kenthus notices that this Javanese ensemble has attracted more and more foreigners, such as those from the US, Australia and Japan. But will this be enough to keep it going? Only time will tell. Literally meaning o … [Read more...]

Tour de Singkarak stirs international enthusiasm

After having successfully held the annual event for five consecutive years, Tour De Singkarak is set to climb higher in the realm of international cycling sport event. Jean-Etienne Amaury, president of Amaury Sport Organization (ASO), an event organizer giant that has scored numerous successes organizing internationally acclaimed events such as Tour De France and Paris-Dakar Rally, expressed his surprise and delight on how Tour De Singkarak is held. “It’s my first time to be here. I’m indee … [Read more...]

Six Degrees -Jakarta-

Indonesia’s capital is transforming itself into a more creative megapolis. Six locals tell us who's making a difference Words: Aulia R. Sungkar     Photography: M.I. Mappasenge Jetstar Asia Magazine, January 2013 Fergie Tan Occupation: Creative director Business: Brown Fox Studio “Plaza Senayan marries creativity and lifestyle” The younger generation in Jakarta is looking forward to seeing Indonesia’s capital become a more modern and forward-thinking city. This is where Fergie … [Read more...]

TOUCH BY NATURE

The hill town of Batu offers so much to see and do that what started as a weekend playground for the locals and tourists has gained fame across Indonesia A cool mountain breeze greets my arrival in Malang after a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Surabaya, the coastal capital of East Java. The apple orchards that dot the city have given Malang the moniker, the "City of Apples". With the presence of historical buildings through the city, Malang truly creates a sense of Europe. I feast my eyes … [Read more...]