This is the world's most expansive archipelago, stretching east to west almost 5,000km from Sumatra to Irian Jaya, and north to south almost 1,800 km from the Sabah - Kalimantan border to Roti Island off Timor - ideal grounds for dive charter trips.
There are 13,677 islands (we didn't count them) of which 6,000 are inhabited. While the total area covered by the country, including sea, would swallow Australia 2½ times over (wishful thinking!), the actual land mass is only three times that of Texas. Given that the country consists of such a large area of crystalline waters studded with tropical islands, it is little wonder that it is so highly thought of by experienced divers and that Indonesia diving vacations are deemed by many to be second to none.
Most of the country's islands are mountainous, some so high as to be snow capped, with volcanoes running like a backbone through the country. It's this volcanic ash that gives Indonesian soil its rich fertility, spawning such an amazing diversity of flora and fauna including the world's biggest flower the rafflesia and the mighty Komodo dragon.
The People of Indonesia
The 202 million people that live here make it the fourth most populous nation on earth, 128 million on Java alone. There are 300 ethnic groups speaking 365 languages and dialects, though most are of Malay descent and speak the national language, Bahasa Indonesian.
Islam is the predominant religion, though religious tolerance is vigorously pursued by the authorities. Christianity is strong in Sulawesi and some eastern areas such as Flores, Hinduism in Bali and Animism remains in Sumba and Irian Jaya.
Straddling the equator, Indonesia tends to have a very even climate. High rainfall and tropical heat lend a high humidity and mean that most of the country is covered in tropical rainforest - an area second largest only to Brazil. The wet season runs from October to April, with rain falling in short and sudden downpours interrupted with sunshine. The dry season is from May to September.
However, the country is spread over such a vast area that excellent diving is to be found in one destination or another all year round. Check our dive site descriptions for more details on seasons for a scuba diving trip to Indonesia.
For weather data and forecasts for many cities in Indonesia and other areas of SE Asia see the Hong Kong Observatory web site.
Common but avoidable health concerns while on vacation here are contaminated food, water and ice that can lead to diarrhoea, dehydration and hepatitis A or E. Make sure you drink only bottled drinking water.
Fungal infections are also very common. Wear loose clothes, wash frequently, and dry yourself carefully.
This is a malarial area in general, but some areas such as Bali are mainly malaria-free. It is also worth remembering that there are not too many mosquitoes at sea so it's highly unlikely you'll catch malaria on an Indonesia diving cruise.
Self-diagnosis and treatment of any medical problem can be risky, so you should always seek medical help.
It's recommended that you seek medical advice about immunisations at least six weeks before your trip.
In February 2004 changes were made to the visa regulations. We summarise them below but check your own position again prior to your trip.
11 countries are eligible for a 30 day stay, with a free permit issued on arrival. They are: Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei Darussalam, Philippines, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, Chile, Morocco, Peru and Vietnam. Your passport must be valid for at least another six months.
The following nationalities can obtain a visa (7 or 30 days) on arrival for a small fee: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Maldives, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Russian, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates and United States of America.
This visa on arrival is not extendable and not convertible into other types of visas. It is available at all international airports and major borders. If you are crossing at an unrecognised entry post you will need a visa in advance. All visitors must have a valid passport for at least six months from the date of arrival. Proof of a return ticket is also required.
If you come from a country NOT listed above, or you wish to stay on vacation for more than 30 days then you must obtain your visa overseas before entering the country. For Portuguese and Israeli nationals there are other specific requirements.
There are three time zones in Indonesia - +7 hrs GMT (+12 hrs EST) for Java, Sumatra and west and central Kalimantan, +8 hrs GMT (+13 hrs EST) for Bali, Sulawesi, Nusa Tenggara and south and east Kalimantan, and +9 hrs GMT (+14 hrs EST) for Maluku and Irian Jaya.
Banks are open Monday to Friday from 08:00 hrs to 16:00 hrs and in some places on Saturdays until around 11:00 hrs.
Electricity is 220v / 50 Hz AC. Sockets accommodate two round prongs - the same as in most European countries. It's advisable to bring your own plug adaptor kit if required. Power is usually reliable but there are occasional blackouts.
Most popular brands and types of film are widely available. If special equipment is required then bringing it with you is probably the best option as supplies are limited.
Internet cafes are popular in the main cities and tourist areas but connection speeds are slow.
Kantor Telkom, the government-run telecommunications company, has offices in many cities and towns. Most of these are open 24 hours and are the cheapest places to make international and long distance calls. For international direct dialling use 001 + country code + area code + phone number.
Post offices are open Monday to Friday from 08:00 hrs to 15:00 hrs and Saturday until around 13:00 hrs. In the larger cities main post offices are often open extended hours. Indonesian postal services are unreliable. Important items can be sent by express mail service (EMS). This is faster and safer but the cost is higher.
Codes of Behaviour
Indonesians make allowances for western ways, especially in the main tourist vacation areas, but there are a few things to bear in mind when dealing with people.
The left hand is considered unclean as it is used to wash after visiting the toilet, so never hand over or receive things with this hand as it will be viewed as offensive. Shake hands, right handed of course, when introduced to anyone when both arriving and leaving.
A person's head is regarded as the seat of the soul and therefore sacred, so to touch somebody on their head will also cause offence.
Talking to someone with your hands on hips is considered a sign of contempt, anger or aggression. It's rude to point with your fingers so rather beckon someone with your palm down - a bit like waving your dog to heel!
When eating with Indonesians do wait until you are asked to begin by your host, and it is also considered impolite to refuse a drink.
Tipping and bargaining
Tipping is not normal practice but is expected for special service. Generally if someone goes to extra trouble for you a tip is welcome.
Bargaining is common game in Indonesia with the exception of diving (of course!), restaurant meals, transport and sometimes accommodation, where the fee is generally fixed.
When bargaining, unless you're sure about the price you want to pay, it's probably best to ask the seller their asking price. Your response could be anything from a third to two-thirds of this price. Don't show too much interest and keep it friendly. Be prepared to walk away and quite often you will be called back and offered the price you previously suggested.
Indonesia is hot and humid so light, loose cotton clothing is most recommended. When exploring the night-life, tight dresses, shorts, and miniskirts are no problem. However, naked sunbathing or topless appearance in public places is considered offensive, especially when you are outside the main tourist areas. You must wear conservative clothing when in temples or mosques.
The vast majority of Indonesians are honest people with a strong sense of right and wrong. Tourism however does attract pickpockets and thieves the world over so to ensure an enjoyable stay, use some common sense. Be aware and don't leave valuables unattended.
Police corruption is widespread, however the chances are you will not have any dealings with them unless you are "guilty" of a traffic offence. You have two options - either pay the fine that goes and stays in the policeman's back pocket, or tough it out and run the risk of a very prolonged and arduous session at the local station. Show respect for the police and don't take an aggressive approach as it will only make matters worse.
Well, having read a little story about Majapahit, you must be curious about the archeological sites of Majapahit. First of all I want to show you the map of Archeological sites of Majapahit in Trowulan.
OK, our first trip is Candi Wringin Lawang. Why should it be the first???? Because some people believe that Candi Wringin Lawang was the gate to the complex of Majapahit Kingdom.
Candi Wringin Lawang is located in Dukuh Wringin Lawang, Desa Jati Pasar, Trowulan, Mojokerto. It is called Wringin Lawang because there was a big tree called Beringin or Wringin (Javanese language) near the temple. And Lawang which is mean door.
Wringin Lawang’s shape is divided gate without roof (Bentar Temple). Bentar temple usually is used as the main gate from a certain complex. So that’s why some people believe that Wringin Lawang Temple was the main gate to the complex of Majapahit Kingdom.
Wringin Lawang have had many restorations which was executed from 1991 - 1995. This gate was built from brick. The foundation of this gate is square with its size 13 x 11.50 m. Before restoration, the north gate was still stand upright with 15.50 m high and the south gate only left about 9 m high. The space between these two gates is wide enough. There is nothing special in its wall such as relief.
Now after many restorations, Wringin Lawang stands upright. We can enjoy and admire the archaeological remains of Majapahit which was the biggest Kingdom in Indonesia.
Having interest to see it directly????, just come to Trowulan Mojokerto
As we know that in the past, Indonesia contained of many kingdoms. Those Kingdoms in Indonesia were Kutai, Taruma Negara, Kalingga, Mataram Hindhu, Medang, Kahuripan, Kediri, Singasari, Majapahit, Pajajaran, Demak, Pajang, Mataram, and Banten. And from all of those Kingdoms, that is Majapahit which is the biggest Kingdom in Indonesia. Majapahit Kingdom existed at 1290 – 1500 and located at Trowulan Mojokerto. Realizing that I live nearby the former site of Majapahit, it will be very interesting if we know deeper about Majapahit.
The existing of Majapahit began when Singhasari Kingdom was shettered by Kediri, Kertanegara (The King of Singhasari) was murdered by Jayakatwang from Kediri. The biggest mistake of Jayakatwang was not to kill Raden Wijaya (son in law of Kertanegara). Moreover, He gives a land called Tarik for Raden Wijaya. Sooner, Tarik was built and called Majapahit. This name was taken from maja fruit which tasted bitter (pahit-Indonesia). After that, Raden Wijaya tried to get support from Mongol to take vengeance to Jayakatwang. Jayakatwang was murdered by Raden Wijaya. Later, Raden Wijaya was appointed as a King of Mojopahit which called Kertarajasa Jayawardhana.
The statue in the left side is Kertarajasa Jayawardhana which was believed as the reflection of Siwa and Wisnu. In the beginning of Kertarajasa Jayawardhana’s rule, Majapahit faced many revolts, such as the revolt of Ranggalawe, Sora, Nambi, and Kuti. But it could solve well when Hallayudha was murdered. Sooner, Raden Wijaya or Kertarajasa Jayawardhana died on 1309.
The rule of Majapahit was continued by Jayanegara, the son of Raden Wijaya. But he was an amoral king. Later he murdered by his physician, Tanca. After Jayanegara died, the rule of Majapahit was taken by Tribhuana Tunggadewi. Under Tribhuana’s rule, Majapahit become bigger. Tribhuana’s rule then continued by Hayam Wuruk, her son.
Majapahit experienced its ‘golden age’ under its last great ruler Hayam Wuruk (1350–1389) with his chief minister, Gajah Mada whose reign is extolled in an epic poem, Nagarakertagama (1365). This poem claimed an empire for Majapahit covering much of peninsular Malaya, Sumatra, Borneo, Sulawesi (Celebes), Bali, and other islands, though its control in the more far-flung areas must have been weak.
After reached its ‘golden age’ in the 14th century, the authority of Majapahit becomes weaker. Moreover in the 1405-1406 there was a battle called Perang Paregreg between Wirabhumi and Wikramawardhana which were brothers. In addition, there was influence of Islam which replaced Hindhu. And the last remnants of Majapahit's authority had been extinguished and many of its royal family had fled to Bali.
That's a little about Majapahit.
After this let's just have a trip with me around archeological sites of Majapahit in Trowulan Mojokerto in the next post.
I believe that lots of you have read Harry Potter and I’m sure that you must have known Dementor. But if you don’t know, let me tell you.
"Dementors are among the foulest creatures that walk this earth. They infest the darkest, filthiest places, they glory in decay and despair, they drain peace, hope, and happiness out of the air around them... Get too near a Dementor and every good feeling, every happy memory will be sucked out of you. If it can, the Dementor will feed on you long enough to reduce you to something like itself...soul-less and evil. You will be left with nothing but the worst experiences of your life."
—Remus Lupin to Harry Potter
So a Dementor is a Dark creature, considered one of the foulest that inhabit the world. Dementors feed off human happiness, and thus cause depression and despair to any who are in close proximity to them.
To defend against dementor, the only way is by spelling Patronus charm.
"A Patronus is a kind of positive force, and for the wizard who can conjure one, it works something like a shield, with the Dementor feeding on it, rather than him. In order for it to work, you need to think of a memory. Not just any memory, a very happy memory, a very powerful memory… Allow it to fill you up…lose yourself in it…then speak the incantation ‘Expecto Patronum’."
—Remus Lupin teaching Harry Potter the Patronus Charm
Patronus Charm spell is one way to defend against Dementors and certain other Dark creatures. The spell requires the use of a wand, concentration on a powerfully happy memory, and the incantation "Expecto Patronum".
Sadness againts by happy memories. It is a great concept, isn’t it?
Well, actually these last few days I feel that so many dementors around me. It means, my mind was full of negative thinking which make desperate, feeling down, and so on. I want to kick them out of my mind, so I need the Patronus charm. Eventhough I don’t have any magic wand, at least I have some happy memories in my mind.
So here are my Patronus Charms.
1. Remembering when the first time I knew him. Spending our time just for sending SMS. Inviting him to come at Magetan, meeting him for the first time at Magetan, spending time together at Sarangan, first sensation missing him when he went home and leaving me alone at Magetan.
2. Remembering when at last having relationship with him. Sitting together at alun2 Mojokerto, drinking coffee together, talking, and finally accepting him as a part of my life.
3. Going together with him, spending our time together, just walking around at UNESA, watching movie, having breakfast, lunch, or even dinner, holding hand each other, sharing with him, listening him singing for me and so on.
4. Remembering when he proposed me. Making me sure that he will marry me as soon as possible.
5. The smiling of my students when they meet me every Saturday. Talking with them, making them calm down, trying to be the best for them and so on
6. Teddy bear from my students.
7. Writing RPP (Rencana Pelaksanaan Pembelajaran) and knowing that it have done well.
8. Making media.
9. Making reward such as sticker.
10. Being together with my students.
11. Having the most patient mother.
12. Having a lot of love from my family.
13. Being together with all of my friends. Novi, Breta, Breta’s Husband, Cula, Echa, Echi, Rida, Kiki, Mbak Depe, Mbak Reni, Wachidun, Dewi, A-1 class, IPS2 class, friends in the kostBunga Icha, Uut, Kiki, and others. Having a lot of memories with them makes me never feel alone.
14. Remembering Dave and Calvin, my first student. Remembering our time together, the smiling of them, and all of memories with them.
15. And the biggest patronus in my life, remembering about Allah, knowing Allah will always beside me to protect me, help me, and never leave me alone.
At least I realize that in my life I ever feel happy, not forever in sadness. Life is a kind of turning wheel, sometimes at the top and sometimes at the bottom. By remembering all of those happy memories I hope I can past the hardest thing in my life.
Although without a magic wand, I will shout Expecto Patronum loudly in my heart.