Showing posts with label NTT. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NTT. Show all posts

Enjoying Pulau Rinca, Komodo Dragon and Pink Beach

Kia ora!

Morena.. a very good morning from Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand.

Here, we are now enjoying winter as June arrives. Short days with cold, windy weather are welcoming us almost everyday and as the famous meme said, winter is coming! How I long warm, tropical weather back home in Indonesia nowadays.

And looking at my photo albums, I have so many great adventures on my last visit to Indonesia, especially Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara.

As I have shared on my previous posts, I have dived in many spots here in Labuan Bajo. Feel free to check it on Diving at Labuan Bajo - Photo Album .

Right after diving at Batu Bolong site, the last dive I did, we stopped by at Rinca Island. This is one of the islands where you can get to see komodo dragons on their natural habitat as well as the pink beach. On top of my diving trip, I added Rp 500K for this additional stops. 

By the time we landed at Rinca island, we walked from the pier to the entrance gate and ticketing office. As we have foreigner visitors, we have different tickets for the locals. It was a bit confusing for us as the officials were asking for the new tariff which is quite expensive. But we all know that the new tariff was still being heavily debated at that time so at the end of the day, our tour guide negotiated and we paid in accordance with the prevailing regulations.

Happy me arriving at Rinca island, ready to make a rendezvous with komodo

Long story short, we chose the short trail and being helped by one of the local guides here. He showed us the way and told us many interesting stories and facts as well. since the very beginning when we landed in this island, I have already read the sign saying that tis is the natural habitat for the komodo and we were basically walking alongside their trails. Cool, right! But surely we have to be careful as well. 

Nevertheless, after seeing the real komodo for the first time in the Komodo museum at Taman Mini Indonesia Indah and seeing the giant lantern of komodo in Wellington lantern festival, you can imagine how excited I was to meet these magnificent creatures in their original homes.

So we went through the trail, the Loh Liang walking trails, listening attentively to our guide. I feel bad of not remembering his name! He spoke English well and patiently answered so many of our questions.

Check out these photos and you will see how cool this place is. Rest assure I took the photos from safe distance and under strict supervisor of our guide. And again, komodo dragons are magnificent creatures. 

Done enjoying the walking trails in Rinca island, we moved to the other side of the island and stopped at the pink beach. And it was totally AWESOME!

As I have seen in so many posts in various social medias, pink beack is just unique and stunningly beautiful. I enjoyed my time here although it was not that long. I was kust dipping my feet, so tempted to swim again and I was just tired from my 3-times dives. I prayed that I would go back here again soon with my hubby and the kids. 

I bet we will!

Welcome to the pink beach! Lovely isn't it?

Mini - me is super excited too

Hope we can go back soon 

So, have you visited East Nusa Tenggara, especially Labuan Bajo?
Did you visit Rinca island and manage to meet komodo dragons and have fun at the pink beach as well? 

Share your story here.

Diving at Labuan Bajo - Photo Album

chasing the manta...

It's diving time!

How excited I am sharing this story and as you have probably been aware of from my last posts here, I have just visited Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara. Well, it was done in the middle of May and now it's June already!

You have seen a glimpse of Labuan Bajo's exquisite beauty, above and under, and now I will take you deeper to its astonishing underwater world. Let's dive with me! Are you ready?

Right after the successful commencement of the 42nd ASEAN Summit, I had one free day before heading back to Jakarta, then New Zealand. So, I instantly decided to go diving, as I haven't done so after leaving Indonesia to Aotearoa back in November 2021. Been a long time, right! As I joke with my hubby and my kids, God the Almight knew I haven't wet my gills for a long time and God has kindly gave me the chance to visit one of diving paradise, Labuan Bajo. Alhamdulillah.

So, long story short, I joined a diving tour with Blue Marlin operator and got a chance to dive at Penga kecil, Makassare Reef, and Batu Bolong sites. There were 13 of us, with 9 divers from China, one from Indonesia (yours truly :)) and 3 dive masters from NTT, Sweden and France. Quite a diverse group indeed. After that, I stopped by at Rinca Island to see the komodo dragon and pink beach. Lucky me, right!

Before I spill more beans, here are the photos I took.

the manta! So graceful..
giant cuttlefish...

clear visibility...

happy me :)

healthy and colorful reefs

more colorful reef

one spot at Makassar Reef

Don't forget to check my YouTube video as well here.

I was so blessed to be able to dive in Labuan Bajo and meet amazing sea creatures in these divine nature. Hopefully Labuan Bajo will stay beautiful, clean and well preserved till many years to come.

Do you like diving and/r snorkeling too? Where is your favorite spot and have you dived or snorkeled here in Labuan Bajo as well?

Traveling through time at Batu Cermin, Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara Indonesia

Welcome to Batu Cermin Cave

Welcome back!

I would love to take you all further to see the beauty of Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara. 

I know perhaps many of you have visited this wonderful place and I hope you can share your experience with me and the rest of us here.

So on the last day of my visit in Labuan Bajo, my friends and I decided to go to Batu Cermin cave, had lunch at La Cecile and went straight to the airport. I was thinking of heading to Pulau Padar at dawn but I was just drop dead tired after diving 3 times in Komodo Island.

Batu Cermin cave is not so far from the city center. It’s easily accessible and parking are abundant. Nevertheless, to those using wheelchair or have issues with mobility, it will be challenging to fully explore and browse the cave.

We paid the entrance ticket (which I forgot how much, apologies for that) and we’re assisted by one of the local guides. Our guide, Sasmita, is one of the interns from the local vocational school majoring in tourism. 

We have to go with the local guides because the cave is relatively a natural place which has to be visited with caution. We also need to bring flashlight as some parts of the cave is totally dark and we need to wear helmet as the cave ceiling can be low and pointy. All of these are provided on the spot.

We went to the cave and stopped by at Batu Payung first, a natural rock which looks like an umbrella. Well, I can argue it looks like mushroom, too.

After that, we went to the cave and in some parts of it you will see the wooden platforms and stairs.

The cave is recently discovered, I think if I’m not mistaken it was found in 1951 by Theodore van Houven (apologies for wrong or misspelling). The name Batu Cermin, or literally translated as Mirror Rock, derives from the fact that when the sunlight hits the rocks on the cave, they glimmer like mirror. When I saw them close, that’s exactly what happened and it’s cool! Moreover, this area is believed to be underwater thousands of years ago as you see many underwater animal fossils on the wall!

The three of us enjoying the cave :)

The stairs

We went inside the cave and at some point, we had to wear helmet, crawled inside to reach the particular area and were mindful of the surroundings. It was humid and a bit claustrophobic (well, it’s a cave nonetheless) but what you can see inside is amazing.

The walls are pretty much glittery and some are so smooth and cold to touch. I can see many shapes of jellyfish and corals dotting the wall along the cave as well. It took us around 1 hour to enjoy everything, take tons of photos, and listen to the stories from Sasmita.

Here are some photos I took during the visit. You will see how unique this spot is! Let’s take a look..

what do you think when you see this?

I have to see this is like underwater

and it reminds me of the movie, Alien

different side of the cave

me enjoying the rocks


What do you think? Very interesting, isn’t it!

Worth a visit and you can admire this historical natural landscape in Labuan Bajo. Enjoy!

Along the Border - Mota'ain, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia

I am still celebrating Indonesia's Independence Day this month.
So, allow me to post some pictures I have taken during my trips in my beloved homeland.
This time, let me take you the Eastern part of Nusa Tenggara, particularly along the border of Indonesia and Timor-Leste.

Along the road in Atambua, East Nusa Tenggara

As I have shared in Wajah Indonesiaku: Perjalanan Menyusuri Daerah Terluar RI #1 (I wrote it in Bahasa Indonesia, hopefully I can share it in English one day), I was lucky to be able to explore the other parts of my country.

I am always amazed by the clear blue sky above my head.
Reminding me how blessed we are to live in this beautiful earth.
I can't help but sending my prayers and gratitude to my Rabb for all this breathtaking beauty.

I wrote the story about Tanjung Bastian, Atambua, NTT, before.
Its unique coast line and clear blue sky is such a refuge for me.

I wish this beautiful place will remain pristine and beautiful!

Join me on Skywatch Friday and enjoy the magnificent sky wherever you are

Tanjung Bastian Beach, Atambua, East Nusa Tenggara

Tanjung Bastian Beach, Atambua...

My memory was thrown back to 2013 when I had the priviledge to cross the border of Indonesia and Timor-Leste.
Taking a tiring but beautifully rewarding road trip from Dili to several border crossing points across the line between the the two countries, I really enjoyed our 5-hour trip.

Along the way, my eyes were feasted with the endless beauty of the nature.
Raw...but mesmerizing...

on our way to Atambua, East Nusa Tenggara...
And oh so clear blue sky..

I just found more snapshots I got during my visit to this eastern part of my beautiful homeland, including this traditional hut in Atambua.

And as always, I am drawn to the beach most of the time.
At that time, we stopped at Tanjung Bastian beach.
As much as I was tempted to plunge myself to the cool water, we didnt't really have enough time to do so. So I just took pictures while others were sipping their coffee :).

To the majestic blue sky and the alluring turquoise sea....

me back in 2013 :)

Tanjung Bastian Beach, Atambua, East Nusa Tenggara 

Do you like the blue sky as well?

Join us on Skywatch Friday and enjoy the majestic sky, wherever you are..

Wastra Indonesia: one day at the UN General Assembly

One colorful day at the United Nations General Assembly :)

We just had an election for the members of the United Nations Human Rights Council last Tuesday.
Indonesia is one of the candidates from Asia Pacific group and we got re-elected with 152 votes! Together with India, Bangladesh and Qatar, we will assume our responsibilities as the Member States from 2015 - 2017.

Perfect day to be colorful as always, with Indonesian amazing wastra ...

Excuse me, Mr. President, let me take a few pictures first, please :)

I am proudly wearing my Kain Blongsong Palembang scarves from South Sumatera,
purple dress by Dian Pelangi,
and hand-woven tenun Nun Kolo fron NTT, East Nusa Tenggara by Batik Chic

Wajah Indonesiaku: perjalanan menyusuri daerah terluar RI #2

And the journey continued..

this is one of the breathtaking views...

Setelah seharian melintas dari Dili menuju Motaain, akhirnya kami pun tiba di Atambua...

Lelah? pastinya....waktu di perjalanan sih memang asyik-asyik aja, karena excited :D..setelah sampai di Atambua untuk late lunch, baruuu deh kerasa badan remuk :D #massagetotherescue.

Tapi cantiknya pemandangan alam NTT masih terbayang di mata, mengalahkan letih yang mulai terasa dan pekerjaan yang belum selesai...

road to Atambua...

Tiba di ibukota Kabupaten Belu, NTT ini, kami pun langsung mencari makan siang...dengar cerita dari teman yang sering ke Atambua, RM Beringin adalah salah satu yang tekenal dengan ayam gorengnya..

Menu makan siang pun terasa nikmat berlipat ganda karena lapaaar sangat..Di meja pun digelar lalap singkong, ayam goreng, sambal, dan beberapa makanan khas Sumbar seperti rendang dan teman-temannya. Tapi memang ayam gorengnya mantaaaap..sampai abis dua :D...Sangking semangatnya makan, sampai lupa difoto hehehe..tau-tau ayamnya udah abis :D...

Tuuh kan..yang keliatan sisa sambal dan 

Sebenarnya, pengeeen banget keliling keliling kota yang makin terkenal lewat film Atambua 39° Celsius, karya keren Mira Lesmana..selain itu, cita-cita 'luhur' yang ingin dicapai adalah berburu tenun Belu yang katanya cantiiiik bangeeet. Buat saya pencinta wastra Indonesia, ini menjadi energi positif yang membuat saya cepat menyelesaikan pekerjaan...supaya bisa berburu kain :D..

Sayangnya, banyak laporan sudah menanti di depan mata dan persiapan untuk pertemuan dan diskusi berlanjut...Setelah break sebentar dan mulai mencicil pekerjaan, akhirnya selesai maghrib pun saya minta diantar melihat toko souvenir untuk mencari tenun Belu.

Dan ketemulah saya  dengan satu toko imuuut yang banyak menjual tenun Belu...namanya Toko Adorovi Art Shop...

Di sana, banyak koleksi tenun Belu dan souvenir khas NTT seperti Tihar, alat musik khas NTT yang seperti genderang, tempat sirih, rosario dan tasbih dari kayu gaharu serta aneka kaos.

But the best collection is the traditional woven fabric...

Asli... tenun Belu benar-benar cantiiiik.

Semua yang saya lihat cantiiik dan bikin paniiik :D...

Corak geometris dipadu dengan kombinasi warna yang berani benar-benar membuat saya terpana...Corak yang sepintas sama pun terlihat berbeda di setiap kain. That's the beauty of tenun...tidak ada yang persis sama dan semua unik...

Cobaaa....siapa yang tidak suka melihatnya....cantik ya Tenun Belu...

Kehalusan motif tenun pun berbeda-beda. Ibu Mamik, pemilik toko, bercerita bahwa tenun-tenun ini asli dibawa oleh pengrajin di berbagai kota yang tersebar di Kabupaten Belu. Masa pembuatan satu helai kain tenun pun bervariasi, ada yang bahkan perlu waktu berbulan-bulan. Selain itu, ada kain tenun yang menggunakan kapas asli yang dipintal menjadi benang, ada yang menggunakan benang berwarna yang sudah ada. Biasanya yang menggunakan kapas, baik secara penuh maupun campuran, lebih mahal dibanding dengan benang yang sudah jadi. 

Sayangnya, Bu mamik juga cerita kalau banyak penenun tradisional yang kini sudah mulai lanjut usia dan anak muda banyak yang tidak tertarik untuk memperdalam keahlian tradisional ini. Mudah-mudahan dengan meningkatnya minat dan jumlah para pencinta tenun (seperti saya :D), permintaan akan kain tenun pun bertambah dan menarik minat para penenun muda untuk meneruskan estafet melestarikan budaya sekaligus 

Tidak heran kalau harga kain-kain ini lumayan juga...starting from Rp 750.000,00 lengkap dengan selendang kecilnya....Waaah, waaah...harus itung ulang lagi nih anggarannya :D...

One of my fave...karena banyak ungunyaaa :D...dipadu cantik dengan hijau dan oranye...

Motif Insana kalau tidak salah.....cantiiiik yaaaa..

Walhasil, kami hanya beli yang kaos, dompet dan dompet kunci mobil...

Setelah itu, perburuan pun dilanjutkan.....belum dapet kain besar soalnya :D....Teman yang asli dari Atambua bilang bahwa ada beberapa tempat lain yang juga menjual kain-kain tenun atau tais khas NTT di pasar. Teryata ada beberapa ibu yang memang menjualnya di kaki lima begitu...tapi kain yang saya suka motifnya tidak ada hiks...Mampirlah kami di salah satu toko kelontong, Toko Manumean namanya, yang jual segala rupa termasuk kain....ada 2 rak besaaar penuh dengan kain :D...Walaupun aroma tidak begitu sedap tercium saat kami masuk (abis tokonya seperti gudang), tapi saya benar-benar menikmati 'perburuan' mencari kain khas NTT yang lumayan bervariasi koleksinya di toko ini...

Sebagian hasil berburu di Toko Manumean :D...kain, selendang, syal dan tempat sirih...

bright colors, aren't they....

I was considering to take it...but....

Can't help it...let's grab them :D...

3 kain sarung dan 5 selendang...kalap.mode.on :D...

Well, kalau tidak ada dinner, mungkin perburuan saya tidak akan selesai-selesai :D...lumayan sukses dan happy dengan 3 kain sarung plus selenda, dan 5 syal/selendang yang lebih kecil...ditambah tempat sirih imut warna unguuuuu.


Malamnya, saya dan tim pun makan malam di salah satu restoran yang ada. namanya Pondok Indah...makanan yang dijual pun khas nusantara, jadi kami memesan ikan bakar dan mencicipi se'i sapi, yang katanya makanan asli Timor. Well, sebenarnya, menu asli yang digemari masyarakat NTT adalah se'i babi, namun karena kami muslim, yang kita pesan hanya yang halal pastinya...It was more like a wordking dinner, karena banyak urusan pekerjaan yang juga dibahas :D...

It's a wrap I we have more meetings and trips coming in the next 2 days...

Malam itu, saya tidur nyenyak dan mimpi indah diselimuti tais Belu yang cantik...

And tomorrow...Haumusu C/Wini is waiting....

To be continued....