Category Archives: News: Cultural

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A Circle of Spice Culinary Adventure With Janet de Neefe

Category : News: Cultural

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Expert Cruise Led by: Janet de Neefe

Discover the Indonesian Spice Islands with all your senses. Your sense of smell and taste will be peaked and fed as well as your sense of adventure on this exclusive eight-day culinary tour and rare look at the tiny islands that shaped a world of flavor.

Once worth their weight in gold, at one time spices were once the most sought after commodity in the world. From Asia to Europe, the demand for fiery flavor drove merchants, entrepreneurs and explorers across the globe in search for these valuable items. The more remote a source of a particular spice, the more the spice was worth, and none was so dear as the clove, mace, and nutmeg that hailed from the remotest area imaginable: the minuscule specs of land in the seas of the Moluccas, known as the Spice Islands.

It was the search for these mysterious Spice Islands that pushed European naval powers and explorers such as Magellan and Columbus and Magellan beyond their nearest shores to begin the “Age of Discovery.” Though their secret location has long been revealed, the Spice Islands remain remote and exotic as very few travelers get a chance to explore this culturally rich and historically fascinating region.

Lined with clove and nutmeg trees, the islands are as fragrant as they are beautiful, boasting dramatic volcanoes, pristine beaches, and crystal clear waters lined with teeming and vibrant coral reefs. Come follow in the footsteps of maritime explorers and quench your untamable taste buds as we indulge in all that the fragrant and fiery Spice Islands have to offer.

Meet the expert - Janet de Neefe

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Adding extra flavor to this extraordinary adventure will be expert Janet de Neefe. Melbourne raised, Janet has made Bali her home since 1984. Her love of Indonesian culture and cuisine led to opening two Ubud restaurants : Casa Luna, and Indus, as well as inspiring two cookbooks: Fragrant Rice, and Bali, the Food of My Island Home.

Janet’s expertise and insight will spice up our journey with market tours, culinary workshops, and certainly many delicious regional dining experiences.


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Ubud

Category : News: Cultural

Ubud is one of Bali’s favorite tourist destinations, surrounded by temples, ancient sites, the Ubud Sacred Monkey Forest, art galleries and museums and lush rice paddies and coconut trees. The most interesting thing from Ubud is their remarkable rich Balinese culture and arts. The pace of life in Ubud, set on the dramatic Ayung River, is a sharp contrast to the chaos in the south of the island. Many people spend their days here being pampered in spas, taking yoga classes, relaxing in the town's fantastic cafes and taking the occasional stroll through the surrounding rice fields.

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Candi Banyunibo

Category : News: Cultural

Located at The Valley of Dripping Water, Cepit Village, Bokoharjo, Prambanan. Open daily 8 am – 5:00 pm. Candi Banyunibo can easily be visited after strolling through Ratu Boko Palace. Situated about 2 km southeast of Ratu Boko, Banyunibo is a solitary complex in the middle of farmland and is flanked by the Gunung Kidul hills to the south, offering exotic scenery and enjoyable views. Although quite small, this Buddhist temple has interesting features, such as a slightly curved roof functioning as the top of the stupa and giving it a unique charm. Built around the 9th century, every window is carved with likenesses of Sakti, the wife of Buddha: on the west windows is Pandarawasini Sakti from Amitabha, the north Tarini Sakti from Amogasiddhi, and on the south Mamaki Sakti from Ratnasambhawa. This temple is surrounded by Hindu fragments. Like all other sacred places, tiny Banyunibo (which means “dripping water”) is still used today as a place of meditation and contemplation. Local legend says that there was once a river flowing from Ratu Boko to Banyunibo which carried gold.

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Candi Sari

Category : News: Cultural

Candi_SariLocated 15 km east of Yogyakarta at Bendan Village, Tirtomartani, Kalasan, Yogyakarta. Open daily 8 am – 5 pm. This two-story Buddhist temple is located 600 meters from Kalasan temple. It was built around the 9 th century AD as a vihara Buddhist Tara monastery. The first floor was a praying room and on the second story were the monks’ chambers. At its top are nine stupas. Windows are built around the temple, with the exception of the west side because of the Buddha and Boddhisattva statues. The temple is decorated with talent: there are 36 large figures represented in relief on the exterior walls, still covered with stucco (vrajalepa), but some of the figures are difficult to recognize: half-gods, Naga kings, masculine and feminine divinities following the Tribangga rules, some of which are reminiscent of Tara, the bodhisattva consecrated at Kalasan. Notice the Kinara-Kinari (bird-angels) near the windows and the elephant friezes at each side of the door, also the two guardian statues of Dwarapala and Gupala at the entry.

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Candi Plaosan

Category : News: Cultural

plaosan The complex is located to the east of Prambanan, in the Plaosan hamlet, village of Bugisan, Prambanan district, Klaten. Open daily 8 am – 5 pm. The unique unification of 9 th century Hindu and Buddhist architecture in the Plaosan Temple Complex was probably brought about by a Hindu king who built the temple for his Buddhist queen. The complex consists of two main temples standing side by side, each having terraced bases. The reliefs carved on the southern main temple portray a man, and the other one shows a woman. Another peculiar object that is interesting to see is its perwara, “slender stupa”. There are 58 small temples and 116 stupas in the complex. Plaosan Lor, has two square courtyards, each containing a temple in a form similar to Candi Sari. Secondary temples and stupas. The second sub-complex, Plaosan Kidul, has one temple, 69 stupas and 18 secondary temples.

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Glorious Ramayana Ballet at Prambanan Temple Complex

Category : News: Cultural

Ramayana Ballet Based on an epic Hindu epic story, the story of model king Rama was adapted to become an important local dance, encompassing the Javanese style, culture and music. Ramayana Prambanan Ballet performance has successfully entered the Guinness World Records as "The largest Ramayana dance in the world" that performs by 230 dancers and 30 gamelan players from Roro Jonggrang Foundation. 5Staged at Prambanan Temple since 1961, the Ramayana Prambanan ballet also received an acknowledgement from the Guinness foundation as "The longest ongoing Ramayana dance in the world", the oldest coliseum ballet which is still regularly staged till today. The performance is starting at 7:30 p.m. May-October on or around full moon evenings on the open-air stage in the Prambanan complex. A cast of 230 artists performs with the magnificent temple as its backdrop. November-April on or around full moon evenings on the indoor stage at Trimurti Theater in the Prambanan Temple Complex. A cast of 50 artists puts on a stunning performance. There are two versions of the production of the epic poem. The “episodic story” consists of four parts performed on four consecutive nights. Each episode lasts about 1.5 hours. The “full story” is a compilation of the four episodes and lasts about 2 hours, with a 15-minute refreshments break. Both versions of the dance-drama have been modified for tourists by omitting lengthy Javanese dialog. Refreshments are available on-site. Credit photo: Eka Wahyu.

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Ratu Boko Palace

Ratu Boko Palace is a huge complex built on 16 hectares as the residence of King Boko of the first Mataram dynasty. Local legend says that Ratu Boko liked to eat human flesh.

Primarily in ruins, visitors must use their imaginations to fill in historical and structural gaps. Gold plates inscribed with Buddhist mantras have been found here dating to 792 A.D, along with stupas and Bodhisattva statues, indicating that at one time it might have also been a monastery. However, Hindu remains such as lingga and Ganesha statues have also been discovered.

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From the restored main entrance to the right is the Palace’s audience hall that has been restored. On the left of the hall is a Keputren Pool (“Princess’ Bath”) that was used as a bathing pool for women. Fragments of sculptures and bas-reliefs can be found around the pools: elephants, birds and snakes. Other partial structures are a crematory temple, now only a tall platform bordered by steps and surrounded by parapets; a pendopo (meeting hall) surrounded by a high rock fence with three entrance gates and water spouts outside the fence; a miniature Hindu temple with three small gates representing Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu; and the alun-alun, the town square. To the south of the complex are two caves, probably used for meditation.

[codepeople-post-map] Direction Jl. Raya Piyungan, 3 km south of Prambanan Temple at Dawung and Sambirejo villages, Piyungan, or 19 km east of Jogjakarta. Open daily 7 am – 6 pm. The panoramic views surrounding the complex are breathtaking. On a clear morning, Mount Merapi and Prambanan and Kalasan temples are visible to the north, while to the south, the Indian Ocean is discernible in the distance. This palace is also the best place for witnessing sunset. Ratu_Boko_(2)_medium