As an archipelago country with abounding culture and heritage sites, Indonesia is always a favorite destination for tourists. Some people even say that you need to live twice to explore Indonesia. This country is a perfect destination for those who love culture and nature. If you can enjoy both, why you should choose one of them? From Sumatra to Maluku, here are 10 best places to visit and the reason why it will help you to learn about Indonesian culture.
1. Lake Toba, North Sumatra
Located in the Sumatra Island, Lake Toba is the largest lake in Southeast Asia and Indonesia which has an island named Samosir Island located in the middle of the lake. There is an ethnic group called Batak who live around the lake. They have their own beliefs and tradition inherited from ancestors, including traditional home, dance, art, music, and sculpture.The Lake Toba Festival is an annual event and the purposes are to show people about the culture through dance and music performances, water sport, and a variety of competitions. Hence, it could be the best time to experience one of the Indonesian cultures.
2. Ubud, Bali Island
Bali is the most popular destination in Indonesia. It famous for its culture, nature, art, and cuisine. Ubud is a place where you can deeply learn about Balinese culture. This quiet place is more convenient for those who want to escape from the hustle and bustle of big city. You can choose from many tour packages, both private and group. You will get a chance to watch traditional Balinese dance performances (The Barong dance), visit Ubud Palace, explore the rice terrace, and taste the traditional Balinese cuisine.
3. Dieng, Central Java
Every year a culture festival is held in Dieng, Central Java. It’s called as Dieng Culture Festival, which combines culture, music, and nature. ‘Ruwat rambut gimbal’ is one of the popular traditions among the local people. They believe that by cutting the dreadlocks from children and throwing that hair away into the river, they can get rid of bad luck. Beside that, people can enjoy music shows, lantern and firework festival, and of course nature. Then, if you’re curious about Indonesian culture, try to visit Dieng and you’ll experience both the local culture and the beauty of Dieng plateau.
4. Borobudur Temple, Central Java
Borobudur temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which is situated in Magelang, Central Java. This Buddhist monument was built during Syailendra dynasty in the 9th century. Around Borobudur, there are some villages and visitors can learn more about Javanese culture in there. Borobudur Cultural Feast is a cultural event which is not only about culture, but also a series of socio-ecological events aimed at raising awareness about culture and tourism potential in the area around Borobudur temple. Another favorite event is Waisak Festival in April or May. Thousands of lanterns are flown up to the air. Waisak or Vesak day is known as a day to celebrate the birth, enlightenment, and death of Buddha Siddharta Gautama.
5. Mount Bromo, East Java
Magnificent sunrise, a vast beautiful desert and savanna, a volcanic mountain and interesting culture are things that you’ll get when visiting Mount Bromo. The local people, called Tenggerese, hold an annual ceremony as gratitude toward Sang Hyang Widi. They call it the Kasodo ceremony. Through the ceremony, people ask for bountiful harvest and healthiness. They also give offering to their god by throwing it into the crater of Mount Bromo. This ritual isn’t only beneficial for Tenggerese people, but also attract tourist and visitor to learn more about Indonesian culture.
6. Mandalika Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara
Bau Nyale Festival is a celebration as part of the ritual ceremony in Mandalika, Lombok. The festival consists of series of events such as a cultural parade, surfing, culinary, and other entertainment. Bau Nyale is a tradition for searching and gathering Nyale (sea worms) by locals, especially for the adherent of Wetu Telu. This tradition comes up because of a story about Princess Mandalika. She was courted by many princes but she couldn’t choose one of them. Therefore she throws herself into the sea. Once a year those Nyale come up, believed to be the incarnation of Princess Mandalika’s hair. Gathering those Nyale is part of the preservation of tradition. Usually, people use the Nyale to fertilize the soil.
7. Nias, North Sumatra
Located in North Sumatra, Nias has beautiful nature and interesting culture that attracts domestic and international tourists. The main attraction is stone jump, located in Bawmataluo village, South Nias. The purpose of the stone jump is to prove the bravery of men of Nias. If he can jump the high stone structure, it will prove that he has grown up. One needs to train and exercise a long time to jump perfectly. The height of the stone is 2 meters and the thickness is 40 cm. Other things you can do in Nias are enjoying the beach and exploring the underwater life. There is no doubt Nias is the perfect destination for those who love culture and underwater life.
8. Toraja, South Sulawesi
Toraja, the sacred highland and home of the Torajan people, has attractive culture and tradition. For Torajan people, the funeral ceremony is very important. The ritual event, Rambu Solo, aims to respect the spirits and the people who deliver death to the spirit, which is returned to immortality with their ancestors. But, it isn’t as scary as it seems. During the ceremony, some animals are sacrificed and the number of animals becomes the symbol of social status. Because of this event is famous among tourists, you better to prepare your reservations well in advance to get the best deal.
9. Tidore, North Maluku
Same as the others, Tidore also has its own culture festival called Tidore Festival. This annual event combines several traditional events and celebrates the anniversary of Tidore. One of them is called “Dowari,” a meeting of five people who bring water from the peak of Mount Kie Matabu by using ‘Rau’. Other interesting events are carnival culture, the Lufu Kie ritual, and some exhibitions of the Sultanate of Tidore. After experience the culture, it’s best to spend more days in Maluku, because there are many beaches that waiting to be explored. The blue sea will not disappoint you.
10. Lake Kelimutu, Flores
The famous three colored-lake, Kelimutu, is believed as resting place for the souls. Every year Lio ethnic people hold a ritual called the Patika Ceremony to give an offering for the ancestors. They wear traditional clothes during the ceremony and pray for the ancestors in their native language. After finishing the Patika Ceremony, people gather to see the Gari dance performance. This dance performance is a symbol that the local people will preserve nature and respect the ancestors together. All these rituals are part of Lake Kelimutu Festival that held annually. So, make sure to prepare your trip!
Source: semedan, ayo jalan jalan, indonesia travel, kompas travel, borobudur cultural feast, lifegate, panorama destination, theresnoplacelikeoz, wccultures, eastjava, beautiful indonesia, kesini aja, wisatadiengplateu, ganlob, tentik, ita DK
Originally posted 2017-03-29 06:29:43.