Indonesia Travel

Indonesia consists of hundreds of different ethnic and linguistic groups, the largest is the Javanese. Indonesia’s national motto is: “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika” which means “Unity in Diversity” this is significant of the countries diverse ethnicity – meaning they are many “yet-one”.

Indonesia’s official name is The Republic of Indonesia – in Indonesian: Republik Indonesia.

The Republic of Indonesia is a unitary, transcontinental sovereign state located mainly in Southeast Asia, with some territories in Oceania.

Indonesian is the statutory national language of Indonesia – it is spoken by close to 23 million people. It is a second language for another 140 million people.

Most Indonesians are bilingual, and many are proficient in three or four languages.

Situated between the Indian and Pacific oceans, it is the world’s largest island country.

According to estimates made by the Government of Indonesia, Indonesia has 17,508 islands; 8,844 of those have been named and 922 of them are permanently inhabited.

This makes Indonesia the 14th largest country in the world – in terms of area – and the 7th largest country in the world in terms of combined sea and land space.

Jakarta is it’s Capitol, and home to over 10 million people.

Indonesia’s largest islands are Java, Sumatra, Borneo, Sulawesi, and New Guinea.

Java, is it’s most populous island.

With a population of approximately 261 million people, Indonesia shares maritime borders across narrow straits with Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Palau to the north, and south Australia.

Tourism
Tourism is a large part of Indonesia’s Economy. Borobudur, it’s the world’s largest Buddhist temple, and one of the most visited places in Indonesia.

Indonesia has a well-preserved natural ecosystem with a wide spread rain forests and wildlife reserve.

Indonesia has one of world’s longest coastlines, measuring well over 54,716 kilometers.

If you enjoy Cultural Tourism, Indonesia is the place to go – The ancient Prambanan and Borobudur Temples, Toraja and Bali, and the Hindu festivities are some of the most popular cultural sites and events.

Indonesia owns a fair share of the world’s coral reefs, which inhabit over 3,500 different species of fish and over 600 coral species.

Indonesia’s clear sea waters make it an ideal place for scuba diving. Bunaken National Marine Park, is a well known for fish species.

Indonesia’s sea species include sharks, dolphins, manta rays, turtles, moray eels, cuttlefish, octopus and scorpaenidae, just to name a few.

That makes Scuba diving in Indonesia an adventure – see how many of those species you can find, name; and photograph.

The Indonesian islands also have wonderful National Park Reserves – keeping the planet green – the most visited ones are – The Komodo National Park, The Cultural Landscape of Bali, Ujung Kulon National Park, and The Tropical Rain Forest Heritage of Sumatra.

There are also lots of sites to enjoy in the islands – significant of the Indonesian diversified History and Culture. The presence of foreign settlers – is present in some of their architectural designs and places you’ll visit, chief among them is their Dutch and East Indies ancestry.

Journey thru time and discover the archipelago mystery of this great country and relive their history in their Museums, Churches, Forts, and Royal Javanese Courts of Yogyakarta, Surakarta and Mangkunegaran.

Although Bali is Indonesia’s most famous tourist destination, Jakarta has the world’s largest shopping mall.

Bali
Bali is an island and province of Indonesia, with a population of 4,225,000 as of January 2014, the island is home to most of Indonesia’s Hindu minority.

Bali is one of the world most popular tourist destination, which keeps seeing a significant rise in tourism since 1980.

Tourism in Bali is renowned for the Arts, Traditional and Modern Dance, Sculptures, Paintings, Leathers, Metalworking and Music.

For these reasons The Indonesian International Film Festival is held every year in Bali.

In March 2017, TripAdvisor named Bali as the world’s top destination in its Traveler’s Choice Award.

Bali is part of the Coral Triangle, with over 500 different marine species found.

This makes Indonesia a world renown place for sea food.

Food

It’s not surprising that some with such a rich diverse culture as the Indonesian people is also a great chef.

Superb cuisine, is chief among their delectable delights.

Some of the favorites are theSatay’s – a meat skewers that is cooked over coals. These juicy skewers is usually served with rice cakes and peanut sauce.

Beef Rendang which originated from Padang, Sumatra. It’s a flavorful spicy tender beef. It takes forever to cook but once you get your teeth in it you’ll know why.

Then there is Siomay considered by some – Indonesia’s best street food. This dish consist of steamed fish dumpling, steamed potato, cabbage, egg and it’s served with a savory peanut sauce.

If you want to try the best Siomay? – and – I know you do – then you find a bicycle vendor, the ones with a cart at the back of the bike. In that cart – is Street food at its best.

Last but not least is dessert – Sweet Martabak (one of my favorites). It’s like a pancake you can fill with either chocolate, cheese or peanuts.

Try each one separately, then decide if you need to mix any of those fillings.

Safety Tip
Everywhere in the world tourist are targets for pick pockets, so whether you are male or female don’t forget to take shirts that you can wear outside your pants or skirt – and long T-shirts or Polo shirts – that cover your pockets – at least the entrance of your back pockets. Pick pockets are not looking for someone they have to pull up their shirt to get their wallet.

Avoid being easy prey. You are already attractive, because you are a tourist.

If you use your wallet in your back pocket – insert it the wide way – not the long way – the long way is easy to pull out – one bump and your wallet goes up and is taken away.

Placing your wallet in your pocket the wide way makes it hard to get in your pocket and pull it out. Remember is all about time – having your wallet the wide way in your back pocket takes time to get out. Time they do not want to count on.

If you must carry a bag make sure you have a long strap one – place the strap across your chest – / – that is – if the strap is on your right shoulder – the bag is hanging above your left leg. That makes it hard to pull – your chest is in the way.

Remember they look for easy prey, make your self unattractive to them with these few tips, and enjoy public transportation with minimal worries. Some islands limit or forbid the use of vehicles in their island.

Don’t forget to pack a converter if your going to take electrical appliances, in Indonesia the power sockets are of type C and F- (round tip types).

The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.

Have a safe flight…… How may islands do you plan to see……

Selamat tinggal …….
Good Bye ………

Singapore Travel

Singapore officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign city-state and island country which consists of one main island along with 62 other islets.

Singapore is a global commerce, finance and transport huband a busy container port.

The country has also been identified as a tax haven.

Singapore ranks 5th on the UN Human Development Index and the 3rd highest GDP per capita.

It is ranked highly in education, healthcare, life expectancy, quality of life, personal safety and housing.

There are four official languages: English (common and first language), Malay, Mandarin and Tamil; almost all Singaporeans are bilingual.

Singapore is a unitary multiparty parliamentary republic, with a Westminster system of unicameral parliamentary government. The People’s Action Party has won every election since self-government in 1959.

Singapore has a tropical rainforest climate. Temperatures usually range from 22 to 35 °C (72 to 95 °F).

Singapore’s standard electricity supply is 230 volts AC with a frequency of 50 hertz (230V/50Hz).

You can use your electric appliances in Singapore, if the standard voltage in your country is in between 220-240 V.

Some of Singapore’s most popular sites are:

Gardens by the Bay is a nature park in central Singapore, adjacent to the Marina Reservoir. The park consists of three waterfront gardens: Bay South Garden, Bay East Garden and Bay Central Garden.

Sentosa is an island resort off Singapore’s southern coast, connected to the city by road, cable car, pedestrian boardwalk and monorail.

The River Safari is a river-themed zoo and aquarium located in Singapore.

The Singapore Zoo, located in a heavily forested area houses over 72 species of animals.

The Underwater World, is an oceanarium located on the offshore Singaporean island of Sentosa. It houses more than 2,500 marine animals of 250 species from different parts of the world.

Orchard Road is Singapore’s retail center, with discount outlets, department stores and upscale boutiques, alongside luxury hotels.

Other top rated locations in Singapore include Merlion Park full of statues and fountains, Jurong Bird Park, Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, Sri Mariamman Temple, Tiger Sky Tower, Peranakan Museum and The National Orchid Market.

There is no doubt that Singapore is not only a economic treasure but it’s an nature reserve treasure. Let me know all about your trip. Have a safe journey.

Saint Maarten Travel

Sint Maarten is an island in the Caribbean. It is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Sint Maarten’s capital is called Philipsburg.

The island is divided into two parts the French side and the Dutch side.

This came about in the 1600’s:
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In 1631, the Dutch founded Fort Amsterdam in Saint Maarten as protection from invaders.

Meanwhile, the French wanted to colonize the islands between Trinidad and Bermuda.

Threre after the Dutch West India Company began its salt mining operations in the island.

The Spanish wanted to control the salt trade and attacked the island, taking St. Martin from the Dutch in 1633.

Fifteen years after the Spanish conquered the island, the Eighty Years’ War ended. The Spanish deserted the island in 1648.

Saint Maarten freedom was welcomed news to the Dutch and the French, they reestablished their settlements.

Alot of the Dutch came from St. Eustatius. The French from St. Kitts, while the French came from St. Kitts.

In 1648 the Dutch and the French signed the Treaty of Concordia dividing the island in two, but this did not put an end to the conflict between them because the borders kept moving.

Between 1648 and 1816, the border moved 16 times.

During those years the Dutch and the French cultivated cotton, tobacco and sugar. As their harvest grew their need for man power grew.

They began to import slaves – so many that they became a populous race in the island, and their demands and rebellions against harsh treatment were hard to ignore.

In 1848, the French government abolished slavery, including in St. Martin. The slaves on the Dutch side then protested and it was said that they began to flee to the French side were they would be given asylum.

The local Dutch authorities then emancipated their slaves, this was seen as a sign of good will.

In the 1950’s the Dutch side of the island began to focus on tourism, the French side following suit two decades later.

Making Princess Juliana International Airport one of the busiest in the Eastern Caribbean.

During the era of growth the islands population grew from a 5,000 people to around 60,000 people by the mid 1990’s.

On the 10th of October of 2010, Sint Maarten became a constituent country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, making it a constitutional equal partner with Aruba, Curacao, and the Netherlands proper.

The Courthouse in Philipsburg is one of the symbols of Sint Maarten.

The Constitution of Sint Maarten was unanimously adopted by the island council of Sint Maarten on 21 July 2010.

Eugene Holiday was appointed as the first Governor of Sint Maarten by the Council of Ministers of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in September 2010.

He assumed office on 10 October 2010.

During the past few years Saint Maarten has put it’s name on the map because of the large amount of ships that docks in it’s port, from different parts of the world.

There is no doubt that Saint Maarten is a small island with a interesting history that keeps growing. Saint Maarten is known for it’s many beautiful beaches.

Chief among them are the ones where many cruise boats that visit the island daily park. There is one in the capital.

While packing remember that Electrical sockets in Sint Maarten (St. Martin) usually supply electricity at between 220 and 240 volts AC. Take an adapter if needed.

Have a good time in the island, it does not matter how you get there plane or ship you will have a great time.

Portugal Travel





Portugal is a southern European country bordering Spain. Its location on the Atlantic Ocean has influenced it's tourist attraction - to the beaches, this in turn has played a role in their diet; salty cod fish and grilled sardines are national dishes.

Portuguese is the spoken language, which is related to Galician language, spoken in northwestern Spain.

The kingdom of Portugal lasted some 800 years, from 1139 to 1910.

The Anglo-Portuguese Alliance, signed in 1373, is the oldest alliance in the world which is still in force.

Since 1910, the country has been a republic.

The modern democratic republic was founded in 1976.

The first Pirate code was invented in the 17th century by the Portuguese buccaneer Bartolomeu Português.

The modern Portuguese legal system has been influenced primarily by German law.

Due to the influence of Roman Catholicism, Portugal is one of the most socially conservative countries in Europe.

Portugal is the only country in the EU, along with Spain, where life imprisonment has been abolished.

The Vasco da Gama Bridge in Lisbon is the longest bridge in Europe with 17,185 m/56,381 feet.

From imposing São Jorge Castle, the view encompasses the old city’s pastel-colored buildings, Tagus Estuary and Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge. Nearby, the National Azulejo Museum displays 5 centuries of decorative ceramic tiles.

Just outside Lisbon is a string of Atlantic beaches, from Cascais to Estoril.

The Jeronimos Monastery was built in 1502 by order of King Manuel I. It was built to commemorate Vasco Da Gama’s voyage and to give thanks to the Virgin Mary for its success.

Great figures in Portuguese history are also entombed here, like King Manuel and King Sebastião, and poets Fernando Pessoa and Alexandre Herculano.

Jeronimos Monastery Cloisters was populated by monks of the Order of Saint Jerome , whose spiritual job was to give guidance to sailors and pray for the king’s soul.

UNESCO has classified it a World Heritage monument. This style of architecture became known as Manueline, a style of art that served to glorify the great discoveries of the age.

Each column is carved with coils of rope, sea monsters, coral, and other sea motifs. It portraits an era of sea exploration and the Biblical story of Joseph.

The Tower of Belém is typical of the Manueline style of architecture. The four-story tower was created in the shape of a ship’s bow jutting into the water.

The main side of the fortress faces the sea and is completely different from the side impression of the tower. Built from ivory-white limestone, the real beauty of the structure lies in the decoration of the exterior.

The Pena National Palace was built in the 19th century by Atlantic Ocean , the palace was meant to be a summer home for the Portuguese royals.

Ferdinand’s taste was imposed on the builders and designers, the result was a Palace that looks like it has a little of all the other palaces of the era.

One portion caters to a medieval European castle, a portion of it is modeled after an Islamic tower dome. It’s full of colors – there is a purple wing, a red clock tower, a lots of yellow ornaments.

King Ferdinand said he wanted the palace to look like an opera.

It is now seen as one of the grandest examples of Romantic architecture.

Lisbon is Portugal’s hilly, coastal capital city.

Porto’s Church
The Sao Francisco Church looks like an ordinary 14th century Gothic and Baroque construction.
There is a museum housed in the catacombs below consisting of artifacts from the former monastery.

Praça do Comércio is a large square on the banks of the River Tagus in Lisbon. It was built on the site previously occupied by the Palace Yard following its destruction in the 1755 earthquake. Lisboetas often still use the previous name for the square.

Along with the Arco da Rua Augusta at its northern end, the Praça do Comércio is one of the centerpieces of the redevelopment of the Portuguese capital by the Marquis of Pombal in the mid-18th century.

The U-shaped square, open at the Tagus end, was designed by Portuguese architect, Eugénio dos Santos.

Discover the best of Portugal’s capital on this hop-on, hop-off bus tour of Lisbon. Choose from four different routes, all offering opportunities to see the city’s monuments and explore its charming neighborhoods. An option line to Cascais allows you to explore the magic of that town as well. Tickets can be purchased for 24- or 48- hours.

 

Hop on a double-decker bus at the Lisbon Terminal in Marquês de Pombal Square. Settle in and cruise through Lisbon on one of four different but equally engaging sightseeing lines, including lines to Belém, Oriente, Castle or the charming beach town of Cascais.

Sunbathe on one of the many sandy beaches along the Cascais Line. Catch the best coastline views before settling onto a beach to unwind.

On the western side of the square is the main Lisbon Tourist Office (Turismo) with a stylish shop selling upmarket craft items from all over Portugal.

On this side of the square is the HQ of Viniportugal, which promotes Portuguese wine. There are tastings Monday through Saturday.

The world-famous Porto wine is a sweet Portuguese fortified wine from the Douro Valley, Portugal.
Over half of the world’s cork is produced in Portugal.

Salvador Vilar Braamcamp Sobral is a Portuguese singer and a former psychology student. He represented Portugal in
the Eurovision Song Contest this past May and gave Portugal its first win since their debut in 1964. Below is a video of the winning song for your enjoyment.

Portugal has great hotels, motels, car rentals, tours and restaurants.

Have a great time in Portugal, let me know all about your trip.

Luxembourg Travel

Luxembourg is bordered by Belgium, Germany and France. Luxembourg is split into two regions Eisleck in the North and Gutland in the south.
Eisleck is a region of hills, valleys and forests. Gutland is the urban region where 85% of the population live.

Luxembourg is a trilingual country – they speak German, French and Luxembourgish.

As a representative democracy with a constitutional monarch, it is headed by a Grand Duke, Henri Albert Gabriel Felix Marie Guillaume. Henri, and is the world’s only remaining grand duchy. Luxembourg is a developed country, with an advanced economy. Luxembourg is also one of the richest and smallest sovereign states in Europe, in 2012 Luxembourg had a population of 524,853

Luxembourg is a founding member of the European Union, OECD, United Nations, NATO, and Benelux.


In 2016 Luxembourgish citizens had visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 172 countries and territories, ranking the Luxembourgian passport 6th in the world, tied with countries such as Canada and Switzerland.

The Notre-Dame is the only cathedral of Luxembourg City. It’s a Roman Catholic Church, originally Jesuit. It’s cornerstone was laid in 1613. The church has a gothic architecture with Renaissance adornments.

Late in the 18th century, the church received the image of Maria Consolatrix Afflictorum, the patron saint of Luxembourg.

The cemetery of the cathedral is the National Monument to the Resistance and to the Deportation. The centerpiece of the monument is the famous bronze monument by the 20th century Luxembourgish sculptor Lucien Wercollier called The Political Prisoner.

Luxembourg National Museum of History and Art has a large archaeological collection, they house objects discovered during excavations like: sarcophaguses, tools, coins, jewels, and grave markers. The most outstanding objects being found in the excavations at Dalheim and Titelberg.

The museum has a wide range of Luxembourgish paintings dating back to the 18th century. You can enjoy paintings by Joseph Kutter, Dominique Lang, Eugène Mousset, Jean-Pierre Beckius, Nico Klopp and Auguste Trémont as well as sculptures by Auguste Trémont and Lucien Wercollier.

The museum also houses a collection of contemporary art.

The Groussherzogleche Palais, is a palace in Luxembourg City, it’s the official residence of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, and where he performs most of his duties as head of state of the Grand Duchy.

Under the supervision of Charlotte, Grand Duchess the palace was redecorated during the 1960s. Charlotte reign as Grand Duchess of Luxembourg from 1919 to 1964.

It was thoroughly restored between 1991 and 1996. The interior of the Palace has been regularly renovated to match modern tastes and standards of comfort.

The Palace today is the official residence of the Grand Duke, and is used by him to exercise his official functions. He and the Grand Duchess, together with their staff, have their offices at the palace, and the state rooms on the first floor are used for a variety of meetings and audiences.

On Christmas Eve, the Grand Duke’s Christmas message is broadcast from the Yellow Room.

Luxembourg is a small country with a huge history, a great country to travel to, it’s small town atmosphere makes a great country to visit when you want to tour and rest on your vacation.

You deserve a rest, go ahead and see Luxembourg. Let me know how your trip went.

Did you see Vianden?

Luxembourg has 100 castles and fortresses – 75 of them date back to the middle ages. Most are open to the public.




Sweden Travel

Brief History of Sweden

Sweden is a great place to travel to,  it’s  history is full of interesting facts; here are a few of them.

8,000 BC to 6,000 BC
Sweden became populated by people who lived by hunting, farming and fishing, and who used simple stone tools.

800–1050 AD
The Viking set off from Sweden the Baltic coast and the rivers into Russia. They developed trading links with the Byzantine Empire and the Arab kingdoms.

1389
The crowns of Denmark, Norway and Sweden were united under the rule of the Danish Queen Margareta.No automatic alt text available.

1397 – 1523
The Kalmar Union joined Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Greenland, Norway and the Faroes islands under a single monarch.

1611-1632

Gustav II Adolf came to assume great political importance. During his reign Sweden became a leading military power. Gustav II Adolf was killed in 1632 at the Battle of Lützen.

1632-1654
Just before her 6th birthday Kristina succeeded Gustav II Adolf in 1632. She ruled for 22 years.

1654
In 1654 Kristina abdicated converted to Catholicism and moved to Rome, She was succeeded by her cousin – Karl Gustav.

1660
Karl Gustav died in 1660. When Kristina heard about it she returned to Sweden to claim her throne. The Parliament did not accept her claim and she returned to Rome.

During the late 19th centuries 1.3 million Swedish immigrated to America.

1973

Carl Gustaf became King of Sweden on 15th of  September 1973, upon the death of his grandfather, Gustaf VI Adolf. Crown Princess Victoria, the eldest child of the King and his wife, Queen Silvia is heir to the throne.

All members of the Royal Family belongs to the Church of Sweden, which is an Evangelical Lutheran Church.

1977
There are over 20,000 Sámi people in Sweden.

The Sámi people were first documented almost 2,000 years ago.  The Sámi were recognized by the Riksdag as an indigenous people first in 1977.

1993

The Sámi Parliament was established as both a democratically elected body and a national administrative authority.

A vast majority of them earn their living from reindeer husbandry.

2006

The moderate party won; together with the Center Party, the Liberal party and the Christian Democrats – formed a government coalition  headed by Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.

Places to visit 

Stockholm

Stockholm is the capital of Sweden; an old town with modern architecture, includes 14 islands connected by tunnels and bridges. Home of the nation’s capital, this region is known for it’s seaside cities, delightful cobblestone streets, old shops, churches, hotels, restaurants and government buildings.

West Coast
The west coast is full of rocky islands, pines, forests, fishes, and cottages. The west coast is car free and a great place for boating, fishing, and seal safaris.

Skane County
beautifully region, with medieval churches, castles, and Renaissance-style villages.

Uppsala County
Home of universities, museums, medieval castles, and old streets surrounded by pine forests.

Vasterbotten County
Swedens natural wilderness full of mountains and forests, A great place to go hiking even in the winter.

Orebro County
Historical town great place to learn about Swedish culture and lifestyle.

Uppsala County
Hundreds of lakes ranging from the very small to very large.

Midnight Sun Coast
This area is known for the phenomenon that only occurs in Europe’s Arctic Circle between June and July–an uninterrupted 24-hour period of complete sunlight. Great to see from the see.

Gotland
Viking treasures were discovered there, historical churches and fortresses.

Gothenburg
Once serving as the center of Sweden’s shipbuilding industry, today this city’s musical festivals and cultural events draw visitors from all over the world with a youthful and energetic atmosphere.

 

Lund
Europe home of the oldest universities, small town youthful energy with old architecture.
Must see Attractions
You must see the Vasa Museum, Stockholm City Hall, the Royal Palace, The ABBA Museum:, and the amusement park it has over 50 – roller coasters, water rides, and Europe’s tallest freefall attraction, plus a gardens and a sculpture park.

Stockholm Canals
Explore the canals that wind through the capital by boat or on foot either way.

Cuisine of Sweden
Sweden is full of international choices of foods they always include bread, pasta, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, fish, or some other meat.

Public Transportation
The larger the city the better the transportation, lots of street taxis, water taxis, ferries, trains, and buses.

There are trains you can take to Germany, Finland, Norway, and Denmark from Stockholm.

Languages of Sweden
The official language of Sweden is Swedish, but many natives speak English as a second language.

Have a good time in Sweden, let me know about your trip…