Java:: Madura

Java, East Java, Madura. Small village in the Sampang regency on south Madura with traditional vessels (from helicopter) (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Java, East Java, Madura. Small village in the Sampang regency on south Madura with traditional vessels (from helicopter) (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Madura is a large island outside East Java, 5.290 square kilometers, about 160 km long and 35 km wide. It is separated from Surabaya by the narrow Madura strait, and is administered as a part of the East Java district. Main income is fishing, salt, cattle and agriculture. The local capital is Pamekasan. Number of inhabitants is about 3-4 million, and the population is considered to be an unique ethnic group like Javanese and Sundanese. Madurese is also a separate language.

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Maluku:: Wetar and Liran

Maluku, South East Maluku, Pulau Liran. Liran is located just north of East Timor. The larger island Wetar in the background, looking east (from helicopter). (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Maluku, South East Maluku, Pulau Liran. Liran is located just north of East Timor. The larger island Wetar in the background, looking east (from helicopter). (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Wetar is located just 56 km north of Timor’s northeastern coast. The island is 80 km long in east-west direction and 45 km wide in north-south direction, area about 3.600 sq. km. The interior of the island is mountainous and covered by rain forest, highest mountain is 1.412 m. The climate is in the wet season humid with lots of rain, while the rest of the year there can be long periods of drought.

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Nusa Tenggara:: Sumba island

East Nusa Tenggara, Sumba, Pulau Mangudu. Pulau Mangudu island south of Sumba (from helicopter). (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

East Nusa Tenggara, Sumba, Pulau Mangudu. Pulau Mangudu island south of Sumba (from helicopter). (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

South of Flores, between Sumbawa and Timor there is an island where the traditional customs are among the best preserved in Nusa Tenggara. This is Sumba, a relatively large island, 11.153 sq. km. with a population that reaches about 600.000, the name of the capital is Waingapu. Much of the island consists of a flat, elevated plateau about 600m above sea level, where the coast is mostly steep and rocky. The island is divided in two regions, west and east, along ethnical and cultural borders.

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Nusa Tenggara:: Central Lombok

Nusa Tenggara, Lombok, Mataram. The Pura Lingsar temple with the entrance to the Wektu Telu temple. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Nusa Tenggara, Lombok, Mataram. The Pura Lingsar temple with the entrance to the Wektu Telu temple. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

The fertile area south of the mighty Rinjani mountain has several interesting villages, beautiful landscapes and green rice fields. Most of the villages here are populated by Sasak, one often visited village is Tetebatu at the foot of Gunung Rinjani, from here the view to this mountain and the southern part of the island is great.

A few km from Tetebatu you will find the Taman Wisata Tetebatu monkey forest with it’s black monkeys and waterfalls, among them the popular Air Terjun Jukut waterfall. According to the locals the water from Air Terjun Jukut will give increased hair growth.

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Nusa Tenggara:: Lombok

Nusa Tenggara, West Lombok. The west coast of Lombok looking south towards Senggigi (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Nusa Tenggara, West Lombok. The west coast of Lombok looking south towards Senggigi (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Lombok is known for it’s natural beauty and a large variety of landscapes, from tropical beaches to high mountains, dry plains and deep forests. The island is considered to be more “unspoiled” than Bali, tourism is still limited to just a few areas. The size of the island is 5.435 square km, which is relatively small, about 80 times 70 kilometer. Lombok has one of the highest mountains in Indonesia, Gunung Rinjani at 3.726 meters.

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Bali:: Yeh Pulu

Bali, Gianyar, Yeh Pulu. The relief tells stories about daily life on Bali about 1000 years ago. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Bali, Gianyar, Yeh Pulu. The relief tells stories about daily life on Bali about 1000 years ago. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

For most people who visit Bali Yeh Pulu remains a well hidden secret. This may not be a grand attraction, but the site is one of Bali’s oldest and contain some of the most mysterious and important sculptures from it’s time, Yeh Pulu is therefore of great importance to the Balinese. Like the nearby Goa Gajah this was probably an hermitage, not a temple, probably from the 13th century.

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Riau:: History of Bintan

Riau Islands, Bintan. View over Tanjung Pinang. Parts of the city are built on stilts (from helicopter). (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Riau Islands, Bintan. View over Tanjung Pinang. Parts of the city are built on stilts (from helicopter). (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Due to it’s strategic location and size Bintan has a rich history. Riau has for centuries been the home of Malay and the Orang Laut people (sea nomads). Later migrants came from south China and Indochina, today people from a large region of Asia has settled here. Bintan was located aside the China-India maritime trading route, and was early in the 14th century, together with Temasek (Singapore), recorded in Chinese maritime records as one of the islands of the Riau archipelago that was inhabited by Malay pirates.

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Sulawesi:: Bitung and Lembeh

North Sulawesi, Lembeh island. Monumen Trikora is constructed in the 1970's to celebrate the success of the Indonesian military campaign in Irian Jaya. The old DC3 aircraft that can be seen on the photo was used in the military campaign. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

North Sulawesi, Lembeh island. Monumen Trikora is constructed in the 1970's to celebrate the success of the Indonesian military's campaign in Irian Jaya. The old DC3 aircraft that can be seen on the photo was used in the military campaign. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

The port town of Bitung is about one hour drive (55 km) east of Manado. The Lembeh island east of the city protects the area from the sea, and Bitung is today an important commercial harbor for export from Manado and all of east Indonesia. It ia also a point of arrival for travellers who come by boat to northern Sulawesi. Population about 120.000, mostly Christian Protestants.

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Maluku:: The Banda Islands

Maluku, Central Maluku, Banda Sea. This is a tiny island on a large reef in the Banda Sea, in the center of the reef a lagoon (from helicopter) (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Maluku, Central Maluku, Banda Sea. This is a tiny island on a large reef in the Banda Sea, in the center of the reef a lagoon (from helicopter) (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

The Banda Sea is one of Indonesia’s deepest oceans, at the most more than 6.500 m deep. It spans a large area, all the way to Sulawesi in the west. At the center of the sea south of Seram there are a small group of ten islands plus some uninhabited small corral islands, called the Banda Islands. The most important are Banda Besar, Neira and Gunung Api (“the mountain of fire”). All of the islands are of volcanic origin.

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Maluku:: The Aru Islands

Maluku, South East Maluku, Aru. The Aru islands are low and covered with thick forests and swamps. This is one of the eastern islands (from helicopter) (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Maluku, South East Maluku, Aru. The Aru islands are low and covered with thick forests and swamps. This is one of the eastern islands (from helicopter) (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

The group of islands called Aru are located just west of West Papua in the Arafura Sea, which stretches all the way to West Papua to the east and Australia to the south. Aru is the easternmost group of islands in Maluku, they consists of about 85 islands totaling an area of 8.563 sq. km. The largest island, Tanabesar (also called Wokam), is in reality six different islands, only separated by five narrow channels. Tanabesar is 177 km long and 77 km wide.

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