Curug Cikaso

Ujung Genteng is one of the popular tourism destinations in the southern coast of West Java. It is about 170 km (105 miles) from Jakarta. Most people came here to enjoy the beach, but it has more than that. There are also a river and a waterfall in the area.

Curug Cikaso (Curug means waterfall), a 50 meters (160 feet) high waterfall, is located in the inner part of Ujung Genteng. This place is well known for photographers as they often wouldn’t hesitate to explore the waterfall’s landscapes carrying their tripod and wide angle lenses to take pictures with slow-speed effect. Other than breathtaking scenery, people can also jump to the water, swim under the waterfall and embrace the splashing fresh water above you. Very refreshing!

Another activity that people can do there is to ride a boat and go along Cikaso river to see the natural life there.

Breathing in the fresh air and listening to the sound of nature, including the waterfall, can really recharge the most exhausted mind and soul.
Enjoy.

Longser Sunda

Longser Sunda is a mix of Sundanese dance and play, unique to West Java area. The actors play a story of common Sundanese people. They put some current issues into the story, supplemented with comedy acts making the whole three hours show very enjoyable. The stories are usually ended with some useful moral lessons.

Traditional dance performances make it even more interesting, where energetic movements and colorful costumes of the Ronggengs (the female dancers) really liven up the night.

Another important part of the show is the Nayagas – the gamelan (traditional music instruments) players. They play the music to accompany the dancers and also to provide sound effects during the play. The Nayagas work really hard to ensure that the music fits every scene. It is essential to amplify the effect of the play, including the comedy acts.

It was a delightful performance, accomplishment of months of training from all young Indonesians who were involved in the show.

Journey to 11 Articles

For now, the team is still working behind the scene of peepIndonesia.com.

The beta version of peepIndonesia has already been available and can be accessed through http://beta.peepindonesia.com.

However, there are still a lot of things need to be improved. Raiza suggested that to have a good and attractive visual display, we need to publish at least 11 sets of article and photos at the launching of the website. And of course, those 11 sets will indulge the curiosity of the visitors so that they can have a bunch of things to look at their first visit to the website. But still, collecting 11 sets of photos is a big homework for us, especially for our main photographer, Danang. We do have another photographer, Goyo, but he hasn’t been able to contribute much since he’s still busy going back and forth between Indonesia and Japan.

11 sets of article and photos is not impossible indeed, but it is also not an easy thing to create, so we have to try hard to make it; to ensure that you can peep the beauty, diversity and hospitality of Indonesia at the time the website launched on 17th August 2010, on the 65th anniversary of Indonesian Independence Day.

Jakarta, 24 July 2010

Photo by Arria Belli

Ciater Tea Factory

Ciater highland is located at the north side of mount Tangkuban Perahu, West Java (PS: Peep Indonesia will tell you the love story of Tangkuban Perahu legend later on). Here, visitor will find a large spread of tea plantation. The cold temperature, green landscape and very nice local people turns Ciater into one of favorite local tourism destination.

Aside from walking around the plantation trees and sightseeing, tourists can visit the tea factory managed by a state-owned company named Perkebunan Nusantara VIII. There, accompanied by a tour guide, visitors can see the production process of tea; from fresh tea leaves until the packaging. As tea lovers, visitors might want to ask hundreds of questions. Please do. The tour guide will be more than pleased to share his/her knowledge: the A-to-Z of tea.

During the visit, visitors will learn that the production process of tea was not simple. It consists of several steps where some of the works involve big machines. Not all are handled using machines, because some important works still need professional and personal human touch, especially the ones related to quality of the products. It was not a fancy factory, but notice that quality control was done in every step of the process. This is the main reason of why the factory were supplying some famous tea products in the market.

A combination of high quality tea leaves, the skillful hands of the workers and the help of traditional and modern machines produce first quality tea products.

At the end of the visit, visitors can try a cup of tea produced by the factory; a warm pleasant taste of tea – not just in your mouth, but also in heart and soul.

Peep The Team

Starting this project with five team members living in different parts of the world is really a challenge.

Five different people, five different ideas, five different ways of thinking.

However, apparently, it seems that we can meet that challenge.

Work division, of course, is the key to everything.

Each person in this team worked well in constructing this site so that only in few days we leaped on significant improvements.

  • Danang, the photographer, enthusiastically uploads his photography collections which will be displayed on this site.
  • Goyo, the editor and proof reader, reviewing and editing all the scripts for each story.
  • Raiza, the web developer, trying hard to design an attractive display of the website.
  • Noudie, the business developer, popping ideas on how to develop this website.
  • And I, Beni, play the role as narrator.

For now, the work division thing has not been fully implemented yet. We are still helping each others’ tasks. Therefore, we are trying to define role and responsibilities of each team member and we’re also trying to design the work flow so that we can run this website continuously and professionally.

With all of these efforts, we sincerely hope that our dream to introduce the beauty of Indonesia to the world come true.

Photo by woodleywonderworks

Ramayana Ballet

Candi Prambanan, one of the biggest Hindu temple compounds in Indonesia (candi means temple). The temple is located at the border of Yogyakarta and Central Java, and is one of the must-visit place on the area. When you do, make sure that you also watch the performance. Not just old temple, you can also get the experience to learn about Javanese folktale in a form of traditional dancing and music under spectacular lightings.

At an open space amphitheatre, at the temple’s yard, during the full moon nights, a group of dancers and gamelan players and maybe hundreds of technicians were working together to present the famous performance; Ramayana Ballet – an epic love story.

Entering the gate, you will be welcomed by beautiful music from the gamelan (gamelan is a set of traditional music equipments) played by nayaga. The music will send us back to hundred years ago, back to the ancient kingdom era.

A splendid lighting arrangement, also supported by the moon light, creates a perfect ambience – perfect to feel the dramatic atmosphere in the air.

The story reveals the fight of good and evil; between Rama, who was helped by Hanoman, against Rahwana, to save Shinta – Rama’s wife.

The dancers movement, the costumes detail and dazzling make-up put the soul of each characters. The adjustment of the lighting that follows each scene, including fire here and there, will give you the real-feel. The show was colossal, even majestic, as there were around 100 dancers on the stage.

It’s two hours of great traditional music and amazing traditional dance. At the end of the show, you can take picture with the dancers. It surely is a special souvenir from Indonesia. It surely is a different story to tell. Unforgettable.

Tidung Island

‘Peace’ might be the first word comes to mind when visitors make the first step on the island. Just 3 hours boat trip from Jakarta, lie two beautiful islands: Tidung Besar (besar means big) and Tidung Kecil (kecil means small). The two islands, connected by a two kilometer wooden bridge, are one of the most favorite holiday destinations in Indonesia – especially because it is not far from Jakarta. It’s perfect as a weekend getaway spot for busy people from the nation’s capital city.

The sea around the islands is very calm, perfect for beach activities. The underwater is amazing, perfect for snorkeling. Other than water activities, visitors can also rent a bicycle to circle the islands or walk along the bridge. The islands and the bridge offer breathtaking scenery and amazing sensation of walking ‘on’ the sea.

One day might not be enough the explore all the beauty that these islands possess. Not to worry, because the islanders are ready to provide a home-stay experience. Staying overnight will also give the chance to see sunrise at Tidung Besar and sunset at Tidung Kecil, and don’t forget the beautiful starry night on both islands.

Aside from tourism activities, the islanders were working on mangrove plantation to sustain the islands’ ecosystem. If interested, visitors are most welcome – and even encouraged – to join the program.

Start the Dream

Two years ago, when I introduced myself to a forum in one International web site, it is still fresh in my memory how people in that forum were surprised when I told them about the natural beauty and cultural diversity owned by Indonesia. And not only surprised, some of them didn’t even know if a country named Indonesia does exist.

Someone in that forum then wrote on my thread, “I just googled the word ‘Indonesia’, but I can not find any of good story like the one that you just told me”.
Another person said, “Well, I did find some pictures of Indonesia, but not like the one that you described”.

And it’s not just once I experienced this kind of thing.

In 2009 when one of my friends, Danang Adiwijaya, shared me the same concern about this, we decided to do something. We want to introduce Indonesia’s true charms to the world so that people can see and acknowledge it, and they will spend some time to visit and enjoy this country. And since Danang is always keen of photography, we will use pictures to convey this message to the world.

A website which shows the pictures of Indonesian beauty.
This is it!
This is the project that we chose to make this dream comes true.

At first, we found out that it is not that easy to live the dream. For some months there is no significant progress until one day in June 2010 we got new spirit from additional team member, not just one, but three new members. The team which was only consist of me and Danang, now accompanied by three friends who have the same vision with us — Cahyo Martosudirjo, Noudie De Jong, and Raiza Mahardika Nurmasanto. Together, we start the project of peepIndonesia.com.

Even though currently we are living in different places across the world — Cahyo/Goyo in Japan, Noudie/Nodi in The Netherlands, Raiza in the United Kingdom, while me and Danang in Jakarta — we are confident that the amazing talents of these five team members can liven up peepIndonesia well.

Thursday, 30th June 2010, for the first time, the beta version of peepIndonesia was launched on http://peepindonesia.com .

There are still a bunch of things that need to be prepared; articles for the pictures, enhancement of the website, etc, but at least the first step has been taken. And I’m really excited!

Photo by nickfarr