Haunting Tales from Banda:  A Dark History

Haunting Tales from Banda: A Dark History

On entering the deserted colonial manor on Banda Neira Island, I immediately felt a chill in the air. This was the former Dutch Governor’s residence, once famed for the elaborate parties held there. Now it was adorned only by the odd cobweb-cloaked chandelier. Its...
Spirit Messages from the New Earth Festival Bali

Spirit Messages from the New Earth Festival Bali

As the sun set against the vibrant green rice fields of Keliki Village in Bali, a full moon rose in the sky. The Grand Opening of the 2019 New Earth Festival and World Health Sovereignty Summit in Ubud (June 19-25) Bali was underway. This was no ordinary opening. ...
NAIK DANGO – A VIBRANT DAYAK CELEBRATION

NAIK DANGO – A VIBRANT DAYAK CELEBRATION

“Naik Dango is a very special time for us, a time to celebrate our unique culture and pay tribute to the ancestors. We have been holding this event for 30 years and share it between three regencies – Landak, Kuburaya and Mempawah.” These were the words of Karolin...
Rituals and Heritage of Mount Bromo

Rituals and Heritage of Mount Bromo

“I am Tenggerese, and our people are descendants of the 13th-century princes of the Majapahit Kingdom”, the flower seller said as he adjusted his bouquets. “Please leave these flowers on the crater rim and offer a prayer. This offering will make the gods of the...
Sebangau – The Archipelago Journal

Sebangau – The Archipelago Journal

In less than two hours, you can fly from the bustle of Jakarta to the fringe of Sebangau National Park in Kalimantan Indonesia Borneo, world-famous for its orangutans. Stephanie Brookes takes an exotic river journey. I start my trek into Sebangau National Park at...
A Stone Chair Village, Lake Toba, Sumatra.

A Stone Chair Village, Lake Toba, Sumatra.

On Samosir Island, Lake Toba lies the little village of Ambarita. Tales abound there of rough justice, and possibly even cannibalism. While these are from long ago, more benign old ways live on, for example in the village’s traditional architecture, and an ancient...
Setulang – Deep in the forest, North Kalimantan

Setulang – Deep in the forest, North Kalimantan

When I arrived at Setulang Village, I noticed there were no supermarkets to be seen anywhere. The village is located in North Kalimantan, miles from any major town. It is nestled along the edge of a forest which dates back 130 million years. I was greeted by my lovely...
The Magic Eels Of Ambon

The Magic Eels Of Ambon

On a sailing voyage through the Maluku Islands, I found myself in Ambon. The Portuguese sailed into these waters in the 16th century with their tall ships, on a quest to conquer the islands. They built forts and attempted to monopolise the spice trade, which was...
REFLECTIONS 2018

REFLECTIONS 2018

Each month, NOW! Jakarta brings you tales of hidden heritage from our intrepid traveling duo Stephanie Brookes, writer, and David Metcalf, photographer. During 2018 they have brought stories back from Lombok, Sumba, Lembata, Belitung, Sulawesi, Kalimantan and Bali....
EAT PRAY LOVE

EAT PRAY LOVE

—There’s more to Bali than beach clubs and Bintang. Stephanie Brookes gets an intimate glimpse into the elaborate preparations for Galungan, a festival that reminds you of the spiritual charms of the island— Galungan is a wonderful time for the Balinese, Ibu Wayan, an...