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...
Lazy Cats And Savannah Lands – Baluran National Park, East Java

Lazy Cats And Savannah Lands – Baluran National Park, East Java

Leaning over the sturdy railing at the waterhole, I made sure to look up to check no lazy cats were lounging in the nearby trees. This was macan tutul country – home of the Javan leopard in Baluran National Park, East Java. I asked the ranger, Pak Teguh if he had...
Meeting the Baduy People, Java

Meeting the Baduy People, Java

The Baduy people live only 167 kilometres from Jakarta. They live in the Kendeng Mountains, follow a traditional way of life and do not embrace any aspects of modern living.  It is, for example, forbidden to use a wheel or travel in a vehicle with a wheel. They do not...
At Torajan Funerals, Grieving is Impolite

At Torajan Funerals, Grieving is Impolite

Journeying through Tana Toraja Regency in South Sulawesi, one comes across many extraordinary sights and experiences. The region offers stunning landscapes including lofty mountains, lush highlands and ancient terraced rice fields. Perhaps most interesting of all is...
Jakarta – a hub of history and culture

Jakarta – a hub of history and culture

The best way to start to explore the historical and cultural side of Jakarta is to take a walking tour around Fatahillah Square. It is named after the national hero who gave Jakarta its name, ‘Jayakarta’, meaning “town of victory”. Some of the best-preserved colonial...
The Dancing Masks of The Babukung

The Dancing Masks of The Babukung

Pangkalan Bun in Central Kalimantan is a long way from anywhere. However, as soon as I heard about the Babukung Mask Festival held there every year, I went on the hunt to find out more. Not long afterwards—after two connecting flights from Jakarta to Pangkalan Bun—I...
Cliff Top Golfing On The Bukit In Bali

Cliff Top Golfing On The Bukit In Bali

There is nothing quite like golfing in Bali.  What can be more invigorating than hitting a golf ball over terraced rice paddies, or more satisfying than draining a putt while a soft ocean breeze washes over you? Bali’s southernmost tip, known as the bukit, sits high...
Tamarind Temptations – A Spa in Ubud, Bali

Tamarind Temptations – A Spa in Ubud, Bali

It can take a lot of searching to find a perfect spa in Ubud as there are so many choices. You can seek out the five-star, high-end establishments, set in hanging gardens and on cliff tops, but they often come at a price that is over the top.  On the other hand, you...
Lembata, a Jewel in the Solor Archipelago

Lembata, a Jewel in the Solor Archipelago

Sitting between Timor and Flores, Lembata is the largest island in the Solor Archipelago. Small villages dot the landscape, and tourism is still very low-key. The island has a rich tradition of weaving using natural dyes. Village life often seems to move to the gentle...