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THE LITTLE PINKIE OF BELITUNG ISLAND

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Long ago, there lived a married couple in a village on Belitung Island. Though they were poor, they didn’t have any complaints about life and they went through all the tough times with pleasure. The only fly in the ointment was that they didn’t have children. Every evening and before going to bed, they prayed solemnly in the hope that God would grant them the desire of their hearts.

“My Lord, please give us a child and I don't mind if he is just as small as a little pinkie!”

Apparently, God heard their prayer and not long after that the wife got pregnant. The husband and wife were extremely happy because they were going to have a baby very soon.

After a few months, the wife gave birth to a baby boy. However, they were very surprised to see that the baby looked really like a little finger.

“Oh dear, why is our baby as small as a pinkie?” asked the wife, in a sad voice.

The husband just kept silent. He looked as if he couldn’t believe his eyes. Suddenly, he remembered what they sai…

VISITING SELIU ISLAND

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Seliu Island, which is located to the north of Belitung Island, belongs to Membalong subdistrict of Belitung regency. It is far away from Tanjung Pandan town and you should spend a long time to arrive at this small and remote island.

It is 1,645 hectare in size and there are 1,136 people living on this island. Most of the inhabitants are fishermen. They go to sea in the morning and come back at nightfall. After having dinner, they sit with their family members in front of their houses in the moonlight. They live a very happy and peaceful life without the interference of the outer world.

Fishing boats and sailing ships usually cast anchor at the wooden harbor. Coconut trees grow along the sand beach. The sound of waves and the whispers of birds are so melodious, which will let you feel that you’re walking on the beach of heaven.

I have ever witnessed a wonderful and romantic sunset with my good friends at Malang Buro beach on this island. It is seven kilometers from the harbor. I know…

THE GREAT WALL OF WEST SUMATRA

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If you don’t have the opportunity to visit the Great Wall of China, it’s time to go to Bukittinggi in West Sumatra. There, you will find the Janjang Koto Gadang that look somewhat like the real Great Wall.

Janjang Koto Gadang is the tourist attraction, which is a one and seven tenth kilometer stone steps, situated between Agam regency and Bukittinggi town in West Sumatra.

In fact, Koto Gadang is the name of a village in Agam regency. As the concrete stairway lies between Agam regency and Bukittinggi town, there’re two entrances for those who want to set foot on this little Great Wall.

From Bukittinggi, visitors can go in through the entrance that isn’t too far away from the Japanese Cave. Children and old guys should be more careful while walking down the sloping road.

The shape of the staircase is similar to China’s Great Wall, but it’s much shorter and is only one thousand steps from the Japanese Cave in Bukittinggi to Koto Gadang of Agam regency.

When you feel tired, you can take a rest…

THE BETAWI CULTURAL VILLAGE

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There is a cultural village in Srengseng Sawah, Jagakarsa subdistrict, South Jakarta. It is still in its original state and there are a lot of things for people who would like to learn more about Betawi culture.

While you’re in this location, you can see a number of traditional houses. There’re two artificial lakes on the left and right of this Betawi cultural village. It was officially launched by governor Sutiyoso on August 18, 2000.

Situ Babakan is a man-made lake and it is 1.5 meters deep. The water that comes from Ciliwung River is very clean and cool. It is something like an oasis in the Sahara desert where trees grow around and give shades to the visitors as well as cooling the air in a sunny day.

Situ Babakan is also the cultural oasis as it is considered the last castle of Betawi culture in its own land. Although the culture and traditions are fading away in a heavy industrial area, cultural preservation is important and shouldn’t be overlooked.

There’re various kinds of tre…

VISITING KALASAN TEMPLE

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Most people know that Borobudur is a very old Buddhist temple in Indonesia. Whenever they go to Yogyakarta, they’ll likely visit this temple. In fact, there’re still a lot of Buddhist temples that can be visited during a summer vacation.

One of the ancient Buddhist temples, which is close to Prambanan temple, is Kalasan temple. It is situated in Tirtomani village, Kalasan subdistrict. It is said that Kalasan temple is the oldest in Yogyakarta.

Kalasan temple has a combination of Buddhist and Hindus architectural styles. This temple was built in 700 Saka or 778 AD by Rakai Panangkaran of the Sanjaya dynasty.

There was only Kalasan temple at the beginning. However, other temples were discovered after a deeper and wider area of excavation.

Besides Kalasan temples and other buildings, there are three little temples that take the shape of a stupa.

Though Kalasan temple isn’t as famous as Borobudur or Prambanan, it’s quite unique and has immense historical value. The ornaments of this temp…

THE SAMOSIR ISLAND IN LAKE TOBA

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Indonesia has a lot of beautiful tourist destinations and one of them is Lake Toba. It is the largest volcanic crater lake in the world and was formed by the eruption of Mount Toba 73.000 years ago.

There is the Samosir Island in the middle of the crater lake, which has the size of 630 square kilometers. Whenever you go to this island, you’ll feel that the inhabitants are so friendly. Visitors can see the outstanding panorama and visit the villages on this island.

Tourists sail across the lake by ferry, speedboat or passenger ship. They may bring their cars or motorcycles to Samosir Island. For those who don’t have vehicles, they can hire motorbikes from the motorcycle rental company.

It is very crowded on Christmas, New Year, Idul Fitri or public holidays. The ferries start operating from 08.00 a.m. and the tickets are more expensive than normal.

Efrata is the name of the hidden waterfall in Sosor Dolok village. It is about 20 kilometer from the main town of Samosir regency. Only a…

THE MUSEUM IN TANJUNG PANDAN BELITUNG

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Whenever you go to Belitung Island, it is a good idea to visit an old museum located at no A41, Melati Road in Tanjung Pandan town. It isn’t a big museum, but it exhibits a great number of archaeological objects that have immense historical and cultural values.

While you set foot in the museum, you’re welcome by a giant taxidermy arapaima and crocodile. This freshwater fish and estuarine crocodile live in the rivers of Belitung Island.

In the inner room, there are the collections of weapons left by the Dutch and Japanese soldiers. They’re the samurai swords, riffles, handguns, shotguns, etc. The authentic samurai sword that was made in 1514 is one of the oldest weapons in this museum.

Besides the weapons left by the colonizers, there is the collection of weapons left by the kingdoms of Belitung Island. This collection consists of wavy blade daggers, spears and machetes.

Tools used by ancient people, such as clothes irons, cups and betel nut baskets are kept in the other room. Househo…