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THE CHICKEN CHURCH IN CENTRAL JAVA

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There is a unique worship house at Rhema hill in Magelang regency, Central Java province. People call it the Chicken Church because it looks like a sitting hen in the middle of the forest.

After becoming the “What’s wrong with love?” movie shooting location, tourists are willing to visit this Chicken Church. They would like to know what kind of religious edifice it is.

A lot of visitors come to this strange building and the number increases on the weekends and vacation. They’re glad to bring their families, relatives and friends and take some photos as a memento.

In the founder’s opinion, it’s not suitable to call the building a chicken church. He said he built this worship house because he saw a religious edifice resembling the shape of a dove in his dream. Afterwards, he had a strong desire to build it in the real world. When he was in Magelang, he discovered a location that looked somewhat like the one he saw in his dream.

William Wenas, the manager of the Chicken Church as well a…

THE OLD TOWN OF JAKARTA

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Kota Tua or the Old Town is a little town of the past in Jakarta, Indonesia. It is about 1.3 square kilometers, extending over the area of the north and west of Jakarta.

It was crowned the Diamond of Asia and the Eastern Queen by the European sailors in the 16th century. As this old town was so strategic and had a great amount of resources, it was considered the business centre of Asian continent.

In 1526, the Sultan of Demak sent Fatahillah to attack Sunda Kelapa harbor which belonged to Pajajaran Kingdom. Afterwards, the conqueror built a 15 hectare Javanese tradition port town named Jayakarta.

In 1619, Jayakarta was destroyed by the troops of Jan Pieterszoon Coen. A year later, the Dutch East India Company established a new town called Batavia. This town lay around the east side of Ciliwung River. Nowadays, it’s the Fatahillah square. The native inhabitants of Batavia were called Batavians and then they have been known as Betawis or Betawi people.

Batavia along with its castle, wa…

THE NATIONAL MONUMENT OF INDONESIA

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MONAS or the National Monument is the icon of Jakarta City. It was designed and constructed by the Indonesian architects in 1959.

Ir. Sukarno, the first president of the Republic of Indonesia inaugurated the National Monument on August 17, 1961. Later, it was officially open to the public on June 12, 1975.

The purpose of building the National Monument is to commemorate the heroes and heroines of the revolution and inculcate patriotism into the young generation. Besides that, it has become a tourist attraction and the center of educating the population. Not only do the Jakartans have recreation at Monas, but also the citizens from all over the country.

The National Monument has a unique architectural style and on the top of it is a large flame shaped metal which looks like a fire that will never go out. The everlasting fire symbolizes the strong spirit of struggle of the Indonesian people. The flame on the top of Monas is made of gold plated bronze.

In the park of Monas, there’re diff…

THE BOROBUDUR TEMPLE IN INDONESIA

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Borobudur is an ancient Mahayana Buddhist temple in Magelang Regency, Central Java Province. It is one of the biggest Buddhist temples in the world and is often referred to as the very inspiring cultural heritage site.

Borobudur was built in the days of Syailendra Dynasty. It is believed that the architect who designed the temple was Gunadharma and it needed almost a century to complete all the hard work. The legend says that Borobudur temple was built by djinns in a night. Nevertheless, the archaeologists still lack evidence and no one else knows exactly who the real creator was.

Scientific research shows that there was an ancient lake around Borobudur temple a thousand years ago and the width of it was eight kilometers. Villagers took water from the lake to grow rice and vegetables. The temple looked like a lotus in the middle of the ancient lake from a distance. It’s a pity that the lake dried up and disappeared due to climate change and volcanic eruptions. The temple itself was b…

THE COFFEE CULTURE IN BELITUNG

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Coffee has been widely known in Belitung since the era of Dutch colonization. In those days, some merchants and Dutch soldiers brought the Arabica and Robusta coffee beans to Belitung and sold them to the locals. That’s why coffee has become an important part of societal norms on that island.

In the Dutch occupation, Café Senang is an elite hangout place in Tanjung Pandan Town. The staffs of the Tin Mining Company and the Europeans usually went there to have a cup of coffee in the morning or in the afternoon. Some cheap coffee shops were often visited by the laborers who worked at the Tin Mining Company.

The coffee shops in Belitung only sell black coffee and coffee with milk. Coffee lovers can also buy some traditional cakes and nasi bungkus (banana leaf rice) for breakfast. You may smoke cigarette to add more pleasure and satisfaction because the traditional coffee shops use electric fans and all the windows and doors are open.

People like talking about business, everyday activities an…

THE MADURESE BULL RACING FESTIVAL

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The Madurese Bull Racing Festival or Karapan Sapi is a special festival of the inhabitants living on Madura Island. It is celebrated in the month of August or September every year. Usually, the final race is held at the end of September or October.

Two bulls pulling a wooden cart run very fast towards the finishing line. The jockey stands on the cart controlling the speeds and movements of the bulls. The racing takes place in 10 seconds to 1 minute over a 100 meter distance.

Besides racing, karapan Sapi is also a prestige folk culture and party which will increase one’s social status. Those who want to join should spend a lot of money to take care of their bulls before the festival.

Building muscle and maintaining the health of a bull that is going to race needs at least 4 million rupiahs. The bull should be served with herbal medicines and a dozen chicken eggs a day, especially when the day of the Bull Racing Festival is approaching.

The Madurese celebrate this festival after a good…

THE HOLY TOMB AT MOUNT TAJAM IN BELITUNG

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Mount Tajam or Gunung Tajam is the highest on Belitung Island. It’s only 510 meters high, so it looks more like a hill than a mountain. It is about 30 kilometers from Tanjung Pandan (the main town of Belitung Island). Public transportation is easily accessible. It’s more convenient if you drive your own car or motorcycle. If you’re a cyclist, you can ride your bicycle too.

There is a waterfall at the mountain and visitors usually take a bath in the natural pool that catches the falling water. It feels cool and fresh in a shiny day. It is said that the water can cure many kinds of skin disease and wash all the sins that man has committed. That is why it is usually crowded on Sundays.

While you are walking along the path, you will notice that a troop of monkeys keep looking at you as if they were welcoming you to their residence. If you have fruit, you may throw some of your bananas to them and they will be very glad to accept your offer.

You may set up a tent to spend your night and e…