Seaworms and jousting in Indonesia

By | Category: Travel destinations
Komodo dragon

Komodo dragon

Indonesia is a group of islands sandwiched between northern Australia and the Asian continent. For the majority of pus, the most well-known place is Bali. This was once the ultimate in exotic and expensive south sea holidays. Then it became more affordable and is now a holiday magnet. But for Brits?

The country isn’t high on our travel plan lists although we are the largest European source of visitors to the country. But Indonesia plans to change that.

Solely for the UK market, the Indonesians have launched a brand new tourism website dedicated to the UK market. The new site, www.tourism-indonesia.co.uk, is Indonesia’s first official destination site in the UK and reflects their commitment to us as it sees the potential of attracting more of us to holiday and travel there.

The launch comes in advance of Garuda Indonesia, the national airline of Indonesia, introducing the UK’s only non-stop direct flights from London to Jakarta. The inaugural flight is scheduled to operate on 29th May 2014, making beautiful Indonesia even easier to visit for UK travellers.

Indonesia is made up of over 17,000 islands. How many there actually are is anyone’s guess – certainly the Indonesians aren’t definite on the number so there really will be deserted sun-kissed islands there. But those that are the major ones will have extensive coverage like Bali, Komodo, (where the dragons come from) Sumatra (the home of the endangered tigers named after the island) and Kalimantan where the largest population of orang-utans in the world live.

The country is home to some of the most interesting festivals. For example, in February the Sasak people who inhabit the island of Lombok, celebrate Bau Nyale. The nyale is a type of sea worm that surfaces only around this time of the year and the locals believe, that the nyale are not just regular seaworms, but sacred creatures that bring prosperity to those who honour them, or misfortune to those who ignore them. The festival also features many traditional competitions and rowing boat races. It includes various art performances such as the Wayang Kulit (Leather puppets Show), and a play on the legend of the Nyale Princess. The Nyale ceremony is also known on the neighbouring island of Sumba, where the ceremony is followed by the Pasola Jousting Festival.

Who would have thought that the Indonesians held jousting tournaments? Read the website and you’ll find more that you hadn’t appreciated either.

Image ©Visit Indonesia Tourism Office

 

 

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