Borneo island

Borneo is also known as the rugged island located in the southern east part Malay Archipelago in Asia. The island is believed to be among the top three largest islands in the world and actually the largest in Asia. The island is shared by other Malaysian states which are Sabah and Sarawak, and Indonesian Kalimantan as well as Brunei. Borneo Island is popularly known for its great beaches and biodiverse rainforests, which are a home to wonderful wildlife such as clouded leopards and orangutans. On the side of Sabah you will find Mt. Kinabalu which is 4,095m tall. The mountain is the highest peak in this island.

Borneo island

What to expect at Borneo Island

Kinabalu Park

This is a must visit place on your list of many things you are planning to do in this Island. The park contains 4500 species, hill treks and forest trails to Layang Layang. You can also attempt to reach the great summit of Kinabalu peak. This peak is said to be among the top 20 tallest peaks in the world.

Kinabatangan river tour

If you are not a fan of long hikes, mountain climbing or trek expeditions then you can opt for boat riding on the famous kinabatangan river which run along the province. You will also observe river sharks, monkeys, eagles, pygmy elephants, kingfishers and hornbills among many others.

Orangutan rehabilitation centre

This centre allows the visitors to enjoy antics in their natural environment. You will have an opportunity to walk around the jungle and see these primates, and your family will definitely feel entertained. You can also opt for night trek, which enables the visitors to see exotic nocturnal wildlife in their natural settings.

Offbeat exotic attractions

At TAR marine park that is where is all things happen and your holiday will not be complete without visiting this place where you will enjoy snorkeling, scuba diving and other popular aquatic sports. After a busy day diving or snorkeling, you feel like relaxing with your loved ones and there is no better place line poring hot springs. Many people here believe that these springs have healing properties since they contain sulfuric minerals. Above all relaxing in a natural hot springs is just a fun experience that you want to miss. Don’t forget to carry your waterproof camera for taking those unforgettable selfies.

Cultural Tourism

To have a great holiday, it should definitely go beyond the fun and entertainment, and Borneo culture will give you a peak of your holiday. The island has developed its own unique culture and heritage that has become an added attraction to holidaymakers. This is great for children since they learn more about the diversity of our human race. Visitors can also decide to learn more about Iban tribe lifestyle by simply taking a boat ride to Nanda Delok or choose communal houses where the jungle will provide all the essentials and other luxuries such delightful dishes prepared traditionally.

A visit at Malau Basin

A trip to this basin will give you the climax of your visit to Borneo island. Its believed that less than 3000 people have gone to this basin. Others describe the basin as the Sabah’s lost world. A visit to this destination will ensure that you return back to civilization before the end of the day without any difficulties. You can also decide to stay over night and enjoy your night trek.

Beauty, Birds and Bargains

Travel to the mountain village of Ubud, renown for its artists, craftsmen and culture. We stop just out of Ubud  in the small village of Taman to walk through the rice fields and enjoy the natural beauty and peace of the lush green landscape.We see the local rice farmers working in the fields, the ducks feeding in the paddies and the abundant fresh fruits and vegetables all growing in the fertile soils of this quite rural village. Following the walk we visit a local family compound for cold drinks or to enjoy a cup of local Balinese Kopi and  fresh local fruits.

Markets

We then take you to the central Ubud markets where you can spend time shopping, bartering and soaking up the atmosphere in this vibrant and colorful market. Following shopping we enjoy a light Balinese style lunch in a traditional  local warung before heading south to the bird park.

Bird Park

See some of the world’s rarest and most endangered birds including the Hornbills, Macaws, Flamingos, Cassowaries and Black Palm Cockatoos. The park also has shimmering lotus ponds and a diverse array of palms and rich tropical flora. Adjoining the Bali Bird Park is the Bali Reptile Park, home of the Komodo Dragon, Pythons and many other rare and unusual reptiles from all over the world. If you would also like to visit the reptile park this option is available to you (cost of entry to Reptile park is not included in tour cost)

Denpasar

After leaving the Bird Park we drive to Denpasar, Bali’s bustling capital city, we take you to one of Denpasars largest department stores and leave you to indulge in some fantastic bargain shopping.

CROATIA ISLANDS – ADRIATIC SEA

The Adriatic Sea (Mare Adriatico, Adria) is an integral part of the Mediterranean sea. The characteristic of the Adriatic sea is that it reaches deep into the land mass of Europe, between the extensive coastlines of Italy, Slovenia and Croatia, and as such it is the closest and most accessible to Central Europe. The Croatian Adriatic coast, the eastern shores of the Adriatic sea, is the most intricately indented part, with a total of 1185 islands, islets and reefs, with a total coastline length of 5.835 km, a surface area of 138.595 km and its greatest depth being 1330 m (Southern Adriatic Depression) and with waters that are exceptionally transparent to a depth of 50 m, that’s why the well known summer Adriatic beach attracts so many people.

ADRIATIC SEA

Sea temperature fluctuations throughout the year: in winter months temperature ranges from 7 to 10 C, in summer months average surface temperature is from 21 to 26 C, while the temperature at a depth of from 20 to 30 m (average diving depth) remains constant throughout the year, ranging from 16 to 17 C. Salinity is 38.32 per mille; the difference between high and low tide varies from 40 cm (Southern Adriatic and Dalmatia) to 1m in Istria. The Adriatic is a relatively calm sea, with no high waves or strong currents. Wave height ranges from 40 to 150 cm, and to 4 to 5 m at the most in extremely adverse weather conditions on the open sea. Speed of sea currents is about 0.5 knots, although in certain places and in special weather conditions it can reach up to 4 knots.

Since times immemorial the Adriatic Sea has been the shortest maritime route leading from the Central Mediterranean and the cities of great civilizations of Antiquity towards northern lands and Central Europe. Having been such a vital route down the ages, both on land and beneath Adriatic’s blue waters can be found deep-seated traces from all periods of the development of European and world civilizations.

Pagelaran Tari Festival Borneo

Sabtu (14/11) Pagelaran Tari Festival Borneo yang masih terangkum di dalam agenda Festival Budaya Bumi Khatulistiwa ke IX tahun 2009 dihelat apik di Gedung Pontianak Convention Centre, Jalan Sultan Syarif Abdurrachman.Tanpa dikomando, penonton spontan membanjiri area depan panggung.
Mungkin lantaran malam Minggu, ledakan pengunjung yang ingin menyaksikan secara langsung Pagelaran Tari Festival Borneo benar-benar ramai. Hal ini membuat panitia tak henti-hentinya mengingatkan pengunjung agar selalu tertib demi kelancaran acara. Para juru rekam momen juga tak luput dari amaran tertib dari panitia.
Satu persatu peserta dari Provinsi Kalimantan Barat, Kalimantan Selatan dan Kalimantan Tengah silih berganti menguasai panggung. Penampilan mereka begitu memukau penonton terbukti dengan riuhnya tepuk tangan yang selalu mereka berikan kepada seluruh penampil.
Penonton terus dihibur dengan penampilan dari tamu asal Provinsi Jawa Tengah. Tari “Krida Tamtama” yang disajikan dengan bumbu jenaka kedua pelakunya, banyak mengundang tawa ratusan pasang mata yang tertuju ke arah panggung. (mumu/14/11)

Berikut hasil pengumuman para pemenang yang berhasil kami kumpulkan dari tempat berlangsungnya Pagelaran Tari Festival Borneo.

PENYAJI TERBAIK FESTIVAL BORNEO TARI PESISIR TANPA RANKING
1. Provinsi Kalimantan Barat
2. Provinsi Kalimantan Tengah
3. Provinsi Kalimantan Selatan

PENATA TARI PESISIR UNGGULAN : Provinsi Kalimantan Barat
PENATA MUSIK TARI PESISIR UNGGULAN : Provinsi Kalimantan Tengah
PENATA RIAS DAN BUSANA TARI PESISIR UNGGULAN : Provinsi Kalimantan Tengah

PENYAJI TERBAIK FESTIVAL BORNEO TARI PEDALAMAN TANPA RANKING
1. Provinsi Kalimantan Barat
2. Provinsi Kalimantan Selatan
3. Provinsi kalimantan Tengah

PENATA TARI PEDALAMAN UNGGULAN : Provinsi Kalimantan Barat
PENATA MUSIK TARI PEDALAMAN UNGGULAN : Provinsi Kalimantan Barat
PENATA RIAS DAN BUSANA TARI PEDALAMAN UNGGULAN : Provinsi Kalimantan Tengah

Bucaramanga Colombia

Bucaramanga Colombia is the capital city of Santander and is the sixth most populated city in the country. Thanks to the amount of parks this city has, it’s been given nicknames like “La Ciudad de los Parques” (City of Parks) and “La Ciudad Bonita de Colombia” (Colombia’s Beautiful City).

Serving the city with both domestic and international flights is the “Palonegro” Airport located at about 30km west of the city and, it is the eighth largest airport in Colombia.

Geography and Climate

As part of the Andean Region, Bucaramanga Colombia is located on a plateau in the eastern mountain range of the Colombian Andes at 959 meters above sea level. It features a tropical monsoon climate but, it’s noticeably cooler than that.

Thanks to the cool winds coming down from the Eastern peaks that reach almost 3,700 meters above sea level, the average temperature during daytime is 22 degrees Celsius and is cooler than other cities at the same altitude, such as Cali.

At night, temperatures are not that cold as they average 18 degrees Celsius thanks to warm air coming from the Rio de Oro Canyon located to the west of the city.

Tourism

Bucaramanga is a metropolis surrounded by beautiful vistas and lots of parks. Most importantly there’s the Chicamocha National Park also known as Panachi and is located 50km from the city.

It is the most important tourist attraction due to the variety of outdoor activities that it offers and its spectacular landscape. Some of the activities are paragliding, camping, fishing, kayaking, mountain climbing and others.

Part of the parks popularity is its 6.3km long cable car system as it is one of the longest systems of its type in the world and goes across the Chicamocha Canyon. With three stations, it opened in January 2009 and quickly became famous in the entire Santander region.

Traveling

During the holidays you can fly to Bucaramanga Colombia for as low as $800 and ride a bus or drive yourself from Palonegro Airport to a hotel for as low as $134 a night. During the “low” season you can fly for as low as $500 and get the same deals on any of the city’s hotels

During the entire trip, whether you’re walking or riding a vehicle you’ll have enough reasons to take pictures all around you thanks to modern art sculptures within the city limits and impressive landscapes all around it. All of it thanks to its location near the Colombian Andes.

Welcome to Medellin Colombia

Medellin Colombia, also known as “The city of eternal spring”, most likely offers the best climate off all the major cities of Colombia. The “paisas” as the locals are known, are friendly and proud of their city.

I know Medellin particularly well, because my wife is from this city where we now live.

Useful info.

You begin by reading up on general information about Medellin to get you started.

The Medellin Metro system is modern, safe and clean. It runs North / South and East / West but is limited in the number of areas of the city it covers. Nevertheless, if your route fits with the stops on the 2 lines, it is extremely good.

Perhaps you want some information if you’re wanting to learn Spanish in Medellin. This is a great place to do it!

Where to eat?

Restaurants in Medellin used to serve mainly traditional fare consisting of plantain, rice, arepa (corn bread), beans, soups or broths. The raw ingredients are fresh, rich in flavor and generally local or national produce.

The amount of new restaurants, ranging from authentic Spanish Tapas to Italian has literally exploded over the last few years. It used to be difficult to find a good restaurant here, but that has changed.

My top picks are:

BONUAR
“New Colombian Cuisine”
“Burgers and fries”

Next to the new MAMM (Museum of Modern Art, Medellin)

The new Ciudad del Rio project in the middle of the city just South of downtown, is a great success. Having moved the Museum of Modern Art from the Carlos E. Restrepo area to this new development, injects a large dosage of culture into this part of town.

Bonuar is terrific. Another example of “New Colombian Cuisine” as I like to call it. We tried the shrimp gumbo, large shrimps over a bed of risotto-style rice. Light and tasty. Then, the “Lomito de cerde con chutney de guayaba agria” (Pork chops with guava chutney). Really delicious. I love the use of fruity sauces that are being used more and more frequently in the newer restaurants here.

There’s also a burger and fries section to the restaurant. A counter to the far end of the room by the red booth-type seating.

The service is good, if a tiny bit slow, and the location is great if you want to drop in on the museum (free). There’s outdoor seating and the decor/ layout has a nice rustic feel to it, even though the place in brand new.Good food comes at a price. You can expect to pay between COP 20-35.000 (US$ 10-18) for a main meal, but it’s definitely worth it.

One of the better restaurants in Medellin.

To check out everything from breakfast and lunch spots, to Colombian or Japanese, follow this link for more info. about restaurants in Medellin.

Bars & Nightlife

Medellin and Colombia are known for partying. If going downtown at night, a great choice it the Eslabon Prendido.

Hotels in Medellin

There is a large and ever-increasing selection of hotels in Medellin. TheDann Carlton Medellin is considered one of the main luxury hotels in Medellin Colombia. It’s not my taste but it might appeal nevertheless.

Far more appealing, is the Intercontinental Medellin where my mum has stayed and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Another name you might come across online is the Poblado Plaza Hotelthat is well situated next to the Oviedo mall but lacking in charm and next to a noisy street.

Alternatively, there are is a wide selection of cheap Medellin hotels andhostels such as the Blach Sheep and Casa Kiwi in Medellin Colombia.

Renting an Apartment

Renting apartments in Medellin is fairly cheap for a very high standard and not too complicated if you go about it the right way.

Flights and car rentals

Medellin Airport, situated in the city of Medellin Colombia is a practical and fast way to fly into the city but serves mainly domestic destinations.

Flights to Medellin from abroad bring you to the small and comfortable Jose Maria Cordova international airport directly from cities such as Madrid, New York and Miami.

Medellin car rental is something I used to think was a bad idea because of driving habits here but it does make sense, especially if you plan on taking day-trips out of the city. Personally, I rented a car to visit the coffee region from Budget and found the process professional and pricing fairly cheap.

The City & Things to do

Here are some of the top things to do in Medellin.

PLAZA MAJORISTA

Plaza Majorista is doubtlessly the most impressive market in Medellin Colombia. It is officially known as the Central Majorista, located in the Santa María neighborhood to the South of Medellin in the city of Itagüí, boasting a total area of 288.015m2. Itagüí by the way, joins Medellin seamlessly and is about a 20 minute drive from El Poblado.

There is an enormous selection of grains, vegetable and fruits with some stores selling other items such as food fodder etc.

Food is shipped in directly from farms both in Antioquia and nationwide and is of the freshest quality. It is organized by different industrial halls in a sense, subdivided into numerous smaller stores that tend to specialize in a limited number of items. The different halls are divided by type, ie. fruits or vegetables.

There is of course still curiosity about the history and background of this place if you want to read more about Medellin.

Medellin City is growing and has much to offer, especially beyond the typical tourist attractions, if you know where to look. Shopping is huge here and there are an abundance (too many?) of Malls in Medellin.

Centro Medellin (downtown Medellin Colombia) is worth seeing but also not at all like the more up-market areas such as El Poblado and Laureles.

On a practical note, especially if you’re moving here for a while, it’s practical to now about the utility and Internet (through Une) provider,Empresas Publicas de Medellin.

Parque Lleras is the just the place to have a drink, once you’ve had enough of exploring the city and if you really not to get some air under your wings, I highly recommend paragliding in Medellin Colombia,considered a world-class site up in the hills at San Felix. The views are incredible!

You can also visit the botanical gardens that is not as impressive as you might imagine, but makes for a nice outing and has an excellent restaurant on the premises called In Situ.

Antioquia

Antioquia is the department that is home to Medellin; a beautiful and mountainous region where there are an abundance of towns and places to visit either for a day-trip or a weekend if you prefer.

Festivals and events

The Medellin Christmas lights are charming and a great opportunity to mingle with people from the city.

Feria de las Flores (flower festival) is undoubtedly the most well-known festival of Medellin Colombia.

If fashion and design are your thing, then Medellin Fashion Week, or Colombia Moda as it’s known to locals, is one of the biggest of its kind in Latin America. Held yearly: end July/ early August.

Local Food & Customs

Well, you can’t get around having to try the Bandeja Paisa! This is a wholesome lunch to say the least. We’re talking meat with beans and egg and rice and plantains and the list goes on. Bit much if you’re not working the fields as they did back in the day…

Culture of Colombia

Famed for Fernando Botero and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, there is much more to Colombian art that is very much alive in the culture, in daily life and everywhere. This is not to overly romanticize the artisan/ craft way of life but to sincerely point out that there is something rather unique in the culture. Colombians are as a people – bold statement here – very creative.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

known as one of the most important authors of the 20th Century is from Colombia – why not read his novels to get a greater understanding the culture of Colombia?

Colombian Dance

Allow me to generalize – truly, these people can move! There’s more to it than just Salsa though and Colombian Dance has its history. Particularly important is the Cumbia which is also important in Colombian Folklore.

Colombian Music

Colombian Music is known throughout the world and is extremely popular. No wonder with names like Juanes and Shakira topping the charts.

An unknown aspect of the culture of Colombia is that it’s not all about Salsa!

In the late 1950’s Rock became popular in Latin giving birth to Colombian rock. Rock in Spanish began with Richie Valens’ “La Bamba” in 1958 which reached the ears of young people back then. Rock in Colombia can be traced back to the early 60s when bands such as Los Speakers, Los Flippers, Los yetis and other bands were established.

Colombian rock started in Medellin which, at the time was a middle sized city and its population received the new genre with mixed opinions as they were more familiar to “bambuco”, a traditional music genre. Medellin, Bogota and Cali are considered the cradle of Rock in Colombia as that’s where it initially was born and where, even today new groups and styles emerge.

Back in the 80s in Medellin, Kraken was the very first known heavy metal band in the country influenced by Led Zeppelin, and is the oldest band in Colombia that is still active as their last production titled “Humana Deshumanizacion” was released in 2009. This inspired a young band to emerge as well in Medellin and become part of Colombian rock in 1988.

Ekhymosis was a rock band influenced heavily by Metallica and founded by Juan Esteban Aristizabal Vasquez who is better known as Juanes these days. They started performing live in Medellin and where supported by friends and family who helped in promoting sales for their first demo which talked about violence in their home town and in Colombia in general.

In the early 90s, Andrea Echeverri teamed up with Hector Buitrago in Bogota and formed up Arteciopelados. Their music fuses rock with other Latin American music styles and transmits socially-conscious messages to their audience as it talks about real problems such as violence and environmental destruction. This has resulted in both Andrea and Hector being awarded a Latin Grammy Award in 2007 for best Alternative Album and becoming the first internationally successful Colombian rock band. Aterciopelados was also recognized by TIME magazine in 2001 as one of the top 10 contemporary global bands located outside of the United States.

Maybe this changes your ideas about a culture of Colombia a bit?

Also, there is of course the highly talented and charming Colombian singerShakira. Known throughout the world for her dance moves and unique voice, this is one highly gifted lady!

Colombian National Anthem

The Colombian National Anthem gives a lot of insight into both the history of Colombia and the culture.

Colombian Soccer

Colombian soccer is extremely important to nationals as is the case in so many countries.

Family

It’s all about the family. The culture of Colombia is centered around it. As is also customary in Southern Europe, Colombians have very strong family-ties. It is typical for them to work together, run companies together and collaborate on a number of projects. Trust is certainly a factor and practical factors also explain part of this.

 For example, it is customary to share things so if your aunt owns a farm, whenever you visit, it’s typical to be given eggs, plantains or whatever produce they happen to have. In return and depending on what skill or craft other family member have, they will give back and forth.