Category Archives: Bali

Among the Balinese

The Balinese in the late 19th century, their gentle priests; the fear they inspired; their bewildering language; eccentric foreigners among them.

“One of the rajas of Badung who once discussed Van der Tuuk with me said very peculiarly of him; “There is in the whole of Bali only one man who knows and understands Balinese and that man is Gusti Dertik”

from Dr. Julius Jacobs , “Eenigen tijd onder de Baliers”, 1883

So Van der Tuuk had to make preparations to go to Bali. These did not always go smoothly. He wrote on the 3rd of January 1870:

“I have great difficulties with the servants here because the Javanese and Malays of Batavia fear Bali. I have now a servant, a boy of 13 years old, who is honest but rather clumsy. I fear that he will desert me when I depart for Bali. There is a general fear of Bali here.”

But amidst these preparations he did not neglect the study of Balinese in which his knowledge of other Indonesian languages came him in good stead. On 5th May 1870 he wrote:

“I am very busy with Balinese and believe that I will soon master it since Javanese has had a great influence on it.


The Malay of Batavia facilitates for me the study of Balinese. It is remarkable how many Balinese words have remained in that particular dialect of Malay. The original population of Batavia, you know, consisted for the larger part of Balinese who served the VOC as slaves or soldiers. Even the housekeepers of the gentlemen of that pious company were female Balinese slaves. That is why even now the housekeeper of a European is called “njai”. In Bali this “njai” is the usual term with which one addresses, in a friendly way, a young woman of the lowest class; it means “younger sister”.”

Once again he was determined to put his house in an isolated spot where other Europeans would not bother him too much. This spot turned out to be the kampong Baratan, about 3 kms from Boeleleng, where he got himself a bamboo house.

The Balinese made a very favourable impression on him – even more so than the Bataks who had also generally received positive comments from him. He wrote on the 23rd of September 1870:

“Thus far the Balinese please me better than the Bataks. The Brahmins here are very civilized and very gentle. It is a pity that the government does not make more use of them and is here represented by an official who allows the Prince to get away with the most outrageous cruelties.”

On a later occasion he wrote:

“The caste of priests receives great honour here and that is nothing to be amazed about because those priests I know deserve great esteem. They do not know the intrigues of Malay spiritual leaders. I ascribe this phenomenon to their aversion from attempts to convert others to their religion.”

He soon noticed that the study of Balinese required some preliminary study. He wrote on 19th dec. 1870:

“The language here is so mixed with Old Javanese (the so-called Kawi) that one is necessitated to study Kawi literature and clear that up, all the more so because the Balinese does, when he speaks in a refined fashion, not hesitate to use words he only knows from manuscripts. This now requires serious study because we don’t have a Kawi dictionary yet.”

But that the Balinese used Old Javanese when they wanted to cut a fine figure did not mean that they had a real command of the language. Van der Tuuk soon found out that there was a considerable element of humbug here. He wrote:

“Though the Balinese understand more of Kawi than the Javanese do, reading it is with them a matter of faith. They imagine understanding a Kawi text but when you put a difficult bit in front of them they are as cheeky with it as a Jew with some Hebrew text. Their explanations are sometimes preposterous. One can get to know more of it than the most learned Brahmin by reading many manuscripts and reflecting repeatedly on a text and comparing words.”

Though the life there was very monotonous for him he found consolation in his studies and in his dogs, monkeys, chickens, ducks, and other “trifles which turn out to be the core of life”. “The conversation here” he wrote “is not very stimulating. I am generally waffling with the Balinese.”

Among the things that tied him to Bali and that would, as he said, cause him to leave the place with sadness he failed to mention his Balinese housekeeper.

In 1873 there was a big change in his life. The government had proposed that he would enter into its service and thus leave that of the Bible society. Van der Tuuk’s main reason for accepting this proposal seems to have been the requirement of that society that he would, here too, work on a translation of the bible. The linguist felt that with the then state of knowledge about Kawi and Balinese that would be entirely premature – and that from that point of view the Society was wasting its money on him. His reluctance to start on a translation of the Bible in Balinese was not entirely of a linguistic nature. Over time he had become more and more anti-Christian. So he left the Bible Society, acknowledging that, though he was not exactly known for his orthodoxy in religious matters, it had always treated him decently.

His workload did however not become any lighter.

At a late stage, in 1884, he wrote to his linguistic colleague, Brandes:

“It is true, I have gathered a lot here, but had to leave even more unexplained in my dictionary since the Balinese translations contradict each other, when difficult bits of text are involved, in a horrendous fashion. If I had known what a muddle we have here I would have preferred to stay in the Lampongs.”

About ten years earlier, in 1873, he had written:

“One has of the study of these languages the wrong idea in Europe … Not only that these languages are very rich they also have peculiarities that a European never gets to know. I merely draw your attention here to Malay in which no European can decently express himself, and yet we have practiced this language for centuries… the ignorant fiction that it can be easily learned still holds sway until today …”

I would like to comment here as an aside that, though Van der Tuuk is mainly known for his study of Batak, Kawi and Balinese, he has also contributed to the study of the Lampong language, Sundanese and Malay. About this latter contribution a fellow scholar of Malay (C. Grijns) wrote in 1996:

“I can only express my admiration for his remarkable contribution to the development of the study of Malay, besides his major work on Batak and Balinese, and much else besides. In particular the way he dealt with manuscript materials, his lexicographic acuteness, and his unrelenting struggle to come to terms with all varieties of written Malay that did not meet the standard he had set for the purity of Malay are worthy of our praise.”

What was his domestic life like amidst all this scholarly endeavour? Dr. Jacobs, a medical officer in the Dutch navy, who has been quoted above, visited him in 1881. He wrote:

“His furniture consists only of the strictly necessary. One looks in vain there for an easy chair, an impressive desk or couches. On the contrary, his whole house is, from the front to the back, occupied by his extensive library. On the floor, on chairs, tables, boxes and shelves are lying voluminous folios, old manuscripts and lontar leaves with script, in an ungainly chaos through each other and it is amazing that from this chaotic collection he can retrieve so quickly the desired item. …

You would believe that one is dealing here with a disagreeable person, not fitting in society, a real bookworm, but you would be wrong dear reader. He is busy from early morning until sometimes to the depth of night with his studies, only interrupted for a moment by people from all layers of Balinese society who want to consult him on a juridical matter or a sickness, and all of whom he helps very willingly. But when you visit him the scholar disappears as if by magic and he changes into a jolly student, whose acquaintance nobody who had the advantage of meeting him will regret.”

Europeans in Bali saw a visit to the ‘eccentric” Van der Tuuk as a bit of a lark, good to relieve the boredom of colonial society. They had to put up with chairs with layers of dust and glasses for drinks that they wiped surreptitiously but Van der Tuuk was a generous and entertaining host. Privately he had a dim view of these occasions but apparently he was good at hiding this.

Occasionally he got guests who stayed for longer periods. The linguist Brandes, who after his death would prepare his Kawi-Balinese-Dutch dictionary for publication was one of them.

Rouffaer wrote many years later, in 1909:

“Brandes stayed with Van der Tuuk for four weeks. He came back as only half a person … he needed a full three years … to bring Van der Tuuk’s dietary laws into harmony with both his phonetic laws.”

The master himself did not escape the consequences of his lack of hygiene and his peculiar diet. Throughout his stay in the Indies he suffered, off and on, of dysentery to which he finally succumbed in the military hospital in Surabaya in 1894.

After his death the government requested Brandes to prepare his dictionary for publication. The first volume appeared in 1897, the second in 1899, and the third in 1900, the fourth and last part was published, after Brandes death in 1905, by Dr.Rinkes in 1912.

The whole seems to be a source book rather than a regular dictionary and now has also literary-historical value because many bits of quoted text originate either in manuscripts that have disappeared or that have remained unpublished.

Finally a peculiar detail about his estate. Van der Tuuk had never made much money. When he worked with the Bible Society his salary was very modest. The government paid him more generously but gave him, after all, only a civil service salary. Yet such was his frugal lifestyle that his estate amounted to about 135.000 guilders which I guess to be the equivalent of three quarters of a million Euros today. The value of his bamboo house was estimated to be … ten guilders.

And signs of Van der Tuuk the eccentric could also be found in his estate. It counted two donkeys, the beginning of a planned large herd of these beasts that he deemed far more suitable to Balinese circumstances than horses. He desired to receive a subsidy for creating such a herd and annoyed the Director of the Department of Education and Religious Affairs no end by inserting his requests for this in his quarterly and annual reports. When it was pointed out to him that these donkey matters did not belong in a linguistic report he annoyed that Director some more by addressing him in writing as the Director of Popular Deception and Affairs of the Hereafter.


I drew for this series on:

  • C.Grijns (1996), “Van der Tuuk and the study of Malay” in Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde. Vol. 152 Iss.3;
  • R. Nieuwenhuys (1959), “ Van der Tuuk, taalgeleerde en zonderling” in Tussen Twee Vaderlanden, Amsterdam;
  • R.Nieuwenhuys (1962), De pen in gal gedoopt: een keuze uit brieven en documenten van Herman Neubronner van der Tuuk, Amsterdam.

The translation of the letter fragments is mine.

Among the Balinese is brought to you by Indonesia Matters, where you can book flights in Indonesia, and features listings of Indonesian hotels, like Kuta hotels, Sanur hotels, hotels in Jakarta and near Jakarta airport, and more.

Nine new marine species found in Bali waters

Conservation International (CI) in Indonesia and its local partners have found nine new coral fish and one coral reef species during a marine survey in Bali waters.

“The survey shows the healthy coral reef coverage has increased compared to 12 years ago. In most diving spots, there are indications that Bali`s coral reefs are in a recovery phase. The survey has also led to he discovery of new species,” CI Indonesia Executive Director Ketut Sarjana Putra said in a press statement here Sunday.

Among the newly discovered species were two in the Euphyllia coral family, two in dottyback fish , two in the cardinal fish, one in reef perch, one in the blenny and one in the goby families.

“A follow up survey is needed to confirm and determine the taxonomy of each species,” he said.

According to the rapid evaluation survey, in line with the previous survey carried out by CI in cooperation with the Bali administration in Nusa Penida in 2008, there were 953 coral fish species and 397 coral reef species in the coastal waters of Bali.

Targeting 33 different sites the survey team identified 952 fish and found that nine were new, hitherto unknown species that included damsels, eels and blennies plus a new variety of euphyllia coral.

Although they discovered the new fish, they have not yet been named but are in the the genres Siphamia, Heteroconger, Apogon, Parapercis, Meiacanthus, Manonichthys, Grallenia and Pseudochromis

The survey, part of CI`s 20-year Rapid Assessment program – RAP)), was conducted at the request of the Bali administration and the marine affairs and fishery office, to maintain the health of coral reefs and to formulate recommendations on coral management in 25 regions designated as a marine conservation area network in Bali.

Mark Erdmann, senior scientific adviser of the CI Indonesia`s marine program, said he had never expected to discover a high biodiversity of habitats and coral reefs which were in the recovery phase from bleaching, destructive fishing activities, and sea urchins in 1990s.

“We conducted the survey in 33 locations around Bali, almost circling this island. And we are very much impressed by what we saw,” Mark Erdmann said.

Although during the survey, researchers noticed that coral reefs were in the recovery process, and the ratio between live and dead corals was 7:1, they also noticed that certain coral fish had gone.

During the 350 diving hours, the survey team only saw three coral sharks and three napoleon fish. That was in contrast to the healthy coral system where big predators were usually seen, he said.

The survey team also spotted a lot of plastic waste and fishermen in the main zone of the West Bali National Park.

The CI Team recommended the establishment of priority regions for immediate conservation, and an integrated land-sea spacial system to prevent a conflict between marine tourism and destructive fishing practices.

They also recommended to the local authorities to prevent plastic wastes from being disposed of in the sea.


A guide through the maze of bemusing and ever-changing world of Indonesian city, airline and airport names.

Travelling around Indonesia can be a little confusing if you aren’t aware of the plethora of Indonesian cities’ alternate names, spellings and airport names. Some have changed names, others have changed spelling and some have changed multiple times.

This is one of the reasons why the Mau Ke Mana Flight Booking Service doesn’t just have an automated system of spitting back a list of flights and fares.

Wikipedia has a useful reference list of city and airport names/codes, but even it doesn’t cover all bases.

Here is an attempt at an all-inclusive list of all these issues, in alphabetical order:

Ambon | Bali / Denpasar | Lion Air and Wings Air | Lombok / Mataram / Ampenan Makassar / Ujung Pandang

Here are some alternate spellings, the current/official “Indonesian” one on the right:

Yogyakarta & Jogjakarta | Manado & Menado | Sumatra & Sumatera

Confusing directions

Ambon (Airport Code: AMQ) (a.k.a. Pattimura Airport, Laha Airport, Ambon City, Kota Ambon, Ambon Island, Pulau Ambon)

Map of Ambon

Ambon City/Bay/Island/Airport

The city of Ambon is located on the island of Ambon, while Ambon Airport is located in Laha, 36km from Ambon City on the other side of the horseshoe-shaped Ambon Bay. Apparently no other names were available at the time…

Confusing directions

Bali (Airport Code: DPS) (a.k.a. Denpasar, Ngurah Rai Airport)

Bali Airport MapBali is not a separate country from Indonesia, but it is an island and province with its own unique culture. Some airlines, e.g. Air Asia, also use “Bali” as the name of the airport because Bali is much more well-known than “Denpasar”.

Officially, the name of the airport is Ngurah Rai Airport or Denpasar Airport, and is located about 10km south of Denpasar, the capital city of Bali.

Confusing directions

Lion Air v Wings Air
Both airlines are part of the group/corporation and work together, like American Airlines and American Eagle in the United States, or Singapore Airlines and Silk Air in Singapore.

However, unlike Singapore Airlines/Silk Air or Garuda Indonesia and their budget wing Citilink, Lion Air and Wings Air continue to use the same website, airline code and booking system.

Their levels of service are mostly the same; the small differences are:

Wings Air plane Lion Air B737-900ER
Wings Air ATR72-500 Lion Air Boeing 737-900ER

– Wings Air operates smaller ATR72-500 planes (see above left) on shorter/less popular routes. Lion Air uses mostly Boeing 737-900ER planes (see above right) and operates on the longer/more popular routes.

– Lion Air’s baggage allowance in economy class is 25kg for domestic flights, 20kg for international flights. Wings Air has a smaller – but not strictly enforced – baggage allowance: 15kg.

– Lion Air offers business/executive class on some routes.

You can tell which flight is operated by which airline in two ways:

Lion & Wings Air 2 Lion & Wings Air
  1. The logo next to the flight number.
  2. Usually a four-digit flight number also indicates a Wings Air flight.

Confusing directions

Makassar (Airport Code: UPG) (a.k.a. Ujung Pandang, Hasanuddin Airport)

Visit Makassar

Makassar was renamed Ujung Pandang in 1971 by an Indonesian government that wanted to give the city a more Indonesian or less Dutch name (around the same time that Djakarta became Jakarta). However, it was changed back to Makassar in 1999 by then President Habibie. These days, some airlines use Makassar, others Ujung Pandang.

Confusing directions

Mataram (Airport Code: AMI) (a.k.a. Ampenan, Lombok, Selaparang, Selaparang Airport)

The capital city of West Nusa Tenggara province, Mataram is actually one part of a conurbation of a few smaller cities. The airport is actually located in the city of Ampenan (what Garuda Indonesia’s website currently calls it). It is also the only airport on the island of Lombok, so Selaparang Airport also has the working name of “Lombok Airport”. Some smaller airlines flying from Denpasar/Bali also use Selaparang as the destination city name.

New Lombok Airport
The new Lombok International Airport, still under construction

A new airport in Central Lombok, tentatively named Lombok International Airport, is also under construction. It was due to open in 2010, but still has no scheduled opening date. It is not yet determined whether the existing airport in Mataram (West Lombok) will reduce or cease operations when this new airport opens.

Map of Old and New Lombok Airports
Old and New Lombok International Airports,
located in Mataram/Ampenan and Praya respectively

The new airport is located in Praya, Central Lombok; it is closer to (the other) Kuta, but quite far from Mataram and the tourist beaches of Sengigi and Gili Islands, so a complete closure seems unlikely. Any affected passengers will be informed if when the airport is about to commence operations.

If you have any other questions or areas of concern, please write a comment below, and we’ll answer it.

Confusion! is brought to you by Indonesia Matters, where you can book flights in Indonesia, and features listings of Indonesian hotels, like Kuta hotels, Sanur hotels, hotels in Jakarta and near Jakarta airport, and more.

Bali Bromo Express

Wings Air launches direct flights from Denpasar to Malang, reducing travel time to Mt Bromo significantly.

For many years, Mt Bromo has been the most visited of Indonesia’s 129 active volcanoes (more than the famous/infamous Anak Krakatau or Mt Kelimutu). This is probably due to its relatively easy access, wide choice of accommodation nearby and proximity to Indonesia’s tourist hub of Bali.

Bromo Tengger Semeru
The picture that launched 1000 postcards:
Sunrise at Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park.

In the past, a trip from Bali to the picture postcard moonscape of Mt Bromo usually involved a short flight from Denpasar/Bali to Surabaya, then a bus/train ride to Malang or Probolinggo, then another bus/jeep ride up the mountain in the early morning to the lookout point. Or the more intrepid could take a bus from Bali all the way to Probolinggo (including a short ferry ride). However, both ways could take several hours or longer, due to delays, traffic, narrow/hilly roads, etc.

Left Flag: Mt Bromo, Right Flag: Bali/Denpasar Airport.
As you can see, Malang is much closer to Mt Bromo than Surabaya

However, Wings Air (partner/subsidiary of Lion Air) has launched a new route that reduces the hassle and travel time significantly: Denpasar to Malang.

Wings Air ATR72-500

Using their brand new ATR72-500 aircraft (see above), Wings Air flies this route daily at the following times:

Flight Number Route Departs Arrives
Wings Air
to Malang
13:45 14:00*
Wings Air
Malang to
14:25* 16:25

*Local time in Malang is one hour behind Denpasar/Bali

One-way fares start at $US55.

Alternately, if you are flying from Europe to Jakarta, there are also multiple daily flights from Jakarta to Malang.

If you would like a quote for this flight, please fill in an enquiry form here.

Bali Bromo Express is brought to you by Indonesia Matters, where you can book flights in Indonesia, and features listings of Indonesian hotels, like Kuta hotels, Sanur hotels, hotels in Jakarta and near Jakarta airport, and more.

Family Hotel in Bali

Review of the Bali Baruna Holiday Inn hotel in Tuban, good choice for a family holiday.

I recently stayed a few nights at the Bali Baruna Holiday Inn hotel, which is located in Tuban, or south Kuta if you prefer, very close to the airport. It in 2010 was one of the few Indonesian hotels to be listed in the Top 10 of any of the 9 categories of the Trip Advisor Travelers’ Choice Awards for hotels (it placed 4th in the “Trendiest Hotels in Asia” section). Here it is on the map, that’s its pool:

Here is a view of the grounds and looking towards the beach from the hotel lobby; it’s a pleasant place, nice pool which while not that big never felt over-crowded. The beach outside the hotel looks great from a distance, but up close it’s less impressive and people rarely seemed to swim at it- the pool is better for that.

View from the lobby to the beach at the Bali Baruna Hotel
The ground of the hotel and the beach; on the left is the pool, on the right a bar.

This was the room we stayed in, which is a Kids Suite; it has a little cubbyhole room for children, with a bunk bed, desk, tv and x-box, and importantly a door, which can be closed.

Kids Suite family room at a Bali beach hotel

The Baruna is ideal for families, there is a Kids Club, pictured below, where you can leave children in the care of the staff for the day, and they have activities to keep them occupied; the Kids Club is free if you stay in a Kids Suite or the bigger Family Suite. Nannies can also be hired for I think $5 an hour, the ones I saw seemed quite good with the kids and spoke English of course.

Bal Hotel Kids Club

There’s also a club for teenagers, with internet, games and tv:

Club for Teenagers at the Bali Baruna Hotel

Where breakfast is served:

The dining and breakfast room at Bali Baruna Hotel

If you’re not bringing kids, then probably this is the standard sort of room you’ll be staying in:

Ocean Room for Two at the Bali Holiday Inn

The hotel also has a bar, called Envy, and a spa, called Tea Tree, but in an ascetic (or cheap) spirit your scribe did not partake of either.

And the hotel by night looking at it with the beach to our backs:

The pool and pool bar at the Bali Holiday Inn

All in all a good choice for a family holiday in Bali, popular with Australians in particular, and you can book the hotel at Agoda, prices start from around $110 per room per night.

Family Hotel in Bali is brought to you by Indonesia Matters, where you can book flights in Indonesia, and features listings of Indonesian hotels, like Kuta hotels, Sanur hotels, hotels in Jakarta and near Jakarta airport, and more.

Legionnaires’ disease warning for Bali travellers

Health authorities are warning travellers to Bali to be mindful of the potentially fatal Legionnaires’ disease after six West Australians came down with the illness.

The Victorian Health Department issued the warning today, confirming four cases of the disease in the state.

Of the six West Australian cases, the Department said five had been reported since mid-December and one person suffered the disease between August and December.

All 10 people had recently returned from trips to Kuta in Bali.

The incubation period of the disease varies between two and 10 days in length.
It is contracted when a person breathes in the legionella pneumophilia bacteria found in contaminated water droplets, causing a bout of severe pneumonia.

Some sufferers could also experience muscle aches, tiredness, a loss of appetite, headache and diarrhoea. While most people recover from the illness the disease has the potential to be deadly.
Those most at risk are aged over 50, smokers and anyone whose immune systems are suppressed by medications, those with kidney failure, cancer or diabetes.
The bacteria typically contaminates air conditioning cooling towers, whirlpool spas and shower heads.

In Bali, Even Homes Without Ocean Views Draw Interest

fter spending weeks searching the hills of Bali for a home to buy, John Duffield and Rachel Plecas settled on a house that was something of a snake pit.

But even though they found a python slithering through the run-down house during their initial inspection, they fell in love with the overgrown elements of the property, which had once been used as an aviary.

“There was so little to choose from, so we opted to take it and renovate it,” Ms. Plecas said.

Good houses for sale are hard to find in inland Bali, amid the island’s picturesque landscape of jungles and rice paddies. Most new homes are either occupied by the owners or built specifically as rentals.

Older places tend to quickly fall victim to Bali’s severe tropical elements, unless they are painstakingly maintained.

“There is more and more product on the market but not necessarily a lot of good product,” said Zoë Rice, who works for Elite Havens, a Bali property agency.

Demand for inland properties has increased dramatically in recent years, primarily driven by foreigners from Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore, local property experts say.

Foreigners cannot own land in Bali, or elsewhere in Indonesia; they either have to lease or to buy through a local surrogate. Last year, the Indonesian government discussed loosening restrictions on foreign ownership, but no action was taken.

In Ubud, buying a one-are, or 100-square-meter, plot of buildable land in a rice field costs about 90 million to 180 million rupiah, or about $10,000 to $20,000, which is not the bargain some shoppers expect to find on the island.

To lease a property near Ubud generally costs about 1.1 million to 2.9 million rupiah per are a year, or $125 to $325, Mr. Collins said. Leases typically run for 20 to 25 years and are renewable for as long as 70 years.

After buying the property, Mr. Pye learned there were other local customs he needed to follow. They had to meet the banjar, the leader of the local community, and arrange a series of blessings. “If it has been cursed, you can’t get staff to work on the house,” Mr. Pye said.

13 admitted to hospital due to fireworks in Bali

The New Year’s Eve celebration took its toll in Bali with 13 people admitted to the Sanglah hospital for burns from a fireworks accident.

“The majority of patients had their eyes injured by tiny splinters from the fireworks. Others are worse, as they were closer to the blast,” said Kuning Atmaja, a standing physician at Sanglah hospital, as quoted by

Three of the 13 victims are currently in the intensive care unit.

Indonesia Tourism Awards

Tourists polled, their favourite hotels, restaurants, malls, and holiday destinations in Indonesia.

The Indonesia Tourism Awards (ITA) 2010 were announced in early December, the awards organised by the Department of Tourism and SWA business magazine, and not to be confused with intense rivals Indonesia Travel Tourism Awards.


Between 16th August-14th October 2010 1,619 tourists were polled, 1,470 Indonesians and 149 foreigners in 25 towns and regencies, with the results gathered through focus group discussions and questionnaires.

Menbudpar Tourism Awards

The winners:

Areas & Destinations

Area/Regency with best tourist facilities

  1. Bukittinggi, Sumatra
  2. Denpasar, Bali
  3. Toraja, South Sulawesi

Favourite Area/Regency

  1. Denpasar, Bali
  2. Cianjur, West Java
  3. West Lombok

Favourite Destination

  1. Bedugul (Tabanan), Bali
  2. Sanur beach (Badung), Bali
  3. Londa (Toraja), South Sulawesi


Favourite Hotel – 5 star

  1. Shangrila Hotel, Jakarta
  2. Sheraton Hotel, Jakarta
  3. J.W Marriott Hotel, Jakarta

Favourite Hotel – 4 star

  1. Hard Rock Hotel, Bali
  2. Swiss Belhotel Hotel, Jakarta
  3. AryaDuta Hotel, Jakarta

Favourite Hotel – 3 star

  1. Ibis Hotel, Jakarta

Favourite Hotel – Cheap

  1. Legian Village, Bali

No other hotels reached quota for these last two categories.


Favourite Restaurant – Seafood

  1. Bandar Jakarta

Favourite Restaurant – Javanese

  1. Ayam Goreng Mbok Berek

Favourite Restaurant – Sundanese

  1. Kampung Daun

Favourite Restaurant – Padang

  1. Simpang Raya


Favourite Mall – Jakarta

  1. Plaza Senayan

Favourite Mall – Java

  1. Ambarukmo Plasa, Yogyakarta

Favourite Mall – off Java

  1. Panakukang Mall, Makassar


Favourite Airline – Full service

  1. Garuda Indonesia

Favourite Airline – Budget

  1. Lion Air
  2. Air Asia
  3. Batavia Air

Travel Services

Favourite Travel Agency

  1. Panorama

Favourite Taxi Company

  1. Blue Bird

Related Industries

Favourite Spa

  1. Martha Tilaar Salon Day Spa

Favourite Golf Course

  1. Damai Indah Golf

Indonesia Tourism Awards is brought to you by Indonesia Matters, where you can book flights in Indonesia, and features listings of Indonesian hotels, like Kuta hotels, Sanur hotels, hotels in Jakarta, and more.

Air Asia’s Expansion

Air Asia’s plan to grow its business in Indonesia and beyond.

The Indonesian branch of Air Asia (a.k.a. Air Asia Indonesia or Indonesian Air Asia) has been in the news a lot recently. Unlike some of its competitors, it has been all good news:

Please click on the story above that interests you, or just scroll down to read them all.

Air Asia to Offer Extra Flights in December and January

Extra FlightsAir Asia is offering extra flights from 17 December 2010 to 23 January 2011 between the following cities:

  • Jakarta and Singapore
  • Jakarta and Denpasar (Bali)
  • Denpasar (Bali) and Perth

See below for flight details:

Flight No From To Depart Arrive Frequency  
QZ 7510 Jakarta Bali 6:20 9:05 Daily Regular Flight
QZ 9219 Jakarta Bali 8:25 11:10 Daily Extra Flight
QZ 7512 Jakarta Bali 10:35 13:20 Daily Regular Flight
QZ 7514 Jakarta Bali 15:05 17:50 Daily Regular Flight
QZ 9210 Jakarta Bali 16:00 18:45 2,4,6 Extra Flight
QZ 7518 Jakarta Bali 16:30 19:15 Daily Regular Flight
QZ 9217 Jakarta Bali 17:20 20:05 Daily Extra Flight
QZ 7516 Jakarta Bali 19:20 22:05 Daily Extra Flight
QZ 9218 Bali Jakarta 7:15 8:00 Daily Extra Flight
QZ 7511 Bali Jakarta 9:30 10:10 Daily Regular Flight
QZ 9216 Bali Jakarta 11:35 12:20 Daily Extra Flight
QZ 7513 Bali Jakarta 13:45 14:25 Daily Regular Flight
QZ 7519 Bali Jakarta 15:25 16:05 Daily Regular Flight
QZ 7515 Bali Jakarta 18:15 18:55 Daily Regular Flight
QZ 9211 Bali Jakarta 19:20 20:05 2,4,6 Extra Flight
QZ 7517 Bali Jakarta 22:30 23:10 Daily Extra Flight
Note : Departure and arrival times are according to local time zones. 1 = Monday 2 = Tuesday 3 = Wednesday 4 = Thursday 5 = Friday 6 = Saturday 7 = Sunday. Extra flights commences from 17th Dec 2010 – 8th January 2011.
Flight No From To Depart Arrive Frequency  
QZ 8620 Bali Perth 0:30 4:10 Daily Regular Flight
QZ 9028 Bali Perth 7:10 10:50 Daily Extra Flight
9 Jan 2011 – 23 Jan 2011
QZ 8622 Bali Perth 9:00 12:40 Daily Regular Flight
QZ 8626 Bali Perth 15:50 19:30 Daily Regular Flight
QZ 9022 Bali Perth 20:40 0:20 Daily Extra Flight
17 Dec 2010 – 8 Jan 2011
QZ 9023 Perth Bali 1:00 4:40 Daily Extra Flight
17 Dec 2010 – 8 Jan 2011
QZ 8621 Perth Bali 4:50 8:30 Daily Regular Flight
QZ 9029 Perth Bali 11:30 15:10 Daily Extra Flight
9 Jan 2011 – 23 Jan 2011
QZ 8623 Perth Bali 13:20 15:10 Daily Regular Flight
QZ 8627 Perth Bali 20:05 23:45 Daily Regular Flight
Note : Departure and arrival times are according to local time zones.
Flight No From To Depart Arrive Frequency  
QZ 7782 Jakarta Singapore 7:20 10:00 Daily Regular Flight
QZ 7788 Jakarta Singapore 9:00 11:40 Daily Regular Flight
QZ 7780 Jakarta Singapore 11:20 14:00 Daily Regular Flight
QZ 9492 Jakarta Singapore 12:45 15:30 Daily Extra Flight
17 Dec 2010 – 8 Jan 2011
QZ 7784 Jakarta Singapore 14:20 17:00 Daily Regular Flight
QZ 7786 Jakarta Singapore 18:55 21:35 Daily Regular Flight
QZ 9498 Jakarta Singapore 20:35 23:15 2,4,6 Extra Flight
18 Dec 2010 – 8 Jan 2011
QZ 7783 Singapore Jakarta 10:30 11:10 Daily Regular Flight
QZ 7789 Singapore Jakarta 12:05 12:45 Daily Regular Flight
QZ 7781 Singapore Jakarta 14:25 15:05 Daily Regular Flight
QZ 9493 Singapore Jakarta 16:10 16:55 Daily Extra Flight
17 Dec 2010 – 8 Jan 2011
QZ 7785 Singapore Jakarta 17:45 18:25 Daily Regular Flight
QZ 7787 Singapore Jakarta 22:10 22:50 Daily Regular Flight
QZ 9499 Singapore Jakarta 23:45 0:25 2,4,6 Extra Flight
18 Dec 2010 – 8 Jan 2011
Note : Departure and arrival times are according to local time zones. 1 = Monday 2 = Tuesday 3 = Wednesday 4 = Thursday 5 = Friday 6 = Saturday 7 = Sunday.

Air Asia Simplifies Transit Procedures in Kuala Lumpur

Air Asia X Flight TransferOne way that Air Asia has kept costs down in the past is to not let passengers transiting Kuala Lumpur’s Low Cost Carrier Terminal to transit. This means that passengers must collect their bags, then clear immigration and customs before checking in again for their next destination. It also meant that passengers would have to pay in Malaysian Ringgit for their second flight, which was annoying.

However, this has now changed for some routes. If you are flying to/from an Air Asia long-haul destination (a.k.a. Air Asia X) you will no longer need to do this; you can transit Kuala Lumpur like you would on a normal full-service airline, within reason. For example, the second flight needs to be less than six hours after the arrival of the first flight.

Air Asia X flies to the following cities:

Australia: Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth
China: Chengdu, Hangzhou, Tianjin
England: London
France: Paris (starting 14 February 2011)
India: Delhi, Mumbai
Iran: Tehran
Japan: Tokyo
New Zealand: Christchurch (starting 1 April 2011)
Taiwan: Taipei

For a full explanation of the benefits of Air Asia’s new transit procedures, see here.

New routes: Medan to Hong Kong and Bangkok, Balikpapan to Kuala Lumpur

Air Asia has also been advertising some new routes:

Air Asia X Flight Transfer
Extra Flights on Air Asia to and from Indonesia
Balikpapan Flights to Kuala Lumpur
Medan to Bangkok Flights
Medan to Hong Kong Flights

Indonesian Air Asia to Outgrow its Malaysian Parent?

The CEO of Air Asia, Tony Fernandes, is certainly bullish about the future of its Indonesian subsidiary. Here are sections of a recent interview in the Jakarta Post:

AirAsia Bhd. chief executive officer Tony Fernandes said the carrier’s Indonesian operations may surpass its Malaysian unit, which is now more than three times as big.

The Indonesia business may pass Malaysia in the “not-too-distant future,” Fernandes said Friday in a Bloomberg TV interview in Kuala Lumpur, without elaboration.

However, it still has a long way to go:

Indonesia AirAsia’s passenger number rose 8 percent to 1.1 million in the quarter, according to a statement. The Malaysian operations boosted passenger numbers 12 percent to 4 million, it said.

Air Asia’s Expansion is brought to you by Indonesia Matters, where you can book flights in Indonesia, and features listings of Indonesian hotels, like Kuta hotels, Sanur hotels, hotels in Jakarta, and more.