Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Jakarta....my Jakarta – Kota Tua #2: Wayang Museum

I reached the Museum Wayang (Puppet museum) after 5 minutes walk from Bank Mandiri museum. Located on the left side of the heritage complex in Kota Tua. Museum wayang housed in old church built in 1640 by VOC and functioned as a de oude Hollandsche Kerk until 1732. On 1733 the church renovated and named de nieuwe Hollandsche Kerk and continues functioned as a church until the earthquake on 1808 ruined the building. On 1912 after the building reconstructed, Geo Wehry & Co. functioned this building as their warehouse, but then in 1938 the building renovated again to match the surrounding buildings style, from new renaissance style and adjusted into a popular style during Dutch colonial time.

Enough said about the building, after paid IDR 2,000 entrance fee I begin wandering the museum, even the museum itself not as big as other museum in Jakarta, it is housed a big collection of any kind of puppet from accross Indonesia, there is even a collection of wooden puppet that reflecting the stories of a battle of local batavian (or betawi) hero ‘Si Pitung’ toward Dutch colonization with some puppet described as Dutch colonial people including the Dutch colonial army.

Various kind of puppets and masks, wooden puppets and shadow puppets, big and small puppets being displayed in this museum, the shadow puppets mainly comes from Java, stretches from West to East Java with different material made, the famous shadow puppet is made from cow skin, but there are many wayang displayed in here made from grass and other which is interesting to see and making a comparation on the form/shape of the same character made in different materials. the characters of wooden puppet and shadow puppets mainly were from Ramayana or Mahabharata epic. While the wooden puppet comes not only from Java but also comes from Tanah Karo, Batak, North Sumatera. (All this time I always thought that wooden puppet only could be found in Java..silly meL).

Wayang museum also have puppet collection from Cambodia, France, Malaysia, Thailand and Suriname. In this museum we could also found some traditional musical instrument such as Gamelan. It is a mind opening experience to me, as Indonesian, I don’t think I know all the form of wayangs if I am not visiting this museum....afterall wayang already acknowledged as the world heritage of masterpiece creation by UNESCO on 2003, so it is worthed for a visit.

Please bear in mind that all museums in Jakarta closes on Monday and stays open on Tuesday – Sunday from 09.00  - 15.00.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Jakarta...my Jakarta - Kota Tua #1: Bank Mandiri Museum

Finally... after one and half year living in Lombok, now its time for me to go back to Jakarta. It’s certainly different.. moving back from a quiet and beautiful Lombok to a hustle bustle city of Jakarta. Now it’s time for me to get to know again with Jakarta and I think the best time to start wandering in Jakarta is the Kota Tua area, the old town area where many heritage building from Dutch colonial era could be found.

The last time I’ve been in Kota Tua for a serious trip was in 1993! I mean really exploring the Kota Tua part with visiting all the museums, taking a walk through the kampung (village) around Kota Tua and do some paddling with small boat or perahu at Sunda Kelapa port were at 1993! Couldn’t believe it myself... wow... that long! What a shame!

So, in a hot day....it is! At 9 am in the morning, it’s already 34°C! I brave myself to go to the old town in Jakarta. Using public transport like busway (trans Jakarta bus) only cost me IDR 3.500  and less traffic from home to Kota.

My first destination is Bank Mandiri museum located just accross the busway shelter in Kota. So when I entered the building, I completely forgot that this museum were located in a very crowded area, I couldn’t hear any sounds, no bajajs (tuktuk), no buses, no angkot sounds... so peaceful and  calm compared to the condition outside the building.  After bought the entrance ticket, which only IDR 2.000,  at the first floor I was greet by life size statue of the bank security from the old days or let say from the ancient time:D

It seems that I was the only visitor, from the time I enter the building until finished my exploration 1.5 hour later I only met the museum staff and people who do the building renovation. Is it because museums still not a popular destination or just because I came during working days/hours?

Bank Mandiri museum housed in a 4 storeys art deco building ex Nederlandsche Handel-Maatschappij (NHM) or Factorij Batavia built in 1929. In 1960 NHM become the Indonesian Export Import Bank and through the years has changed several times with many names and today it called Bank Mandiri.

At the first floor the lay out was sets like a bank business area, where the stools prepared for customer who deposited the money. And it set like the banking at colonial era where the bank transaction area for European/Dutch is different with the other ethic like Chinese. After looking around, I went to the second floor.  While I climbed the stairs I was amazed with the stained glass window that dominated the whole walls. It is a very beautiful stained glass art from 1800 era that tells a story of activities at different season in Netherlands.

I definitely not coming at the right time, as one of the staff informed me that some of the building area were being renovated or closed for maintenance, so some of the painting was not in place, but still many things that I could see in here. There weren’t much to see at 3rd and 4th floor, but on the way down I was able to use the old lift. After finished with Bank Mandiri museum, I continue my exploration in Kota Tua with visiting museum Wayang or Pupet museum, around 300m from Bank Mandiri museum.

For more information on Bank Mandiri museum, could be found in http://www.wisatamuseum.com

the stained glass window
images in the stained window

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Intriguing horse race in Bima, West Nusa Tenggara

When my colleagues planning to do field visit to Sumbawa and Bima I couldn’t resist to ask if I could come along with them (well of course I’d be responsible for my own expenses). So while they were arranging their trip. I was hoping that I could get my leave approved :D. 

After a few discussion on how is best to travel, as we were not heading from the same city and as I never travel to Bima before so I book a return flight with different route wishing that I could see more from the air as the coming and going is in different route.  I took a flight to Sumbawa Besar from Mataram and spent 2 days in Sumbawa Besar. From Sumbawa we decided renting a car to go to Bima. It took 5 hour drive from Sumbawa to Bima.  It’s tiring as the some of the road were not in good condition, but it was compensated with a beautiful view along the way. We spent another 2 days in Bima and back to Mataram with transit in Denpasar, Bali for a few hours.

I am not going to write about Sumbawa yet, but I am going to share my experience in watching horse race in Bima.

We were considered our self lucky that we came at the time of horse race final event in commemorating West Nusa Tenggara Province anniversary. It was a big horse racing event in Bima and we agreed that we have to watch it.

We came a bit late in the afternoon, fortunately there race still going on. I knew that I am going to see a crowd but I am not expected the BIG crowd, perhaps its like watching soccer or football in other place, the arena were over crowded so some people watching the race from unlikely places such as from tree branches and from the roof and/or the wall on the building surounding the arena... When we bought the ticket we were warned that we might not get a seat, but curiosity is winning this time:D, we still determined to go inside to see the race, either seated or not.

The horse race or pacoa jara in local language are using local breed horse which are small horses kind of pony sized horses. But what amazed and concerned me most is the jockey. The jockeys in this race were children aged 6 to 8 years old! Amazed because in such a very young age they could handle horses in a race, and concerned that in the circumstances like horse racing the likely accident is high and those little jockeys faced with a dangerous situation.

a tired little jockey
According to one of the horse trainer, the jockey trained mostly from age 4 and start to participate in horse race at age 6.  During the race no saddles used and those little jockeys could seat easily on the horses which I don’t think I could do without a saddle. At 5 pm we agreed that we’ve seen enough and we went back to the town to find something to eat...grilled fish by the beach sounds tempting...

After the race my mind still wondering about the children – the little jockeys. I am interested to see more of the life and/or the training that those little jockeys do. Wish I could meet someone that could bring me to see it.

determined little jockeys
no saddles being used in this race

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A tease of Bromo

I’ve dreamed to come to Bromo since I was still in high school but never got a chance until last year. I was so fascinated by stories and pictures about Bromo and got curious about it. So in October 2010, finally I spent a weekend in Bromo. Yipppyyyy, I’m very excited!!!!

Bromo is part of Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National park, situated around 145 km (90 miles) from East Java capital, Surabaya. The mount Bromo (2,329metres) itself easily recognize as the cap fully blown at previous eruption and left the crater with frequently belches with sulphur smoke. Mount Bromo located side by side with mount Batok (2,470 metres) and surrounded by a vast sea of sand and savanna.

The main destination ofcourse the Bromo crater which to get there we have to climb hundreds of steps!. I haven’t managed to go there yet in this trip, so I have a reason to come back to Bromo ;p, but unfortunately couldn’t do it soon since mount Bromo just erupted twice on 23 and 27 January 2011 and still on alert status as an outcome of the current escalated eruptive activity at the site.

Besides the crater, Bromo also famous for its sea of sand which also known as whispering sand and the savanna. I only was passing through the sea of sand to get to the savanna. The savanna in Bromo is different from the savanna I saw in Sumbawa island, West Nusa Tenggara. Despites the location itself in an altitude of more or less 2,000 metres indeed makes the savanna different from the dry land of Sumbawa.

Certainly a weekend visit is not enough to see many interesting places around Bromo, so I promise myself that I will be back to Bromo soon after it is safe again, cause I couldn’t see the famous sunrise in mount Bromo as the fog is too thick and drown the mountains in it so I could only see the tip of mount Semeru (3,676 metres). It is definitely a tease for me….it’s another reason to comeback there…..

Smoking mt. Bromo (left) and mt. Batok (right)
Sunrise looming over a thick fog

sunrise viewed from mt. Pananjakan
can't get enough of blue morning sky over hilly mt. Pananjakan
the very tip of mt. Semeru viewed from mt. Pananjakan
the hilly sides of savanna, Bromo
the savanna, Bromo

a horse rider looks tiny in the middle of savanna

Mr. Fadly and his gorgeous horse, Sultan

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Happy lunar new year! Gong xi fa cai !

Kim Tek Ie temple (vihara Kim Tek Ie)
Wishing everyone a blessed new year! May this year of rabbit bring more prosperity, fortune happiness and health always!

A week before chinese new year, one of my friend drop a message on my facebook and invite me to join him and his group of friend to go along to one of the oldest chinese temple in Jakarta to see the preparation on the vihara (chinese temple) for the upcoming celebration. 

This is the opportunity that I wouldn’t want to miss, so I contact him immediately to arrange where and when should we meet.

So on Saturday, 5 days before chinese new year, at exactly 7a.m. I come to the meeting point agreed and walk together to 2 oldest chinese temples in Jakarta. The first temple is Kim Tek Ie (Cen Tek Yen) were built in 1650 and the other temple visited is Toa Se Bio which were built in 1724.

So here are some pictures taken on those two temples 5 days before the chinese year. Once again Gong Xi Fa Cai!

the entrance of Kim Tek Ie temple
the dragon on the roof of Toa Se Bio temple
bottles to keep the oil for candles
candle flame

the lanterns at the temple

Monday, January 31, 2011

Some beaches I've visited

Dawn at Gerupuk beach, Kuta, Central Lombok,
West Nusa Tenggara

Kuta beach in the afternoon, Kuta, Central Lombok,
West Nusa Tenggara

Rocks at Seger beach, Central Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara

Seger beach, Central Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara

Noon at Gili Trawangan Island, West Nusa Tenggara

Morning at Tanjung Papuma beach, Jember, East Java

Holiday destination - where do you want to go?

“Are you a beach or mountain person?”

Have you ever been asked this kind of question? I do....many times... :D Particularly when discussing with friends for the places that we'd like to visit.

Well..it’s hard for me to categorize myself as one of it. I like to go to the beach and I also enjoy to go to mountain. Each place has its different charm.  I love to see trees, greenery, blue sky and clear mountain air. I love warm white sand or cold black sand, the horizon, the color of the sea, the wave and the hot sun. I couldn’t decide which one I like best.
So....which one is interest you the most? the beach or the mountain?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Capturing Pacu Jawi (Cow Race) in Batu Sangkar, West Sumatera

hold on tight!!!
really ...really tight!!!
the jockey hang on the cows' tails during the race
where is that finish line??
this is the way to make cows run faster! bite those tails!
This is how to make cows run faster, slap in the b.......
Definitely doesn't need to go to spa to get a mud treatment ^_^
waiiiiiiitttt....don't race without me!!!