On the route from Surabaya to Malang you gradually move from the high energy of a bustling city to the more relaxed pace of small country towns. The countryside of farms and fields however remains well concealed; hidden from view by shops, malls, and restaurants. What is not hidden or concealed are the 40 foot tusks marking the entrance to East Java’s safari park, the massive Chinese Hindu Temple, or the KFC mosque…I am not kidding! [Read more...]
There are seven Dutch war cemeteries across Java all maintained by the Netherlands War Graves Foundation which has a branch office in Jakarta. More than 24,000 civilian and military victims of conflict in the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) are buried there; many re-interred after the Indonesia independence from the original 22 cemeteries throughout the archipelago.
From research I have conducted before my trip I was aware that my “Opa”, Bruno Berler, was buried in a mass grave at Ancol, after his execution at the hands of the Japanese in early 1944. [Read more...]
Arriving in Surabaya by air from Yogyakarta you can see, before landing, why one has a small town feel and the other quite the opposite. Surabaya spreads itself over a considerable amount of land and with all the new construction seems to be pushing its limits further and further like a juggernaut without restraints. The city is high energy, flashy, and alive. It’s also ethnically diverse, a center for trade and education, and steeped in history of monumental proportions to both Dutch and Indonesians.
Nestled as an oasis amid the throbbing progress and construction is the Hotel Majapahit (formerly the Hotel Oranje). There are several Wow moments that will take your breath away as you travel through Java and Bali but this hotel will certainly be one of them. [Read more...]
After many hours of researching, developing, and marketing the Indo Discovery Travel Heritage Tours we are now seeing the first fruits of our labours. On April 26th clients arrived in Yogyakarta and our East Java Bali heritage tour began.
From the airport pickup and transfer, to the settling in at the gorgeous colonial hotel in Yogyakarta everything went smoothly and according to plan.
The hotel itself is classic colonial era grandeur with all the trimmings. It was built in 1918 and offers the kind of experience you should expect on a tour that reflects back into another era. [Read more...]