Locale

The road less traveled is the road to adventure, and what every great adventure has in common is someone with a passion to discover something new in this vast a beautiful world we share.
These articles are your personal guide to a whole new bucket list of exploration and a lifetime of new adventures.
CultureLocale

Marvel at the Kota Kinabalu City Mosque

Kota Kinabalu City Mosque 1

Built to give the impression of floating structure, the Kota Kinabalu City Mosque is a must-see sight in Kota Kinabalu. Four minarets, a blue dome and a golden dome remain the striking features of the mosque. The Kota Kinabalu City Mosque closely resembles the Medina’s Nawabi Mosque and thus forms an architectural marvel in itself!

 

Kota Kinabalu City Mosque at dusk
Kota Kinabalu City Mosque at dusk

Things to do at the Kta Kinabalu City Mosque

A walk through the mosque lets you explore the intricately designed Arabic influenced architecture. Locally known as the floating Mosque, the true beauty of the mosque strikes when paddle boating on the man-made lagoon. 

The mosque hopes to incorporate the local community’s religious, social and economic aspects. A joint project of a fish farm stands incorporated within its grounds. It also houses four madrassas and a healthcare clinic for the community’s welfare.

Being a place of worship of the Islamic community you need to dress modestly with your head covered. It’s considered respectable if you remove your footwear at the entrance. Once you remove your footwear, wash your hands and feet before you enter the inner parts of the mosque. A non-muslim cannot enter during prayer hours, but the call to prayer is something you should stop and listen.

An aerial view of the Kota Kinabalu City Mosque
Aerial view of the Kota Kinabalu City Mosque

The locals may help you with the mosque’s history and also help you understand certain rituals carried out in the mosque. Especially a local travel guide can help you in this regard. You can find yourself a suitable travel guide from a portal like Locaguide. The guide will help you understand the cultural, historical and social significance of these beautiful structures.

Upon having your fill of the inside of the mosque, head out to watch the sunset over the city of Kota Kinabalu and the man-made lake. Just sitting around in the shade can calm you, allow you to deeply introspect and find some peace within yourself.

0
Locale

Take a ride on the North Borneo Railway

North Borneo Railway 1

The Experience on North Borneo Railway

The North Borneo Railway takes you back into the history of Malaysia! Previously employed to transport tobacco from the centre of Malaysia to the coastal places. However, now, the railway serves as a means of transportation to the locals and tourists. But tourists who wish to spend time watching the countryside and enjoy a good bit of souvenir shopping take the train ride.

The North Borneo Railway
The North Borneo Railway

Departing at 9:30 am from Kota Kinabalu to Kinarut town, the train offers you a choice of local breakfast options. With breakfast, you can watch the train pass through the open fields, across the coastline and the city. At Kinarut, disembark the train and get ready to explore the town. A popular place for shopping, the town owns a selection of souvenirs shops and many options you can select from.

Things to do and see 

From Kinarut, the train further goes to Papar, where you can interact with the locals before heading back to Kota Kinabalu. On your way back, the North Borneo Railway tour offers you a meal for lunch. Furthermore, you can even get an opportunity to chat with the railway engineer. So, learn about the old wood fire engine restoration and know how the railway works. 

A bridge through which the Railway passes
A bridge through which the Railway passes

Do not miss the enthralling experience the North Borneo Railway ride offers. Get a glimpse and soak into the rich history of Malaysia or simply just chose to relax. You can also take a long ride to watch the gorgeous landscapes of the surrounding. No trip to Kota Kinabalu is complete without spending a morning aboard the North Borneo Railway. Thus, when in Kota Kinabalu, look forward to experiencing the city from a different perspective.

Not sure how to go about booking a trip on this historic train? Let Locaguide’s local travel experts help you out. Build a personalised Kota Kinabalu itinerary of your choice and consult with your guide on including this attraction.

0
Locale

Bask in the sun at Tanjung Aru beach

Tanjung Aru beach 1

Known for its spectacular sunset and laid-back vibes, the Tanjung Aru beach in Kota Kinabalu makes for a perfect getaway. You can spend your day sunbathing and swimming in the calm waters of the shallow sea. Named after the Casuarina trees that line the beach, Tanjung Aru beach is an urban oasis. Often flocked by the residents of Kota Kinabalu it calls for a quick escapade from the city.

The blue hues of Tanjung Aru beach
The blue hues of Tanjung Aru beach

Things to do at Tanjung Aru beach

Spend your day amidst the locals at Tanjung Aru beach and play a game of frisbee or football on the sandy beach. Or just sit down and observe the evening pass by. Said to own the best sunset spot in all of Malaysia, the beach forms a great place to sink your feet in the cool sand and soak up the warmth of the sun. Consequently, the calm waters of the beach make for perfect swimming and walking trails. You can also try walking on the reflexology track set in the path of the adjacent Prince Philip Park. Or work up an appetite at the exercise area. This park also acts as a perfect picnic spot if you happen to spend a day here.

The setting sun will leave you in awe of the multiple shades of orange and yellow melting into the horizon. You can enjoy the gorgeous sunset while munching on some local delicacies from the multiple food stalls. Relish the sea breeze which brings down the temperature as the day progresses. Moreover, the Tanjung Aru beach is well known for its food courts serving street-style satays, noodles and fresh seafood.

Sun setting over the calm waters
Sun setting over the calm waters

How to get there

Tanjung Aru is easily accessible from the city centre. Only about 15-20 minutes driving time away, you can hop on a bus or a cab to get there. However, if you run short of time then consult a local guide from Locaguide. The guide will help you plan a complete itinerary of Kota Kinabalu city and a quick visit to Tanjung Aru.

0
Locale

Visit the protected Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park

A beach at the Marine Park

Located a short ferry ride from Kota Kinabalu, the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park is a group of five islands. They are situated off the coast of the Sabah state of Malaysia, in the South China Sea. The islands remain the perfect place to just spend a day eating, relaxing and enjoying the view. If you wish, you can spend all day on one of the white sandy beaches or go explore the islands. Known for their marine life, the islands constitute for some spectacular underwater life.

Aerial view of the Marine Park
Aerial view of the Marine Park

Out of the five islands, Gaya island is the largest and one of the more developed ones followed by Manukan and Sapi. These three islands attract all the tourists in the marine park, and for good reason(s). While Gaya holds some of the best resorts, Manukan and Sapi have world-class diving and snorkelling spots. You can choose to dive down and explore the coral reefs, or snorkel and watch the life underwater. Alternatively, activities like kayaking or parasailing are also popular ways to enjoy the marine park’s beauty.

How to get to Tunku Abdul Rahman Park?

To reach the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, try getting onto the first ferry from Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal. Why first? so that you get ample time to island hop or spend exploring the underwater world. The last ferry back to the mainland leaves around 5 pm, so you get enough time to explore the islands. However, if you feel extra adventurous, you can camp or stay in a resort on one of the islands, if the weather permits it.

A jetty at Manukan Island
A jetty at Manukan Island

To make the most of your island discovering day, it is a good idea to be accompanied by a local tour guide. The one who would know how to explore the marine park and help you take your mind off the logistics. Consult a guide from Locaguide to plan your whole day and help you select the best diving and snorkelling spots.

0
Locale

Pasar Baru – Jakarta’s Oldest Pedestrian Market

post 42 passar baru img1Pasar Baru

Experience the local culture and get to haggle like an expert in the oldest street market in Jakarta — Pasar Baru. A pedestrian market, Pasar Baru must definitely feature in your places-to-visit list of central Jakarta. Get a glimpse of daily life and meanwhile also browse and eat to heart’s content at this one-stop marketplace.

Clothes on display for sale at Pasar Baru
Clothes on display for sale at Pasar Baru

History of Pesar Baru

Built in 1820, it remains one of the oldest pedestrian markets still functioning in Jakarta. Ironically, the name Pasar Baru means New Market. Often referred to as “Little India”, the market is filled to the brim with items you would end up bargaining for. Known for its massive selection of quality textile and fabric, this vibrant market will truly test your bargaining skills. If that’s not your forte then take help from your local travel guide to make purchases at a fair price. Antiques, art, footwear, spices and much more can be bought from the lanes of Pasar Baru lined with small stalls.

Take the help of your local guide to taste the soul of Jakarta’s culinary culture right at this market. Filled with hidden gems for a foodie, the market definitely classifies as food heaven for those who love exploring food. Meanwhile, the legendary noodle shops remain one of the best places to visit in Jakarta for anyone obsessed with food.

Pasar Baru shopping street
Pasar Baru shopping street

Not only a paradise for shopaholics and foodies but also for those who love to sightsee and enjoy religious history. The oldest temple in Jakarta, Sin Tek Bio temple constitutes a part of every Jakarta city tour. Located at the end of a narrow alley in Pasar Baru, the temple stands well-known for its candles lit for protection of individuals and families. Thus, the altars covered in candles placed in circles form a hidden gem of Pasar Baru.

We suggest you make up the craziest list of items you want to shop and taste beforehand. And therefore, set off to explore this buzzing market with a little help from a guide from Locaguide.

0
CultureLocale

Senggarang Village – Bintan Island’s smallest village

CandlesCandles glowing at a temple

If you plan on spending a whole day at a rustic Indonesian village, then Senggarang village remains the best choice. Do not miss the old-world charm of the Senggarang village. Located in Bintan island of Indonesia, this amazing village serves as a melting pot of various ethnic groups — Chinese, Indonesian, and Malay origins.

The stilt cottages, spicy seafood, and the quaint ancient village set up express the fundamental aspects of the Riau Archipelago.

Of the smallest villages in Bintan, the Senggarang village holds a very distinct population and culture, unlike elsewhere in Indonesia. The village remains home to an ethnic Chinese community that arrived about 1800 years ago. They settled here while on their route to India.

The villagers live in beautiful fishing hamlets facing the waters, and most of them follow the Buddhist religion. Apart from the beautiful cottages, the Senggarang village also holds a lot of other tourist destinations. Destinations in the form of Buddhist shrines and temples filled with Buddhist iconography and depictions of various Chinese legends. You can also see various forms of Buddha statues and sculptures dotting the entire village. Meanwhile, a local guide could come in handy for taking you to the best places around.

How to get at Senggarang Village

Do not miss the two most renowned temples — Tay Ti Kong Temple and Tian Shang Miao Temple(Banyan Tree Temple). To avoid all the hassle it is recommended to opt for a guided tour with a local guide from Locaguide. If you plan on travelling to Bintan Island from Bali or Jakarta, you can easily get a flight to Bintan Island. If you travel from Singapore, you may take a ferry or a flight to Jakarta and an onward flight to Bintan. The rustic ambience and the beautiful coast makes Senggarang Village one of the top places to visit in Indonesia with family.

0
Locale

The Magical Ancol Dreamland Theme Park in Jakarta

Ancol DreamlandContemporary art

Ancol Dreamland on the Jakarta Bay comprises of multiple amusement parks, making it a must-visit on a holiday to Indonesia. The largest of its kind in Southeast Asia,  one can visit it with friends and family. A place suitable for people of all age groups!

Statue of Dufan in Ancol
Statue of Dufan in Ancol

What does the Ancol Dreamland comprise 

The amusement park built in 1966 adheres to a combined concept of entertainment, art, and education. This recreational park stands perfect for a perfect family getaway. The park holds many interesting rides and activities not just for kids but adults as well. Thus, an international golf course, a hotel resort and a marine theme park, makes the Ancol Dreamland Park a complete package.

Given the vast size of this amusement park, it’s easy to lose track of which rides and sections should not be missed. Meanwhile, the visit becomes hassle free with a local travel guide from Locaguide. He/She will help you through the various parts and also suggest suitable activities for your family. But just for an overview, these below are the key sections of the park you should definitely check out.

Dunia Fantasy (Dufan); one of the largest outdoor entertainment centres in all of Indonesia. It contains more than 40 rides and activities, all divided into regional segments — Jakarta, Indonesia, Asia, Africa, America, Europe, and Fantasi Hikayat (Ancient Egypt and Greece)

A colourful Ferris Wheel
A colourful Ferris Wheel

Ocean Dream Samudra is a section of the theme park that showcases marine life through an aquarium. It hosts a dolphin and sea lion show.

Atlantis Water Adventure; a water park comprising of a wave pool, a flowing river pool, rainbow ball pool, waterfall pool and several slides.

Ancol Art Market, also known as the Pasar Seni Ancol, is the local open-air market in the theme park. It hosts hundreds of stalls with painters, souvenir shops and other artists selling their handcrafted goods. 

Thus a complete family entertainment park, the Ancol Dreamland Park stays a perfect place to visit for a fun-filled day.

0
Locale

Explore Royal History at The Taman Sari Water Palace

Taman Sari Water Palace

The Taman Sari Water Palace is the site of the royal garden of the Sultanate of Yogyakarta. It dates back to the mid 18th century. Once used as a place to rest, work, meditate, hide and defend the Sultanate and his family from the yesteryears. Most of the buildings now serve as accommodation or commercial space for the local residents. Visit this royal palace during your trip to Yogyakarta to discover tales of the past from the locals. Tales as old as the days when Taman Sari belonged to the royalties of Yogyakarta.

Taman Sari Water Castle
Taman Sari Water Castle

How to get to The Taman Sari Water Palace

Undoubtedly one of the most popular places, you can reach the Taman Sari by cab or a short walk. Opt for a local travel guide from the Locaguide portal. Your guide will help you on the short walk to the palace from Kraton. Upon reaching walk around to explore the grounds and your guide will take you through the historical journey of the palace.

The main gate to enter the royal palace
The main gate to enter the royal palace of Yogyakarta

The water castle shows a unique infusion of eastern and western concepts of architecture. The unique garden of the Royals holds a mosque, a fort, a meditation space, and a man-made lake. A series of underground tunnels connect the structures on the islands in the lake. Each feature of the Taman Sari Water Palace comprehended a particular ritual and its use during the Sultanates rule. Learn the local names of each area, their use and stories surrounding them from the guide.

If history and architecture excite you, then make sure to soak in Indonesia’s royal past at the Taman Sari Royal Palace. Include a day-long trip to the perfumed gardens of the palace during your Yogyakarta tour for an exciting exploration.

0
Locale

Trekking Mt. Merapi, an active Volcano

post 35 Mt. Merapi img1Mount Merapi

Mount Merapi is the most active volcano in all of Indonesia, its name translates to “Fiery Mountain”! But unlike many volcanoes in other parts of the world, you can climb Mount Merapi. And this trek remains one of the most popular activities in Yogyakarta.  

The Trek to Mount Merapi

Mount Merapi
Mount Merapi

There exist multiple routes to get to Mount Merapi, but the most favoured route remains the northern access point from Selo. Starting at midnight the trek takes over nine hours long and includes a four-hour long hike uphill. With only the flashlight to guide you, the trek remains best experienced in the silence of the darkness. And all of this can be possible with assistance from a travel guide from Locaguide. As you trudge your way uphill, the knowledge that you are climbing an active volcano will give you the adrenaline rush you need to reach the summit before the first light of the day strikes.

Four hours into the climb you reach Pasar Baru, the base camp. Here, a short snack break prepares you for the final leg of the trek. Let your local guide take you through the next set of obstacles. He will tell you best how to navigate through the volcanic ash. Moreover, how to overcome the final hurdle, a steep rocky climb to the crater of Mount Merapi.

The clouds covering the Mount Merapi
The clouds covering the Mount Merapi

At the volcano summit, the temperature drops below 5 degrees Celsius but the view is spellbinding. As you watch the sunrise over the horizon, the landscape starts to awaken and everything the sun rays touch change colour. You are on top of a volcano with the world at your feet, the smoke of the volcano behind you and the clouds below you. You know it’s worth every minute of sacrificed sleep and every step during the uphill trek. If adventure is what you crave, definitely include Mount Merapi in your tour of Yogyakarta. 

0
CultureLocale

The Mystical Borobudur Temple of Yogyakarta

Buddha statueStatue of Buddha at Borobudur Temple

Built amidst a medley of green paddies and swaying palms, Borobudur Temple is a mammoth Buddhist monument. It survived through the volcanic eruptions, bombs and earthquakes to remain as alluring as during the 9th century. An impressive temple as it stands, one must not miss a visit to the Borobudur Temple during the Indonesia tour.

A view of the Borobudur Temple
A view of the Borobudur Temple

With an aerial view that resembles the lotus, a sacred flower in Indonesian culture, the temple is not an experience to be missed. Made up of two million slabs of lava rock, reaching a height of 115ft and housing close to 1,500 carved story panels and 504 statues of the Buddha, the Borobudur temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Designed in the shape of a mandala, the layout of the temple symbolizes the cosmetology of the universe according to Buddhist teachings. The temple is built is three levels — the world of lust and desire (Kamadhatu), the world of form (Rupadhatu) and the formless world (Arupadhatu). It also consists of six terraces, three circular platforms and 504 Buddha statues. Moreover, each terrace possesses a different posture of Buddha’s statue. The postures depict contact with earth, giving and helping, meditation, fearlessness, teaching and learning, and turning the wheel of dharma. 

Apart from being the single most popular attraction, Borobudur Temple continues as an important place of worship for Indonesian Buddhists. Make certain to ask your local guide from Locaguide to show you around the temple complex. Also, ask him to help you join the locals during their daily prayers if you wish.

Architecture of Borobudur Temple

When to visit The Borobudur temple

If you are planning a visit to the Borobudur temple, the best time to be there is at sunrise. The views of the sun lighting up the structure and the mist creeping down the monument formed a magical combination. Therefore, transporting you to an era in the past when the temple was truly at its mystical best!

0