I've have not had the opportunity to travel to Southeast Asia myself... but it's absolutely on my bucket list! Reading about Munich-based travel blogger, Christina Guan's adventure to Indonesia which included some unique and unusual places that are simply breath-taking. Her blog inspired me to utilize a fantastic ombre batik print fabric to bring this Indonesian adventure to life. 

Below is an excerpt from Christina from happytowander.com's blog post: CHASING THE CULTURE OF INDONESIA: CRAZY COOL EXPERIENCES YOU CAN’T MISS

When thinking of Indonesia, I’m sure supervolcanos, death caves and royal tea parties don’t quickly come to mind.

But, as the 4th most populous country in the world, with over 300 ethnic groups scattered across 14,000+ islands, culture in Indonesia is way more diverse than you might think. Sure, most know the country best for being an Instagrammable paradise of sun, surf and beach, but beyond that, Indonesia happens to be a glittering treasure trove of mindblowing culture (and maybe just a few crazy surprises).

I’d like to think of Indonesia as a picture-perfect backdrop for some of the world’s most interesting cultural traditions. And sure, it’s always fun to snap candids with your smoothie bowl or flex strategically in front of waterfalls, but Indonesia is about way more than that! The country is not only pretty, its fascinating cultural foundation gives it a distinct vibrancy that makes it one of the world’s top destinations.

So here’s what I say: venture beyond the paradise aesthetic to explore the culture of Indonesia, and I promise you’ll be blown away.

Wondering what to do in Indonesia culture-wise? Here are some of the cool experiences to try out on your next trip.

1. Take in the world-famous death rituals of Tana Toraja

Imagine this: you’re in Tana Toraja, among the lush surroundings of the South Sulawesi highlands. It’s a beautiful sight, but plot twist – you soon spot the hanging coffins and eerily lifelike effigies that welcome you into the attraction you came for – dark, winding caves crammed with skulls, offerings and… more coffins. *welp*

So maybe it’s not your typical ‘sun vacay’, but for those who dare, it’s probably one of the most interesting cultural sights you’ll ever see. The fascinating death rituals of the Torajanese have become a magnet for curious tourists around the world, who flock to the highlands of South Sulawesi each year to observe these traditions for themselves. Here in Tana Toraja, death is celebrated even more than births or marriages, which is why their funeral ceremonies are among the world’s most extravagant.

2. Visit Lake Toba & learn about the rich cultural heritage of the Batak people

Created from the eruption of a supervolcano about 70,000 years ago, North Sumatra’s Lake Toba is truly a sight to behold. Besides being the world’s largest volcanic lake, Lake Toba is also erupting (sorry – bad pun) with a fascinating culture and history. As home to the Batak people, one of the largest Indonesian ethnic groups, a trip here is a chance to immerse yourself in amazing detail-oriented architecture and learn about the intricacies of Batak culture in Indonesia, including their wonderfully complex system clan system (their means of socio-political organization) and strong emphasis on kinship.

3. Enjoy the rich artisan heritage in Java

One of Indonesia’s most popular cultural exports is batik, a fabric seen all around the country, often in Indonesian traditional dress. Batik comes in all colours, patterns and sizes, and is created by tracing designs with wax and then dyed to produce impressively intricate patterns. From touristy gift shops to swanky upscale boutiques, you can find batik pretty much anywhere in Indonesia, but Java is where it originates, and there are plenty of amazing opportunities to see it getting made.

CLICK HERE to read the rest of her post


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August 21, 2018 — Erika Neumayer

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