Bali is full of pretty little towns. Ubud has a charming old world feel to it. It’s an idyllic rural town with beautiful rice terraces. The town is considered the cultural hub of the island and many Indonesian artists have studios and galleries in the area. Exotic festivals also take place here and yoga retreats attract many westerners looking for spiritual healing. The rich Hindu heritage has remained intact, protected from the hedonism of nearby Kuta.
Culinary enthusiasts are drawn to Padang, you will recognise many Padang restaurants up and down the country. They are easy to spot with their horned roofs. Padang was once an important Dutch harbour town, still today the traces of the colonial past can be seen in the architecture, particularly in the Dutch old town.
Another Dutch colonial town with a population of Minahasa people. Their cultural and traditions have been carefully preserved. The town grew prosperous during the spice trade era with neighbouring Philippines a close trade partner. Unfortunately of late, the buildings are in need of repair. Damage from World War II has left many of the structure dilapidated. Unusual for a majority Muslim country, the religion is Christian in Manado. The cuisine is also well regarded, but be warned the spice levels are high.
In times gone by, Batu was once the hideout of the wealthy Dutch. Now those from East Java’s bigger cities travel there and stay in their weekend villas. It is easy to spot apple orchards and orchid nurseries all over the town. Surrounded by lush mountains and hills one of which paragliders use for national competitions.
In East Java you can find this clean and cool city. There are many historical monuments, a remnant of the Mataram Kingdom. Many local and foreign tourists visit to witness the rich culture. The tea plantations and mountains are also worth checking out, not to mention the stunning beaches at Balekambang, Sendang Biru and Ngliyep.
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