Sunday, April 01, 2007

Indonesia Most Liveable

Jakartass recently reminded me that there are yet many places in Indonesia, I have yet to visit. We can too easily get set in our ways and forget that Indonesia is huge and diverse place so.........

I intend to be around in Indonesia for some time and shall now launch on a new mission:

To find Indonesia's most liveable province/city/town/village.

Naturally any such quest would be highly subjective, in my case the following would have to be considered:

1. Tolerant and FPI (and assorted other nutters) free;

2. Progessive Schooling;

3. Unpolluted;

4. Adhence to basic rule of law;

5. Beach/Mountain vistas;

6. Access - roads, rail, airports;

7. Infrastructure;

8. Traditional as opposed to imported culture;

9. Friendly, open society;

9 ...Eeer.. I will think of more and I open to suggestions .

A dream list is one thing, reality is different and life is a trade-off. It should be fun and I really would like suggestions on where to start, who knows I might learn something despite being an "Ol Dog". In the meantime, some thoughts:

Jakarta: Nice (make that interesting) to visit but who would want to live there? A city self destructing after generations of uncontrolled growth and poor planning. Is this not the world's polluted city?

Bandung: Seriously pretty, particularly up in the mountains. Bandung is (was) great, all the facilities of a big city, progessive, no serious traffic issues and then...they built the tollroad!!! Vale Bandung. However general area remains a favourite, perhaps a town close by?

Papua: Talk about about nature at its best. Is this not one of the last true paradises on Earth? Unfortunately, any place under a media black-out obviously has some very ugly secrets.

Kalimantan: I think we missed it, unless you are into seeing vast Oil Palm plantations or worse vacant, eroded hillsides where virgin forests used to stand, then Kalimantan's glory days are past. I have no doubt that Kalimantan will gain prominance again in the future as a symbol of short sighted greed and contempt for the environment. Furture generations will curse their forebears every time Kalimantan is mentioned.

Bali: Island of the Gods under attack from within and without. Still in my opinion, one of the most interesting cultures in Indonesia. Do yourself a favour a read some history of Bali before you go (preferably not the sanatised versions printed in Indonesia). To live there..I would need to travel to some of the more remote places I think.

Others...heaps..suggestions, comments


Nick said...

Nick here from Baliblog. Looking at your list of criteria, I'd have to say Ubud in Bali beats almost anywhere else I can think of.

oigal said...

Hi Nick..

Ubud..really I must admit I have only spent the token 40 min guided tour there..struck me as more western artsy than fair dinkum but thats not real fair based on 40 mins..

I will make more time next time I am there. Who knows maybe this will morph into a tour of interesting places on its own based on peoples perceptions/suggestions

First Stop

johnorford said...

i heard makassar is the place u speak of - have never been there tho.

oigal said...

Hi John,
Makassar.. I have heard some good things about it as well..scuba diving for one...This place was next up for a visit prior to this post anyway..


Achmad Sudarsono said...


The best place is Aceh. They alone in Indonesia are practising true Sharia, with proper help and enforcement from the community; the Sharia police. I recommend you re-think your stance on religion, Friend.


Jakartass said...

Yep, Ubud is the place for me when in Bali.

However, I offer you Lubuk Sikaping, about an hour north of Bukittinggi in West Sumatra for the friendliest people I've met in Indonesia (excepting the Mentawai on Siberut island off Padang).

This is a good topic. I look forward to seeing what others suggest.

Sam said...

Hi Nick,
My suggestion is... Manado. Being a primarily Christian City, it's quite common to see locals sipping a Cap Tikkus / Bintang on the harbour wall watching sunsets. You have Bunaken & many other areas of natural beauty nearby. Lots of pool halls, cinemas, educated youngsters, good transport, interesting local cuisine. Well, I spent 6 months there and it had a great vibe.


oigal said...

Thanks All, much food for thought..

Sam/J both sound very cool..must admit being able to enjoy a beer watching a sunset does sound good.

J, thanks for the plug on your site, I tried to leave message but got bounced with try again later.

(Troll formerly known as Ass)..
Masked men(?) beating women with sticks does not grab me as tourist attraction or nor meets my idea of liveable location. Although as discussed its a subjective post.. If thats your idea of fun have you thought of the "HELLFIRE" club at least then its all voluntary.

Achmad Sudarsono said...


The embrace of Islam can only bring True Joy.

Friend: I try to live in peace with you so please don't insult me by calling me an Ex Pat. Islam does not condone insults friend.

I thank you.

Just out of curiosity, why do you think I am an Ex Pat ?

johnorford said...

Personally i'd love to go to Aceh, maybe not live there, but a visit is v high up on my list!

oigal said...


It's subjective issue. Personally at this time it would be off my list for obvious reasons. Although it does have a rich history and sounds physically very beautiful.


"The embrace of Islam can only bring True Joy"

So they say.. and I say "to each his own"

as for the rest of your comment...yadda yadda yadda..where's my scissors..

wendy said...

Hi Oigal,
After three months holiday here in the Big Durian i'm about to return to Melbourne. I love Jakarta in spite of all her pollution, floods, traffic (2 hours to travel 9kms - I kid you not!) It just pulses with life! Anyone who says they can't stand the place just don't know where to go.
I also did a road trip to Yogya and back, helluva lot of fun. But the best place was the highlands out of Manado - truly beautiful- Tomohon and Sonder are perfect places to visit. The small seaside village of Tumpaan on the coast, with mountains ringing the bay, is an untouched slice of heaven. The climate in the highlands is exceptional and as Sam said its quite quaint to see a Church on every corner instead of a Mosque. Don't start me on the food of the region - its hot hot hot and totally delicious. Nuff of that..

good season for Aussie cricket - are you looking forward to the 'real' footy now? ...i'm trying to psych myself back into Aussie mode. a dose of the "G" might do the trick!
...Go the mighty 'D's' ..yeah, well i know - not so mighty at the mo - but i'm an eternal optimist. You will know what i mean... being a Kangas supporter, no? They lost to the Pies - did they really have to inflict that on the rest of us? :D

oigal said...

Hi Wendy,

Long time no hear. Jakarta, I think I said its a must visit place and it is truely a bizarre experience. However, I don't think I want to live there just yet, perhaps if and when they get a public transport system working and the pollution index drops to the merely toxic.

Footy..aaghh first game of the season, I get to watch and collingwood wallops the poor ol Kangas..sheesh..already depressed and months to go.

Manado..seems to be the place to start...

Look forward to the Demons and Kangas in the grandfinal

Achmad Sudarsono said...

I find it interesting the Aussies love such a violent, groin-grabbing game as 'footy'. Watching the coverage, there are clearly large numbers of cro-magnons in the audience - as well as on the field. I'm not trying to score points here, or put down anyone's culture, but it's features of Australia such as 'footy' that convince me our subtle Javanese ways are the way to go. Thanks, peace, and respect, Achmad.

oigal said...

Oh Harry Ass,

You are still around...bit quiet on the street corners of the Waria village this week?

Its ok no one would expect you to understand the concept of courage and endeavour.

wendy said...

really? "groin-grabbing footy" not culture bashing?
Just that "subtle javanese way to go"? You mean the beautiful smiling javanese face with the kris at his back? ...oh now i get you...

Hi Oigal, back in the city of the 'G' and mighty depressed... for both our teams!

Achmad Sudarsono said...


Thanks for the comment. I'm not out to 'culture bash' or berate anyone's nationality; Islam does not condone insults, 'slander is crueller than murder,' said the Prophet S.A.W. But based on my own experience, Australia is a culture of knuckle-dragging, Neanderthal racists, who like the Brown and Yellow Man if he serves them takeaway, but not if he speaks his mind. The Asian Man has taken the place of the Dago, the Eye-Tie, the Wop and the Wog.
To me, Rugby League, Union, and Australian Rules is the ultimate expression of this sadistic mind-set that seeks to brutalize the weak and the defenseless in the name of sportsmanship. What could be more sporting than Sepak Takraw, Friend ?

oigal said...

Yawn,.. ok Mrs Achmad, you getting to excited again..outside before you pee on the carpet..