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  1. House Foreign Affairs Republicans Prepared for U.S. to Go Back Into Afghanistan BY DAVID BRENNAN ON 9/17/21 AT 10:17 AM EDT Republican members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee warned that American troops may yet have to return to Afghanistan amid fears that the Taliban will again allow the country to become a haven for international terrorist groups. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was hauled in front of Congress this week as lawmakers demanded to know how America's longest war ended in such humiliation. But even amid the inquest, lawmakers' minds are turning to reintervention. For many, the war—one so complicated by vague and ever-expanding goals, Pentagon and White House deceit, and a zealous belief in America's ability to nation-build—is not over. "I think it's quite likely that we're going to end up somehow militarily involved again," Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH), who sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee that quizzed Blinken this week, told Newsweek. "You're gonna see a gathering of the worst of the worst there, terrorist groups from all over the world. And now they've got our that makes them probably even more dangerous now than they were prior to September 11, 2001." As the Taliban settles into the business of governing, Americans are wondering what two decades of blood—the vast majority of it Afghan—and trillions of dollars actually achieved. The Taliban holds Kabul, Al-Qaeda fighters are reportedly back in Afghanistan, and America's annals of foreign policy blunders have another chapter. The Taliban and Al-Qaeda will remain hostile to the U.S. Now, Afghanistan is also home to Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISIS-KP), a regional affiliate of Islamic State which for years has been carving out areas of operation while battling the Taliban, the Afghan government, and international forces. "Biden's top intelligence officials have said Al-Qaeda is likely to reconstitute in Afghanistan and be able to threaten America in one to two years," Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), the foreign affairs committee's ranking member, told Newsweek in a statement. "Biden has allowed Afghanistan to become a safe haven yet again for global jihad, so we need to prepare for all possibilities." Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), also a member of the committee, told Newsweek that the White House must not hesitate to respond to national security threats. "Any credible, direct threat to the United States or the lives of Americans needs to be forcefully and preemptively addressed," Zeldin said. "President Biden should draw a red line; however, he cannot repeat the mistakes of the Obama Administration by delivering empty threats, not enforcing red lines and approaching our adversaries from a position of weakness." That terrorist threat was the driver for the 2001 invasion, and the excuse given for much of America's bloody and sprawling "War on Terror." Some Republican senators still believe in this casus belli. "We will be going back into Afghanistan as we went back into Iraq and Syria," said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) earlier this month. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said he believed "it was in our own interest to prevent [Afghanistan] from becoming a haven again, and providing a victory for terrorism." Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) said the defeat "will badly hurt American intelligence and give jihadis a safe haven in Afghanistan, again." Sens. Sasse, Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Roy Blunt (R-MO)—all of the Senate Intelligence Committee—said in a letter to Biden the debacle would "inspire jihadists celebrating the Taliban's victory over the U.S. and motivate future terrorists." Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, said the defeat brings "a renewed threat of international terrorism brought on by Al Qaeda and its affiliates. Afghanistan is now more likely to serve as a global launchpad for terrorism." Republicans, and some Democrats, will demand assertive action from the Biden administration on any perceived threats to the U.S. homeland, its allies, or its regional interests. Chabot is among those sounding the alarm. "I would anticipate you'll probably see smaller-scale attacks than [9/11], probably on a whole range of our allies in different regions on the globe," he said. "I think you'll see them in Europe, I think you'll see them in the Middle East, I think you may very well see them here on our soil here in the United States." Taliban leaders have repeatedly assured the West that Al-Qaeda and other terror groups would not be allowed to set up shop in their Islamic Emirate. But the early signs suggest otherwise. Al-Qaeda is believed to retain close ties with the Taliban, and the country's new authorities will likely struggle to suppress ISIS-KP and other militant groups. The interim Taliban government includes notorious militant leader Sirajuddin Haqqani—leader of the powerful Haqqani network—as interior minister. Haqqani remains on the U.S. sanctions list and his network has been accused of a long list of attacks on international troops and civilians. "The fact that they've essentially assigned a terrorist as the interior minister gives you a pretty good sign of what we're in store for," Chabot told Newsweek. "I wouldn't believe anything the Taliban says, at this point in time. I think we should judge them by their actions." Zeldin added: "This government is made up of designated terrorists and it has a history of harboring terror groups in Afghanistan. Sadly, there's a strong possibility we will see that repeat itself." U.S. troops sit on a wall as Afghans gather on a roadside near the military part of the airport in Kabul on August 20, 2021, hoping to flee from the country after the Taliban's military takeover of Afghanistan. Republicans also see a political window in the Afghanistan chaos. Some have called on Biden, Blinken, and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to resign. For them, the Afghanistan debacle is Biden's child. "The whole thing was so disorganized and chaotic, and just feckless," Chabot said. Zeldin told Newsweek: "President Biden has left Afghanistan and the entire region in a state of heightened uncertainty and chaos, and the threat of terrorism is greater than it has been in years." Democrats, some Republicans, and many foreign policy experts are more reluctant to place the blame squarely at Biden's door. The 20-year war has many parents, not least former President Donald Trump, who signed a peace deal with the Taliban, released thousands of their members from detention, and let it be known the U.S. would leave with or without an inter-Afghan power-sharing deal. America's Afghan house of cards was never stable, but some observers blame the Trump administration's negotiations with the Taliban for setting the stage for the government's ultimate collapse. By the time Taliban fighters swept the country, the group had already agreed secret deals with local governors, tribal leaders, and other regional power brokers, ensuring major centers would fall with little resistance. American reintervention could come in many forms. Covert operations by special forces teams, standoff strikes with drones or cruise missiles, airstrikes using American bombers, financial and military support for local resistance groups fighting the Taliban. "How many troops would be exactly involved or under what particular circumstances, of course, it's impossible to know at this time," Chabot said. "I think they should defend this country and defend our allies by taking military action when necessary," he added of the Biden administration. "And you have to, obviously, determine what's necessary on a case by case basis." Zeldin said the type of action "depends entirely on the circumstances—I would not support sending our troops into harm's way without necessity, clearly defined objectives and measures of success." Americans might be hesitant to send their sons and daughters back into harm's way. Thirteen service members were killed by ISIS-KP bombs during the Kabul evacuation, their deaths the most recent of the 2,406 American troops killed in-country since 2001. Many Americans will want those deaths to be the last. But the U.S. remains a global power, its sprawling empire demanding American bodies to protect and advance its interests. Even the bipartisan desire to end the "forever wars" won't stop new deployments when deemed necessary by one or both major parties. "I think the American people certainly understand and appreciate the fact that sometimes it's necessary for a country like the United States to be involved across the globe," Chabot said. "We don't want to be the world's policeman, but we certainly are a great power and we have responsibilities to protect our own citizens, but also to protect our allies across the globe who work with us. "The United States is a great power...and on occasion, it's necessary to be involved militarily." In this handout photo provided by the U.S. Air Force, flag-draped transfer cases line the inside of a C-17 Globemaster II on August 29, 2021, prior to a dignified transfer at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. The service members died while supporting non-combat operations in Kabul. link :
  2. oh boy, should we all get excited now? BOA? when? right now? should we make an appointment with the bank's teller name Frank26 or Kaperoni or Mountain Goat the day before? what should we prepare before coming to the bank?🤣
  3. " Prosperity "? is it for real? Are 1 USD=1,460 IQD and 1 IQD=0.00068 USD equal to " Prosperity "? was the devaluation ( that caused all the goods in Iraq more pricey that made the ordinary iraqi citizens suffered ) back in December 2020 from 1,190 to 1,460 called " Prosperity "?
  4. COVID-19 Travel Restrictions in Southeast Asia (September 2021) By Nikki Scott / 17/09/2021 / Health, COVID-19 Updated every few days. Last updated 17th September 2021. What is the situation like with COVID-19 in Southeast Asia? And when will Southeast Asia open its doors to international travellers? These are the main questions on backpackers’ minds right now after over a year of global travel restrictions… Like you, we are desperate to hitch on that backpack and set off for adventures – but when will that be possible? And will it ever be the same again? We sincerely hope so! We strive to regularly update this article with the latest travel restrictions across Southeast Asia to keep you up to date with where you can and can’t travel right now, and what entry requirements are in place (quarantine, PCR tests, mask-wearing etc.). Keep up to date with the latest travel news by bookmarking this article and be sure to join our newsletter where we send out updates on travel across Southeast Asia. Hang on in there, backpackers 💪 Where can you travel in Southeast Asia? – Quick Answers Click the country to skip down for more details. Cambodia – Open to tourists with a 14-day quarantine. Laos – Closed to tourists. Indonesia – Closed to tourists. Malaysia – Closed to tourists. Maldives – Open to tourists with no quarantine. Myanmar – Closed to tourists. Philippines – Closed to tourists. Singapore – Open to tourists from selected countries. Sri Lanka – Open to tourists with PCR test on arrival, no quarantine for vaccinated travellers. Thailand – Open to tourists with a 14-day quarantine. (For vaccinated tourists travelling via the Phuket Sandbox or the Samui Plus Program, there is no quarantine, but certain restrictions apply.) Vietnam – Closed to tourists. link :
  5. COVID-19: Indonesia Travel Updates By Nikki Scott / 13/09/2021 / COVID-19 Updated 13th September 2021. LATEST INDONESIA COVID-19 NEWS: 10th September 2021 – Luhut Pandjaitan, Minister for Maritime and Investment Affairs declares “We will filter tourists that come visit. We don’t want backpackers to come so that Bali remains clean, where the people who come are of quality”. Source. 7th September 2021 – Tourism & Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno hints Bali soon to reopen to vaccinated tourists. Source. 6th September 2021 – Gradual reopening of some Javanese tourist sites announced. Diners allowed up to 1 hour in restaurants. Source. 31st August 2021 – Restaurants inside shopping malls to permit 50% capacity. Malls to open until 9pm. Source. 21st July 2021 – Indonesia becomes the epicentre of Asia’s COVID-19 crisis. Source. 6TH JULY 2021 – INDONESIA’S NEW TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS From 6th July 2021 only vaccinated travellers will be allowed to enter Indonesia. Source. Quarantine is extended to 8 days / 7 nights for all travellers. Foreign travellers must: Be in posession of a valid visa (see below). Be fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the WHO (Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), Sinovac, Sinopharm). 14 days must have passed since the traveller has had the vaccine before departure to Indonesia. Have a negative PCR test result within 72 hours before flying to Indonesia. Quarantine for 7 nights/8 days in a government approved quarantine hotel in Jakarta. Show a negative PCR test result on day 1 and day 7 of quarantine. Indonesian travellers must: Have a negative PCR test result within 72 hours before flying to Indonesia. Quarantine for 7 nights/8 days in a government approved quarantine hotel in Jakarta. Show a negative PCR test result on day 1 and day 7 of quarantine. Receive an obligatory vaccine in use by Indonesian government at the end of quarantine period, if you have not been vaccinated previously. (On condition of negative COVID-19 test.) Exceptions: Citizens from India are currently not allowed to travel to Indonesia (including those travellers who have been in India in the last 14 days). Citizens of the Philippines and Pakistan must quarantine for 14 days. BALI REOPENING Plans to reopen Bali to vaccinated travellers, in a program akin to the Phuket Sandbox in Thailand, had been put on hold during July and August 2021 due to the surge in Covid cases. On 7th September, Sandiaga Uno, Indonesia’s Tourism & Creative Economy Minister hinted that plans are taking shape. The majority of Bali is still under level 4 restrictions, but early preparations for the scheme are beginning in certain “green zone areas”. Rumours had been circulating for months about the reopening of Bali. The reopening was announced by the Indonesian President, Joko Widodo, at the Arabian Travel Market last month in Dubai. He also suggested that, along with Bali, several other places, such as Bintan and Batam would serve as ‘locomotive’ destinations with which to kickstart tourism in the country. Amidst rapidly rising cases, a plan has yet to be put in place. Indonesia Travel Restrictions Can you travel to Indonesia right now? SUMMARY: No. Indonesia is currently not allocating visas to non-Indonesian nationals until further notice. Exemptions to this include diplomats on official business, holders of Indonesian residency cards, foreigners who are travelling for official business, humanitarian aid, essential work or other essential reasons. You must have official permission to travel from the relevant government department.* INDONESIAN B211 BUSINESS VISAS: (SUSPENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE FROM 21st JULY 2021) Despite not officially being allowed to travel, some foreigners have been finding ways to enter Indonesia. In recent months, many foreign nationals applied for the Single-Entry B211 Business Visa (also known as the Social-Cultural Visa) which allows visitors to stay in the country for up to 180 days. The visa, which is expensive to obtain, must be arranged by a travel agency and you will need to be sponsored by an Indonesian company. If you believe that you have grounds to apply for the visa, check out the very helpful Facebook group: Visa & Immigration Indonesia. Before you enter Indonesia, you will need to: New rules from 6th July 2021 – If you are able to obtain a valid visa (for one of the reasons mentioned above), you will still need to: Be fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the WHO. Carry a health certificate confirming a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of your departure to Indonesia. Complete the Indonesian eHAC registration (Indonesia Health Alert Card) and supply the QR code on inspection at the airport in Indonesia. Quarantine in a specified hotel for 7 nights/8 days and provide negative COVID-19 PCR tests on day one and day seven. Quarantine Period in Indonesia: All travellers to Indonesia from abroad (foreign and Indonesian) must quarantine for 7 nights/8 days in a hotel upon arrival. You will still have to quarantine even if you are fully vaccinated. International flights are currently only flying into Jakarta, Surabaya, Medan and Manado. You must choose your quarantine hotel in your city of arrival. The hotel must be paid for by the traveller and costs average around $100 US per night depending on the hotel. Face Mask Policy in Indonesia: It is compulsory to wear a face mask in public places across the country, whether indoors or outdoors. Fines will be imposed on anyone who breaks this law. Foreigners who break this rule or any of the other health protocols in place in the country will be immediately deported. Domestic Travel Restrictions in Indonesia Before 3rd July, if you wanted to travel domestically within Indonesia, all you needed to do was to take a quick $10 USD rapid antigen test. Things have now become a lot more strict… The new restrictions as of 5th July 2021 mean that you will now need to show a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of flying if you plan to visit the islands of Java or Bali. (The approximate cost of a PCR test in Indonesia is 1,000,000 IDR and they can be carried out at specialised clinics across the country.) In addition to a PCR test, you will also need to prove that you are fully vaccinated in order to travel domestically to either Java or Bali. You must do this by showing a vaccine card or certificate. This applies not only to flights but to anyone travelling to Bali by boat, train or bus. This requirement is not the case for those travelling by private vehicle, though it is encouraged. Source. Land Borders: Entry into the neighbouring country of Malaysia (via Borneo island) is currently prohibited. Hotels and guesthouses: Hotels and guesthouses remain open for business, although many have been forced to close due to lack of custom. Social distancing measures and mask-wearing are being applied to prevent COVID-19 transmission. Public places: Public services and activities are currently restricted to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Shops, bars and restaurants in many places across the country are currently operating at 50% of their normal capacity. There are restrictions on public gatherings. On the ground traveller reports: “Restrictions in Indonesia, particularly in Bali and Java, are way more strict currently than most countries. All tourist attractions, parks, beaches, waterfalls, etc. are closed. Most restaurants are closed or limited in times and capacity. Only essential travel between districts is allowed, with required letters, vaccination proof, and COVID-19 tests. Even religious activities are limited. And many other restrictions.” – Luke, 9th August 2021 If you are an Indonesian citizen who is not yet vaccinated, you will be obliged to be vaccinated with a vaccine in use by the Indonesian government upon leaving quarantine. This is provided you show a negative PCR test result. link :
  6. Indonesia eases COVID curbs across Java, with tourism set to reopen Jokowi urges faster vaccination ahead of National Games A restaurant in Bogor, near Jakarta: Diners will be able to eat for longer under Indonesia's latest easing of its COVID-19 restrictions ERWIDA MAULIA, Nikkei staff writerSeptember 6, 2021 23:58 JST JAKARTA -- Tourist sites in Java will reopen gradually and diners can stay for an hour in a restaurant under the latest easing of COVID-19 mobility restrictions that take effect Tuesday across the densely populated Indonesian island. The government said only small parts of Java -- where over half of Indonesia's 270 million people live -- remain under the strictest PPKM Level 4 emergency curbs, reflecting continued declines in coronavirus cases and deaths in recent weeks after a surge driven by the delta variant. But the island of Bali, a magnet for international tourists, is likely to remain at Level 4 for another week, a government official said. Yogyakarta Province, a major tourist destination in the heart of Java, is joining Jakarta and other major metropolitan areas on the island in having relaxed curbs. "But [President Joko Widodo] has underlined that the pandemic has not ended. The virus isn't likely to disappear completely. We can only try to control its spread," Airlangga Hartarto, Indonesia's chief economic minister, told a virtual press briefing Monday evening. "So please remain alert despite the declines in cases. They're not evenly distributed, and the situation is still dynamic." Dining in at restaurants previously was allowed for a maximum of 30 minutes, though enforcement has been lax outside greater Jakarta. Restaurants will continue to operate at half capacity. The latest easing follows partial reopening of schools that began last week, as well as longer operating hours for malls and traditional markets where visitors are screened using a smartphone app showing their vaccination status. Indonesia's confirmed new infections averaged 7,700 daily during the past seven days, down roughly half from the previous week and far below the country's record of over 50,000 daily cases in mid-July. The death toll also has fallen to fewer than 600 per day in the past week. On Monday, Southeast Asia's largest economy reported 4,413 new cases and 612 new deaths, bringing its total to over 4.1 million infections with 136,473 fatalities. But concerns remain for regions outside Java, including the resort island of Bali, where hospital occupancy rates for COVID-19 patients are still high, the government said. "We estimate that Bali needs another week to see [its curbs] down to Level 4," said Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, the chief coordinating minister for maritime affairs and investment. Indonesia on Monday welcomed the arrival of 5 million doses of Sinovac's vaccine, bringing the total doses of coronavirus vaccines the country has received to 225.4 million. The majority of the doses are from Sinovac, with smaller portions from AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech. As of Monday, 59% of Jakarta's nearly 11 million residents have been fully vaccinated, but the national average is lower at 14%. Hartarto said Widodo, known popularly as Jokowi, has instructed that inoculations be accelerated in the remote Papua Province, which hosts Indonesia's National Games next month, as well as other provinces where vaccination is especially low -- including Aceh, West Sumatra, South Kalimantan and Southeast Sulawesi. link :
  7. Sandiaga Uno to Adopt Phuket Sandbox Scheme for Bali Tourism Reopening Translator: Dewi Elvia Muthiariny Editor: Petir Garda Bhwana 7 September 2021 12:23 WIB Minister Sandiaga Uno looks at crafts when visiting the UKM exhibition after opening the 43rd Bali Arts Festival (PKB) at the Bali Cultural Park, Denpasar, Bali, Saturday, June 12, 2021. This annual cultural arts event presents various arts from all regencies in Bali, the archipelago and abroad for a month TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno said the government continues preparations for the reopening of Bali tourism although the strictest level of public mobility restrictions or PPKM Level 4 is still in place in the province. The preparations are being carried out in green zone areas, such as Nusa Dua. The tourism reopening will adopt the Phuket Sandbox plan initiated by the Thailand government. “Learning from the Phuket Sandbox which focuses on significantly curbing local transmission in Phuket can be later applied in Bali,” said Sandiaga in a written statement on Tuesday, September 7. The Phuket Sandbox is a scheme used for the reopening of island-based tourism by limiting the number of tourist arrivals. The plan allows fully vaccinated foreign tourists from low to moderate-risk countries to enter Thailand without quarantine. Sandiaga said the government has not yet decided when Bali tourism will be reopened, waiting for better Covid-19 situations as requested by President Joko Widodo or Jokowi. “The Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry will continue to coordinate with the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries regarding the reopening of Bali because the Covid-19 handling must be synergized to immediately determine its readiness,” said Sandiaga Uno. link :
  8. No Backpackers: Top Indonesian minister wants ‘clean’ Bali when foreign tourism restarts By Coconuts Bali Sep 13, 2021 | 12:12pm Bali time UPDATE Sept. 14: A spokesman from the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment today came forward to clarify Luhut’s statement, saying that what the minister really meant was a prohibition for visitors who violate health protocols and immigration laws. Original story follows. Indonesia appears to be gearing up (again) to reopen the country to foreign tourism, but it seems not everyone would be welcome after one senior minister hinted that backpackers should take their wanderlust elsewhere. With foreign tourism always closely linked to the country’s most popular destination, Bali, Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Pandjaitan signaled the possibilities for a clean slate in the province during his visit on Friday. “We have prepared everything. When will we open? It depends on the country [of origin]. Not all countries, so [depending] on which country and when we are ready. I think it’s possible in Level 2,” Luhut said, referring to the tiered version of the Enforcement of Restrictions on Public Activities (PPKM). Bali is currently categorized as Level 4, which carries the tightest set of restrictions, though the province is likely to level down when the central government announces PPKM’s weekly extension later today. Any international tourism relaunch would be conducted carefully, Luhut said, including by making the health and mobility tracking app PeduliLindungi mandatory at public facilities and tourist attractions. The minister also said that Indonesia is only interested in “quality visitors.” “We will filter tourists that come visit. We don’t want backpackers to come so that Bali remains clean, where the people who come are of quality,” Luhut said. There are no concrete plans or timeline for the planned reopening just yet, and it’s worth noting that similar discussions have taken place plenty of times during the pandemic. Nothing has so far come into fruition as the COVID-19 crisis continued to rage, though Bali is now seeing a considerable decline in cases after roughly two months of its most devastating wave of infections. link :
  9. " We are also approaching a new stage after the elections ", sounds too good to be true, but for now on, let's wait and see how it turns out. " return prices to their previous era ", just wonders what previous rate would that be? 3.22 usd? i still have a doubt that they will return the rate to 1190.
  10. 10 Top Tourist Attractions in Indonesia Last updated on October 1, 2020 in Indonesia Indonesia is a huge country, in both population and land area, with significant cultural and geological diversity. With 18,110 islands, 6,000 of them inhabited, it is the largest archipelago in the world. The population of around 240 million people is derived from 300 ethnic groups who speak over 250 different languages. While Bali is usually the destination most familiar to foreign visitors, there is a wealth of other top tourist attractions in Indonesia to discover in this vast and varied country. 10. Lake Toba Lake Toba on the island of Sumatra is an immense volcanic lake about 100 kilometers long and 30 kilometers wide. Formed by a gigantic volcanic eruption some 70,000 years ago, it is the largest resurgent caldera on Earth. Genetic estimates suggests that there were only a few thousand humans that survived the catastrophe. The island in the middle – Pulau Samosir – is the largest island within an island and contains two lakes. Besides visiting “a lake on an island within a lake on an island” tourist also come here to kick back and relax and swim in the volcanically warmed waters. 9. Tanjung Puting The Tanjung Puting National Park is located on the island of Borneo in the Indonesian province of Central Kalimantan. The park is a popular ecotourism destination, with many local tour companies offering multi-day boat tours to view wildlife and visit the research centers. Wildlife include gibbons, macaques, clouded leopards, sun bears, pythons, crocodiles and – most famously – orangutans. Unfortunately the park is heavily threatened by illegal logging and forest clearing for agricultural uses. 10 Top Tourist Attractions in Indonesia Last updated on October 1, 2020 in Indonesia Indonesia is a huge country, in both population and land area, with significant cultural and geological diversity. With 18,110 islands, 6,000 of them inhabited, it is the largest archipelago in the world. The population of around 240 million people is derived from 300 ethnic groups who speak over 250 different languages. While Bali is usually the destination most familiar to foreign visitors, there is a wealth of other top tourist attractions in Indonesia to discover in this vast and varied country. 10. Lake Toba flickr/Max Grabert Lake Toba on the island of Sumatra is an immense volcanic lake about 100 kilometers long and 30 kilometers wide. Formed by a gigantic volcanic eruption some 70,000 years ago, it is the largest resurgent caldera on Earth. Genetic estimates suggests that there were only a few thousand humans that survived the catastrophe. The island in the middle – Pulau Samosir – is the largest island within an island and contains two lakes. Besides visiting “a lake on an island within a lake on an island” tourist also come here to kick back and relax and swim in the volcanically warmed waters. 9. Tanjung Puting The Tanjung Puting National Park is located on the island of Borneo in the Indonesian province of Central Kalimantan. The park is a popular ecotourism destination, with many local tour companies offering multi-day boat tours to view wildlife and visit the research centers. Wildlife include gibbons, macaques, clouded leopards, sun bears, pythons, crocodiles and – most famously – orangutans. Unfortunately the park is heavily threatened by illegal logging and forest clearing for agricultural uses. 8. Baliem Valley The Baliem Valley in the highlands of Western New Guinea offers a glimpse into what was recently a stone-age world. The valley was not known to the outside world until 1938 when an aerial reconnaissance flight southwards from Hollandia (now Jayapura) discovered a large agricultural population. Wamena is the starting point for most visitors who come nowadays to marvel at the mountain views, roaring rivers, tribal villages and at the tough but sweet spirit of the warm Dani people. 7. Mount Bromo Gunung Bromo is an active volcano and part of the Tengger massif, in East Java. At 2,329 meters (7,641 feet) it is not the highest peak of the massif, but it is the most well known. The area is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Indonesia and Java. The top of the volcano has been blown off and the crater inside constantly belches white smoke. It is surrounded by the Sea of Sand of fine volcanic sand. The overall effect is unsettlingly unearthly. 6. Bunaken Located at the north of the island of Sulawesi, Bunaken is one of Indonesia’s most famous dive and snorkeling areas. The island is part of the Bunaken Marine Park where you can see more than 70% of all fish species that live in the western Pacific ocean. The best time for diving in Bunaken is between the months of April and November. 5. Torajaland Torajaland (Tana Toraja) is a highland region of South Sulawesi, home of the Toraja people. Torajans are famous for their massive peaked-roof houses known as tongkonan and spectacular but gruesome funeral rites. After a person’s death, the body is kept – often for several years – until the actual funeral ceremony which can last for several days. The deceased is then finally buried in a small cave or in a hollow tree. 4. Gili Islands Lombok’s most popular tourist destination, the Gili Islands are an archipelago of three small islands: Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air. The islands are very relaxed and laid-back, with countless little beachside cafes still playing reggae and no cars or motorbikes to disturb the peace. Note that the name “Gili Islands” is rather redundant as gili simply means “small island” in Sasak and there are many other islands around the coast of Lombok with Gili in their names. 3. Komodo National Park The Komodo National Park is a national park located within the Lesser Sunda Islands that includes the three larger islands Komodo, Padar and Rincah, and 26 smaller ones. The park is named after the Komodo Dragon, the world’s largest living reptile that can reach 3 meters or more in length and weigh over 70kg. Although Komodo dragons eat mostly carcass of dead animals, they are formidable predators and will also hunt prey including birds, and mammals. Attacks against humans are very rare. 2. Borobudur Located 40 km (25 miles) northwest of Yogyakarta on Java, the Borobudur is the one of the most famous Buddhist temple in the world. The Borobudur was built over a period of some 75 years in the 8th and 9th centuries by the kingdom of Sailendra, out of an estimated 2 million blocks of stone. It was abandoned in the 14th century for reasons that still remain a mystery and for centuries lay hidden in the jungle under layers of volcanic ash. Today it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Indonesia 1. Ubud Perched among stunning terraced rice fields, Ubud is considered the cultural heart of Bali and one of the top tourist attractions in Indonesia. There are dance and music performances every day throughout the city as well as numerous art galleries and craft shops to explore. Although Ubud has long been valued as a great place to learn about Balinese culture, tourism in Ubud boomed exponentially in the last decades. Fortunately, it only takes a short walk or bicycle ride to escape from the crowds and commercialism. link :
  11. Bali will not be open to tourists until the end of 2022 Yevhenii Podolskyi Bali is one of the most popular tourist destinations for beach holidays in the world. But the opening of the island to visitors is delayed again – perhaps by the end of 2022. Although holidays in Europe this year were generally possible for most countries, long-distance travelers, especially lovers of Asia, still need to be patient. Most recently, the Thai government announced that, planning to open to tourists in July, the country will welcome visitors only in October. Now Indonesia, with its popular tourist island Bali, is also coming with bad news: it is unlikely that the island of Bali will be open to tourists until the third or fourth quarter of 2022. Bali plans to resume tourism only at the end of 2022 Bali closed for visits back in May 2020 due to the Crown Pandemic and since then several plans have been presented to open up tourism. Most recently, a restart of the industry was scheduled for July 2021, but it was also postponed by Tourism Minister Sandiago Uno due to rising infections. According to local media reports, the Bali tourism ministry now wants to wait for the autumn G20 summit to open its borders. The exact dates of the summit have not yet been determined, although they are expected in October or November. Bali is one of the most popular places in Indonesia. The government hopes to gradually roll out the tourist reboot a few weeks before the G20 meeting. The current situation with the coronavirus pandemic in Bali Bali has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic – the level of infection and mortality is very high. Currently, according to Johns Hopkins University, about 13 percent of Indonesia’s population is fully vaccinated, but in Bali, more than 70 percent have already received the first dose of the vaccine. However, prolonged isolation is likely to have a serious impact on the Indonesian island’s economy, which is heavily dependent on tourism. The consequences are likely to be felt in the next few years. link :
  12. Bali to welcome international tourists again in September July 13, 2020 at 7:22 pm EDT By Cox Media Group National Content Desk Bali, a popular tourist destination in the islands of Indonesia, will allow international tourists again beginning September 11. The province entered phase one of three of reopening on Thursday after a three-month shut down. This phase allows some operations to resume in the agricultural, construction and government industries, among others. Schools and tourism-related businesses will remain closed. The second phase, starting on July 31, will permit domestic tourists, and the third phase, in which international tourists are welcome, begins on September 11. Throughout the phases, the Bali government urges “order, discipline and responsibility” by encouraging residents and visitors to wear face coverings, avoid crowds and frequently wash their hands. “With these efforts, we have been able to manage the COVID-19 [virus], but we still do not know for sure when the pandemic will end, considering that we have not found the vaccine,” reads a press release by the Bali Tourism Board. “Therefore we must strive to manage COVID-19, while at the same time start working again for the sake of human life. This activity will be done gradually, selective[ly, and [on a] limited [basis].” Bali, which generally sees approximately 5 million tourists per year, relies on the tourism industry as its main source of income. “The pandemic has hit [the] tourism sector so badly [and] there is no certainty when it will end,” Bali’s Gov. Wayan Koster said. “We have to revive economic activity to prevent Bali from new social problems due to increasing economic pressures.” As of Sunday, Indonesia as a whole had reported more than 75,000 cases of the novel coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. In Bali, about 2,000 cases have been reported. Koster said the government will impose guidelines for reopening tourist areas in the midst of the pandemic and will consider closing certain areas again if infections spike, the Associated Press reported. Bali The lifeguards are seen watching over the quiet beach at Kuta Beach on March 21, 2020 in Kuta, Indonesia. link :
  13. Bali Is Set To Welcome Tourists In July, As Vaccine Rollout On The Island Picks Up Pace 3 minutes reading time Bali is set to welcome tourists in July 2021 Bali, the island of the gods, may be all set to welcome foreign tourists in the beginning of July this year, as COVID-19 vaccinations pick up pace in Ubud, Nusa Dua, and Sanur. With almost all of the tourism and healthcare front-line workers in Indonesia fully vaccinated, the general public in Bali can now begin to get their jabs. A travel corridor will be established Ngurah Rai International Airport In hopes to reinvigorate the local economy, President Joko Widodo has given the green light for Bali to re-open to tourists in July. However, at the moment, only Bali’s green zones including Ubud, Nusa Dua, and Sanur are allowed to open for tourists to stay. link :
  14. Indonesia considers imitating ‘Phuket Sandbox’ for Bali reopening By Coconuts Bali Sep 9, 2021 | 4:22pm File photo of a Balinese dancer. Photo: Indonesian Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy Bali may soon reopen to foreign travelers by adopting Thailand’s “Phuket Sandbox” scheme, the tourism minister said this week, in what appears to be Indonesia’s latest strategic plan to restart international tourism after a string of failed attempts. “We are learning from the Phuket Sandbox with its one focus of significantly reducing local transmissions in Phuket, and this can be applied in Bali later on,” Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno said, according to a report by Tempo. The Phuket Sandbox refers to Thailand’s international tourism relaunch scheme, where fully vaccinated foreign travelers are essentially allowed to visit the country but must quarantine for 14 days within Phuket, before they are permitted to travel to other parts of Thailand. Phuket’s popularity as a tourist destination puts it at a parallel with Bali, as both regions are desperately looking for ways to revive their devastated economy amid the pandemic. Just to be clear, there’s currently no concrete date on when this would happen. For the time being, it appears that officials are merely discussing the possibility. According to data from the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), over 26,000 foreigners have landed in Phuket since the launch of the sandbox scheme on July 1. Eighty-three people, which amounts to about 0.3 percent, tested positive for the coronavirus within the sandbox. link :
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