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Gatlinburg TN established relief fund in wake of devastating fires

Dec 2, 2016
In the wake of this week’s tragic wildfires in Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains, the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce Foundation has established the Gatlinburg Relief Fund

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Indonesia: Unity in Diversity


Lonely Planet Map of Indonesia

Lonely Planet Map of Indonesia

Have you ever yearned to feed an Orangutan? You won’t want to miss the opportunity if you are visiting Indonesia.

According to Lonely Planet’s Indonesia guide, the Bukit Lawang Orangutan Feeding Centre is a must-see.  You’ve got to climb up some steep steps to the feeding platform but you’ll get a terrific close up view. During the centre’s decades-long operation, some 200 orangutans who had been kept as caged pets have been taught how to forage for food in the wild and been reintroduced to the wild.

The population and culture here is very diverse because there are more than 200 tribes and languages. Indonesia’s national motto, “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika” (“Unity in Diversity” literally, “many, yet one”), sums up the diversity that shapes the country. Despite its large population and densely populated regions like the capital Jakarta, Indonesia has vast areas of wilderness that support the world’s second highest level of biodiversity.

You can book flights to Indonesia and find hotels here. For example, the Hotel Menara Peninsula, centrally located in Jakarta, has rates starting at about $139 per night.

Menara Peninsula Hotel Jakarta Indonesia

Menara Peninsula Hotel Jakarta Indonesia

Active families will love the chance to hike up steaming volcanoes, explore caves, white water raft and of course visit rare wildlife conservation areas,

Many families who visit spend all of their time in Bali and it’s easy to see why. It’s not only the most famous island in Indonesia but possibly the most beautiful with mountains, beaches—volcanoes, terraced rice fields and the chance to watch colorful ceremonies. People come here to dive, surf, snorkel and bask in the embrace of the friendly people. You might even have the opportunity to see a rare White Rhino at Bali Safari Park where there is a conservation program for endangered animals. The park’s second White Rhino birth occurred last month.

Many travelers to Indonesia also will want to travel to the island of Flores to Komodo National Park  where you can see the park’s famous Komodo Dragons and which contains more sea than land. Komodo Dragons are the largest lizard on earth—220 pounds and almost 10 feet long!   Lonely Planet suggests you linger—hire a car and driver check into a guest house in Labuanbajo; charter a local boat to snorkel or dive the seemingly untouched reefs, snooze on pink sand beaches and of course, going for a day hike on remote Komodo Island to see the dragons.

Komodo Dragon prowls Komodo National Park

Komodo Dragon prowls Komodo National Park

Stay on a private island 15 minutes from the national Park at Komodo Resort Diving Club and thoroughly explore the park above and below the surface.  You also won’t want to miss the sunride over Kelimuto Crater.  Check into Kelimutu Ecolodge, Lonely Planet suggests where for centuries adventurous tourists have made the sunrise trek to the colorful volcanic lakes that might seem yellow, orange or red depending on the time of year.

Indonesia is also a great place to introduce kids to new foods as the staple is rice served with small portions of spicy vegetables, fish or meat.

Everyone in the family will enjoy shopping as Indonesia is famous for its arts and crafts—woven sarongs, woven silk, wooden sculpture and more.

Make sure you leave room in your luggage!

(This is a sponsored post)


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