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Komodo Island and its Dragons

 Posted by Christophe Le Corre
Christophe Le Corre
, December 01, 2013 at 04:16:30 :: Indonesia

Komodo dragonKomodo is one of the 17,508 Indonesian islands. Komodo Island is home to over 2,000 people who are mostly descendants of former convicts, once exiled here, and who have mixed with Bugis from Sulawesi. The island which has a surface of 390km² is part of Komodo National Park. The park, established in 1980, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991 and later a Man and Biosphere Reserve.

The island is especially known for its native Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis). These giant reptiles, largest living species of lizard, often exceed 9 feet in length and can weigh more than 70 kilograms (150 lb).

Komodo dragons are carnivore; they hunt and ambush prey including invertebrates, birds, and mammals. Their diet mainly consists of deer and wild pigs that inhabit the island, but they also eat considerable amounts of carrion. They are good swimmers, and quite agile and their group behavior in hunting is exceptional in the reptile world.

Their populations, approximately 4,000 to 5,000 Komodo dragons, are restricted to the islands of Gili Motang (100), Gili Dasami (100), Rinca (1,300), Komodo (1,700), and Flores (around 2,000).

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The Gili Islands, Turtle capital of the world!

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, May 22, 2011 at 12:02:15 :: Indonesia

The Gili Islands (Indonesian: Tiga Gili [Three Gilis], Kepulauan Gili [Gili Islands]) are an archipelago of three small islands — Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air — just off the northwest coast of Lombok, Indonesia.

View of Gili Air, second smallest of the Gilis (Gili Islands), just off the northwest coast of Lombok, Indonesia

Arcing away from the northwest corner of Lombok, are three idyllic atolls, where the sand is still powdery white, the water a clear sparkling turquoise, and the sunsets over Bali’s volcano Mt. Agung in the west simply spectacular.

Home to the largest Irish bar on the smallest island in the world, an authentic Japanese sushi restaurant, a turtle hatchery, ominous sounding dive sites like ‘Shark Point’, 62 Bio Rock reef regeneration projects, and miles and miles of white sandy beaches, Lombok's Gili islands, or The Gilis for short, makes a surprisingly ideal getaway destination for everyone of all ages.

The name "Gili Islands" is a misnomer, because Gili simply means "small island" in Sasak. As a result most of the islands around the coast of Lombok have Gili in their names, although confusion is averted by referring (in English) to the other Gilis around the Lombok coast by their proper names only.


Some efforts on the Gili islands are been taken to preserve the natural turtle habitat that is so abundant there. Eggs are collected by the local people and rather than being sold to a market they are bought by the sanctuary and placed in secure incubation areas. After hatching the turtles are kept in holding tanks until they are large and healthy enough to be released into the sea. The turtles can be seen very easily by either just snorkelling or diving.

Gili Islands, Indonesia

For more information about the Gili Islands, visit Gili-Paradise or Gili Islands Travel .

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Lombok, Indonesia

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, May 20, 2007 at 05:20:24 :: Indonesia

Lombok (1990 pop. 2,403,025) is an island in West Nusa Tenggara province, Indonesia. It is part of the chain of the Lesser Sunda Islands, with the Lombok Strait separating it from Bali to the west and the Alas Strait between it and Sumbawa to the east. It is roughly circular, with a "tail" to the southwest, about 70 km across and a total area of about 4,725 km² (1,825 sq mi). The administrative capital and largest city on the island is Mataram. Lombok in Indonesian language and local Sasak people has different meaning. In Sasak Language Lombok mean Straight and in Indonesian language meaning is Chili. (source Wikipedia)

Quiet white sand beach and bleu water in Gili Trawangan, Gili Islands near Lombok, Indonesia

Less developed than Bali, Lombok has better beaches, a bigger volcano and more varied landscapes. Tourism is still low key, and many visitors are independent travellers drawn by the island's intoxicating diving and snorkelling, hiking and surf spots, as well as Lombok's intriguing endemic culture. (source

View of Gili Meno, archipelago of three small islands: Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air, northwest coast of Lombok, Indonesia

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In The News

Bali, Indonesia

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, July 15, 2007 at 15:53:37

Rice fields terraces, BaliBali is a tropical island and one of over 13,000 islands in the Indonesian archipelago, the westernmost of the Lesser Sunda Islands (or Nusa Tenggara; Kepulauan Nusa Tenggara), lying between Java (Jawa) to the west and Lombok to the east. The island home of approximately 4 million people is approximately 144 kilometers from east to west and 80 kilometers north to south with a surface area of 5,632 km². The highest point is Mount Agung (Gunung Agung) at 3,142 m (10,308 feet) high, an active volcano that last erupted in March 1963. Mount Batur (Gunung Batur, 1,717 m) is also still active.

Un des nombreux temple de Ubud, ville au centre de Bali, IndonésieBali is one of the country's 33 provinces with the provincial capital at Denpasar towards the south of the island. The island is home to the vast majority of Indonesia's small Hindu (Devanagari: हिन्दु) minority. Balinese people are proud of having preserved their unique Hindu culture against the advance of Islam, the dominant religion throughout Indonesia. It is also the largest tourist destination in the country and the perfect holiday destination for all ages and is renowned for its highly developed arts, including dance, sculpture, painting, leather, metalworking and music. Bali has lush rice terraces, volcanoes soaring up through the clouds, dense tropical jungle, sandy beaches, warm blue water, crashing surf and friendly people who don't just have a culture but actually live it.

The province is divided into 8 regencies (kabupaten) and 1 city (kota): Badung, Bangli, Buleleng, Denpasar (city), Gianyar, Jembrana, Karangasem, Klungkung and Tabanan.

Mount Batur (Gunung Batur) and Lake Batur at its feet, Bali, IndonesiaWhat to do:
- South Bali:
Denpasar, site of Ngurah Rai Airport or Bali International Airport, the capital city of the province of Bali.
Jimbaran bay is a sea-side resorts and nice beaches south of Kuta.
Kuta, former fishing village, known internationally for its long sandy beach, varied accommodation, many restaurants and bars.
Legian, mixed tourist / residential area on the west coast of Bali just north of Kuta.
Nusa Dua is an enclave of expensive high-end resorts (Jimbaran Beach and Garuda Wisnu Kencana).
Tanah Lot, famous rock formation and home of a famous pilgrimage temple, the Pura Tanah Lot.
Sanur, more sea-side resorts and beaches.
Uluwatu is a small village near the southernmost tip of Bali with a stunningly located cliff top temple.

- Central Bali:
Between Sanur and Ubud is a series of "crafts villages" featuring wood carving, painting, batik, and jewelry.
Ubud, considered the arts and culture center of the island.
Sayan is very spectacular rice terraces.

- West Bali:
Gilimanuk, ferry to Java.
Seminyak is a mixed tourist / residential area.

- North Bali:
Lovina, small villages, black volcanic sand beaches and coral reefs on Bali's north coast.
Singaraja, "Lion King" in Indonesian, just east of Lovina.
Kintamani, with the Lake Batur where Peneloken provides the first spectacular view of this Crater Lake, set in a vast volcano caldera; Mount Batur, still an active volcano and Pura Ulun Danau Batur, the second most important temple in Bali.

- East Bali:
Amed is a peaceful fishing village with black sand, coral reefs and excellent diving.
Candi Dasa is a very quiet tourist place.
Tirta Gangga with its mountains, the water palace and beautiful rice terraces.
Padang Bai or Padangbai serves as a ferry port for travel to Lombok, The Gilis and other of the Lesser Sunda Islands.

Lombok, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, February 21, 2007 at 11:37:37

Quiet white sand beach and bleu water in Gili Trawangan, Gili Islands near Lombok, IndonesiaLombok island is located in West Nusa Tenggara province, Indonesia. You can reach the island flying to Mataram, capital and largest city of West Nusa Tenggara province, and served by the Selaparang Airport.

View of Gili Meno, Gili Islands (Indonesian:Tiga Gili (Three Gilis), Kepulauan Gili (Gili Islands)), near Lombok, island in West Nusa Tenggara province, IndonesiaLombok is a part of group of islands called Nusa Tenggara or Lesser Sunda Islands. With the Greater Sunda Islands to the west they make up the Sunda Islands. Adonara, Alor archipelago, Bali, Flores, Komodo, Lombok, Palu'e, Pantar, Rote, Solor, Sangeang, Savu, Sumba, Sumbawa, Timor, Barat Daya Islands, Tanimbar Islands are part of the Lesser Sunda Islands; Borneo, Java, Sumatra, Sulawesi are part of the Greater Sunda Islands.
A must is to visit the Gili Islands, just off the northwest coast of Lombok, archipelago of three small islands: Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air.

UNESCO World Heritage

Indonesia, Cultural Landscape of Bali Province: the Subak System as a Manifestation of the Tri Hita Karana Philosophy

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, April 10, 2013 at 07:07:55

Location Bali, Indonesia
Coordinates S8 15 33 E115 24 10
Property 19,520 ha
Date of Inscription 2012

Brief Description ( )

The cultural landscape of Bali consists of five rice terraces and their water temples that cover 19,500 ha. The temples are the focus of a cooperative water management system of canals and weirs, known as subak, that dates back to the 9th century. Included in the landscape is the 18th-century Royal Water Temple of Pura Taman Ayun, the largest and most impressive architectural edifice of its type on the island. The subak reflects the philosophical concept of Tri Hita Karana, which brings together the realms of the spirit, the human world and nature. This philosophy was born of the cultural exchange between Bali and India over the past 2,000 years and has shaped the landscape of Bali. The subak system of democratic and egalitarian farming practices has enabled the Balinese to become the most prolific rice growers in the archipelago despite the challenge of supporting a dense population.

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Rice terrace, Subak Pura Taman Ayun, Subak

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Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, April 10, 2013 at 06:57:07

Location Provinces of Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam, Sumatra Utara (North Sumatra), Jambi, Sumatra Barat (West Sumatra), Sumatra Selatan (South Sumatra), Bengkulu, and Lampung on the Island of Sumatra, Indonesia
Coordinates S2 30 0 E101 30 0
Property 2,595,124 ha
Date of Inscription 2004

Brief Description ( )

The 2.5 million hectare Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra site comprises three national parks: Gunung Leuser National Park, Kerinci Seblat National Park and Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park. The site holds the greatest potential for long-term conservation of the distinctive and diverse biota of Sumatra, including many endangered species. The protected area is home to an estimated 10,000 plant species, including 17 endemic genera; more than 200 mammal species; and some 580 bird species of which 465 are resident and 21 are endemic. Of the mammal species, 22 are Asian, not found elsewhere in the archipelago and 15 are confined to the Indonesian region, including the endemic Sumatran orang-utan. The site also provides biogeographic evidence of the evolution of the island.

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Waterfall, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra

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Indonesia, Lorentz National Park

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, April 10, 2013 at 06:44:27

Location Province of Papua (formerly Irian Jaya), Indonesia
Coordinates S4 45 0 E137 49 59.988
Property 2,350,000 ha
Date of Inscription 1999

Brief Description ( )

Lorentz National Park (2.35 million ha) is the largest protected area in South-East Asia. It is the only protected area in the world to incorporate a continuous, intact transect from snowcap to tropical marine environment, including extensive lowland wetlands. Located at the meeting-point of two colliding continental plates, the area has a complex geology with ongoing mountain formation as well as major sculpting by glaciation. The area also contains fossil sites which provide evidence of the evolution of life on New Guinea, a high level of endemism and the highest level of biodiversity in the region.

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Puncak Jaya, Lorentz National Park

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Indonesia, Sangiran Early Man Site

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, April 10, 2013 at 06:26:05

Location Province of Central Java, Indonesia
Coordinates S7 24 0 E110 49 0
Property 5,600 ha
Date of Inscription 1996

Brief Description ( )

Excavations here from 1936 to 1941 led to the discovery of the first hominid fossil at this site. Later, 50 fossils of Meganthropus palaeo and Pithecanthropus erectus/Homo erectus were found – half of all the world's known hominid fossils. Inhabited for the past one and a half million years, Sangiran is one of the key sites for the understanding of human evolution.

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Sangiran Early Man Site Museum, Sangiran Early Man Site

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Indonesia, Ujung Kulon National Park

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, April 10, 2013 at 06:18:35

Location Provinces of Banten (formerly West Java) and Lampung, Indonesia
Coordinates S6 45 0 E105 19 60
Property 78,525 ha
Date of Inscription 1991

Brief Description ( )

This national park, located in the extreme south-western tip of Java on the Sunda shelf, includes the Ujung Kulon peninsula and several offshore islands and encompasses the natural reserve of Krakatoa. In addition to its natural beauty and geological interest – particularly for the study of inland volcanoes – it contains the largest remaining area of lowland rainforests in the Java plain. Several species of endangered plants and animals can be found there, the Javan rhinoceros being the most seriously under threat.

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Krakatoa, Ujung Kulon National Park

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Indonesia, Prambanan Temple Compounds

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, April 10, 2013 at 06:07:19

Location Province of Central Java, Indonesia
Coordinates S7 45 7.992 E110 29 30.012
Date of Inscription 1991

Brief Description ( )

Built in the 10th century, this is the largest temple compound dedicated to Shiva in Indonesia. Rising above the centre of the last of these concentric squares are three temples decorated with reliefs illustrating the epic of the Ramayana, dedicated to the three great Hindu divinities (Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma) and three temples dedicated to the animals who serve them.

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Prambanan Prambanan

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Indonesia, Komodo National Park

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, May 17, 2009 at 16:30:55

Location East Nusa Tenggara Province, Indonesia
Coordinates S8 32 35.988 E119 29 21.984
Type Natural
Property 219,322 ha
Date of Inscription 1991

Brief Description ( )

These volcanic islands are inhabited by a population of around 5,700 giant lizards, whose appearance and aggressive behaviour have led to them being called 'Komodo dragons'. They exist nowhere else in the world and are of great interest to scientists studying the theory of evolution. The rugged hillsides of dry savannah and pockets of thorny green vegetation contrast starkly with the brilliant white sandy beaches and the blue waters surging over coral.

Photos from Landolia

Komodo National Park Komodo dragon, Komodo National Park

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Indonesia, Borobudur Temple Compounds

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, May 17, 2009 at 16:16:11

Location near Magelang, Regency of Magelang, Province of Central Java, Indonesia
Coordinates S7 36 28.008 E110 12 12.996
Architect Gunadharma
Architectural style stupa and candi
Property 26 ha
Date of Inscription 1991

Brief Description ( )

This famous Buddhist temple, dating from the 8th and 9th centuries, is located in central Java. It was built in three tiers: a pyramidal base with five concentric square terraces, the trunk of a cone with three circular platforms and, at the top, a monumental stupa. The walls and balustrades are decorated with fine low reliefs, covering a total surface area of 2,500 m2. Around the circular platforms are 72 openwork stupas, each containing a statue of the Buddha. The monument was restored with UNESCO's help in the 1970s.

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Borobudur Stupa, Borobudur

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