Friday, June 04, 2010

Activities abound during upcoming school holiday

THERE is a feeling of excitement when a holiday is just around the corner. There are things to do and plans to make, especially for your children. Of course, it would be unthinkable to allow them go here and there or wander around without any real purpose.

Time allowing, a holiday abroad would be most pleasant. However, a person's budget is an important consideration when deciding on whether to take your children to Europe, the US or a nearby country in Asia. Those with a limited budget might want to consider a backpacking holiday, about which a travel agent can be consulted.

Those on a tight budget can explore domestic locations or places around Jakarta, where there is always something interesting during the school holidays to explore. One example is Apple Gardena Villa in Cipanas, West Java, where one can stay a couple of nights with the family in a caravan in a mountainous area.

Not far from here is Taman Safari Indonesia, which has a breeding program for rare animals or species, such as the Sumatran tiger and elephant, Sulawesi dwarf buffalo (anoa). Here you can also find rare birds such as the bird of paradise, Bali starling and cockatoo.

Taman Safari Indonesia, which opened to the public in 1986, has a collection of more than 2,500 animals consisting of 200 species. Taman Safari Indonesia - located in the Mount Gede Pangrango National Park, which is 900 to 1,800 meters above sea level - is a combination of modern zoo, nature resort and recreation center. Taman Safari offers the Safari Trek for students, in which they can get a real feel of mountain hiking and exploring and can get up close and personal with the working elephants in the area.

If you want to view various kinds of fish, especially sharks, then go to Sea World Indonesia at Taman Impian Jaya Ancol in Jakarta. Or visit Aquatic Fantasy at Telaga Golf Real Estate, Sawangan, Depok, which stages a number of activities, such as climbing, jumping, engaging in battle, adventure games and greeting the sea god Neptune.

Those looking for a real adventure can visit a national park. There are two national parks not far from Jakarta: Mount Halimun Salak National Park in Sukabumi and Mount Pancar National Park, Bogor, both in West Java.

At Mount Halimun National Park, students can have an adventure in the forest and see wild animals or amuse themselves under the waterfall. A camping area and lodgings are also available. Meanwhile, at Mount Pancar National Park they can have a picnic and maintain their health through acupuncture and bathing in the hot springs.

Meanwhile, Cinangneng village in Bogor offers a true village style holiday. Many people, especially during school holidays, often stay in the village, where traditional farmers are the main attraction. There is a villa about 1 kilometer from the Bogor Institute of Agriculture's Dermaga campus.

Life in the village is full of traditional farming activities that attract many people. Visitors are also introduced to traditional musical instruments, such as gamelan and angklung (bamboo instrument).

Students can also learn the games played by the village children and play and bathe in the river as well as help bathe the buffalos. At night they can participate in a security patrol or have dinner with the villagers around a campfire and savor grilled corn. They can also participate in farming activities and get dirty in the mud. This is indeed a rare experience for city children.

If you don't want to stay overnight but do want to enjoy a natural village atmosphere then another choice is Taman Buah Mekarsari (Mekarsari Fruit Park). Here children can learn about fruit farming, pick fruit and take it home.

Taman Buah Mekarsari, located in Cileungsi, West Java, is not a new holiday resort. Located on 27 hectares of land, it is full of fruit trees and one can pick and eat the fruit onsite. Also available is a tram, tuk-tuk, tandem bicycles, ATVs, a monorail, boats, boom-boom cars, a flora theater, a lotus pond, a cultivation center, a fruit store, a food court, a villa in a fruit garden and a stage for musical shows and dramas. There are also challenging outbound activities, such as gliding, sliding from a slope, rope climbing and climbing on bamboo at an angle.

So you see there are many ideas for the holidays that won't break the bank. As long as you know how to enjoy your holiday, it will turn out to be a memorable one. (Burhanuddin Abe)

The Jakarta Post, June 04, 2010

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