The world’s richest reefs or the “kingdom of coral” are some names given to Raja Ampat, it’s a name well deserved as the Raja Ampat islands encompass over four million hectares of land and sea o the far northwestern tip of Papua. It consists of approximately more than 600 islands, including the four largest: Waigeo, Batanta, Salawi, and Misool (also known as Butanme). The Raja Ampat name (meaning four kings) comes from the period when the region was under the in uence of the North-Moluccan sultanates of Ternate and Tidore, who ruled Raja Ampat for a period of at least 400 years. This trip to Raja Ampat was done aboard two luxury phinisis from the legendary Aman Resorts, the Amandira and Amanikan. The first is a custom-build 52-meter, two-masted phinisi that o ers ve spacious cabins with a crew of 14. This phinisi was handcrafted by the Konjo tribe of Sulawesi, and launched in 2015. While similar, Amanikan is a smaller 32-meter custom-build coastal cruiser with three above-deck cabins, and a foredeck with a bar for outdoor dining. These vessels combine the romance of the spice trade with modern amenities and technologies. Both provide dive equipment essential to enjoy the beautiful waters of Raja Ampat, and, as expected, have outstanding services. The phinisi spent ve days exploring the mesmerizing waters of Raja Ampat. The price for a trip? It starts at $9,150 for a cabin per night, exclude the flights to go there.
At 2,000 meters above sea level, the moun- tains are high enough to trap the clouds, which nestle in the hills around Laut Tawar Lake in Central Aceh just before dawn. As the sun rises over the hills, the temperature climbs from a chilly 18 degrees and the cloud dissipates, revealing a wide vista of lush green coffee plants spread out over thousands of hectares up the hillsides surround- ing the lake. This area is home to Gayo coffee, among the most sought-after coffees in the world. To be sure, other Indonesian coffees are more widely known, such Sulawesi Toraja, Sumatra Mandheling and even the notorious Kopi Luwak. Yet Gayo’s star is rising, especially amongst those who are looking for organic and fair-trade coffee. Also on pure taste, some say Gayo, which is 100% Arabica ranks among the world’s best, compared favorably to other high- growth coffees such as Blue Mountain from Jamaica. It is found here in this part of Aceh and nowhere else.
Potrait of Indonesia's inspiring women. They come from a variety of backgrounds, and are high achievers in their respective fields. Some of Whom names may be familiar and others less so. They are, in that sense, more of a representative sample than an exclusive club.
Phinisi may be the world’s last seaworthy wooden sailboats still in wide use today. The phinisi is a traditional wooden two-masted sailing ship, which were mentioned as plying the waters of Indonesia as early as the 14th century. The ships today are built at Tanjung Bira beach by the Konjo, a subgroup of the Bugis living in the Bulukumba regency of South Sulawesi. While modern power tools can be used, the boats are largely built using the design and construction techniques handed down over hundreds of years. These boats may be the world’s last large seaworthy wooden sailing ships being built. While many serve as humble cargo ships, some become high-end yachts.