I get to return to one of my favorite places in the world – the country of Indonesia. After living for two years in this wonderful country, I always look forward to visiting the people, eating great food, and seeing fun sights. This trip will be no different (We have asked one of our Good Neighbor Insurance team members share their travel stories with you here on this blog week)!
I’m looking forward to exploring new places – Medan, Makassar, and Bau-Bau. And returning to favorite places – Bogor (or the puncak), Bandung, and Tangerang. Tangerang, in Banten, is a place that holds much mystery for many Indonesians. Throughout Indonesia, Banten is known for being a center of black magic. At one point, Banten was a kingdom, and nine sultans are buried there. The most famous grave in Banten is Sultan Maulana Yusuf’s. Indonesians believe that he is the oldest relative to Muhammad, and as a result, it is a center for spiritual blessing. The grave itself is behind closed doors, and pilgrims cannot go all the way into it. And yet, they still go to this grave to pray and ask for things. They also use mediums to communicate with him.
Pilgrims who visit the tombs must do specific rituals along with chanting the Quran and praying. One ritual is to get water from the building at the gravesite and put it in front of the grave’s doors. They also place flowers on the doors. If it is a grave that they can go to directly, they put the water and the flowers in front of the grave to absorb the blessing from the sultan, then take the flowers and water home with them. If a person is sick, he or she will drink the water for healing, and they put the flower petals into a bath.
If you’re brave, you can visit these tombs! The Great Mosque of Banten was built right beside one of the tombs, and you can actually go all the way to this tomb. This mosque is also interesting in that it has Chinese style architecture, and the minaret looks like a lighthouse.
Another cool place to visit in Banten is Old Banten. At one time, Banten was a great port, and the sultan had a majestic palace and mosque. Old Banten is the ruins of the mosque and palace. You can see the base of the old walls that surrounded everything, and there are still some doorways, minarets, and archways.
Banten is a beautiful area with old boats around the port, and rice fields with water buffalo in them all over the place. It also has great views looking out over the ocean. There are several places to see good views, and one of them is Restoran Sederhana, a Padang restaurant. Padang food originally comes from the Padang area of Sumatra, but the Minangkabau people have taken it throughout Indonesia and it is now a staple. This well-known chain has a place right by the Banten coast. It has great views of the ocean, and on a good day, you can even see Anak Krakatoa, the volcano that lies between Java and Sumatra. Want to explore Banten? Let me know, I’ll go with you!
Good Neighbor Insurance at https://www.overseashealthinsurance.com/ provides travel medical insurance for those visiting Indonesia and anywhere outside of the U.S. You may see all of our travel insurance plans on our corporate web site at www.gninsurance.com.
If you have questions please call us. You may reach us by connecting with our specialist toll free at 866-636-9100 or here at 480-633-9500 or email us at . Our Phoenix Metro office is open from 8a to 5p each work day. Our specialists are not only extremely knowledgeable in international medical cover but most of us have lived and/or traveled outside the U.S. many times. We understand what it is like to be an expat or to visit a new country for the first time!
We are here anytime you need us. Have a wonderful and safe travels!