All posts by Gary Holmes

Things To Do in Seoul for k-Pop Lovers

Kpop sensation has been spreading all over the world. They have caused massive fever globally. There are popular k-pop artists such as BTS, EXO, BlackPink, and more. You must also remember the iconic South Korea singer Psy with his iconic music video. South Korea has brought K-pop sensation but it is not recently happening. In fact, it has been there for quite long time. K-pop world has brought South Korea into another level of popularity. The number of tourists visiting the country also keeps increasing. If you are K-pop lover and want to experience the real K-pop world, visiting Seoul, the capital of South Korea is worth it. 

Places in Seoul for devoted K-pop fans to visit

The achievement and popularity of the current biggest boyband in the world, BTS are massive. They managed to beat western artist in Billboard music award in 2017. they continue to shine and win various award in international award shows. Recently, they won three categories in American Music Awards. If you are devoted fans of K-pop, might as well visiting Seoul and have a K-pop tour. 

20Space Cafe is owned by Cube Entertainment, a entertainment agency for various K-pop artists such as BTOB and G(I-dle). it has spacious, relaxing interior design. It is not designated into K-pop theme or something, sure it plays various tracks from Cube’s artists. However, you can still enjoy the place with chill. There are various foods and drinks on the menu you can order. There is also a corner dedicated for some agency-related goods you can buy.

LStart Road is also a great place to indulge your K-pop soul. This place features a series of statues dedicated to Korean music superstars such as BTS, Shinee, Wonder Girls, and many more. This road is also a getaway to Gangnam, one of the fanciest districts in Seoul. Not to mention that Gangnam is the center of the K-pop industry in South Korea. There are various interesting points full of K-pop things you can visit. There are agency buildings, cafes, and more to enjoy. 

Hongdae street is a must visit area in Seoul especially for Korean music fans. This is where you can enjoy various street performances. They are just as good as popular K-pop artists. Visit this place in the evening. There are many young people performing with great skills. They dance, live sing, rap, play instrument, and put more great performances throughout the night. They often do the cover of popular boybands and girlbands. The most interesting event is the K-pop re-creations usually held on Friday or Saturday nights. 

SMTown Museum is owned by SM Entertainment, one of the biggest entertainment companies in South Korea. It is a massive building consisted of six floors offering different entertainment for visitors. There are augmented versions of SM artists, a recording studio, gallery, and cafe. It offers complete entertainment for visitors who truly want to experience K-pop sensation. The structure is spacious and massive with modern interior design that fit the vibe of the city. 

Exclusive Bali Villas that Give Hotels a Run for Their Money

Let’s talk about our favorite vacation destination in Indonesia for a second. If you were asked that question, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? It’s without a doubt none other than Bali. This heavily cultured island holds some of the amazing beaches and rainforest around the world. But what if you want to stay there for quite some time? Check out these tips to find some exclusive Bali villas.

exclusive bali villa with a private pool view

With exclusive Bali villas, luxury and adventure are at the grasp of your hand!

If there’s one thing lacking in Bali, it’s that there’s hardly any public transportation there. No trains, no angkot, and not even cab or taxi. There’s a bus, but it usually just for off-island transportation. There are also tourist exclusive buses that only goes to specific vacation areas but not for stopping anywhere else, most of them are overpriced as well.

With this problem in hand, we can safely assume finding a nice place to settle in near our designated area is important in Bali. First, there’s plenty of hostels that offer a dormitory-style room where you can possibly meet other travelers, it’s cheap but of course with limited facilities. But if you really want some privacy, and feels like at home you should look for exclusive Bali villas in big cities like Kuta or Ubud.

With just a few steps, you can own exclusive Bali villas

Say you wanted to explore Kuta, with its many beaches, bars, clubs and other famous places you just can’t explore in a day or two. You will need a place to lay low for days or even weeks. Renting or buying a villa can be a clever solution to your settlement problem in Bali. With the increasing demand for villa, the number of real estate agents is increasing as well making it easier to choose the villa that you wanted.

Not just ordinary but exclusive Bali villas, guaranteed for your leisure…

Villas in Bali are quite varied, from a small bungalow to a fancy resort. But for places near popular holiday destinations, mostly there are high-end villas anywhere you look. A beautiful garden, elegant house, and large swimming pool are usually what makes a sophisticated and exclusive villa.

Anyway, for the last words, I just wanted to say pick your choice of home carefully around Bali in general. There’s plenty of places to stay but only with villas you can feel very welcome and get everything that you need within a doorstep. Start browsing for exclusive Bali villas from now and get your dream home immediately!    

Applying The Principles of Sustainable Travel Or Ecotourism

Having sustainable travel or ecotourism can be done by joining a program provided by particular organizations. However, it is not the only way you can do. The important point of sustainable travel or ecotourism is to help preserve the nature and respect the locals. Therefore, you can also do it in many ways. In fact, sustainable travel practices are adoptable. You can apply the principles of sustainable travel by yourself. It can develop into a long-term habit that benefits not only the environment but also the people.

Understand and apply the principles of sustainable travel or ecotourism

Sustainable travel is defined as responsible travel practices to natural areas which conserves environment as well as improve the well-being of the locals. By understanding the meaning, you get the main points. Thus, you will be able to apply the principles into habitual practices during your trip, such as:

Always do your own research and plan the trip thoroughly. It is essential to plan your travel so you learn the place you are going to visit better. You learn more the characteristics of the nature and the people of the location. You can also learn few phrases of local language to show your respect and appreciation. Also, it is important to pack only the essentials, especially the ones that can help you adopt ecotourism practices. The principle of things to pack for sustainable travel is to reduce, reuse, and recycle. By planning thoroughly, you can prevent yourself from misconducting or misbehaving during the travel.

Choose mode of transportation that can help reduce your carbon footprint. Air transport is efficient but use it only when necessary. Avoid having too many flights for your trip. If you can opt for direct flight to the location, it is a better choice. It is also recommended to use public transport such as buses or rails. If your destination within walking distance, reach it by foot. Riding a bike is also great alternative to choose. 

One of the principle of sustainable travel is to protect the culture of the locals. You can apply the principle by contributing to the local economies. For example, book green lodgings certified by credible authority for your trip. You can also do it by respecting the local customs and tradition. It is also highly recommended to buy the local products, foods, and services as your contribution to strengthen the locals’ sustainability. Try to engage more with the locals to make your trip stay enjoyable. It is also a great way to appreciate the locals and both parties get memorable experience.

Be more considerate when taking any action during travel. Keep in mind that what you do may affect the nature negatively. Avoid doing something that can be considered as ecological degradation. When you visit natural areas, make sure to stay on designated trails so you can avid damaging the environment. Do not leave behind or take something out of natural areas. Always respect the native wildlife and vegetation. Then, share your positive experience when returning at home.

How to get Bali villas for sale on an exotic island?

The house is an expensive asset and the best investment for the long term. Later, property investment is no longer just a long-term investment but is also able to provide additional monthly income. Interested? One of the islands as well as the best tourist destinations in the world, Bali provides its own charm. Not only travelers from various worlds but also foreign investors. Surprisingly, property prices in Bali have surged from year to year. Don’t be surprised if your property prices can jump 100% in 1-2 years. Bali property villas are growing and developing. A list of Bali villas for sale enlivens the property business on the island of the gods.

Bali villas for sale, for short term or long term investment

Buy Bali villas for sale and think out the box

Leave your old-fashioned mind by enjoying your property investment alone. If buying property can add to your multiple benefits, why not? As the development of tourist arrivals to Bali, also the need for accommodation. This can’t be denied! In fact, it is indeed difficult to find accommodation, especially during the high season. You have to make a reservation well in advance of your vacation, and you are even expected to be able to book accommodations 1 or 2 months in advance. You certainly don’t want to enjoy a vacation with uncomfortable accommodations.

The difficulty of finding accommodation during high season is one of the reasons why many investors are looking for Bali villas for sale. First, you can occupy it while on vacation in Bali. Secondly, you can rent it out and get additional income. Maybe many people think it will be a hassle in maintenance considering you as the owner does not live in Bali.

That’s very easy to overcome! When you decide to find Bali villas for sale, there are many ways to maintain it without bothering the owner. Property Agency! This is the answer. They will give you the choice of whether your villa will be rented short term or long term. Surely you know that many ex-pats fill Bali with various reasons, whether to stay, work or take a vacation in the long run. Under applicable law, foreigners are not allowed to own property in any form. You can take advantage of this opportunity to offer villas to them. Property agency will help you market your villa as well as its maintenance. They will make sure your villa is always in top condition.

If you decide to look for Bali villas for sale to rent back monthly, you can look for local residents to help maintain and maintain the villa. You can do villa promotions yourself through various platforms, such as using social media. The benefits of buying Bali villas for sale for you are unlimited, depending on how you think and want to get out of your old-fashioned thoughts and safety zone.

Most Common Problems When Business Travelling

Travelling for business can be stressful more often than not because you are not visiting the place for fun or relaxing but to fulfill your responsibility. There are those kinds of work that require you to travel a lot from time to time. Sometimes, it can be domestic or international trip. No matter how often you travel for work, it is not surprising to experience various hassles such as feeling fed up with the airport foods, etc. Those are common to have those kinds of feelings. There are still people who though that business travel is full of fun and adventure. However, it is not always the case. Having a fun business travel is something that hard to comes by. 

Business travel most common problems

If you are travel a lot for business purpose, you must have experienced many things throughout your trip history. Sometimes, those happen like a cycle every time you travel. Here are some of the most common problems most business travelers experience and are suffered from:

Going budget without considering important things

business travel

Stay in budget hotels with poor amenities. Unless you are the owner of your business, you have the right to choose and book a hotel that you want. However, it is often that employees are being sent to business travel and they have to stay at budget hotel booked by the company. Aside from fulfilling your responsibilities, you are also required to settle with what you have during your stay. This can be more stressing. Not to mention that sometimes your company book you a hotel located in shady area which makes you feel unsafe. Most business travelers try to avoid this staying at the hotel by taking a day trip. However, this arise another problem, which is exhaustion and fatigue. 

Insurance and safety

Insurance and safety are also the most common issues for business travelers. For those who have travel insurance provided by their company must have feel more secured. However, not all employees are insured by their companies. This can be a problem when travelling especially when you encounter unfortunate situation such as losing your luggage, documentation, etc. Keep in mind that it is not only your travel destination that should be concerned. The airport is also one of the places where problems happen.

Also read:

Meals! 

Foods choice is also one of the most common problems experienced by business travelers. Airport foods are not always great unless you visit a country with great airport. It is also common finding foods that really don’t fit your taste. Airport restaurant is one of the nearest destination you can go to when you are on business trip. Not to mention that the price of the foods sold at the airport restaurants are relatively much higher than in regular restaurants. Eating unhealthy, overpriced foods is often experienced by business travelers. 

Other issues

There are other most common problems experienced when you are traveling for business such as fighting off jet lag while having tight schedule for meetings, flight delays, hotel cancellations, and many more. Those are common but don’t mean every business traveler have already gotten used to it.

Tattoo Bali Hygiene: Is it Really Safe to Get a Tattoo in Bali?

One of the concerns when you’re opting to get Bali tattoo is hygiene. There are always questions of whether getting inked in the Paradise Island is safe. Do the tattoo studios in Bali adhere to the standard safety procedures like how it is back home? How’s the whole safety standards in Bali actually?

Bali as a travel tattoo destination 

It’s widely known that Bali is one of the most attractive tropical tourist destinations over the last several decades. People flock to the island in search of things they couldn’t find back home. The Tattoo community in Bali is one of the phenomenon that could not be separated from the rise of the tourism industry. 

tattoo bali safety

As such, much of the standards of Bali tattoo actually follows the world at large. It isn’t rare to find studios owned by Australian and European expatriates. While this is in no way an indication of good hygiene standards, take note that Indonesia in general is a Muslim majority. While tattoo will always have a place there, it remains a fact that in society at large, tattoos are looked down upon. This is something that you’d understand if you’ve been in Indonesia for long enough and actually have meaningful interactions with the locals. A large portion of clients who are getting a tattoo in Bali are from overseas themselves, who are of course wondering about hygiene concerns and all. 

Tattoo Bali: That suspiciously cheap tattoo places in Kuta 

While it’s safe to say that getting a tattoo in Bali as as safe as when you get it back home, same common sense when you wanted to get a tattoo applies. There are many shady parlors in Kuta (or Sanur, tattoo Canggu or everywhere in Bali, really) that offer super cheap tattoo. Those are the ones you need to be wary of. 

bali tattoo

The main issue here is that tattoo standards here are not regulated. And Indonesia is far from the point of getting such regulations, there’s also the fact that even if the regulation is in place, enforcing such regulations is an entirely different matter. 

Getting to know the average tattoo prices in Bali 

artist tattoo bali

Visit the studio tattoo Bali of your choice. Just be upfront with them and say that you’re considering your budget. 

  • Send your inquiries to several tattoo studios or artists in Bali. Expect that prices will vary. But you’ll know then, how much is an acceptable range and how cheap is too cheap.  
  • Always make sure that you have a design ready when you’re doing this by message. It does not have to be a fixed design; it just needs to be able to illustrate your point. Don’t be afraid of including other people’s tattoo to illustrate the size of your tattoo, for example. Anything to get your idea across. 
  • Already in Bali? Why not go to the tattoo places you already have in mind? Actually visiting the place and getting to talk to the artist is a valuable experience 
  • You don’t have any idea where you’d like to get tattooed in? Then it’s time to do your research. Browse for reputable Bali tattoo places

Getting a tattoo Bali is generally safe, but…

With everything that’s said, getting a tattoo in Bali is actually not that huge of a concern many often make it out to be. Poor tattooing practice exists, but it’s more of an exception than a norm. And as long as you do your research and always consult before committing to a tattoo studio or artist, you’re generally going to be fine. And of course, educate yourself in what consist of safe tattooing practices, such as single-use tattoo equipment, sterilization process, down to the after-care. 

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Travel Tips To Surabaya

Surabaya is an urban city but it still has cultural as well as colonial vibes. This old city was the witness of Indonesian struggles during WWII. There were war heroes in Surabaya and that’s why many monuments and memorials as appreciation to those. Surabaya has a perfect blend of urbanity and cultural diversity. It is a a city where you can find perfect harmony between Chinese and Muslim communities. Therefore, it is a safe place for travelling around. The locals are friendly and open-minded. Surabaya is a great destination for your next travel plan. 

Travel Tips To Surabaya

What to know before visiting Surabaya

Surabaya is an old city full of historical and cultural values. There are many interesting places to visit during your vacation in Surabaya. Here are things you should know about Surabaya before making your visit.

Surabaya is accessible

There are many ways you can get in Surabaya. There is Juanda Airport available for domestic and international flights. You can also reach Surabaya via train from Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital city. Public transportation is also available include minibus and Angkot. If you arrive in Juanda Airport, taxi is the most accessible to take you to the center of the city. Bus is also available in the airport but pretty seldom. 

Best time to visit

Travel Tips To Surabaya

The best time to visit Surabaya is literally anytime in the year. However, you can also avoid rainy season which falls in November-April if you don’t want to deal with more traffic or wet clothes. The average temperature in Surabaya is pleasant which is about 30-32 degree Celsius.

What to wear

You can wear casual, comfortable clothes during your visit in Surabaya. However, it is highly advised to not wear too revealing clothes if you are visiting or entering religious attractions such as Cheng Hoo Mosque or Ampel Mosque. As for walking around the city, there is no issue even if you wear shorts and tank tops. Just make sure to always wear sunscreen especially when you visit during dry season since Surabaya is a tropical city. Hats and sunglasses will be useful too since the sun can be pretty strong during the day.

Safety on Surabaya

As for security issue, Surabaya is relatively safe and there is no major threats you should be aware of. However, it is highly advised to not wander around big crowds carelessly because pick-pocketing is still the main issue. Do not bring valuables when getting around the city. Make sure to keep your belongings close to you during your walk. 

Never drink the tap water

It is highly advised to not drink from tap water. Always drink bottled water and it’s even better if you carry your own purified bottle. Bottled water is available in every store so you won’t have difficulty to get it. 

Careful with the taxis

Be more cautious if you get around the city by taxi. They may charge more expensive price to foreign tourists. You can negotiate the price in advance. As for foods, it is not hard to spot a restaurants, cafes, and even street vendors. The price of foods is relatively affordable even for budget travelers. 

Komodo Liveaboard vs Maldives Liveaboard, Which One Better?

Blue sky, sugary beaches, remote islands, and exceptional underwater wonder. Both Komodo and Maldives are holiday perfect. The weather on these places are nice almost all year round and travelers are flocking even in November and December. Both destination are famous for having the best of diving as well as strings of islands to explore. The two are both phenomenal for its liveaboard sailing trip, and damn they do stellar job on that. If you are confused to choose between Komodo or Maldives liveaboard for your next holiday, we’ve covered some considerations below.

Komodo Liveaboard vs Maldives Liveaboard, Which One Better?

Wooden Komodo Liveaboard vs Fibres-and-Steels Maldives Liveaboard

One distinct characteristic that set Komodo liveaboard apart from the rest of the world’s is their ship materials. Most liveaboard boats in Indonesia—whether in Flores, Mentawai, Papua, and Maluku—are flowing a modernised version of Phinisi, Indonesian traditional wooden schooner. The country has long history on sailing with the Buginese (one of Indonesian ethnic tribe) being the most respected sailors and ship builders. If you are going to embark on sailing trip in Indonesia, you would most definitely sailing on wooden phinisi. The Maldives sort of adopting dive sailing trip on their tourism industry, so you’ll mostly find modern fibres-and-steel ship and cruisers on the dock. It’s very rare to find teak wood liveaboard ships in Maldives and when you do, it’s quite pricey. So if taking the nostalgic feeling of sailing in pirate era is on your dream list, Komodo liveaboard is your answer. Plus, the all-wooden exterior and interior decor gives a romantic and idyllic vibe. 

Capacity on Both Liveaboard

Unlike European Mega Cruisers, both Komodo and Maldives liveaboard don’t take too many passengers. Depend on their sizes, these boats can fit from as few as 4 guest up to 24 guest only. They make sure that the sailing trip is focused and intimate. Also, it’s hard to pay proper attention when you have hundreds of diver on the boat!

Not All Liveaboard in Komodo is For Diving—Everyone Can Board

One thing we love on Komodo liveaboard is that they are so inclusive! Liveaboard trip in this dragon territory is so flexible. You can always choose to book a seven day trip of exclusive diving, a balanced mix of diving and island exploration, or even three days sailing exclusively for beach galore. Unlike Maldives, almost all islands in Komodo is government-owned and naturally uninhibited. The famous Padar (with its viewpoint comprising three coloured beaches), Gili Lawa, Sebayur, Rinca, and many other islands are completely uninhibited. Only few are private owned by resorts. If you are a non diver, you can always spend the entire sailing trip islands hopping, hiking, and having fun at empty beaches almost for free. You only need to pay the park entrance fee for once, and that’s it. 

More on Travelling Komodo Insight:

Why Liveaboard Labuan Bajo is Perfect for Summer Trip

How Does A Mid Range Komodo Liveaboard Look Like

Modern Amenities and Hospitality

Though these wooden Komodo liveaboard boats look antique, they are completely modern once you step to the inside. Even Kanye West and the Kadarshian family had their holiday on one of the luxury phinisi. On both Maldives and Komodo boats, you can find private bathrooms, bar, salon with in-house TV, air conditioner, DVD entertainment, and many more. Some liveaboard boats on both location are even in par with four star hotel! Just like any other modern accommodation in the world, however, you can live as modern as you like in the liveaboard according to your budget. It’s not that different, really. 

Iconic Spots To Visit in Surabaya

Surabaya is one of the largest cities in Indonesia and it is not surprising that this city is also an iconic travel destination. Surabaya played important role during Indonesian’s struggles of colonial era. Surabaya has become a great city where you can still feel the colonial era presence through colonial buildings. This city is also iconic due to its richness in culture. There are many places you can go to truly enjoy the local cultures and traditions. Therefore, choosing Surabaya as your travel destination will be worth it. 

Suramadu Bridge

Recommended spots to visit in Surabaya

Surabaya is budget and family friendly. Therefore, it is such a perfect travel destination for everyone. There are iconic spots you should not miss to visit when you stay in Surabaya for your holiday, such as:

Mesjid Ampel is a iconic mosque in Surabaya which has been also a popular tourist site especially for Muslim travelers. The mosque is an old establishment because it was built in the 15th Century. However, this mosque still stands majestically with spacious observation deck that provides great view of the city. Another religious tourist attraction is Gereja Kelahiran. It is a church that was built with red brick which makes this building looks more beautiful and iconic. This church also has stained glass windows that just adds unique points of the building. 

Another iconic spot to visit is Suramadu Bridge or Jembatan Suramadu. It is a bridge connecting Surabaya and Madura. It can be considered as the highlight of Surabaya because it is the longest bridge in Indonesia. It stretches out at 5.5 km adorned in modern style. It is also decorated with spectacular lighting you can witness at night. Therefore, it is highly recommended to visit this bridge during sunset and continue to stay at night to watch beautiful lighting.

Sampoerna House is also iconic attraction in Surabaya. This architectural object consists of a complex of several colonial buildings designed in Dutch style. This complex was built in the 19th Century. It was once also a location of cigarette factory where all tobacco products were handmade. The tobacco factory itself still occupies the part of the buildings in this complex. Meanwhile, other parts are used as museums for cultural exhibitions. 

Surabaya Chinatown is also highly recommended to visit due to its iconic vibe. It was once a vital port town for international trades. Surabaya itself has large population of Chinese descendants. Therefore, it is not surprising to find Chinese communities in this old city. Chinese communities has integrated themselves to the local culture while preserving their original practices and customs. In Chinatown, you will get to see the perfect blend of local and Chinese cultures reflected through the buildings and objects. One of the most iconic buildings is Cheng Ho Mosque, a mosque with pagoda-like building style. It is decorated with oriental materials. Not to mention that you can also get a taste of various Chinese culinary in this complex. Of course, there are also stores where you can buy unique souvenirs in Chinese design and style. 

5 Reasons Why Should Rent A Villa Ubud Bali?

Ubud is between Gianyar and Tampaksiring, which has been a tourist destination since 1930. For tourists, the village of Ubud should not be missed because it is one of the world’s most popular areas and is one of the world’s best cities. Ubud tourism has the charm and privileges that become a paradise for domestic and international tourists. In 9th place as the best city in the whole world, Ubud is able to defeat other big cities like Spain, Rome, and Barcelona. Ubud is considered capable of providing surprises and unforgettable holiday experiences for tourists. One that makes many tourists feel at home and return to visit is Villa Ubud Bali. What is special about Ubud villa?

Villa Ubud Bali

Rent A Villa Ubud Bali and Enjoy The Nature

Panorama of rice terraces in Ubud has mesmerized and stole the world’s attention. The natural scenery that amazes the world brings Tegallalang as an irrigation system that is included in the world heritage. Rows of villa Ubud Bali offerings with all kinds of special facilities and services have sprung up to pamper tourists with natural wraps. You can feel a vacation full of calm with the cool air. Romantic villas again offer their appeal to honeymooners. Cool air that flows relaxed will always accompany the tourists who enjoy the afternoon.

A city with perfect cultural preservation

Globalization has spread throughout the world, including Ubud. Especially, Ubud is able to maintain traditions and culture well. The awareness of the local community to maintain its culture makes Ubud very different from other cities. You will not find nightlife and frenetic like in other areas of Bali. Deciding to rent and stay in an Ubud Bali villa takes you to learn to blend into the natural atmosphere. This is one of the reasons Ubud is so charming and offers its own charm that tourists cannot refuse.

City of Artists

The fusion of eastern and western art by dozens of Peliatan, Batuan and Ubud arts introduced art interactions throughout the world in the 1920s. The Ubud artists’ village has become more popular from time to time and has gained worldwide recognition for its impressive work. Art is not only implemented in strokes or sculptures but is also seen in many cafes. This proves that the cafe is not just for coffee but can bring visitors to enjoy art.

Destinations for connoisseurs of world dance

Who doesn’t know Kecak dance? Typical dance of the island of the world that describes the role of the art accompanied by musical instruments and gamelan. Kecak dance is very sacred which can be seen from the dancers who are on fire but experience immunity and are not burned. Initially, the Kecak dance was performed during a religious ceremony. Over time, this dance is exhibited as an attraction for tourists.

Stay in Villa Ubud Bali & Feel the hospitality of the local residents

Ubud’s reputation as a friendly city greatly influences tourism growth. Starting from a figure who was credited with introducing Ubud to the world that made Ubud a popular city as a friendly city. Most villa Ubud Bali are in residential areas. Here you can feel the friendliness of the local residents and see the daily activities, starting from the ceremonies that they do every day to the activities carried out by the locals when they gather in the “Banjar”.