Runner-Up is "Indonesia My Beloved Homeland - Emerald of the Equator" written by Matin Wirasena.
From the sight of a bustling metropolis, to the sunsets over cliffs. From the smell of the mountain air, to the smell of all sorts of street food. One of the most famous tourist destinations, Indonesia. The Emerald of the Equator. My beloved homeland.
Indonesia has a rich history showcased in its landmarks, which can give you an unforgettable travel experience. Picture this, you’re in Jogjakarta, Central Java. You’ve just gone down the busy street of Malioboro in a delman (horse carriage). This is the must-see place of Jogja. Sidewalks crowded with stalls selling ethnic souvenirs, a lot of noise, a clash of Indonesian, Chinese and Dutch culture. But now, at the end of Malioboro street, you’re standing atop one of the bastions of the mighty Fort Vredeburg, the Dutch fort built in the 1760s. You see the Palace of Jogjakarta in the distance.
Only you, the afternoon breeze, and the distant sounds of the city. What once was a strategic location to control the region is now a museum rich in history, right in the middle of a bustling city.
A few kilometers out of the city to the northwest is another historical sight to behold: Candi Borobudur. A huge contrast to Fort Vredeburg, this is a Hindu temple, the biggest one in the world, built all the way back in 770. In the open, surrounded by acres of greenery. Serene, peaceful. This structure shaped like a mandala (a symbol of the universe in Buddhist cosmology) is much more complex than you think. All of the stones used to build this magnificent landmark interlock, there is no medium used to hold the structure in place.
Another interesting thing you are able to see is the carvings on the stones, telling holy stories of Buddhist beliefs. With steps that are high and uneven, why would you bother going to the top? Well, you just get this sense of addiction, you just have to get to the top. And if you happen to be at the peak in the morning, you’re in for a sight. The view of the sunrise and lavender sky slowly gradating into gold is surreal. If you want a sunrise in Central Java, this is where you need to go.
Even from only those two examples, we can find Indonesia as a perfect tourist destination. I’m also not calling Indonesia the perfect tourist destination because I’m Indonesian myself. No. It’s because I’ve been to these places. Like the places I’ve just written about, Fort Vredeburg and Candi Borobudur, I’ve been there. It truly is a wonderful experience. Aside from that, our history makes our country just so diverse. Travelling a few kilometers can give you a whole different feeling, a new sight to behold, a new aroma to take in. That’s why, you can’t visit Indonesia just once!
There’s so much to explore and we will gladly accept you! People here love foreign visitors. They’ll take pictures with you, try to strike up a friendly conversation with their broken English, call you 'Miss' or 'Mister' and all that funny stuff. So, Indonesia is the perfect tourist destination with tons of landmarks tied to its culture and history. But I don’t think that words can describe the beauty and intricacy of Indonesia. You have to go here yourself!
To truly grasp the essence of Indonesia, you need to see it with your own eyes.
That’s Indonesia. The emerald of the equator.
In the Age category 12 - 15 years, Matin's essay was chosen as runner-up - together with Luisa' essay.
Matin's essay "Indonesia My Beloved Homeland - Emerald of the Equator" has been craft fully composed and instills a desire in the reader to travel to these amazing places to experience the atmosphere in a puzzling Indonesian city, the rich history of the country, the stunning sunrise and the friendly people. This essay provides a joyous and adventurous journey to the Indonesia - we all hope we can travel there soon again!
Well done, Matin! Thank you very much for your creative story "Indonesia My Beloved Homeland - Emerald of the Equator"! Congratulations!
Matin attends Mentari Intercultural School in Indonesia.
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