Minggu, 01 September 2013

The Trace of Christianity in Turkey

A History of Evangelism

Turkey, at this moment, is a secular Islamic republic, but in its history this country once became a part of the Roman Empire (4th century),  Byzantine (4th – 13th century), and Latin  Empire (13th century) before fell for  the Ottoman Dynasty (1453-1922)whose King began spreading Islam in this region.  
Despite today’s reality, Turkey keeps many historical trails in Christian evangelism (the New Testament).  Some of the facts worth knowing  about Christianity trails are  :

1.   Turkey was the birthplace of several saint/ martyrs. Saint Paul was born in  Tarsus, a region on Southern Turkey, while St.Pauls’s  evangelism covered some areas in Turkey, and also Greece and Cyprus which are  neighbors.  Saint Timothy, Nicholas and  Polycarpus also came from Turkey. 

2.   Paul and Barnabas as apostles spread  the Bible in Anthiochia region for about one year. At that time, Anthiochia was a part of Syria . Now the area is in Turkey’s  region called Antakya. This has been the place where followers of Jesus Christ were called ‘Christians’ for the first time(Acts  11:25-27). From  Anthiochia, Paul and Barnabas conducted the first missionary journey  to Cyprus.

paul evangelism
St.Paul's Missionary Map (source:www.ccel.org)

Selasa, 20 Agustus 2013

Tam Shui, A Must-Visit Market When In Taipei

Eat, Shop, and Ruin Your Diet at Tam Shui Old Street

tam shui

Located next to Tam Shui Fishermen's Wharf in New Taipei Territory, this Old Street is a parade of shops selling you-name-it from girl's little thing (hair pieces, cute socks, keychains, sunglasses) to chinese tea and other traditional culinary. Actually they sell almost anything you can find at Shihlin Night Market.

In the morning when Tam Shui Old Street is a bit quieter than night time, it's enjoyable to stroll down the street. Relaxing atmosphere will drive you to buy many things without rushing. Compared with other Taiwan's markets, prices are good at Tam Shui (highest is at Ximending)

At one end of the promenade you'll find an ice cream stall, selling  big-sized ice cream, a trade-mark of Tam Shui. Although the guy selling it was a bit rude and impatient, but the ice cream tasted good , it's only NT 15 (small) or NT 25 (large)

tam shui ice cream
 to taiwan

Minggu, 11 Agustus 2013

Taiwan - A Country of Night Market Tradition

What Place to Visit When You Travel to Taiwan

Night markets !!

In Taiwan, almost every city has its night market(s)

leo ho liou he
Eternally Packed with Visitors

Traditional night markets sells food and drinks, while more modern ones sell clothes, shoes, accessories, toys, confectioneries, besides food and drinks. Prices are fixed for food (and they put the price on large boards on the food stalls, no scam), while you can bargain a little bit for clothing. In my opinion, most of the goods are fairly priced.

So, whenever you travel to Taiwan, make sure to complete it with a memorable night market experience...

Taipei : Shilin Night Market


Among others, this one is my favorite. Off course...it's Taipei’s most famous and most popular night market. Shihlin is made up of two different sections: the food vendors opposite the Jiantan Metro Station and clothing/apparel/other goods market is around the Yang Ming Cinema on Anping Street, Dadong Road and Wenl. 

Although it's crazy crowded, it offers unique atmosphere for comfortable, enjoyable shopping. Shop clerks are patient and friendly , unlike in some other countries.
During my visit, because of limited time, I only walked the clothing section of Shihlin Night Market. Besides clothing and apparel of affordable price, there're also  branded shoes outlets s(NIke, Adidas, Puma, Reebok,etc).

Selasa, 30 Juli 2013

Fort Rotterdam - Makassar

The Best Preserved Dutch Fort in Asia 
(Barbara Crossette, New York Times Reporter)

benteng ujung pandang

History of Fort Rotterdam

According  to some literatures, this fort was build in  1545 by the King  of Gowa Kingdom , Imanrigau Daeng Bonto Karaeng Lakiung. Initially the name of this fort is Fort Ujung Pandang, while locals used to call it Fort Panyyua.  This fort used to be a landmark of Gowa Kingdom in its years of properity.

During Sultan Hassanuddin’s administration (1655-1669), the dutch attacked Gowa Kingdom in order to gain control of spice trade and as a milestone to conquer Banda and Maluku, the land of nutmeg. During this one-whole-year aggression,  Fort Ujung Pandang was heavily damaged, and the Sultan was forced to sign the Bongaya Treaty with which the Kingdom of  Gowa  gave its administration under the VOC (dutch east india company), therefore made Gowa  as a de-facto colonial territory of dutch. After rebuilt by dutch governor Cornelis Speelman, the fort was named Fort Rotterdam as a legacy to Speelman’s hometown. 

Original design of Fort Rotterdam was rectangular-as the majority of Portuguese buildings- with four bastions on each of its corner. The sea-turtle ground plan is in line with the philosophy of the Makassar people as sea explorers.
However, after Speelman’s renovation, Fort Rotterdam adopted dutch style, and the 5th bastion was added on its western side.

Selasa, 09 Juli 2013

Controlling Smartphone Data Roaming While Abroad (Part 2)

Avoid Heart Attack And Let Your Smartphone Roam Data Until a Certain Bytes

On Part 1 I've explained how to set your smartphone (Android, iphone) or Blackberry to totally disable internet connection/ data service.
Here in Part 2, I'll share about how to limit your data service by setting a quota.


And remember, do this before departing abroad

Option-2 : Setting a quota/limit for internet/ data roaming

You need to install an app such as 3G Watchdog or Data Counter Widget.
I use 3G Watchdog where I can  specify my own quota and starting date:
smartphone data roam

Controlling Smartphone Data Roaming While Abroad (Part 1)

Data Auto-sync That Causes Heart Attack

Yes you would love to take your smartphone everywhere you go, because of its 1001 functions beyond communication. But, beware if you plan to go abroad. The auto-sync of emails, chats, apps and other background data will cost you enormous amount enough to cause a heart attack. A year ago, on a trip to a neighboring country, my search of  a local restaurant made my phone bill jumped to USD 200 (normally only USD 25/month)...means cost of data roaming exceeded cost of the food I had at that restaurant :(

So, the next time I went abroad, I adjusted some settings on my smartphone. Here's what I did , and proved to be effective. As a note, I still can connect to the internet via wifi (most hotels have wifi , and several countries/cities, e.g Hongkong, provide wifi all over its corner ).

You have 2 options to do with your smartphone : totally disable data roaming, or setting a quota/ limit for data roaming.
This settings is according to Android OS, but actually it's almost the same for i-phone / blackberry, only each OS has its own terminology) :

Do This Before departing abroad :

Option-1 : Totally disable internet/ data roaming

smartphone data

Sabtu, 30 Maret 2013

Climbing Mount Kerinci - The Highest Peak at Sumatera

Dear Readers,
Here's a note on Mount Kerinci climbing by guest writer Paman. Enjoy his Kerinci moment as well as admire spectacular view of Mount Kerinci's peak. 
I'd like to thank Paman for contributing to liburdulu.blogspot.com, 
appreciate so much your detailed information about climbing Mount Kerinci
hope it will benefit our readers !!

About Mount Kerinci

Mount Kerinci is loacated at Jambi Province, Sumatera, and considered to be the highest mountain in Sumatera, with its peak’s height 3805 meter ASL (above sea level). Mount Kerinci is an active volcano,  last erupted in 2009. Mount Kerinci exists in the area of Kerinci Seblat National Park, which is the sanctuary of Sumateran tigers.

How To Get To Mount Kerinci

Minggu, 24 Februari 2013

Hunting Nature Around Bandung 1

These places offers you a piece of nature and are within 1-2 hours drive from Bandung. Please note, that as one of the most populated cities in the world, you're likely to find those place packed with local visitors during weekends and holidays.

The Tangkuban Parahu Crater

Tangkuban Parahu is famously known for its unique shape like an upturned boat ('Tangkuban' in Sundanese means upturned, while 'Parahu' means boat). It's located 30 km northern Bandung. This volcano is now dormant (last eruption was 1959) and has 3 'kawah' (craters): Kawah Ratu, Kawah Upas and Kawah Domas . Before visiting Tangkuban Parahu, you might want to know the legend of Tangkuban Parahu.

Tangkuban Parahu view from Bandung. Photo: encycl.opentopia.com

Kawah Ratu is the biggest and located just near the parking lot, and you can view the deep large crater from above, most of the time covered by thin mist because of low temperature. Sulfuric fume leaves the crater's surface up the gulch and to upper atmoshphere, brings distinct sulfur smell.
Kawah Ratu . Photo :http://www.navigasi.net

Rabu, 06 Februari 2013

Elephant Safari Park - Ubud, Bali

See, Touch, Feed, Ride an Elephant

For Indonesians and other Asians, elephants can be seen in almost any local zoo, so you don't have to go to Taro (it's 2-3 hours driving uphill from Kuta) to see them (although I admit, my family and I enjoyed visiting this Elephant Safari Park in Taro, Ubud) .
But for visitors from other part of the world where elephants can rarely found, this is a must-see attraction, and makes Bali a one-stop holiday destination that offers everything from beach, culture, and nature.

WAIT....what's so special about this elephant sanctuary?
See which high profile celebrities visited Elephant Safari Park :
Photo : Elephant Safari Park Brochure

Jean Claude van Damme,  Claudia Schiffer, Julia Roberts, Tony Blair, David Beckham, Jesica Biel and  the late crocodile hunter Steve Irwin, are only a few of them. 

Selasa, 05 Februari 2013

Honolulu's Asian Chicken Salad Recipe

This time I'm honored to collaborate with Kendra Thornton, to share her travel story to Honolulu, and a great Asian Chicken Salad Recipe she replicated from her trip !

Kendra, being a guest writer, is  a long time travel expert who has been packing her bags and traveling the world since she was 3 months old, and a former Orbitz Director of Communications. 

I can feel her pure passion in sharing her memories of places she visited, and the good food she tasted. Enjoy reading !!

D.I.Y Asian Chicken Salad Recipe

While staying in Honolulu, there were so many things that I fell in love with, from the scenery and clear waters to the friendly people and great food.  Although I couldn't take everything home with me that I loved about Hawaii, I figured I could bring home the taste of Honolulu.  

Sabtu, 19 Januari 2013

Exotic Soups of Makassar

Makassar culinary is indeed more than just these soups, but these iconic soups are 'must try' at Makassar :

Coto Nusantara (Jalan Nusantara, Makassar) :

This is the front door of warung Coto Nusantara:

Inside is verrry crowded, especially in the morning until lunch time. 
The locals eat coto for breakfast or lunch.
The Coto Nusantara is 1-storey, you can see its whole area 
in this photo below:

Losari Beach - Makassar

Waterfront City Landmark

So famous is this Losari Beach, that every visitor is recommended (by the tour guide, by the internet) to come to Losari Beach

Central point of  Losari Beach is located at Jalan Penghibur, near Makassar city center. The government has made a 100.000-sq-meter open-air plaza in front of the beach, makes is a great waterfront square for public.
Although tourists are rarely seen here, but locals would come every afternoon around 5.30 p.m making Losari Beach really crowded and alive.

Locals love to spend their afternoon leisure time here, whether for admiring the floating  Amirul Mukminin Mosque  on the other side....

One Better Way To Go From Bandung To Yogyakarta

Lodaya Train

Going from Bandung to Yogyakarta ?
You have several ways : 
  1. by airplane (  Lion air and Merpati ) - the two airlines operates this route by small  aircraft with propellers. Although there's been no accident with it, but this kind of aircraft is likely to get heavy turbulence up there. One other point, Bandung's airport Hussein Sastranegara is catagorized as a hard-to-land airport, so personally I don't prefer going to Yogya by flight. Once again I emphasized that this is a very personal choice.
  2. by bus/ car - many night buses depart from Bandung at 7 or 8 p.m, and arrive at Yogya early morning at 4 or 5 a.m. Executive coach like Kramatdjati with supercold AC and TV is also available. Daytime trip will take longer time because of busy traffic, with a high probability of jam at certain point between Bandung and Tasikmalaya.
  3. by train - executive-class train Lodaya departs Bandung Railway Station twice daily : 8 a.m (Lodaya Pagi) and 8 p.m (Lodaya Malam), arrives at Yogyakarta in 7 hours 45 minutes.

On my trip last December 2012, I chose to go to Yogya by train, by Lodaya Malam, and to me it was a nice experience : well-maintained facilities both at Bandung and Yogya railway stations, fair fare (IDR 200,000 one-way), on-time departure and arrival,  clean cabin, comfortable seat, blanket and small pillow is provided for free, and they even provide electricity plug on every seat:

What about toilets? Toilets are clean enough..remember that no matter where you go in this earth, you should always tolerate some smell in public toilets :))

Tips for pessengers:
  1. If you go night journey with Lodaya Malam, wear a pullover/ jacket (and socks, if you need ones) that's thick enough, because temperature is pretty cold, especially around 1.00 - 4.00 a.m when low outside temperature contributes negatively to cabin's temperature. 
  2. Because cabin's lamps is always turned on, bring an eye-shade if you can't sleep in bright surroundings. 
  3. A neck pillow will enhance your sleep quality.
  4. This Lodaya train's final destination is at Solo, so wake up early in order not to miss Yogya station ;)
  5. Book online your Lodaya Bandung-Yogya-Bandung to save your time.

And if you're planning to go to Yogyakarta, you might like this adventurous journey:
Pindul cave tubing (Gunung Kidul)
Oyo river tubing (Gunung Kidul)

Sabtu, 12 Januari 2013

Pa'piong - Delicacy of Chicken Inside a Bamboo

More Than Finger Licking Good

Coming to Toraja, besides enjoying the funeral ceremony and visiting its unique burial sites, you must try Pa'piong - a perfect choice for your lunch.

Pa'piong is a specialty food of Tana Toraja. Chicken with spices are put inside a bamboo and then cooked in burning charcoal :

Then the bamboo is torn:

Smells good, tastes good, the chicken is tender and delicious :

Tana Toraja - Land of The Heavenly Kings (2)

Famous Burial Sites Not To Miss At Toraja

Toraja unique tradition in funeral procession and selecting burial sites has attracted people from outside its area, and from all over the world, to come and explore this land. Other than that, Toraja with its cool weather also has fabulous landscape with green padi field, and Toraja coffee is considered one of the best in the world. Also, it's specialty food Pa'piong and Pamarasan is one of the must-do's while you're at Toraja.
Some of the most famous burial sites are listed below. Each site belongs to a certain family clan. You can visit them all in 1 day, and the best way is to rent a car from a local rental (IDR 350,000 - IDR 500,000 depending on type or car and your bargaining skill) - I just didn't remember seeing any taxi at Rantepao. Motorcycle rent (with driver) is less preferable because it rains a lot for the whole year at Toraja. Entrance fare ranges IDR 5000 - IDR 15,000 per site.

Kete Kesu

Kete Kesu is a traditional village located near the city center. There, people still lives in traditional houses and traditional way. This village is famous for its hanging grave. 

Coffins are placed on a wooden palette hung up high on a cliff.

After years, the palette will decay and break down, so will the coffins.

Sabtu, 05 Januari 2013

Tana Toraja - Land of The Heavenly Kings 1

Celebration in Every Occasion

Tana Toraja today spreads out from South Toraja Regency (Kabupaten Toraja Selatan) with its capital city Makale, to North Toraja Regency (Kabupaten Toraja Utara) whose capital is Rantepao. 
Located high up on hills, the Torajan tribes has perserved their ancestor's tradition and culture as can be seen from their houses (Tongkonan, traditional Torajan house heading to the North), their rice barn, their way of living, 


and their way of celebrating special occassion - especially burial procession (Rambu Solo') that can cost hundreds of million Rupiah, even billions! Their unique way to bury the dead comes from their belief  for thousands of years, that the Torajan's ancestor came from heaven, therefore dead bodies must not be buried , and must be placed high above the ground (in a cave, on a cliff).
Most of burial sites commonly visited by tourists are located in North Toraja Regency, just around Rantepao city : Kete Kesu, Lemo, Londa.

AND, don't forget to try Toraja specialty culinary : the Pa'piong (chicken cooked in bamboo) and Pamarasan (pork with black herb)

Kamis, 03 Januari 2013

Leang-Leang Prehistoric Cave

A Visit To Leang Petta Kere And Leang Pettae 

 South Sulawesi

Simple Note about Leang-Leang :

There're lots of confusing and misleading information about these caves on the internet, so when I had a chance to visit both of them, I promised myself to share the right things :) about what's inside it, how to get there, who can visit, and entrance fare. Enjoy reading!

What's Inside Leang-leang Prehistoric Site :

After  entrance gate and parking lot, you'll see a 'stone garden' :


Wonderful view of natural rock formation with giant karst on the background

Unique shape of big rocks on the river

The karst landscape of Maros is a Unesco World Heritage Site and is the 2nd largest in the world (after Guilin in China). The one we see along the way to Leang-leang and in Leang-leang site is only a small part of it.