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.