Follow these backpackers on an epic journey across Indonesia. Filmmaker Marco Santi shares highlights of his 16-day adventure in Backpackers Memahami Indonesia. Roughly translated from Indonesian, memahami means “to understand or comprehend.” Travel from the top of Gunung Bromo, an active volcano, to the depths of the Indian Ocean in this stunning short.
2 October is celebrated as National Batik Day in Indonesia after the UNESCO recognition for Indonesian batik on 2 October 2009.I took the opportunity to participate by wearing batik to office. See my selfie, taken discreetly during early office hours 🙂
This is an Indonesian event organized by Rumah Kita (lit. Our Home, Ind.) – a non-profit charity organisation formed and run by Indonesian youth in Qatar. The event will be held in Al Khor Community on the 23rd of November 2012. It includes street festival featuring traditional dances/performances/carnival, traditional street hawkers, night markets, live bands and fashion show. A special performance will also be conducted in AKIS Amphitheater where all proceeds from 10QR tickets will go to charity.
::. This is again a post from our recent mudik trip to Indonesia during summer
We hadn’t have our honeymoon yet until even our 12th anniversary. Many plans just gone; not materialized. So when we have a chance to make this happen we try hard.
Kampung Sampireun (http://www.kampungsampireun.com), our selected place, is located about 2-hour drive from Bandung capital of West Java, 15 km from the city of Garut, on the road to Kamojang Crater, where a geothermal plant is located at. A drive to Sampireun is a mixed experience in itself: passing through typical crowded towns, winding roads, and mountain backdrop.
Built in 1999, this resort features back to nature concept with Sundanese culture as a center soul: the lake, the bungalows, the art performance, the meals, the staffs.
Taken from Sundanese Language which means “a place/village to stop by”, Kampung Sampireun’s center of attraction is the lake and the bungalows floating and around it. Once we checked in the reception, we were given a traditional drink “Bajigur” (a hot and sweet beverage native to Sunda, made up of coconut milk, palm sugar, and ginger). Then dressed in Sundanese traditional outfits, hotel staff takes us to our bungalow with using canoe! If you come in large group you may be escorted with using bamboo raft.
It’s a bit of nervous checking-in our room with this type of transportation mode. However, the beautiful scenery of lake, original bamboo forest, and schools of ‘greedy’ gold fish soon dampens our worry.
Our bungalow is constructed using bamboo with coconut roofing. A balcony opens directly to the lake where you can feed those greedy fishes. Once settled you’ll be given one or two bags of fish pellets for feeding. Meanwhile, each bungalow is assigned with its own canoe. You may use it for canoeing, or to access lobby and different areas of resort. A beautifully landscaped walking path is available at the back of bungalow that links all bungalows to resort facilities such as restaurants, playground, swimming pool, spa, mosque, and lobby.
Art performances and snack breaks can be enjoyed at regular intervals. In the afternoon we can enjoy the Sundanese music performance “calung and angklung” (bamboo tube xylophone). While dinner, “kecapi suling” (a zither-like Sundanese music instrument is played at the restaurant.
After dinner, around 9 – 9.30pm, a traditional drink called ” Sekoteng ” warming up our body from cold mountain air. The drink is again dropped to our bungalow by boat.
Lastly, in the morning around 6am before breakfast, traditional snack Floating Surabi (Traditional pancake) is delivered to our balcony.
Spending our honeymoon at Kampung Sampireun is indeed a memorable experience. A peaceful, exotic, romantic, tranquil environment is perfect for honeymooners. As part of our package (we ordered a honeymoon package from http://www.weddingku.com) we’re treated with the floating candle light dinner (on raft), the couple spa treatment, a specifically decorated room, a photo session, breakfast and lunch and a photo session.
The hotel is also offering a trange of activities such as fishing, a tour to nearby village, a tour to tourist areas such as Papandayan Mountain, Waterfall, Traditional Snack and Leather Factory, or to hot spring water as we did.
As we leave Kampung Sampireun we get nothing than stronger bond among us; exceptional experience of city-escape break, and thirst quencher to Indonesia’s invaluable asset: nature, people, and culture.
We’ve made a “mudik (homecoming/return to the village) trip” by road the first time as a big family during Eid al Fitr. Started in Bandung, West Java, we measured a 840-km long road to Lumajang, East Java in a 22-hour non-stop driving trip outbond. our return trip however was not that smooth, 37 hours on road tough it included 7 hours stops at three different cities for visiting extended families.
Eid al-Fitr in Indonesia is akin to Thanksgiving, X-mas and Easter all combined into one. It is a special occasion where special feasts are prepared, religious allowance (bonus) is received, celebration is everywhere, and because of the mudik, airports are packed, roads are traffic-jammed. What else can you expect from literally about 22 millions people doing mudik, moving at the same time within such short duration (few days before Ramadan end)?
Though there are several public transportion options available, skyrocketed prices and flexibility forced most people to rely on their own transport; motorcycle and car. Unfortunately the former option takes its toll: about 900 people died each year from motorcycle accident during mudik.
Back to our mudik, we took southern route as it is normally less crowded than north coastal route. We’ve heard a day before our departure that people got stucked for several hours on northern coastal route. This route is usually used by the Jakartans.
Our southern route passed Garut, Tasikmalaya, and Ciamis on West Java, Kebumen and Purworejo on Central Java, Yogyakarta, and Madiun, Jombang, Mojokerto, Pasuruan and Probolinggo on East Java.
Most roads were in quite good condition, but it is shared-use with motorcycle, spilled market, or local communities activities that hampered smooth driving. Nevertheless it was such a good experience that we could see many different towns and cities, tasted various local cuisines as well as strengthened family bond.
This new Indonesian restaurant, open since 1st of May 2012, sells all tofu-related cuisines.
Though tofu (= Tahu in Indonesian) is not originated from Indonesia, this side dish is one of the most important dishes due to its price and versatility. No wonder tofu comes in unlimited variety of cuisines. Indonesian must have been familiar with Batagor (BAkso TAhu GOreng = fried meat ball and tofu), Siomay (steamed tofu dumpling with vegetables served with peanut sauces), Tahu Gejrot (slightly fermented fried tofu snack with slices of shallots, chilli, and garlic in spicy-sweet sauce), Kupat Tahu (ketupat/packed rice or dumpling, tofu, rice vermicelli and beansprouts in peanut sauce), Bakso Tahu (meatball, fried/steamed tofu served with a bowl of beef broth, noodles, crisp wonton and sprinkled with fried shallot and celery) and many others.
The restaurant is founded by an Indonesian couple, long time Qatar residents since 2002, born from his tofu maker father back in West Java, Indonesia. The couple started making tofu since 2005 in very small scale for their neighbors or Indonesian friends. It was in 2010 that they started putting a brand and making it a serious business. They now supply many Indonesian groceries, restaurants and one of the hotels in Qatar.
The restaurant is, you may say that, their business expansion.
We visited the restaurant during its promotion/opening period when price was slashed in 25% discount from its normal price of QR12 per portion. Located in The Center area (behind Ramada Hotel), it is easily accessible with lots of parking spaces. If you know Great Wall Restaurant, the restaurant is located just beside it, housed within a green glass window building, on the ground floor.
The actual restaurant can only accommodate a small kitchen, a cashier and order desk, and two tables barely enough to fit 6 persons possibly. All other visitors have to be willing seated outside in six 4/6 seater table arrangements. A bit hot during summer period. A fan just doesnt help much.
We ordered many, for a reason. To know which one is their cerry of the cake. Our order arrived pretty quick. I finished my Bakso Tahu Goreng Kering (meatball served with a bowl of beef broth and fried tofu) very quickly. So mouthwatering that I just couldn’t stop. Their meatball seems produced without preserver or MSG-like ingredient. Unfortunately it’s not that hot enough to enjoy. Bakso wouldn’t be complete without sambal (chili sauce). The best is for you to use real bakso sambal which unfortunately not available in every table. Search around.
Batagor came next. It was poured with peanut sauce. The hot fresh from the fry pan made it enjoyable. Ketupat tahu came with lontong (packed rice/dumpling), and tofu served with peanut sauce and crackers. I found it pretty standard. The sauce is different than used for batagor, and apparently made fresh.
The restaurant also sells ready-to-cook tofu for take-away, many varieties of crackers and few other Indonesian food.
If I were to be back, I would definitely be back for Bakso in its many forms, just making hot please, and Batagor. Heard of Tahu Gejrot is also good, haven’t tried it yet. For all money spent it may be worthed to pay a visit. In the end, they are the best tofu maker in Qatar any way!
Coordinate: 25°16’25.4″N 51°30’55.2″E. Open from: 10am to 21pm.
An explore dream discover life episode of an Indonesian family in Qatar