Category Archives: INDONESIA

Backpack Through Indonesia in Under 5 Minutes

Re-blog from National Geographic:

Backpack Through Indonesia in Under 5 Minutes (click link to play the video)

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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.

Source: National Geographic


Batik Day 2 October

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 🙂


Kampoeng Festival

Forwarded this info of Kampoeng Festival.

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.

For more information:

Facebook Rumah Kita

Honeymoon at Kampung Sampireun

::. 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 (, 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.

Mount Guntur
How I miss this greenery

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.

Check-in in class with 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.

Kampung Sampireun
The lake, bamboo forest, bungalow and floating restaurant
Pine tree, canoe, lake and traditional bungalow
From the balcony

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.

Enjoy at balcony overlooking gold fish filled lake

Learn how to canoe
Feeding gold fishes from balcony
These greedy gold fishes got used to people feeding them
Kampung Sampireun at night


Kampung Sampireun at night


A beautifully landscaped walking path at the back of bungalows

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.

“Calung” performance in the afternoon

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.

Hotel staffs deliver pre-breakfast traditional floating pancake
Surabi – Sundanese floating pancake

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 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.

Candle light dinner at floating restaurant

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.

Sabda Alam Hot Spring Water Park at Cipanas, Garut at the foot of Mount Guntur

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.

A tale of mudik trip

“Mudik” traffic flooded almost any route (Source: Kompas, 26 Aug 2012 by Haryo Damardono)
Motorcycle becomes one of the most used transportation modes (Source:

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.


Ready to hit the road from our house in Bandung


Stop for fasting break at Tasikmalaya, West Java


Repacking to go back to Bandung from Lumajang, East Java


Sideroad local market


Taking a driving break at fuel station. At foreground is motorcycle for mudik


Sometimes we’re lucky that the road was so friendly


When we got stuck in traffic jam the beautiful scenery soothed us



Some sections of routes have been improved over years