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Ten reasons why you should visit Indonesia

Posted in Travel by avisoo on February 8, 2010

When I go traveling, travelers whom I met along the way usually skip Indonesia as a destination when they travelling South East Asia countries. As far as I know, they did not get clear information from the Internet, and many negative rumors about Indonesia. So, there are 10 reasons why you should visit Indonesia.

10. Borobudur Temple

Borobudur temple is located in Muntilan, Magelang and is about 2 hours (42 kilometres) from Yogyakarta city. The borobudur Buddhist sanctuary, moren than a thousand years old, it is the greatest Buddhist work of art existing in the world. Borobudur is recognized as one of the greatest stupa and World’s wonder of its kind in the world.

9. Toba Lake

Lake Toba is the largest volcanic lake in the world. Located in northern Sumatra, the largest of Indonesia’s many islands. The lake water is warm, clean and perfect for swimming. A great way to explore the lake and surroundings is by renting a motorbike for the day. The roads are clear and safe and even a beginner can quickly feel comfortable zooming around the green hills and valleys of the Lake Toba countryside. Lake Toba is a four hour bus ride south of the major city of Medan. Air Asia now flies into Medan from Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta.

8. Komodo Island

Komodo island is located between Sumbawa and Flores islands, a small island of 280 square km. The sea surrounding the island offers vistas of sea life, crystal clear waters, and white sandy beaches. The only accommodation available is in simple guesthouses in the fishing village. The diving in Komodo Island is world class. There are some of the worlds richest and most beautiful coral reefs. Komodo Island is accessible from the sea only. Fly to Labuan Bajo, from where it is about 3-4 hours by boat to the island.

7. Mount Bromo

Mount Bromo, is one of the most visited tourist attractions in East Java, Indonesia. The typical way to visit Mount Bromo is from the nearby mountain village of Cemoro Lawang. I think it’s best view is from Mount Bromo to the sand sea below, and the surrounding volcanoes at sunrise. At Mount Penanjakan you can reach the viewpoint by foot in about two hours.

6. Bunaken Island

The island of Bunaken is rated in the top of best diving destinations on the earth. You can swim with dolphins, sharks, giant turtles and other colorful coral-reef fishes. Bunaken Island is just 60 minutes by boat northwest of Manado City. Manado is the capital of North Sulawesi province in Indonesia. You can reach Manado city by plane.

5. Sempu Island

Sempu Island is located about 60 km from Malang, East Java. Actually, this island is a natural  conservation area. No population in this island, except wildlife. Sempu Island have an exotic Lagoon. Bring ur food, water and tent here, and enjoy the natural nature of Sempu Island.

4. Bali

Bali is the largest tourist destination in the country and is renowned for its highly developed arts, including sculpture, dance, painting, music and metalworking. Balinese culture was strongly influenced by Indian and Chinese, and particularly Hindu culture.

3.  Mount Krakatau

Mount Krakatau is located on the Sunda Straight between Sumatra and Java, it is a volcanic island and part of Indonesia. An eruption in 1883 blew the island apart and caused a tsunami that killed more than 36,000 people. Mount Krakatau is the most amazing Volcano in the world!

2. Raja Ampat

Located in the Coral Triangle, the heart of the world’s coral reef biodiversity, the seas arounr Raja Ampat possibly hold the richest variety of species in the world. Raja Ampat includes the four large islands of Waigeo, Batanta, Salawati, and Misool, plus hundreds of smaller islands. The archipelago is part of an area known as the Bird’s Head functional seascape, which also contains Cenderawasih Bay, the largest marine national park in Indonesia. The bay at Ayau Island, Papua.

1. People

The people in Indonesia are some of the friendliest, most pleasant people you’ll ever encounter. If you gain the trust of Indonesian people, they may be willing to open doors for you that you never imagined could exist. Indonesia has more pretty girls per square meter than anywhere else, with smiles that will melt your heart.

So that’s it, Indonesia and Ten good reasons to go.


Mount Bromo part.2

Posted in Travel by avisoo on February 7, 2010

3.30 am : We tracked downhill with other 4 dutchmen at moon-light dark, headlamps did so well. Dust were all over flying our eyes. We reached ‘Segoro Wedhi’. The sea of sand.

4.10 am : We’re all like stealth walking at the distant dark, the smells, the persona, that feeling. We’re on the feet of Brahma, on the run. Chasing, chasing for Brahma’s sun to awake, to get the ace to the grace with Brahma’s head.

05.00am : Dehidrate. Stopped for liquid. Another stage. Upside walk. Minimal oxygen at 3000M above the sea. Skies getting dark cherry. Reddish and oranges. finally. We reached all stairs. A lot of people wait to merit the same joy, and it’s the Sun coming up.

Scenes from on the top of Mount Bromo

We meet. Greet. Chat. A lot of people with their expertise with same goal. Ate a pop mie and fruit tea for another energy. Its time to explore Brahma’s belly.

08.10 am : We’re downhilled. Observe the texture of frozen larva morphed into solid and sands.

Brahma’s belly were swept our mind compeletely. mystical place for a mystical being. it was a total redemption. priceless

11.10 am : and then.. We went back to the hotel to packed our stuff and check out. We had a Nasi Pecel with Lele Fish before. Shit. Best thing we ate. See you soon Bromo.

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5 steps to eat ramen like ramen master

Posted in food by avisoo on February 3, 2010

Ramen noodles are favourites food in Japan. Everyone eats ramen differently, some people dig in, mix all the toppings, and slurp the noodle untill there’s no tomorrow. The taste of ramen mainly depends on the soup, must have requires skills to make delicious soup. Usually ramen chefs train long time to make ramen soup. Pork bone and chicken bone usually used to make soup for ramen. Dont’ forget to add vegetables, garlic and mushroom too.

A classic ramen movie Tampopo teach me a proper way to eat ramen..  and here’s the steps..

1. Observe the whole bowl. See the seaweed slowly sinking, spring onions floating. Concetrate on the meat slices..  then hold the steaming bowl up to ur face and breathe in the aromas of ramen soup.. Do you smells pork? chicken? onions? Is there garlic in the soup?

2. Poke the pork/chicken / beef in ur ramen noodle. Just touch it and caress it with the chopsticks. Gently pick up the meat and dip it into the soup on the right of the bowl. What’s important here is to apologize the pork by saying “see u soon”

3. Slurp the noodle, paying attention to the texture. There’s nothing worse than overcooked noodles. The perfect texture ramen noodles should be a slight resistance in the mouth when the noodles is chewed. Don’t forget to looking at the pork while slurp the noodles.

Notes : Slurping ur ramen is a must with the Japanese. In my city (jakarta), slurping is not polite, whatever the food. In Japan, it can be insulting to the chef if you eat ur ramen too quietly. The noises of slurping just make ur appetite grow.

3. Sip some soup three times. Be careful to not let any of the toppings get in to ur mouth when sip. Try to detect all the ingredients that go into making the broth. It’s ok, continue eat the noodles, it’s just to reaffirm ur first impressions

4. For the pork/beef/chicken meat.. soak the meat on the edge of the bowl and then pick up the slice of meat and watch the oily soup drip away for a moment before u bite the meat.

Caution : Eating a tofu, boiled egg or something soft in ur noodle is not the easiest thing in the world to do. The best way to eat, you must balance it on the chopsticks if u get what I mean.That’s the best scooping technique.

5. Hold the bowl up to ur face again and drink the soup until the bowl is empty. There’s will impression your friend that you a ramen master!

Buying packages of ramen noodles is an easy way, if u want to practice that steps at home.

Ready to be a ramen master?

Hong Kong song

Posted in Travel by avisoo on February 1, 2010

After my Macau trip, i decided to go to Hong Kong, the city is just 1 hour from Macau by ferry. I have not made systematic plan for trip, so i go where my feet go. I went to Hong Kong by turbojet from Macau Ferry Terminal. I arrived by mid afternoon at the friendly and high tech harbour of Hong Kong. Before reaching the city, we were given arrival and departure cards and health declaration form be filled in and sign, because of the swine flu outbreak. At the harbour, i get the traditional paper map showing me where the Nathan Road at Tsim Sha Tshui area will be. Why Nathan Road? because the internet told me there is a lot of guest houses there, then i entered the MTR (Mass Transit Railway) station, get a single ticket to reach Tsim Sha Tshui area..

Arrived at Nathan Road, I see the sale banner being plastered everywhere, and a lot of people thronging almost every shops. It’s like a never ending sea of people everywhere you go. After walking around about 15 minutes, i stop at the front of Mirador Mansion Building, and i saw cosmic guest house written on one board. I entered the building, and check in at Cosmic Guest House. I payed US $20 for single room with air conditioner, washtafel, free internet access, and colour tv. It’s cheap. First time enter the room, is it smelled like an old man’s room. The furniture in the room, the linens, the bathroom were so old. Overall is ok.

Mirador Mansion 54-56 Nathan Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong

As you can see from the MTR system map, (which you can click to enlarge) Hong Kong’s MTR system covers pretty much every area in Hong Kong. And there are machines in the MTR station to reload and check your Octopus card (Octopus card is a rechargeable stored value smart card used to transfer electronic payments in online or offline systems in Hong Kong), also computers with free internet access for 15 minutes.  You can use the computers for free but there’s a 15 minute countdown once you begin. RECOMMENDATION : Buy a Tourist day pass at MTR station, it’s gonna save you more money and you get 1 day of unlimited train travel (except Airport express, Light Rail and East Rail Line First Class, Lo Wu or Lok Ma Chau Stations).

Scenes from Hong Kong

The weather in Hong Kong has been really good, only at certain times it can get quite hot but at most times, it was just fairly sunny with cooling breeze. When travelling at night, it’s advisable for those who have low tolerance for cold and strong winds to bring a jacket, because the temperature can get quite low

OVERVIEW : Hong Kong was wonderful.  I did not have the time to partake of all touristy norms. But what I saw, did, and experienced in Hong Kong was clearly a taste (literally) of what Hong Kong is and the flavors it has to offer.