Showing posts from April, 2010

Sulawesi Surprise!: A Long Journey

I bet travelling some 300 km from Makassar or Ujung Padang to Tana Toraja could take a toll on some people. Amuse yourself then. Drink in the scenery. You would get to see vast padi field here and I suppose Sulawesi exports some of this staple food to Java. You would be delighted to see traditional Bugis houses along the way.The long drive may make you sleepy and you may doze off, and wake up to see more paddy field here and some more Bugis houses there. Before you get really bored, just remember that you are travelling from the lowlands to the mountain stronghold of TANA TORAJA. There ought to be surprises in store...Just be patient...11

Fancy these scenes?

Traveling Tip: Don't doze off!

Sulawesi Surprise!: Lunch Break

Of course, there would be a lunch break for you if you are travelling from Makassar to Toraja Land. That was such a long journey and it would be great to take a break. For us, we had had lunch at a seafood restaurant in Pare-Pare which is about 175 km north of Makassar. Pare-Pare is a port town and is one of the major population centers of the Bugis people. B.J. Habibie, the third President of Indonesia, was said to be born there. We had lunch at one quiet eating place, quite boring place actually if not for the view of Makassar Strait that it offered...10

Traveling Tip: There is something interesting somewhere!

Sulawesi Surprise!: A Bugis Wedding

Not too long ago, a man in Malaysia divorced his wife and left her and his two teenage sons to marry the maid. The local paper had reported that the 47 year old man, Saiful Zamhuri who described the Indonesian maid, Elly Nuryahati Sapei as a good girl who knew how to pamper others, solemnised the marriage in the girl's hometown in Karawang. That must be in Java. Most probably the wedding ceremony would be different from the one I witnessed in Sulawesi. While traveling to Toraja Land, we noticed many weddings taking place in some of the houses that we passed. Our guide said it was the season for weddings and at one point, stopped our bus only to gate crash a Bugis wedding. The bride and bridegroom were just leaving for the bride's house but happily went back to sit on a special platform that had been raised for them. We passed the hat round among us and collected a tidy sum for the newly weds. Then, we were treated to a traditional dance and a pretty lass went up the stage to s…

Sulawesi Surprise!: Views of Makassar Strait

Makassar Strait is between the islands of Borneo and Sulawesi. I suppose we didn't have to travel far to view it. It is right there at our hotel door step and as we left Makassar for the journey north, we already had a vintage view of this strait which has been said to be a common shipping route for ocean going ships especially those which are too too big to fit through the Straits of Malacca. I could also imagine this place to be rife with activities once in World War II when the Battle of Makassar Strait occured. An American-British-Dutch-Austrialian (ABDA) fleet, under Rear Admiral Karel Doorman was intercepting a Japanese invasion convoy then but had to retreat when attacked by 36 Mitsubishi G4M and 24 Mitsubishi G3M. It does not matter that the battle had occurred in the Bali Sea which is closer to the Kangean Islands than to Makassar - When you are in a foreign land, sometimes, your imagination goes wild...8

Beautiful Views of the Makassar Straits...

Traveling Tip: Imagine!