Indonesia is not just Bali!

Even it was too early to take summer holiday in June, but I just couldn’t stand anymore for not taking as earliest as I can. It’s been almost two years since I came back home to see my beloved family and friends. Well, I would not tell you about how excited I was for coming back home, of course I was. However, I’ll introduce you something you’ve never heard about Indonesia.

Indonesia is the largest archipelago country in the world, comprises 13.466 islands, including main and small islands, which some of them is still uninhabited and remains unnamed.

If you had notice, we’re located in the equator, so that’s the reason why we have tropical climate with two seasons, dry and rainy. Thunderstorm and heavy rain are very usual for us. We’ve never waited the rain to stop to go out, because when it rains it would be taking for the whole day or sometimes it will continue until the next day. Most Indonesian people would never complain about the weather like people always do in Europe when the weather goes bad, just don’t forget to bring your umbrella or your raincoat everywhere.  Or, just in case if you forgot to bring one, don’t be upset, there will be a lot of pop-up umbrella services almost in every public spot such, malls, schools, universities, etc. Some of them are  free of charge (ex: restaurant, cafe, or small shops) because their guardian or parking man would turn into an umbrella man for their customers. However, some of them are the real service which you have to pay them for the umbrella rental. The price is somehow quite variable, between 1000 – 5000 IDR per umbrella (about 6 – 32 cents) , depends on where you are and your final destination. You will find a lot of children (age 10th to 17th) hanging umbrellas and ready to cover you to your closest destination. People said we’re pretty creative in creating job. As long as you have a willing to do something, you would never be unemployed.

a view taken from my hotel hallway

Since I still had two days left  for my business trip, so my first stopover in Indonesia was Batam island, it just located next to Singapore. We need one hour to go through the strait by ferry. But, thanks to one hour different time between Singapore and Indonesia, when i supposed to be arrived one hour later since my departure time, my arrival time remains the same as my departure time. I stayed in Harris Hotel, a 4 stars hotel located next to my ferry harbour. I was so lucky when I got there, there’s a new islamic building just finished their construction a week before I arrived. At first, I thought it was a mosque, I was surprised when the local said that the Batam government built the islamic building to welcome the MTQ participants (National Competition of reading Al Qur’an). They said even the President of Republic of Indonesia just came to the city a week before to open the inauguration.

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Finally, Semarang, the capital city of Central Java province, located in Java Island. Since I’ve been away from home for two years, so I did not have much time to visit some iconic sites in Semarang. Well, this one is quite famous, the Great Mosque of Central Java. The mosque complex covers 10 hectares (25 acres). There are three central buildings arranged in the shape of a U, with the domed mosque at the centre; all buildings have pitched, tiled roofs, while the central mosque has four minarets. The central roof resembles the roof of a “joglo“, the traditional Javanese house, and symbolises the rising steps toward heaven or to gain God’s blessing. The long buildings forming the arms of the U house a library and auditorium respectively; the auditorium can hold up to 2,000 people. (source: wikipedia) A friend told me that I have to visit it twice, in the morning and at night, cause they would deifinitely give you different view.

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The second place to visit was Umbul Sidomukti Tourism Park, located in Ungaran regency, 1 hour 30 minutes driving from Semarang. This place was just amazing. They had natural swimming pool, camping site, food court, flying fox, outbond activities, hotel, cafe and restaurant. If you need a peaceful place to go, this place would be a perfect sweet escape for you.

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Next, my hometown, the city where I grew up, Bandung, the capital city of West Java province, still in Java Island. the country’s third largest city by population, and second largest metropolitan area in Indonesia with a sprawling urban population of 8.6 million in 2011. Located 768 metres (2,520 ft) above sea level, approximately 140 kilometres (87 miles) south east of Jakarta, Bandung has cooler temperatures year-round than most other Indonesian cities. The city lies on a river basin surrounded by volcanic mountains. (source: wikipedia).

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If I’d never lived abroad, I might never taking this famous building in Bandung. This building is a government office for Governor of West Java, called Satay Building “gedung sate”, which is a reference to the shape of the building’s central pinnacle – which resemble the shape of one of the Indonesian traditional dish called satay (source: wikipedia).

Talking about Bandung is talking about food, many domestic and international tourists come to visit Bandung only for our culinary. We have lots of restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, tea shops, bars, snacks shops, and thousands of street foods who serves diverse foods and beverages from traditional to international cuisine, but please note: with a local taste. The most thing I’ve written on my visit lists was the foods that I used to eat when I lived here. I had only 2 days to spend my days in Bandung, which is It was absolutely not enough because I had a very long lists of restaurants and cafes that I used to go before.

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Well, let me show you one of my favorite restaurant in Bandung, located in the north of Bandung, called Boemi Joglo, actually it was not a Bandung traditional cuisine, it is mostly javanese typical food, but, I’ve never found any better restaurant who serves at least as delicious as they had. They have speciality in making a “Nasi Liwet” or Liwet rice. It was prepared in the traditional pan and cooked using the firewoods. So I think that’s why they have a special taste on it. The picture above is a javanese street food called “tempe mendoan”. The ingredients are tempeh (fermented from soja been), flour, oil to fry, onion leeks, coriander, salt, and garlic powder (i guess). It serves with indonesian sweet soja sauce, tiny lime, and chilies). The picture below was “Liwet rice”. The ingredients are mushrooms, chicken, traditional spices (which is I couldn’t mention it one by one), indonesian sweet soja sauce, and basilic.

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So, Indonesia is not just Bali as well as France is not just Paris!

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