Category Archives: Indonesia

Remembering a past flavour

It’s been many years since I last visited Indonesia but what I can’t forget is the food. Though not my favourite cuisine in the world, it comes near the top.

With the final days of summer, there’s one dish that is perfect in the heat — gado gado. It’s a mixture of salad vegetables topped with a peanut sauce that adds a distinct flavour unique to Indonesia and Malaysia.

In my version however, I leave off the boiled egg.

Orangutan occasion

Ferrying back to Prapat, we took a bus to Medan on Sumatra’s east coast. After the stillness of Samosir Island, Medan’s sprawl and noise hit us like a slap in the face. Luckily, we were headed for Bukit Luwang the following day. Continue reading Orangutan occasion

Prapat, and an island in the middle of Lake Toba

Photo courtesy: Christian Advs Sltg — Wikimedia Commons

We stayed over night in Prapat in Central Sumatra before catching an early ferry across to Samosir Island, situated in the middle of the Lake Toba. Half an hour ferry ride seemed luxurious after the arduous long day’s journey of the day before from Bukittinggi. Continue reading Prapat, and an island in the middle of Lake Toba

The dilemma of giant bats

Bukittinggi had a subterranean past. During the war, the Japanese forced Indonesians to build underground tunnels where they stored their ammunition. We found the bunkers disturbing, so headed out with a guide who promised to show my daughter giant bats. Continue reading The dilemma of giant bats

Sumatra’s Minangkabau around Bukittinggi

We quickly forgot our Pekanbaru experience. Sumatra was easier travel, less crowded and I didn’t have my daughter counting down the days till our return any more. She appeared to enjoy the experiences as much as me. Continue reading Sumatra’s Minangkabau around Bukittinggi

Western Sumatra’s Bukittinggi and beyond

Through jungle, mountains and winding roads we arrived six hours later in Bukittinggi. Because of the altitude, approaching the Equator was relatively cool. Our Bukittinggi hotel was high, but even higher stood Mt Marapi, smoke rising from its summit. This was more like it. Continue reading Western Sumatra’s Bukittinggi and beyond

Sumatra’s Stinkin’ Pekanbaru

I handed my daughter the Indonesian guidebook and said she could plan our trip to Sumatra. It was two years after Java before we flew to Singapore, caught a ferry to Bantam Island in Indonesia, then flew to Pekanbaru, the closest town in Sumatra. Continue reading Sumatra’s Stinkin’ Pekanbaru