5 THINGS TO DO DURING TRANSIT IN MAKASSAR

5 THINGS TO DO DURING TRANSIT IN MAKASSAR

August 11, 2016

Makassar is the gateway on the east of Indonesia that has been known since the Dutch colonial government. Now, people come and go for business or leisure through Makassar via the Sultan Hasanudin International Airport and many of them should spend some time for a transit. Being on a transit for 5 hours or less could be boring when you have nothing to do or see. But don’t worry, there are things that you can do while transit within the airport and no worry of missing the next flight.   1. Massage Use your time to take a rest and have a pampering massage. Located in the waiting room of the airport, you could find an automatic massage chair. You will be refreshed and recharged after at least 30 minutes of massage.   2. Enjoy Makassar’s Dishes  Going around the airport you will find many restaurants serving Makassar’s popular dishes such as Mie Titi, Coto Makassar, Palu Butung, etc.    3. Take a Picture The Sultan Hasanudin International Airport is provides several spots to take a picture, with the famous Phinisi ship as the background. But, if you have more time for transit you can go to the real iconic places in Makassar, such as the Losari Beach. Not only you can have a memorable pictures, you can also savor the fresh sea foods sold in the area. 4. Shopping When you don’t have much time to go shopping, you can buy some souvenirs at the airport kiosks. The price is a little bit more pricey than the ones outside the airport, but still affordable.    5. Rest at the hotel Some flights have up to 12 hours transit time. While most people choose to stay at the airport until the departure, some others choose to take a rest at the nearby hotels. For an affordable yet comfortable stay, you can choose to stay at Singgasana Hotel Makassar. With the room rate started from only IDR 300 K include breakfast,  we will ensure you have a good night’s sleep and pleasant stay during the transit.

5 Simple Stretches That Can Be Done in Your Office

5 Simple Stretches That Can Be Done in Your Office

June 02, 2016

Sitting for a long period of time could bring a bad effect either for your body and mind. In fact, our body needs a good energy to produce creativity and, we can get that only if our blood  flows well. Too bad, many of us especially office workers don’t have the opportunity to move around often. So if you are one of those, you can do these simple stretches while you are sitting at the office.   Seated Twist Sitting in your chair for all day might get your back achy. Take a break and you can do this simple stretch while still sitting. Keep a long, tall spine and twist your body to the left, stop a while and take a deep breath for a few seconds. Repeat on the other side and each side for 3 or four times.   Chin Tuck Try to do chin tuck to loosen your shoulder muscle and stiff neck, simply by face straight ahead. Slowly lower your chin to your chest and hold for about 30 seconds and you will feel the tension in the back of your neck. Slowly return to the starting position, relax and repeat.   Thigh Balance Use a desk for your support, stand up, raise your leg behind and try to grab your ankle. Hold for a few seconds and repeat on the other leg. This would bring back your balance and mobility after you spend all day sitting down.   Stress Ball Squeeze This is too simple to do! Squeezing a stress ball is a good way to release stress and improve productivity. It is also good for your hands and forearms.   Standing Leg Raises Now get up from your chair and hold onto the back of it. Lean forward and raise your legs towards the ceiling and lowering back down. Do this for a couple times and repeat on the other leg.    It is not necessary to do all these 5 stretches at once, but you can take this stretch break every 60 minutes and choose a couple of stretches. These are all simple but your brain and body will thank for it. Come on! Take your stretch break now.

Going To Makassar

Going To Makassar

May 12, 2016

Now it is your turn to go to Makassar with 10% extra discount for stay in Singgasana Hotel Makassar. Get it now, simply by entering this promotion code BOOKNOW when making a reservation on our website. This promotion is valid on certain period. While you are in Makassar, you can enjoy the beauty of its beaches while having a superb seafood dish covered in Bugis’ traditional spices, or go to the mountains to witness a spectacular view from up above. Makassar has so many potential tourism attractions that are still uncovered. One of them is the Kodingareng Keke Island. It is a remote small island located 45 minutes away from the mainland by speedboat. This is such a perfect island for a private getaway, quiet and beautiful with a long stretch of white sandy beach. Do not forget to bring your own supplies and foods since this island is uninhabited, and please, keep your own rubbish, don’t throw it away to the island or ocean. If you’re fond of photography, you might want to go to the Paotere Harbor in the morning. There, you can snap some exotic views of morning activities at the harbor such as fishermen and their boats coming home after a night of fishing, loads of fresh seafoods off the boats, etc. Some people suggest to get there by becak, so you can experience the more traditional feel. If you want to, bring some local friends as a guide to prevent undesirable things. If you need a help for your trip, please call our staff. We are more than ready to help and make it a memorable trip for you.

5 MUST-TRY FOODS IN MAKASSAR

5 MUST-TRY FOODS IN MAKASSAR

March 30, 2016

Have you ever been to Makassar? Or maybe you are currently staying at a hotel in Makassar? This city has so much to offer, especially their traditional dishes which are mostly savory and spicy with lots of herbs and spices. What are the 5 must-try foods in Makassar?   1.       Mie Titi This dish is a mixture of the local tradition and Chinese descendants in Makassar. Mie Titi has been known in Makassar since about 40 years ago. It is reputedly told that Mie Titi is a legendary dish that the recipe is inherited hereditary by the family of Kho Sek Chao. For thos who doesn’t know or never heard of it before, Mie Titi is deep fried noodle served with thick hot savory gravy with meat, seafood and vegetables poured over the noodle. It has a smooth yet crunchy texture. Mie Titi is sold in several corners of the city such as Jl. Datumuseng, Jl. Irian, Jl. Bumi Tamalanrea, Jl. Datumuseng and Jl. Boulevard.   2.       Pallubasa Pallubasa is another famous dish from Makassar. It’s a bowl of hot beef soup with raw egg yolk on top. Two of well-known restaurants that serve Pallubasa is on Jl. Onta and Jl. Serigala, both of them are located nearby. You can choose the meat you’d like to add on your bowl, or try to be extreme with adding some beef tongue or beef cheek. Do you dare?   3.       Sop Konro dan Bakar Karebosi Sop Konro is beef ribs soup meanwhile Konro Bakar is grilled beef ribs served with a bowl of beef soup (they are basically the same, only how it served is different). In Makassar, Konro Bakar Karebosi which is located near the Karebosi field is the famous one.   4.       Coto Makassar How many Coto Makassar restaurants in Makassar? Well, according to many sources, there are more than 100 restaurants. One of them that is recommended by Makassar culinary lovers is Coto Nusantara. This restaurant (or more like a “warong”) is located in Jl. Nusantara. They are still preserving the traditional way of cooking coto Makassar, which is by using firewood. This makes the coto Makassar more aromatic and tasty.   5.       Sop Saudara   Sop Saudara is another variation of Makassar style beef soup. A bowl of Sop Saudara contains beef or inners, slices of fried potato and glass noodles, poured over with savory beef broth. One restaurant that serves Sop Saudara is in Jl. Irian and its open for 24 hours. Problem solved for those who are craving for hot beef soup in the midnights.

Ride Smart

Ride Smart

March 08, 2016

Biking opens up a whole new world, letting you explore places less traveled. But riding adventure bicycles safely off the beaten track is voodoo science that requires not only specific skills but also a thoughtful approach and planning for trouble while you are far from help. Here are some techniques to improve your off-road biking experience.   Carry your bicycle Learn to pick up the heavy bicycle by yourself. Position your back against the seat, grasp the lower handgrip seat, and lift with your legs.   Master disaster Cell phones often doesn’t work in the outback, and the old practices of screaming for help, lighting a signal fire, flashing a mirror at aircraft, or simply waiting for another vehicle to arrive are actually rather risky schemes if you or your bike get seriously disabled. A much smarter alternative is to install a SPOT satellite transceiver ($120-$550 from www.findmespot.com) that transmits your location and connects you with family, friends or emergency services anywhere you go).   3.       Lower the weight If the nearly 50-kg curb weight were not enough, stuff another 10-kg into the side cases and/ or trunk and you will be perched atop a high-centered ‘hippo’. Carry only what you need, and pack the heavy stuff down low.   4.       Read the terrain Single tracks, sand, mud, and rocks present real challenges for sport/adventure bicycles. Bodywork interrupts your line of sight, your mass is ponderous, and tires don’t grip very well. Continually scan the terrain ahead and choose the smoothest lines.   5.       Practice braking   Safely test for dirt grip by applying the rear brake until the wheel locks briefly. Regular maintenance is very important. Ensure this before you’re off on a biking adventure.       Source: Journey Magazine, February 2016

TANA TORAJA FESTIVAL

TANA TORAJA FESTIVAL

February 09, 2016

I have just arrived at Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport in Makassar, South Sulwesi for a business trip. The welcoming billboard of Tana Toraja with its picture of three women dancing colorful hairpieces reminded me of a festive celebration eight years ago.     The memory came to me so clearly, an unforgettable moment. It had been my very first time in Sulawesi, a fine morning at the end of August 2007, when my cousin, Ka Ina from Makassar invited me to attend the Tana Toraja Festival.   Ka Ina said that Tana Toraja Regency was celebrating its 50th birthday. Also, the day remarked 760th anniversary of Tana Toraja itself, so the people from the surrounding villages and districts did not want to miss the excitement. The full event was held for the entire month of August that year, and the last day was dedicated to a colossal feast, hosted in a Komando Daerah Militer (Kodim) field in Rantepao.     CUSTOMS PARADE     The Torajans were excited for this annual celebration. The streets were teeming with throngs of people from all over Toraja; not one of the 40 regencies was absent from the festivities, and each one had its own unique performance to offer to the audience. Sinjai Regency, for instance, gave a performance called Mambola Sipatan, where a boy climbed a bamboo structure supported by several men laying on the ground. It was a bewildering show!     It was also at this festival that I learned that the popular Asmat Tribe that is found in Papua are actually Torajans! They returned to their homeland for the event with its theme, “Love Your Country Preserve Your Culture” I also particularly enjoyed the Tira dance attraction, where a group of boys from the regency of North Makale danced to the music of bamboo instruments.     MEROK ATTRACTION     Merok was one of the myriad special attractions at this festival. Merok is a traditional ceremony of Toraja Sa’dan, North Toraja, held as a form of gratitude. The performance included the sacrifice of a water buffalo using an extremely sharp blade so that with only a single quick slash the deed was done. What an eerie moment for outsiders like me.     In Tana Toraja, the buffalo sacrifice is often done as a part of their elaborate multi-day funerals. They believe that the deceased’s soul travels to the afterlife on a buffalo. For the noble, more than 25 buffaloes might be slaughtered, but at least one of them must be particular breed of white-mottled buffalo, which comes at a high price. Afterwards, the horns are cut off and kept as trophies to be hung in the family home. The number of horns hanging in a home demonstrates the wealth and importance of the family.     Ka Ina told me that for Torajans, life very much revolves around death. This unique custom has lived in their society for centuries. For them, a funeral is a great celebration of life, much like a going-away party, and is an occasion in which the entire family of the deceased and members of the village take part. This ancient tradition is known to be one of the most complex funeral traditions in the world.     SO MANY TRADITIONAL DANCES     The Pagellu Dance is a welcome dance for patriots returning glorious from the battlefield. Pagellu means an expression of happiness. That year, in 2007, the largest ever Pagellu dance was staged. At least five thousand students from the Tana Toraja regency danced Pagellu on that very day.     Nowadays, Pagellu is often performed at weddings, at harvest time or to welcome VIP guests. Adorned in gold and silver, the dancers tell the story of the women of Toraja, the cycle from birth to death and the daily activities of the Toraja girls.   There were also the Nondo and Ma’Badong Dances. The difference between the two lies only in their context. Ma’Badong is performed in funerals, while Nondo is performed at moments of joy and celebration. The dancers wiggle their pinkie fingers as they move in a big circle.     The festival of Tana Toraja in 2007 was really a huge event. I have never witnessed a greater festival in Indonesia. Last year, Toraja International Fetival 2015n was held in Kete’ Kesu Village on August 14-16 and successfully amazed both local and international tourists. The festival included a music group who blended traditional music with contemporary tunes. International musicians attended the feast. Traditional dances were again performed. It also showcased Toraja traditional arts such as tenun (handwven fabric) as well as local food and coffee. The event was considered a success.     As the government strives for Toraja tourism, the event will be back again in 2016. It will possibly be held in August. As the event become more popular and international, there will be more peculiar ceremonies, bigger dances and music collaborations performed. More local talents, artists and international musicians are expected to come. The venue and theme have not been published, but wherever it is, I plan to be there!       Toraja International Festival 2016 schedule     Want to go to the local traditional market? Learn the Tips & Tricks     What is the 3 Historical Markets in Jakarta?       Source: Journey Indonesia, January 2016

RAMMA VALLEY: VALLEY OF THE KINGS

RAMMA VALLEY: VALLEY OF THE KINGS

February 09, 2016

Rocky, long and high. There are many words to describe the trail at Ramma Valley, but easy certainly isn’t one of them. But aside from those that denote challenge, it is words like picturesque, beautiful and idyllic that keep people visiting.   The gritty metropolis Makassar, the capital city of South Sulawesi, is one of the nation’s greatest ports. Tourism is a rapidly growing sector in Makassar, as is evidence by the new hotels, ferry ports, shopping malls and theme park.   But as the metropolitan city has few sights, especially for an adventure junkie like me, and with the relentless tropical heat and pollution, few travelers stay more than a night or two. As Makassar is also known as the gateway to Eastern part of Indonesia and the entry point to countless adventurous tours, I left Makassar for do a day trip to the picturesque Ramma Valley, located in Malino, a small hill town resort in the Gowa District of South Sulawesi, 90 kilometers from Makassar.     Only two hours’ drive from Makassar, I hit the road at dawn with friends. The journey was smooth and the traffic and the combination of anticipation and great company made it even more exciting. We opened the windows to let the wind blow against faces and enjoyed the peaceful morning.    Lembana Village was our destination. Lembanna is a small village in the foothills of Mount Bawakareang and the starting point for trekkers to the Mount Bawakareang or Mount Lompobatattang. So, here is where the adventure started.      ALMOST THE KALPATARU FLOWERS   To reach Ramma Valley, we walked through the dense and green forest for about 2.5 hours. At the start of our trek, we shared the trail with those hikers heading for the top of Mount Bawakareang. Since on this visit did not plan to reach the summit, we picked the right path at the first fork in the trail. Of course, the guide has told us to do so before we set out, otherwise, we could have very easily got lost at the very beginning!   Along the way, we had to cross several rivers with crystal clear water and rocks around. The area was scattered with stunning flora, including the beautiful Barringtonia Asiatica.     THE BREATHTAKING PANORAMA   When we finally reached the top of the hills, the views was truly awe inspiring. The vast green vallety was laid out before our eyes; a small river ran along it on one side and on the other loomed a couple of high mountains, one which was Bawakareang and the other Lompobattang.   After a few minutes rest, taking in the incredible view, we carefully descended the steep and rocky path through the foothills, and in less than 30 minutes, we arrived in the valley. The breeze blowing along the valley was calming, and the panoramic green fields, the rivers, lake and waterfalls were all so exquisite that we were able to forget our bustling thoughts for a while. The Ramma Valleys reminded me of the time I hiked Mount Gede-Pangrango in west Java through the valleys of Surya Kencana. There, is no edelweiss in Ramma Valley but, otherwise the two were very similar and equally beautiful. If you’re feeling thirsty, there is a natural well you can drink from.     THE MYTH   Besides its enchanting views, Ramma Valley has one characteristic not so easily found in other similar locations. The local people use the valley, thanks to its altitude, for livestock, with cows and horses roaming free. Groups of shepherds come to stay for a few days at a time, accompanied by their dogs, to take care of the animals.   Like the other mountains in Indonesia, there is also a local myth that Mount Bawakareang is  a sacred and spiritual place. The guide told us that anyone climbing to the summit during the holy Hajj month (the month of Dzullhijjah in the Islamic calendar) is rewarded as much as if he makes the pilgrimage to Mecca. No wonder, when the month is near, the place is packed. Finally, the journey came to an end, and it was time to go back before the sun fell behind the horizon and the path grew too dark. As we were walking down the hills, I was already thinking about my next visit to Mount Bawakareang. Next time, I’m aiming for the summit.     Source: Journey Magazine, January 2016     Plan your stay and visit Tana Toraja Festival 2016

5 Unique New Year Traditions around the World

5 Unique New Year Traditions around the World

December 14, 2015

Ring in the bell because New Year 2016 is coming! Now, while you are busy preparing foods for family dinner or New Year party costume and accessories, some people in other countries are collecting old photos or bad memories to be burned in New Year’s Eve. Unique isn’t it? Read the rest of 5 unique New Year traditions around the world.   1. Burning Old Memories To burn pictures of your ex might be one way to move on. Just like the tradition in Ecuador. They have a unique tradition to burn all bad and sad memories from the past year in order to celebrate the New Year. They believe that this is a good way to start a new life, and not attached to the past.   2. Throw Things New Year’s Eve in Denmark will be rowdy because the Danish have this tradition to throw plates and glasses to their neighbor’s door. And then, they’ll get up on a bench and jump together as a symbol of leaving the bad and welcome the fortune of New Year.    3. Matchmaking Game If you’re female, single and ready to mingle, you might want to join the Belorussian tradition in welcoming the New Year. Single ladies in Belorussia will be standing in a row and spread some corn kernels in front of them. If the roosters are coming to you, then you might get married in the upcoming year.   4. Sleeping at the Graveyard  It might sounds spooky to spend the rest of the end of the year at a graveyard.  But this is what people in Chile do. They believe that they have to welcome the New Year together with their ancestors on the graveyard. Dare to try?   5. Wearing Polka dots The Philippines believe that wearing coin shaped clothes on New Year’s Eve will bring fortune in the New Year. They also usually bring coins or tiny bells as a symbol of good luck.   Which of these five unique traditions that you might want to do? Will you sleep at a graveyard, or will you spread the corn kernels like the Belarusian does?    If you still want to have some fun with party for the whole night long, stay at Singgasana Hotel Makassar. With less than IDR 1.5 million, you can stay and enjoy the New Year’s Eve with various entertainments at our Black & White Party, including breakfast on the next day. Reserve now!

5 Worst Trip Planning Mistakes

5 Worst Trip Planning Mistakes

November 27, 2015

Even experienced travelers admit that holidays have gone awry for them now and again, for a variety of reasons. But most travel mishaps are easily avoided if you plan right. Here are five most common trip planning mistakes to be considered.   1. Being inflexible with your dates Fixing your travel dates too early could be a way to pay too much. Plan the dates long before you apply for annual leave, allowing flexibility to adjust as new information becomes available. Pushing your travel dates back or forward by just a few days could save you hundreds of dollars.   2. One-stop shopping The days when we’d call up a travel agent, book a trip, hang up the phone and be done with it are long gone. Now, the internet is a hodgepodge of hundreds of competing travel provider sites, all whom are touring the “best deals” and “lowest prices” – and 9 out of 10 times it’s a mistake to book the first thing you see. Keep looking, and you can always come back.   3. Going deal-crazy Yes, bargains are wonderful. But one can take things too far. Travel deals often work against us, and this is exactly how the business can afford to offer them. Beware of discounts that you may not actually use or that you probably wouldn’t book the first place, or that exceed your budget even with the discounts.   4. Cramming too much in If you’re spending so much money on your vacation, it is understandable to want to get your money’s worth by stuffing as much as possible into your itinerary. But it’s key to leave plenty of room in your schedule for the unexpected. Be realistic!   5. Under-budgeting Budget everything! Baggage fees, airline surcharges, cost of airline meals and snacks, ATM fees, hotel service charges, car rental fees, internet charges, taxes, tips, local payments and other pesky little (and big) fees. Overlook the surcharges and your trip could cost hundreds more than you bargained for.     Source: Journey Magazine, November 2015   Does Jakarta has a great underwater scenery?