Celebrating Imlek in Makassar

Celebrating Imlek in Makassar

February 12, 2015

We have two special occasions coming on this February, the Valentine’s Day on 14th and Chinese New Year on 19th February. But this time, we are going to talk about Chinese New Year celebration in Indonesia, especially in Makassar. The Chinese New Year celebration is identic with red, lion dance, firecracker and angpao¹, why?   Long time ago in a village of China, there was a beast with the head of a lion and scaly body of gold. Nian, that’s what people called it. Nian comes to the village every end of the year, eats everything it founds on its way; crops, cattle and even a human, making the villagers live in terror. One day, a group of children were playing firecrackers in a field, some of them wearing red clothes. It was exactly the time when Nian comes to the village, it approached the children and tried to eat them but somehow, Nian didn’t want to eat children with red clothes. And as the firecrackers burst more festive, Nian went away and didn’t come back for a year. The expulsion of Nian eventually developed into a festive celebration that interprets the New Year, which is why the Lunar New Year is also called Go Nian².   In Makassar, the Chinese New Year celebration is centered in China Town since the first time Chinese people came into Makassar during 14th – 20th century, with thousands of people flooding this area in every year to join the festive with lion dance performance and cultural carnival. Some of them even come earlier so they could see the Chinese descendants praying in the Xiang Ma temple.   After praying in the temple, the whole family member gathers for a feast. For you who would like to celebrate Go Nian in Makassar, we offer you a wide range of comfortable yet sophisticated rooms to choose in Singgasana Hotel Makassar. Maybe you can stay at our Presidential Suite with 129sqm area and a private dining room for the more exclusive and intimate celebration, or perhaps you are more likely to have a feast at the Cirangga Restaurant? Well, for whatever your wish, we are always here at your service.   ¹A red envelope consists of money given during holidays or special occasions such as weddings, the birth of a baby, graduation or the Lunar New Year.   ²Casting out the Nian

Apa Yang Mesti Dicari sebelum Berwisata?

Apa Yang Mesti Dicari sebelum Berwisata?

January 13, 2015

Melakukan riset sebelum berwisata, kerap menjadi aktivitas rutin yang dilakoni para pejalan. Penginapan, transportasi, hingga segala hal mengenai destinasi, menjadi pokok penting yang dicari tahu. Tapi, ada juga detail lain yang mesti masuk dalam pencarian Anda. Apa saja itu ?   1. ATRAKSI Jika belum memiliki lokasi spsifik yang akan dikunjungi, cari saja objek wisata di kota atau negara itu. Lihat profil daerah, ketentuan yang berlaku, tiket masuk, serta bagaimana ke sana. 2. BUDAYA LOKAL Lebih bagus ketika Anda mengetahui budaya ataupun kebiasaan yang berlaku di wilayah tersebut. Sehinggan nanti tidak kaget atau malah aneh sendiri saat kejadian. 3. IKLIM DAN CUACA Penting untuk mencari tahu mengenai iklim dan cuaca di tempat tujuan. Hal ini terkait dengan persiapan pakaian agar tidak salah kostum, maupun properti pendukung lainnya. 4. TRANSPORTASI Di tempat tujuan, moda transportasi apa yang akan Anda gunakan untuk menjangkau tempat wisata? Wajib hukumnya. Mesti dicari tahu sedari awal. Cari tahu juga kendaraan alternatif jika transportasi utama tidak dapat digunakan. 5. PANTAU NILAI KURS Jika berwisata ke luar negeri. Rajin - rajinlah memantau nilai tukar mata uang. Tentunya ini akan memengaruhi anggaran perjalanan. 6. LIHAT FOTO SATELIT Jika punya waktu, boleh juga melihat area destinasi melalui foto satelit dari internet. Anda tinggal mengetik namanya di Google Maps, lalu gunakan fitur browse street view images. Jika tersedia, Anda akan mendapatkan gambar lokasi tersebut dan bisa “jalan – jalan” virtual.

Hike Safely And Comfortably

Hike Safely And Comfortably

January 13, 2015

Mendaki gunung memang membutuhkan persiapan matang, mulai dari logistik, sampai pakaian yang mumpuni. peralatan harus lengkap dan tetap ringkas, tidak merepotkan saat dibawa trekking. Perhatikan medan dan cuaca untuk menentukan pakaian, udara pegunungan bisa sangat dingin! Jelas kita tak boleh meremehkan alam. Aman dan nyaman menjadi hal wajib yang perlu diperhitungkan.   1. Argon Wind & Waterpoof Jacket Waspada hipotermia! Jaket dengan bahan polar melindungi tubuh dari angin gunung yang dingin. 2. Full Body Raincoat Mendaki di musim penghujan, wajib sedia jas hujan. Pilih yang melindungi seluruh tubuh dan tidak ribet. 3. Trekking Shorts Celana pendek memberi kenyamanan lebih saat berjalan jauh, terutama untuk pendakian siang. 4. Rhino 60L Carrier Ringkas keperluan mendaki dalam satu ransel besar. Carrier yang baik menampung beban tanpa menghilangkan kenyamanan di punggung.   JANGAN LUPA INI SAAT MENYUSUN RENCANA PERJALANAN Bagi sebagian orang, rencana perjalanan amatlah penting, apalagi jika berwisata ke tempat yang jauh dan dalam waktu yang lama. Sebaiknya rencana Anda ditulis, bisa dalam bentuk digital di ponsel atau di secarik kertas. Bertalian dengan itu, ada beberapa tips berkenaan dengan rencana perjalanan. 1. RISET TERLEBIH DULU Supaya gambaran perjalanan di dalam kepala Anda bisa direalisasikan, lakukan riset terlebih dahulu. Membandingkan harga tiket perjalanan, mengecek hotel, mencari ulasan, dan informasi lokasi wisata. 2. REALISTIS MENYUSUN AKTIVITAS Waktu Anda berwisata terbatas, namun ada banyak aktivitas yang ingin dilakukan. Jangan paksakan dengan kehendak dengan membuat jadwal padat, buat prioritas. Pikirkan pula tentang efisiensi waktu, tenaga, dan biaya. 3. FLEKSIBEL SAJA Memiliki rencana perjalanan bukan berarti Anda harus terpaku pada rencana itu. Hal tak terduga sering kali terjadi. Buatlah rencana yang terbuka untuk kemungkinan lain menggantikannya. 4. ATUR ANGGARAN Tulis perkiraan anggaran yang jelas dan ikuti rencana tersebut. Namun, jangan pula terlalu terpaku pada anggaran, sebab Anda malah jadi kesulitan jika ada kejadian darurat. 5. RENCANA SEBELUM HARI-H Hari-hari sebelum berangkat pun harus direncanakan dengan baik. Jika berpergian beberapa hari atau minggu, Anda mungkin harus mengatur siapa yang menjaga rumah, merampungkan urusan pekerjaan sebelum cuti, siapa yang mengurus hewan peliharaan Anda, dan sebagainya.   SEKALI-SEKALI BERWISATA DENGAN SPONTAN Melakukan perjalanan spontan, terdengar menggoda bagi Anda yang berjiwa petualang, sekaligus sedikit mengerikan bagi yang belum pernah merasakannya. Memang, banyak kemungkinan timbulnya masalah, tapi juga merupakan pengalaman tak ternilai. 1. LAKUKANLAH! Apalah artinya jika hanya ingin berwisata secara spontan tetapi tidak pernah melakukannya. Pilah saja satu tempat yang terlintas, tidak perlu yang terkenal atau mesti yang jauh. 2. GUNAKAN NALURI Sebaiknya hindari mencari informasi atau ulasan dair wisatawan lain di internet. Sesampainya di lokasi, gunakan naluri Anda untuk memutuskan di mana akan menginap, tempat apa yang akan dikunjungi, tempat makan mana yang dipilih. Rasakan pengalaman itu sendiri. Kecuali tempat itu sanagat asing, maka sedikit riset tidak masalah. 3. INTERAKSI DENGAN PENDUDUK LOKAL Malu bertanya sesat di jalan. Jangan ragu bertanya pada penduduk setempat untuk mendapat informasi yang Anda butuhkan. Karena mereka tinggal di daerah tersebut, Anda bisa mendapat saran yang lebih baik, yang belum tentu ada di internet. 4. LAWAN ARUS WISATAWAN Setiap destinasi wisata tentu memiliki sesuatu yang ikonik. Jangan menuju ke sana. Telusuri area-area lain untuk merasakan pengalaman otentik dari wilayah tersebut. Tidak perlu takut tersesat, siapa tahu Anda malah menemukan sesuatu yang lebih indah dan berharga. 5. DIBAWA SANTAI Berkeliling kotalah dengan santai, biarkan mata Anda menangkap hal-hal baru. Toh Anda tidak terikat jadwal.

KATINGTING RACE – A Tribute to a Maritime Tradition

KATINGTING RACE – A Tribute to a Maritime Tradition

November 25, 2014

  The deepest lake in Indonesia, Matano Lake, lies in Soroako, East Luwu Regency in South Sulawesi. Covering an area of more than 8,000 hectares, its depth goes all the way to almost 600 meters below the surface. And its natural beauty has been attracting visitors from all over the world, and even more so during the occasion of Katingting Race.   Soroako is a small beautiful mining town famed for its immense deposit of iron. Vale Inco, the Canadian mining company operating here has been active in helping the locals preserve the generous environment. As a result, the three lakes surrounding the town, including Matano, have become favorite destinations for tourists wanting to explore the biodiversity and breathtaking views of Soroako.   Crystal-clear waters, unpolluted air, calm atmosphere and the view of Veerbek Mountains over Matano Lake charm whoever visits the area. And as the day of the Katinting Race approached, I joined the locals and visitors alike in an exciting celebration unlike any other.   Practical means of transportation Katinting is a 10-meter long wooden boat with outriggers on both sides of its body. This traditional, boat is used by the locals as one of their primary means of the transportation. East Luwu Regency is indeed one of the Indonesian regions that unfortunately suffers from poor land transportation infrastructure.   Luckily though, Sulawesi is an island where the people have a strong maritime tradition. Many ethnic groups living there originated from coastal and riverine kingdoms that reigned in the past. In many ways, the common usage of water transportation shows the age old maritime inventions and skills.   In the 1970s, the region was introduced to machineries. The name katinting came forth during that period, referring to a boat with machine. Until today katinting is a part of the ordinary lives in several sub-regencies in the area, sailing here and there along with another larger and more modern type of boat called raft.   With a small engine attached at the stern, each boat can carry up to 12 people. It is a very popular vehicle not only to go places, but also to enjoy the surroundings. On weekends, for example, it is the favorite choice of tourists who want to spend leisure time on the lake.   Thrills on the lake That morning Ide Beach presented a memorable view of the lake beneath the gorgeous blue sky. The small beach is only 3 kilometers away from the center of Soroako and has long been the main site for recreational activities. But this one particular morning, crowds gathered not only to take in the scenery. Katinting Race as an annual agenda of the town was about to start.   Katinting Race was only initiated several years ago. Realizing their rich tourism potential, the local government introduced the race in order to promote the region. Indeed, it was a smart move as visitors now get to marvel at the view of the surroundings and find an unexpected sanctuary in a little town of central Sulawesi.   The race is on The race participants from Soroako and other neighboring towns assembled near the shore at 7 in the morning. I could feel the tension as well as great excitement building up, promising not only a tribute to Sulawesi’s maritime tradition.   Small colorful flags that decorated the boats fluttered in the wind as the katintin men got themselves ready. The day before, bright-colored buoy markers and small Indonesian national flags had also been installed by the organizing committee. Like dots from afar, they added up the merriment by the lake throughout the 500-meter course.   As in every other race, every participant must comply with some rules. The boat’s shape and specification were subject to strict inspections. The katinting had to have a 24-horsepower engine and be manned by three people. There were three rounds going on from morning to afternoon in which each katinting must show off its performance in the elimination, semifinal and final rounds.    As soon as the committee announced the beginning of the first round, chers and applause filled the air. Right on cue, two first katintings dashed away. Each time a katinting maneuvered, I joined the on-lookers cheering and applauding enthusiastically, yelling out support and slogans. Definitely a brilliant show of traditional ingenuity, I highly recommend this race to be on your next travel agenda.   How to get Soroako From the capital city of South Sulawesi, Makassar, Soroako can be reached by a public bus; a journey that can take up to 12 hours. A much more comfortable trip is a one-and-a-half-hour domestic flight from Makassar.

Female Essentials: What to Bring to Indonesian Jungle

Female Essentials: What to Bring to Indonesian Jungle

November 24, 2014

I love trekking the rainforest of Indonesian, especially on the island of Borneo. But for a woman, packing for a forest adventure needs a bit of pratice. Here are some tips!   1. Less is better. Indonesia’s rainforest, especially in Borneo boasts some the most pritine yey tough terrains. So trust me on this: the less you take with you, the better.   2. Everthing must dyr quickly. You’ll sweat, you’ll get rained on, you’ll cross rivers and streams, the you’ll sweat some more. Everthing that you take must be able to dry quickly. That includes shoes, socks, clothes, pants and towel.   3. Don’t bother to change too often. This is what I ussualy do: I have 3 sets of clothes; the one I wear, nighties for sleeping, and one set for the very last day, which I ussualy wear just before I head home. That’s it. I keep wearing the same set of clothes, washing them when necessary, and only charge them at night to my nighties before I go to bed.   4. Footwear with good tread. Your footwear must have good traction. I like wearing hiking sandals because they are lighter and easier to dry. But of course i dont’t wear them on trails with thick and thorny vegetation (or full of leeches). Ask your guide.   5. Waterproofing Everthing. Get protective waterproof casing for cellular phone and camera ( unless your camera is already waterproof). Put everything else, especially electronics, in a waterproof bag.   6. Flip - Flops and sarong are lifesavers. Bring a pair of sturdy but comfortable flip – flops and a sarong. They are lifesavers. Wear the flip – flops while resting/ resting/ swimming/ bathing or while waiting for your footwear to dry. The sarong is useful as cover ups while bathing in the river or as a blanket at night.   7. Other Essentials. Bring toiletries in small bottles, insect repellant, sun screen, garbage bags, zip – lock bags and hand sanitizer. Last but no least, don’t forget your pads or tampons.

Katingting Race

Katingting Race

November 24, 2014

KATINGTING RACE – A Tribute to a Maritime Tradition The deepest lake in Indonesia, Matano Lake, lies in Soroako, East Luwu Regency in South Sulawesi. Covering an area of more than 8,000 hectares, its depth goes all the way to almost 600 meters below the surface. And its natural beauty has been attracting visitors from all over the world, and even more so during the occasion of Katingting Race.   Soroako is a small beautiful mining town famed for its immense deposit of iron. Vale Inco, the Canadian mining company operating here has been active in helping the locals preserve the generous environment. As a result, the three lakes surrounding the town, including Matano, have become favorite destinations for tourists wanting to explore the biodiversity and breathtaking views of Soroako.   Crystal-clear waters, unpolluted air, calm atmosphere and the view of Veerbek Mountains over Matano Lake charm whoever visits the area. And as the day of the Katingting Race approached, I joined the locals and visitors alike in an exciting celebration unlike any other.   Practical means of transportation Katingting is a 10-meter long wooden boat with outriggers on both sides of its body. This traditional, boat is used by the locals as one of their primary means of the transportation. East Luwu Regency is indeed one of the Indonesian regions that unfortunately suffers from poor land transportation infrastructure.   Luckily though, Sulawesi is an island where the people have a strong maritime tradition. Many ethnic groups living there originated from coastal and riverine kingdoms that reigned in the past. In many ways, the common usage of water transportation shows the age old maritime inventions and skills.   In the 1970s, the region was introduced to machineries. The name katingting came forth during that period, referring to a boat with machine. Until today katingting is a part of the ordinary lives in several sub-regencies in the area, sailing here and there along with another larger and more modern type of boat called raft.   With a small engine attached at the stern, each boat can carry up to 12 people. It is a very popular vehicle not only to go places, but also to enjoy the surroundings. On weekends, for example, it is the favorite choice of tourists who want to spend leisure time on the lake.   Thrills on the lake That morning Ide Beach presented a memorable view of the lake beneath the gorgeous blue sky. The small beach is only 3 kilometers away from the center of Soroako and has long been the main site for recreational activities. But this one particular morning, crowds gathered not only to take in the scenery. Katingting Race as an annual agenda of the town was about to start.   Katingting Race was only initiated several years ago. Realizing their rich tourism potential, the local government introduced the race in order to promote the region. Indeed, it was a smart move as visitors now get to marvel at the view of the surroundings and find an unexpected sanctuary in a little town of central Sulawesi.   The race is on The race participants from Soroako and other neighboring towns assembled near the shore at 7 in the morning. I could feel the tension as well as great excitement building up, promising not only a tribute to Sulawesi’s maritime tradition.   Small colorful flags that decorated the boats fluttered in the wind as the katingting men got themselves ready. The day before, bright-colored buoy markers and small Indonesian national flags had also been installed by the organizing committee. Like dots from afar, they added up the merriment by the lake throughout the 500-meter course.   As in every other race, every participant must comply with some rules. The boat’s shape and specification were subject to strict inspections. The katingting had to have a 24-horsepower engine and be manned by three people. There were three rounds going on from morning to afternoon in which each katingting must show off its performance in the elimination, semifinal and final rounds.    As soon as the committee announced the beginning of the first round, chers and applause filled the air. Right on cue, two first katingting dashed away. Each time a katingting maneuvered, I joined the on-lookers cheering and applauding enthusiastically, yelling out support and slogans. Definitely a brilliant show of traditional ingenuity, I highly recommend this race to be on your next travel agenda.   How to get Soroako   From the capital city of South Sulawesi, Makassar, Soroako can be reached by a public bus; a journey that can take up to 12 hours. A much more comfortable trip is a one-and-a-half-hour domestic flight from Makassar.     Source: Journey Indonesia magazine - www.thejourneymagz.com