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Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Palu April 17th 2015

After leaving the Togeans, I took the 4h return ferry back to Ampana, then after a 2.5h or so wait, managed to get on a connecting minivan for the 5h ride to Poso, where I stayed overnight, and had internet access again for the first time in four days (woohoo!). Then the next day, it was another long 6h ride to Palu, the capital of Central Sulawesi and my final stop on this trip, from where I would take the connecting flight to Jakarta before returning home. There's not much to say about Palu. Notwithstanding its dark, relatively recent history of violence, it seems to be a rather soul-less and dusty, dusty town, and it figures cos LP says it's apparently one of the driest places in all of Indonesia, due to it's location within some ... read more
Last views of the Sulawesi countryside
My *Sweet* Ride from Ampana to Poso
Checkmate!

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Togean Islands April 15th 2015

Moving on from Tentena, I continued my way north towards what I presumed would be one of the highlights of my trip -- the Togean Islands. But first there would be the small matter of a 6h drive to Ampana for an overnight stop, before another 4h boat trip to Wakai, the unofficial capital of the Togeans. From there, it was a fairly quick speedboat transfer to Pulau Kadidiri, my intended destination and where I would hunker down for a few days. Quite a lot has been said about the Togeans, the location's relative remoteness, serenity, and of course, natural beauty. With its relatively untouched corals and clear, still waters, the islands are of course a boon to diving enthusiasts, several of whom I met at the resort where I stayed. Not being much of a ... read more
Pulau Kadidiri
Tentena-Ampana
Tentena-Ampana

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja April 10th 2015

It's done! The leg of the journey that I had some apprehension over - Rantepao to Tentena. It turned out to be a rather long 12h plus as expected, but mercifully the bus was actually pretty comfortable, and save for a few segments, the roads were in decent condition. And none of the passengers smoked on board! (Ok one guy did bring his lit cigarette in after a bathroom break, but he stubbed it out soon after). Hopefully the worst of my intra-Sulawesi bus journeys are now over, though there will still be a few more several-hour rides to come... And so from the Torajan highlands, bypassing vast swathes of picturesque vegetation, I'd arrived in Central Sulawesi, in the small town of Tentena which sits on the edge of Indonesia's third largest lake Danau Poso. Coming ... read more
Danau Poso
Rantepao-Tentena
Rantepao-Tentena

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja April 8th 2015

And so after the relatively brief arrival and layover at Southwest Sulawesi's capital Makassar, it was time to get more serious and start the arduous journey northwards through the rather inhospitable terrain of the inner regions of the island. This was also something that had played on my mind ever since I started planning for this Sulawesi trip. I have, of course, not forgotten the painful, cigarette smoke-filled 18h intra-Sumatra journey from Bukittingi to Parapet, and reading about others' experiences with the difficult bus journeys in Sulawesi, I tried to prepare myself for the worst. This 9h first leg from Makassar to Rantepao in the Tana Toraja ("Land of the Heavenly Kings") turned out to be pretty easy after all. It was a nice, big air-conditioned bus with comfy seats and most importantly, no smoking, which ... read more
Lemo Effigies
Torajan Rice Terraces
Tattiest Notes in the World

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Makassar April 4th 2015

A long time ago as a student in primary school, I saw the crazy-looking island of Sulawesi (we'd learnt it was called Celebes back in the days of the British East India Company) on the map, and wondered what it was like there. Now I'm finding out! And so a little over a month since my last brief rendezvous with Thailand (again), I'm back on a more exotic trail and continuing to fill in the gaps of my now seemingly never-ending Southeast Asian adventure. My latest stop is the aforementioned claw-like, giant Indonesian island, and its Southern capital of Makassar. At one point also known as Ujung Pandang, this fourth-largest city in Indonesia has had a colourful history as an important Dutch trading port-of-call en route to the Spice Islands of the Moluccas further east. While ... read more
Bird's Eye View
View from the Bastion
On the floor at the front of the bus again

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja September 12th 2014

Im südwestlichen Teil von Sulawesi wohnen hauptsächlich die Bugis, traditionell ein Stamm von Seefahrern. Die sollen in der fernen Vergangenheit westliche Seefahrer, zum Beispiel der britischen East India Company, so unbarmherzig terrorisiert haben, dass diese ihre Angst vor den "bugi men" mit nach Hause brachten. ("Bogeyman" heißt auf Deutsch soviel wie der 'schwarze Mann', was man ja aber heute gar nicht mehr sagen darf, aber "Butzemann" klingt viel zu nett.) Laut Wikipedia sind Etymologen aber anderer Meinung, da es den Begriff "bogeyman" wohl schon Jahrhunderte vor der europäischen Kolonialisierung Südostasiens gegeben haben soll, als der Westen sicher noch nichts von den Bugis gehört hatte. Unser Führer ist auch ein Bugi, aber sehr nett. Vor allem kennt er sich auch in unserem Zielgebiet, Tana Toraja, dem Land der Toraja, sehr gut aus, da seine Familie hierher kommt. ... read more
They didn't die because of being heavy smokers
Kesu Kesu in Tana Torajan
Bamboo Flute Orchestra of an Orphanage

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Bunaken National Park August 5th 2014

http://youtu.be/M7XTmPcCkM0... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tangkoko National Park August 2nd 2014

Par le plus grand des hasards ton lodge au parc national de tangkoko porte le prénom d'un de tes meilleurs potes, Dov! Dans la forêt primaire de Tangkoko, on trouve des tarsiers nocturnes, des vipères vertes ultramortelles, des couscous, des toucans à crête rouge, des macaques à crête noir (spéciale cacededi à Flo, la primatophile En gros le tarsier est un croisement entre le gremlins avant sa transformation et le galagos, c'est à dire un petit primate que t'a grave envie de mettre dans ta poche et de ramener chez toi (en plus ça ferait plaisir à ton chat!). Ce petit truc overcraquant mesure 5 cm, ne sort que la nuit et a des yeux tellement gros qu'il ne peut pas les déplacer dans ses orbites, mais qu 'il doit bouger sa tronche. La nature est ... read more
yael bintang tangkoko
P1010977
P1010960

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Makassar July 26th 2014

Je te prie de m'excuser, ô pote lecteur, pour cette longue interruption due probablement à une flemmite aiguë compliquée d'une sensation de vacances intensives... L'état de ton serviteur semble s'améliorer et, sur les conseils des médecins, la reprise sera progressive avec pour l'instant quelques films des moments forts en indonésie, à commencer par - un reportage d'envoyé spécial sur la première gay pride à Makassar, capitale du sud de sulawesi : http://youtu.be/5eoBjMQpGL0... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Bunaken National Park July 6th 2014

We, and especially Leo, had been seriously bitten by the diving bug, so we wanted to do still some more dives during this trip. Thus, we arranged for a week long diving holiday at a resort on Bunaken Island, next to Sulawesi in Indonesia. It was rather far, three and a half hours by plane from Singapore, and still half an hour by boat to get from the city of Manado to Bunaken. We were met by Sven and Esther, a German-Indonesian couple who runs the resort, and got to know a French family with two teenage boys, who later ended up joining us on most of our dives. The first impression regarding the resort was not great: our concrete bungalow was hot as ever, had no a/c, and the toilet was not flushable, but you ... read more
puffer fish
jumping into the water
all good!




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