Jan 202012
 

Welcome banner at Muara Karang Fish Market

There are many seafood restaurants in Jakarta, but Muara Karang offers a truly different experience for true seafood lovers. But first, a warning: don’t expect your seafood to be served in a comfortable, air conditioned place and seated on padded seats here. Instead, you can expect to partake of the freshest seafood around, right on the edge of the fish market, surrounded by muddy streets and the stench of fish around you.

And, unlike other restaurants where you just wait for your dishes to be served, you are also going to have to select and buy your own fish here. But one thing is a sure bet, freshness is guaranteed because you will have chosen and bought freshly caught fish directly from the fish auction market. Continue reading »

Jan 202012
 

Intricate: A sarcophagus is delicately chiseled.

Preparations for community ngaben or cremations are intense.

Every day, men, women and children head to the community bale banjar to create the specified offerings — to build the great bamboo platforms that will carry the sarcophagi or make endless baskets to carry the flowers, fruits and rice of offerings.

Gusti Mangku Batur of Tengkulak Kaja says the women of the village make thousands of offerings during the 17 days leading up to a cremation.

“We come together from morning until night every day,” says Mangku of the thousands of man hours spent creating the offerings that, like the sarcophagi, will be burnt during the ngaben. Continue reading »

Jan 202012
 

Sacred animals: A herd of albino buffalos, Kyai Slamet, from the Kasunanan Surakarta Palace parades on the eve of 1 Sura in Surakarta, Central Java, on Nov. 26. JP/Ganug Nugroho Adi

For the people of Surakarta and its surrounding Central Java towns like Karanganyar, Sragen, Boyolali, Klaten, Sukoharjo and Wonogiri, the appearance of albino buffalos called Kyai Slamet is synonymous with the ritual to mark the eve of 1 Sura, the new year in the Javanese calendar.

The herd of white buffalos, considered sacred by some in the local community, emerged from the palace of Kasunanan Surakarta on Nov. 26, the eve of 1 Sura, to spearhead a procession of palace heirlooms.

Thousands of people had crowded around the Surakarta court and lined the routes where the eagerly awaited traditional parade would pass by at midnight. Continue reading »

Jan 182012
 

Sendang Biru Beach

Indonesia is a destination of endless diversity, and that’s not just a slogan for an advertising campaign. And love at first sight awaits those who visit the charming city of Malang, in East Java. For all the mall-rats out there, or those whose only agenda on their travel itinerary is shopping, never underestimate Malang. This small city has lots to offer: fascinating places with classic colonial buildings, abundant choices of local food – from restaurants to street food hawkers, shady boulevards, beautiful parks and plenty of nature. Continue reading »