Sunday, September 27, 2009

Unforgetable Tana Toraja - unforgetable food!!

Food was really good in Tana Toraja, well, at least for me (^___^). I knew that I gained at least 2 kgs during our 3 days trip there :))

The pork was sooo good and fresh. No smell, and really soft. Different to the frozen one we could buy here at Toko Baru: as hard as sandals!!. On our first night Hiro had pork picatta, and I had roasted pork ribs. Boy!!! they were sooo good! I decided that I would eat pork on every possible meal I have in Tana Toraja at that time :p

The next day we went to Bolu Market. It is a big big traditional market compared to what we have in Sorowako, and guess what we found were sold there too?!

God!!! that's why the pork was fresh! That poor pig looked sleeping but I thought he actually was praying, because once some people put him on a motorbike, he started to cry and if he knew that he would come to the end. I felt so sick when I saw it....I thought I wouldn't be able to eat any pork that day...... :(

Then we went to Batutumorang, and planned to have Torajan traditional food at the only restaurant there. But what a shock we got to find out that there were no other food available but noodle because of the Idul Fitri holiday!!!! So after a long scary offroad journey, what we got was mie goreng and mihun goreng (>.<) My mood was really ruined there, also because the waitress was so unpolite. But I ate my food anyway. What can I do, I was so hungry :p. Iki loved his mihun goreng, and my mie goreng was surprisingly good. Really good. Until I found a moving light green object beside the green veggies on my plate. WORM. ALIVE!!!!! huuuu huuuu huuuu (T_T) I think I found the worm right after Hiro took this picture!

Our dinner that day was unforgettable too. We went to this restaurant named MAMBO, recommended by a friend from Sorowako, and also was written in a Japanese guide book. Being unable to eat Torajan food at lunch, I called the restaurant first to order the food in advance. Torajan has this traditional food named PA'PIONG: meat with special spice and vegetables cooked in a bamboo. I wanted to know if it is the same with what we have in manado (well, almost the same! that's why I was so happy!).
I ordered pork pa'piong and bufallo pa'piong. Torajan eat bufallo so I thought that our trip wouldn't be completed before eating bufallo too.

The pa'piong came with the traditional red rice. I thought I wouldn't be able to eat any pork after the pig I saw in the morning so I ate the bufallo meat first. but it was hard, I didn't really like it, so at last I tried the pork one. God, they were soooo good (I'm sorry piggy :p). Besides pa'piong we also ordered some other food: deep fried fish, squid, and chinese pork noodle. All the food at that restaurant were VERY good. Lots of people coming, also foreigners; that I thought this restaurant must be the best in town.

We had a good time there. Drinking, talking, eating, and eating and eating. The best food for me was the pork pa'piong (well, I ordered special spicy chilli sauce too :p). Until the end we kept eating it, until then the nice guys gave me like the last spoon of it. YAY!!!!!

But then I found something black, looked crunchy with legs. COCKROACH!!!

I screamed, and asked the waitress right away: IS THIS PART OF THE TRADITIONAL FOOD?!?!
which of course was not, and they felt so sorry for the incident! Only sorry, for God's sake. We still had to pay!!!!!

But we were already drunk, so we just laughed and laughed about it. Even Hiro who usually is a big complainer just laughed and said: THIS IS INDONESIA, of course we have to pay!.
Well, I felt so gross when I woke up the next day, though :))

Anyway perhaps if by any chance you eat pa'piong, you should check if there's nothing accidentaly crawled inside when it was being cooked :))

This unforgetable food experience made our trip to Tana Toraja is definitely unforgetable (^_-)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Unforgetable Tana Toraja - second day, a long long day

Right after breakfast, we went to Pasar Bolu, big traditional market about 20 minutes drive from the hotel. We planned to buy some souvenirs and the famous Toraja coffee before we started our sightseeing. The market was surprisingly BUSY at that second day of Idul Fitri holiday. Lots lots of people that we could hardly walk. It was very hot too, really a huge contribution to people's mood :p. We left quickly after getting what we want, ready for our next adventure.

But there is this damn one car, parked behind our car. Hiro and Ikemura pushed and pushed and pushed but it didn't move. Grrrrhhhh!!!!! I was so pissed off that I kicked that car angrily too :p. We wasted our time waiting for almost half an hour, until then Ikemura had this brilliant idea. He pushed back some cars parked beside us, and then Hiro successfully drove the car out. I don't know how the did it, I wouldn't be able to drive the car out myself through such a small small space!

Our next destination is Batutumorang, mentioned as a very high area to see a spectacular panorama. There are some attractions around too, so I thought it worthed. Hiro drove following the map, and mostly his instinct. At last then we asked a boy how to go there and we trusted him. Hiro said that a boy won't lie :p

Well, he didn't lie. We just forgot to ask him if we could go there by car or not!!! The map said that the road we followed was a TREKKING ROUTE, but we were too far already and anyway there were no space we could turn the car around (>.<). Really was a scary offroad trip, dengan jurang dikanan kiri (apa sih jurang bahasa inggrisnya?? :p) Thanks God, we are using company's automatic 4WD's car, otherwise I was pretty sure I would get heart attack ;-p.

Because of the scary road then we missed the touristic attractions around too :(, and this was the spectacular panorama we found up there at Batutumorang

It was beautiful........!!

After having a dissapointing lunch at the only restaurant there, we drove back down (this time using the normal route :p). There were some traditional burial village along the way back, but we just passed them and stop a bit to take picture from distance. We were lucky then when we passed a big field with lots of crowds around. Bull Fighting. Pretty interesting :)

But then two of those huge bulls ran away, passed our car and scared people away. Boy they were huge!!! :))

Then we drove south to Londa, a traditional burial cave. It was almost 4 pm and a bit raining when we arrived there, but we went inside anyway. We hired two guides with lanterns with us this time. I insisted :))

Front view of the cave

This is the view inside the cave.

The story about these two skulls is pretty sad. They were cousins who were in love but were not allowed to get married. Both hung themselves on a tree and sadly at the end they were actually together (they were put in the same cave because every cave belongs to one extended family).

One burial cave in one rocky mountain has different levels to place the coffins based on social strata. Commoners' are located on the lowest part, meanwhile the nobles' are on the higher part of the mountain, which could only be seen from far away..

Can you see the holes on the mountain?

I am glad to be able to visit Toraja, one of Indonesia's heritage. With its unique culture, people, and also breathtaking scenery. Come and visit Tana Toraja, you'll experience an unforgettable cultural trip! :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Unforgetable Tana Toraja - day 1

So at last we decided to spend this year's Idul Fitri holiday at Tana Toraja instead of Makassar. It is "only" 6 hours drive from Soroako, meanwhile Makassar needs at least 12 hours drive.

First stop was a small city named Palopo. There was a KFC in the city for our lunch. Being in Sorowako for few months, KFC was really a luxurious treat! Later on we bought back to Sorowako a bucket full of fried chickens on the way home :p.

The road to Rantepao (the touristic city in Tana Toraja) from Palopo is SCARY. It was all winding road for two hours drive. The road was not wide, and I believed that I always gasped everytime there were cars coming from other direction. I didn't dare to look out of the window too. Jurang!!. Hiro stopped the car at one point for taking a break. Duh bener-bener deg deg-an waktu ngambil foto ini. Bayangkan kalo salah langkah terus aku jatuh dibawah sana!! hiiiiiiiii

winding road view on the way to Rantepao

We stayed at Heritage hotel, mentioned as the best hotel in Rantepao. It was quite beautiful though it looked old and unfortunately not well maintained too. Our friends from Sorowako even didn't get hot water in their rooms! The staffs were friendly, the food was really good eventhough it took FOREVER to get served. After more than an hour waiting for our food I was really pissed off and yelled to the waiters :p.

Toraja Heritage Hotel

We didn't hire any driver or guide there. My lovely husband said that he would love to take the challenge to explore Toraja by himself, only using a (not so clear) map we got from the internet. He even didn't want to stop to ask for direction. We literally got lost for many times (@_@).

Our first plan was visiting Kete Kesu, a famous traditional village burial site closest to our hotel. Well, we couldn't find it :p, and visited Pala' Tokke which has hanging graves instead. We almost got lost again, Hiro and Ikemura (his friend coming with us) already climbed a rocky hill to find the hanging graves haha! We almost gave up and Hiro drove back a bit, but then I insisted to open my window ask a pedestrian. Which was a good decision!!

It was not that easy to reach Pala' tokke. The road was not good, thanks God we are using 4WD company's car :p. Still then we had to walk and climb a rocky mountain for about 15 minutes.

rice paddy at Pala' Tokke

climbing a rocky mountain

I was the first one who arrived there, shocked, and screamed. Skulls! I saw skulls!!!

hanging graves

I couldn't sleep on our first night there. Everytime I closed my eyes, those skulls from Pala's Tokke haunted me...... :(