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Public Zone 公開區 => Travelogues 遊記相薄 => Topic started by: chin on 23 April 2010, 21:33:12



Title: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 23 April 2010, 21:33:12
In late March 2010, we went to Indonesia and spent a few days in North Sulawesi. We stayed at the Hotel Santika near Manado city, and visited some sight seeing spots by car.

The following Google map image shows Jakarta in the Java island (pin on the left), Makassar in South Sulawesi, and Manado in North Sulawesi (top right pin).


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 23 April 2010, 23:41:44
The direct flight from Jakarta to Manado is too early for lazy bumps like me. So we took the later flight that transit via Makassar in South Sulawesi (the middle pin in the above map.)

I got the window site, and the sky was clear enough that I took lots of pictures. On approach to Makassar, I can see lots of villages. Almost all houses are tin roofed (or some kind of iron sheet, as many are rusting.)

This picture is interesting also in the sense that, even at only 10000 meters or so, the earth is beyond any doubt not flat.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 23 April 2010, 23:46:34
More sky pic.

I am now using Aperture 3 to organize and process my photos. One of the new features of the new Aperture is the incorporation of Google map. It was very easy to find on the satellite image where I took this picture. The 2nd image is from Google map, and my plane was flying South-to-North and I was sitting on the window seat on the right side. So looking from the pins toward right, you can clearly identify the landmarks - the forking river, the roundish clear space near the river, the 4 rows of warehouses.

Anyone can be a spy now.  ;D


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 23 April 2010, 23:58:46
There is no story to this picture. It just shows that I was bored at Makassar...  ::)

I decided to show this, because after close inspection, I found that the plane's outline was distorted either by the rain or something else.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 24 April 2010, 00:10:28
Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world by population. But northern Sulawesi is an exception. You cannot help to notice the very in your face display of Christianity EVERYWHERE. It's more so because Easter was only a week away.

In most villages, the nicest building in the village would be the church. Every single home has a paper cross for Easter. And many neighborhoods had their designated color or decoration scheme for the crosses, as you shall see in later in this thread.

I speculate that the strong display of religious affiliation may have something to do with Christians being minority in this country, thus a strong label and identity. A label that everyone else has is not exactly an identity.

"Selamat Paskah" means happy Easter. 


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 24 April 2010, 00:23:04
Finally arrived at Hotel Santika after about 40 min ride. We had the choice of picking a (relatively) luxurious downtown hotel vs this seaside heaven for divers. We chose the seaside resort.

On the first day of checking in, it looked like we were the only party beside a large group of 5 or 6 American families. Later I got the chance talking to one of them on the diving boat, and learned that this group were all expatriates working at a Chevron project in Indonesia. The adults include geophysicists, and teachers working at the school for the Chevron expatriates. Almost all of them, including some young kids, like to dive. And this patch of sea is supposedly one of the best diving spots in the world, with more than 60 diving spots.

The first picture looks like any seaside hotel cafe in SE Asia. If you can see the small path in the middle of the picture, it extend perhaps more than 1km toward the sea leading to the jetty for diving boats. The 3rd image is from Google map with the pin showing where I took the picture.

One of their kids, Max, in black tee, was born on 1 Apr and have a small party with the hotel staff singing and playing music.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 24 April 2010, 00:35:20
The first day in Northern Sulawesi.

We hired the taxi driver who took us from the airport to the hotel. The hire cost was Rp350,000 per day plus gas. That's about HK$350 or US$45. Gas is very cheap in Indonesia at about Rp4,000 per liter unleaded.

I was told that many people in Manado are sailors and soldiers. There are not too many locals involves in trades or commerce beyond small shops. They can afford to be layback and relax because it's very easy just to earn enough food.

I was happened to be reading Ascent of Money, and one of the early chapters was talking about the resource curse. I wonder if what I was told about the Manado people is a minor example of resource curse.

Anyway, our driver typifies the stereotypical Manado folks. If we wanted to be picked up in the morning, like 9:30 or 10:00, he would always be later by 30 or 40 min. He's otherwise very cheerful and talkative, and very serious about what music to play in the car.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 24 April 2010, 00:49:32
On the side of the road we saw this huge monument. "Monumen Yesus Memberkati" means Monument of Jesus Blessing. Our driver told us that it's the second largest Jesus statue in the world after the Brazilian one.

The second photo shows the scale compare to the houses & cars on the road. The 3rd image is from Google map showing clearly the statue.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 24 April 2010, 00:55:24
Upon further investigation, we found the statue to be part of the marketing or attaction of a high end real estate project - Citraland Manado, the City of Blessings.

These are the mansions near where I took the above pictures, marked by the upper left pin on the Google map image above. There are many many many Roman or Greek themed statues and sculptures inside the property.

Can you guess what's Miracle Walk?

It's a small strip of shops attached to the property.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 24 April 2010, 01:00:22
After leaving the upscale Citraland, we pressed on toward Lake Linow. On the way we stopped at an outlook point, where on clear days you can see the whole Manado city. But not today.

I took this picture at the fruit stall at the outlook. What's she looking at? Can she see her future?


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 24 April 2010, 01:02:13
Lake Linow was open even in the rainy days. But we figured it would be a waste of Rp25,000 per person admission fee to see the lake in the rain.

So instead we want around and took a peek. This won't be the last time we visit Lake Linow.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 24 April 2010, 01:04:19
We are in season for the local red skinned peanuts. We bought quite a bit and that would be our snack for the next few days. I didn't know how much we paid, but probably very cheap.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 24 April 2010, 01:16:29
The two very common modes of transportation - ox cart in the village, and horse drawn cart in the hilly towns.

There are many ox in the field and on the village road. There were many times I saw an adult whose job seemed to be just to take care of one ox. Either the ox is highly priced or there is really nothing else to do. But I imagine if I was born in a Manado village, that would also be the extend of my productivity.

In the Manado city proper, there is no horse drawn carts. But in the nearby town, such as Tomahon where I took the second picture from inside our car, horse power is necessary because the underpowered small street tricycles cannot handle the hilly streets.

In the first picture, you can see the typical local dogs. There are small, and not afraid of motor vehicles. The road is their sun bathing ground. And the locals eat them too. RW (pronounced like AiirrWei) is the name to ask in a restaurant. Once I saw a man on the road side using a huge fire breathing torch on a dead dog to get rid of the hairs. The group of dogs in this picture was owned (or managed) by a woman walking behind the ox cart. I have to think that they are not sentimental about eating the dogs, since they are raised as utilities and for the meat.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 24 April 2010, 01:23:09
Our next stop is the Bukit Kasih - Hill of Love.

The first thing caught my sight is the sulphur and hotspring. The local shop keepers just dump bags of corn into the hot spring and wait for them to be cooked. We bought some and they were very good. They were not as sweet as the probably GMed corn engineered by the likes of Monsanto, but full of corn to the senses. (It's like eating free range chicken vs farm grown chicken - less meat but tastier by a wide margin.)


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 24 April 2010, 01:28:15
I once watched a TV program on scientific theory on how life started on earth. From what I can remember, one of the key steps was the formation of protein in sulphur hot springs.

The following pictures are in some sense contrasting - heat and sulphur can burn organic materials and even metals, yet life form flourish just short distance away.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 24 April 2010, 01:29:43
On the way up, I saw this eagle, chained to the rail. I did not got the chance to find out what it was about. But still a nice picture IMHO.  ;D


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 24 April 2010, 01:40:17
A more official description of Bukit Kasih is here (http://www.indonesia.travel/en/destination/93/bukit-kasih-the-hill-of-love).

On top of the hill are 5 small houses of worship, representing the 5 officially recognized religions in Indonesia.

In Indonesia, you have to declare a religion on your id, and can only choose one of the 5. The reason is supposedly to build harmony. How does limiting choices promote harmony? I imagine the reason is that when you choose 1 out of the 5, the OTHERS in the society feel less threatened?!

Too bad for the godless communists or the Falun Gongers who believed their leader Li Hong Zhi is the reincarnation of Budha Guanyin Jesus all-in-one.

The official link above also has the story of the faces craved on the hill.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 24 April 2010, 01:46:12
While the monument at the bottom of the hill is pentagonal shaped with equal size for each side representing one religion, the road to the hill and the many crosses along the path simply show you who is the dominating religious force here.

Every single scenery outlook has a little picture like this one.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 24 April 2010, 01:51:34
I took this picture at one of the scenery outlooks. There are some points of interest in this picture.

The large monument at the bottom is the pentagonal shaped one. The sulphur hot spring runs in the middle.

A bit top right of the monument is a nice white building. The building is the tomb of a former governor. he certainly picked a nice spot.

I went up the hill by this stair, and came down on the opposite side where there is a large cross on the top right of the picture.

Only after I came down, I realized that there are path to go further up. Well, I should have studied the maps before going up...  :P


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 24 April 2010, 01:54:53
I took pictures of the houses of warship on the hill, but they were really just small and simple houses, many with broken windows. On the way down, I say this nice and seem to be well maintained building, sitting in the middle of nowhere!

At the back toward the right, there seems to be another unfinished or abandoned structure.



Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 24 April 2010, 01:56:12
By the time we left Bukit Kasih, the sun was setting nicely and kids were out in force flying kites in the field.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 24 April 2010, 02:03:14
Our last stop before going dinner was this row of "house factories".

For perhaps 1 km or more on this stretch of road, there are lots of local Manado style houses for show and for sale. We stopped by to see some of the show houses. This large one is selling for about 370 million Rupiah, or about HK$370,000 or US$50,000. No cheap at all.

One of the photo below is the spec of this house. Many nails are not completely nailed in, because when someone buys this house, the shop has to disassemble the house plank by plank and ship out.

I asked if there are other options for the roof, and I was told that they used to use some kind of long dry grass. We can still see some houses with the traditional roof, but most are tin/iron-sheet tops. Just like the ones in the photo I took on the plane.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 24 April 2010, 02:07:46
The truck in the 1st picture is loading a house sold. I did not get the chance to find out how they marked the materials so they can assembly the house on site with the right piece.

The 2nd picture just shows another house for sell.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 24 April 2010, 02:31:52
We asked the hotel where we can have some local special food, and the hotel told us to go to "Heng-Mien". It was a busy restaurant with lots of locals. The price was cheap at Rp16,000 per person for the set menu. The food came as soon as we sat down.

The special local food that we looked for were RW (dog), Paniki (bat), Babi Hutan (boar), snake, and I forgot the other one.

The day we went to Heng Mien, they only have RW. (Top left dish on the picture.) I did not really like the food there, because all the ingredients were mashed together, and everything is just dark colored. The presentation has a long way to go. (But at HK$16 per person all-you-can-eat, I probably shouldn't expect too much.)


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 24 April 2010, 02:32:27
Finally a clear day. This is the same outlook near the town of Tomohon. The big town in the far end is the Manado city.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 24 April 2010, 02:35:30
At the outlook, we found a restaurant that is very quiet with very nice view. Here we tried to get the local specialties again. This time, besides RW, I also got Paniki.

See the claw of the bat in the 2nd picture?


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 24 April 2010, 02:44:59
The restaurant is called Rumak Makan Pemandangan (the words respectively means House Eat [name of place]).

The food is much better than Heng Mien. The ingredients were not mashed together, presentation much better. We were joking that by dinner time, the food would be mashed together like Heng Mien.

The first picture is RW and the second picture is Paniki. IMHO the RW is cooked with too much spice that the original meat flavor is overpowered. I have tried dog meat two times in mainland China - stewed in Guangdong and air-dried in Yixing. Stewed is by far the best.

The paniki is my first, and I don't think I will try again. The meat was very tough and the wing was like rubber. This only make sense as the wing is for flying. The boar meat was very gamy and on the tough side.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 24 April 2010, 02:53:18
Unlike many other nearby restaurants that charge a fixed price per person, this one is charging by the dish. And the reason that it's cleaner and quieter than the other ones. We spend a whopping Rp375,000 or 4 times as much as other fixed price restaurants.

Since we would like to try different dishes, we ordered quite a lot. At the end a friendly old woman in the next table advised us to take home the remaining food. And our driver happily packed up for his dinner.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 24 April 2010, 02:54:40
At the corner of the dining area is this very steep stairs going down to the kitchen. And old woman was cooking while a little girl was helping out.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 24 April 2010, 02:57:55
Closer look of the cook.

The little girl by now came back to the dining room floor, went to the back to wash dishes.

It was Thursday, and how come she's not in school? Maybe in Easter holiday? Or maybe I am assume too much that every young person should be schooled formally?


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 24 April 2010, 02:59:21
A road side store.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 24 April 2010, 03:01:54
Before going to Manado, we were told that Lake Linow is a must go. So today we try again.

And we were not disappointed. It was a very nice place simply to sit down and sip coffee. For me the added bonus is to take pictures.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 24 April 2010, 03:03:48
And just happened the owner of this place, Maria, was in the property. She normally lives in Jakarta and comes to Manado once a month. And we learned later that this lake side park is not her only venture in Manado.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 24 April 2010, 03:05:46
The lake is very rich with sulpher. In fact one side of the lake was gushing hot spring.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 24 April 2010, 03:06:45
More photos of the lake.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 24 April 2010, 03:08:39
What were the bamboo sticks for?


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 24 April 2010, 03:10:29
Supposedly the lake change color depending on the time of the day or the lighting. I only saw green.

This is a nicely managed property (relative to other Indonesian parks.)


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 24 April 2010, 03:12:14
My little girl was trying to catch grass hoppers, while people on the other side of the lake were trying to catch fishes.

Our side of the lake has too much sulphur but apparently the other side is good enough for fishes to live.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 24 April 2010, 03:21:36
Before going back to the hotel, we visited Bukit Doa (Hill of Prayer) - a Christian themed retreat and tourism spot.

Too bad we arrived too late. The doormen were nice enough to allow us in for a quick look. What small part we saw inside was very impressive. It's simply another nice well managed place to relax and appreciate nature and good architecture.

This property is also owned by Maria (the owner of the Lake Linow park). It started as her private garden for friends and family, and a few years ago start open to the public for day visit or short retreat for a few days.

The following pictures showing some facilities on site. The mountain in the back of 2nd picture is Mt Lokon.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 24 April 2010, 03:25:55
One of the main feature of this garden is a track going up hill, passing 12 or 13 locations of Catholic themed sites of reflection. (Again, we were very late and I did not get too much time to find out exactly what they were.)

The Maria Cave in the 1st picture is the last stop of this track/passage. Right before the end of the track was this underground room, where tens of birds just hung on to the wall. At first I thought they were paniki!


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 24 April 2010, 03:27:05
I am about 60% through posting pictures and comments. I will continue tomorrow.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 25 April 2010, 19:38:17
On 2-Apr-2010 we visited a special burial site.

What do special about this place? They preserved artifacts of a peculiar burial "traditional" that lasted about 600 years - from 1200 to 1800. They put the dead in a stone "family tomb-box". The following series of pictures tells the story.

First, a strong man from the village would find very large boulder, and crave a box out of the rock. The shape is roughly a box at the bottom, with a roof shaped top. The decoration of the top varies, as we shall see in the subsequent pictures.

Then, this strong man would carry the rock box and the roof cover back to the village.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 25 April 2010, 19:45:50
The first shows that once back at the village, the burial box would be placed very near the house. (Also note the typical Manado house.) The right side of the picture shows the family putting the dead's personal belongings into the burial box. (It's not exactly a burial, because the box is not buried in an sense.)

In the next picture, the dead is being put into the box, in a sit down position. The heavy rock roof cover is then put on top, and allow the body inside to decompose.

In the last picture, our guide was explaining to us the traditions and details. For example, the little bell like feature on top of the roof denotes how many dead were buried inside the box.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 25 April 2010, 20:24:50
The real stone burial boxes. Some are taller than me, and some are hip high. I took this picture at my eye level.

These "boxes" are at least 200 years old, because the practice was stopped in around 1800. The oldest one is about 800 years old dating back to around 1200.

Each family would have it's own burial box. All family members were buried in the same box. However if a family member died with 4 years of the last dead, they would "borrow" neighbor's or relative's, to allow enough time for the old body to decompose.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 25 April 2010, 20:44:01
This picture shows a broken one, and shows the scale of the box. The whole box was chiseled out from a single rock!

This practice of burial was ended in around 1800, after 600 years of practice. The main reason was that the people living in the house started to get sick. I can only imagine that this implies the burial boxes, placed so close to house, were the source of the health problem. Maybe one of the reasons was that after used for generations, the roof like cover is no long tight enough to contain whatever bad stuff coming from decomposing bodies. Especially when someone died from sickness, that sickness could still spread from the boxes.

When I told me friend about this, we were wondering if this is an example of "anthropological evolution". When a culture practicing undesirable acts, either the bad practice needs to stop, or the culture dies. However, if we put this argument to the extreme, it seems to justify many atrocities & predatory or even genocidal actions.

Another related example come from a book I read many years ago. The book was called Vanishing Languages, or something to that effect. That book was about many ancient languages, especially those without written form, were disappearing fast and replaced by English or the likes. The author laments the lost of historic treasure, cultural diversity, etc... In my own observation of people around me, language shaped one's value and culture more than we realized. The language structure and way of expressing dictates how we think. Unfortunately the vanishing language is just part of revolution - that the less competitive one submits.

Anyway, let get back on track to the burial boxes...


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 25 April 2010, 21:46:06
Only the roof cover of the burial box is decorative. It often shows the profession that family is known for, or what so special about the family or person.

The first one below is unique because the top cover is 4-faced, instead of decorating only two faces like the others. The person or the family was in the baby-delivery practice, or mid-wives. The second on was for a Dutchman.

I forgot what was the profession of the last one. The two little figures show a man on the left and a woman on the right. The key cue is the hand position - man with crossed fingers and woman with fists just touching. However upon detailed inspection, the man was show his ware between the legs.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 25 April 2010, 21:51:23
More interesting tops.

The first one is the village elder, or family in high position.

The second one was the strong man who found the big rock, crave it into the box & top, and brought them down to the village. I am not sure how one man can carry all these. (But then again, when I visited the ancient Inca empire in Peru, I saw right in front of my eyes the giant rock structures, and couldn't imagine how they did it. So compare to the Inca's, these rock boxes were relatively trival.)

The last one was for a Japanese who died in that village.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 25 April 2010, 22:45:21
Is this tree as old as the boxes?


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 25 April 2010, 22:48:28
Near the burial boxes is a tiny museum, exhibiting some personal effects found inside the boxes.

There is no doubt that these personal valuables are Chinese origin. My tea drinking friends always buy and use small cups like these to drink tea.

At the end of the visit, we donated Rp50,000 to the museum.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 25 April 2010, 23:22:25
It took us lots of effort to find a lunch place. Because 2-Apr-2010 was the Friday before Easter. For the Muslims, Fridays is a prayer day. For the Christians, it was Good Friday and everyone went to church in black clothes.

Eventually we found a restaurant in the harbor town of Bitung. It's operated by a Chinese family whose may have care more about hungry travelers & their money, than religions. After talking a bit more to the woman running the business, we learned that they just moved from Kalimantan few months ago. Besides the restaurant, they also operate a internet cafe, and a karaoke in the same building. And supposedly it was the first family karaoke in Bitung. By "family" I take it to mean that they don't provide any 伴唱 girl?

While talking to the owner in the karaoke, they had the first customer of the day - a boss looking man with 3 young girls. Perhaps BYOG (bring your own girl?)


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 25 April 2010, 23:36:11
After lunch, we went to a private zoo. Compare to the other privately operated parks, like Lake Linow or Bukit Goa, the zoo looks very run down.

The story is that the owner's main business is coconut plantation. (And I forgot to mention, coconut trees are everywhere in Manado, many planted in a neat formation.) The owner likes to collect exotics animals. After awhile, it become a park open to visitors.

One of the cutest animal has to be this little guy - Tarsius Spectrum.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 25 April 2010, 23:39:07
They are very small - about the size of an adult palm. They are monogamy for live, thus need to be captured and kept in pairs.

People there told us that they release them after about 6 months, because the little guys cannot reproduce in captivity and probably won't live long. It's so easy to capture that getting new ones every 6 months seem not a problem.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 25 April 2010, 23:39:54
More pictures of the cute little guys.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 25 April 2010, 23:40:17
They eat grass hoppers.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 25 April 2010, 23:48:04
What so special about these birds? I think something like the age can be told by the lines on the beak.



Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 25 April 2010, 23:49:35
Like I said earlier, the place is fairly run down. Some of the big monkeys are confined to very small cages. And these bats were in the cage with other big birds.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 25 April 2010, 23:50:54
The locals make it sound like a big deal about the tusks. I put come candies on the wall, and it just stood up.

But oo8 told me this is very common is wild boars in Malaysia.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 25 April 2010, 23:53:29
Last day in Hotel Santika. I was hoping to catch the sunset. But the sky and cloud formation wasn't very interesting, except the two blue rays.

But it was very enjoyable just standing there in the nice breeze.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 26 April 2010, 00:00:59
We spent lots of time in the car in Sulawesi. I always sat in the front, camera ready. The followings are some pictures taken behind the windshield. The quality may not be very good, but I hope the ideas are not lost.

This picture was taken on the way to the hotel from the airport. Hilly road, relaxed life.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 26 April 2010, 00:25:24
Religion plays a huge role here. The first is our driver's cross and his 招財貓 (ornament cats to attract fortunes). The second pic is one of the many many special decorations for Easter.

In the 3rd pic, you can see 3 of the most popular road side sightings in Manado. In order of popularity they are
1. crosses (by a wide margin in terms of frequency of sighting.)
2. political campaign posters, Sulawesi was preparing governor, mayors and other elections in May.
3. stray dogs, aka RW.

Seems lots of politicians run their campaign with abbreviation of their name, like SVR in the second pic. There was a very health proportion of women candidates. And in many posters, religion freely mixed with politics.

Our favorite joke was from a poster promoting a politician. His name went something like this - Rev. XYZ, MBA. So this guy tells you what's right or wrong because he's a priest. He also takes your money because he's also a business man. He is now running for office, so he can tell you what you can or can't do.  


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 26 April 2010, 00:30:33
Two more random pictures.

And this is the end of Sulawesi pictures.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 26 April 2010, 01:05:18
After going back to Jakarta, we played two rounds of golf.

First in the Padang Gold Pondok Indah. It's inside the upscale residential development Pondok Indah at the heart of Jakarta.

The following Google map image tells a lot about the place. The original very large Pondok Indah property developments was done by the same group that now developing Citraland Manado. The neat row of houses on the left are the very nice houses each occupying min 500 square meters of land. The houses in the middle of the gold course is the most prestigious and expensive and visibly much larger. However on the right side of the golf course is outside the luxury property development, and the houses there are squeezed into very tight spaces.

Right under the cloud is the upscale Pondok Indah Mall. This Google satellite image is very dated. The mall is now at least twice as big.

I will have larger images with my photos later.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 26 April 2010, 01:08:35
One of my playing partners there is a very talented golfer. At his younger days, he played at low single digit handicap. After a neck surgery, he may not be single digit but still a good player at advanced age.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 26 April 2010, 01:24:46
The interesting point about these two pictures is the house behind.

This house is inside the golf course and part of the very expensive and prestigious property. The house was built half way and then abandoned for a few years. I was told that the house is owned by one of Soeharto's sons Bambang. After Soeharto's oust, the building project stopped.

In around 1996, I was contacted by one of my clients in Hong Kong, about potential joint venture with a prominent family in Indonesia. When I arrived in Jakarta, I was greeted at the gate right outside the airplane and breezed through the immigration & custom. I found out just how prominent that family was when they took me to see the family patriarch. Their house was in a small street and 20 meters away from Soeharto's prime residence! With soldiers guarding both entrance of the street. One of that family's many businesses was the monopoly to print the laser markers required in all cigarette sold in Indonesia. And at that time, there were hundreds such "monopolies" in place to enrich the connected. Perhaps that's how you can afford to buy a land inside Pondoh Indah golf course and build your dream house. Or one in Bali.

The 3rd image show where the two photos were taken. The google satellite image probably was taken before Soeharto's fall from power in 1998. The plot was still empty.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 26 April 2010, 01:29:18
Few more nice pic.  ;D


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 26 April 2010, 01:34:07
Before pictures of the second round of golf, some random pictures taken in Jakarta.

First, want to be a neighbour with Miss Tourism Indonesia? I wonder if this could really be a reason to buy a property...

The second picture probably has no meaning to anyone but me.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 26 April 2010, 01:36:10
We went to a "people's mall" and found a few pet stalls outside.

The fish was probably a baby 羅漢.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 26 April 2010, 01:41:41
Today we played a round of golf in the Jagorawi new course. It was far more difficult than Pondok Indah.

In this photo, the two boys in swimming gear were ready to dive in if the golfer miss hit the ball to the pond. That's how they can make 1 or 2 HK$ equivalent.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 26 April 2010, 01:42:51
The weather was beautiful for playing golf.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 26 April 2010, 01:44:03
One of my playing partners was this 86 years old man. I hope I would be healthy enough to golf at that age.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 26 April 2010, 01:46:19
The place & weather was so nice that I felt it's a crime not to take more pictures.  ;)

My cart was not allowed to go on the fairway. But my 86 years old playing partner got the permission, as denoted by the red flag on his cart.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 26 April 2010, 01:48:04
Good chip and good finish!


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 27 April 2010, 00:25:52
Two screen wallpaper, requested by my friends.


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chanchiwai on 28 April 2010, 09:55:22
so beautiful ..... the golf court...


Title: Re: North Sulawesi, Indonesia 2010
Post by: chin on 28 April 2010, 12:45:25
so beautiful ..... the golf court...

You could have been there too.  ;)