Full Sail Ahead

 The building of traditional wooden phinisi sailboats are seeing a revival—and being transformed from a humble cargo vessels into luxury yachts

In 2004, a 50 meter luxury yacht, the Silolona, was launched, causing a sensation when it showed off to the media and others. The cause of the commotion? The Silolona was no ordinary yacht. It was actually a wooden phinisi sailboat, which have piled the waters of Southeast Asia and beyond for hundreds of years. While most of these boats are simple cargo vessels, the Silolona charges up to $1,200 per person per day for charter trips, for a maximum of 12 guests on board. Continue reading

Leaves of Life

Cigar factory PD Taru Martani is one of the many surviving historical icons in tradition-steeped Yogyakarta.

In a place known better for its cigarettes, PD Taru Martani is the country’s oldest and the largest cigar maker. Built in 1918 under the name N.V. Negresco by a Dutch company Mignot & De Block Cigar Company. After World War II, the factory was taken over by the late Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX and renamed Taru Martani, a Javanese term for the leaves of life. Continue reading

The Taste of Toraja

Indonesia, the world’s third largest coffee producer, is developing better coffee to meet global demand—and rising demand at home.

Indonesia is known for its coffee. Among the famous coffee produced here are toraja kalossi, mandheling and gayo. Last but not least is the noted civet coffee or kopi luwak, made famous by Jack Nicholson in the movie The Bucket List. It is the most expensive coffee in the world, sometimes hitting $160 per pound. “Good coffee tastes like fine wine. The better it is the more expensive,” says Pranoto Soenarto, chief operations officer of PT Excelso Multi Rasa, a unit of PT Kapal Api Global, the country’s largest coffee producer by volume. Continue reading

Shanghai pamer kemegahan

Cuaca di Shanghai, China, ketika saya mengunjunginya pada awal bulan lalu [Juni] tak jauh beda dengan Jakarta sekarang ini. Sesekali hujan, berangin, tapi terasa jauh lebih dingin dibandingkan dengan Jakarta walau suhu mencapai 29 derajat Celcius.

Cuaca yang dikenal sebagai plum rain season pada kurun Juni-Juli ini menyiapkan warga kota dalam menghadapi musim angin kencang– sesekali topan– yang kerap terjadi pada akhir Agustus hingga 20 hari pertama pada September. Continue reading

Dente Teladas

Dente Teladas. It’s the name of a rural village I visited last week, on a duty. It is located in north-east of Bandar Lampung, the capitol city of Lampung Province, part of Tulang Bawang district. Lampung itself lies in the southern part of Sumatra, Indonesia.

Even though there is no electricity plus a lot of mosquitos in the village and its surrounding, my journey this time is quite interesting because I was be able to acrossed the Tulang Bawang River with klotok boat. It’s a small boat with the tok tok sound from it machine. As a city dweller, I never had such an experience. Not to mention seeing the river itself, and hearing some stories from the villagers about the crocodiles that lives in it. Continue reading