Vihara Dhanagun: Entering The Year of Golden Rabbit

11 Feb

It was raining last night and I can foresee that it’s going to rain again today as I looked out to the gray sky from between the faded window curtain. The sign of blessing and prosperity, Chinese people say. Today is Lunar new year and I’m on a bus to Bogor to go to Klenteng Hok Tek Bio or  widely known as well as Vihara Dhanagun to see Indonesian Chinese descent people praying at the Vihara to celebrate Lunar new year. As soon as I’m arriving in Bogor, I take an angkot which then takes me to the intersection in front of Bogor famous landmark, Istana Bogor. As the angkot drives away, I look ahead to the busy road in front of me and I’m easily able to spot Vihara Dhanagun sturdily standing right at the corner of the road. I’m crossing the street and I am walking through the Vihara’s front gate where many people gathers sitting on its staircase blocking my way into the Vihara. Some of them came just to see the festive ceremony and how the Indonesian Chinese people do their new year prayer, but some came hoping to get some Angpao (money inside a small red pocket) given by people who pray in the Vihara.


rows of candles

Praying 1

At the Vihara’s front door, you can see two white lion statues standing side by side in front of the door guarding the Vihara. There are some people praying inside the Vihara holding incense between their palms while others are just preparing the incense and burn them. Clouds of smoke and a strong smell of the burning incense are tickling my nostrils as I enter the Vihara to see how the New Year rituals are being done. I can see many red candles are burnt inside the main room of the Vihara. At both its left and right sides, there are rows of brightly lit candles with people’s names written on a red paper which are stuck in front of the candles. Chinese people believe that the candle will light the lives of the people whose names written in front of each candle.

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Chocodot: Dodol sealed with Luxury

31 Jan

I’ve been to Garut several times before, but this is my first time coming  to visit Garut just to eat. Yes, eat. Even though mostly Indonesian knows Garut for its eyes pampering landscapes and its heart warming parahyangan politeness, but only recently that people from outside Garut purposely come to this small town in the South of Bandung for its culinary experience. Yes, we might be familiar with dodol, a kind of sticky candy treat which is  a popular iconic food of Garut. But do you know that since a  year ago, dodol has evolved into a more fancy and luxurious kind of treat. It was Kiki Gumelar, a young local inovative  entrepreneur who was first invented Chocodot, a new variant of dodol which wrapped in chocolate. By the time i bought the chocodot, Kiki Gumelar has already distributed his original Tama Chocodot through 3 different outlets around Garut area. I happened to get my very first chocodot at  D’Jieun Tjokelat in Jl. Otista which is located not far away from Cibiuk restaurant.


D'Jieun Chocolate Shop

When I open the front door of D’Jieun Tjokelat, I am warmly welcomed by a big smile from its store attendants. The cool air huffed by the air conditioner and the sweet aroma of chocolate seductively luring you to come inside the shop. As I am sweeping my eyes through the shop, I find they have quite many variants of chocodot for you to choose. Chocodot in big bars, chocodot in small bars. They also have praline chocodot and the newest variant called brodol, literally an abbreviation for brownies dodol. The shop also sells merchandises such as chocodot t-shirts, key chains and parcels. After being a bit overwhelmed with so many variants of chocodot to choose from, I finally decide to buy two big bars of them. One is a chocodot made from dark chocolate with plain sweet dodol filling  and the other one is a bar of  milk chocolate with milk dodol inside.



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A Tint of Bali in Bogor: Pura Agung Jagatkartha

16 Jan

It was Sunday morning, when I and four of my best friends went on a trip to Bogor. We were planning to go to Pura Parahyangan Agung Jagatkartha in Tamansari. We have heard quite a lot about this largest Hindus temple in Indonesia outside Bali but we didn’t know exactly where this temple is located so we were kind of curious about this temple existence. We departed from Jakarta early in the morning by a friend’s car to avoid the heavy traffic jam and to spare some time just in case we get lost or led astray.


Pura Agung Jagatkartha

Preparing to Pray

It wasn’t so difficult for us to get to Tamansari area since we have asked a friend who had been to the temple before to give some directions how to get there. But what was surprising us was the same friend who gave us directions to the temple didn’t inform us that the road to the temple would be quite rocky and steep that we had to park our car a bit far from the temple. Then we still needed to walk quite far only to reach the bottom of the stairs at the temple’s gate which would later led us to reach the temple itself.

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Mie Ongklok Longkrang

3 Jan
Mie Ongklok Longkrang

Mie Ongklok is a famous traditional kind of noodle which comes from Wonosobo, Central Java that is similar to Mie rebus and Soto mie. The difference is that mie ongklok is soaked in peanuts sauce which called Loh. Mie Ongklok’s sauce is a mixture of peanut sauce, palm sugar and dried shrimps. Mie Ongklok is usually eaten accompanied with beef satays which are also smeared with the same kind of peanut sauce. According to Pak Waluyo, the owner of Mie Ongklok Longkrang in Jalan Pasukan Ronggolawe Wonosobo, the beef satays such as those he sells at his restaurant is the only beef satays that can be found around Wonosobo. If you happens to be a noodle fan, you might want to try Mie Ongklok Pak Waluyo if one day you pass by Wonosobo, Central Java.

Mie Ongklok adalah makanan khas kabupaten Wonosobo, Jawa tengah yang berupa mie rebus seperti halnya mie rebus dan soto mie. Namun mie ongklok direndam dalam kuah kacang yang disebut Loh. Saus yang digunakan sebagai kuah mie ongklok merupakan campuran saus kacang, gula merah dan ebi. Mie Ongklok biasa disantap bersama dengan sate sapi yang juga diberi saus kacang yang sama dengan mie ongklok. Menurut Pak Waluyo, penjual Mie Ongklok Longkrang di jalan Pasukan Ronggolawe Wonosobo, sate sapi seperti ini merupakan satu-satunya di Wonosobo. Jika anda penggemar mie, Mie Ongklok Longkrang bisa menjadi varian mie yang patut anda coba suatu saat jika anda melewati kota Wonosobo, Jawa Tengah.

Mie Ongklok Longkrang, Wonosobo


The Fishermen’s Boats in Tanjung Papuma

23 Dec


more infos about Tanjung Papuma:

The Abandoned Spellwijk Fort

23 Dec


This picture was taken while i was traveling to Old Banten. This Spellwijk Fort is located right in front of Avalokitesvara Temple and is approximately 500 meters in the North of the Great Mosque of Banten. During The Dutch Colonial years in Indonesia, Spellwijk Fort was used as a monitoring tower which was situated right in front of Sunda Strait and was also functioned as an armoury to keep canons and other artilleries. But today, the ruins of Spellwijk Fort is appeared to be poorly maintained and often only be used as a football field by the local people lives around the fort.

Foto ini diambil ketika saya sedang mengunjungi Benteng Spellwijk di Banten lama. Benteng Spellwijk ini berada tepat di depan Vihara Avalokitesvara dan berjarak sekitar 500 meter di sebelah utara Masjid Agung Banten. Pada masa penjajahan Belanda, Benteng Spellwijk digunakan sebagai menara pemantau yang berhadapan langsung dengan selat Sunda dan sekaligus berfungsi sebagai tempat tempat penyimpanan meriam dan alat pertahanan lainnya. Namun saat ini kondisi benteng Spellwijk terlihat kurang terawat dan hanya digunakan sebagai lapangan untuk bermain bola oleh penduduk setempat.



BatuKaras: A Not So Far Surfer’s Heaven

13 Dec

I was torn between  two choices on how I would spend my long weekend, staying and pampering myself with laziness at home or going some place new, though I haven’t decided where to go. Then an unexpected invitation came from a college friend who had a plan to go to Batukaras to visit a friend of hers. I immediately agreed to go there with her, along with three other friends to kill time during long weekend.

Unfortunately for me, the nearest bus terminal which could take me to batukaras is from Kampung Rambutan bus terminal. So, five of us agreed to meet in Kampung Rambutan at 7 PM to take the bus which will take us to Pangandaran at 8 PM. We slept on the bus that night and arrived at Pangandaran at 5 in the morning. We hopped off the bus and got ourselves something to eat for breakfast, then we had to take an “angkot” or mini bus to Cijulang before took the final ride with an “ojek” or motorbike taxi to Batukaras for about 10 minutes.

Batukaras beach


After we reached Batukaras, we took a rest at Ida’s Place. Ida is a local surfer who owned an internet rental in Batukaras right in front of the beach. A very nice spot to stay. On the afternoon, we went on foot to Legokpari, which was the main and favorite beach in Batukaras that is located right in front of the famous Java Cove Beach Hotel. Practically, we just spent all afternoon lazying around the beach and chasing the waves in Legokpari. For lunch, you can try Warung Kang Ayi for a cheap and good tasted seafood. There are a lot of seafood options you can choose and how you want them to be served.

Surfers paddling their boards

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