Showing posts with label Sumatera. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sumatera. Show all posts

Travelling to Ombilin Coal Mining Heritage of Sawahlunto


A friend once told me that Sawahlunto is a civilization in its own right. Nestled on a crater-like landscape guarded by the hills around, Sawahlunto is a sight to behold. It is a quaint city with diverse culture and beliefs still adorned with remnants of dutch colonial buildings that to this day still function as hospitals, hotels and government buildings.

Little did anyone from outside the city knew that this city was once at the brink of destruction. The crater-like landscape was the remnants left from an era of plundering. Sawahlunto was once a small village in mid-19th century surrounded by forest with population of 500. It all changed in 1867 when a huge coal deposit was found beneath the ombilin river by a dutch geologist, Ir. W.H. De Greve.

Coal has always been intertwined with the history of Sawahlunto. In 1891, coal deposit in Sawahlunto was estimated to be at 205million tonnes and the coal mines in Sawahlunto reaches its peak between 1920 and 1921. The coal mining went on for over a century and was eventually depleted. Soon the mine workers started departing the bustling town leaving it back the quite town it used to be.
2001 was the turning point for Sawahlunto as it was declared a historic site and opened for tourism. Tourism spots was established throughout the city including info box and coal mining gallery, Soero pit left from the coal mining days, Museum Goedang Ransoem and Train and Rail museum of Sawahlunto.

Sawahlunto becomes the capital city of coal mining tourism of Indonesia

In June 2019, from what was an almost forgotten relic of the past, Sawahlunto was restored to where it should be and was named as one of the UNESCO world site heritage, “Ombilin Coal Mining Heritage of Sawahlunto”. It was named as the UNESCO world site heritage through the unique architecture of the city and the mining technology of the time marking an advancement of technology development by mankind.


Traveling and Exploring Sawahlunto

Surrounded by rows of hills and situated in the province of West Sumatera, this city is roughly one third the size of Jakarta or is estimated to be 283 km2. The city is well equipped with various tourist destinations to satisfy the curiosity of travellers.
When in Sawahlunto, don’t miss visiting the now defunct coal mines that were newly crowned as UNESCO World Heritage Site, commemorating the rich history that this city has to offer. Traveling to the city takes a bit of extra effort which will all be paid off by the beauty of the city. You would land in Padang, a more well-known nearby city, Minangkabau International Airport. From the airport you can take a number of transportation option, travel minibus to directly head to Sawahlunto or for the more adventurous, take public busses and go through several terminals before reaching Sawahlunto.

The trip to Sawahlunto from Padang using a travel bus would take 4-5 hours and costs around Rp. 100,000.- which would take you directly to the city only stopping for toilet rests. While if you are feeling a bit more adventurous and is on a budget trip, taking the public bus will be a better option which will costs you around Rp 25,000.- to Rp. 35,000.- and takes around 5-6 hours to reach Sawahlunto. You can directly find the public bus named Tranex from the airport, from there you would want to go to Solok Terminal and exchange towards Sawahlunto Terminal from there. However, the West Sumateran government now provides a direct route using Tranex bus from Padang Terminal to Sawahlunto terminal that costs Rp. 30,000.-.
The trip will take you through Padangpanjang city in the Sitinjau Lauik area. The route will be a bit steep and will have a number of sharp turns. However, the view on either side as you are sitting on the bus will be hard to miss. You will enjoy the view of the city of Padang from above and afar, giving you a magnificent view of the whole city.


The city is well-accommodating for tourists as it offers a wide range of accommodation choices that varies with price and facility. It ranges from homestay to hotel. The costs will be in the range of Rp. 200,000.- to Rp. 700,000.- per night depending on the facilities and location of the accommodation. You can easily book the accommodation via traveling apps like Hotels are also available nearby the Ombilin river which still preserves the dutch colonial style building.
Traveling around the city itself can be done by riding the city’s public transport, named angkot (a public minivan) or ojek (motorcycles operated personally). Travelling by renting a car is also another option, which is more convenient but is much more costly. Several travel agents provide cars to be rented and also local day tours so that you don’t need to plan the trip yourself.

Not only rich in history, being in West Sumatera, the Minangnese food here is also a must-try experience. It will provide wary travellers with flavorful culinary experience. The foods here are rich in flavour combining savouriness and spiciness from the spices used to prepare the foods. We recommend that you taste the Gulai Banak (Savory and spicy curry with cow’s brain) and Pical (mixed vegetables and noodle in peanut sauce), a delicacy of Sawahlunto and West Sumatera.

Aside from the famous coal mines and museums, there are several other attractions such as waterfall, park and lake that you can visit. The ticket price varies but are relatively cheap ranging around Rp. 10,000.- to Rp 15,000.-. The attractions and tourist sites information including opening time and costs can be found here. Another option is to sightsee the picturesque view of the city still adorned with colonial building can be observed from Cemara hill in the outskirt of the city. Of course, you cannot forget to bring back some delicacies and souvenirs on your way back home, there are Keripik Balado (Spicy cassava chips), also a Minangnese delicacy, and handicraft made from coal. 


This is a story of an almost forgotten city in Sumatera where thousands of people once flooded in to extract the riches of mother earth over a century ago. Now, it is restored to what it is supposed to be, a famous mining city of Sawahlunto. Its past are eternalized by its museums and its history is recognized worldwide as a UNESCO World Site Heritage.

This is a guest post from dearest colleagues of Anak Rantau

Wonderful Indonesia, Always in My Heart

That afternoon, in one wintery day in New York City, I was staring at my phone.
Not long a go, I just spoke to my Mom through video call.
She was gingerly sharing the news about my niece's birthday celebration on the beach back home in Lampung.

I instantly felt the urge to go and join them there.
The pristine beach with its turquoise water, clear blue sky and warm breeze invited me to come over and embrace the moment.
Not to mention those delicious pempek, nasi uduk, and rendang- those are famous Indonesian traditional cuisine, - that they brought to this joyous picnic.

How I miss my beloved hometown, Lampung.
How I long to go back to my wonderful Indonesia!

The amazing view of Lake Batur, Bali, Indonesia
No matter how far #myitchyfeet take me, be it in an official assignments or trips as well as vacations, I can't help but whispering how lucky I am to be Indonesian!

Strategically located in Southeast Asia, between two \ oceans - Indian and Pacific, Indonesia has long been known as zamrud khatulistiwa, - the emerald of the equator,-  for its exquisite natural landscape and beauty. Being the largest archipelagic states in the world, comprising more than seventeen thousand islands across its borders, Indonesia surely is blessed with stunning beaches, incredible flora and fauna including gorgeous and rich underwater sceneries, and endless outdoor adventures await those who are willing to explore.

Not to forget its wonderful, friendly people!
Being helpful and pleasant, Indonesians are naturally known as sociable and welcoming, a virtue that makes guests feeling comfortable and well-accepted. 

And when it comes to its traditional cultures, including its rich, one-of-a-kind traditions, customs and adat. 
Here we are talking about traditional dialects, culinary specialties, traditional customes and fabrics, music and dances, and celebrations as well as cultural festivals and far more.

I would now like  to take you on a brief tour to some of the highlights in Indonesia. We have some big islands,  namely Sumatera, Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Bali and Nusa Tenggara, Maluku and Papua. This time, I will start with Sumatra and Java and wait for more posts about my wonderful Indonesia.


My son Bo, enjoying his swimming session at Kelagian Kecil Island, Lampung
Sumatera, the land of gold,  is a great place to explore as it is blessed with forests, hills, mountains, and natural landscapes. 

To start with, we can visit Aceh  to dive or snorkel at Pulau Weh and Sabang, then visit the Grand Mosque of Banda Aceh, which survived the tragic tsunami in 2006.
Don't forget to cruise Lake Toba, try durian - the king fruit - at its best, in Medan, North Sumatera.
Enjoy  culinary heaven and get the taste of Rendang, voted as number ONE most delicious food in the world by CNN, in West Sumatera.
The world-class resorts and amazing golf courses are waiting for you in Bintan and Batam. 
Bangka Belitong has become latest favorite destinations for its unique rock formation on the beach and clean, super soft white sandy beaches.
Rafflesia Arnoldi flowers can be enjoyed in Bengkulu, while the historical remains of Muaro Jambi, dated from 7th century, gives your more insights about the spread of Buddhism in this country. 

And indulge yourself in a simply-happy-and-relaxing island hopping in Lampung Bay, my hometown.  Ride jukung to meet dolphins in the wild at Kiluan or say hi to elephants in Way Kambas National Park.

Don't forget, the mighty Krakatau, is waiting for you as well here in Sunda Strait.


Serenading the ancient verses...Abdi Dalem at Kraton Jogjakarta. Phot by Rufi Frakarsa, my hubby
Java is indeed  a wonderful melange of modern and traditional life,  the cradle of diverse cultures and traditions, which become the bedrock of Indonesia.

Jakarta, a constant magnet to those enjoying big-city life with all its perks, boasts with sky scrappers, world-class shopping malls, hotels and entertainment centres, while at the same time preserving its romantic past at Kota Tua, the Dutch-influenced old city. 

Bandung, the capital of West Java, keeps its promise to be the Paris van Java. Green lush and cooler temperature  in general makes it people's favorite. Bandung has been dubbed as the artistic city, being home to so many famous musicians and artists. 

Jogjakarta, home of long-reigning Royal Family of Keraton Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat, is an enchanting city you should not miss.  Just 2 hours away, you will have the opportunity to visit the biggest Buddhist temple in the world, Borobudur.

Sunrise at Phuntuk Setumbu, Magelang, Central Java
Semarang is one of the cities that I instantly fell in love to. Alleys  of vintage building and architectures, including the famous Lawang Sewu (or 1000 doors) and Gereja Bledug, elegantly mix with manifestations of seamless assimilation of Chinese and Javanese cultures. 

Lawang Sewu at dusk

Surabaya will be a perfect start of your adventures in the eastern part of Java. Enjoy the vibe of  busy city dotted with beautiful parks and interesting museums. Taste delicious local delicacies  and drive around Suramadu Bridge, heading to Madura or Banyuwangi. Not to mention breathtaking views from Mount Bromo and Kawah Ijen, and enchanting wild in Meru Betiri, Baluran and Tengger national parks. 

That is just my humble attempt to show wonderful my Indonesia is.
Frankly, what I showcase here is just a super duper tiny bit of what Indonesia can offer. My stories and my photos can not do justice to the real beauty and charms of Indonesia.
We are proud that Indonesia  is constantly improving its infrastructures, routes, and services at those destinations to make sure all our guests, our global family from every corners of the globe, enjoy their visit and their stay in Indonesia.

Now you know why my heart belongs to this amazing country of mine.
Come and visit us.
Discover the magic.
And make THE trip of your lifetime!

You can also join the Wonderful Indonesia blog competition 2018 and win a total prize of 5 million Indonesian Rupiah. Check out  following poster and join us in spreading the spirit of Wonderful Indonesia!


"Ma, is that Fia's birthday party on the beach? I want to go there too! I want to swim!" exclaimed my daughter, Obi.
"We will soon join them and we'll have fun on the beach with everyone." I said.
"I just can't wait,' said Obi, with a huge smile planted on her face.
"Me neither, love. Me neither..

Wait for us, Wonderful Indonesia.
We are going home!

my dearest daughter enjoyed playing the sand at Kiluan island, Lampung, a few years back

Wonderful Indonesia:
All photos displayed in this posts are mine, except those being clearly mentioned otherwise from its sources.

Gearing Up for Lampung Krakatau Festival 2018

Lampung Krakatau Festival 2018

That smiley face turned to me as I stood bravely at the end of the boat.
"We're finally here!" I cried in my heart.
The wave was strong but the sea breeze gently touched my face. 
The sun kissed my skin in a relaxing mood.
My diving gear was all set, oxygen tank was full and my cameras were already, but I couldn't take my eyes off the vista in front of me. 
Afar, Mount Krakatua and Anak Krakatua (Anak means child in bahasa Indonesia) stood tall and proud, hugged by the fluffy cloud.
We both back rolled to the inviting deep turquoise water.
As the cool water engulfed my body and school of fish lazily swam in front of me, I know this is the place I wanted to be.
"I'm home."

Then Obi's call woke me up.
Opening my eyes, I realized that I'm truly home!
We are already in Indonesia!

snorkelling in Tanjung Putus, Lampung, one of my favourite pastime 

Last year, I might have the same dream when I was still peacefully sleeping in Astoria, New York City.
Imagining myself taking the boat trip to Krakatau, the majestic volcano which won its famous reputation after such an incredible eruption occurred in 1883.
Having a diving trip near Mount Krakatau has been on top of my list for quite some times.
Until the very last minute before my family and I flew to the Big Apple, I know I can never say goodbye to Lampung.
Beautiful Paradise lies more than 10 thousand miles from where I stand now.
My homeland, forever.
Dan sekarang rinduku terbalaskan.

Going back home to Indonesia is probably something that I would love to do since I arrived in NYC. And I have not done so, successfully, after 4.5 years living here in the big Apple.

And now, while enjoying Indonesia since the last 2 weeks,


Lampung Krakatau Festival is here again!
Can't wait to join the celebration but I guess I still have to wait until next 2 weeks 

 I'm inviting my dearest friends and family to celebrate the beauty of Lampung during this annual Festival. Series of events will be held, including Duta Kopi Lampung or Coffee Ambassador Pageant, Lampung Tapis Carnival, International Seminar, Lampung Bay Fun Run, Photo Exhibition, and the Trip to Anak Krakatua. Considering the latest status of Anak Krakatau, the trip there will be adjusted to the safe zone only.

I was so lucky I got a chance to join the launching of Lampung Krakatau Festival 2018 held in the Ministry of Tourism, Jakarta.

The Minister himself officially launched the Festival and the Governor of Lampung also participated in this launch.
We are optimistically hoping to welcome around 25 thousand tourists to come and participate in this year's Festival.

The Governor of Lampung gave opening remarks during the launching

Lampung Festival Krakatau 2018 bakal berlangsung selama beberapa hari, sejak tanggal 20-26 Agustus 2018. Beberapa kegiatan bahkan telah berlangsung di awal Agustus dan minggu ketiga Agustus 2018. Acara punck memang akan diselenggarakan pada tanggal 24 - 26 Augustus 2018. Festival tahunan yang digelar Pemprov Lampung didukung sejumlah pihak, termasuk Kementerian Pariwisata (Kemenpar) ini mentargetkan menjaring sampai 25 ribu orang pengunjung.

One of my favorite events during this Festival is the Lampung Tapis Carnival.

Judging from my fellow bloggers' photos from last year, this Carnival is indeed glamorous, colourful and grand, while at the same time showcasing the beauty of Lampungnese tradition.  

photo is taken from

Prosesi pelepasan Pawai Budaya LKF 2018 akan digelar tanggal 26 Augustus 2018 dan  dimulai pukul 1 siang, dilanjutkan pemilihan 5 peserta pawai terbaik sore harinya. Parade Lampung Tapis Carnaval ini akan diikuti oleh marcing band serta gajah dari Taman Nasional Way Kambas, plus so many beautiful participants showcasing various traditional Lampungnese costumes. Sepertinya  rute paradenya sama seperti tahun sebelumnya, yatu mulai dari Lapangan Saburai ke Jalan Ahmad Yani-Jalan Kartini-Jalan S Parman-Raden Intan-kembali ke Lapangan Saburai. Rute ini diperkirakan sepanjang 2,8 Km. I'm super excited to see how wonderful this Carnaval will be!

Selain serangkaian acara di Lapangan Saburai, Bandar Lampung, LKF 2018 juga akan disemarakkan dengan acara yang menjadi ciri khas utamanya yaitu tour Gunung Anak Krakatau (GAK). The tour to Anak Krakatau Mountain is one of the highlights of this annual Festival. This year, we will have an international seminar about Anak Krakatau mountain.

Another interesting event in this year's Festival is Pemilihan Duta Kopi 2018 or Coffee Ambassador Pageant Show. As you know, Lampungnese Coffee is one of the best in the world and you should definitely try it. It's about time to have one dedicated representative of 'ambassador' to promote Lampungnese Coffee to the world.

Moreover, Lampung Bay Fun Run will be held in August 19, 2018.

To those who love running for 5K and 10K, this is the event for you.
They will have  Instagram contest, free goodie bags and door prizes for those joining the run.

Here's a bit more information on the event and for sure I will be back with more details and photos.
Enjoooy and hope to see in Lampung for Lampung Krakatau Festival 2018!
Don't miss the beauty of Lampung, the Treasure of Sumatra

Let's have fun at #LampungKrakatauFestival2018 #PariwisataLampung