Indonesia is a treasure trove of culture. On my last visit to this beautiful country, I experienced this diverse culture through a plethora of activities in Indonesia. Starting from inspiring dance forms with the locals, to trying out the exquisite cuisine and taking a historic walk, there is no dearth of activities in Indonesia that you can do. Check out this list of activities in Indonesia and tell us which one would you like to do.
Dancing with the locals
Indonesia has a number of indigenous tribes that are spread all over the country. We met the Batak Tribe on the Samosir island in Lake Toba and the maverick Tana Torajans. As most of the tribes display their cultural roots through their dances, we dove right in with them. The Tor Tor dance is one of the slow moving dances which involves swaying movements in vibrant dresses and while the Si Gale Gale involves the use of puppets and is a dance associated with the funeral. At Tana Toraja, I got to experience watching the enchanting Manganda dance performance, showing gratitude after the war and wearing their traditional headgear which consisted on horns. Next time you visit Indonesia, do not miss to experience these heart warming and inspiring performances by the locals.
Indonesia has the most complex funeral systems in the world. Indonesia sites are renowned for their elaborate funeral ceremonies and burial sites. According to their cultural beliefs deceased should be preserved with utmost care, for the belief in life after death. The Tomb of King Sidabatur on Samosir island bears the gruesome history of the indigenous Batak tribe. On one site it consists of the stone carved tomb of the King and his family. While on the other site is the gray-stone seats placed in a circle where the king used to sit for judgment and the capital execution of the guilty was performed back in the 1600’s. Another such funeral complexities can be witnessed by touring Londa, the ancient cave Cemetery in Toraja. Here you will tour inside an extensive and a very famous natural burial cave on a massive cliff. A good spooky thirty minutes tour inside the cave with the help of the torch guide, you will witness the real burial boxes and skeletons of the deceased humans.
Temple offerings in Bali
Bali is the nerve center of the Hindu culture that pervades Indonesia. There are multiple temples which are beautiful in their own way. Just like India, there are special offerings that are made in these temples. I learned how to make these ‘Gebong’ or Balinese offerings which are offered during temple ceremonies to various Hindu Gods as a token of love and thankfulness.This huge pile of offering’s define the temple’s position in the hierarchy of temples and its relationship to its local community. And while you enjoy the temple premises, try wearing the Balinese traditional attire to mix well with locals.
Food trail in Indonesia
Indonesia has a plethora of food that you must try out. Unleashing the foodie in me I tried out everything from pork to beef to chicken and duck said here. There’s a huge spread of delicacies found from North to South of Indonesia. While North is famous for its sea food, central is pork and beef eaters and in the south, people swear by the delicious duck meat. Enjoy some of the most authentic sea food platter( king crabs, Lobsters, pomfrets, mussels,oyesters ) overlooking the Toba Lake at Sky restaurant here at Samosir island (North). One of the most interesting dishes that I got to try at Solo( Central Java) is the fried chicken feet. But my favourite is the braised pork served with steamed rice and veggies on the side, this combination of sweetness and umami was mouth watering. Toraja in the southern part of Indonesia is famous for Buffalo offerings. Thus not trying out the beef delicacy will be a mistake. Sallebeyu restaurant serves the best beef dishes in Toraja. Going further down to the south is Bali. And when in Bali one couldn’t rather shouldn’t miss getting their hands dirty on a plate of dirty crispy duck. Bebek Bengal meaning dirty duck in Balinese is my most favorite dish I’ve tried in Indonesia. Crispy on the outside and soft succulent on the inside enveloping the soft meat is truly wonderful with coconut water is a match made in heaven.
Heritage Walk through the city of Semarang.
Semarang gives you a colonial nostalgia and is unique of Indonesia. The Dutch architectural beauty is so prominent on streets, narrow alleys opening to abandoned buildings and cafes that it has been named as the Netherlands of Indonesia. Semarang is one of the major Dutch outposts of Indonesia and it is still a city trapped in time. We take a trip throughout the town and discover some of Semarang gems. Lawang Sewu, founded by the Dutch colonial power in the 1900’s is one such dutch influence.The high rise ceilings, huge wooden doors and windows are typical of Netherlands. Do not miss taking an evening stroll down the streets, as the sun sets in turning sky orange behind the historical buildings.
These are some of the awesome activities in Indonesia that you can do and enjoy to the fullest.