Thursday, June 29, 2006

Klang Bak Kut Teh

June 2006 was the month Jessica tied the knot. It was in KL & I booked this weekend like 1 year beforehand to attend her special day. During this trip to KL, I also met Aaron, a hostel friend too, who invited me to go for a bak kut teh trip to Klang, the day after Jess's wedding.

Klang, is appparently, THE PLACE for Bak Kut Teh. An old port city for the profitable tin industry, 45 mins drive away from KL, it's also the birthplace for this special PORKIE dish!I dont remember the name of the food stall we went too, but it's an old traditional non-aircon shophouse. We ordered both the dry & the soup version of Bak Kut Teh. And along with these 2 bowls, we got to brew our own chinese tea. Each table is served with a make-shift small stove and the terracota teapot put on a bench, beside the typical food stall round table. Aaron told us that the real 'connaisseurs' will bring their own tea sachet & brew it here to accompany the food.

Well, I got to tell you that the dish tasted so delicious! I dont know what kind of spices they put in it, cause I'm not good at cooking, but it the dry one looks black - probably some soya sauce & chinese herbs + a little bit of shrimp paste (at least I could recognize this flavour). The soup one has also some browny colour but less concentrated. So far the signature malaysian dish I've most heard is the Penang Laksa, but I dont really like spicy food & asian noodles are not my favourite either. So tasting this Bak Kut Teh is like discovering another side of Malaysia for me & a 'tongue-opener' for what kind of (other) wonderful food my neighbouring countries may have. What a treat to my taste buds!

Btw, Singapore also has its Bak Kut Teh but apparently when they brought the recipe down from Klang, along the way, the spices & herbs got less & less, so by the time it reaches SG, it's just pork & soya sauce. haha... no offense, this is probably another singaporean joke.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Cibodas LIPI Park

On Saturday 17th June, Chris & I asked some friends of ours to join us on a trip to Cibodas Park, in Puncak Area. I've gone to this place with some friends during Uni time & I still remembered the fresh air which I missed so much, especially living in dusty Jakarta.

The air is still unmistakeably fresh & the grass & plants were still nicely maintained. In Cibodas, there are actually 2 parks: The LIPI park (the more expensive one) & the other smaller park, which is actually entrance point to camping ground & gunung gede hiking trail (I hope I get the fact right). LIPI Park has a very large "padang" on a hilly terrain. There is quite a variation of trees there, some of them very old, like almost a century or maybe more. Walking down & up a little bit further, we can reach the Ciismun waterfall & by car we can also reach a smaller waterfall, Cibogo. The terrain is quite easy to manage, except when we took an alternative route back to the Park from Ciismun. We took what seemed to be a less slopy route at the beginning, but it ended up being quite steep at the end, cause our 6 year old village guide boy ended up taking a swerve to the steep hill on our left.

It's best to stuff some heavy food (eg for lunch) before we enter the park & then you can have a leisurely picnic in the Padang. Or alternatively, you can buy lunch packets in a warung inside the park, just like we did. Because we were hungry after our long walking trail, the food tasted delicious to me.

We all agreed that LIPI Park deserved more publicity & we could not figure out why this place is not much talked about in any Indo tourist book or local travel magazine. In fact, none of my friends in this trip had gone here before. The park is big, hilly, breezy & with the waterfalls, monkeys, rafflesia plant, and ponds, but still within a short distance to Jakarta, it's a getaway place & by the time you are there, you forget that Jakarta is just 1.5 hour from here. Actually, on our way back, Puncak was MACET! but hey, what can you expect. Maybe that's why this place is not as famous as it should be. but we still think this is a worthit trip & anytime I'm sick of Jakarta air, I will go here again just to refresh my lungs!
or my photos

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Yippee! Finally, the Day for my 3 weeks vacation has come.
Arvi & me departed on Saturday 13 May from Jakarta & came back on 4th of June Sunday.

Track taken: Jakarta - Antwerp - Bruges - Brussel - Barcelona - Girona - Florence - Pisa - Berlin - Paris - Amsterdam !

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More photos in .
More stories in my travelpod travelogue (in progress).