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Hunting for leather goods in Manding, Yogyakarta

Upon entering one of the many stores selling a variety of leather goods in Manding village in Bantul, around 13 kilometers from Yogyakarta's downtown, I found an interesting sign saying, "Warning: These are not Italian bags." These stores, around 40 in total, lining the rural area of Jl. Wahidin Sudirohusodo, a road easily accessed from the route connecting Parangtritis Beach and Yogyakarta, indeed do not sell Italian-made products. The merchants at the Manding leather handicraft center started out as saddle makers. But in the 1970s, they began to create leather products for fashion, such as jackets, bags, shoes, sandals and various accessories. The leather they use to make these items is from cows, sheep and goats. Nowadays, leather goods have become a home industry in Manding village and visitors can easily find workshops in the locals' homes. The price of Manding leather goods range according to quality, while a leather bag in one store can be offered at Rp 350,000 (US$29) it could be up to Rp 1 million in another store. The quality of the leather product is determined by the tanning, the neatness, the strength of stitching, as well as coloring techniques. Not all leather craftsmen in Manding have the ability to make high quality leather goods. But luckily for the more experienced craftsmen, they can sell their products at a higher price, as well as exporting their goods to European markets such as Spain and the Netherlands. Men will also enjoy shopping in Manding as the leather center is a haven for men's shoes, especially boots. The good quality of the leather and strong stitching make Manding boots reliable enough for outdoor use. Shopping for accessories is also popular in Manding. Items such as key fobs, wallets, belts and cowboy-style hats can be bought for prices starting from Rp 25,000. Unlike in shopping malls, visitors can try bargaining with the merchants in Manding. The stores are all adjacent to each other, making store-hopping to compare goods and prices easy. There are also several tourist attractions nearby, so Manding offers a great option to look for souvenirs after visiting those places.
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10 best new hotels of 2014
Over the last 12 months, many incredible hotels have opened around the world and HotelsCombined recently shared its favorites based on factors such as location, uniqueness of amenities and quality of service. The end result is a phenomenal group of castles, beach retreats and architectural wonders; including one in Bali. The Castle Hotel, Dalian, China Perched atop Lianhua Mountain and overlooking the Yellow Sea, this imposing chateau conveniently provides 292 guest rooms, a spa, fitness center, indoor pool, several restaurants and a “royal cellar” with a micro-brewery. For those really looking to splash out, the 6,674 square foot Presidential Suite has a marble entrance, a dining room for 10, a full-service pantry and a waterfront balcony. Shangri-La at the Shard, London Opened in May, this first UK property of Shangri-La is housed within the 34th to 52nd floors of London’s iconic Shard skyscraper - the tallest building in Europe - and thus offers spectacular city views. Other highlights include a champagne bar, an infinity sky pool on the 52nd floor and an enviable location in the heart of the London Bridge Quarter. citizenM Times Square, New York City Trendy and colorful, this US debut of the citizenM hotel chain is perfectly situated within walking distance of many famous New York sites, including the Rockefeller Centre, the theater district and Central Park. Other perks include the rooftop bar and free in-room screening of the latest movies. With starting price at US$199 per night, it is also a real bargain for Midtown Manhattan. Pikaia Lodge, Galapagos Islands Located on Santa Cruz Island, in the center of the Galapagos archipelago, Pikaia Lodge is an eco-friendly retreat set on top of an extinct volcano crater. Close to a number of major wildlife sites and pristine beaches, the property offers a range of guided excursions and its own private Tortoise Reserve, with facilities including a spa and an infinity pool. Cromlix House, Scotland Owned by tennis superstar Andy Murray, this elegant Victorian mansion provides a peaceful countryside escape. Evoking the grand estates of yesteryear, the manor is furnished in Scottish antiques and onsite activities in the sprawling grounds include tennis (naturally), clay pigeon shooting, fishing, falconry and archery. Sofitel So Singapore Housed in a heritage building near Raffles Place, the Sofitel So’s décor - which includes elements designed by Karl Lagerfield himself – features a 19th century French style with a contemporary twist. Special touches here include in-room iPad minis, a gold-tiled rooftop infinity pool and complimentary mini bar drinks. Alila Jabal Akhdar, Oman Nestled within the Al Hajar mountain range, this serene retreat is surrounded by a stunning natural landscape teeming with caves, valleys, flowers, fruit trees and heritage sites (including the UNESCO-protected Bahla Fort). Guests can take a dip in the heated outdoor infinity pool overlooking the breathtaking gorge below or, for those who prefer, the villas have private terraces with plunge pools. Ace Hotel, Los Angeles This funky new LA abode plays an important part in the city’s cultural legend – housed within the historic United Artists building, the tower was once a movie studio and theater hub for independent artists. Today, it’s a stylishly renovated getaway where an in-room extra perk might include an acoustic guitar. Yemaya Island Hideaway, Nicaragua A tropical getaway, Yemaya offers up to 16 eco-friendly cabanas. Visitors to this retreat on Little Corn Island are encouraged to laze about in a hammock, enjoy a relaxing yoga session, sip on a cocktail at the beachside bar, partake in a variety of water sports, tuck into an organic meal at the onsite restaurant, or simply enjoy indulgent spa treatment. The Sarasvati Luxury Collection Resort, Bali Located in the exotic Seminyak and vibrant Legian areas, this resort offers guests direct access to the beach and upscale retail shops. The sunsets are gorgeous and there are activities for everybody; try a round of golf, mountain biking, go skydiving or relax with some fishing. For first-time visitors, the sacred Sangeh Monkey Forest and the famous scenic drive to Lake Bratan are great options. - See more at: http://www.jakpost.travel/news/10-best-new-hotels-of-2014-Wcd9aZUTOg1VFnhp.html#sthash.l9pepRf9.dpuf
Get Best Pictures With Hunting Trail Cameras
It is consistently an astonishing encounter to recover pictures from your advanced hunting trail camera. There are multiple ways of reviewing those pictures. One technique is to just supplant the memory card with another one and take the full card home for review and arranging on your PC. Utilizing your PC to download, sort out and store quality pictures can augment the data given by your camera, as well as give amusement and satisfaction. Whenever you have downloaded your pictures to the PC, view everyone cautiously. You ought to have the option to focus on regions that require nearer investigation. Search for examples like similar deer in numerous photos. Note the date/time stamp to follow designs. This is a pleasant action that might include the entire family. One more method for reviewing your pictures is to take a viable simple to use trail camera into the forest with you and view the SD card through it. Utilizing this technique, you can quickly erase inadmissible pictures. An issue with this strategy is that it is absolutely impossible to store pictures from an exploring camera on your simple to use model. The SD card from your trail or game camera can likewise be taken to any photo printing stand in medication or bargain shops and either has chosen pictures printed or moved to a plate for capacity. The pictures on the card would then be able to be deleted so it very well may be reused in your camera. One benefit of the hunting trail cameras is the enormous number of pictures it is equipped for catching and putting away. There may come a time when you should coordinate them utilizing a strategy that suits your necessities. You can put them in envelopes on your PC coordinated by date, area, age, sex, or whatever other classification that addresses your issues. Trail cameras allow you to view wildlife without having to spend hours in the woods. Buy the Best quality deer trail camera for sale at the best price at blaze video. Buy wild game trail cameras at affordable prices online.
The story behind the most expensive gourmet coffee in the world: Kopi luwak
The life of a civet cat, strangely known as the coffee rat in Indonesia or tree dog on the Indian subcontinent, is not at all that bad. In the wild, they are free to roam anywhere they fancy, from the tropical forests of Sri Lanka all the way to the dense jungles of Sumatra. They are solitary creatures for most of their lives, but are persnickety eaters and thus discard rotten fruit and diseased mammals. The males get together with their female counterparts whenever they have to, receiving the better end of the deal by mating with no strings attached. They are nocturnal save for when a bright moon comes out. Then they sleep all night like they normally do during the day. And as long as their intestinal tracts remain fully functioning, they will continue pooing out a tradable commodity, one that also happens to produce the most expensive gourmet coffee in the world: the kopi luwak. There are over a hundred types of coffee in the world but only three -- Arabica, robusta and liberica -- are farmed exhaustively and made commercially available. The luwak coffee can be made from all three types but result in varying tastes. The Arabica bean in Indonesia is the most popular for the luwak blend, as well as for non-specialty coffee consumption. With a name like “cat-poo-ccino” and Jerry Seinfeld’s blunt “cat shit coffee” description from his hit TV show, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, the luwak and its history in Indonesia is nevertheless by no means a laughing matter. Before the introduction of coffee plantations, civet cats and coffee production were an unlikely pair. The civet cat was in fact a creepy pest scurrying over rooftops and eating prize-winning tajen cocks. Their utility hadn’t been explored at all as coffee “fermenters” and their fecal matter was a mere inconvenience to the villager, as is dog crap to the jogger in New York City. The luwak’s prodigious poo-coffee discovery came when the Dutch launched their cultuurstelsel program of enforced coffee planting in Java in the 19th century. Due to exploitative practices, the local indigenous workers were forbidden to enjoy the fruits of their own labor. Of course, prohibition piques interest and so the workers gave their beans a go, but only after they were passed through the guts of the civets running amok on the plantation fields. Fast-forward one hundred and some years. In 2012, the value of coffee exports from Indonesia reached US $1.5 Billion. Seventy percent of Indonesia’s total coffee production was exported, yet how much the luwak contributed to that figure is largely unknown. Regardless, being a highly sought after specialty blend, cat poo coffee has proven to be a lucrative business attracting global consumers for its rich taste, as well as its novelty factor -- sometimes more of the latter than the former. Its labor-intensive production process, as well as scarcity on the global market, drives up its price to anywhere from $300 to $600 per kilogram, making it the most expensive coffee in the world. A cup in the US can go anywhere from $50 to $80. Though coffee estates are seeing a decline in Indonesia, large-scale “wild-sourced” luwak plantations are still in operation, mostly in Sumatra. There are also the small backyard ventures popping up here and there that are proving to be quite profitable enterprises. Harmoni Bali Organik is an example of a successful homegrown luwak plant run by Kadek Ardhi, 54, and Santhi, 51 -- a husband and wife team. They operate right from their traditional Balinese home in Bangli where civet cats roam naturally in the forests and are even brought in by farmers in exchange for a 25-kilogram bag of rice. Unlike the coffee’s history, Kadek and Santhi’s roots in the business are not as deep. “In 2006, I had a Japanese visitor who recommended I merge business with pleasure,” says Kadek, 54, while sliding a tray of Arabica cherries into a civet cat’s cage. “At that time I had only two civets and I kept them just for fun. But he recommended that I breed them and so my capacity quickly grew to 18. Every month I was visited by my Japanese friend who inspected the cages -- now I have 94 luwak and I export my special coffee to Canada and Japan.” The production of kopi luwak is by no means a complicated process. The civet cat sleeps all day with their eyes creepily open and wakes up around sundown. Santhi and her team then begin sliding trays of about a kilogram of Arabica cherries to each cat for dinner. They gorge until satiated, defecate, circle their cages for a bit and then go back to sleep. It was a surprise to see that they meticulously sift through the best cherries -- a selling point that inflates their price tags because of this ability to distinguish good beans from bad. Surprisingly, they spit out the fruit, which is then collected and used as organic fertilizer -- sometimes even dumped on the side of the road next to the plantations where the cherries originated. Their feces are collected in a sieve from right under them in the mornings. The cleaning process begins by laying out the feces on trays in the open sun. “We don’t use water in cleaning the feces,” says Santhi. “The sun does the cleaning through drying and it takes anywhere from one to two weeks, depending on the sun.” Much debate surrounds the luwak coffee’s taste, with many experts asserting that the quality is in fact quite poor and nothing to be excited about. Some connoisseurs swear over the coffee and will go out of their way to make a purchase. Some claim the taste to be less bitter and earthier, yet the overall quality and robustness of flavor varies widely region by region. For Santhi, luwak coffee from Java and Sumatra is spicy while from Kintamani it is a bit more acidic. Nowadays, the kopi luwak can be seen as a business model of micro-economy interconnectedness. Take Santhi and Kadek Ardhi’s plant, for example. Coffee cherries are purchased from a Kintamani farmer and arrive every day at the same time before sundown: two bags weighing anywhere from 95 to 100 kilograms. They hire local help to feed and tend the cats, maintain the cages and package the final product, which then goes to what many might consider a sampling showroom, or sales point, for tourists, in a forest near Ubud. However, one drawback to luwak production is that the Arabica bean is ripe from April to June in lower altitudes (700 to 900 meters) and from April until September in higher altitudes (900 to 1200 meters or even more), such as in Kintamani. Despite a season-dependent output, Santhi and Kadek still manage to produce 25 kilograms per month for the international market, as well as 50 kilograms for the domestic one. However, luwak or not, the irony is that coffee in Indonesia appears to be unpopular. According to investment statistics in 2012 the per capita consumption was relatively low at 0.95 kilograms, compared to Finland where it was 11.7 kilograms. Unscientifically and by observation only, it seems that the artificial variety is preferred by Indonesian consumers, a powdery kind, which in fact has less coffee and more sugar with creamer -- a blend that is atrociously sweet and lacks real flavor and effect. Coffee culture has yet to catch up, although domestic numbers are slowly growing. All in all, the luwak coffee, or any other Indonesian-grown coffee for that matter, is worth boasting about and for thumbing the nation’s nose at the ex-colonizers.
Must-try Lousiana-style crabs in Bali
Bali is one of the best places to enjoy seafood in Indonesia. Jimbaran, for example, has long been one of the island's most popular spots to savor this particular dish while enjoying an amazing sunset. For those longing for Lousiana-style seafood, there are at least two crab restaurants available in Bali; allowing you to eat with your bare hands on the table, without any fancy plates and cutlery to bother you. The Holy Crab Following its popularity in Jakarta as the 'it' place to eat Alaskan crab, Bali's Holy Crab on Jl. Petitenger No. 50 offers a great combination of world-class seafood and traditional Louisiana cooking techniques in a chic yet cozy dining atmosphere. “There has been such a great response to The Holy Crab from food lovers in Jakarta that we are bringing the whole concept and experience to Bali. It has always been a dream of mine to be a part of the island's culinary scene, which has a broader international audience,” said The Holy Crab owner as well as executive chef Albert Wijaya. Choices available on the main menu include Dungeness crab, king crab legs, snow crab legs and lobster with prices ranging from Rp 88,000 (US$7) per 100 grams for the Dungeness crab to Rp 120,000 for the king crab legs -- all served in a delicious secret recipe sauce with mild, medium and hot levels of spiciness. Sausages and corn are also available as additional dishes. According to Albert, the restaurant's crustaceans are imported straight from Alaska and some are from Indonesia. Crab Bar Situated on Jl. Batu Belig 106 in Seminyak , the Crab Bar was founded by famous Indonesian chef Ragil Imam Wibowo in August 2014 with the aim of becoming the first destination for people seeking to savor Lousiana-style seafood on the island. “In Bali, if people want to eat pork, they will head straight to Ibu Oka. We want that to happen to us too; we want to become the first place people recommend when they talk about eating crab in Bali,” said the restaurant's general manager Don Domingo. For newcomers, the Crab Bar's most popular dish is CB's Hot Bag which consists of 500 grams of mud crab, 150 grams of prawn, 200 grams of yabbies (Australian freshwater crustaceans) or clams, sausages and corn. A portion costs Rp 495,000. The CB’s Cold Platter, priced at Rp 450,000, is also recommended with cold Mud Crab, 200 grams of prawn, 200 grams of clams and four pieces of oyster or yabbies. The Crab Bar offers six types of sauce for its hot-platter menus with three levels of spiciness (mild, medium and TNT). The choices include original Lousiana-style with smoked Cajun butter, oriental-style CB’s Bali Sauce, Bangka curry sauce, chili sauce, teriyaki black pepper and garlic butter. While for the cold platter menus, foodies can try garlic mayo, tomato tartar and tom yam mayo sauce. - See more at: http://www.jakpost.travel/news/must-try-lousiana-style-crabs-in-bali-otImxpP0OU7Hu4aJ.html#sthash.rQELFKmb.dpuf
Why Do You Choose a Private Transfer from Rome to Capri?
How is your vacation going on in Italy? Getting the most out of your time with friends and family? Each and everything is perfect if your trip goes well. You’re having fun and unwinding yourself with the near and dear ones. The more you visit the more you explore. You would really like to see the most part of the places Italy is famed for. Maybe you’re at Positano, Ravello, Sorrento, and Naples or could be on the Amalfi Coast. You would like to explore the Capri Island that you’ve been listening to all the time – it’s stunning and magnificent. Well, are you heading to Capri Island? You can take a private transfer from Rome to Capri. Otherwise, you can prefer to hire airport transfer from Naples to Capri Island. No matter whatever the option you wish to go with, your visit to Capri Island with your family will be a memorable one for sure. But, how is it possible? We have the perfect guide for you and will take this opportunity to provide you the chance to do it on the sea!! Still, not convinced? Please check out this blog. Why Choose a Private Transfer to Capri Island? A private transfer from Rome to Capri can be a great option to discover the splendid delights of Capri Island. Upon booking your transfer service, you will be led by highly qualified English speaking skipper who will allow you to get the most out of your experience. Capri Island is one of the picturesque islands in the Gulf of Naples, located just opposite of the Sorrentine Peninsula. Situated just a short distance away from the chaos of the city, the island offers a full package of magical landscapes and beautiful views. However, the panorama of Capri Island is famous all across the world and its nightlife is simply magnificent. This means, visiting this island through airport transfer from Naples to Capri, you will have a great experience but what you could see from a boat it’s completely different. The spectacles you will admire during your excursion to reach Capri Island include different taste and they will leave you with an unforgettable memory at the end of the day. Also, you will have some beautiful photographs of your journey – which will tell the unique story of your boat excursion to access Capri Island. Rest assured that, your private transfer from Rome to Capri will be planned perfectly, including a scheduled pickup from your hotel, airport, port, train station or every other place you may need. You will be provided with a private expert driver and experience the journey with all the comforts. Conclusion – Still, you’re thinking? Or counting how many of your family and friends you have to take? You might’ve got your list and planned your vacation in Capri Island. It’s time to book your airport transfer from Naples to Capri through Napoli Limo Service and we’ll handle all of your transportation needs. Don’t hesitate to contact us today for any special request, if you’ve any! Capri Island with its magnificent landscapes is waiting for you to live them!! Don’t miss this chance for a wonderful Mediterranean Sea experience with Napoli Limo Service!! Please stay connected with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus social networks.
Travel Bucket List
Hey everyone! Ever sense I could remember I have always wanted to travel, it is my dream to see the world and experience everything earth has to offer. This is why I need your help: Help me construct a bucket list by answering this question: What is your most favorite place to go? (vacation or for other reasons) Everyone can give as many places as you want but make sure that it is specific. So if you chose China; What part? Any specific things or places there that make it your favorite? Thank you so much to any who participate, it means a lot to me and I hope one day I can cross off every one of your places off the list. :) If you don't want to be tagged anymore just message me :) Also take a look at @danidee on Vingle! @JPBenedetto @ButterflyBlu @deilig @buddyesd @araiannagorniak1 @NSSagasshi @Taijiotter @VixenViVi @InPlainSight @candyland1986 @MinionPeach17 @PurpleChick @jokes @RaquelArredondo @Marichel @mistymaity @Karthikkrazzy1 @RajeshSamel @GalaxyTacoCat @VeronicaArtino @DeniseiaGardner @B2STANG88 @purplem00n23 @Arellano1052 @shantalcamara @TerrecaRiley @FabiolaGavina @adorkabledolly @CassidyCathell @kpoplover1995 @kisnow @sugajin94 @ElizabethT @ParkMeiFan @netchiBates @fallendendenjr @BluBear07 @EmilyMurphey @loftonc16 @JessicaChaney @WiviDemol @HardikPatel @SreeniNair @missvicky69 @biancaP @tyragallegos10 @EllieDean @esmeraldagutirr @Amye1 @DaniVO @MattK95 @Matokokepa @Narissatayy @CandaceJordan @missophiestik @Animaniafreak @GingerMJones @MauSenpai @crazyflames12 @FallenDeath @ZoeMe @EricaRFonseca @AkiraCondry @nikkinjg @doraga @JonPatrickHyde @biancadanica98 @malibella @Safaa12 @DenieceSuit @SarahVanDorn @misskurmet82 @chris98vamg @wjdeogks76 @RobertMarsh @nenegrint14 @Rhia @smnthcarter773 @NoSixJersy @MimiZu17 @jcl4rks0n @vanemunos @MissB82 @VIPforever123 @YessicaCardenas @jiggzy19 @TheGreenEyedPup @vuihi @UrShawol @amobigbang @ChristopherSuta @esha @wllmvns @NishatH @CleoHoney @AimeeH @notgucci3 @JezziCrypt @KellyOConnor @LeilaB @hopeismyanchor @AluSparklez @KiKi29 @VarunNambiar @EdenSisco @EugeneAngleber @LAVONYORK @KendaylBasden @KpopGaby @amandamuska @NerukaWong @BiblioLady
3 luxury sustainable spas in Bali
Bali has a lot of spas; in some areas, every third shop is a spa. All varieties of spas can be found as well -- from local to international award winning spas. In recent years, a lot of people have become more conscious of what they put on their skin. The skin absorbs up to 60% of what you put on it, so with increasing amounts of chemicals in many products, it can lead to allergies or worse. One way to avoid this is to choose a spa that uses naturally made products and takes an approach that is kind to your skin. Local Indonesian jamu (traditional medicine) methods have always done this but a few luxury spas in Bali not only use natural products but also take the spa experience to a new level of comfort. The Spa at Alila Soori Villas The Spa is housed in a sustainably built house with a view of the Indian Ocean in front. Entering this warm and opulent hideaway, the central spa area is dominated by a beautiful pool that instantly adds a sensuously relaxed atmosphere. The traditional Balinese Beauty Ritual is two hours of pure bliss. Balinese lulur is an ancient village remedy with its origins from the rice farmers of Bali that is recognized as traditional medicine. The treatment is believed to help warm the body, relieve aching joints and help in the recovery of troubled or loose skin. Locally sourced sandalwood, fennel seed, star aniseed, eaglewood and fenugreek are blended together to use during this healing remedy. It is a 60 minutes Balinese Massage, body scrub, body mask and mini facial. The massage uses natural oils and you can choose a beautiful aromatic blend to suit your mood. After the massage, you are gently scrubbed using the herbal warming mixture and then wrapped in a cocoon while the gently heated massage table ensures every pore is cleansed and every muscle relaxed. The therapist performs a revitalizing mini facial as you relax on this wave of warmth. Not only do you feel like you are floating on a cloud after the treatment, but you are also assured that only the most natural ingredients have been used during this process. If you loved the products used, there are a wide range of Alila Spa products for sale to take with you. A particular favorite is the Black Volcanic Soap that is made from Balinese volcanic lava. Ojas Spa, COMO Shambhala Estate This famed wellness retreat outside Ubud is the ultimate luxury hideaway in the forest with an ethos based around holistic principles. If you are not staying here, you can come and get pampered at the beautifully serene Ojas Spa. Ranges of treatments are offered here, including hydrotherapy and Ayurveda treatments. This Zen space is very soothing and, set among vast sounding grounds; it is a quiet retreat to indulge in a treatment. Signature massages are done using specially blended oils made on the estate, sourced from local products and 100 percent natural. The Shambhala signature massage is an hour-long treatment and uses innovative long strokes and medium pressure to both relax and revive spirit and mind. Set in a light airy room looking onto a garden, complemented by clean lines to leave the mind uncluttered, this deeply therapeutic technique performed by a highly skilled therapist feels more like a four handed massage thanks to the expertise of the therapist. This is a deeply relaxing and aromatic experience that leaves the skin smooth and supple. Facials are also available using a range of their homemade products called PURIFIES. These products are based on the principles of aromatherapy, incorporating only premium grade oils free of parabens, petrochemicals, artificial fragrance and color. The PURIFY Holistic Facials are deeply calming and catered to your skin type using these products, along with steam and specialist massage techniques to cleanse and rejuvenate the skin. Not only are the products used at the Ojas Spa kind to your skin, but also to the surrounding environment. Fivelements Puri Ahmisa This healing hotel is located just outside Ubud in a scenic spot with the river flowing through. The spa is perched right along the riverbank so you hear the flow of water easing past as you are experiencing some incredibly therapeutic and natural treatments. This award-winning spa is unique in that not only does it have a wide variety of beauty treatments, but also healing rituals are on offer from Balinese healers and priests. This means that both body and soul can be nurtured naturally in this wonderful sustainably built bamboo spa. Acupressure with Pak Ketut is designed to trigger the body’s self-healing abilities and uses energy transfer to help heal. After starting with transference of energy, the ritual is designed to relieve both physical and mental strain. This can relieve deep-seated tension and trigger the healing process. The healing rituals harness the power of both natural herbal ingredients and energy. The beauty rituals use a wide variety of natural elements found throughout Bali. Probably one of the most healing plants is the coconut. Virgin coconut oil is one of the most healing oils, naturally antibacterial and nourishing. The Coconut Harmony treatment is a deep massage with this oil, followed by a moisturizing bath of coconut milk, the pure blended aromatic Shakti Oil and scattered with Frangipani flowers. A hewn rock bath gently sheltered by foliage looks over the flowing river below melding nature and the spa together. This wonderful bamboo structure is open meaning that it is a totally sensory experience within nature.
Bandung's most popular desserts on Instagram
One of Bandung's traits that keeps attracting visitors, especially from Jakarta, is its always-exciting culinary adventure. During the 1980s, it was the baso tahu goreng or batagor for short (fried fish and tofu eaten with peanut sauce) and an array of pastries and cakes from big bakeries that were the sought-after food souvenirs from Bandung. Nowadays however, continuing the city’s legacy of always moving forward and creating new trends, new hybrid foodpreneurs are emerging; offering a totally new style and concept in desserts, which are not only exciting and show creativity but also genius in pampering our taste buds. Though not all of them have managed to establish a store, all are creating a lot of buzz on social media, especially on Instagram. So, prepare to savor these treats when you are in town. Pompidou Think about pretty, elegant, and at the same time modern cakes or cupcakes, which upon eating will give you a lot of happiness for the soft and delicious texture combined with a satisfying creamy buttery icing. That's what Pompidou, a little cake shop at Jl. Ciliwung 14, is all about. Founded in 2009 by Irma and Arthy, the duo started out by receiving custom-order cupcakes for friends or family. Their interest in cakes and cupcakes began after reading a red velvet cake recipe in a Martha Stewart cookbook. Pompidou now offers cakes, cupcakes and pies, starting from Rp 18,000 per cupcake. Pompidou's chocomalt cake, red velvet and salted caramel cake, are among their best-sellers. Fat Bites Astrid and her partner have a passion for food and so the two often experiment to create new exciting dishes. The duo's exploration later resulted in an online-based business named Fat Bites which offers their product through an Instagram account. "We wanted to explore new tastes and flavors of food and beverages as well as new unexpected ways to present them," said Astrid about her business. At the moment, she said, Fat Bites offered ice creams, sorbets and pies. The varieties are quite rich with cheese cake, Oreo, apple caramel, vanilla, bubble gum for the ice cream and strawberry punch and lavender lime for the sorbets and banana soufflé, strawberry soufflé and salmon wasabi for the pies. According to Astrid, Fat Bites' signature and best-selling menu item are Summerfling, which is a lychee drink with fruit popsicle, the fruit and ice cream S'more -- ice cream with butter cookies and melted marshmallow -- and the salmon wasabi pie. "Currently we still do a lot of pop-up events and participate in culinary festivals. But we have a pick-up point for our customers who order through our LINE account or email, which is at Jl. Bagus Rangin No. 7," Astrid explained, adding a requirement of three days’ notice for customer orders. TnC Chef Kamal's tiramisu is more than just a delicious dessert dish but also a success story amid hard times. His tiramisu dish started gaining popularity in 1997, but then the monetary crisis hit and Chef Kamal, who worked in a hotel as a pastry chef at the time, tried to join the line of street cafes that emerged in the Dago area, as a response to the crisis and a demand for new affordable eateries. To his surprise, his hotel-quality tiramisu, which sold at an affordable price, started to gain popularity. Long story short, five years later Chef Kamal decided to quit his job and started his own business called TnC (Tiramisu and Coffee) by Chef Kamal at Jl. Sawah Kurung IV No. 14. Following the trend of social media, TnC also set up an account on Twitter and Instagram, resulting in a new batch of younger customers who praised his tiramisu and proudly posted the experience online. Arromanis Armita Sunaryo had never baked a single cake in her life before. But the global trend and craving for red velvet cake in 2011 sparked her curiosity. So she Googled and YouTubed and tried out one recipe and had great luck with a result that was delicious. As a person who actually doesn't really enjoy sweet treats, Armita then developed recipes using low-fat milk and less sugar, resulting in a healthier product for everybody to enjoy but still offering some indulgence in the flavor. At first, Armita used social media to market Arromanis. From word of mouth, Arromanis became more popular so that in January 2014, Armita finally established a small shop at Jl. Wira Angun–Angun 14. The most favorite items from the Arromanis Corner Shop are the banoffee pie and matcha whoopie pie which sell around 500 pieces per month. The Wooden Spoon Founded late last year by Amy Fahmi, The Wooden Spoon (TWS) offers mouthwatering but lower-in-fat as well as halal versions of the Italian panna cottas. Amy's version of the dessert dish comes with vanilla, almond and hazelnut flavors and up to 12 choices of toppings such as latte macchiato, summer berry coulis and yoghurt, and apple sauce and cookie crumble -- all priced at Rp 165,000 (US$13.53) per half-dozen. Thanks to interesting promotion through Instagram, TWS’ business has grown quite fast in less than a year with around 800 to 1,200 cups of panna cottas sold per month. According to Amy, loyal customers from Jakarta regularly order her panna cottas and have them delivered to the capital city. Cokelatia Mila Savitri, an architect and foodie, posted on her Path account a batch of chewy green-tea cookies topped with white chocolate. She raved that the treat was superbly delicious and she was proud to be among the first customers who savored the new product from Cokelatia. But before the chewy cookies, it was Cokelatia's RockyBars that were so popular and established many loyal fans. Tia, founder of Cokelatia, the small company she runs with her sibling Poji, started out the business as a hobby. Tia blogged about her fascination for chocolate and baking cakes on her blogspot site, Cokelatia, and started to receive orders from friends and family. Among the orders, she noticed that her RockyBars -- which offer an interesting new look and taste from the usual brownies -- were really sought after. So, in 2012, Tia and her husband and Poji, founded a small business dedicated to selling their RockyBars. At first they sold RockyBars online. But several months later they started to rent a space at Jl. Raden Patah 12 in Bandung and created the RockyBars' Open Kitchen where they baked and provided a customer order pick-up point. From the original RockyBars, now Cokelatia has created many variants of RockyBars and also a new product called ChewyCookies. Actively participating in Bandung's chic culinary festivals such as Keuken, Cokelatia offers menu items such as the RockySundae, which mixes RockyBars and ice cream and always turns out to be one of the crowds' favorites.
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How To Make Mee Goreng Mamak (印度炒面), Fried Noodles with Indo-Malayan Flair
I love Indonesian food. Based on their history and interactions with the rest of Asia, the cuisine has subtle nods to Chinese, Thai, and Indian dishes, but with their own special (and usually nice and spicy) twist. Mee goreng is perhaps my favorite of the Indo-Malayan dishes. From the picture, it looks like a standard chow mein-esque stir fry, but the flavor involved is absolutely incredible and definitely sets it apart from its 'noodle cousins'. (Especially when you top it with fried onion pieces and just the right amount of sesame oil.) Mee goreng is such a popular dish that you can buy instant packages of it all over Asia. In fact, I have some friends who lived in Western Africa that enjoyed instant mee goreng as a steady staple through the week. (You can buy instant mee goreng at a majority of Asian supermarkets in America, but try this recipe for the real deal and super authentic stuff!) ------------------------------------------------------ Mee Goreng Mamak (Fried Noodles) 500 grams of yellow noodles Handfuls of beansprouts depend on liking 2 small tomatoes, quartered 2 small onions, chopped Handful of chicken breast meat, thinly sliced, or minced beef 2 eggs, lightly beaten 1 potato, boiled and cut into cubes 1 small size dry bean curd, cut into small pieces 3 tablespoons of cooking oil (I usually use soybean.) 1 tablespoons of minced green onion and garlic 2 fish cakes, sliced (optional) Handful of shrimp, de-shelled and de-veined, optional 1 green chili or Thai chili or red cut chili, optional 3 tablespoons of ketchup 3 tablespoons of chili sauce or chili paste 1 tablespoon of dark soy sauce 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce 1 teaspoon of garam masala/curry/turmeric powder, optional (but highly recommended!) For garnishing (optional): Some cucumber slices Some fresh coriander leaves or green onion Some lime or Calamansi lime (cut into half) Some deep fried shallots Some grounded peanut + sugar mixture Sesame oil 1. Assemble all the ingredients that need to chopped or sliced. In a big frying pan, sauté the onion and minced garlic until fragrant. Add in turmeric or Garam Masala (if preferred). Add the chicken breast/minced beef, stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the dry bean curd, fish cakes and potato cubes. 2. Add in the yellow noodles and stir fry until well mixed. If the yellow noodles is too dry, add about 1/4 cup of water. Add the tomatoes, prawns, tomato ketchup, chili sauce or paste, freshly cut green/red chili (if any). Stir fry until well combined (about 2-3 minutes). 3. Add in the beaten egg, sugar and salt to taste, followed by the beans sprout. Stir fry until the beaten eggs dries up. Off the heat and transfer to the serving plate. Top with sesame oil to taste.
Magnificent Madakaripura
If you don’t take a picture it never happened, or so it seems nowadays with the popularity of selfies and all and sundry owning a selfie stick. But with the popularity of most tourist sites it’s hard to get a composition that doesn’t include someone in the background. However, Madakaripura falls provides an all-natural backdrop without another soul for miles. Dubbed as the final meditation place of Gajah Mada, the elephant general of the Majapahit Empire, a visit to the misty, streaming falls is the ideal post-Mount Bromo excursion: It offers a much less strenuous experience than climbing up the 250 steps to the sulfur caldera. The falls are located roughly 35 kilometers from Bromo near a village called Sapih and can be reached via Jl. Raya Bromo to Lumbang on the way to Probolinggo. It is a pleasant ride — ideally on motorcycle — on which you will find yourself unconsciously pressing the brakes as the villages you pass on the snaking mountainous roads are enshrouded in lush and equally mesmerizing greenery. Five kilometers away from the waterfall’s parking lot a man will appear from what seems to be a bus stop and will charge the entrance fee of Rp 3,000 (3 US cent). A narrow dirt road flanked by banana and durian trees along with casuarina and some colorful apiaries will lead you to another “check point” which is unchecked and abandoned with a permanently raised barrier. From there, it is another kilometer to the stall-laden parking lot with a statue of the great Gajah Mada in the lotus position and an empty fountain sitting dryly right in the middle of it. Be assertive and be on your guard. No sooner than alighting and touts will hound you. The trail however is quite visible making the falls easily accessible. A guide is in fact not necessary but if you choose one — or passively allow one to latch on to you — the cost will range anywhere from Rp 100,000. There have been instances of groups being charged over Rp 400,000, an outrageous price especially for a local doing nothing more than hold your hand when crossing the river. Negotiating is as advisable as bringing common sense since the area is still wild and mildly challenging to get through. You may have to cross the river about five times in total so proper footwear is essential as some rocks are deceivingly slippery. En route you will also encounter a number of stalls selling fried bananas, kopi panas (hot coffee) and tempeh (fermented soya bean cake) as well as hawkers selling ponchos for the stretch of trail which is rained on by bigger streams of cold and refreshing water. Do bring your own raincoat, unless you don’t mind getting drenched and riding home using the wind as your natural blow dryer. After a kilometer trek you will find yourself wading anywhere from shin-deep ripples to a mid-chest pool before getting to the lagoon, the hidden reward for your hard work. This last step requires clambering over a crest of rocks. There, the 200 meter-high waterfalls reveals itself in full showing how the canyon is really like a special chamber of sorts of all things natural. Apart from the several waterfall cascades, when light pours in at the appropriate time of day it illuminates the basin making the cliff’s fauna even brighter and more vibrant in color. The rushing water makes it difficult to hear and the large boulders lining the river are reminiscent of dinosaur eggs. It isn’t recommended to visit during the wet season as the water gets pretty muddy and the risk of flooding and landslides are much greater. Though we didn’t see any macaque monkeys, I heard that in fact it’s a good thing—they sometimes toss rocks off the cliff’s edge. But don’t worry, helmets are not required and if they were, I’m sure there would be several hawkers renting them out for a nominal fee. Finding yourself away from the frenzy of shutter-pressing tourists will make you really appreciate the pristine waterfalls and the feeling of being like Indiana Jones trekking right into the heart of the jungle. Crossing barefoot a river and pushing through branches sticking out into the pathway, your only obstacle to good times and people-free selfies!