Food and lodging in Sulawesi and Sumatra
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Mar 28, 2013 2:26 PM Last Post By: pPamela
Mar 26, 2013 5:47 AM
Food and lodging in Sulawesi and SumatraFirst some short comments on accomodation, always budget and often the cheapest.
There's no real reason to stay in Makassar, Manado or Medan but I had a very cheap stay in Rex Hotel in Manado. Banda Aceh offered a special encounter at Uncle's guest house, nice elderly couple.
On Bunaken Island I stayed in Daniel's Homestay but I found the staff a bit unreliable. Also there were reports of men trying their luck by knocking on or entering girl's doors at night. Bungalows were good but food became repetitive after some days. Next doors should be as cheap and better in general.
At Togeans I stayed at Kadidiri Paradise, not the cheapest here and I heard Lestari is very nice too. But the charming Elis at Paradise is such a good salesperson, and they offer the best dive instructor on all of the archipelago, Gonzac. If you want seclusion, Sifa Cottages is your thing. Really beautiful beach too, and good food.
In Berastagi on Sumatra (a go-to altogether) I stayed at the fine guest house named Talitha, very calm and homey.
On Samosir at Lake Toba I suggest you find lodging outside of Tuk Tuk center, like Mas Cottages for instance. Tranquil and superb swimming. The three nights in Maroan are to be forgotten soon, I hope.
At Ketambe all Bungalows are more or less the same, but don't pay more than 50k Rp in low season. The one 3km out of town is supposed to be the best, really at the edge of the jungle, although this is second-hand information. Take caution when tubing on the river, can be a bit too rough at times.
Personally I find the Indonesian cuisine a bit bland and often the same, with some obvious exceptions. Although maybe I should blame myself for making to comparison to India and Thailand...
The reason to visit Makassar is Lei Lei, or is it Lai Lai, restaurant. The best grilled and fried fish I've had in 10 weeks Indonesia. Ask them to dress it with their tomato-pepper-lime mix.
Acese coffee is the best I've tasted. Best fruit juice was in Rantepao, Tana Toraja.
Berastagi offers a unusual wide range of food including a lot of Chinese stalls. Maybe the nice market has something to do with it. Passionfruit and mangosteen abound here.
Also Manado has a big Chinese community to offer you the necessary change from rice and fried fish.
On Samosir at Lake Toba they all claim to be the best cook: Joe's and Franky's not so much. The latter even put canned pineapple on my pizza! Orari did a good thing with my breakfast and same goes for the place that offers burgers. Sorry, forgot the name.
On Pulau Weh it is worth directing your scooter once towards the Italian near Iboih, nice fresh pasta and home made tiramisu.
Last but not least I can recommend to transit a day in Kuala Lumpur if needed. Delicious, authentic Indian and top Chinese food to be found...
Mar 26, 2013 6:55 PM
Mar 26, 2013 11:20 PM
Mar 27, 2013 2:45 AM
What was it like at Uncle's?
I stayed there in Nov 2006 and loved it - used to have the best photo of Abdul and Yulia on my webshots album before they closed it down in early Dec. Still keep in comtact with them at celebration time.
The last report I had from a traveller last year was that they had opened an internet cafe and it was very loud and noisy.
Mar 28, 2013 4:24 AM
4One addition. At Talitha guest house you'll find Awan as guide. He does his job and is very talkative, but I had an unpleasant surprise after he arranged my ride to the airport which I payed him 75k for. Upon arrival I saw my fellow passenger, whose elbow had been in my ribs during the whole ride, pay 30k. Not nice.
Abdul at Uncle's had a stroke recently and couldn't speak properly at the time, but seemed fine otherwise. They build a new house too, still unfinished but that's where they live now and where we stayed, bathroom without door included.
Mar 28, 2013 2:26 PM
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