Friday, June 27, 2014

Indonesia: Pekan Baru, Riau - Bukit Tinggi, West Sumatera (Day 1st)

We arrived at Pekan Baru (PKU) and we meet up with Pak Yas (Supir) and his son at Sultan Syarif Kasim II International Airport. Supir payment IDR2.2k (RM627) including Avanza new car, petrol, parking, driver fees and tipping (expense3). On the way to our next venue, we heard adzan of Zohor and we drop by Masjid Al-Fithrah to perform solat jamak and qasar. Hurm, at this Masjid no curtain or border between men and women area. Maybe this Masjid still in construction phase or the culture here perhaps. Here, ‘alas kaki’ is not a doormate; however it is referred to shoes.

All the way we saw some marriage ceremonies on our left and right side along the road. Besides, we passed by State Islamic University Riau. We saw lots of pineapples were sold along the road of Rimbo Panjang area. Locals made as pineapple crackers and they produce jackfruit chips as well. I never taste both crackers and first time I saw those.
One of famous delicacies sold here was lapik bugi. I was excited to taste lapik bugi cuz a lot of locals selling this delicacy on left and right side of the road. According to Pak Yas, lapik bugi had 2 types which are white-light yellow and dark purple colour, the filling in the middle is shredded coconut. Pak Yas drop us at some stall and we bought both types of lapik bugi together with 2bottles water and cost us IDR18k (RM5) (expense4). Ow, u know wat? Lapik bugi actually more or less similar as kuih koci!

Local language
All the way I saw restaurant/stalls sold ampera (alike our nasi campur perhaps). Then, I noticed nasi uduk as well. Nasi uduk is betawi cuisine originated from Jakarta. It is rice cooked together with coconut milk and served with various side dishes such as egg, sambal (spicy sauce), cucumber, keropok (crackers) and fried tempe (fermented soy). Plus, knotted pandan leaves are placed inside the pot while the rice steaming. The method is to give more fragrance to the rice. I believe nasi uduk is almost similar our nasi lemak. We chose Nasi Padang instead of nasi uduk cuz we were in Minang land.

We passed by Masjid Bangkinang Islamic Centre. Bangkinang was one of district in West Sumatera on previously. However after Indonesia was ruled by Japan, Bangkinang is a part of Riau district till to date. Most of community here is Muslim and it is very happening during Ramadhan and EidilFitri celebration. (Note: Before Japanese occupation, Indonesia was colonised by the Netherlands and Indonesia was known as the Dutch East Indies).

Ow, before having a lunch we drop by Danau Buatan PLTA Kota Panjang which is artificial lake in Riau. PLTA (Pembangkit Listrik Tenaga Air) is a dam that contributes electricity to Riau and West Sumatera area. A lot of hut/stall selling the coconut drink and light meal along the road here. Those passed by along this road may enjoy the coconut drink while sightseeing the blue lake, the greeny environment, the white cloud and blue sky with surrounded by fresh breeze.

Afterward, we stopover at Rumah Makan Kelok Indah (plz note here they called restaurant as rumah makan). Our lunch were Nasi Padang with 4 different cookings we had chosen which were roasted beef chili padi, chicken rendang, spicy herb omelette, spicy chicken chili padi and it cost us IDR56k (RM16) (expense5). We haven’t managed to order and they immediately served the white rice and various cuisines directly to our table once we seated. Wow the cuisines were dozens! Dun be scared cuz they won’t force us to eat all, however we only have to pay for what we had eaten. Thus, before we started to feast, we isolated the cuisine we didn’t eat.

Nasi Padang is originated by locals Minang. It is a white rice served with various choices of original Padang cuisines such as chicken/beef rendang, spicy herb omelette, fried chicken/roasted beef chili padi, sambal hijau (green spicy small cili+anchovies+petai+garlic+onion), curried beef liver, pakis lemak cili padi (fern leaf in spicy coconut milk), ayam gulai (aromatic special gravy chicken) and many more. On the way to Bukit Tinggi we passed by Kelok 9 flyover and signwall of border between Riau and West Sumatera. Note: english-border, indonesian-perbatasan, malaysian-sempadan. 

Alhamdulillah we arrived Bukit Tinggi eventually. We managed to drop by Yenie Sulaman and Bordir before we checked in hotel. A lot of hand and machine embroidery textiles were presented nicely. A type of fabrics was chiffon, velvet, cotton, silk and others.

Hotel Benteng was on construction on the week we came in. This hotel has a strategic location due to situated in the middle of town and there was a Family Restaurant beside this hotel. Plus, nearby Masjid, from veranda room may see nice view of Mount Merapi, Mount Singgalang and Bukit Tinggi town. The inconveniences of our room were the door lock handle was broken, lavatory flush was not working properly, shower heater was centralize controlled by management and will be scheduled only at 6.00AM to 10.00AM and 7.00PM to 10.00PM, has one plug only and the most upset was wifi available at lobby area only.

For me it was ok cuz the room was clean, the bed was comfortable, the toilet clean plus pink colour and despite no fan or aircond, the room was cold especially at night.

Scenery taken at nite and a day.

Note: For those interested, may freshen up at Harau WaterFall in Paya Kumbuh.

Next >> Indonesia: Bukit Tinggi, West Sumatera (Day 2nd)

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