July 31, 2012

Togean – Popular for Foreigner but Foreign for Indonesian

by iyenileno

Togean Islands

Finally I write again. Its my first post in 2012. I didn’t write for long time because last year I was busy with my goal to graduate from uni. I graduated from dentistry on December 2011, now im dentist ^^. After graduated, I visited my parents in Palu-Central Sulawesi. After that, I moved to Bali to get English course and also to refresh mind. I’ve been there for three and half months. I’ve got a lot new experience there, met many new friends from around the world, explored some places I’ve never been before, party a lot and of course improved my English.

I left Bali in the end of June and visited my parents again in Palu. Well,bit bored actually cause not many interesting place around the town and also I missed to have trip again, so I decided to visit Togean island, lucky, I also have best friend who work in the main town of Togean. Togean island located in Tojo Una district, Central Sulawesi. I started my trip from Palu (capital city of Central Sulawesi). I took mini bus (Touna Travel, cost 110K ruphias) to get to Ampana (main town of Tojo Una district). I started from Palu at 5.30pm and arrived at 3am. I stayed one day in Ampana, cause no ferri go to Wakai (main town in Togean island) that day. Ferri schedule on Tuesday, Thursday – cost 40K for business class and 35K for economy class. Beside ferri, there are some wooden boat available too (cost 40K) named Lumba-lumba and Puspita-the schedule on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. I through the sea by ferri on Thursday (120712). The ferri took about 3,5-4 hours to arrive in Wakai.

On ferri goes to Wakai

In Wakai, I stayed 1 night at my friend’s home – my friend is a dentist in Wakai, named Ria Anbar. Wakai was a nice place with friendly people, good phone signal but poor electric – electric only on start from 6pm to 12am. In Wakai, me and my friend met the owner of “Black Marlin” – one of the most popular cottage and dive centre in Togean. We went with the owner to Kadidiri island.

On my way to get Kadidiri island, i saw “fishing boat”, this boat stayed on the sea for couple days

One of many empty and unorganized islands in Togean

Kadidiri island close from Wakai, only about 20 minutes by speed boat to get there from Wakai. FYI, Black Marlin’s speed boat always stand by in Wakai harbour to pick up visitor who wanna go to Kadidiri island (free for people who already booked their room). Kadidiri is nice islands,,,and I think the most popular island in Togean. There are 3 cottage company there, Black Marlin (dive centre available, room cost 250K per person per night), Paradise (dive centre available, best room, but unfriendly worker, cost start from 175-500K per person per night, but the room cost depend with holiday season), and Lestari (cheapest cottage, room cost start from 100K). I stayed in Paradise, because all cottage already full. Actually, Paradise was really nice place, nice room, water on everytime, but most of the consumer complain with unfriendly and uncared worker. But overall, still nice to stay there. I met Canadian couple there (Heather and Shawn), some German guys, woman from Mexico (Conny), woman from England (Jane), man from California (Peter) and yah, finally a visitor also from my country (Jopi). I also met and talked with some worker there (Farid and Eli), really nice to know them. I think that’s the rule when u have trip, meet and interact with many people include the local people – u will find many easiness for sure. When we talked each other, a worker offered us for the “snorkeling trip”. Boat rent cost 800K, and we were about 7 persons, so we paid 115K per person include lunch – unfortunately exclude snorkeling equipment. Strange, u r in snorkeling trip but exclude the equipment (snorkeling equipment rent cost 30K). In the night, Black Marlin and Lestari cottage made bonfire and that was really nice moment, we was singing, talking and dancing under the dark sky with awesome stars and moon light.

Kadidiri Island

Its the only one area where u can find phone signal. If u moved from there even only for one step, u would get lose the signal

My room in Paradise resort (200K – Actually 250K but I talked much with the supervisor there so he gave me discount ^^)

Some new friends i met in Kadidiri

Next day, we started the snorkeling trip. We started at 8.30am. First, we wnt to Karina beach. People said the beach is the most beautiful beach in Togean. Well,,for me its nice, but I’ve seen more beautiful beach than it. We had snorkeling there for 1 hour, and after we continued to the island with awesome laguna. The boat stopped in the middle of the sea,so we needed to walk for a bit. While walked, I wasn’t carefull  so I got coral’s prick (well, till now im not sure is it coral or what). There are 5 prick point under my foot and it was really hurt, bit bleeding, and made me cant walk well. But it didn’t make me unexcited to see the laguna. Wow, the laguna in the middle of the island was really nice and beautiful, we swim around to watch the unpoisoning jellyfish       (I thought its only in Berau), one word “amazing”.

Ready to go….lets around the sea ^^

I named it “sexy hole”, hahaha…

Karina Beach – Most favourite beach in Togean

The moment when something pricked my left foot…

Going to see Laguna in middle of untitled island

The Laguna

Cute unpoisoning jellyfish

We continued the trip again to Pangempa island (around 30 minutes from Kadidiri). Pangempa island is a nice island like Kadidiri. Only one cottage available there named Fadhilla cottage, and for me it was the best cottage from all. In front of the island,there is one small village named Katupat. In Pangempa, there are some coconut tree,and if u want drink and it the coconut, just tell it to the worker so they will climb and take it for u for free. Fadhilla cottage has so friendly worker, and they always care with the visitor. The owner also friendly and always talk active with the visitor.  We only took our lunch there cause we have to continue the trip to another island. We planned to get snorkeling in the atol and also visit Malenge island. In Pangempa I met Eli so I invited him to join us.

Pangempa island and the pier

I took this picture from Pangempa’s pier….and the small island looked overthere is Bolilange island

My best lunch in Togean under the coconut tree with fish, “dabu-dabu” (sambal kampung) and coconut water…yummy

The trip to the atol was nice first,but then sky became bit dark, waves became worse, so in the middle trip we decided to cancel snorkeling to see atol – we went to Malenge island directly. Trip to Malenge took long time,,,around 45 minutes. I saw many islands with white sand, also island with small village, and it was so interesting. I talked with the motorist and Eli about the empty islands. They said, to buy one island need about 250 hundred million ruphias. Its not expensive for an island I think. I also asked them about “Tanjung Kramat” – the most expensive, exclusive, and private island owned by Italian. They said to get there u need to pay about 2million ruphias per person per night. People who not stay there cant get the island, cause they have security who will chased u if u come in 500 meters from the island. We kept the conversation till I saw very nice blue sea….wow its like giant swimming pool,,,awesome !!! After the boat got the pier, I was so excited to walk around the island. Wow!!! Really nice. There is only one cottage there too named “Lestari cottage” (room cost start from 100K per nite per person) – the owner and the workers so friendly too. I walked to the pier in front of the island, and my eyes catched a very long long long bridge…I followed the bridge and it stop in the small other island where “Bajo” people lived – Bajo is a people community who lived on the sea.

The giant swimming pool at Malenge island…perfect

The blue giant pool and the pier ^^

Took from the rock top showed the long bridge which connecting Malenge and Bajo village

Time already in 5 pm,time to back cause only one room available, so only Conny stayed there. We back to Pangempa island. In the middle of the trip, waves became worst and sky became so dark…After 50 minutes more, finally we arrived in Pangempa. We got bad news, only 1 room available too…haha. So, me, Anbar, Hetaher, Jane and Shawn will stay in one room together with 2 extra beds. Actually, the owner said that we can get guesthouse in Katupat for 100K, but we already tired and decided to stay in Fadhillah cottage (room cost 150K per nite per person). Night in Pangempa island was so nice. The environment there so different. People interacted each other – visitors and workers. We talked till midnight. Ah, btw, at that night my foot became worse and swelling. But thanks for Heather for her antiseptic cream – it was make me better.

Togean and sunset

Next day, me and Anbar back to Wakai. Eli pick us there, Jane also joined us to get phone signal in Wakai. Ah there is no phone signal after u left Wakai. U will get signal in Kadidiri, but just in some point, if u left the point even only 1 cm, u will get lose the signal…haha, interesting. Before i left Pangempa, i talked with worker in Fadhillah cottage and he told about their ptogramm named “everto – everybody for Togean”. Its about programm to save the environment in Togean. www.everto.org

In Wakai, I joined Anbar to her workplace in local clinic. I heard in Wakai there is nice waterfall,but we didn’t get there cause raining all time. So in afternoon, I just played with some local kids – Rani, Icha, and Yerni. They were so nice girls. I also taught them some Math and help them to finish their homework. I really enjoyed play with them.

Me and the kids from Wakai…

Next day, our friends in Wakai (Ais and Laurens) invited us to join to Kadidir,,,well, nice invitation – free ^^ . We joined them to Kadidiri. Kadidiri more quiet and not so many people cause most visitors already left. We unplanned to sleep over there, but ya ya ya, we got jackpot, after swim boat already left and no choice, we have to stay. But the problem is, we didn’t have clothes to change. Ya, fortunately, we talked with some workers also with the dive instructor there (Dalton), and they help us to get soap, shampoo, and clothes – once again the easiness when u knew local people. But the best jackpot that night, Ais (son of the Black Marlin’s owner) gave us room for free. Perfect!!! It was my last night in Togean cause tomorrow I have to leave Wakai with ferri. In my last night I talked with some new friends again… Some of them are dive instructor in Kadidiri. It was so  cool I thought cause they still young (20) and already had license as master dive. Cool! People there also made bonfire, so most of the visitors came to the bondfire, we was singing and talked each other. Very nice night.

Togean is nice place. I found many new experience there, met many new friends, and the most important had good interact with people there. I would like to come back there one day but after I took dive course…haha. The bad things from there is my foot. It was already 2 weeks not swelling anymore but still hurt and now it become itch . Hope it will get well soon.

Bon Voyage,, Bis Bald,, Sayonara,, See U,, Sampai jumpa Togean ^^

So, for Indonesian,,, come on….go to Togean, explore ur country, there are so many awesome place in our Indonesia. Don’t u feel shy when people from western part already around ur country but u still stay in ur place and didn’t know anything??? So,lets visit Togean ^^

May 8, 2011

Save Kodingareng Keke

by iyenileno

Im so excited to write about this place. I went there on weekend (070511) with some friends from Makassar Backpacker comunity and also with some friends from Malaysia. We started this vacation on 8 am from “Kayu Bangkoa Harbour”- a special harbour for island trip. We hire a boat for 400K and we paid it in potluck system.^^ Our trip was very awesome. We stopped in some islands like “Lae-lae” and “Samalona” to took snorkel. In samalona i met local people there,and invite one the islands child named Lilian. She was so excited and jumped to the boat directly. Thats cool. We took trip about 40 minutes.

About Kodingareng keke island, its one of many islands around Makassar and i think its the good one. There are no people lives there, also no one manage this island so i hope government can take more care to this island cause the coral ecosystem still good there. Continue reading

April 26, 2011

Training to be Tour Guide

by iyenileno

Yesterday, i had new experience as a tour guide. Thank you very much for Mr.Dodo Mursalim (master tour guide in Makassar-South Sulawesi) who gave me this very awesome opportunity. I got many advantages such as meet new people with different culture, practice my English, and increase  knowledge about my city, thats so awesome.

its my first time...really enjoy it

I have done it with my friend from Makassar Backpacker community, Sari. We’re together got free basic training, lol. Continue reading

March 26, 2011


by iyenileno

Turistas (Portuguese and Spanish for Tourists) is old movie, released on 2006. The story about a group of young backpacker trip. I like this movie and also get one lesson that “dont trust anyone too much during your trip”

Genre : Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Director : John Stockwell

Star : Josh Duhamel, Melissa George, Olivia Wilde

Plot :

Three young American tourists, Alex (Josh Duhamel), his sister Bea  (Olivia Wilde) and a friend Amy (Beau Garrett), backpacking in Brazil, decide to go by bus and sightsee portions of the country, instead of flying directly to the Northeastern beaches  they wish to visit. After a bus crash they are joined by two English men, Finn(Desmond Askew)  and Liam (Max Brown) and the Australian Pru Stagler (Melissa George) and head to the beach looking for a bar. There they get involved in a party with locals but are served drugged drinks and pass out. The next morning, they awaken on the deserted beach, with only the clothes they had on, stripped of luggage, money, and documents. Continue reading

March 26, 2011

127 Hours

by iyenileno

I recommended this movie. Its for everyone who like backpacking, climb, travelling, and other outbond activities. Released on 2010. I got one lesson after watched that “when you want to go to any part in world, dont forget to leave message to anyone who know you.”

Genre : Adventure, Biography, Drama

Director : Danny Boyle

Stars : James Franco, Amber Tamblyn, Kate Mara

Plot :

In 2003, Aron Ralston (James Franco ) prepares for a day of  canyoneering in Canyonlands National Park in Utah and drives to the trailhead at night. The next morning, he bikes through the park, aiming to cut 45 minutes off the guide book’s estimate for the time needed to reach his destination. He is on foot, running along a bare rock formation when he sees two hikers, Kristi (Kate Mara) and Megan (Amber Tamblyn), apparently lost. Continue reading

March 25, 2011

Vote for Komodo

by iyenileno

Komodo National Park located in Manggarai Barat, Nusa Tenggara Timur, Indonesia. You will meet Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensi) – the ancient animal. Its one of the 28 finalist to be a new seven wonders of nature, and the other finalist are Amazon, Galapagos, Angel Falls, Maladewa,  Jeju Island, Puerto Princesa, Dead Sea, Grand Canyon, Kilimanjaro, Halong Bay, Sundarbans, Maldives, etc.

welcome to Komodo National Park

Why i recommend this place ????

  • Easy and not expensive to visit
  • One of world heritage sites
  • There are amazing islands around (pink beach, Rinca island, Bidadari island)
  • and the most important, you only will find Komodo dragon here

Its mean if u voted this place to be a new 7 wonders, u have participated to save one of  ancient animals in world. Only about 1330 komodos living in Komodo island now, and thats not a big amount. They need your vote to get more caring from government and world peoples. Continue reading

March 23, 2011

Undetected Ancient Rock Site

by iyenileno

Im so excited to write about this spot “Ancient Rock Site” or “Rocks Garden”. Its one of undetected awesome spot close from my town. Located in Maros,  Kecamatan Salenrang, Ramang-ramang village about 1 – 1,5 hours (normal condition) from Makassar (capital city of South Sulawesi-Indonesia) and also has same direction with the big cement factory named “Bosowa”. When i went there, i tried to hitchhike and that was very fun. I was hitchhike in truck, pick up car with various cargo – chicken, meubel, stone, cement. Thats my first time to hitchhike and i love it.

Be Faster to get ur truck, haha

Wind time, wuuush...

From the center road, about 300 m, u will find a bridge.  There are two ways to get the spot – over the land or over the river, both offer great scenery. Would be better if u stayed for one night there, so u can come there over the river and go back over the land. If u want got it over the river, u must take boat from the bridge and paid 5K  for one way. U will find very awesome scenery. There are many ancient rock site in left and right side of the river. U also will find some rock hills (if u lucky, u would see some monkeys on the hill).

Continue reading

March 22, 2011

Work camp at Lanjukang Island

by iyenileno


Work Camp 911 is made by Makassar Backpacker Community. We started the trip on 9 am from “Kayu Bangkoa Harbour” – close from Pantai Gapura Hotel. We was rent fiber boat with 500PK (cost 3200K) for return, but u also can rent smaller boat with 100PK (cost 1000K) depend with how many person u are. If u went there with fiber boat, u would take about 1,5 – 2 hr and if u went there with smaller boat, u would take about 3 – 4 hr.


The fiber boat which rented by us

Lanjukang is one of many islands around Makassar, and it the most far from Makassar about 40 km. There is a resort there (if u want rent the resort u must take the package at Pantai Gapura Hotel) but i think its expensive, so better if u took camp there, or  slept under the star ocean with ur “sleeping bag” ^_~ (i love that moment).

more fun, cheaper, and more beautiful to sleep here

U will just find about 5 local houses and 20 local peoples there.Local peoples there very welcome, friendly and always have time to help u even give u fish and squid for free (haha). There are a fishing boat too, so if u lucky, the fisherman would invite u to join them for fishing. Continue reading

March 18, 2011

Lovely December at Toraja

by iyenileno

Hi again ! Now ill introduce about one increadible place close from my city named Tana Toraja. Im so excited cause im Torajanese. lol. Here we go.

I have visited Toraja about 20 times or more, almost every year i definitely comes there. To go there, u can use bus from Makassar (capital city of South Sulawesi). There are so many bus goes there with price start from 70K – 120K  (depend the facilities of the bus). U can take them in “Perintis Kemerdekaan street, in front of department store named Makassar Town Square“. U will find about 3 bus company there :

  • Metro Permai
  • Manggala Trans
  • Bintang Prima

Close from there u also will find bus company named “Litha & Co” (about 250 meters to the right side) and “Alam Indah” (about 200 meters to the left side). U will take about 8 hours to arrive in Toraja. There are two big towns in Toraja, Makale (capital town of Toraja) and Rantepao (capital town of North Toraja). I recommend to stay at Rantepao, cause the good spot to visit is closer from Rantepao than Makale. In Rantepao u will find many guesthouse in various price start from 20K. When i went there i was stay at guesthouse in front of “Missiliana Hotel” and paid 20K per night.

Its my room, 20 K per night. there are about 10 beds, 1 bath room, 1 TV, chairs plus table.

In Toraja u can do hitchhiking. People there very welcome for it. But be carefull cause the public transportation there looks similar with private car. But i recommend to hitchhike in truck, thats more fun Continue reading

March 17, 2011

Hello world!

by iyenileno

Hi, im irene. Welcome to my blog. Im Indonesian and staying in Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia. I love travelling, but i want do it in simplicity way, not in exclusive way. I love my country and i want to publish my country to foreign people. Then, i thought to make this blog to report all my trip to other, to share about interesting place, how to go there, hows the budget, and many more.