Our journey, this month, has brought us to Indonesia. Situated between the Indian and Pacific oceans, Indonesia is the world's largest island country with more than seventeen thousand islands - the largest are Java, Sumatra, Borneo, New Guinea and Sulawesi. With over 260 million people, it is the world’s fourth most populous country. Its capital and country's most populous city is Jakarta, which is also the most populous city in Southeast Asia and the second in Asia. Indonesia's size, tropical climate, and archipelagic geography, support the world's second highest level of biodiversity after Brazil.
Indonesia is a country rich in diversity with more than 300 ethnic groups. Each of them has its own art, architecture and housing, cuisine, traditional dress, festivals, music, dance, tradition, rituals, myths, philosophy of life, even language. The cultural identities developed over centuries, and influenced by Indian, Arabic, Chinese, and European sources, resulted in many cultural practices being strongly influenced by a multitude of religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Islam and Christianity. As of 2015, Indonesia holds 8 items of UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage, which include wayang puppet theatre, kris, batik, education and training on making Indonesian batik, angklung, saman dance, noken, and the three genres of traditional Balinese dance.
An interesting piece of information: Fossils and the remains of tools show that the Indonesian archipelago was inhabited by Homo erectus, known as 'Java Man', between 1.5 million years ago and 35,000 years ago. Homo erectus are direct descendants of Homo sapiens who are credited with the earliest use of fire.
What's inside this box?
Astor Wafer Stick
Astor Wafer stick is a product manufactured by Mayora Co., a pioneer in Indonesian confectionary products since 1977. This product is essentially a crispy wafer filled with oodles of rich tasty chocolate cream with two chocolate lines drawn across on the outside of the wafer. Each bite brings with it a full and crunchy flavor, which makes snacking a delight.
Originated from Central Java, this is a light snack that could be enjoyed at all times. Basically, Bagelen is a round-shaped dried bread with sweet butter as the topping. This is one of the old-time favorite snacks that still exists, and is hunted down by the culinary lovers of Bandung snacks – all because of its exclusive taste.
Kopiko – Capuccino Candy
With a full and robust cappuccino flavor, this Indonesian candy is a fan favorite. You will be able to enjoy a caffeine-filled coffee punch with its flavors well accented by the taste of creamy milk and a hint of vanilla. Kopiko Cappuccino Candies are a deliciously addictive treat, which you can enjoy throughout your day.
ACS Kerupuk Casandra Tapioca Crackers
These crispy crackers take inspiration from the preparation style of prawn crackers, except that these are primarily made from tapioca starch and palm oil. The tapioca chips in this recipe are called “glasses” in the puffed-snack industry. We think these chips are the perfect gateway (and game-day) snack.
Kusuka Saos Balado - Glazed Tapioca Chips
Tapioca is a form of staple diet in South East Asia and due to this abundance in availability, it is not uncommon to see the tapioca cut up and fried into chips. The coalition of caramelized sugar mixed with fresh spicy chili will tingle your taste buds like no other. The dual flavors ensure that spiciness is subdued, and this somehow enhances the flavor.
Rotary Medan Style Peanuts
Medan is the fourth largest city in Indonesia, with all ethnic groups living there contributing to the thousands of mouth watering dishes found all over Medan – making it well-known for its local food streets and tasty road-side snacks. This particular style of peanuts preparation literally can evoke images of strolling down the markets of Indonesia, popping a peanut every now and then while completely lost in the wares being sold around you.
Taro Net Chips – Seaweed Flavor
This is a popular Indonesian snack and it is quite addictive. Taro Net Chips are crackers that are shaped like nets and have a nice seaweed flavor associated with them, bringing about a mouth-watering snack, which will keep you asking for more.
TopMunch was formed with a mission to educate people about the different cultures in the world. The learning curve is incomplete if people do not understand the native language, and with this in mind TopMunch has launched TopPhrase. TopPhrase provides our customers with basic phrases and their usages in each country, so that everyone would be able to conduct basic conversations with locals of that country.
This month, we are travelling to Indonesia.
|Good morning||“Selamat Pagi”|
|Good afternoon||“Selamat Siang”|
|Good evening||“Selamat Sore”|
|How are you?||“Apa Kabar” (What news?)|
|I’m fine, thank you||“Baik,Terima Kasih”|
|Thank you||“Terima Kasih”|
|Nice to meet you||“Senang Bertemu Anda”|
|Excuse me, Pardon me||“Maaf, Permisi”|
|Do you speak English?||“Anda bisa bicara bahasa inggris?”|
|I don’t speak Indonesian||“Saya tidak bisa berbahasa Indonesia”|
|Where is ___?||“Di Manakah ___?”|
|Where is the bathroom?||“Di Manakah Toilet?”|
|How much is this?||“Berapa harganya?”|
|It’s Expensive||“Itu Mahal”|
|Speak slowly, please||“Tolong bicara pelan-pelan”|
|I am sorry||“Maaf”|
|I do not understand||“Saya tidak mengerti.”|
|What’s your name?||“Siapa nama anda?”|
|How do I get to ____?||“Bagaimana saya bisa ke _____ ?”|
|the train station?||“stasiun kereta api?”|
|the bus station?||“terminal bus”|
|Please write it down||“Tolong tuliskan”|
|Next week||“Minggu Depan”|
|Help Me!||“Tolong Aku!”|
|I’m lost||“Saya Tersesat”|
|Can you help me?||“Bisakah kamu membantuku ?”|
|21||Dua Puluh Satu|
|22||Dua Puluh Dua|
|52||Lima Puluh Dua|
|63||Enam Puluh Tiga|
|100||Seratus/ Satu Ratus|
|150||Seratus Lima Puluh|
|1000||Seribu / Satu Ribu|
We, at TopMunch, aim to provide our customers the opportunity to experience the different cultures in its entirety. We have listened to the local music, learnt to converse in the local language, and hopefully already munched on a few local flavors already. If you were to travel to this country, all that you would need now in your kitty is a guide to take you around the different local sights along with local tips about how to gain an experience that can be preserved in your treasure chest of memories
With this mission in mind, we present to you our travelogue – TopTravel through which, we will not only be opening your eyes to the different sights in a country but shall also be helping you plan your next getaway or vacation to that country.
Indonesia’s natural heritage can boast a unique combination of a tropical climate, vast archipelago and long stretch of beaches.These natural attractions are complemented by a rich cultural heritage that reflects Indonesia's dynami c history and ethnic diversity.
Yogyakarta: Considered to be the soul of Indonesia and its cultural and artistic centre, Yogyakarta is the most interesting city in the country and is also the best place to start off your Indonesian trip. You could start with the temples of Borubdur and Prambanan, which are the largest Buddhist and Hindu temples in Java respectively.
Bali: Considered one of the most popular tourist destinations, Bali still retains a certain charm in spite of the numerous travellers. Beaches such as Kuta (for the party-goers) and Nusa Dua (for honeymooners) dot the long rugged coastline. Your cultural thirst can also be quenched by the serenity of temples such as Pura Tanah Lot, Temple by the Lake (Pura Ulun Danu Bratan).
Tana Toraja: A highland and the most popular destination in Southern Sulawesi, this cultural island in between mountains is simply unique. Engulfed in its rich culture, the traditional villages and fascinating ceremonies would wow even those who thought they have seen it all. Visitors travel here to see traditional culture, ornate homes, and to glimpse how the local communities of Toraja have lived and worked for centuries.
Bandung, West Java: Bandung, commonly referred to as the Paris of Java, is a green and cool city situated in West Java. Scenery lovers will be delighted with the breathtaking views, especially around the tea plantations, volcanoes, and Kawah Putih – the turquoise sulfur lake. Bandung is famous for its cuisine, and many locals from all around the country go there just for the food. Last but not least, it is a great place to enjoy the traditional music of Sunda played with the local instrument, angklung.
Things to do in Indonesia
- When in Yogyakarta, watch the Ramayana Ballet Show. This takes place in an open-air theatre right next to the Prambanan temple and it lasts around two hours. The pace of the show is quite slow, but the choreography and the special effects incredible. Quick advice: Read up the Ramayana story to better grasp the show.
- Hike up Bromo Tengger National Park for a spectacular view of Mt. Bromo.
- Do not miss out on visiting the Komodo Islands– the home for Komodo Dragons - gigantic lizard-like creatures that can be as long as three meters and weigh well over 100 kilograms.
- Go snorkeling in the crystal blue waters of Pulau Weh in Aceh, which have an abundance of tropical fish as well as rare Megamouth sharks.
- Enjoy a sumptuous meal at Padang, capital city of West Sumatra – where the food is still served the traditional way at Padang restaurants. Tiny individual plates of the different dishes, sometimes as many as 20 or 25, are placed before customers who mix them with rice at the table; and customers pay for only those dishes they touch.
- Say hi to a Sumatran Orangutan, in the largest sanctuary for this species at Bukit Lawang.
- Go diving in Raja Ampat, a cluster of islands of West Papua, which houses some of the most diverse marine life on earth including thousands of species of fish, turtles, and rare coral.
- Shop, Eat, Walk around Pasar Baru, visit the 2 century old National Museum of Indonesia – in short imbibe the diversity Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia, has to offer.
- If you are a coffee lover, then visit the Coffee plantation at Bali Pulina Agro Tourism and enjoy a cup of coffee while you watch how they make your favorite “Kopi Luwak” (Indonesian coffee).
- Watch a Kecak Dance performance in Bali, a dance drama depicting various battle scenes from the epic - Ramayana.
- Shop for traditional Batik dyed clothes and accessories in Yogyakarta. Batik is a textile technique that involves dying fabrics that have been outlined using wax.