Sunday, November 16, 2008

Traveling Across the Sonder villages in Minahasa Highland

by Charles Roring

I traveled to Minahasa highland several years ago. You can contact a nearest travel agency in your city to locate where Minahasa is. It is a regency located in the northern part of Sulawesi island of Indonesia. I spent two weeks there staying in a Minahasan family. I traveled most by public transportation and car. Most of the towns are beautiful. Because they are located in the mountainous region they follow the contour of hills, valleys and slopes of the highland.

Sonder village, a good place to travel in Sulawesi island of Indonesia

Sonder town in Minahasa regency, the Province of North Sulawesi, Indonesia

People grow beautiful flowers in front of their houses. So, if you travel from one village to another, you will see colorful flowers and enjoy fresh air. In towns like Tomohon, Kawangkoan and Langowan, travelers can go around the towns by hiring Bendi. Horse drawn cart. The price for one hour is around twenty to fifty thousand rupiahs (around 2 - 5 US dollars).
In Kawangkoan, travelers can stop at kiosks that sell roasted peanuts. There are two or three inns there. You can stay there for one night. The next day if you travel to Sonder, you can ask the driver to stop by for lunch at Terapung Resto - it is a floating restaurant where you can eat fried or grilled Nila fish. Its taste is delicious. Another village that is located some fifteen minutes driving from Sonder is Tincep. You can enjoy the beautiful scenery of rice fields arranged like steps on moderate slopes between Sonder and Tincep. Travelers can enjoy various kinds of flowers sold by the villagers. Tincep is the larges flower market in the region. There are two or three waterfalls in that village. I recommend that you stay in Tincep for one or two days before continuing your travel to other towns. In addition to flower market, rice fields and waterfalls, travelers can enjoy white water rafting in Timbukar village. Don't forget to wear life jacket when you get into the boat.
Minahasan people are full of smile and laughs. They like singing folk songs, playing music as well as drinking saguer. For this drink, many tourists who travel to this region say that the refined one is strong enough to make you hang over the next day before continuing your trip. When saguer has been fermented and distilled, the end product is called Cap Tikus. Its alcohol content is probably higher than whiskey. So, don't drink too much if you plant to leave the village early in the morning. If you still have time, you can take a short trip to Leilem to see how the local craftsmen make furniture. Next time I will tell you my travel experience in another village or town.

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