Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Traveling around the farmland of Minahasa

My travel story today is about going around the farmland of Minahasa. After arriving at Sam Ratulangie international airport and staying for one day in one of the hotels in Manado city, the next day, you will want to begin your tour around Minahasa highland. What place will you visit first? I will suggest that you go to Tomohon. It is not far from Manado, the capital of the Province of North Sulawesi.
Tomohon municipality is a small town located around 45 minutes drive from Manado. It is also called as Kota Pelajar or Town of Students. There are a lot of schools in this town. Here, tourists can enjoy the fresh cool air of the town and visit the traditional gardens the local farmers are working on. They grow vegetables such as cabbage, carrot, onion, cauliflower, and read beans. Many farmers also grow flowers. After taking pictures and talking with the farmers, you might become hungry. There are many restaurants along the Jalan Raya Tomohon serving local, Chinese and Western cuisines. Or you might want to go to all you can eat restaurants in Kasuang. It is not far from Tomohon. If you take bendi, you need around fifteen to twenty minutes to reach Kasuang. The price of food per one package of lunch is around 25,000 rupiahs. While you eat, local singers will sing songs. Sometimes they ask you to sing with together. For the drinks, there is a palm sap called saguer. When drunk cool, you will not only need one glass but at least three glasses.
Farmland in the slope of Mount Mahawu
After having lunch in Kasuang, you will have many options of places to visit. You can continue your trip to Tondano or travel to Sonder. In Tondano, you will be welcomed with vast area of paddy field scattered along the bank of Tondano lake. If you go to Sonder, you will be able to visit fish ponds along the river heading to Tincep village. Sonder is famous for its Terapung restaurant. The local farmers there grow clove, the raw material for Indonesian kretek cigarette. The clove blooms every one or two years depending on the occurrence of long dry season. Different from Tondano which is mostly of flat plain, Sonder lies on hilly region. There is a small inn in Sonder which you can stay for one or two nights before continuing your travel to other villages of Minahasa.
My recommendation to you will be Kawangkoan. It is located further south of Minahasa. Farmers here grow peanuts, corn and coffee. At the entrance gate of the village, you will be welcomed with a large statue of peanut.
If you continue your trip to Langowan, you will see farmers plowing their farmland with cow or buffalo. Many Langowanese migrate to the US. So, don't be surprised if you see American flag decorating many big houses there. Well, I think I should stop my story right now. I will continue it next time. 

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