Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Submitted by mumunmumun on 12 January 2014 • Opinion
“Hey guys, ever seen the making of a gong?”
That conversation pretty much led us to a warehouse down at Wirun Village, Surakarta/Solo, which was filled with hot air, red sparks of burning metal, and men in minimal attire. Gong making sounds pretty kinky, hey?
Eventually, we would have visited gong makers. It’s fascinating considering it’s still an all-traditional process. But we visited and were astound a little earlier, thanks to our local friends of Exploresolo.com. They spontaneously took us to this gong workshop just out of a hunch that we’d like to see. They were right.
The next year or so, Vira, Simbah, and I, were clubbing on the sidewalk of Kedungdoro, Surabaya. The white double turntable were playing local songs mashed with some international tunes. We were mixing dance moves while sitting down on the covered pavement and drinking beverages with different colors that were uber cheap and tasted pretty much questionably the same. We wouldn’t have found the phenomenal ‘sidewalk DJ’ if not for the crazy local bunch hifatlobrain.net.
“What would our parents say about this?”
“I think they would say they’d wasted a lot of their investment in educating us!” LOL!
Traveling to the town of my roots, I had always relied on my extended family to take me to my usual eating venues. It wasn’t until the last 7 years that I realized how good the food was back in Makassar. From them, I am now blessed and cursed with an appetite of hippopotamus every time I’m in town. Although some of their recommendations are pretty popular like the coto Makssar Nusantara and pisang ijo Bravo, some have also lead me to places like the jalangkote fitters 288 and pisang epek Senyum Safari, which I still consider hidden gems.
Who knows what’s best if not the locals? Clearly, it had led us to some of our most memorable experiences and stories to date. It’s definitely the x factor that we’re always trying to find during our travels, because locals are as authentic as any travel experience can be. Isn’t that one of the things we seek when we travel?
However, sometimes local experiences are not the easiest things to find. In some cases, locals can be pretty blinded of what treasure they have, hence it’s hardly traded. On the contrary, most of the time what they think is daily routine might be amazing for visitors. These are things travelers usually look for and apparently withlocals.com have made the search easier.
Withlocals.com is a company that aggregates locals who’d love to share their localities and ordinaries with travelers. There is possibly a price to pay, but it’s merely cutting middle men and distributing more to the locals. We’ll if you’re like us, you probably are willing to pay for the experience through a generic travel agent or venue anyways. Withlocals.com has now open their channels in Indonesia and have already worked in Bali and Yogyakarta. I’m sure there’s more to come. Considering we’re big fans of local experiences, we love the idea of this company. We’re so up for an experience as soon as we have the chance to visit the available destinations.
In the mean time, what’s your best experience with the locals?