Oh Makassar, Makassar.
Landed at Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport. See i so kalerful.
Again it was a FAM trip sponsored by the Indonesia Embassy and Air Asia to promote this new tourist destination in Indonesia, hopefully it would be a popular and well visited spot in the near future, like how everybody is going to Krabi now when i hadn’t even know it existed just 2 years back.
Makassar is the capital of South Sulawesi. It is hardly a popular tourist place, hence the rather miserable journey. I have only been to one destination in Indonesia and that is Bali. Makassar is nothing like Bali.
I was there for 6 days, together with other journalists from different publications. I doubt anyone of them can write as honest as i do, because nobody can write like, omfg bloody hell this place is shit, and get published in NST. But i feel bad because i know it was the best we were given, but i honestly think they needed a far more advance infrastructure system and basic facilities to make it a decent tourist place.
Everyday we traveled more than at least 5 hours (sometimes like, 10 hours) in a van together from places to places. I just slept throughout. And the each time van finally stopped, i would jerk awake feeling excited, because it would be either lunch or dinner time. Ocassionally it stopped by a Mosque, we spent some time, hopped back onto the van and continued our journey. There were times i thought secretly to myself, oh god please, i don’t wanna travel another 3 hours just to see another bloody museum!
The first two days were a little tough. I agonized secretly and it did cross my mind that i wanted to go home. I mean, how could traveling be so miserable? Then i recognized this familiar feeling and i was shocked when i realized this was what i felt a year ago in a certain competition. Oh come on. I’m on a bloody holiday!!!
By the third day however, i discovered something in me that encouraged me to start enjoying this trip. And i did. The places we went to, became more and more interesting. Especially when the local people treated us with warm hospitability. Strangers giving us broad smiles and i just thought people there look so worry-free, happy and innocent.
Although, of course, i still prayed to be checked into a better hotel each day.
Here’s the first day of the trip.
Yvonne from Air Asia.
Went to Paotere, a harbour in the north of Makassar where traditional Buginese sailing boats (pinisi) load and unload their cargo.
Goreng pisang, anyone.
It was omfg hot.
It says: Cuci muka/Kencing RP1,000. Harap Jujur.
We then continued to travel like, maybe 5 hours or so around the coast of South Sulawesi to Bira Beach.
Boats by the sea.
They produce seaweed!!!
Naked boys having the fun time of their life in the water.
They shouted for our attention then posed for us. Sooooo adorable.
Stopped here for dinner! We had the famous Nasi Padang.
30 over dishes. Take only what you like.
But the food was so so only la. You know why?
Because it is called Restoran Sederhana.
Then continued to drive drive drive. After a few hours of super bumpy and rocky roads or so, we finally reached Bira Beach. There were two things that took me to utter shock.
1. It had the mostestestest beautiful starry sky i have ever seen in my life. I couldn’t capture it with my camera. But i swear it was such a sight i thought i walked into a painting.
But i must at least find a picture from the net that comes close to that to show you how breathtaking it was.
Ok. Second shocker.
Right under the starry sky stood our hotel chalet resort accommodation for the night.
I think this pic somehow came out very glamorized.
I mean. If we really had to stay here, i would die. I would really die. Because i wouldn’t dare to breathe in case something poisonous from the ceiling dropped into my nostrils, or develop an imaginary fatal allergy towards the bedbug/dust mite whatever and die of a horrendous itch. And i wouldn’t drink because the water there tasted funny, and i would avoid drinking at all cost because i refused to go to the toilet.
Because this is how the toilet looked like. And there was no shower.
I almost cried. I swear. I felt like a 5-year-old who just got deprived of her daily lollipop. We spent the whole day at the sea side and my skin feels like lizard skin wtf and my hair was tangled and sticky like gooey seaweed ew and all i needed was a NICE SHOWER. HOT WATER. ARGH I WANT TO GO BACK TO MALAYSIA!!!!!!!
In the end, thank God, no, thanks to our embassy entourage, they reckoned they ought to check us in to a more comfortable place, and did so immediately.
So we moved to this other hotel chalet resort cottage place, which was a lot more erm… acceptable, but still, without water heater and shampoo.
Anyway, after dinner Yvonne and i went on a frantic search for shampoo, and i almost shouted in hysteria when we found this little shop that sells shampoo packets. They were like RM0.30 each.
That, was my dose of luxury of the day.
To be continued. Stay cheesed.