Golden Park Cottages +6285241414245
Primitive and spartan beach bungalow with private veranda and a stunning sun-set view, but also with an overpriced tag of INR 150,000.- or US$ 17.50 per night.
S 00° 38.72' E 119° 44.21'
Crossing with a speed of c. 15 knots both (i) the invisible Wallace Line (which marks the eastern boundary of the Asian fauna) from west to east, and (ii) the likewise invisible equator (which marks the southern boundary of the counter-clockwise turning bathtub outflow) from north to south, on board of Pelni’s rugged passenger ferry KM “Tidar” during our 20-hour long, uneventful sea passage from East Kalimantan to Central Sulawesi.
Taking a shared minibus taxi (INR 5,000.- or US$ 0.55 per person) from outside the port of Pantoloan to Palu, the capital of Central Sulawesi province, and thereafter a shared Toyota 4x4 Kijang (INR 20,000.- or US$ 2.20 per person) from Palu’s useless Terminal Tipo via Donggala, a quiet backwater which only springs to life on Mondays and Fridays when it hosts large and vibrant country markets (a ten-pack of creamy durians between INR 70,000.- or US$ 7,75 and INR 90,000.- or US$ 9.95), to the remote kampung Tanjung Karang, situated on the north coast of the Coral Peninsula and a diver’s paradise.
"...its consistence and flavour are indescribable. A rich custard highly flavoured with almonds gives the best general idea of it, but there are occasional wafts of flavour that call to mind cream-cheese, onion-sauce, sherry-wine, and other incongruous dishes. Then there is a rich glutinous smoothness in the pulp which nothing else possesses, but which adds to its delicacy. It is neither acid nor sweet nor juicy; yet it wants neither of these qualities, for it is in itself perfect."
Enjoying the main attractions of sun, sand and water and the laid-back, bucolic village life in the remote beach hamlet kampung Tanjung Karang aka Coral Peninsula where both Bugis and Kaili people live peacefully together and rather sustainably exploit their cash crops: (i) coastal fish and seafood, (ii) domestic tourists from as far as Palu and Jakarta, and (iii) the ever reliable coconut palms whose uses are extremely manifold, from their nutritious juice, meat and copra via their timber and fronds for building houses, to the coveted coconut oil which is used for the manufacture of soaps and perfumes.
Discovering the most delicious and spicy Buginese meals at Ika's unpretentious but superb warung Andika +6282193712014 and having there many excellent (and economical) pescetarian dinner meals: (i) barbecued red snapper (ikan bakar) with cooked jackfruit, sambal and white rice for INR 20,000.- or US$ 2.20 per portion, (ii) smoked tuna steaks (ikan tuna goreng) with a variety of cooked veggies in coconut cream, hot and fresh sambal, fried tempe and tofu and white rice for INR 17,500.- or US$ 1.95 per portion, (iii) barbecued octopus (cumi cumi bakar) with cooked veggies, sambal and white rice for INR 15,000.- or US$ 1.65 per portion, (iv) sumptuous veggie platters with omelettes and gogos (sticky rice filled with spicy minced fish, cooked inside a banana-leaf package) for INR 15,000.- or US$ 1.65 per portion, or (v) barbecued prawns (udang bakar), with the usual vegetarian accompaniments, for INR 20,000.- or US$ 2.20 per portion, yummy; many thanks, Ika & Cecep for your great hospitality.
Snorkelling the fringing reef just offshore from our cottage, allowing the incoming tidal stream to carry us off course, discovering, by pure chance, the most pristine and well-preserved coral reef ever, floating over an incredible diversity of colourful marine life (e.g. titan triggerfish [Balistoides viridescens], lionfish [Pterois antenata], black clownfish [Amphiprion ocellaris]), as if we were in "Finding Nemo", and, eventually, making landfall at the very welcoming Prince John Dive Resort, to which this reef belongs, situated only half a mile away from our cottage and professionally managed by Alex +6281210444162 firstname.lastname@example.org, an experienced and friendly enough PADI IDC Staff Instructor from Germany.