Golden Park Cottages +6285241414245
Spartan beach bungalow, with a private veranda and a stunning sun-set view, but for an overpriced INR 150,000.- or US$ 17.50 per night.
S 00° 38.72' E 119° 44.21'
Crossing, with a consistent “speed through the water” of about 15 knots, both (i) the invisible Wallace Line (which marks the eastern boundary of the Asian fauna), from W to E, and (ii) the likewise invisible equator (which marks the southern boundary of the counter-clockwise turning bathtub outflow), from N to S, on board of Pelni’s rugged passenger ferry KM “Tidar” during our 20-hour long, uneventful sea passage from Kalimantan to Sulawesi.
Taking a shared minibus taxi (INR 5,000.- or US$ 0.55 per person) from outside the port of Pantoloan to Palu, the dry capital of Central Sulawesi, and thereafter a shared Toyota 4x4 Kijang (INR 20,000.- or US$ 2.20 per person) from Palu’s 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 from INR 70,000.- or US$ 7,75 to INR 90,000.- or US$ 9.95), to the remote kampung Tanjung Karang, situated on the N coast of the Coral Peninsula and a diver’s paradise.
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 palm whose uses are extremely manifold, from its nutritious juice, meat and copra via its 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) 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 the most 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 German dive instructor.