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Thursday
Apr072011

Strange Brew- Worlds Priciest Drink? Indo's Secret

By Michael Doliveck ~ Balifornian Villas, Tours and Travel Blog

It’s highly sought after and its worth its weight in silver. It’s only available from certain parts of Indonesia.  It’s the drink of choice for the ultra-wealthy.  It’s been featured in movies, Oprah swears by it, and its known as one of the most expensive drinks in the world.     What is it?  

 Well, it’s called Kopi Luwak and it might surprise you as to how it is made.

Bali culture and customs

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Kopi is the Indonesian word for coffee, and Luwak is a small marsupial also known as the paradoxurus or Asian Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus). They only live on the islands of Sumatra, Java and Sulawesi in Indonesia. The Luwak is a small tree-dwelling animal that climbs among the coffee trees eating only the ripest, reddest coffee cherries. They then digest and eventually excrete the bean. The proteolytic enzymes in the cat-like animals' stomachs adds a unique flavor through fermentation during the digestion process.  Locals then collect the “processed” bean.  It is then washed, sun dried, lightly roasted and then brewed to yield an aromatic coffee with very little bitterness.Bali tours and villas can show you the best of Bali


 Kopi Luwak is the most expensive coffee in the world.  It sells for $100 to $700 a pound and special varieties have sold for over $3000 a pound!  It can also be purchased by the cup for up to $50.  Not to worry as Balifornian Tours can take you to authentic locations selling some of the highest quality Kopi Luwak found in the islands for a much lower price (around $4-$6 a cup)

 

Bali Villas and Tours is the best option to see the most of Bali and its culture

And here is what it looks like in its 'raw' form. Are you brave enough to try??

 


Copyright © 2010 Mikaku ~ Michael Doliveck

Come see the real Bali and stay in our Villas

It's really not that bad and you will come away with a great story from your travels to Bali.  Let us know what you think.

From all of us at Balifornian Villas, Tours and Travel Blog, we wish you happy travels and happy drinking too! Salamat Jalan dan Salamat Minum!!

 

Thursday
Apr072011

The Real Home of the Boogie Man (photo) 

In Southeast Asia the term is commonly used to refer to the ethnic group The Bugis and Buganese pirates, who were (and to some extent, still are) ruthless seafarers from the Indonesian island of Sulawesi (formerly known as Celebes).


 

Sulawesi is the home of the age old frightening myth of the "boogie man" propagated in the 15th century by the English to promote negative views of their rivals, the Buginese, who battled the marauding English, Dutch and other Europeans who were trying to obtain strategic control of the lucrative spice trade. In colonial times, cloves for example, coveted by dentists for their anesthetic properties, were more expensive than gold. The cloves only grew on the small ‘spice islands' of Sulawesi. This was also home to many other spices that were desirable the world over.

Sulawesi and its incredible funerary practices in Tana Toraja is the subject of an upcoming Balifornian documentary. 

Photo Copyright 2010 Balifornian Tours and Travel Blog ~ Michael Doliveck

Our Adventure Photo Safaris ~ Are you a photographer or just love to take pictures?  Contact us to find out about our special tours for photographers.  Take a look at the images in the gallery, as they are good examples of the types of images you will be able to create on our tours.  The tours are led by Michael, a professor of art and photography as well as some very special guest teachers and pro photographers.  Contact us at photo@balifornian.com today for more information.

Do you have some great images from your Indonesian travels you would like to share? Want to submit your photo for the Balifornian Tour and Travel Blog Photo of the Day?  Please send your JPEG, location and description to photo@balifornian.com  Files must be under 500 kb.

Happy travels! Salamat Jalan!

Michael and Maryam ~
 

Balifornian Tours and Travel Blog ~ You're best source for news and information on Bali and Indonesia.

Thursday
Apr072011

Arak, Tuak and a Torajan Elder ~ Balifornian Tours and Travel Blog

This happy gentleman is an elder from Tana Toraja.  We had a brief chat with him over a few glasses of tuak. Tuak is similar to arak (Balinese arak made with coconut palm flower, not the Turkish and Iranian national drink).  It can be a powerful alcoholic beverage made of fermented rice, sugar and yeast. Quality or well brewed tuak can be 50% alcohol.  It is commonly shared and drank at Torajan funerals, festivals, weddings, hosting of guests and other special occasions.  Both tuak and arak are more than just recreational or celebratory drinks.  They are also used as a base for medicine Balians (Balinese healers) will commonly use the arak base and add roots, herbs, and other organic materials and use it both internally and externally to cure a variety of maladies. It is said to provide more than simple intoxication and can lead to visions, messages in dreams and even hallucinations.  Authentic high quality tuak and arak are hard to find and are sometimes completely fake and can even be poisonous.  Unfortunately, reports of death from fake arak are not uncommon.  Perhaps illogically the real arak and tuak can be found at warungs (small roadside stands where you can see them making it) vs. liquor stores where the product can be very weak or even cut with harmful chemicals and liquids.

Please note: Beware when purchasing any arak, tuak or any 'homemade liquors' while traveling.  Balifornian Tours can help you source real arak and tuak.  We do not make, manufacture or gain profit from this, we just want you to travel safely.


Copyright © 2010 Balifornian Tours and Travel Blog ~ Michael Doliveck

 

For more on tuak, arak and Toraja, Sulawesi and its incredible funerary practices, keep an eye out for the upcoming Balifornian Films documentary.

Our Adventure Photo Safaris ~ Are you a photographer or just love to take pictures?  Contact us to find out about our special tours for photographers.  Take a look at the images in the gallery, as they are good examples of the types of images you will be able to create on our tours.  The tours are led by Michael, a professor of art and photography as well as some very special guest teachers and pro photographers.  Contact us atphoto@balifornian.com today for more information.

Do you have some great images from your Indonesian travels you would like to share? Want to submit your fantastic photo for the Balifornian Tour and Travel Blog Photo of the Day?  Please send your JPEG, location and description to photo@balifornian.com  Files must be under 500 kb.

Happy travels! Salamat Jalan!

Michael and Maryam ~

Balifornian Tours and Travel Blog ~ The best website for news and information on Bali and Indonesia.

Thursday
Apr072011

Borobudur Temple- Your Definitive Guide (photos)

Borobudur is the largest and widely hailed as one of the greatest Buddhist monuments in the world.  The colossal temple, composed of 55,000 square meters of lava-rock is erected on a hill  in Muntilan, Magelang, and is about 42 km from Yogyakarta city in Central Java, Indonesia.

Amazing Bali and Indonesia- Temples culture lodging and more



This massive structure was built between AD 700 and  AD 850, (over 300 years prior to Cambodia's Angkor Wat, and more than 400 years before any of the great European cathedrals).  The monument comprises of a stepped-pyramid of six rectangular stories topped by three circular terraces, and a central stupacrowning this incredible architectural achievement on par with the great pyramids of Egypt.  The entire structure is in the form of a lotus, the sacred flower of The Buddha.

 

Temples in Bali and Indonesia- religion tradition and culture



The Temple is adorned with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha sculptures.  A huge main dome, located at the very center of the top most platform, is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues seated inside perforated stupas.  Each of these Buddhas are performing a mudra or hand gesture indicating one of the five directions.  East, with the mudra of calling the earth to witness.  South, with the hand position of blessing.  West, with the gesture of meditation and north, the mudra of fearlessness.  And finally, the centre with the teaching gesture.  The name Borobudur is believed to be derived from the Sanskrit words 'vihara', 'Buddha' and  'uhr', which loosely translates as 'the Buddhist monastery on the hill'.

 

Beautiful temple in Indonesia and Bali

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Borobudur is Indonesia's single most visited tourist attraction and  is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  But fear not as Balifornian Tours can get you there at times when you will not be inundated with tourists.  This is a "no miss" site on any Indonesian tour and we can help you get there with the least hassle possible and get you to all the secret spots while explaining this heroic achievement of human vision that others might miss.

 

Bali temples tours and accommodation in luxury villas



Borobudur is included in Balifornian's Eco-Tour, Adventure Tour and The Photographer's Photo Safari.  Contact us today for details. m@balifornian.com

 

culture and religion tours of Bali and Indonesia



For more images of Borobudur please see our gallery.

 

Balifornian Tours and Travel Blog ~ The best Bali website.

 

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