Discover Indonesia's Food and Culture in 360

Makassar| Medan | Jakarta

Food and Culture

Gastronomy and unique culture are increasingly important drivers of tourism. Indonesia is well known for culinary favourites such as nasi goreng, rendang and gado gado. It is equally well-known for the many and varied unique cultural experiences such as the gamelan orchestra and wayang shadow puppet performances.

‘Indonesia' is a singular term that names a particular nation, but there's nothing uniform about its culture. There are at least 300 ethnic groups in Indonesia, each with their own set of customs and distinctive cultural objects

Impact Adventures is developing tours to remote corners of Indonesia that highlight some of the lesser-known unique food and culture experiences.

The highlands of Attambua, East Nusa Tenggara

Atambua sits on the border of Indonesia and Timor Leste in East Nusa Tenggara. This tour of the Belu Regency hinterland takes you through cactus plantations in the savanna to an ancient fort in the highlands and a hidden paradise: the Mauhalek Waterfall.

The ancient Ranu Hitu Fort was built with coral rubble, neatly arranged by workers in ancient times and contains the tombs of ancient kings and also features cannons from Portugese colonial settlers.

The Mauhalek Waterfall is often referred to as 'heavenly waterfall' and has an almost fairytale appearance. As the falls hit the rocky surface, a wide cascade forms, a stunning site that is popular with landscape photographers. The falls are around 300km from Kupang.

Coto Makassar and the food culture of South Sulawesi

This tour takes in the unique culture of Makassar in South Sulawesi, including one the most significant of this historical sea-faring community: Phinisi boats. Phinisi craftsmanship is inherited from the Konjo tribe in South Sulawesi and is recognised by UNESCO as a masterpiece of oral and intangible human heritage.

Makassar is also famous for its culinary delights, including the regional variant on ‘soto’, a spiced soup that can be found throughout Indonesia. The main ingredient of Coto Makassar is beef, a thick broth usually served with coconut rice cakes wrapped in banana leaves. The tour also includes a visit to hawker-style food courts to sample ‘sarabba’, spiced ginger juice mix.

The Heart of Batak Culture: Samosir, North Sumatra

Samosir Island is a volcanic island in the middle of Lake Toba, North Sumatra. It is the heart of the Toba Batak culture. On this tour you will explore this unique island and visit Mount Pusuk Buhit, considered sacred to the local Batak people and a site of significance for Batak pilgrims.

Guests on this tour will also be invited to take part in a traditional Batak dance called a Tor-tor, alongside a puppet show and gondang orchestra.

Soto Medan in the Berastagi Highlands, North Sumatra

Each region of Indonesia has its own version of soto, and in the region of Berastagi in the Karo highlands the seasoned broth has a mixture of fresh coconut milk and spices including coriander, cardamom, ginger and galangal – and your choice of chicken, beef or prawns. This tour also takes in Pariban Hot Springs in Sidebuk Debuk Village, in the foothills of Mount Sibayak.

Indonesia for your Culinary Journey Bucket list

When visiting Indonesia's lesser-known destinations, we will find many interesting culinary stories. East Nusa Tenggara province is no exception. Here, we can find traditional plate sugar making just 5 minutes from the capital city of Kupang.

Processed from the sap collected from the Palmyra trees that grow in abundance on the beach near the popular tourist area of Batu Nona, the sap is then processed and cooked until thickened and bound using dried palm leaves.

Be sure to watch this in full on the Culinary Virtual Tour section on our webpage

Discover Indonesia's Food and Culture in 360

Makassar| Medan | Jakarta

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