South Sumatera Part 1 – Lubuklinggau to Pagaralam, South Sumatera
November 23, 2017 Indonesia

After early morning flight drama of mine (I almost missed the flight, Grab car not accepting credit card payment and nearly had my ATM card swallowed by the machine), I heaved a sigh when I arrived at the boarding gate just in time. From here, I continued the journey together with 6 other media influencers to discover the beauty of South Sumatera. 

Malaysia meets Singapore in Indonesia

 1) Hasif (MY) from 2) Aqashah (MY) from 3) Dik Bee (MY) from 4) Onie (MY) from  5) Hannah (SG) from 6) Jeremy (SG) from @g0ldeng0h

To give you an overview of our media trip in conjunction with International Musi Triboatton 2017, I took the pain to prepare a customized map. Effort rupanya customized map ni.

Day 1 – Lubuklinggau to Pagaralam

It was my first flight with Nam Air. Quite a new plane with friendly flight crew.

On board the Nam Air flight from Jakarta to Lubuklinggau, the lush green fields spread beneath. The green earth in many hues dotted with houses and alleys. 

It’s okay if you have not heard of Lubuklinggau. I myself had only learnt of it from my recent trip. Lubuklinggau is situated in between Palembang and Bengkulu and the small town in the South Sumatera is accessible by flight travel through Silampari Airport.

Pagaralam Government Tourism Office greeted us ceremoniously by giving ‘tanjak’ to the men and ‘selendang’ to the women. ‘Tanjak‘ is a traditional Malay headgear, normally made from a ‘songket’ cloth folded and tied in a triangular style. It symbolizes the status of the wearer in the social hierarchy. Meanwhile ‘selendang‘ is a piece of clothes normally worn as a headgear by the ladies. It took us awhile to finish the photo op with our traditional welcoming gifts. The men looked like Malay warriors from the past.

And the boys were all smiling, proud of their tanjak.

Gubug Makan Mang Engking, Lubuklinggau

Not long, we took up the seats inside the Hiace coaster bus for lunch at Gubug Makan Mang Engking, Lubuklinggau. At the heart of the unique restaurant is the fish pond which is surrounded by gazebos with thatched roofs. It is a perfect family dining when the weather is good just like the day we dined in. Although our lunch was served indoor at the VIP room, we got to enjoy drinking coffee at the gazebo while enjoying the tranquil view of Gubug Makan Mang Engking.

The main food served at Gubug Makan Mang Engking, Lubuklinggau is the freshwater fishes such as gurami or tilapia and prawns. The type of food served is traditional Sundanese food as Gubug Makan Mang Engking is yet another branch of the popular Gubug Makan Mang Engking originally from Java.

I loved the grilled prawns and the vegetable salad. It looked and tasted like gado-gado, but called by different name. The grilled fishes were tender and sweet meanwhile the tilapia cooked with the sweet was as good. Only the fried chicken was too hard to bite. Other than that, I was fed well. Not to mention the mandarin orange juice that tasted refreshing. When you order a fresh orange juice in Indonesia, chances are you might be getting a mandarin orange juice freshly squeezed from the mandarin oranges. You can find them on the local menus as ‘es jeruk murni’.

After finishing the food, we retreated to the gazebos to enjoy the view while sipping the drinks. I ordered the most interesting drink that goes by the name of ‘Es Kopi Jasuke’. It can be translated to iced coffee with a taste of ginger, milk and cheese (Ja(he),Su(su),Ke(ju)).

There is also a chance of removing your dead skins by dipping your feet in the fish pond. Dip your feet at your own laughter. It took a while before I could join in the laughter by my fellow trip makers as the fishes bit my feet giving away the tickling sensation.

Location: Jl. Jend. Sudirman, Siring Agung, Lubuklinggau Sel. 11, Kota Lubuklinggau (GPS: 3°15’24.6″S 102°55’37.2″E)

We spent quite a considerable time eating and doing the DIY fish spa at Gubug Makan Mang Engking. We left for Pagaralam at 4pm through treacherous roads with potholes here and there. It was as though we were driving through the Sumateran rainforest, even the network connection get disconnected. Villages were few and far between. Since it got dark pretty early in South Sumatera as compared to Kuala Lumpur, you can imagine how dark it was with little road lights. The best part of the journey was that we were escorted by a police car who turned on siren until we reached our hotel in Pagaralam.

The trip to South Sumatera was made possible by the invitation of Ministry of Tourism Indonesia in conjunction with International Mussi Triboatton from 8 – 12 November 2017. Thank you for the wonderful experience.

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