Nostalgic food from all over

Random food and beverages from my several homes. Growing up in parts of India, you often come across the Jamun tree. The fruit has a purple bitter sweet flesh. This drink from India tries to capture the flavour for urban people who miss jamun picking. Next is a popular rice cake from Hanoi, North Vietnam (thanks to childhood friend Trang for getting it for me). This cake is made by a family business in the Hang Than Street - that had many similar rice cake shops. Nguyen means origin, and Ninh is derived from the name of the hometown (Yen Ninh) of the original owner of the cake shop. Last is a well being/health drink from Indonesia, contains honey and several herbs. You can buy these sachets from convenience stores or small shops across Indonesia.

Indonesia Visa on Arrival for Indians and others

Indonesia is another of my favourite destinations that allows for inexpensive living and interesting places to visit.

The world in her eyes

Starting late 2015, Indonesia has started offering visa free entry for tourists. Just land at an international airport and at the immigration counter mention that you are on vacation. They will stamp the Visa Exemption stamp on your passport at your entry. It is valid for 30 days. 

For people going on business, you still have to get a paid visa which is available at a counter near the immigration. 

Information design for a hostel or hotel website

You know, it is easy to get the simple things wrong. You see so many hotels and hostel website with so little information on how to get there, what is around and general information for the traveler. It is a such a joy to see some one get it right. I was looking to find a place to stay in Jakarta and I found the Six Degrees Hostel. I was impressed by their website at http://jakarta-backpackers-hostel.com/.

Here is a screen shot of the page that offers directions to the hotel. I like the way they have a downloadable PDF that one can print. The PDF file has instructions in local language for the taxi. http://jakarta-backpackers-hostel.com/getting

Here is another page with information for travellers. I like the part where they discuss things to see and do in the neighbourhood.

http://jakarta-backpackers-hostel.com/useful_info

Besides the website, the Six Degrees is a pleasant and affordable place to stay. There is a also a public swimming pool next doors.

I spent some time at the Bokoel Koffie near this hostel. This neighbourhood has convinced me to move my secret hiding place from Saigon to Jakarta. The other reason being that Indonesian visa takes only half a page compared to Vietnamese visa  reducing my passport renewal trips.

Archaeological Find??

The island of Java , with its location was a melting pot of many influences. The old Javanese scripts were based on some of the south Indian scripts. You can immediately spot the curving characters similar to modern day Burmese, Khmer, Laotian, Thai and the extinct Cham script. I was surprised to find a statue inscribed in Devnagri script. Devnagri is used to write some languages like Hindi. I can read the words but I don’t know the meanings. I suspect it is Sanskrit. I am still investigating.


the statue with the inscription in devnagri script.

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I was actually able to read this. it spells “yankuran”.

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this reads “dvalyu”

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“kuti”