Sunday, August 9, 2015

Equator Monument (Tugu Khatulistiwa), Kelok 9 & Bandrek, Sumatera

I never paid much attention to any Equator Monument, and the only one that I knew existed was the one in Quito, Ecuador. The rest? Am not aware and least bothered.

Now, everything changed.

Equator Ball/Monument in Kota Alam - Sumatera.

During this trip where we traveled overland from Pekan Baru to Padang in Sumatera, Indonesia, I was being educated about Equator Monument when we chanced upon it at Kota Alam in Kabupaten Limapuluh Kota. This is when I learnt (sure ramai tak tau nih) that there are a few Equator Monument in Indonesia and the most popular monument is located in Pontianak, it being the only city the in the world  that sits right on the Equator Line, hence also known as Equator City, and that it is the largest city on the Earth's longest invisible line, the Equator. Amazing right.

I was being educated further as I start blogging on this, Indonesia herself have six (6) Equator Monument that is easily accessible and I was lucky to set foot on one of it *blushing*. Ada quest baru ler lepas nih, keh keh keh…
  • Equator Monument in Pontianak - Kalimantan
  • Equator Monument in Santan Ulu, Bontang - Kalimantan
  • Equator Ball/Monument in Kota Alam - Sumatera
  • Equator Arch & Equator Park in Bonjol - Sumatera
  • Equator Monument in Kabupaten Pelalawan - Sumatera
  • Equator Monument in Parigi Moutong - Sulawesi

I find it fascinating that Indonesia champions the most Equator Monument on this imaginary Equator line, separating the earth's northern from the southern hemisphere.

The new Kelok 9 Overpass.

Kelok 9's old road.

After being intrigued with this, we later lepak at Kelok Sembilan (9) while having a sip of local juice and grilled corn, enroute highway Lintas Sumbar - Riau. Imam explained to us that this overpass is newly built replacing the old winding road. Now it is a popular place where the locals lepak and enjoy the view (trucks passing by). Kelok 9 (old road) links West Sumatra to Riau province built between 1908-1914 by the Dutch and the new Kelok overpass, which is made up of 6 bridges was completed in 10 years.

Farah from That's So Farah in orange.

Ed Junaidi from Gaya Travel.

As usual, we wanted to try every food and this includes the famous Bandrek, not knowing what type of drink it is, I agreed on having Bandrek special that we had at Bandrek House. Bandrek House is located right after Kelok 9, with Bukit Sanggu at one side and Bukit Barisan on the other. It was majestic and cooling, something that I never expected before. Ok, I bet you are curious on this Bandrek thingy, so was I? Hahhahahhaaa… below is what I found on Bandrek.


Bandrek is a traditional hot, sweet and spicy beverage native to Sundanese of West Java, Indonesia. The Sundanese people who live in the cool, highlands consume bandrek to warm themselves at night and during cold weather.

This hot beverage is made of a mixture of jahe (ginger) essence, gula merah (palm sugar) and kayu manis (cinnamon). Other ingredients such as, star anise, cloves, coriander seeds, cardamom pods, lemongrass, and sometimes a small amount of black pepper maybe added. Milk can be added or not, depending on one’s taste. Sweetened condensed milk or coconut milk is commonly used (even durian [what?!?]).

It is believed that bandrek has a healing effect on minor health problems, such as sore throat.

Source : Wikipedia

Not sure whether you read the above but the drink contains a mixture of “ginger, palm sugar, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, coriander seeds, cardamom pods, lemongrass, and sometimes a small amount of black pepper”, which made me wonder, is this a drink or food (musykil hokkay!!??!?!?!) and I know you will be wondering how the taste is? By the way, they have a version with egg and coconut milk of which I surrendered drinking! Ok ok ok… the taste right? Curious on the taste heh! It was….. yucky! Not to my liking. It is definitely a taste to acquire. And I did not acquire it. Not. One. Bit. Bluek.

What was I thinking, right?

Bukit Barisan. 

This was just the beginning of our journey… more stories to come *smile*.

Few entries on this trip blogged :

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