Tuesday, June 17, 2014

phinisi in makassar, south sulawesi

The phinisi, a traditional two-masted sailing ship, is a wholly Bugis invention. The only place to view these ships in Makassar is at Pelabuhan Paotere.

There is a fee to enter Paotere harbour, which I can't remember, primarily because our uncle paid for us. But it was in the region of Rp 5,000 (AU$0.50) per person.

Uncle explained to us that in the olden days these wooden ships were powered solely by wind, but these days they are modernised with the help of motors. Phinisis are mainly used to transport cargo from Sulawesi to its neighbouring islands. Due to its lighter weight, in comparison to steel-constructed ships, they are able to sail in shallower waters that steel ships aren't be able to access.

The sun that day was unbelievably fierce and the air humid. My skin was crackling like a pig being spit-roasted. We didn't spend too much time looking around before deciding to quench our thirst.

There are many street-side vendors selling kelapa muda -- young coconut juice -- near the harbour, but uncle took us 15 minutes away from the hustle and bustle towards the vendors at Jalan Nusantara.

He ordered for us a coconut each. The vendor cut the tops off our coconuts and served them to us. We slurped their juices and cooled ourselves with the breeze that rustled the leaves of the trees lining the streets. When the juices had all gone into our bellies, the vendor cut the coconuts cleanly in halves so we can leisurely scrape their translucent young flesh.

Coconuts in Indonesia are somewhat different to the ones I usually get in Australia, which came from Thailand. Thai young coconut juice has a sweeter taste, whereas these ones are more like those sugarless electrolyte drinks with a mild salty aftertaste.

Kelapa muda vendors
Jalan Nusantara
location on google maps

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