After visiting Borobudur Temple and Mendut, we wanted to see a little more of Central Java. I was particularly interested in seeing tofu production and the making of batik. Our hotel, Amata Borobudur Resort, suggested a horse-drawn carriage (an-dong) tour, but that sounded way too touristy to me…and I wanted to be able to return to the refuge of air conditioning periodically! My desire for creature comforts turned out to be the ticket to a really interesting day since a car allowed us to roam far afield and our driver wasn’t limited to the tourist “craft village” favored by the an-dongs.
The drive from Ubud was about 3.5 hours and we paid 600,000 rupiah for a driver who took us by a luwak coffee plantation and the Jatiluwih rice terraces. The driver was arranged through our Ubud hotel, Sri Ratih Cottages. Luwak coffee is touted as “the most expensive coffee in the world. “Luwak” is the local name for the palm civet, a raccoon-like animal that likes to eat coffee beans. Beans processed through the digestive system of a luwak are the basis of luwak coffee. That’s right, they collect civet poop to get the “specially treated” beans that are then roasted to make luwak coffee. You’ve got to wonder who first thought they’d give that a try!