Forget fridge magnets, learn how to roll smokes as a souvenir in Indonesia


A farmer tends his crops in a Central Java field. Source: Sebastian Staines / Unsplash

FRIDGE magnets, sand in a jar and destination T-shirts are among the top vacation souvenirs brought back by holiday-goers who want to make their memories last.

Because nothing says, “We had so much fun!” like colored sand in a bottle shaped like the country you just visited, right? Wrong.

And Temanggung regency in Central Java, Indonesia have already figured this out as they’re switching up conventional vacation offerings with local crafts and tastes such as the art of hand-rolling cigarettes and field-to-cup coffee.

Woro Andijani, head of the Temanggung Culture and Tourism Agency, said to Antara on Wednesday that tobacco and coffee were the town’s main products.

So, what better way to make a trip memorable for visitors than by teaching them about the local hallmark produce, learning the art of hand-rolling cigarettes, even if you don’t smoke, and tasting some of Indonesia’s, if not Asia’s, finest coffee.

“Rolling up tobacco in cigarettes is unique and can be considered a cultural attraction. Drinking coffee collectively is already something common here, and the same can be expected for hand-rolled cigarettes,” Woro added.

Just as New York welcomes visitors with fresh coffee and hot dog stalls, London has tea and bipolar weather, and Beijing has smog and spicy hotpots, Temanggung wants to establish a trademark familiarity with visitors.

Woro added that she hopes to see coffee shops developing on to main roads and all over town.

While learning a new skill such as hand-rolling smokes is fun, Temmanggung also has plenty of natural beauty and amusements to offer.

Set just back from the coast, Temmanggung boasts beautiful ocean views from the incredible mountain tops of Posong and Mount Sumbing.

Take the kids for a family day out at the Pikatan Waterpark for a splash around.

Or take a stroll up to Sumber Mata Air Umbul Jumprit to see a tiny temple in a cave surrounded by water which is said to heal you.