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Posts tagged “travel

Show must go on in Luzon (Phils)

Eversince i read the Naked Traveller, a book by Trinity, i always wanted to go to Philippine. This country which looks mostly like Indonesia somehow attracts me. Trinity described Philippine as a casual country, with several magnificent old buildings and historical area, and not to forget mentioning its beautiful beach and resort. Philippine consists of several islands, and to get to another one, we should use a plane. But then due to our limited leave from work, we decided to just explore Luzon, the largest island in Philippine.

From south to north, there are beaches. But aside from that, there also many beautiful old areas with wonderful buildings like church, museum, and fort. There is this area that we visit on our first day in Manila called Intramuros an integrated area of old Manila and favorite tourist spot. Name it; Santiago Fort, Nasional Museum of Manila, the oldest church St Agustin, Manila Cathedral etc.

One thing that impress me, the people here are so friendly and good for its hospitality. They can speak English, a good one, and some are mix up with Tag Lish (Tagalog – English). But somehow, they often mistaken us as one of them if we forgot to mention that we are from Indonesia.

Anyhow, soon that night me and my friend took a bus head north. The city named Pagudbud in area of Ilocos Norte, which famous for its beach and nature based tourist spots. There is a law here for littering. It is hardly stated that anybody who litter should pay huge amount of fine. Its vary depends on where the location is. Just like Phuket, Thailand, this place hang on their tourism as their prime income source. Just said Vigan old city, Batad in Baguio which is famous for its UNESCO heritage site, a far ranging rice terrace built in during 2000 years!

Luckily we were offered a tour by a tricycle driver named Mr. Ferdinand.For southbound and northbound tours, visiting around 10 places, we should pay 1000 peso for two (20 dollars). Its quite cheap, but we should pay for the entrance fee by ourselves ranging from 20 to 100 peso per people. It was drizzle that morning. We decided to have a breakfast near the bus station but then we got tricked! Actually, seems like not all Filipino was as great as i described before. Just be careful in paying something with no stated price, and always try to bargain for anything. I mean it!

When the rain almost stop, we started our journey. First, the Bangui windmills. The windmills really is big and super giant and its located next to the shore. Compared to my self i felt like an ant really! The sand is not so good, its brown with steep shore. After buying some unique souvenir to bring home, with a good after bargain price, we continued to Cafe Bojeador lighthouse. The lighthouse is not as tall as the one i saw in Belitong, Indonesia, but it still quite magnificent with its dramatic view to the sea. It is located up of the hill but the road was bad, it was in process of renovation.

In the northbound tour its much of a conservation area and beaches. There are Kabigan waterfalls which needs 2 km hiking to reach, and Patapat viaduct, that looks like a sea side road pass with super amazing view. I like the water, its so blue, as also with the clear sky and very bright sunshine. My friend even cover his head with his jackets. Come on, i am the girl anyway.There is also a picnic park named Agua Grande. But it was off season but this place really is pretty. Only two of us there with our driver, and the owner come in the next minutes. We paid 50 peso each to get in. This place is a private places as they claimed, but i am not really sure about that. We also visited another places named Paraiso ni Anton, Timmangtang Rock, Bantay Abot Cave, and see Dos Hermanos Island from the sea side along our way.

We stop finally at Blue sea lagoon beach which so much looks like Nusa Dua in Bali Indonesia. Some area belong to a resort named Hannah’s and the other are free for public. The weather still is hot and heat our head so much but i do love it. Sitting at the beach playing sands on my feet, and then tried to catch the waves while it hit the shores. And there are some fisherman who just come back from the sea. I tried to talked to them but they did not understand English, so yes, i just captured their after fishing activity.

We take another night bus head back to Manila that night. It safe our hostel cost. Next morning, without taking a bath (Opss), we just clean up and change at the nearest Mc Donalds. We get some hot coffee and pancakes and then get ready to explore the south of Manila, Tagaytay. Tagaytay is like Puncak, Bogor in Indonesia which is famous for the cool weather and fantastic view. Many old buildings and memorial thingy lied down here, there also some graves of important hero of Philippine, but beside that, there is this famous smallest active volcano in the middle of a lake which named Taal Volcano.

To reach this small mountain, we need a boat. We can share it with other groups but actually the boat only capable of 4 to 6 people. We rent it for three of us for 1.400 peso. To reach the boat, you need a tricycle or jeepney, and then to reach the crater from the boat harbour, you just need another transportation, say it, a horse! But i did read some review regarding this, and they so not recommended tourists to ride the horse because of its steep road, aside from the abnormal fare around 500 peso per horse per person. We take the walk for 40 minutes and pay permit 50 peso per person and another guide fare for 500 peso per guide. We walked for 40 minutes and then, when we reach the top of the mountain, seeing by ourselves the magnificent scenery of the crater which still eject some sulfur and smokey down there, all the tiredness is just fade away. And then when we turned back, what we saw was something more fascinating. The calm lake with tagaytay city as the background, and another non active mountain on our left. So great! Even though when we get down to our boat again the rain just started to pour, its just fine. We enjoy it!

There was one experience that is new to me in this journey. We did couched or hosted by a real Filipino. One of my friend sent couch request to one of Couch Surfing member in Philippine weeks before we touch down in Manila. And then, with her kindness, she allowed another two of us to join and stay that one night. We talked and shared experience. She has been to 17 countries -i envy her so much. We talked more about places we have visited and the places we would love to explore. She made us breakfast and that whole experiences just started a new friendship  between us. She said we should visit el nino in Puerto Princessa, another part of Philippine. Well, may be next time Brenda! 🙂

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Get Lost in Singapore

Never been here, knowing nothing about this place, and get no maps! Perfect!

I arrived at Changi airport in Singapore at 9am. Early morning, yes, and i have no breakfast yet. First things to do, i need to get into the sky train in Terminal 2. I asked the airport staff for direction but seems like they are not as friendly as i expected. Then like an idiot i just say thanks and walked back while looking at the signs because i didn’t understand what she said in sing-lish (singapore english) style.

After getting off from the sky train, i get on MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) to reach the city. People can buy single trip ticket or one day pass for the MRT. In my mind, i really wanna go wild. I tried to buy a single trip ticket, read the instruction in the machine, and thadaa i went blind. I Really have no idea about how to get the tickets. I tried to but its just get more confusing when some people line up behind my back. I cancelled it out, gave up and bough the one day ticket for $10 from the counter :)).

The MRT change route at Tanah Merah interchange. If want to go to the city, i have to be in the MRT to Joo Koon station or the green line. Again, the complete and clear signs everywhere in Singapore really helped me out. I drop off at city hall station and ready to explore! But again, thadaa.. i felt blank! i really did. I just have no idea which way to walk to reach Raffles Hotel where i planned to start my city walking tour. An old man pointed my confuseness and help me.

I decided to enjoy the architecture of an old church near city hall MRT station first. Its hot, almost mid day and i was hungry, so i should be hurry and find some restaurant or cafe. A lot of retail store and department store in Singapore. Some are integrated with a hotel. I dont know, may be they notice that most of tourists in Singapore are shoper. While walking, i found a very tall monument which was built in 1942 to remember the victims of Japanese invasion.  A little walk and then i found suntec city mall where i saw the largest water fountain in South East Asia (they said so). The show started at 8pm so i just skip it since i had schedule for song of the sea at 7.40pm already.

Next is Promenande. I dont know what kind of place is that, i just should arrive there and find Singapore flyer, the giant wheel to see the whole city from above. I should find someone to ask *again*. Well, lately i know that promenade is like a sea side, where people can walk or jog or just enjoy the view. And i am so much love that kind of place. Forgetting my itinerary, forgetting the time, i just sit down and enjoy the wind. So much relieved!

Its quite an effort to find the Singapore Flyer. Really! I asked some policeman and they even did not know about it. I am not sure, may be they just did not speak english or anything, but yeah, it took a long walk for me to get there. Once i was about to give up, thadaa.. i can see it. Far away, i can see the giant wheel, next to the lovely shape of Marina Bay hotel which looks like a plane put at the top of three giant sticks.

People should not stay at that hotel to enjoy that view.They can just buy a drink and enjoy the rooftop. But seems like to swim there would be quite an experience anyway.

I get in the giant wheel with a western couple, an Indian family, and one Indonesian fams. Well, from above, anything looks so tiny and i can see the Merlion! Thats my next destination anyway. Next to it is Esplanade which looks like a giant durian. Its originally a theater hall. From above, Singapore looks so tiny and crowded.

I felt so relieved when i saw the Merlion statue in front of me. It is the symbol of Singapore, and the renovation is done. There is a recommended ice cream stall near the stairs to Merlion statue. Its yummy, and only one buck!

And next stop, is the shopping center, Orchard Road. This month is the season of Singapore great sale. But in my point of view, its not very much a super sale. The discount mostly less than 50%.Some stuff that i like even sold in normal price :(.

I should find the MRT again to get to Musthofa center, or little india, to pray.  I read on the map that there are some mosque in that location. Musthofa center is the nearest one. But to be at the station near Merlion, it really was another effort. A very long walk and i am tired already. There also several bus to reach that place but to wait for the right bus would kill more time i had less.

Getting off in Farrer Park station and then a little walk to Musthofa Center, it felt like i am in India already. The atmosphere and the people, its all different. Singapore is like being thrown out into the outer space. I eat some Indian food here with more expensive price compared to what i had in Malaysia. But the taste quite good.

Suddenly i woken up by the fact that my Song of the Sea show start at 7.40pm. I thought its 8.40pm at first. Its 5pm already, i should catch the MRT to sentosa island soon and change my receipt for ticket. Finally i did late. Thanks to my premium ticket that i bought online, i can get in even the show already started and the door already closed. The story is about a fish named Oscar, the tiger fish who is helping the queen with his great voice. Together with his friend Oscar sing for the queen and kill the curse.

Around 9pm i can be relax, i wanted to eat but did not found the best place to hang. So i just headed to MRT station, going to Kranji Station where i can continue my journey to Malaysian territory. Well, a lot of bus available here, we can choose based on departure terminal and price. I got a good one. 30RM for bus with air conditioner, and i can stop at puduraya station in Kuala Lumpur. There was also another choice with direct bus from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, but its not available until late at night and its a little more expensive than the one from Johor Baru.

Yes this journey ends here, but there would be another one coming up soon 🙂


South Asia – INDIA

India is awesomely Incredible!!

Well, i mean it! Its totally not a lie. India really is incredible as far as i can say. Many unexpected things just happen in India. As a slum area stand tall behind modern metro with super fast train, and as countless homeless people all around the city. It was nice, it was bad, it was disgusting, all were mixed up so that you can not predict anything to be. Cows could walk slowly in the middle of the road, a holy man sleep calmly near the platform. Another time a couple of squirrels might jump right in front of your face. India is where you can saw peacocks like seeing chicken in Indonesia. Indian people didnt eat pig, it was only for pauper who cant even work out some vegetables. Anywhere you can hear honk race against another. The rickshaw driver speed up his auto to catch nearest tourist. The people smile friendly saying namaste and eat capati with their hand and drink Chai, Indian tea with milk and spices. And your choice here, to be non veg, or vegetarian!

Agra: Taj Mahal

Its around 47 degrees. A giant area with big white mausoleum, mosque, guest houses, super large garden, and perfected by yamuna river as the back border. This mausoleum was built by Shah Jahan, the mughal emperor in the late 16 century of India. He built it for his lovely pretty third wife who died while giving birth to their 14th child. The whole mausoleum decorated with precious Persian marbles with Lotus design topped by a gilded finial. Exterior decoration was full of beautiful calligraphy of Ya Sin and another Surah from Al Quran. The gorgeous of Taj Mahal, been described in words by the King:

…Should a sinner make his way to this mansion,
All his past sins are to be washed away.
The sight of this mansion creates sorrowing sighs;
And the sun and the moon shed tears from their eyes…

The entry tickets for tourist are ridiculous, 750rs compared to 20rs for local. No wonder the entry queue  is so long. Security do baggage and body check. And  inside, wow, its no market, No?

Inside the mausoleum, its clear white. The Persian marble looks so precious, with black, red and orange gemstone which were cut and designed to make sun motif in octagonal entry. In the first level, it was the duplicate of the original graves that lied underneath.

Jaipur

In this place, we got a chance to see the real slum area of India. Its not as disgusting as the movie Slumdog Millionare pictured you all -it was in Mumbai though- but this place, which named Bata Basti, also tell much about India at lower level. There is a small sand dunes behind the village and i bet you to guess what did we see. Hell to the No, its people bringing out a bottle of water, finding a place to squat down, and -i am sorry- they just poo! No boundary, no fence and absolutely no toilet. Its and open air area, for real!

We get into one of the house, which thanks God, much much more clean and tidy compared to another one. They served us Chai, and allowed us to get some pictures. Along the road, the other villager just did their routines, brushing their teeth in front of their house -no toilet noted-, another ladies just sit and talks with each other while give us curious look. A man walk down his bicycle behind some goat and cow that walk freely. And the kids, yeah, they ask us 1rs for any picture of them that we take -_-!

Jaipur is the pink city, the largest and capital city of state Rajasthan. In the old time, most of the building in the city were painted pink during a visit from Prince of Wales. Originally there were nine blocks, which consist of road and square. Now, after some restoration, renovation, and the growth of population, the pink fainted and mixed up with another colors. But, still, the old wonderful historical building is in pink, such as the Hawa Mahal, Rambagh Palace, Maharaja Palace etc.

Udaipur

I rewarded this city, as the most comfort city i ever been while in India. The people, the food, the weather, its all just perfect to stay long and relax. The city which also known famously as Lake city or White city has an extensive Palace near the Lake side with several enjoyable cafe and exclusive boat. This place looks like Legian Street in Bali, Indonesia. Lots of tourist choose to stay here since the city center is only that tiny place around City Palace.

City palace consist of Chandra Mahal and Mubarak Mahal. Chandra Mahal houses a museum which need another entry fee, and also royal resident which has limited access. To get into the City Palace Complex, we should pay 50rs each, and additional 200rs for camera *sigh. The palace is total BIG and LARGE. So sad that many people had suffer to built this incredible building back then in 17th century. Inside were crafting, painting, and also memorable item of the king and its army. And to be noted, up there at upper level, there is a garden. Yes, with a pool in the middle and several trees surround it. Classic!

Jaisalmer

This is the city of Desert.  A Far ranging desert lie in this golden city. Its pretty hot, for sure, as the weather can reach 50 degree or more. We run into a Camel Safari, paying around 1700rs or $34 for two days one night tour. Its including the food, the jeep, village tour, camel man, and unlimited water. For us, it also including a free room for the next day before we catch our late night train. The camel safari tour, for me, it felt like riding a horse, with a taller and bigger ride. My camel’s name is Radja, while the kid who was coming with it is Jalu. New things I just know about camel, they love be in the groups and they love each other. When one camel start eat, another will doing so. My camel start walking, the other will follow. Its so unique and its more fascinating when the camel start to run! You should hold tight and feel the bump under your butt.

When the sun goes down, it is no perfect sunset, but i did marked this as one of my precious moment. It felt like in mars, with unlimited landscape which was beamed by the red round sun. For few minutes, the sun looks perfect. Some misty cloud make it even beautiful. But soon later, the sky started to dark, some cloud swinging in, and then we finally  lost the sun behind cosmical line. Then, after having dinner with hot Chai, and a sand mixing capati -i can only swallow small piece of capati and then buried it under the sand-, the camel man suddenly said that tonight might going to rain. We all felt afraid since the wind almost sound like a storm already. They kindly bring us to move to their village, but we should not say any words to the tour agent about it. They worried if the tour agents will cut their fees which only 1000rs A MONTH . Its even less than the amount we paid for one person per visit!

We went on night camel safari, and experience what we appreciate the most, riding camel, under the star, in full dark desert, and listened to some kind of desert musical instrument from the camel man phone. We arrived after one hour ride, and slept outside under a dry tree in front of their dome. I cant barely sleep. Its too dark and some weird bell keep ringing. In the morning, voila, we opened up our eyes and see the sun slowly rise, with the view of large sand dunes, camels, and donkeys, and the shrill voice of Jaisalmer kids.

And the bell i heard earlier was the tag of a cow! hushh!

We all touched by the kids here. Jaisalmer kids less money oriented compared to the one in the city. They ask us to play, and school pen, and never ask for money. Some also tell us about their school, whilst the other have no enough money to pay for the school. Since their childhood, they already asked to help their family, just like Jalu, by being a camel man.

Jodhpur

At my first glance, this city looks so terrible, messy, dirty and full of homeless people. It was because i first saw it on our way to Jaisalmer from Udaipur. It was so early in the morning and we pass through the wide road at the outer ring. Then when we come in, its much more, much more fantastic!

There is this location near the clock tower and the fort where lot of hotels, shop, and restaurants take places. We checked in to get some rest at noon and to get clean. The rooms rate quite cheap, the food taste more regular than what we had earlier in the desert. We got an offer to visit Bishnoi Village, a place outside the city where the people live peacefully with any living things. The people here famous for their self sacrifice while the government about to cut off their trees. They even embrace the city just like it was their family, to stop the clipper. They also love animal so much, killed not one life, eat only vegetables with wheat chapati. Here we can find peacocks and antelopes anywhere like some pet.

To honour the guests, Bishnoi people did a tradition here. They usually set an opium party while celebrating the event such us wedding and tourist visit. We only need to give him some money as compliments and he will prepare us some opium mixed in with a lot of mineral water. After three times filtering, he gave it first to his God, in the look of Goat and Dog miniature, and then he allowed us to drink some with our right hand. Well, it taste like a medicine when i lick my tongue on it. No effect and no sensation at all.

New Delhi

As the country capital city of India, we did expect more from this city. Aside from our very bad first impression when we arrived in India, we really expect another face of India here. New delhi is different slightly with Old delhi, and much different with its previous country capital, Mumbai. Some part of New delhi can be seen near Connaught Place and Presidential Palace or Rashtrapati Bhavan which was originally built for the Governor.Its very clean, well guarded, and tidier compared to another part of India. There is a giant gate in the middle of city with INDIA word on it. Its look like the one in Paris if you know it. And between this giant monument to Presidential Palace, stretch out a large and clean road, with a super large garden at both side, where the couple and raven could play along. I am again so amazed with the architect this country had in the past. The building looks so gorgeous from outside and i cant really imagine how it looked like from the inside. We also give a glance to Jamak Mosque, Red fort or Lal qila, and the square. All are amazing!

We stay long here. Two days and one night just in this city. we plan to visit Akshardham, the larget Hindu Temple in the world but we can not make it. We stay near Main bazaar in Paharganj where there are alot of  hostels, foods, restaurant and accessories shop. The bangle, the necklace, and ring, its all unique and totally cheap. I wonder if i can bring the whole shop back with me to my hometown ;p

There are many unforgettable memories about India. In Agra, groups of monkeys hastily opened up our bag and eat all snacks we had. In Jaipur, a lot of rickshaw driver forced us to use their service. In Jodphur we played and tried to catch some peacocks. . In the market at Udaipur, a seller force me to buy her bracelet. In New Delhi, we watch Transformer 3D in the cinema. The movie was great, the 3D effect was not so great, but what miraculously amazing is the break happened in the middle of the movie. They said, “take ur munchies break for 20 minutes” o.. o.. :))

In India, the woman work harder than men. Some poor women from outside village might seen doing hard labor work. Bringing up some brick with their head, hoeing a pole next to some pedestrian, or doing another hard worker things.

And behind all incredible things, lied down incredible journey with another four members of the team. We set up, we mingle, we laugh, we get mad, we exhausted, while keep protecting each other. Big hug from Indonesia!


Beautiful Phuket

Do you know that Phuket is just a little island attached to the main of Thailand? This little thing really looks like Bali in Indonesia. They have Patong Beach, we got Kuta Beach. They have Temples, we got Pura. Hemm what else?? Well, both of Thai people and Bali people cant speak English fluently 🙂

It was a short trip. Very short actually since i only had 2 days effective to explore Phuket as much as i could. At the first night we explore ‘night market’ near our hostel in Nanai Road. Its near Junceylon, the biggest supermal around Pathong, and also very close to Bangla Road, the one that famous enough for its crazy night and ladyboy show. We tried any food and drinks that looks unique, spent the night taking pictures and enjoying this new place with barely new people. In fact, a lot of Indonesian was there!

I took a tour to Raya Island or some people there called it Racha. It cost us 1300baht after a thorough bargain with the agent. So lucky we were there on early April, that we also got this promotion, a free two way ride from airport to our hostel, and surely a cheaper price than usual.

The tour start at 10am. We got a classy speed boat consist of 20 people from East Asia, Europe, America, and us. There was this one lady with age around 50 or 60 year old and still looks strong. She did sunbathing, walk on her own, and WOW, that amaze me. She must lived so healthy on her youth, and i really wanna be like that. Bye bye McDonalds!

It took about 2.5 hours from Chalong Beach to the Island. Our first stop is Coral island, where people usually do water sports. Its not so recomended for snorkling because we can see almost nothing. People can swim, but the wave quite strong and its better for us not to swim too far from the shore. After one hour, ,we continue the journey to the main island of Racha, its around Batok Bay, and we had seafood lunch plus tom yan (Thai specialty). A lot of marquise along the beach and also some canoes. Peoples, especially bule people, really enjoy it burning their white skin to make it tanned while in contrary, we run away from the sun and searching a shelter to sit in.

About the snorkling, honestly i was so disappointed.There is no pretty coral there as i expected. There are just many fish, too many actually, and with ordinary colour. No nemo! Way better Indonesia from any aspect. Name it, Belitong, Bira in thousand island, and many other place i never been yet. They got Nemo, unsting jellyfish, barakuda, colourful alive coral and also sea stars.

This all people around me, sure not yet ever been to Indonesia. They felt so excited already with JUST that view. Hey its lame, people! Don’t you have a taste? That fishes could not look good in the camera. Nor the coral!

In the mean time i can say quite the tour. It was a nice service back there. Thailand people know well how to treat tourists and they have anything to support the business. Ever since the Tsunami in 2004, they rebuilt the city. Many foreign investor coming in, just like the one who own our hostel, sea blue hotel, an American, and he did his best on it.

On the second night we decided to explore the supermall and finding some little thing as a gift for our family. In Thailand, we really need a strong bargain power. Not just in the traditional market, but also at the mall. Some shop provided fixed price off course, which i guess much better than the one who offered us random prices. They could offered us 300baht for goods which worth only 100baht.

Last day, its time to explore the mainland. We rent a car for 1200baht half day or 6 hours which take us from Pathong to Phuket. Started with Pathong beach in the morning, kata and karon beach in the midday when the sun heat us the most. There is this one place i like so much, Karon View Point located at the top of the hill, so we can see and enjoy the view to Karon and Kata beach down there. The weather was cool, and we also enjoy an eagles photshot by paying 100baht. Their name are laila and peter. I took the picture with Laila and she is so damn cute! Can i get one at home mom? ;p

We continue the journey to Elephant Conservation area. People can do Elephant tracking in here for several hours across the forest, but we again could not make it. No enough time. The place quite looks like Way Kambas in Lampung, Indonesia. But Way Kambas might be a little wilder than here. And they manage it very well (*again, noted!).

Before heading to Phuket Town for our Bus, we first visited Wat Chalong and  the Cashew Nut Factory. There are a lot of Buddha statue inside Wat Chalong. It is a -Palace looks- place. So beautiful! And blazing hot. Its MID day anyway. The sun in Phuket really are numb. We get in the temple to calm down, climb up to third floor, and taking more and more pictures.

People said there are alot of things with historical record in Phuket old town. We get there at 2pm and head to the nearest restaurant we can find. Our car and its nice driver head back to Pathong. We walk down to the Bus terminal. My friends continued the trip to Bangkok, I took the bus to airport and, bye bye Phuket..


Jogja backpacker

Well, this is not my first time be in Jogjakarta. I was there too, about 2 years ago, with some close friend at college. Now i did it again, re visiting jogja with some adventure friends, which i accidentally and luckyly found during one other trip 🙂

This one time journey was not less amazing, as always! We did it through a very different ways that i could never ever imagine. We were going jogja using an economic train and planned to camp somewhere in there. wow!

We get on night train, around 9pm. I always wondering, what does it feels to have this kind of ride even just once in my life. Sitting in the crowd, no air conditioner, and of course no food. And it was for an 8  hours long. Could i make it?

At the very beginning we were still have the fun. Talking, playing UNO, joking, and lough out loud. Some of us also listening to music and read a book. But then, after about 2 hours, the train was starting to be over loaded, by people, and also baggage. And i am so shocked when i found out one man lying under my seats. Hell what is it?? Just to see people sitting in the central corridor should be fine. But somewhere under your seat? Its a new thing for me, i mean it. Then we felt the hot weather. So lucky than i always bring my little fan, and we use it in order. It getting worse when the train stop for a while. The air felt so not good and nasty. When the train stop means no wind coming in. And its worse with this condition, where there were too many people in one limited platform.

We try to sleep yet its not success. when the air been heating us with no wind when the train stop and over loaded platform. The government really need to upgrade this facility.

We arrived at jogja on time, at 6am in the morning. No one taking a bath since we tried to find a place to eat strightly. Near the the train station, its cheap and yummy 😀

Well then the journey begins. We rent a car to ride us around the city for two days. First, we visited the camping shop to get the eqipments. There are sleeping bags, stove, gas, lamp, storm lamp, tent of course, and some other things. After that we headed to Parang tritis beach, which i never visited before. This beach, as the legend said, really full of mystical atmosphere. This is where Nyi Roro Kidul built her army and its also her way out in the shores. There is a myth said that if there is someone who used ‘green’ clothes, she/he better be careful since Nyi Roro Kidul might would like to kidnapped her/him to be part of her army. Well, she has the same favorite colour as i am 😀

After playing under blazing sun shines, we continue our journey to a gumuk named parang kusumo.Gumuk is a local name for desert. There are lot of sand mound anywhere, while there is also some local house in that place. This place seems even more scary since its not so many people hanging around there, and its rain when we arrived. There is a beach too near this gumuk where we are about to built our tent. Then we change the plan to Baron beach, somewhere in another side of jogja, another 3 hours ride, but we have no other option.

Some of us already felt boring and mad since we spend most of our time in the car. its not so effective since we only have 2 days in jogja. But the camping experience was great. We felt the open night air, with the sound of waves which only about 10 metres from our tent, and also light rain which make it a little scary but peace. We had simple dinner and roasted some marshmellow. We did some little talk, playing ‘slow speed’ with Canon and make some unique wording. Unfortunately the tent is not enough for 9 of us. 3 of the boys sleep out side, in a closed stall near the shores, while 3 girls and 3 boys in each tent.

Next morning we visited Prambanan temple which is still in progress of renovation. This renovation already start since along time ago when i was visiting this place back then in 2008. The government was too slow and late in finishing it. The bamboo and another renovation equipment really disturbing our view to the great Prambanan. There are 3 group of temple in here, Arjuna, Wisnu and Syiwa, just like the God from Hindu. The three site also have alot of ruins. The stone, block, its all scattered around the area. Even it will show visitors about the ancient originality, but it could show them our in proper care to this archeological site.

We back to our city, Jakarta, using a bus which cost us 70,000 IDR. Its a little more expensive then the economic train which only cost us 35,000 IDR. We did not want to sacrifice our comfort to using the train again which now will gave us no seat number, unike the same train from jakarta that we getted in before. The journey was amazing, and we also did some culinary stop in some place, just like ‘mie jawa’ and ‘soto’ :).


Dieng Plateu

On May 2010 i visited this area with 15 other friends. This made us a big group consists of 8 girls and 8 boys (not couple, though). Well, we gathered in Jakarta and headed to Wonosobo by bus which cost us 70,000 idr per person. It take more than 10 hours to get there. We departed at 8pm and be there around 6am in the next morning. We stop in a park “Alun Alun Wonosobo”, where a lot of traditional food served. At the same time we try to calming down our mind after tough night the day before, sleeping in the tremble bus that ride through the curving roads.

Soon we were looking for an elf to get us up there, somewhere near Dieng Plateu. We already booked a home to stay so we won’t that much in a rush. The owner rented us two cars for riding around, plus two drivers who knew the area very well which cost us 1.8 million rupiahs (house and cars).

First, we visited Jala Tunda well. There are some rumors spread among the civilian that for people who are able to throw three pebbles successfully into the water, then their wish will come true. No intention to believe, but we just tried. And somehow, its quite difficult though. Anyone wanna try? 😀

Telaga Merdada

Then we visited several craters which already turning into something that looks like lakes. The water is calm and quite, green and no sulfuric scent smelled. There are “Kawah Sileri”, “Telaga Merdada”, “Kawah Sikidang”, and also some temples area such as Gatot kaca and Arjuna Temples. Another nice stop by is a water spring called Tuk Bimalukar. There also some rumours about this one, that people who wash or drink this pure water will gain youth and become ageless.

Dieng Plateu created through a volcano activity long time ago at the time I was not yet born. The eruption of the mountain caused so many people died. They not just died because of the volcano but also because of the sulfur acid evaporates from the crater later created. “Telaga Warna” also another result of these volcano activities which chill our eyes just by seeing it. The water is green, surrounded by green pine trees, and also a fresh air, make this place is just a perfect place to calm your mind down.

We took several pictures here and it really no wonder that we need more time here since the whole place is like a beautiful paradise in which every place worth to be recorded on frame. Unfortunately nowadays the weather changes so unpredictably that we sometimes need to cancel our agenda for walking and turning around because of sudden rain. But it still a nice place to visit though.

Anyway, we also got this mystically mist sunrise at the top of mount Sikunir.

Sunrise at Sikunir

 Well, this place need extra effort to be reached, but we were not regretting the whole super early morning tracking since it really is a pretty sun rise up there. From the top we can also see the “Telaga Cebong” lied down there, which surrounded by some local resident and also a far ranging farms. This place famous for it’s crops, some of them are potatoes, cabbage, chili etc. And the potatoes here are amazingly delicious.

We also did rafting in Serayu River. It took another time from Wonosobo to Banjarnegara where the camp site for rafting participant located.


Wet Wild Track

We came late! And its rain. That’s when the mess or what we later called an amazing adventure is up..

It beginned around 1pm when we started our wild tracking to reach “Kawah Ratu” (Queen Crater). It surely late enough since to get there we will need to walk for three hours or more. We already prepared for a slippery track, but never could imagine more for what we’ve got later.

Foto by Dyan

After 100 metres walk, the weather started to change. We cant predict accurately what we might face nowadays. Rain can falls into a sunny day and vice versa. And thats what happened on Saturday June 12, 2010 when we walked through this trip. Fortunately i brought my rain coat, so that i can keep my camera and clothes dry. My other friends bring umbrella, which was not effective enough considering the path we passing through. The other could only rely more on their jacket which still surely soaked into their whole body.

Its a torrential rains and last quite long. We walk next to some stream by our right or left. It depends on which path we choose, since we also need to crossed the stream more than one time. Totally wet but seems like no sides to escape. Walk in a quite medium flow of water, hold hands one and another just in case u got slipped, while our feet already tremble. There are several prick post which showed us how far we had gone. Those were counting down from our starting point until we reach the crater. Sometimes, it gave us hope, the other times, it just made us back to the fact that we still had long way to passed before arriving.

Finally Kawah Ratu

Well, by the time we get to the crater, it really is not much worthed of the journey. Its just looked like another crater u might all ever seen. Some indentation which covered up by lot of haze and fog. The water inside the crater seems hot since it produce foam which actively blowed plus the additional scent from sulphur which evaporate to the air. Our guide really unsuggested us to stay longer than half hour. This queen crater located on Mount Salak on West Java. Around the mountain are preservation area covered by alot of pine trees. Good weather for sure, and also chilly air, with a refreshing view from all side. But, for my own opinion, “Kawah Putih” in the north of Bandung (another area in West Java) still more beautiful than this one. Minus the tracking for sure since its so easy to get there.

And then, this is when the journey became more and more attractive than before. We tough thats all, but in fact, its far from all! We still have to walk down the hill to get back to our base camp. We started the tracking at 5pm from up there, which is soo much late, remembering that we need no less than 3 hours walking to reach the nearest camp. We all were not well prepared for the upcoming night, since from the 18 of us, there were only 3 lighters (phone and flashlight), which made us still lack of beam for the entire night walks.

Foto by Andry

We saw some firefly through our way home. Those animal are so tiny and what beaming actually was it’s butt. My friend said that only the male firefly have beam which used to attrack the female one.

When the sun settling down, we could only relied to the light from stars, which luminescent from the sky. There are alot of them and each have different sparkling quality. However, that light still far from enough to enlighten our way, moreover when some of our lighter diing down. It bring us holding more tight to each other so we can rest on our friend for the rest of our way. Walking down seems a little difficult then climbing up several hours ago. The only good thing happen that time was, no rain anymore, and the stream dry already. So at least we were not trembling and wet.

Along the way, it just spookier than we tough. Some of my friends felt like there were something else around us. It made us come closer to each other. Some strange sounds coming up while we just try to convince our selves that all of those are nothing. We were in a dark forest, in the middle of nowhere, so there was no need to add another additional fear.

Soon we see the light which might comes from the nearest resident. But still, the more we walked, it looked like we never get closer. We forgot our starting track post number so we just guessed. And our guessing is not good enough since we still need a few more walk after we tough that we were finally arrived. Well, seems like God has another plan for us, we got loss! We finally made it to the nearest camp but thats not where we started our journey for the first time. We left far behind our guide with who some of us gathered. So our team like being separated into two. Fortunately most of the boys stay in the last team so we did not worry that much. We just walked down and ask for our camp direction to the local community. Its another fortune since its not so far from where we standed. Then we just did a little more walk and voila! We were all there again 😀

In this too simple camp, we gotta cleaned up in a limited water and no electricity around. There is only one kerosene lantern in the middle of us. We ordered some hot tea from nearest coffee shop. They also provided noodles and fried rices, so we just ordered some since our stomatch almost empty and our stamina almost reach its lowest level. Not comfortable enough with the water and lighting condition, we decided to find a villa or local home to be rented and we got it for 250,000 IDR per night. Thats enough for all of us to stay. 9 girls sleep in the two room provided while the boys stayed outside. Its cold, too cold actually and we should fight the night with the only thing available in that place, two blanket for all and several pillows, no bed for the boys, and luckyly some of us bring the sleeping bag. Before going to sleep, we did some games to keep our body moved and warm, and then fell asleep aroung 2am.Sleep under the stars, thats the theme of the night. 😀


Sunrise at Bromo to pretty lagoon at Sempu Island

White beach, green waters into blue, and quite!!

Sempu Island is a little island in the south of east java. It only take us about 15 minutes on board to get there from the southest beach of java island. But to be in the beautiful laguna, u need a little more work out. Its about 30 minutes walking in the forest, which full of trees, monkey (just wishing u dont see one) and also song from the birds . This island is protected by the government and stated as one of conservation for trees and animals. usually a guardian is needed to be our way pointer. Paid him about Rp 100,000 might worthed at all since he will be ur guide, and also a life saver (just incase, :D)

I was there on a trip with my college friends. We were nine girls, hanging out after the last and final comprehension test and finally having the titles behind our name, SE (or bachelor of economis). We hire a travel agent from malang so that we can plan our trip savely and neaty.

In sempu island specifically in Segara Anakan, which is still quite, calm, and pure, u really will enjoy how pretty our earth is. The sands are white, and clean..and the water, its salty of course, but its like been separated by a giant rock from what we called south hindia ocean. u will be able to hear the sounds of wave, catching up, running, playing each others out there, while actually enjoying the calmness of the beach. The laguna is not so deep so for u who can not swim well, dont worry, it all save. You can also cross the laguna when the water is in its lowest debit. however, if you are a good swimmer, no worry at all..The water really is clear. You can see through the surface into the ground. And its all blue and green and mostly prefect!

my guide even climb up the hill in the outer laguna so he can see the entire ocean right in the front and the full laguna in the back. I dont do that since its need more work out and almost dangerous tracking (for me). The weather also way too hot while the sun shines brightly. I got tan already downhere :P. Of course we take pictures. a lot actually, and might this help u all visualize what i have been through,

Segara Anakan Lagoon

 

Well, during this trip, we actually visited Mount Bromo first. Early in the morning we should get ready to drive our jeep to Pananjakan. The place where we can see a full sunrise (if its not cloudy) with a beautiful Mount Bromo as the background. The white mist, the sun that sneaking up from the east, and also what we called a perfect gradation from night to day, with some stars seen around, and also the moon, well, nothing can compared it more evenly.

sunrise at Bromo

Its so cold up there, but no need to worry since we could rent some jackets or sweater, and also the gloves, or socks, its all available. some shops even provide hot drinks for warming up our body. its not expensive though. When the sun already shown, then its time to drive our car to the main venue of this visit, Mount Bromo. We can see the Bormo crater from above, quite short distance but we cant really go to the nearest point because it desulpher.

mist above Bromo

Anyway, to reach the crater, there is this dessert (i dont know its name), but you can rent a horse to ride or just go there on foot. Both option have its own good and bad side, but i choose to ride a horse . Around Bromo there are also some other beautiful areas, such as makadipura waterfall, ‘pasir berbisik’ (this one should be like a dessert) and also group of hills named ‘teletubbies hills’.

Just please, do visit Indonesia, do visit East Indonesia 🙂