Posts in Travel Diary

Travel Diary: September 2018, Bandung (Part 2)

It’s funny that I’m only updating this blog now, a full month after we went to Bandung. Sorry, everyone!

First stop: Kawah Putih! We left for this tourist destination at around 10 or 11 am from Lembang (later than intended).

This place looks EXACTLY like it does in the photos on Google. So if you plan to go here to adventure, and you hope to discover something magical and wonderful and something more, then… you shouldn’t go.

It’s nice to do a bit of hiking at Kawah Putih, but like many places in Indonesia, there are lots and lots of hawkers waiting to sell you things. It also smells like sulfur. There are plenty of souvenir shops lining some of the roads, and you can ride a horse around for a few minutes (similar to Bromo). I’d definitely recommend Bromo if you’re looking for the mountain-and-horse-riding experience.

That being said, we did have some fun here, and it was interesting to see the crater up close.

You don’t have to stay overnight at the Maribaya Hot Springs Resort to enjoy it. I can’t seem to recall what happened between Kawah Putih and Maribaya, but we arrived here at around 4 pm—which means we only had an hour to explore the place!

We were a bit disappointed to discover that the resort was less of a hiking destination and more of a series of paid photo opportunities—from 15-16 of the Instagrammable places that you could take pictures at, a majority of them were ticketed. It was absolutely beautiful, but considering we were hoping to find some sort of magical forest wonderland here….

well…

:’)

Fairy Land (?) is a whole new attraction built by the same people who built Maribaya. Since it was still under construction, the tickets were given as a bonus to drum up attention for the place. And it worked! Fortunately for us, it closed at 6—we spent an hour wandering around this place. There are so many fun child-friendly activities and attractions here, like a wooden playground, a massive seesaw, and cute-and-slightly-terrifying fairy statues. If you have children, it’s absolutely worth a visit!

We didn’t stop by Kampung Daun this time! Instead, we ate dinner, then drove to Bukit Moko. This is the view from the top of the hill—gorgeous, right? From this point, it looked like the city lights really were stars. I swear that I could see them twinkling in the distance (or maybe my eyes were just broken).

The drive up to Bukit Moko is frightening, mainly because there are very few lights. Make sure to download Waze before you head there! The map point is in the right place; you just have to follow it allllll the way up the hill. We arrived to the hill at 10 or 11 pm, and had to walk 1-2 kilometers since the road up was also under construction.

There were some men hanging around the gate. After charing us Rp. 10.000 to enter, we made our way up and finally found a few ojek who agreed to bring us to the top for Rp. 10.000 each.

We stayed for about 3 hours, then made our way back down and drove to Jakarta that night.

Travel Diary: September 2018, Bandung (Part 1)

We drove to Bandung over the weekend of September 8-9th so I could serve as one of the speakers of PADghrs’ “Coming In” workshop. I was honored to be able to listen to so many different styles of writing. I hope my guidance and input helped them in some way.

The event was held at 107 Garage Room, which was actually less of a room and more like a cozy and large and warm multipurpose space. There’s a coffee shop, a small store, lots of small tables, and a rentable event room (which is what we used). We ate lunch at Johnny’s Burgers (or something like that)—they had a food truck on the property and the burgers were amazing.

That was on Saturday. We went exploring a bit on Sunday and visited Bakmie Naripan, which has some absolutely delicious bakmie (babi + ayam ada). Don’t go during regular lunch hours! It’s very crowded. We visited at around 3 pm and didn’t have to wait at all.

 The entrance to Garasi Opa.
The entrance to Garasi Opa.

After Naripan we visited Kineruku, an indie library in [I forget where, but I’ll update this later]. There was a small vintage shop named Garasi Opa right next door. Though we looked around, nothing caught our eye and we left to see the books.

 Kineruku is a small bookstore, library, and cafe. It was a shame that we didn’t get to taste the food!
Kineruku is a small bookstore, library, and cafe. It was a shame that we didn’t get to taste the food!

Kineruku is small—not really a library but a house that’s been dedicated to books. Bandung residents can make a library card for less than Rp. 100.000 a year, and if I lived in Bandung, you can bet I’d be there everyday. Later that night we had dinner with some lovely friends at Le Jardin, a new hip cafe that’d just opened. The ambience was okay-ish, and the cafe itself was definitely Instagrammable. The music playing was typical Pop 40 fare and somehow, it didn’t really mesh with the natural, green style.

I felt a little bit sad about it. But it was beautiful and the food was tasty enough (about 40-70rb per person). So I was glad to be able to go there.

 The #aesthetic bathroom at Le Jardin. Excuse the toilet!
The #aesthetic bathroom at Le Jardin. Excuse the toilet!

Later that night, we decided to drive all the way to Lembang and extend our trip by a day. But I’ll wrap up this diary here—I have more pictures and stories than I expected.

All my love, 

Ebi

Travel Diary: October 2017, Tebing Keraton

Hello everyone!

So, on the second day of our trip to Bandung, we woke up pretty late. Around 8 in the morning, right? We were planning to stay up to go to Bukit Bintang in Dago, but the tattooing actually took about 3 hours and was only finished at 1 in the morning. By then we were absolutely pooped so we kind of just…fell asleep. Oops.

The Way There

Anyways, after some quick Googling, we decided to go to Tebing Keraton, which is apparently really beautiful. It’s a cliff from which you can see miles and miles of trees. We left by car from our hotel to the car park at Tebing Keraton, and let me warn you: the road is super, duper bumpy. Also it’s kind of scary, because if you look to the left or right of you you’ll notice that there’s an insanely steep incline. So basically, if you aren’t a pro driver, you might just… fall off.

Fortunately, Erik is a really amazing driver (he’s been driving since he was 14 or so?) and we got to the car park safely. It did start raining on the way, and that was cause for alarm since we didn’t want Baby getting wet or catching a cold.

The Hike Up

So you can’t actually get all the way up to Tebing  Keraton unless you ride a motorcycle or hike up the rest of the way. This is because it’s way too steep and the traffic that would result due to a bunch of cars trying to make it up the hill would probably cause accidents. So you have two options:

1. Ride an ojek

There are plenty of ojek who can ferry you up the hill on their motorbikes. It usually costs about Rp. 30.000 per person for a round trip (so up and then back down). Just make sure to haggle because if you look white or don’t speak Indonesian they’ll probably try to finagle you out of extra money.

2. Hike up.

Honestly, 1.7 kilometers is a bit tiring, but it’s definitely doable. And if I, a tiny little Asian girl with a baby, can do it, then I bet a hell of a lot of other people can too.

Keep in mind that if you do choose to hike and you’re a woman, they’ll probably hassle you for at least half of the way there..

Anyways! I promise, the view is definitely worth the hike! Sometimes the journey really is half of the battle. When your destination to Point A is too easy, it’s easy to feel underwhelmed once you’ve arrived. But because of that grueling hike up, I was really able to appreciate the cliff.

Isn’t it beautiful? Look at all those trees. I was so happy to come visit here! It looks like the mountains from those old Chinese paintings.

It’s beautiful! You can see farms and rice terraces down below, and the fog between the treetops is just so breathtaking. It was a really peaceful place, so different from the steel indifference of Jakarta. It made me so happy.

Tebing Keraton is located within a larger park. If you want to go back down the hill you have to exit the park (it’s about 30 seconds away from the ticket booth) and either hike back down or ride an ojek.

We decided to ride ojek on our way down. It started raining! We had to cover Baby in her breastfeeding cover and hope for the best. Fortunately, by the time we got to the car, the rain had mostly stopped. If you get hungry, you can grab snacks, eat instant noodles, or order meatball soup here. 

Overall:

This cliff is a beautiful sight that you definitely shouldn’t miss! If you’ve been hating the Indonesian heat, going to the higher elevations in Bandung is definitely a good decision. I wish we had spent more time here, but Baby was getting fussy and I had to go breastfeed her in a really dirty bathroom and then it started raining. So we decided to head back. I’d love to come back here. I’d love to live here, too.

Adventurers should try sneaking out of the fence and climbing down the rocks, but do be careful, please. It wasn’t that crowded there, which I really liked. I always feel sad when pleasant tourist destinations get really crowded because then no one has a good experience. If I had to rate it, I’d probably give it a 6/10. For native Indonesians or those who don’t get to see forests often, it’s amazing. I think it would’ve been even better if we had come for the sunrise–apparently that’s the best time to visit. Seeing the sun rise above the tree tops is apparently very moving and humbling.

Travel Diary: Borobudur

Borobudur is probably the most famous and largest Buddhist temple in the world, located in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. Erik and I actually went sightseeing in this area about two weeks ago, back in Jogja (we’re back in Jakarta now because our wedding is tomorrow). But we left Jogja at around 1 pm and after stopping by Sendangsono (photos from Sendangsono will probably be up later tonight) and arrived at Borobudur just in time to see the sunset.

These domed structures are referred to as “stupa“, and in Buddhism, they are shrines. The Buddha is portrayed meditating within the stupa. (If you see the other stupa in the background–there are statues of the Buddha inside each of them, too).

We climbed like hell to get up to the top of the temple before the sunset. It was incredibly crowded, but we were lucky because Waze helped us take an alternative route. If we had stayed on the route we were originally on, we would’ve been late. We actually bought tickets to get in about 15 minutes before the ticket booths closed. (For reference, tickets into Borobudur are about Rp. 30.000 iirc). 

He’s probably going to be jokingly annoyed with me for posting what he considers to be lame pictures of him, but…

In case photos of Borobudur bore you, here are photos of me which will hopefully inspire you to be less jaim and to have more fun in life. I’m pretty sure I was getting weird looks from people around me.

Here’s your typical, non-weird, touristy photo. I think this picture would be about 100x better without me in it…because then you can see the stupa. But the park was closing and the security guards were rushing us all off the park.

Before I arrived in Indonesia, I really wanted to learn traditional Indonesian dancing (there are actually a lot of different styles, so I don’t think that’s an appropriate/fitting term). I still don’t really have that opportunity, but maybe someday I’ll be able to learn.

Borobudur’s walls are decorated with narrative reliefs which tell the story of the Buddha. These reliefs were created in Javanese style. (You can see another example of Javanese architectural style if you stop by the Church at Ganjuran). Anyways! Borobudur apparently contains the most Buddhist reliefs of any monument in the world. There are 2,676 panels like this one and 504 Buddha statues in all, and then there are 72 stupas.

A lot more foreigners know about Borobudur than about Sendangsono, pictures from which I’ll post later. Borobudur is the most visited tourist attraction in this country! If you’re ever in Indonesia, make sure to stop by and watch the sunrise. Plan a lot of time here because you can (1) catch a whole lot of Pokemon and stop by a lot of Pokestops in the park/trail area of Borobudur and (2) get lost in all of the shops also situated on the grounds. Of course, you could come here for the culture and spend your day enjoying the reliefs and the architecture of the monument. (Cough, nerd).

So! I’m getting married tomorrow. I was expecting this post to be done earlier, but I got distracted. So I will probably post pictures from Sendangsono on Monday and then later in the week share some photos from the wedding with everyone! Thank you so much for all of your congratulations and, as always, may your day be filled with joy and blessings.

Love,

Theodora