Posts Tagged With: Indonesia

Bali: Island of Gods…of Peace…of Love

Great news, Manila backpackers! Cebu Pacific finally announced its newest international destination! It will be launching a direct service from Manila to Bali (Yeah! It’s Bali) on March 2013. Ay-yay-yay!

Bali is now super duper accessible to us budget travelers. No need to fly through Jakarta or Singapore or Kuala Lumpur which can also be expensive.

Betcha Buy Bali Now!`

Betcha Buy Bali Now!

No, I am not booking for this flight. It may be cheap, but I still ain’t got breads for this. I’m a cheapskate sometimes. Then, why am I so happy? It only means that Manila-Bali flights can already be included in the great P1 (piso) Seat Sale! Now, that would be something I can afford. Who wouldn’t want to visit the Island of Gods with just less than P3,000 airfare budget?

Ayo, teman-teman, mari kita mengalami budaya Bali dwipa jaya. (Come, friends, let us experience the culture of the great Bali island.)

“In Bali, there is no single day without a ceremony — a balanced relationship among humans, gods, and nature.”



Disclaimer: I suck in speaking Bahasa Indonesia. I used an online English-Indonesian translator and asked my friend if I stated it correctly.

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7th Anniversary Date

Cebu Pacific Seat Sale

Cebu Pacific Seat Sale

I was about to sleep but I decided to check my Facebook first before turning in. This was the first thing I saw. So, I spent the next hour trying to book a flight for the boyfriend. I don’t have a credit card and I still owe my mom and sister my flight back home for December so I was panicking not knowing how I can book. Fortunately, the airline had an over-the-counter payment option. As soon as I decided on the dates, I just guessed boyfriend’s passport number and proceeded with the reservation. I sent him a message after that he should pay the fare at the bank the following morning.

It’s a crazy seat sale. Cebu Pacific can be cunning at times but you can easily forgive them for their super dooper cheap fares and I couldn’t just let it pass. Here’s why…



The base fare is just P1 for one way. I just hate the fuel surcharge but, of course, I couldn’t really complain. It’s still pending and I’m hoping that I would be receiving the confirmed itinerary tomorrow. Yay! He’s bound for Jakarta but we are still deciding whether we will stay in Jakarta then visit Bandung or go back to Bali. I could also bring him to Yogyakarta to see Borobudur and Prambanan. It’s still a long way to go but I can’t help but feel excited. It’s going to be another awesome anniversary! This time, we’ll make sure he won’t get offloaded. Documents will definitely be ready for this. Ay-yay-yay!

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Indonesia in the Blink of an Eye

Want to see all of Indonesia but got money issues? Worry no more! All you need is TMII.

Taman Mini Indonesia Indah has it all for you. I got to travel around Indonesia in the blink of an eye. Check out the places I visited. :p

West Sumatra

West Sumatra

North Sumatra

North Sumatra

West Kalimantan

West Kalimantan

West Sulawesi

West Sulawesi

North Sulawesi

North Sulawesi

Gorontalo,  North Sulawesi

Gorontalo, North Sulawesi



Riau Islands

Riau Islands





I am not sure if this ship is the Pinisi or the traditional Indonesian sailing ship. If it is, then this is from South Sulawesi.

We also got to take a rest on some shady parts near the “army” museum.

If going around Taman Mini is too hot for you, there is the Snow Bay to cool off. There are also lots of museum around which you might want to try.

They have a fauna and flora areas and we got to visit the freshwater fishes and the insect museum.



Bugs and Butterflies

Bugs and Butterflies

There are three cable line rides available. You get the bird’s-eye view of Indonesia.

Cable Ride

Cable Ride

Taman Mini is like a Nayong Pilipino, waterpark, zoo, botanical garden, museum, and picnic area all rolled in one. The best thing is the price. Entrance fee in TMII is only 9,000 IDR per person and 10,000 IDR for your car. Entrance fee for museums is 5,000 IDR (I think. The one we tried costs 5,000 IDR). The cable ride is 25,000 IDR. The big balloon (not sure if it is a hot-air balloon)-ride is 120,000 IDR.

It was just so big we couldn’t see all in one day. Hopefully, I can visit again soon. 🙂

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Life Is Just Beginning

…for Ate Lanie. She just turned 40 last September 29 and we had a 3-day celebration.

She planned to treat everyone at work last Friday since her actual birthday was Saturday. But here in Indonesia, they believed that one cannot celebrate his/her birthday in advance as it brings bad luck. However, our other friends, Kuya Arie and Kuya Gustaf, will be busy the following day, so we just had an “ordinary” dinner at home that Friday night. Of course, regardless of their belief, we still think that that night was her advance birthday dinner. Great food that night, but since most Indonesians don’t really drink, we just had a few bottles of San Mig Light and Mix Max (plus Smirnoff and Jack Daniels). Teehee. San Mig Light suddenly became too bitter for me (or maybe because it wasn’t cold enough) but I enjoyed the Blueberry flavor of Mix Max.

We didn’t have Magic Sing karaoke so we just had Youtube. So, Kuya Arie decided he needed to buy one when he visits the Philippines this December.

Happy Birthday, Ate Lanie!

Happy Birthday, Ate Lanie!

Happy Birthday, Ate Lanie!

Happy Birthday, Ate Lanie!

We ended at around 11pm. What she didn’t know was that there’s another surprise waiting for her the following morning. Ms. Tammy, Ms, Yuke, and I planned a wake-up greeting for her on her actual birthday.



It didn’t end there as we planned for a Taman Mini trip the following day!


*Tagalog dictionary 🙂

Ate /a-te/ – older sister

Kuya /koo-yah/ – older brother

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Jogja Weekend

The trip in Jogja was superb. Mainly because it was my first vacation trip since I got here in Indonesia. Going around Jogja was definitely a breath of fresh air after being stuck in Jakarta. I got to relax and forget about the bustling life in Jakarta. Almost everything is better there. Lighter traffic, fresher air, cheaper prices, more culture, and friendlier people.

The people even try their best to speak in English. Here in Jakarta, if you speak in English, never expect a reply or a help at that. I remember asking for a shirt size in the mall, I thought the sales lady was just getting it. I waited then wondered what’s taking her so long. Turns out, she never went to get the size but went to the other side of the store away from me. I thought that living in the metro would make people learn English more because of work.

Bapak Nunung, our driver, was great. We, basically, slept everytime we’re in the car. He drove us into the best places to eat and brought us to our destinations without questions. He always greets us with a smile even if he had to wait long in the parking lot. He even texted us to ask if we have safely arrived in Jakarta and wished to see us all again soon.

I’m definitely bringing Elo and my family there.

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Temple Run: Rato Buku

We were able to go to Candi Rato Buku because of the package we got when we bought the Prambanan tickets. It is located on top of a hill, 3 km. south of Candi Pramnbanan. the drive going there was rocky but nice. It was a rough road surrounded by rice fields. It was not as stunning as Prambanan and Borobudur. Maybe that’s the reason why they include it in the package. Nonetheless, the location was nice. Not for our body though. It was the third and last temple we went to and we really felt beat up from all the walking and climbing.


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Temple Run: Prambanan

Because last Saturday night was very unfortunate that my camera’s battery died on me, we went back to Prambanan to get loads of pictures of the temple. It was picture perfect. We came there after lunch which was a very, very bad time. It was prickly hot on the skin. There were moments when the sun didn’t cooperate with our mere point-and-shoot cameras and made the images dark.

Prambanan Temple

The locals, made our visit more fun. Lots of high school students were there. We thought they came just to visit the temple. We also saw a bunch of students chatting with a French guy (who was kinda cute :p). Ate Lanie and I were making up stories about the foreigners being pedophiles *LOL* and laughing as to why the students were so awed with them. They were laughing so loud at whatever the French guy said and shrieked when they were given a chance to have their photo taken with him. We, eventually, understood what these children were doing when we, ourselves, were approached by one group. It was then Ate Lanie’s turn to be a pedophile *LOL*. Apparently, they were interviewing foreigners to practice conversing in English as a school requirement. But the funniest part was when we were mistaken as actresses from soap operas by a group of girls and asked if they could take pictures with us. I think they believe that people who wear sunglasses are the famous ones. It made us laugh how it can turn your world upside down -from being an ordinary foreigner who basically looks like them to someone who stars in sinetron (soap opera).

Jogja locals in Prambanan with "Sinetron Star". LOL

"Sinetron Star" in Prambanan. LOL

The short lady had her turn to become the pedophile. LOL.

Being a Hindu culture masterpiece, the visit to Prambanan was definitely worth it. The day was so hot that it gave us bad sunburns. Our face, arms and neck are red, hot and itchy but it was all worth it. I will come back soon…maybe for some prenup pictures. LOL.

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Temple Run

No. It’s not about the game.

Today was Temple Day. We visited temples on our second day. I had my first experience to really watch the sunrise. It was nicer that I’ve seen it on top of the enormous Borobudur Temple. I call it the hidden temple as you cannot see it on the way there. I found on the internet that it is about a 15-minute walk from the parking area to the gate of the temple stairs.Image

I apologize for my lack of skills in photography. It was tiring climbing those [more or less] 100 steps. Yeah, I’m nerd that way. But it sure was a nice view from the top. 🙂 I have about more than 100 images on my camera with all the angles possible to my noob photography skills.

We have been raving about touching the stone/buddha inside the stupa and have our wish grated but I never got to try it as I was so busy taking pictures. This is my favorite picture.


Prambanan is another temple in Jogja. It is a Hindu temple. I was only able to take a very bad picture from afar. Tomorrow will be the day for us to visit and climb it which means more pictures to come. 🙂


Tonight was well spent with us watching the Javanese cultural dance, Ramayana Ballet. Expensive but definitely worth it.Image

More pictures in my facebook account This one is my fave from the show…a picture with the two main characters. Yeah! I learned after the show that they won the Gold among other countries in the cultural dance competition by  the Pacific Asia Travel Association.


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Meeting Yogyakarta

I was really excited that I slept at 3am. We left the house at 5am for our 8am flight!. Garuda Indonesia was far better than Philippine Airlines in terms of comfort (not being a traitor, but it’s the truth). It is my first time to board a plane other than PAL or CebuPac, so cut me some slack for getting giddy about having my own  cabin screen. It was fun to be able to listen to music, play games or watch videos and movies on Economy class. I was all smiles when there are Korean movies available.   My watching was cut short as the flight was not even an hour long. We reached Yogyakarta’s Adisutjipto Airport. Our rented car was waiting and was ready to take us to our first destination, Surakarta or Solo. It was a 2-hour drive from the airport and we mostly slept through the ride. We had our lunch at Omah Sinten which serves tasty traditional Javanese and Dutch dishes. My favorite was the free appetizer which is a bowl of Cassava and Ube chips. Ube chips were definitely new but a real superb. We were very happy with all the delicious dishes we ordered. It was a great plus that the food were all very cheap (compared to Jakarta’s prices).

Lunch at Omah Sinten

We also visited the palace. We had to go through a walled street leading to it but it was unfortunate that it was closed (or we’re really not allowed. I didn’t understand the lady by the door). So in the end, we practically did nothing in Solo other than lunch then went on our way back to our hotel.

Tower and Portal of Kraton Surakarta.

Malioboro was renowned as the Batik shopping haven. Passing through it reminds me of Baguio’s Session Road (only Malioboro is a flatland street compared to Session Road’s uphills and downhills). It was lined with Batik stores and food stalls. We went to our hotel room to unpack then went on our way to Taman Sari. It was a former water castle made for the sultan’s wives for reflection. It was so big that you could get lost inside it’s labyrinth-like passageways. It was good to have the guide who really gave us good tour (it was in Bahasa so it was basically Kuya Gustaf who understood everything). He was like a frustrated photographer as he choreographed most of our shots inside. What caught my attention was the head of one of the statues that fell from the top of the building to the ground.

This rock is a statue that fell from the water castle's building.

The government is trying its best to protect and preserve this historic site but it was unfortunate that they are having a hard time doing so as the place was already packed with people who built their houses within the walls of the ruins. Just imagine Intramuros having settlers inside its walls. Not a nice place eh?

We also went to the 2 mysterious trees. People are challenged to walk between the trees in a straight line. The wish of anyone who can get passed the trees walking in a straight line will be granted. So far, only 1 person was able to do it. We also tried, and I can say, it was really hard. We even practiced walking on a different direction just to check if we can walk in a straight line with our eyes blindfolded.  Turns out, we can, but never between the two trees.

With eyes blindfolded, get past the two trees in a straight line and have your wish granted.

We ended our trip for the day with a dinner at another Javanese restaurant. It was a bit more expensive than what we had for lunch. Apparently, the sultan himself goes to that restaurant to eat.

So that caps off my March 23…tomorrow, or rather later, is Temple day.

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Countdown to Holiday

Spring break has started in most schools here. Ours doesn’t have. We are feeling a bit sad that others are already going on a holiday while we are stuck in school. Good thing because today is the last day of school for us, as well. Tomorrow is Nyepi. Yey!

Marine Temple of Tanah Lot in Bali

Nyepi is a Balinese “Day of Silence” that is commemorated every Isakawarsa (Saka new year) according to Bali’s calendar. It is a day of silence, fasting, and meditation. It is observed from 6 a.m. until 6 a.m. the next morning, Nyepi is a day reserved for self-reflection and as such, anything that might interfere with that purpose is restricted. The main restrictions are: no lighting fires (and lights must be kept low); no working; no entertainment or pleasure; no travelling; and for some, no talking or eating at all. The effect of these prohibitions is that Bali’s usually bustling streets and roads are empty, there is little or no noise from TVs and radios, and few signs of activity are seen even inside homes. The only people to be seen outdoors are the Pecalang or traditional security men who patrol the streets to ensure the prohibitions are being followed. (*Source: Wikipedia)

According to a co-teacher who previously worked in Bali, she said that they even have to cover their windows with black cloth because the Pecalang were really very strict. So, for those who plan to go to Bali, unless you plan to go on a retreat, you need to know that Nyepi is not the time to go there. You would be wasting your time and money as you would only stay in your hotel room for the entire day.

Basically everyone going on a holiday has already crossed out Bali on their list of destinations. Most of our students are going to other countries. As for me, I am also going on a trip. Yeah! This is going to be my first every holiday trip since I got here in Jakarta. We will leave early tomorrow morning for YOGYAKARTA! Yey! I’ll be seeing the renowned center of Javanese culture. Of course, I did some research on what I would be seeing there. This is the Borobudur Temple (which is very beautiful on these pictures). I know I won’t be able to capture it like this so I give credits to their rightful owners.

Borobudur Temple

Sunset in Borobudur

Borobudur Temple during Waisak Night.

I wouldn’t be able to see the view on the last picture as this was taken during the Waisak Night or a day that honors the birth, life and teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni which occurs on the full moon day of the fourth lunar month (Vesakha). It will be on May for this year.

Few more minutes before school ends for this day and I’ll be packing as soon as I get home. Yes, I’m that excited.

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