Wandering in Wonderful Indonesia: How we did it

“So, where are we off to next, guys?”  someone asked.  We were on a backpacking trip in Cambodia and Vietnam.  And, while we were enjoying the very chill vibe of Siem Reap, someone replied, “Bali!”

We were all so excited about the idea.  We let ourselves be in the moment and create how it would be for us.  But, as we went on with our backpacking (and our lives), all of us just forgot about that conversation and swept Bali under our list of “possible places to visit in 2013”.  Combined, we have visited places like Hong Kong, Malaysia, Switzerland, and went around the Philippines, after that conversation in May 2012.  But, Bali, oh Bali, was completely forgotten.

Until around April this year.  I was asking my friends, Angge and Raisa, if they would want to go to Hong Kong with me and another friend.  But, Angge, who’ve been there several times already, brought up the idea of going to Bali instead.  Oh, yes, Bali!  And, so, the planning began.

Our Itinerary, sort of

Angge and I had come up with a rough itinerary, over a couple of all nighters.  So, as early as May, we had mapped out what we wanted to do in Indonesia.  What had begun as a chill trip to Bali became an expanded trip to include Central Java, after I showed Angge the pictures of Candi Borobudur.  Angge, who is a fellow culture buff, saw the value of spending a few more bucks so we could see three UNESCO World Heritage Sites (Candi Borobudur, Candi Prambanan, and Candi Sewu).  We would already be in Indonesia, after all!

So, here’s our sort of itinerary. Sort of, since we really listened to what we all wanted to do.  As much as we could, we stuck to our plan, but left room for some surprises.  My kind of travelling. :)

Day 1:  August 17, 2013.  We had really planned for our first day in Indonesia to be chill.  Before leaving for this trip, we had crazy lives at work and, for us to enjoy the rest of our stay in Indonesia, we acknowledged that we had to rest, lest be cranky and get someone say, “See you in the Philippines!” in quite a rude way. :P

  • 4:00 AM – leave Manila
  • 8:00 AM – arrive in Denpasar
  • 8:30 AM – check in at the Bakung Beach Resort
  • 11:30 AM – lunch
  • 12:30 PM – roam around Bali
  • 1:30 PM – chill at the hotel
  • 4:00 PM – walk by the beach
  • 7:00 PM – dinner and drinks
  • 9:00 PM – sleep

Balinese sunset

Day 2:  August 18, 2013.  After quite a rough start of the day (forgetting printing Kuya’s ticket, not getting what the lady at the airport tax booth was talking about, and forgetting to ask the hotel how to get there) and tempers beginning to run high, we were blessed to have met our driver, Herman, at the airport.  He gave us quite a good deal in bringing us to the places we wanted to visit.  A good bonus was that he knew where we could eat good local food!  

  • 5:50 AM – leave Denpasar
  • 6:00 AM – arrive in Jogjakarta
  • 7:30 AM – breakfast
  • 8:30 AM – visit Pura Mangkunegaran, Windujenar Market, Candi Sukuh, and Candi Kalasan
  • 3:00 PM – late lunch
  • 7:30 PM – check in at EduHostel
  • 8:00 PM – dinner
  • 9:00 PM – drinks at the rooftop of the hotel
  • 10:30 PM – sleep

Candi Sukuh

Day 3:  August 19, 2013.  This was the day we saw Candi Borobudur!  I was so looking forward to visiting this UNESCO World Heritage Site, after the “temple run” I experienced in Angkor Wat.  When I showed my friend a picture that was taken of me with the stupas of Borobudur, she said, “You look like you’re in love!”  Haha!  Another highlight of the day was that we saw Mt. Merapi, which was initially not part of our trip, on a 4×4.  And, we also got to ride a rickshaw to Malioboro!  All three of us in one.  We just had to give the driver a good tip, since we could feel that he had so much difficulty pedaling with the three heavy-weights on his rickshaw.  Haha! 

  • 7:30 AM – breakfast
  • 9:00 AM – visit Candi Borobudur
  • 1:00 PM – lunch
  • 2:00 PM – visit Candi Mendut and jeep trek at Mt. Merapi
  • 6:00 PM – rest at the hotel
  • 7:30 PM – dinner at Malioboro
  • 9:00 PM – drinks at the rooftop of the hotel
  • 10:30 PM – sleep

Monica and Angge in Candi Borobudur

Day 4:  August 20, 2013.  The initial plan was to visit Candi Prambanan and watch Ramayana Ballet on this day.  But, Herman had an emergency at home so he had to cancel.  We appreciated that he still went to the hotel to inform us of his dilemma and asked for our permission if he could take the day off.  So, we just opted to rest at the hotel, kept ourselves updated on what’s happening in Manila (terrible Habagat, we heard), and did our shopping at Malioboro that afternoon.  

  • 7:30 AM – breakfast
  • 9:00 AM – rest at the hotel
  • 4:00 PM – shop at Malioboro
  • 7:00 PM – dinner
  • 8:00 PM – drinks at the rooftop of the hotel
  • 10:00 PM – sleep

Day 5:  August 21, 2013.  Since this is our last full day in Jogjakarta, we started our day early.  We got to visit the places we had initially wanted to visit and Herman, who really is the best, brought us to Taman Sari Underground Mosque.  I so loved the place.  After our Solo trip, we went to visit Candi Prambanan and Candi Sewu.  Awesome stories and architecture!  The only downside was that we didn’t get to watch the Ramayana Ballet.  We were all so freakin’ exhausted!  And, we were all starting to smell funky.  So, after we chased temples, Herman brought us to this awesome local food place and then we had drinks at the rooftop of our hotel, and we called it a night soon after.

Discovering Candi Sewu
Day 6:  August 22, 2013.  Since we didn’t get to go around Kuta on our first day in Indonesia, the three of us took our time to see what the “city” looked like.  It sort of gave me the Boracay vibe, but with less people, I guess.  Then, we went to have our drinks by the beach.  :)

  • 6:25 AM – leave Jogjakarta
  • 8:35 AM – arrive in Denpasar
  • 9:00 AM – rest at the hotel
  • 4:00 PM – walk around Kuta
  • 7:00 PM – dinner
  • 8:30 PM – drinks by the beach
  • 10:00 PM – sleep

Chill Kuya Anton

Day 7:  August 23, 2013.  After walking around Kuta again, I decided to go for a swim.  We were in Bali, after all!  Angge and Kuya, on the other hand, went to participate in the Save the Sea Turtles campaign.  Afterwards, we met at one of the sort of kiosks, had Bintang beer, and caught the sunset.  A highlight for me was that I watched it with two adorable kids, Maria and Alessandro.  :)

Maria and Alessandro

Day 8:  August 24, 2013.  Kuya and Angge’s flight was scheduled for the next day.  So, I had to go to the airport on my own – my first time, ever!  I left the hotel three hours before my flight, checked in early, and got to get a window seat!  While waiting to board, I also got to have my caffeine fix at Starbucks and enjoyed my last few hours in Indonesia.  My clear thought bubble was, “I’m in Bali.  I’m alone.  And, I’m loving it.”  I’m good now, eh? :)

  • 8:35 AM – leave Denpasar
  • 12:25 PM – arrive in Manila

I’m so glad I pushed through with this trip.  I got to visit places I had wanted to visit.  I got to meet awesome people, which, for me, is the whole point of travelling.  And, I got to spend a week with two lovely souls. I really am living my life. :)

I will end this post with the ad by Oakley that I saw while we were walking around Bali, just because it encapsulates what this entire trip was (and life, in general is) for me.  Let’s go create our future now, shall we? :)

The best way to predict the future is to create it - Oakley


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Thank you! And, in whatever space you’re in now, I hope that you get something from reading my articles.

See ya,
Monica

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