Indonesia Trip (29 Jan- 03 Feb)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I just back from a 5 days trip to Indonesia during CNY. Reached Jakarta on the 29 Jan , 1140pm, meet my other travel mates at the Ibis Arcadia hotel.

Day 2
The next morning, taking another flight to Jogja at 3.05pm. Therefore, I didn't really have time to wander around Jakarta town. I heard that Jakarta population is approximately the same as in Malaysia. A lot of high rise buildings and most people there can afford expensive vehicles.

Waiting at the Jakarta airport Terminal 1 to Jogja .
When we reached Jogja, it started to rain. Lucky we managed to get a car to look for hotel.

The hotel we stay in is Grage Ramayana, a very nice and cosy family room. We take a good sleep in the hotel for rest of the time.
Day 3
Our first destination in Jogja is Taman Sari ( a resting place for the Royal family) at Kraton, where we discover the Water Castle, underground passage and underground mosque.
This is the entrance to the underground passage. This whole area was previously built under water, the passage is the only way to link to other places.
The feeling in the passage is amazing. A repeating interval natural lighting penetrate into the passage creates a wonderful experience for us.

The repeating structures protuding above the underground passage provides ventilation and natural lighting to it.
The passage leads us to this palace, which are almost destroyed by the earthquake. There are reception room and hall to welcome the guests. The roof of the image above according to the tour guide, is a vault roof mainly built by clay , lime stone.
The view from the top of the palace.
We turned and turned in the mazed area above before we reached the underground mosque.
The mosque is a 2 storeys circular form with an interesting staircase positioned at the center point spreading to different level. The Imam will read the prayer in a small room, the circular form will help to deliver the wave of sound to the whole mosque. A very simple , yet very intelligient solution used during the old times.
Another feature in Taman Sari is the bathing pool. There are 2 pools separated by a 2 storey building. The Sultan watched the women bath at the outer pool from the top, and might ask selected women to accompany him at the inner pool.
Our next destination was the Sultan Palace, however didnt capture much interesting features.

Borobudur, the largest Buddha Temple in Ninth century, older than Angkor Wat in Cambodia. It is a ten terrace monument, the first sixth terraces are square in dimension, followed by 2 circular terrace and finally a Buddha Stupa siting westward. This is the first time I got a chance to see a heritage monument temple under UNESCO. Unfortunely, the building is not under great care. I saw visitors climbing up the stupas and sratches of name on the stones. It seems to me that tourism is not controlled well in a heritage protected area and it is very unsure how long this great piece of architecture will live.
Walking at the terraces, admiring the relief on the wall. Some of the Buddha stupas are incomplete.
Interesting stone craving, which may carry different stories behind each of them.
The Buddha stupa at the circular terraces.

A view of Jogja city with a lot of flags and flyers of different political parties for the preparation of coming election.
Taking 11pm night train to Bandung. It take 8 hours to arrive at Bandung.
Day 3
Checked in at d-Batoe Boutique hotel, a nice design hotel with efficient and friendly services.

At the same day, we went to visit the Tangkungan Perahu, an active volcano at Lembang. There is a strong sulfur smell and extremely cold at the area. This is also my first time to see volcano at this close distance.
Besides that, we also wander around Kampung Daun and the Peak. Kampung Daun is some place similar to Cameron Highlands. Every houses planted flowers and plants at their garden, making a colourful green neighbourhood.
I forgot the name of this place. There are mutiple traditional huts scatter around this whole area with good planning of landscape leading visitors to different spot. You can choose any huts you want for a drink and enjoy the environment.

The Peak is where you can see the city of Bandung from top view. Villas and masons of various design can be found here. There is a 3 storeys restaurant situated at the top .
The views of the city from the Peak.
Day 4
The last two days our time was scheduled for shopping at Bandung. You can find branded clothes and other items at a cheap price.
The most famous shopping malls are Ruman Mode, Ci Walk, Sercet Factory outlet, Paris and Cascade. Their restaurant interior works are much interesting than the one in Malaysia
Unfortunely, I don't really like shopping time, unless I found something extraordinary.
Day 5
We rent a car to get back to Jakarta and from Jakarta fly back to Kuching. Here ends the trips.
The total spend for this trip is around RM1000.