Relaxing Getaway in Sukabumi

There could be new options for getaways in West Java, Indonesia, which are Situgunung Lake and Sawer Waterfall. These two are located in Sukabumi. The air is so fresh since it is under the mountain slopes. The fog can be so thick that you may not be able to see the view clearly. It looks wild, but it is safe enough for exploration.

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Information

How to get there.. (Driving a car from Jakarta)

Take route via Jagorawi Toll Road heading to Kota Sukabumi. After you take exit from the toll road, you will pass some local market. Expect the traffic jam when you pass through the market. Just after Cisaat Local Market, turn left to Situgunung. Just follow the main road and you’ll find the entrance gate.

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The view I saw when passing the road

The view I saw when passing the road

Where to stay if you plan to visit overnight

You may find some homestay during your way up, but if you are lucky you can get the room in the villa cemara in front of the gate. The price is so cheap and affordable for backpackers. Or, you can camp around the forest.

Villa Cemara Situgunung

Villa Cemara Situgunung where I stayed overnight

The view from my room. The owner take care all the  plants by herself.

The view from my room. The owner take care all the plants by herself.

Best time to enjoy the view

People said it was best to enjoy the lake in the morning while watching the sunrise. But, please note the trekking road is rocky and could be very slippery after the rains. Bring your flashlight to make it happen.

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It's the sunset while I came

It’s the sunset while I came

On the other hand, it’s better to go to the Sawer waterfall around midday, not too early and not too late since the temperature could be cold up there. However, one of the bikers said that mass of people come during the midnight at specific dates to take a bath. There is a myth that the water can help cure the disease. That is why the name of the waterfall is Sawer which means Grace. You can walk or rent the bike to reach the waterfall.

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Taken using pocket camera Canon IXUS 115 HS.

JAKARNAVAL 2014

Jakarta just celebrated its birthday last week on 22 June 2014. The local government always hold a parade party along Sudirman Road annually to celebrate it. Despite the huge numbers of people who attended, this event was relatively secure and fun. The theme for this year was “KEAJAIBAN TOPENG NUSANTARA”. Why mask? Indonesian is rich in traditional clothes, food, songs, or dances. But, mask? I don’t remember I learned about traditional masks back in school.

According to Wikipedia about Mask ,

In Indonesia the mask dance predates Hindu-Buddhist influences. It is believed that the use of masks is related to the cult of the ancestors, which considered dancers the interpreters of the gods. Native Indonesian tribes such as Dayak have masked Hudoq dance that represents nature spirits. In Java and Bali masked dance is commonly called topeng and demonstrated Hindu influences as it often feature epics such as Ramayana and Mahabharata. The native story of Panji also popular in topeng masked dance. Indonesian topeng dance styles are widely distributed, such as topeng Bali, Cirebon, Betawi, Malang, Yogyakarta and Solo.

So, traditional masks cannot be separated with traditional dances and stories. It is also part of the appearances, pairing with the clothes.

Nowadays, there are masks that we wear and we see.. Like Andre Berthiaume said “We all wear masks, and the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin.” We socialize and put our best image on. We set our role models and reflect ourselves from the masks of others. Is it bad to wear a mask? Well, it depends. Sometimes people need to mask hate, pain, or disagreements to avoid quarrels or fights. People behave and talk in a positive manner when trying to give constructive feedback or when delivering bad news.

And how about the mask of Jakarta recently? Well, people know Jakarta is a very strategic central business. The traffic jam is getting worse, the flood is unavoidable during rainy season, the beggar is everywhere. But, this city is progressing better. Our new local government, Jokowi-Ahok, is working for monorail train, better waste management, free/cheap medical and education expense, etc. And, this is what to do, which is helping the local government to repair the broken mask and color the mask so that all people living or working in Jakarta can get the benefit from the city.

 

Jakarta 487TH Anniversary

Jakarta, the most modern city in Indonesia, is having its 487th anniversary. Lots of events will be held throughout the city to celebrate this anniversary. I noticed there are so many interesting events to join, like Jakarta International 10K Race, Pekan Raya Jakarta Monas, Jakarnaval, Jakarta Great Sale, and so on.

I wish I join all the events, but sadly I missed some dates due to lack of promotion and advertisement. I have to check the calendar so often on the official website, or google it to confirm the date published is updated.

Here they are, my reports on the events I attended in:

  1. Jakarta International 10 K on 8 June 2014
  2. Pekan Raya Jakarta Monas on 15 June 2014
  3. JAKARNAVAL 2014

Enjoy!

Pekan Raya Jakarta Monas

Last year, I wrote about the first folk party for Jakarta people in Monas.

see my post last year Pesta Rakyat jakarta 2013

This year, we also had a whole week celebration in the same place, too. But, I think the concept was so different and I kind of lost the excitement I felt a year ago.

Last year, we called in Pesta Rakyat Jakarta (Jakarta Folks Party). Now, it is called Pekan Raya Jakarta (Jakarta Fair Week). I think Jakarta has already another Jakarta Fair in Kemayoran. It is bigger, more commercial, and well-managed. The only difference is that this one (held in Monas) is free of charge.

The booth layout setting and bazaar participants

Last year, they gathered all the bazaar participant in one big room. The participant (last year) was selling lots of handcraft and creative stuff. The museums in Jakarta participated last year so people were aware and curious to get to know more and come to the museum. Or else, high schoolars got involved to show off their hard skills.

This year, they open mini stall distributed in all areas. They sold food, food, and food. They also sold fashion things, but it’s same with the ones sold in Tanah Abang (don’t get me wrong, Tanah Abang sells good things, but I expect something else in this fair). I didn’t see any interesting during my short visit there.

It’s too crowded with luxurious cars and waste

When it opened at the very first time last year, the participant were coming from middle-low people. Now, people came with their own cars to enjoy the fair. Sadly, don’t know who get it wrong, they parked the cars in any improper place like along the bus way so the traffic jam came to its worst that weekend. The road was full of waste and looked so dirty.

I just stayed for around 30 minutes and I didn’t enjoy it. Well, my hope is that next year, either the committee, bazaar participants, or the visitors can work together to color the fair with more excitement so everyone can enjoy.

My Running 10K Race Story

Finally, I made myself run a 10K race on June 2014. I ran along Sudirman road, the busiest road in Jakarta, during Jakarta International 10K. My finished time is 1 hour 42 minutes.

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Talking about this event, it is one of annual events that are held to celebrate Jakarta anniversary, but sadly I just knew it this year. This event is free of charge with target of participants 35.000 runners, not limited to Indonesian.

I registered myself online late of April and received the confirmation via e-mail. I had to print the confirmation form when I picked the race pack a week before the race.

The booth during race pack pick-up

The booth during race pack pick-up

For the day, all the participants were required to come before 06:15 AM for registration.

The sun rising behind us

The sun rising behind us

Before and during the race, I noticed there were so many runners wearing unique costume.

With Chicken Run

With Chicken Run

Running is currently trending in Jakarta. For me, joining the race was not a mainstream obsession. From this sweaty activity, I kind of be reminded of these two points:

 1. Just do it (Nike)

Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and in the end, it’s only with yourself (quoted by Everybody is free to wear sunscreen)

A while after I registered myself, I doubt myself. Will I make it? One famous runner, John Bingham, said that “The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” So, like Nike’s commercial message, I “just do it”.

Sometimes when I run, either during practice or during the race, I ask myself, “ Why you run? You can sleep at home and enjoy your Sunday” but I keep moving. I walk if I’m tired. I rest if I’m tired but I keep moving on my own pace. The point is that I don’t stop no matter what. This applies to the real life, I think. We don’t have to compare ourselves with others. Just focus on our own finish line.

2. Set a realistic goal and enjoy the process

My running twin, Mr. Ste, set some small goals to help us run faster like we should not finish later than Snow White (a runner who dressed in a snow white costume), or we should finish within 1 hours 30’s (though we finally did overtime).  We actually could give excuses to run at our comfortable pace, but sticking to one objective helped us finished in not-so-embarrassed finish time.  Like the twin said, more or less, “For certain things, one can’t set goal. For other things, one can’t go with flow. It should be balance.”

So, in relation with my first point, the conclusion I could make from my first 10K is one should set a goal for herself, run with her own pace, it’s okay to rest if she needs, and keep moving towards the finish line.

My running road one day before the race

This is the road I have conquered in 1 hour 42 minutes :)

Jakarta Mangrove Forest

Yuhuu,, we have forest in Jakarta! Can you believe it? Yes, it is Mangrove Forest in Pantai Indah Kapuk, North Jakarta. It is actually not a brand new hot spot. When I went to the area to play in Waterbom Jakarta or looking for a recommended restaurant, I saw the forestry area and I wondered how wild the inside might be. But, I never made it until some fella auditors posted many cool pictures during their play time in that forest to Facebook . It looked wild as I predicted but it looked so beautiful and luckily they planned to visit that forest one more time during an off-day this week. Without further ado, I asked them if I could join them and tadaaa… I have a story to blog now. :p

The visitors can stay overnight here

The visitors can stay overnight here

We arrived there around 3 pm and we climbed up a tower. From the top of the tower, we can see how wide and green the forest was.

me at the tower

me on the top

another side of view from the tower where we saw Tzu Chi Building

another side of view from the tower where we saw Tzu Chi Building

Next, we went to the water park where we can rent a boat/canoe/kayak to ship the swamp. I just knew that the rental price will have double increase starting from the next June so that was why my friends wanted to come again as soon as possible.

The swamp

The swamp

This place is popular spot to take pre-wedding photo session

This place is popular spot to take pre-wedding photo session

At first when I sat down on the kayak, I was so scared that I could be drowning, or if I met crocodiles or snakes. But, my friends were very brave and it was enough to give me assurance that everything was going to be okay. And it’s true. 40 minutes in Kayak was too short to explore the swamp and we rowed too early that we couldn’t enjoy the sunset from the kayak. But, still be careful anyway. The swamp was wild enough. I saw crabs when rowing below the bridge and a lizard hiding behind the bushes.

Me on the kayak in the midst of the swamp

Me on the kayak in the midst of the swamp

The Kayak team

The Kayak team

Then, my friends and I walked along the path to a beach and somehow it reminded me of some of Twilight scenes. :D

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on the way to the beach

on the way to the beach

When the group reached the beach, I was kind of disappointed with the water pollution. Here’s the evidence.

 

the pollution

the pollution

All in all, I was so happy being so close with nature in Jakarta. This forest was so big and of course, one time visit is not enough to explore the area.

The explorers

The explorers

Jakarta Expo in May 2014

Working in Central Business District in Jakarta and getting caught for hours in a traffic jam in your way home? Especially on Friday, the last working day in a week, when the traffic cannot hide its devilish face to trap you on the street? Don’t worry, Jakarta has many shopping malls and restaurants for you to waste your time (and also your money). :D

But, if you know how to find some interesting places to visit (for free, if possible), why not? Tonight after working hours, I made a visit in Jakarta Convention Center to see around the expo for FREE. Jakarta is having two FREE exhibitions at this time. Isn’t it wonderful?

First, Agri and Food Expo.

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Second, Travel and Culture Expo.

It offers you a lot of local foods (some are free for tester :P), local kain, accessories or fashion stuffs from many areas in Indonesia. The most interesting part for me is they offer many tourism brochures for free. As we all know, Indonesia is very rich with the beauty of nature (from mountains, beaches, and to under-the-sea life). Indonesia is also rich for historical buildings and cultures (kain, batik, unique accessories, tasty food, etc). But, I admit it, sometimes it is easier to travel abroad than taking trip to another island in Indonesia, right? You may name the constraints one by one,- poor transportation, unsafe accommodation, unfriendly local, and so on. But, this expo really opened my eyes what the government and the locals are now preparing for tourism activities.

Java Island - From Purwakarta in West Java, Pekalongan & Semarang (Central Java), DIY Yogyakarta, Sleman, Magelang to East Java, Malang and Tulungagung

Java Island – From Purwakarta in West Java, Pekalongan & Semarang (Central Java), DIY Yogyakarta, Sleman, Magelang to East Java, Malang and Tulungagung

Borneo/ Kalimantan Island

Borneo/ Kalimantan Island

Wondering when I'll took my first step in this island, Sulawesi/Celebes

Wondering when I’ll take my first step on this island, Sulawesi/Celebes

These are all the pictures taken during the expo (using Samsung Galaxy SIII)

The committee said it was closed at 9 PM. However, it seemed they closed earlier at 7:30 PM. FYI, the expo will be open for another two days, so if you have no idea where you will spend your weekend in Jakarta, make sure you come to Jakarta Convention Center for the expo.

Notes: I got the information from official site of Jakarta tourism:
http://www.jakarta-tourism.go.id/