A Homey Vintage Town: Yogyakarta (Part 2 of 2)

On our third day (25 March 2017), we drove to Kalibiru (map), another trending place in Yogyakarta where you can snap a picture on a tree with beautiful scenery of lake as the background. Before we arrived, we dreamt of taking those pictures and posted them on our social media. However, after 2-hours journey from city center (we stayed at Malioboro area), we found that the place was very crowded. We had to queue for 3-5 hours if we insisted to take those pictures. So, we just gave up and hang around for around 1 hour and then moved to Mangunan Pine Tree Forest (map). Ahead to the forest, we stopped to Sate Klathak Pak Pong (map) for lunch.

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@Kalibiru

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We ate this much.. And the bill was under IDR 100K. Good taste, of course.

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me at Pine Tree Forest

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Mom, still at Pine Tree Forest

Following going back to Yogyakarta, we stopped at Tempo Gelato in Prawirotaman street (map), another heavenly street for backpackers in this city, other than Malioboro.Stellycious-yogya-march2017-5We spent the night at Malioboro, close to our homestay, the packer lodge. Check rate and availability, make your booking via Agoda.

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15 Days DIY Vietnam – Cambodia – Thailand (Part 1 of 3)

Almost half a year since I traveled to Vietnam – Cambodia – Thailand with my Mom using this itinerary. It was a 15-days journey, 7 nights in Vietnam, 5 nights in Cambodia, 3 nights in Thailand. I forgot some details of this trip but I would retrieve some important memories, such as the travel agent, restaurant, transportation, and hotels.

Day 1 : Arrived at Saigon Airport at noon. We took the bus that dropped us to the hotel area, Cong Quynh, District 1. After we placed our bags, we asked the receptionist how to go to Saigon China Town, Ben Thanh, and Heritage Walk (Reunification palace, Cathedral). We just needed to walk around 15 minutes to get the bus number 1 to China Town and got the same bus to go back to the hotel and continue to Ben Thanh and Heritage Walk. I stayed at Madam CUC 184 Hotel there. They made us a cup of Vietnamese coffee for breakfast. Very original.

Find your hotel in Ho Chi Minh at Agoda.

Day 2 : Cu Chi Tunnel and Saigon City Center.

We booked a tour from the hotel. I forgot the price but it was very affordable. Together with any other tourists and informative tour guide, we explored the Chu Chi tunnel until noon. We arrived at our hotel around 2pm

Day 3 : Moved to Can Tho and join a food tour in the evening & Day 4 : Can Tho Floating Market in the morning (book a tour from hotel) and enjoy the riverside in the evening.

The receptionist gave us direction to take the bus to station where we could get transportation to Can Tho. Can Tho is a small and lazy city. We chose there because we intended to cross the Cambodia border via Chau Doc. The decision was right. We stayed at Hotel Xoai. We joined a food tour at night we arrived and a Mekong floating market tour at the following day. The price was cheap enough since they managed it by themselves. We also hired English-speaking guide. It’s worth the money. The boat captain was very friendly and helpful. We recommended you to give tips for the boat captain even though you have paid the tour. I mean, it’s holiday, right? They also helped us to book the bus (Futa) to Chau Doc. The bus agency picked us up from Hotel Xoai and dropped us right in front of our hotel at Chau Doc. Total service.

Find your hotel in Can Tho at Agoda.

Day 5 : Moved to Chau Doc and relax

Just after we arrived at Chau Doc, we felt happy since our hotel has balcony facing local market. What a view. We walked around at noon at the riverside and enjoy the sunset at Victoria resort. We stayed at Trung Nguyen Hotel there. There was a local restaurant served Chinese-Vietnamese food. So great.

Day 6 : Chau Doc Morning Market and Sam Mountain.

Another lazy city. Nothing much can do. We followed the pace, grabbed a taxi bike to explore the town and book a ride from a local friend, Ms. San, to Sam Mountain. From Sam Mountain, we can see the Cambodia land from Vietnam.

Find your hotel in Chau Doc at Agoda.

Next, we got help again from Ms. San to book a speed boat to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. We’re ready for the next adventure!

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with Ms. San before boarding off to Phnom Penh

To be continued

Kampung Lawas Maspati

Another place that you should visit in Surabaya is KAMPUNG LAWAS MASPATI, a historical site and green village in Surabaya. It’s a tourist village run by the local people and supported by the local government (sponsored by local companies).

In this village, you can learn how to recycle the trash, manage the waste water, do local food processing, and see some local herbal plants. If you are interested with history, you can visit some old buildings, like school, army base camp, house of national hero, etc. For fun, ask the locals to play some games with you. Local food and drink are also available for you if you love culinary.

It’s best visited when they have a festival or when you are in a large group. When I came last Saturday around 9 am, I was on my own. It’s so deserted. All the historical buildings were closed. Luckily, I met an kind old woman, Bu (Mrs.) Pipik, who assisted me to hang around the village.

(map)

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“Engkle” Games

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The house

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The village

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with Bu Pipiek

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Come and visit Kampung Lawas Maspati

Click here to book a base camp and unlock countless experience in Surabaya via Agoda.

Gili Labak Beach

We have been heard about the beauty of Gili Labak Beach so long before we experienced it first hand. We joined an open trip tour from Gililabakisland (235 K / pax). We were picked up at our hotel in Surabaya by a mini van bus (11 pm). The travel time to the point where we move to a boat to Gili Labak should have been 3 hours, but we waited other passengers. We finally reached the basecamp to get your breakfast around 4.30 pm. After having breakfast, we sailed a boat for two hours to Gili Labak Island.

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Sunrise on 6 Aug 2016

And here we go, we were at Gili Labak once in a while.

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The peeps!

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Enjoy the view once in a while

We did snorkeling, too, not really far from the beach. But, sadly the coral looks dying and I didn’t look many variety of fishes.

We sailed back to Madura around 12 pm. Lunch provided when we reached the tour basecamp (around 2-3 pm). From there, we headed our journey back to Surabaya around 4 pm and arrived to our hotel again around 8 pm. Overall, this escape was worth the journey.

map here

A weekend to Kediri and Malang

So, my mom and I had a short escape to Kediri and Malang last May. This is the itinerary. We rented a car from/to Surabaya and driver to help us run our itinerary.

Day 1

We drove early morning to Kediri to visit Goa Maria Pohsarang. It should have taken 3 hours, but there were a carnival, so we reached our destination after more or less 4.5 hours.

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Goa Maria Pohsarang, Kediri

From there, we bought some souvenirs, met my old schoolmate, and got our lunch in the city. Around 3 pm, we headed to Batu. Too bad, we encountered a carnival so we arrived late at Museum Angkut and Batu Night Spectacular. We also drive across the main hall of Batu City before we checked-in to our guesthouse, Adam’s Apple.

Day 2

The following morning, we went to Omah Kayu Paralayang. The location was hardly to reach by the car. The road was very steep and narrow. Lucky we had a very good driver. When we came there, they closed some areas for film shooting. Anyway, we had a good time there.

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The view from Omah Kayu

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Another view from Omah Kayu Paralayang

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That’s my mom conquered the world :p

From there, we drove again to Malang city. During the journey, we enjoyed the time in a traditional market, tasting Cwie Mie from the origin place, etc.

In Malang, we paid a visit to the main hall of the city, enjoyed some desserts in Toko Oen, and also had our lunch at Bakso President.

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Main Hall or “Alun-alun” (What they call it in Bahasa)

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On our way back to Surabaya, our driver stopped by at Tretes, another famous highland in East Java for us to see around. He also suggested us to try Ote-ote and do some shopping at Tanggulangin, a well-known place for its leather products. He was a good driver and a tour guide.

All in all, it was a good and pleasant journey. We wish we could have longer time to go to Bromo Mount since it’s quite close to Malang. Perhaps, next time 🙂

2D1N Sabang – Banda Aceh

Short weekend getaway after driving 5-6 hours from Lhokseumawe to Banda Aceh.

We departed from Lhokseumawe around 6 or 7 pm. We made a stop at Socolatte (local chocolate product) for a while to buy some souvenirs. We arrived at Banda Aceh around 1 am and stayed a night at Siwah Hotel since all new hotel are already full.

The First Day:

Early morning we went to Ule Lhee Harbour to take ferry to Sabang Island. We use SABANGKOTA tour service for our short and quick getaway. We also had snorkling time on the first day.

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Ule Lhee Harbour

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It’s Sabang!

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A beach near to Freddies’

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Anoi Hitam Beach

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Yuhuuu!!

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The most western point in Indonesia

The Second Day:

We got back to Banda Aceh and moved around to Tsunami Museum, Ayam Tangkap Restaurant, PLTD Apung, and some other historical tsunami sites. We spent time to buy souvenirs.

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They kept the buildings destructed by Tsunami as it was

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They didn’t move the ship from the original sites

Click here to book a base camp and unlock countless experience in Aceh via Agoda.