Category Archives: Indonesia 印尼

The Soul of Java — Yogyakarta

It’s raining season at Yogyakarta (pronounce as “Jog-Jakarta”, called Yogja for short) in March but since Air Asia was having promotion during this period, I decided to go ahead. The days were gloomy with no sunrise or sunset to be seen. Always very hot in the morning and heavy rain in the afternoon and night. Nevertheless, it was still a good trip with many photography opportunities, great food and relaxing pace.

Borobudur

One of the hi-lights of Yogja is the Borobudur temple, built some time between AD 750 and AD 850. It was abandoned soon after completion due to the decline of Buddhism. All the while covered by volcanic ashes till 1815 when it was revealed again by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles when he was ruling Java.

Borobudur

The monument was a Buddhist vision in everyday world and spiralling up to nirvana. Spend time to walk (clockwise in Buddhist tradition) round the galleries of the stupa starting at the eastern gateway, some of the sculptural work were quite impressive. Recommended to watch the audiovisual show at the Manohara Hotel to have a better understanding of Borobudur.

The Buddha at Borobudur

We stayed in the Manohara Hotel for its proximity to the monument. The price of the room will include unlimited entry to Borobudur temple and audiovisual show. Hotel guests can join their sunrise tour at discounted price (185,000Rp, Non-guest 335,000Rp). The rooms are reasonably comfortable but pricey.

 En-route to Borobudur, may also visit the Mendut Temple (entrance fee at 3,000Rp). It houses the 3m high statue of Buddha. Instead of the usual lotus position, here he sits western-style with both feet on the ground

Mendut Temple
The unique posture of Buddha

Prambanan

The temples at Prambanan represent the period of Hindu cultural development. There are 3 main temples each facing the East in the central courtyard. The biggest temple is dedicated to Shiva, the Destroyer. On each side is Brahma temple and Vishnu temple. Each main temple has accompanying temple facing to the west, namely Nandini for Shiva, Angsa for Brahma, and Garuda for Vishnu. We are able to climb up the temples except for Shiva temple where it was closed for restoration (think was closed for a few years already). The entrance fee to Prambanan is 117,000Rp, we booked it through our hotel and got 7,000Rp discount.

Temples at Prambanan

Ratu Boko

Perched on top of a hill overlooking Prambanan is the Kraton Ratu Boko (Palace of King Boko). It is a big area where first you will see a gateway. After entering the gateway you will see Pembakaran temple and the holy wells on the left. Walk across the plains you will reach the Paseban aka waiting room for guests who wish to see the king. The area is vast and requires quite a walk. It is actually still in ruins, little remains of the original complex, but the view there is still worth the walk. Entrance fee at 75,000Rp.

The gateway at Ratu Boko

Both Borobudur and Prambanan made to the Unesco World Heritage list in 1991 but I personally find the temples at Prambanan more magnificent than Borobudur. Do go to find out yourself.

Yogyakarta

It’s quite easy to orientate around Yogja town.  The main road that runs from the train station to the Kraton is called Jalan Malioboro.  Bustling with activities especially at night, you find many hotels and guesthouses here. Many many souvenir shops (where you can buy t-shirts) and batik shops here.  There’s also many roadside food stalls along this road.

Sightseeing at Yogja town to me is nothing fantastic. In the heart of the town is the Kraton, a huge palace where the sultans stayed. Much of the Kraton was a museum showcasing collections of gifts from European monarchs, heirlooms of the royal family, etc.  Entrance fee 12,500Rp+1,000Rp for camera. Outside the Kraton there 2 big banyan trees where in the old days, white-roded petitioners would sit patiently there hoping to catch the eye of the king. We saw people blindfolded walking toward the trees. It was said that if one can walk between them without mishap, you will receive great fortune.

Pavilion at the Kraton
Blindfolder and walk to the trees, if successful, you will receive great fortune.

To the west of the Kraton is the Water Castle aka Taman Sari. From the back of Pasa Ngasem (traditional market or also the bird market) an alleyway will lead up to the broken walls of Taman Sari.  Once at the ruins, go to the right to look for the tunnel which will lead you to the restored bathing pools of Taman Sari. Taman Sari once served as a pleasure park of palaces, pools and waterways for the sultan and his entourage. Thou restored, the condition was still.. alas.. not well-maintained. Entrance to the restored Taman Sari is 7,000Rp+1,000Rp for camera.

The ruins of Taman Sari
Restored pool of Taman Sari
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在巴厘岛大开吃戒

在来巴厘岛前,朋友便极力地推荐当地特有的美食。这一趟来当然不能错过啦。

烤乳猪 (Babi Guling)
很惊讶吧。印尼怎么会有乳猪呢。 其实呢, 岛上居民大多信仰阿加玛印度教 (Agama Hindu), 所以呢,乳猪也成了当地特有的美食。在乌布 (Ubud) 有家以烤乳猪而非常出名的餐馆, Ibu Oka。在以前的旧址时, 地方小所以常常排着非常长的人龙。现已搬往一个比较大的地方, 可是还是满座。烤乳猪以药草,香料,红椒等佐料制成。记得点 Babi Guling Special, 所呈上的部位也是烤乳猪最好的肉质。特别喜欢淋在烤乳猪上的酱料, 非常香又带点辣辣的, 很美味。 当天也点了烤乳猪皮, 可是由于当天的皮质地不是很好,不够酥脆,店家也拒绝了我们的order,可见店家的心胸。

Babi Guling (meat only, with a slice of skin)

Babi Guling Special

Roasting

 烤鸭 (Bebek Betutu)
使用香蕉叶, 草药和香料以文火烤烹煮。在旅游书上常看到他们介绍这间餐馆 —  Dirty Duck。朋友曾去过,可是review并不好, 觉得肉质干硬,而且贵。这一次没机会去, 也没机会品尝到烤鸭。不过下次一定记得要尝试。

鱼串烧 (Sate Lilit)
切成一小块串在竹串上再放在碳烤架上烧烤, 沾上香辣花生酱料,非常爽口。我们的driver也带我们到当地人爱去的临海市集品尝,便宜又绝对道地。

Sate Lilit

有些餐馆也值得前去品尝喔。

Murni’s Warung @ 乌布 (Ubud)

始于1974年,是乌布相当有名的餐馆。餐馆在一处绿意盎然的小山丘,是一处非常懈意的好地方。

我们点了两道菜:

Tuti’s Tutu Ayam
鸡肉的肉质细嫩, 集合了草药和香料以文火烹煮达8小时以上, 配上黄姜饭。 我喜欢那鸡肉, 真的很嫩,很美味, 可是那黄姜饭就嫌没什么味道。

Tuti’s Tutu Ayam

Lumpia
与我们常吃的油炸薄饼相同。外皮炸得酥脆,里头的馅丰富, 有笋,虾米, 鸡肉等, 而且不油腻。 沾一沾带点辣,又有点甜的酱料,两个字, 好吃!

Lumpia



Made Warung @ 库塔 (Kuta)

那天晚上, 天下着滂沱大雨, 我们撑着大伞从酒店走到了这间餐馆。天啊, 已是非常的客满了。我们也得与其他食客共用餐饮桌子。我们点了两道菜

1/2 Nasi Campur 1/2 Gado Gado

Nasi Campur with Gado Gado

这算是印尼的家常菜。如同我们常在小贩中心吃的什菜饭。相当美味, 因为集合了特有巴厘的香料, 举凡炒青菜, 豆腐, 咖哩都很好吃。然后一石二鸟, 还加了Gado Gado, 印尼式salad, 很清新爽口

辛辣鱼 (Ikan Pepes)
好像我们的Otak。 质感比较硬。 Pepes 是一种印尼的烹调法。 用香蕉叶包裹着食物然后蒸煮或烧烤。 这个Ikan Pepes有很浓郁的椰奶味, 觉得有点过头了所以越吃越觉得腻口, 而且太干了, 不太喜欢。

Ikan Pepas

Mie Basok
在印尼总会吃到的牛肉球 与面。 这是我们在乌布一个路边小摊位吃的, 又便宜又好吃。

Basok
Mie

金巴兰海鲜 (Seafood at Jimbaran)
高尚区, 是品味新鲜海产的地方。

Dining under the star at Jimbaran beach side
Grilled prawns

Laze, Sun, Sea… @ Bintan Nirwana Gardens

如果每天都是阳光,大海,沙滩,日光浴。。。

如果每天都像在度假,悠闲自得。。。

I love the reflection of the clouds…
overlooking Banyan Tree from afar…

Kids playing at the beach
Must have – Tanning lotion
The infinity pool at Nirwana Resort
Banyu Biru – where we stayed
Many flowers around Banyu Biru Villa

Batam Getaway

It was a super R&R trip.  No rush, no alarm clock, get to watch exciting World cup match, super good & cheap massage, swimming in a nice beautiful pool, get to eat cheap & delicious food… Wow, I am contended with this short 3 days break from work and Singapore….

Batam Harris Resort

I’ve been to this place before Harris came around.  It was previously called “Quality Hotel” but with no quality to be mentioned and long forgotten.  Now they’ve transformed to be the hip & trendy resort.  Stayed in the newly constructed Harris Trendy.

I am really impressed by the transformation and even the surrounding has changed!  I don’t recalled there’s such beautiful scenery then, not to mention the nice sunset for the 2 days!

It was saturday night and coincidentally it was the night of the lunar moon elicpse!

There’s a few ponds near the resort, so we decided to do some fishing… Rp 10,000 for a rod… with natural bait.. earthworms!  The guy dug out quite a lot for us.

Isabella Massage House
Nagoya Hill Shop House Block G No.5
Highly recommended massage place. Cheap and really good. Massage was painful (for me) but the after effect was really good, at least the strain was gone.

Relax with wine, biscuits & cheese 😀

Ate cheap and nice food in town and found a kopitiam opposite the resort.  It serve delicious Nasi Padang.

I will definetly be back again.  Contended…