2017

Praying for stronger faith, more love and adventures in 2017.

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Yogyakarta, 4 – 8 February

Finally, the Suaidis are in Jogja (Yogyakarta), one of my favourite places. A second time for the lil bro and myself.

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At the highest level of Borobudur, I heard the beautiful sound of azan (Islam’s call to prayer) from a nearby mosque. An atmosphere I really miss. Here in Singapore, I could probably hear the azan when I’m at the entrance of the mosque.

Here are some snapshots!

Accommodation

We stayed in Sheraton Mustika Yogyakarta for a night, just for experience’s sake. A grand hotel with huge rooms and amazing landscape. Breakfast was a huge spread, and the restaurant has a magnificent view of the Merapi.

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My favourite place to stay in Jojga is The Phoenix Hotel – MGallery. A colonial building dating back to 1918, it definitely has its charm and character. I love hotels with character, no matter how small. Be up early for breakfast because it has one of the hugest spread I’ve ever had.  The hotel is about 13 mins walk to Malioboro or you can just take the beca (trishaw) in front of the hotel.

Must visit! 

Many new hotels have lined up the streets down to Malioboro. Sure has changed a lot over 2 years. A shopping street in Jogja,  Malioboro is the the place to get the cheapest batik shirt of S$3 to more than S$50, batik bags and skirts, bamboo products, souvenirs and other knick knacks.

If you need to escape from the heat, escape to Malioboro Mall for a JCo break. Treat yourself to a foot reflexology at one of the massage parlours. It would cost you less than S$10.

One of the days, we went for our first Mount Merapi tour on 4WD. Looking at the destruction, it made me realise if He wills, it will happen when He wants it to happen. Not within our control to say “wait, I’m not prepared.”

A reminder to treasure your loved ones and there’s no time to waste.

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A reminder of how short life is.

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Another place recommended by my best friend, which I missed the other time, is Parangtritis Beach.parangtritis3

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It is about 1.5hr drive from Jogja. Truly in love with this place.

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Simplicity of lifeparangtritis2

I witnessed the most beautiful sunset ever right here (not that I’ve seen that many).

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There were no buildings and lights to obstruct the view. It was pitch black but the rays from the orange sun painted the sky and water so beautifully. It was too spectacular, it moved my heart to tears of gratitude. I wished I had a good camera to capture that magical moment.

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I revisited a few places:

Borobudur

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A challenge for mum, even myself, to climb up the steps!
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Kraton (Jogja palace) – this time with a friendlier and reliable guide.

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The performance

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The loyal guards
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Taman Sari Watercastle (again disappointed that I didn’t get a good shot at the underground mosque cos of the crowd).

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I called it the Alhambra of Indonesia. sari1

The grand entrance
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Batik Winotosastro for a basic batik workshop (Rp50,000 only). The whole family enjoyed the session.

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This mbak was here the last time I came here!winotosastro2

Kotagede Mosque an interesting mix of architecture pre and post Islamic times.gede1

The unique architecturegede2

This time we drove to Solo, another Batik paradise. About 1.5 hours drive from Jojga. I enjoyed my time at Mangkunegaran Palace where we get to meet a 90+ year old lady who is sort of the “jamu (traditional herbs) lady. She sure doesn’t look her age! We bought traditional jamu body scrub (lulur) from her. 

Hunt for treasures at the Triwindu Antique Market. (Read the interesting article in the link.) I was excited to find a wooden jewellery box to store my watches. Mum bought herself a gift too – a traditional mini clay stove for making traditional delicacy over charcoal (which I can’t remember its name now). I can’t wait to return here when I have my own home so I can grab the rustic batik stamps.triwindu

Food glorious food

Sekar Kedaton in Kota Gede – the Iga Bakar, Mee Jawa, Avocado+Orange juice. Food tastes as good as it looks.

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Abhayagiri Restaurant – restaurant with a view of the Prambanan temple. The food is priced higher than Sekar Kedaton. Personally prefer the food at Sekar Kedaton.

Chocolate Monggo – chocolates a staple in my weekly menu. So I consider them food 🙂 I’m salivating just thinking about the dark chocolate with candied ginger! If you love dark chocolate, you must get these Chocolate Monggo! Purchase directly at their showroom in Kota Gede. Much cheaper than in supermarkets. These are premium locally made chocolates. Good gifts for loved ones too!

Street Food – so far I have no tummy problem. Jojga has plenty of street food like Rojak Es Krim, Kopi  Joss Arang (charcoal-infused black coffee), bakso, nasi kucing (small serving of rice), and many more. You won’t go hungry for sure!

The People

One of the nicest, polite and hospitable people I’ve met, are here in Jogja. No one in Malioboro would persistently pester you to buy their stuff. (I can’t say the same for peddlers in Borobudur though).

Getting around

I engaged for Pak Rini (Kama Holidays) to drive us around, except to Malioboro since it’s walking distance from the hotel. Hospitality at its best.