Blogs from Java, Indonesia, Asia


Asia » Indonesia » Java » Bogor July 7th 2021

Within an hour and half drive from Jakarta, tucked behind the new-to-be-developed compound of Trump Development in Lido, lies Bodogol National Park. It’s one of the 54 national parks in Indonesia. I was pleased to see a lush green forest covering the area of 20 hectares which are relatively untouched by the weekenders from Jakarta. Despite its proximity to Jakarta, Bodogol was relatively unknown; perhaps, it’s not easily accessible. The road heading to the park was not paved. It’s a muddy and gravel road, passable only by motorbikes or 4WD vehicles. As we drove towards the park, not only our eyes were rewarded by the sight of greenery, but also our lung was pampered by the oxygen-rich fresh air. Forest has been my sanctuary and my refuge to keep my sanity intact. I could live not ... read more
The trail towards Suspension Bridge
Suspension Bridge
Cikaweni Waterfall

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Bandung July 3rd 2021

I had been looking for suitable camping options and found my dream camp van at last! It’s a yellow 4WD jeep with rooftop tent. Perfect. The prolonged stay home had forced me to explore outdoor activities, reachable by road from Jakarta. My pick was Pangalengan and Ciwidey, 4 hours drive from Jakarta, both of which were well known for its tea industry. Along with my three other friends, we drove from Jakarta on Friday afternoon and reached Pangalengan in the evening. The drive was painless as the new toll road, Seroja, saved us an hour. Not ready to stay over-night in a tent, we decided to stay in a wooden bungalow by the lake and were relieved to find out we were the only guests. The next morning, we left before sunrise towards Situ Cileunca, a ... read more
Cukul View Point
Malabar Tea Plantation
Citambur Waterfall

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Semarang March 11th 2021

Aha, I found the red threads connecting the article wrote earlier about Kochi and Lasem! It was the same Admiral Zheng He, who visited Kochi and arrived in Lasem in 1413! Located on the Northern Coastal of Java, Lasem is known as Little China and was one of the gateways to Java for the migrants coming from China in the 14-15th century to Indonesia. For a small town so near to the Capital City of Central Java, Lasem remains untouched and far from the typical hustle and bustle of Indonesian cities. No malls, no cinemas and not many coffee shops either. In fact, it was more like a little town stuck in a time-warp! The drive from Semarang took about 3 hours; we had to pass Demak, Kudus, Jepara and Rembang. Interestingly, Demak was famous for ... read more
Rumah Oei
grannies get together at Rumah Oei
Tjoe An Kiong Temple

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Yogyakarta February 10th 2021 10th February - UNESCO World Heritage Prambanan Temple - Yogyakarta Our guide Gagat was a delightful gentleman as we entered the Temple Compound he explained in great detail the history of the temple and was able to get up close to exam the details of the structures & the stone relief work. Due to the narrow and small interiors these were currently roped off as it would be impossible to social distance inside. Prambanan is the biggest Hindu temple in Indonesia as well as one of the most beautiful temples in Southeast Asia. According an inscription the temple was constructed during the mid ninth century but the center of the government was moved to East Java by the end of the tenth century. As a result, this epic temple was abandoned and left unattended; some ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Sukabumi December 29th 2020

Land of Waterfall, Ciletuh Geopark It’s another hidden gem of Indonesia located in Sukabumi, West Java, about five hours drive from Jakarta. Recognized by UNESCO in 2015 as a National Geopark, it covers an area of 128,000 hectares over 8 subdistricts and 74 villages. Ciletuh Pelaburah Ratu was awarded as a Geopark not only because of its geological component but also because of its culture and scenery. One thing unique about Ciletuh Geopark was its combination of lush green mountainous landscape, surrounded by paddy field and located along the Southern coastal of Indian Ocean. Interestingly, little is known about this Geopark even among the locals like I. The drive from Jakarta was painless as one third of the journey was on a toll road. Before reaching our destination, we stopped by at Pelabuhan Ratu, where we ... read more
Rice field with Sodong Waterfall in the backdrop
Sodong Waterfall
Cikanteh Waterfall

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Pangandaran December 29th 2020

Covid 19 had forced us to look for outdoor activities, and during one of the long weekends, I and my friends decided to explore Pangandaran. Located on the Southern Coastal of West Java, Pangandaran is located in Ciamis Regency, accessible via Tasikmalaya from Jakarta. Anticipating heavy traffic at the Tasikmalaya – Pangandaran route, we decided to go through Garut instead. Little that we knew we had opted for a longer route going through miles of tea plantations and curvy roads along Mount Cikuray. Indeed, it was scenic but lengthened the trip to by four hours! By the time we were about to reach Batu Karas a few hours before midnight, we had a flat tire. Thankfully, we had a hand from a youngman in the neighborhood who was helpful in getting our tire replaced. One and ... read more
Offroad trip at Pangandaran Beach
Pasir Gadung Hill

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Karimunjawa October 5th 2020

Karimun Jawa is an area consisting of 27 islands North of Jepara, Central Java, of which 22 are inhabitated. Covering land area of 1,500 hectare, it has long history. It dated back in the thirteen century, during which Chinese Army, sent by Kubhilai Khan, mentioned the island on its historial record, of which fact was supported by the finding of porcelains from the Ming Dynasty. It's no surprise the islands were mentioned as they were part of the Spice Trail through which ships from the Molucca islands passed through the area enroute to Europe. It was also said that the islands were home to some pirates after the Dutch left the settlement in the 17th century. Only until recently, it was not accessible by air. Thanks to Wings Air, which operates ATR 72, Karimun Jawa is ... read more
Sunset view
Hakuna Matata Cafe
Cemara Besar

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Ijen Plateau September 30th 2020

Ijen crater had been on my wish list but prior to 2017, it was not easily accessible. Thanks to the local government who renovated and expanded the green, international airport, today, Banyuwangi is easily accessible from Jakarta. Unlike any other volcano craters in Indonesia, the 722 meter diameter crater is the largest one in Indonesia; it also well known for the blue fire. Ijen crater got popular after it was being featured in BBC's documentary film, Human Planet, due to its rare blue sulfur flame or blue fire. The thought of climbing 2,799 meter crater was daunting as I was not a mountain person, and the best time to start the climb is slightly after midnight after the gate is open in order to reach bluefire before sunrise. I and friends, Kiko and Candy, were surprise ... read more
Ijen Crater
The high sulphur content smoke coming out from the crater
The sight of crowds at 5 am

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Semarang September 30th 2020

I had a long wish list, indeed, and Dieng Plateau was one of them. I and my friends decided to fly to Semarang from Jakarta and continued by road to Dieng. We arrived late in the evening at Semarang International Airport, where our driver picked us up and took us directly to Dieng. The drive took about four hours; reachingD Dieng at 2 am, I realised I had mistakenly left my camera bag at the airport! Thanks to the airport staff who have kept it safely and had it delivered the next day. We stayed at Lovebird homestay near Dieng and continued our journey the next day. First stop was the famous Sikidang volcano crater, of which molten lava was hot enough to boil eggs. Next destination was Batu Pandang Ratapan Angin, from which hill we ... read more
Atika whose hair started to curl and create natural dreadlock
View from Sikunir Hill
Behind the scene

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Banten » Lebak March 27th 2020

Baduy village was on my "to go destinations" for a long time. It's an Indonesian version of the Amish people given the similarity of their concept of living: community based living, no modern technology and being self reliant. Located 120 km from Jakarta, there are a few Baduy villages in the area, consisting of Baduy Dalam (Inner Baduy) and Baduy Luar (outer Baduy). The Baduy Dalam tribes are not allowed to wear footwear and only wear white color clothing, while their kin at Baduy Luar wear black clothing. All clothings were hand sewn. The Baduy Luar people are those who have left Baduy Dalam, and once left, they are not allowed to return. The Baduy Luar have the benefits of using technologies but remained strict in following other traditions. Up to a few years ago, Baduy ... read more
Cijahe village, Baduy Luar
A house at Baduy Luar

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