Yooooo folks! It’s been ages since the last time I wrote something on my website. Oh boy! Kinda missed it for sure so here I am trying to get back to my laptop and publish the journey that I postponed. Let’s kick in. So, I started my journey from Jakarta since I used to live there for almost two years.
Honestly, every time somebody asks me what to do and/or what to see in Jakarta, I am like… what to do …. what to do… what to do… well I was like totally lost. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to tell or share some good spots for tourism but yeah, everywhere you go, the traffic jam is pretty crazy and all tourism attractions are full of people.
Again, I’m not blaming anyone but then being in the crowds is not my thing so perhaps my style of traveling is just different as I am more into a strange place like no one there (shut up! I know I know it’s impossible to find but then I’m not saying the cemetery is my favorite place to visit, hell no!). Okay, get back to Jakarta.
As long as I stayed in Jakarta before, I can name some places that pretty mainstream to visit. First, Kota Tua (the old city). The vibe is cool especially when there is a musical event or some bazaar as you can walk and chill as well as drinking some local drinks that people might offer you. You can buy souvenirs as well across the streets and see some costume parade (especially the figure of Indonesian warriors and Dutch army plus typical Dutch girls with the eye-catchy dress).
In this area, you can also visit Fatahillah Museum (Jakarta History Museum). The best moment to go is in the afternoon because it is not too hot and you can enjoy the color of the sunset while sitting in the open space plus cycling around the area with colorful bikes. But then, it’s going to be super crowded and dangerous at the same time as some thieves will grab your phone or your wallet if you are not careful with your belongings. So for me, I love to be there earlier morning to do some jogging and enjoy the fresh air. It might be empty as you see nothing like literally just you standing in the middle of the open space surrounded by coffee shops and restaurants. But then, it’s so much relaxing than the crowds. So up to you.
Next, Monument Nasional (Monas). This place is the icon of Jakarta as Monas is the national monument of Indonesia to remind Indonesians of the struggle for Indonesian independence. It is topped by a flame covered with gold foil. Well, there is a National History Museum there as well so you can take a look. This museum displays the dioramas in the large marble-lined hall below Monas. There are a total of 51 dioramas around the walls and in the center of the hall.
Let’s move to Bundaran HI or the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle as you can say. This place is not my favorite tho, but then, if you wanna go to all top exclusive malls located, you will definitely pass this circle. If you wanna know more about Indonesia in general, you can come to Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII). This place is the best spot where you can see all parts of Indonesia’s multiethnic community that will impress you. But again, avoid coming during the weekend and holidays.
Next, Taman Wisata Alam Mangrove in Angke Kapuk. This place is amazing. Even though during the weekend, it’s a bit crowded, but then it’s worth it to visit since it’s kinda hard to find natural attractions in Jakarta. So yeah, this is super recommended! You can imagine, at this place you can get fresh air from the mangrove which is in the main city the pollution is super bad so now you have a strong reason to be here! Ohh one more thing, last time I was here, I enjoyed the coconut drink and ate the local noodle which was kinda cool while feeling the breeze sitting at the shade of mangrove trees.
Last but not least, a Thousand Islands. This place is located in the North of Jakarta. There are around 20 islands out of hundreds inhabited small islands in this regency but then I am just going to talk about Pulau Pari since for me personally, this island is less crowded and it’s just super beautiful. You can even beach camping there with your own tent and the plates of seafood? super delicious!
To get here you need to go to the Kaliadem Port and take the local ferry to get to Pari Island. The beach is just super amazing. I even stayed there for a week haha! Mangrove exploration, Snorkeling, Kayaking and Swimming till dying. Man! The sands are super white!. Here’s my Pari Island story: http://windaedelwis.com/2019/11/15/pulau-pari-the-real-beauty-of-thousand-islands-you-shouldnt-miss-out/.
In the North of Jakarta, I almost forget to mention Ancol which is consisting of Dufan Theme Park, Sea World, Art Markets, Eco Parks, as well as beach side entertainment. It might sound pretty mainstream, but then, why not give a shoot! Before I left Jakarta, I went to the satellite city, Bogor which is kinda pity if you missed it. Located about 40 km South of Jakarta, Bogor has a beautiful palace with deer inhabiting its garden, one of the biggest world-class botanical garden, and golf course. To explore Jakarta and surroundings, you can have multiple choices such as train, bus way, and/or online transportation (Grab/Gojek). So do not worry to move anywhere in Jakarta.
The next journey was Bandung. From Jakarta to Bandung is only 3 hours by train. Last time, I went to Gambir Station and went to Bandung with Agro Parahyangan. Bandung is much colder than Jakarta. But then sometimes it can be warm as well but not as warm as Jakarta. Talking about Bandung, so many things you can explore. But then if you wanna know more about where to go in Bandung, you can see in my previous post, http://windaedelwis.com/2017/01/26/12-hours-in-bandung/. My journey this time was only to see a friend. For transportation, Bandung has minibusses like tuk-tuk but then only for certain direction and the timing of arrival is pretty random so better to use online transportation such as Grab and Gojek.
From Bandung to Yogyakarta, I took the train as well. It took me like 8 hours to get into Yogyakarta. It was my third time to be in Jogja just I kept coming back as Jogja had such an invisible magnet. Yogyakarta is very rich with culture, especially foods! For places to visit in Jogja, you can read my previous post as well, http://windaedelwis.com/2018/07/22/yogyakarta-where-i-closed-amazing-2017-and-opened-fresh-2018/.
My visit this time just to eat and eat haha!. Oh yeah, one more thing, you can climb the Merapi Mountain as well. Here’s my story, http://windaedelwis.com/2018/07/22/merapi-volcanic-mountain-i-see-fire-in-me/. Same as Bandung, Jogja has minibusses but then very rare. So yeah, people also rely on online transportation such as Grab and Gojek. But then, in the city center, you can just walk around because from one attraction o another is pretty close.
4. Mount Lawu
When I was in Jogja, I planned to climb Mount Merbabu. But sadly, I couldn’t do it because it was closed since they wanted to give some rest for the forest. It was kinda pity when I didn’t check the official website about the information (the availability of mountains and/or volcanos to climb). So next time, if you planned to climb any mountain in Indonesia, please make sure the mountain is opened for the public because sometimes some mountains are just closed due to some reasons (earthquake, eruption, fire, track service and/or to give some rest for nature temporarily).
So my journey started from Jogja by taking Trans Jogja went to Terminal Jogor (I paid 3500 rupiahs). I took the bus to go to Terminal Magelang (I paid only 15k rupiahs). Then, I headed to Pertigaan Wekas by taking the Setya Mulya bus (I paid 10k rupiahs). Then, I hitchhiked to Ketep then Selo. Since I couldn’t climb Mount Merbabu, so I headed to the Boyolali terminal to reach Solo (oh boy! I took a rest at Cakra Homestay). The next day I headed to terminal Karang Pandan (I paid 12k rupiahs) to Tawangmangu. After that, I needed to go to Pasar Kemuning (I paid 10k rupiahs). From this spot, I hitchhiked to Candi Cetho, the main gate of Mt. Lawu. For my journey to Mt. Lawu, here’s the link: http://windaedelwis.com/2019/11/15/you-dont-know-mount-lawu-shame-on-you-p/
Right after I finished my journey in Mount Lawu, I headed to Stasiun Solo Jebres by hitchhiking to catch the train to Malang (I paid 109k) until Tumpang. From Tumpang, I went all way to Bromo by hitchhiking. My mission to go to Malang was just for the volcano. The story of climbing Bromo without spending any single penny is available here: http://windaedelwis.com/2019/11/15/is-that-possible-to-climb-bromo-without-spending-any-single-penny/
Mount Bromo literally broke my bones hahaha. I decided to go to Surabaya for resting after 2 volcanoes in a row. From Bromo, I took a local minibus to go to Terminal Probolinggo (I paid 50k rupiahs). From Probolinggo I took a bus to Terminal Surabaya (I only paid 20k rupiahs). Once I arrived, I headed to Gubeng straight away (50K rupiahs by Grabcar) catching my hotel. I spent one full week in Surabaya just to chill, watched the movies in my hotel. Man! It was such a big accomplishment.