ASEAN Backpacking: Dutch East Indies

June 18, 2014 ASEAN Backpacking

In our third year as backpackers, we decided to take the former Dutch colony's trail.  It was my second time both in Jakarta and Bali and my first time in Yogyakarta.  Here is a recap of our 9-day adventure.

Day 1 was flight from Manila to Jakarta

Since I was still slightly immobile from my trekking accident last December, I checked-in at the airport early.  The process was a breeze and I was assisted by a personnel from Cebu Pacific.  It was also the first time I met some of the backpackers I was traveling with.

We checked-in at Six Degrees Jakarta Backpackers Hostel at Jalan Cikini Raya. 

It was a nice backpackers inn. The ground floor was set-up to encourage backpackers to mingle, with a billiards table, movie room, and couches.  Comfort rooms were common though, and the rooms were on the second floor, which was very inconvenient for a person with a disability like me.  Plus, there were mosquitoes and cockroaches.  But, overall, it was an okay place to stay in, and very cheap too.

Day 2 was Jakarta traffic and a few sites

The group rented a coaster for this one day tour of Jakarta.  Our first stop, which was just proper, was the Jakarta Cathedral, to give thanks and of course, pray for our safety.  

After that, we went to Taman Mini for a tour of the Indonesia Museum.  Lunch followed, then sourvenir shopping at Sarinah Mall. We were also able to squeeze in a picture-taking session at the Monas Monument.

Day 3 was train to Yogyakarta and costume fitting

Anticipating the Jakarta traffic, we were at the station two hours early.  It was a long wait, especially with our excitement to see the temples of Yogyakarta.  Anyway, it was an uneventful 8-hour train ride and we arrived at our destination with enough time to freshen up and have our costume fitted.

We stayed at Edu Hostel, which is a popular Backpackers Inn in Yogyakarta.  

Day 4 was dressing up like locals and moonlight trekking at Borobudur

We made it a tradition. Our friend Mervin, who organizes our backpacking trip, found a shop and we rented traditional Indonesian costumes.  We fitted the costume the night before and spent the whole day dressing up and doing our pictorial at Kraton, a living museum of Javanese culture and at the Taman Sari or Water Castle temple.  

We spent too much time at the pictorial. We had little time left to explore the temples of Yogyakarta.  We had to forgo the Prambanan and just visit Borobudur.

Day 5 was plane to Bali and visit of Bedugul

We took an AirAsia flight from Yogyakarta to Bali.  We were at the beautiful Bali airport by lunchtime and travelled straight to Bedugul for lunch, then to explore the temple.  After that, we checked into our home in Ubud for two days, the Teba House.

We were impressed by its traditional Balinese architecture.  I was happy also we that we got the best room.

Day 6 was Ubud Tour

Since it was not my first time in Bali, I decided not to join the group when they explored the Monkey Forest and just go shopping.  After that, we all had a relaxing dip at the hot springs at the foot of Mt. Batur. We bathed in the holy waters of Pura Tirta Empul after the hot springs.

Day 7 was transferring to Kuta and Uluwatu Temple

We started the day with more shopping then a feast of Bali's Babi Guling or roast pig. Then, we transferred to Kuta.

After several nights at backpackers' type of accommodations, we were happy to have room service, mini bar and refrigerator at Tanaya Bed and Breakfast, which is located at the main street of Kuta. 

After enjoying our room, we head straight to Uluwatu Temple to catch the sunset. 

Day 8 lounging at the beach and shopping

We didn't have a set itinerary on our last day in Bali so we started with a whole morning at the beach, followed by more shopping.  I explored our street for more finds then went to Kuta Square.  

We regrouped at Hard Rock Cafe for another tradition - giving of souvenirs.  We gave each other souvenirs from the trip.  I decided to buy sarongs for all my friends.  

Day 9 was flight back to Manila

and the start for the planning of our 2015 backpacking trip.

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