ASEAN Backpacking: Dutch East Indies

June 18, 2014 ASEAN Backpacking

In our third year as backpackers, we decided to trace the former Dutch colony's trail, marking my second time in Jakarta and Bali, and my inaugural visit to Yogyakarta. Here's a recap of our 9-day adventure:

Day 1 was flight from Manila to Jakarta

As I was still slightly immobile from my trekking accident last December, I checked in at the airport early. The process was smooth, with assistance from Cebu Pacific personnel. 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 on Jalan Cikini Raya.

The ground floor was set up to encourage backpackers to mingle, with a billiards table, movie room, and couches. Comfort rooms were shared, and the rooms were on the second floor, inconvenient for a person with a disability like me. Despite mosquitoes and cockroaches, it was an okay and very cheap place to stay.

Day 2 was Jakarta traffic and a few sites

The group rented a coaster for a one-day tour of Jakarta. Our first stop was the Jakarta Cathedral to give thanks and pray for our safety. Afterward, we visited Taman Mini for a tour of the Indonesia Museum, had lunch, souvenir shopped at Sarinah Mall, and took pictures at Monas Monument.

Day 3 was train to Yogyakarta and costume fitting

Anticipating Jakarta traffic, we arrived at the station two hours early for our 8-hour train ride. In Yogyakarta, we stayed at Edu Hostel, a popular backpackers' inn.

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

It became a tradition to rent traditional Indonesian costumes. We spent the whole day dressing up and doing a pictorial at Kraton and Taman Sari. We had little time left to explore the temples of Yogyakarta, so we had to forgo Prambanan and just visit Borobudur.

Day 5 was plane to Bali and visit of Bedugul

We took an AirAsia flight from Yogyakarta to Bali, arriving at the beautiful Bali airport by lunchtime. We traveled straight to Bedugul for lunch, explored the temple, and checked into our home in Ubud for two days, the Teba House.

Day 6 was Ubud Tour

I skipped the Monkey Forest exploration and opted for shopping. Later, we all had a relaxing dip at the hot springs at the foot of Mt. Batur and 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 and then enjoyed a feast of Bali's Babi Guling. After that, we transferred to Kuta. Following several nights at backpackers' accommodations, we were pleased to have room service, a mini-bar, and a refrigerator at Tanaya Bed and Breakfast on the main street of Kuta. We also visited Uluwatu Temple to catch the sunset.

Day 8 lounging at the beach and shopping

With no set itinerary on our last day in Bali, we spent the morning at the beach and indulged in more shopping. I explored our street for more finds and went to Kuta Square. We regrouped at Hard Rock Cafe for another tradition - giving of souvenirs. I bought sarongs for all my friends. 

Day 9 was flight back to Manila

We took a flight back, marking the start of planning for our 2015 backpacking trip.

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