A photo doesn’t reveal the person it shows,
it shows the person who took it.
I want to see how I change at this place through the photos.
Whatever the reason may be.
I know it’s been loooonnnnggg time since I write my last blog here. Well, I’ve been busy and caught up with lots of stuff. But then again, maybe in the first place I’m not the type who write, really. I talk, a lot. But write? Maybe not so much.
But, I promise myself to write more when I first started this blog, and this year I’m gonna stick to that plan. Hopefully even more than before. Wish me luck!
So where should I begin to update about my life?
Let’s start with the biggest thing: I moved my arse off to Amsterdam, The Netherlands! I’m finally starting with my master degree in Biomedical Sciences at University of Amsterdam!
If you know me, you’d know that living in Holland is somewhat my dream since a long time. So now that I’m here, at first it feel really surreal. Like maybe I’m just dreaming and could wake up at any seconds, found myself where I was before. But after 6 months now, I am not dreaming for sure! This is really happening!
I feel so blessed and happy to be here. School is not easy, but it’s exactly what I want to do, so I enjoy it 🙂 The city is amazing! I fell in love since day 1 I took my first step in this country ❤
So next few posts will be about my new life and how am I settling in Amsterdam. 😉
Okay, finally I promised I will finish my story about my trip to Karimun Java Island. So where were we?
So after snorkeling, we went to one of the small island nearby. Sorry I really couldn’t recall the name (>_<) Lesson for myself, next time really have to write my journey down, or start the blog earlier, no more procrastination! ;P
Anyway, the small island was so beautiful, the water was so clear that you can see the fish and also some green algae. It is heaven on earth. Majestic! Here’s the picture!
It’s so beautiful isn’t it? When I see this, I feel all that long journey by buses and ferry was totally worth it! The sea and the blue sky just seems to merge in gradation over the horizon. We alighted from the boat and started to walk around the island , and taking loads of picture that I can’t share it all with you, but I share the picture we take in every corner of the island. We’re a bit of narcissist, I’ll tell you! 😉
“Perhaps it is too late. I want to run the beach’s length, because it never ends.”
We lost track of time over there, just enjoying the view, the beach, the sands on our feet and to spend it with bestfriend, it’s just wonderful! From this island we hopped again to another island nearby to eat and relax before going back to the mainland to catch the sunset by the pier. They have delicious coconut drinks!
“I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.”
When we got back to the mainland, we went back to our live-in house to shower first. But we took a little too much time that we missed the sunset by the pier when we walked back there. But, we still got some nice pics of the evening.
To wrap up the day, we went for dinner in the so-called “town centre” where there’s a big football field, where at night they have people gather around to have dinner (fresh seafood dishes) and just chitchatting. The seafood was so good AND cheap! We ordered 1 lobster and 1 octopus (there were quite big!). It was a great day! We got back to the house and rest for the next day.
Day 3 was pretty relax, we went for snorkeling and island hopping again. It was a sunny day, which I must admit I hate though I love the beach and the sea, but sun just not my buddy. Oh, I might forgot to mentioned, during this trip we met a group of people from Jakarta that also on holiday. We joined together during island hopping and stuff under the same tour package. I love to travel and meet new people, although also for 2 days we got to know each other quite well and keep in contact till know. Great, isn’t it? How strangers meet in a cross path and become friends thereafter? 🙂 Anyway, here’s some of the snapshot we took when snorkeling in few spots, wandering around the islands (for lunch), jumped in water with sharks and finally we managed to catch the sunset!
Snorkel under the sea!
We met this sweet little girl who is the small snack shop in the island, she even wanted to take picture with us. She said she wants to learn how to speak English so that she can talk to the tourist that come to the island. One of our tour group friend told her some simple conversational sentences and brought her to talked to tourist couple there. She’s a bit shy at first, but then she really talked to them! So cute 🙂
This is our little tour group. Crazy and super fun people, haha!
This little boy posed in front of us when he saw us with camera, super cute!
The hill of LOVE
Day 3 is a wrapped! The next day was time for us to go back to Solo, again with the almost-15-hour journey by ferry and buses. I was having an amazing time in Karimun Java island, it is so beautiful! Super recommended for your travel destination, I believe you can actually arrange for better transportation so the travel time not as crazy. In my case, we’re did not make any plans and just a spontaneous trip we did! That’s Karimun Java for you, but wait!
My holiday was not done yet! After went back to Solo, the next day (my second last day for this holiday), we went to Jogjakarta! So, to be continued… 😉
HELLO! I know I should finish my story about my holiday, but I caught distracted with something else. My bad ><
So where were we? Day 2 in Karimun Java.. After the amazing sunrise, we were bound to do island hopping and snorkeling! Our tour guide picked us up and brought us to the dock, which by scooter only takes about 5 min.. During this island hopping, we joined some other people who also local tourist from Jakarta and Jogjakarta. We had to wait for sometimes when they preparing the boats and stuffs for us. It was a sunny day with beautiful blue sky. You know, I feel that somehow I don’t usually see the sky so blue, but here somehow it is 🙂 Here’s the view from the dock.
Blue sky bring smile to my face!
Finally, we’re off to the islands. Unfortunately, I don’t remember what are the name of the islands now that it’s been almost a year ago. But let’s just see the picture! First stop was snorkeling, there were few other boats nearby the area. It was just open sea, not really nearby any islands as far as I remember.
The water was so clear and blue! Nothing like I’ve ever seen before! It was super gorgeous! You can even see all the fish swimming near near the surface of the water and they’re many! According to the tour guide, people usually bring bread to be thrown at the fish for them to eat and that way they will come up. Super exciting! Although few months before this trip I went to Krabi and also do snorkeling, I found that this trip is much much better. The water, the fish, the weather. Heaven on earth, indeed!
Did you see the fish, happily swimming around me? 😀
We spent about 2 hours snorkeling in this area. I don’t have underwater camera, sadly. But the tour guide had them and he shared some of the pictures he took underwater with us. Yeay!!
Never seen so many fish in such a close contact!
Not only the fish, we can also see the corals and even touch them! They are so lovely and colourful! Mother nature is really amazing. And as you see all this beauty even underwater, you can’t help but feel blessed 🙂
I almost got it!
It’s sunny but we’re super happy!
After snorkeling, we’re off the another island nearby. Photo time! 🙂
..Us, the sea and blue sky..
Only first stop but already super fun! For the next post, I promise I will cover the rest of Day 2 and Day 3 in one go. Sorry for the late and short story so far >< More to come! 🙂
Day 2 on Karimun Java started very early because we want to catch the sunrise. So the tour guide picked us up at 4 a.m in the morning (yes, 4 freaking a.m!) and brought us to secluded area by the beach to watch the sunrise. It was amazing! And proved a saying:
“It always darkest before dawn”
It was so peaceful, you know. Nothing but you, the sea and the rising sun. Creepy up slowly from behind the clouds that hide her away from the night sky. We started going into the water and played. The tour guide helped us take some picture. And he took some good picture that I love too 🙂
..I had a dream about you. The sun was setting on our relationship like the sun was rising over the ocean. It was so beautiful, with all the pinks and soft blues..
..That time of day when the sun hasn’t come up yet, but you can already feel it coming. It’s an elusive warmth, like a subtle promise whispered in your ear and you can go on with your day knowing you’ve been given another chance to get it right..
..No words can describe the beauty of nature..
After watching the sunrise, we went back to the house where we stayed to freshen up and getting ready for the island hopping!
Day 2 just started, so come back later!
I’m back! Let’s continue the journey, shall we? The next day, my friend bring me around town of Solo. So many good food there and they’re cheap!! I practically gained about 5kg just after the trip haha 😉 Anyway, before I actually went to Solo, me and my friends somewhat discussed what should we do. And she mentioned why not go to this island in Java called Karimun Jawa (Java) Island. It is a gorgeous island in Java sea, a little bit secluded but recently starting to develop for tourist to go there. Although, we talked about it, we didn’t really look into a tour and stuff.
So actually during our trip to Tawangmangu waterfall the day before, we started to discuss about this plan again whether we still want to go. I told my friend hell yeah! Might as well, right? So then, we tried to find tour agency which we can book for the Karimun Java trip. But unfortunately, they’re all fully booked! I guess we should’ve planned before hand. I didn’t realise that it was around school holiday, so a lot of people might go there too. However, I felt like being spontaneous and then we eventually decided to just still went ahead with the trip with a little bit of confidence that we can book a tour once we arrive there.
And so, that night we began our journey to Karimun Java. From Solo, we took a bus to Semarang, city on the north coast of Java. It is the capital and largest city of the province of Central Java, at 11 p.m. Why so late? Because we need to catch another bus that will take us to small town Jepara at 4 a.m in the morning. We reached bus terminal at Semarang around 2 a.m and waited there for 2 hours for the second bus. To my surprise, the second bus was super crowded! I mean at 4 a.m in the morning!!! >_<
We reached the pier and bought the ticket for the ferry. Actually there’s also speedboat available, but it was fully booked. My first thought, the journey to cross to Karimun will only maybe 1-2 hours. You know what, to my surprise it took us 6 hours ferry ride!!! >_<
And, something great happened during the ferry ride. How initially we can’t get any tour for this trip because it fully booked, but my friend got message from one of the tour agency that kindly enough let us know that there were some spot left for the tour package with his friend! I mean what are the chances!! I guess we’re lucky girls 😉
After a long journey (we practically traveled for almost 15 hours), we reached the island around 3 p.m and the tour guide picked us up. This island sort of just developed in the past few years, so still not that many hotels or resorts. What the tour package includes is stay with the local’s houses. When we arrived, we put our stuff on the house and got freshen up a little bit after the long journey. After that the tour guide picked us up for a meal and then to see the sunset up the hill. The view was just gorgeous!
View from the top
Smile! We’re finally here!
..Having a good time in the hut..
That’s pretty much it for Day 1 at Karimun, since we arrive pretty late.. We got back to the house and the next morning we wanted to catch the sunrise. That’s a wrap for today, stay tuned for Day 2 onwards!
Sorry, I’ve been pretty busy lately and just got a terrible flu these couple of weeks. Anyway, let’s continue the story, shall we?
Day 2 in Solo, my friend brought me to waterfall at Tawangmangu. Tawangmangu area is located in the Karanganyar area about 30 km from Solo. Tawangmangu is area with a cold air because the height of about 1300m above sea level. In this Tawangmangu area there is a very famous waterfall called Grojogan Sewu and is the most famous tourist attraction here.
We need to took a bus ride to get to the Tawangmangu terminal. From Solo, it took around 1-2 hours to reach the bus terminal. It was quite a ride, the bus were super crowded and the bus driver played loud Dangdut music (sorry, but not my favourite). I tried to sleep for the entire bus ride. Finally, we arrived at the terminal, and I thought the waterfall will be very nearby like in walking distance. Apparently not! We need to take another transport going into that area, which local called angkot. We need to haggle the price first or they will charge you with ridiculously expensive price, especially for tourist. It took another 30-40 minutes to reach the waterfall.
We got a quite nice driver, he brought us not only to the waterfall but also to nice restaurants with famous oxtail soup, Sarangan lake and also another restaurant with famous hedgehog satay (surprisingly delicious!). So firstly, we went to the oxtail soup restaurant, we were starving as we reached there by 3 p.m, and we hadn’t have lunch! After the short stop for late lunch, we went to the Sarangan lake. It was drizzling rain when we arrived and foggy. Actually nothing much to see here really. But then again, maybe it’s because of the rain that we can’t see much. But I took some picture over there.
Foggy day by the lake
From there, we went to the Grojongan Sewu waterfall. We need to hike a little bit to reach the waterfall. This place is like a conserved forest with just small pathway to go up to the waterfall. So many interesting pictures we took! And the funny thing was I met my friend from university who also in holiday. What are the odds we met in this place! 🙂 Finally, we reached the waterfall and it was beatiful! We managed to get closer and took some pictures.
Entrance to Grojogan Sewu waterfall
Back to nature, enjoy the peace
Hike with a style 😉
Fiuh, a little bit tired so let’s relax for a while
As we hike, there are swing set and also seesaw. Bring us back to our childhood memories! Picture is in order! Also, they’re selling rabbit satay just by the sidewalk near the waterfall. Which in the end, I tried how was it. Personally, I don’t fancy it. The meat taste a bit funny, hard to describe. But, you can always try it. Never try, never know!
Let’s play with me!
There’s a child in all of us, sometimes we need to them out and play
Here’s my friend whom I accidentally met during my trip!
Finally, the waterfall!!
Nothing like enjoying your day with best friend
Trying something new: rabbit satay
That’s pretty much how’s the waterfall trip. It was so much fun! On the way back, we visited small restaurant for hedgehog satay! Second new thing I tried that day. And the verdict this time: IT’S DELICIOUS! Unlike the rabbit satay, I really like the hedgehog satay! The sauce was a bit spicy, but that’s just make it perfect. Unfortunately, I didn’t take picture of the satay. But it just like normal satay haha 😉
We finally reached the bus terminal again ready to catch the last bus going back to Solo. But my friend told me to try this pisang molen (Indonesian banana fritters) special Tawangmangu. It is small pieces of fried banana with sugar powder. Man, it was heavenly. Not too sweet for my taste, but just perfect!
I slept all the way back to Solo. It was super tiring yet super fun day. That’s Day 2. Day 3 will be even more interesting, little hint: we went to an island just like a heaven on earth 😉
Last year June 2012, I was travelling to Central Java to visit my best friend who’s living in Solo. I have so much fun with her and the journey is super exciting! But, for some reason I haven’t got a chance to write about it. So here is it, my long overdue travel diary to Central Java.
I was planning for 10 days trip with my best friend and we were discussing about going to Karimun Island at Java Sea, which supposedly beautiful and still rather secluded. I was so excited when the time comes, but stupid that I am, I forgot to bring my camera back then! My friend in the end managed to borrow a camera from her friend for our holiday. Problem solved! 😉
Anyway, I was travelling first to Solo, one of big city in Central Java. I was staying at my best friend place. On day 1, she brought me around the city, some of the tourists spot also. But, I tell you this: nothing beats the local food! Man, are they delicious AND cheap!! I practically gained weight after the trip.
Anyway, first day my best friend brought me to the local palace. Solo is governed by somewhat king during the old days, so there’s a palace built for him and the family. We have tour guide of the place that showed us around the palace and few stories about the governor’s.
The palace area which are open to public as museum that contains all the history related about the Sultan’s and Solo heritage.
A day in a museum
It’s wonderful how such a city have so much interesting story. This below picture is actually a carriage that used to carry the bride of the Sultan during wedding ceremony.
Do I look like the blushing bride?
I can’t really remember all the story the guide actually told us then, so let me just give you some pictures and a few stories which I can still remember. Below is the picture of a carriage they used during funeral of the late Sultan’s wife. They are 2 carriages together, which are rather identical, one for the wife and one for the late Sultan himself. They were only used once and after that they were kept in the museum. I gotta admit it’s rather creepy looking, isn’t it? My best friend actually don’t want to take picture of the carriage.
Carriage for funeral ceremony
Here’s another carriage of the Sultan’s. I don’t really remember what they’re use for. I think for daily transportation or maybe during the war? Man, forgive my bad memory. This carriage is really have a huge wheels at the back, and they all made of solid wood! Quite a woodcraft, huh?
Look at the wheels!
There’s so many interesting things I found in this museum, and it’s a bit surprising since I’m not really the type that dig history and stuff. Below is my picture with the nice 3D wall painting.. I love this picture ;D
OH NO, they’re coming!
So not only the museum has a lots of nice painting, all the historical things, its also have diorama like one in my picture below. This diorama is also about war that happened long time ago between famous patriot (which again, I don’t remember the name >_<)
Always bring umbrella before it’s raining
Beware, I’m coming with the big weapon!
All in all, it’s a nice trip to the museum, see some heritage about your own country. And before we leave, I got to say goodbye with this fellow! 😉
Well, that’s Day 1. And I tell you it got even better with the Karimun Island trip!
“…she remembered watching a summer sunset from this very spot. Not so long ago; just a lifetime.”
View on Path
Ok, let’s continue with Day 3 adventure 😀
We booked another island hopping tour for Day 3, but this one is only for half a-day. It’s suppose to include 6 islands hopping, feeding friendly monkey and going through a mangrove forest. Sounds wonderful right? It really did!
We started our tour at the same time, around 8.30 a.m in the morning. The tour guide picked us up from our resort and we’re heading first to the mangrove forest. Before we started the tour, we have to wait for the boat to come first for about 30 minutes, so we looked around the area around the piers. Here’s the sneak peak:
..the long boat, our boat..
So about 30 minutes later, we started our journey! First thing first, we were surrounded by mangrove trees and the scenery just unbelievable! And that’s when I feel closest to heaven. It’s so quite, peaceful and somewhat soothing.
There’s this small wooden house in the middle of the sea, it’s a small restorant. It was just so nice. Look at this snapshot.
..What is the use of a house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?..
..How often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home..
Breath taking, isn’t it? You know lately, you can say that I have my faith shaken. I feel very far away from God. But being there on the boat, with only the sea, islands and sky surround me, that’s when I really feel God’s presence. I just know he’s near. I feel it.
..The world is quiet here..
Around half an hour later we arrived to the first island. This time I remember the name! Bu Bu Island. It was rather quite because of the high tide, beach pretty much almost gone. But we still manage to go down and wander off a little. We didn’t really spend much time there, but enough to capture some memories.
..She loves the serene brutality of the ocean, loves the electric power she felt with each breath of wet, briny air..
OK, next island is the one I can’t remember the name. I have short memory syndrome, I must tell you. We didn’t actually go down on to the beach or something, cause there really wasn’t one. But again, breath-taking scenery are always accompany our whole journey.
Continued our journey to Ta La Beng island, what we did is parked the boat there and went for sea kayaking! First time in my life! So fun! Below are some snapshot I took on the kayak. I told you it’s a monsoon season over there, right? So on top of the high tide, we also got big waves. When we’re kayaking around few nearby islands, suddenly it’s raining heavily! We went in to a smal cave and waited for the rain to stop. After we’re having lunch. Yes, on the boat in the middle of the ocean. How cool is that!
We didn’t get to go for the rest of the island due to the big waves, it’s a pity but no regrets here. So next up we’re on the way back to the pier and mangrove forest. Another amazing find is we saw dolphins! Like 6 of them, I couldn’t get a single photo of them though, sadly 😦 Thereafter, we went to feed the friendly monkey. We gave them watermelon and banana. There’s a lot of them, even one mommy with baby monkey on her! At first, they didn’t take the fruits we threw. But after sometime, they did take it and seems to enjoy it. Here they are:
..did you see the swimming monkey?..
And that’s the end of our tour. We spent the other half days to go to the town nearby: Ban Saladan. But once again, the low season thingy hit us hard. Most of the shops were closed. But we found a spa place! Got my self full body relaxing Thai massage and manicure. After that we end the day by a yummy seafood dinner.
All and all that’s the whole story of my Krabi trip. Day 4 only filled with packing and drive to the airport and went home.
It’s a nice place for holiday, highly recommended! Though, might be better to go during the high season on October – January. I am sure it’ll be even more interesting! 😀