TRIP OF WONDERS: A GLIMPSE OF INDONESIA’S SOUL, YOGYAKARTA

Since I was a teen, it is always a dream for me to travel alone outside my home country. Maybe, because I like the idea of exploring things on my own while puzzling out directions and words that I am not familiar with. Unfortunately, right now, my parents do not approve of this idea and my boyfriend gets paranoid most of the time, so that is definitely a NO as well. Perhaps, when I age a little bit? LOL! I do not know, but as of now, when the possibilities are nowhere to find yet, I enjoy everyone’s company, which I appreciated even more when I met people from Southeast Asia countries during my Trip of Wonders Indonesia trip just last month of October.

Indonesia, Yogyakarta

Indonesia, Yogyakarta

You know the popular quote, “expect the unexpected”? Exactly the words that came in my mind the moment I received Tourism of Indonesia’s email. Why? Because it was really my plan to go to Indonesia, Bali in particular, on my birthday month (October) – but unluckily, my timing for ticket sales was always imperfect. Nevertheless, I finally got the chance to see and experience Bali and Indonesia’s other city, Yogyakarta. Plus, I met a lot of new friends from Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei and Philippines!

Indonesia, Yogyakarta

Considering all of the things I heard about Indonesia, there were two things I was looking forward to witness: its culture and its beaches! Gladly, my excitement was all satisfied by the city of Yogyakarta and Bali!

Our 6-day trip was mostly spent at the city of Yogyakarta (pronounced as “Jogjakarta”) where Javanese culture and customs are as rich as they were centuries ago; hence, it is the best city in Indonesia where you can totally experience its culture and traditions through its historical landmarks, agricultural practices and local food.

Indonesia, Yogyakarta

With this in mind, we started our first day trying out its local food at Gudeg Yu Djem where we had the most popular traditional Javanese cuisine from Yogyakarta, Gudeg. It is made from jackfruit that is cooked together with Palm Sugar and Coconut Milk, which explains the sweet and coconut-y taste.

Commonly, Gudeg is served with hard-boiled egg, chicken, krecek (this one is a bit spicy) and white steamed rice. For me, its unique taste makes it really special and next time, I will try it with bread!

Indonesia, Yogyakarta

Indonesia, Yogyakarta

Indonesia, Yogyakarta

After brunch, we went to EPIC Coffee for an hour of hangout and of course, coffee!

Indonesia, Yogyakarta

Indonesia, Yogyakarta

Indonesia, Yogyakarta

Aside from its delicious coffees, what I like about EPIC Coffee is how cozy and nice the place is. It is one of the coffee shops where you get to enjoy good conversation, delectable coffee and picturesque interior! Unfortunately, we were not able to try its desserts but maybe, next time.

Indonesia, Yogyakarta

Indonesia, Yogyakarta

They are also selling some cute furniture and home decors that are available on the other side of the café.

Indonesia, Yogyakarta

Indonesia, Yogyakarta

Indonesia, Yogyakarta

Indonesia, Yogyakarta

Indonesia, Yogyakarta

Here is where the fun started, after an hour of talk and laughter, we headed straight to Borobudur area, Pendopo Ontel Tingal in particular, to have lunch and to watch traditional Javanese dance, Kuda Lumping or Jathilan, which portrays group of horsemen.

Indonesia, Yogyakarta

Indonesia, Yogyakarta

Indonesia, Yogyakarta

Indonesia, Yogyakarta

Afterwards, we cycled around Wanurejo tourist village!

Indonesia, Yogyakarta

Indonesia, Yogyakarta

This was a bit challenging for me, as I am not really good in cycling, yet I hate missing the chance of exploring the area, so I cycled and I am really glad I did!

Indonesia, Yogyakarta

Indonesia, Yogyakarta

Indonesia, Yogyakarta

Indonesia, Yogyakarta

When we reached the meeting area, which was 3 kilometers from the starting point, we had a few snacks and got the opportunity to try pottery and Batik making!

Indonesia, Yogyakarta

Indonesia, Yogyakarta

The day was a bit exhausting considering the 5:00am wakeup call, but nonetheless, it was indeed fun and productive! Best part is, it was just our first day, but I learned a lot about Indonesia’s culture and I am really happy to experience all this on my birthday itself!

Indonesia, Yogyakarta

And what made the day more special? These people who made me feel loved on my birthday!