Indonesia 2016

On travel tastes and Indonesia

I know it's only a two-week holiday and nothing like the proper travelling trips I've done before (believe me, I know). But I'm heading back into that world.

We Have Arrived!

It was only when light rain started to fall that we realised we were in a thunderstorm. It was a pretty exciting way to be welcomed to the country. And given the relentless humidity, I doubt it will be our last.

Jakarta: Fruit, Incense and Frankfurters

I did not love Jakarta. But the friendliness of its inhabitants, its fascinating culture, and the richness of its street life (of which I only had a tiny nibble), suggested that I had plenty to look forward to in the next two weeks.

The fanciest restaurant in Jakarta

One of the most beautiful restaurants I've ever been to.

Bandung, pt. 1: Sweat, Cream Buns and T-Rex 

And that's the story of how we accidentally went to an Indonesian geology conference and ate their cream buns.

Did I do a bad thing?

I am a very naive white girl, and I've never seen anyone solicit for sex work before.

Bandung pt. 2: Hot Springs, Tea Plants and Sulphur

Our day out to see the nature around Bandung -- sulphur lakes, hot springs, and tea plantations as far as the eye can see.

My Visit to the Civets (creators of Kopi Luwak)

But I wanted to say these things and to post these pictures, because looking at those civets looking back at me made me sick to my hypocritical stomach.

How Travelling Alone Makes me Feel

Simply put, travelling with others makes you think more about yourselves, and travelling alone makes you think more about others.

Marilyn Monroe in Bandung?

I just wanted to inform you all that this delight is an item in the world that can be purchased.

“Bab Sandwiches”

We call the toddlers trapped between parents a 'bab sandwich', and when the kid is at the front, which they do when they're a little older and can hold onto the handlebars, an 'open bab sandwich'.

My first Indonesian beauty treatment (and why that matters)

It remains my only proper conversation with someone close to me in age -- the majority of people I speak to are older men. I left feeling refreshed and pleased both physically and socially -- I had made a connection.

10 Indonesia Observations (So Far)

In many ways it's this unfamiliarity and the learning that comes with it that really fuels my love of travelling. I crave that shake-up of my ordinary boring middle-class-white expectations and understanding.

Surakarta / Solo: Our Failed Day

This was our failed day: the day where, inexplicably, everything went wrong. It happens on every trip, sometimes multiple times, and this was the day for it to happen to us.

Javanese Music

I am no stranger to museums and ruins, but practical things like music and dance I have less experience of, so I was keen to explore those things more fully -- something that is more-or-less quite easy to do here.

That Blessed Union: Sugar Cane Juice

Will I write a blog post about sugar cane juice every time I go to a new country and find it for sale? Yeah, probably.

Yogyakarta, pt. 1: Neon, Batik and Swords

Yogyakarta is very touristy, but the tourist areas are small pockets spread throughout the city, and elsewhere it has the clearest Javanese culture of anywhere in Java.

The Temples of Prambanan

Borobodur is a Buddhist temple, but Prambanan is a Hindu one, and I was in my element here.

Street art of Yogyakarta

Some of this would put any hipster Shoreditch graffiti artist to shame.

Guess who got her purse nicked?

That's right: this supposedly well-travelled, sensible, clever girl.

Yogyakarta, pt. 2: Ramayana Shadow Puppets

It was so calm, so passionate, and quite magical.

Borobudur temple: the jewel of Java

The jewel of Javanese architecture and history.

The Weirdest Beauty Treatment I’ve Ever Seen

I imagined, with trepidation, going into a spa and being drawn a diagram.

Wonosobo and Dieng: Calisthenics, Cockerels, and Kids

One of the greatest pleasures of travelling here in Indonesia is just looking out of the window.

Seen on the streets of Java

Because there's nothing that sells your business or makes you look cool like a bundle of English words that have a vague, passing acquaintance with sense.

Crazy Indonesian T-Shirts

These are the best ones I collected from when I was in Java.

Malang pt. 1: Volcanoes, Testicles, and Blindness [TW]

Malang had a calm, pleasant atmosphere to it, rather than being as bustling as other big Javanese cities, and it was there that I had the one day of my holiday where it didn't rain.

Malang pt. 2: Candi Singosari and Candi Sundersawan

In some ways, visiting these temples was more meaningful than visiting ones fifty times their size, because they really matter.

Malang pt. 3: Batu, Monkeys, Reog, and Gossip

My last day and one of the best. I made friends with a girl my age, took loads of selfies -- and danced with the devil.

11 Things I Liked about Java

Eleven things I liked and thought about whenever I was having a tough time.