indonesia chronicles: surabaya street

surabaya street is a well-known flea market in central jakarta.  after hearing mass at the cathedral, i took a cab and told the driver to drop me off at jalan surabaya.  the indonesian driver was a cheerful local who speak english started a small conversation asking where i was from:

me: well, guess where i’m from.

driver: singapore? (maybe a lot of tourists in jakarta are singaporeans?!)

me: nope.  guess once more.

driver: taiwan? (is he serious?!)

me: wrong.  i’m from the philippines.

driver: ohhh…  christian bautista! (lmao! was he that famous in indonesia?!)

we reached surabaya then i handed him idr 15,000 (was idr 11,000 in the taxi meter) for the fare and thanked him.  a few tourists were also looking for bargains as i walked beside the shops where the locals are seated at the curb either polishing brass or fixing items that they are selling.

there were a lot of items being sold like these antique-looking brass items.  my ma actually have a small collection of small brass vases but hers came from india.

i am not sure if the stuff they sell are authentic, anyway i was only there to look and take pictures.  one caucasian woman actually bought one of these supposedly world war II diving helmet made of copper and brass material.

then i passed by these wooden stick puppets which caught my attention.

i was hooked.  though i never had any plan to buy anything, these puppets are too artistically crafted that i wanted to bring one back home.

for idr 300,000 (about $30.00) i got these wooden stick puppets of rama and sita.  i think it was worth it having one for myself.

indonesia chronicles: makanan tempat

one of the things that i appreciated when i visited indonesia was their cuisine. i actually liked their dishes that i was able to taste which satisfied my fondness to slightly spicy food. here are some of the “restoran” i visited during my solo travel.

black canyon coffee

i was searching for a place to have dinner after my leisurely walk at kuta beach and noticed this nice looking restaurant in discovery shopping mall in jalan kartika plaza.

black canyon coffee is originally from thailand. this one in bali is the only branch they have that is operating in indonesia.

my first impression about black canyon was that it only serves typical menu that one will find in a coffee shop like sandwiches or other quick-fix food but i was surprised when i checked out in their menu that the place is actually a restaurant that offers extensive choices of food.

they have what they call “indonesia favorites” where local dishes are served in a different zest.

i ordered some sweetened black iced tea.

and nasi pedas, where the spiciness of the dish is just right for my taste. their restaurant have thai dishes but i was more interested with their indonesian specialties. rice dishes, pasta, noodles, curries and soups are also available

nong jma

there is a foodcourt in sarinah mall in jakarta where i ate at nong jma.

the set-up is that there is a buffet spread where you can choose a variety of local dishes.

you pick what you want and how much you want it in your plate and pay for that.

fried fish and tofu, spicy anchovies (loved it!), string beans with mongo sprouts and brown rice cost me only about idr 20,000 – like $2.00!

tomodachi café

this restaurant is at the ground floor of fave hotel where i stayed in jakarta. i had my dinner here before my flight back to manila.

it is a french-oriental fusion restaurant.

the restaurant has a very modern feel.

i ordered “ayam betutu”, half chicken grilled with traditional balinese spice, served with steamed rice, sambal matah, and piecing kacang panjang.  the dish was beautifully presented though the food itself, i can consider as average.

makanan tempat means food places in bahasa.

indonesia chronicles: warung mendez

it was past lunch time when i finished frolicking (lol!) with the macaques at the monkey forest sanctuary in ubud, bali.  a local acquaintance recommended me this restaurant located a few minutes from the sanctuary.

warung mendez is an open air cozy restaurant with wooden tables and benches known for their delicious and affordable local dishes in their menu.

i chose to order their bakmi goreng jawa, a dish of stir-fried egg noodles cooked in javanese spice paste with shredded chicken and vegetables topped with fried egg with a side dish of pickled mixed vegetables and two sticks of chicken satay.

the restaurant has an open kitchen were you can see the local women cook your dish infront of you.

spices and condiments used for the bakmi goreng.

skilfully she tossed the ingredients into the wok and a delicious aroma entered my nostrils.

that’s apple cider, red wine and balsamic vinegar.  vinegar usually adds tang to most recipes.

noodles are ready!

uber yummy bakmi goreng. 🙂

three kinds of sambal, which are chili based sauces.

warung mendez is at penestanan kaje, ubud, bali indonesia.

indonesia chronicles: museum nasional

the hotel i stayed in at jakarta was a few minutes away from some interesting places to visit within the city.  spending a minimum fare of idr15 by taxi, i went to check museum nasional, jakarta’s national museum.

it is also known as the elephant house due to the bronze elephant statue that is found infront of the main building which was donated by a king from thailand,  chulalongkorn in late 1800’s.

it is also called as the house of statues because of the number of statues exhibited inside the museum.

the lobby, central and atrium hall has a collection of hindu-buddhist art of ancient indonesia. these sculptures, relics and inscriptions was collected from dfferent parts of the country.

i spent some time in fascination of the intricate details of most of these statues.  i ‘ve always had this interest on archaeology.

a hindu royalty and his wife.

there were a lot of stones like these with inscriptions.

this is one of the levels which is part of the museum’s new wing.

inscriptions, footprints, drawing of insects carved on a rock.

a collection of some stone age artifacts such as fossilized skull and skeleton of homo species are found in the prehistoric collection

bracelets can be this difficult to make.

i noticed the asmat canoe which is a long carved narrow boat used as transportation by the asmat people, an ethnic group in papua province in indonesia.  the body is made of either mangrove or coconut wood carved by hollowing out the mid-section of the log lengthwise.

here’s a desperate attempt to take a picture of myself, lol.

there was a group of elementary students who just arrived when i was to leave the building for their educational field trip.

entrance fee is idr 10.00 for foreign nationals and the museum is open from 8.30 am to 2.30 pm  on tuesday, wednesday, thursday and sunday; from 8.30  am to 11.30 am on friday; and from 8.30 am to 1.30 pm  on saturday. closed on mondays.

indonesia chronicles: fave hotel

i returned to jakarta through an air asia flight after my four-day visit to bali.  from terminal 3 i took a “golden bird” taxi which was pre-arranged to my pre-booked hotel which is located in jakarta’s central business district, fave hotel wahid hasyim.

i have reserved a room for a three night stay at fave through their website.  the hotel is almost new, for it was still less than a year old.

i was given a room at the fifth floor.  though it was opposite the elevator, the noise did not bother me at all.  i can see the traffic in wahid hasyim road from my window specially during rush hours.

the room has a soft feminine touch, adding the flower wall paper.  the double bed and the pillows are comfortable and the room generally clean.

a 26 inch lcd television and a small writing desk is found in the room.

universal power socket is also available.

complimentary wi-fi access was efficient.  during my travel in indonesia i only have with me my phone for internet use.  unlike before in my past travels, i cannot seem to leave back home my laptop, now obviously i realized the convenience of not carrying one.

a phone is available for local and international calls.  i did used this and was separately charged a small fee.

there is no clothes cabinet in the room but there is a space to hang clothing and a room safe.

toilet and shower with basic toiletries which were replenished daily.

a thing to know when you check-in in a hotel room is the fire exit.

i paid like $55.00 / night with breakfast in this hotel.

on the ground floor of the hotel is tomodachi café.  a french-oriental fusion restaurant.

they serve buffet breakfast and ala carte food.

though the buffet during breakfast has limited choices, it was quite okay for me.

i was satisfied with my stay at fave hotel and recommend it if you will be staying in jakarta on a mid-range budget.  it has a very accessible site and it is near shopping malls, museums and the national monument.

indonesia chronicles: bali heat

the plan for my solo travel to indonesia was to visit jakarta and bali. i chose to visit bali first and not jakarta for i was thinking it would be better to do that if some flight delays occur in bali en route to jakarta. flight to jakarta from manila by cebu pacific was at late evening and i arrived at soekarno-hatta airport with a layover at terminal 3 for six hours for my flight to bali. i brought a pocket-book with me to keep me company and noticed three solo travellers like me waiting for the same flight but were white women. i was too shy to approach anyone of them so i just tried to doze off in one of the cold stainless steel chairs in the waiting area. an hour before my scheduled flight i checked-in at the air asia counter, and waited for boarding of my plane to bali.

it was drizzling when i reached bali and tried my best to act like one of the locals (which was in fact ineffective) when i was trying to get a cab to my budget hotel. the cab fare started with idr 100,000 as i was asking the drivers offering me the ride and as i was getting nearer to the airport exit i stopped by in a convenience store to have a cold drink and asked the store lady how much is the taxi fare getting to kuta. she said it was idr 50,000. i then was approached by a cab driver as i went out of the store, he was asking for idr 80,000, i insisted on idr 50,000 and acted to ignore him and he gave in for the price i wanted. talk about bargaining!

it was still too early when i reached the hotel and was told by the receptionist to be back by 12 for an early check-in at tune hotel, a budget accommodation in kuta. i then decided to walk around then suddenly heavy rain fell i took cover in one of the shops near the road where i met ari, a local from jakarta who works in germany. when the rain stopped he invited me to have lunch in made’s warung a restaurant famous in kuta.

after we finished lunch, we walked around kuta passing by more stores and bars. there was one thing that caught my attention for we were getting offered of “magic mushrooms”. i took a picture of a calling card for “delivery service” for these stuff.

these are actually mushrooms with psychedelic or hallucinogenic properties. obviously it is in demand with foreigners in the area.

ari and i passed by this memorial, where the 2002 bombing incident happened in kuta.

it is considered as the deadliest act of terrorism in the history of indonesia, killing 202 people who were mostly australians and further injuring about 240 more.

i thanked ari as we parted ways and i walked back to my hotel to check-in. tune hotel in kuta is about a 6 minute walk to the beach.

this is my second time staying on a tune hotel (first was in penang). the room is clean and has the necessity i needed for my stay.

the next day i visited bali bidadari batik were one can see how batik is made. they also have these local women doing artisitic drawings on shirts and weavers.

i was more fascinated with the weavers which reminded me of our ifugao native women in the highlands who does the same.

i then went to the sacred monkey forest sanctuary were macaques live free.

it is actually a temple for people who worship them.

the monkeys may look harmless but it is advised that one should not touch or tease them for they may react in an unpredictable way. i never attempted to feed them but a juvenile grabbed the dangling strap of my camera and good thing it slipped off in his small primate hand.

this one was eating some coconut provided by the monkey experts who keep an eye of the safety of both tourists and monkeys.

too busy eating her banana, i am so tempted to touch her.

the sun at midday was so hot when i reached tanah lot, a famous rock formation.

here is a closer view of the temple. i read that over one-third of the structure is already artificial because the rock face actually have crumbled.

no(t) entry? well i wouldn’t do so!

on my background is pura batu balong, a smaller temple in the area.

i spent my last day in bali at the beach.

kuta beach is as crowded as our own boracay, but a white wall fence (worth 4 billion indonesian rupees) separates it from the main road of cafes and restaurants. it is said that it was built to prevent sand from blowing off to the establishments but it actually ruined the beach view if you will be dining in one of the restaurants or sit in one of the cafes.

bali is a great place but your own safety should always be a priority, specially if you travel alone (and this applies in every foreign place we go). i loved the nightlife in bali though i had these instances where i was offered marijuana not only once by a local and i just politely said no and walked away.