It's been a week since my Indonesian adventure and yep, I still can't get over with it! Who would've thought that I'd be spending my post 25th birthday celebration in this part of the world? For some, Indonesia doesn't ring a bell. Excluding to those who travel extensively around Asia, try mentioning Indonesia to your friends and they'll only know a few things about it.
For five days, we tried to explore the different cultures of Java Island. Well, what did you know? It had exceeded our expectations!
Like the Philippines, Indonesia is an archipelagic country, consisting of more than 17,000 islands. Indonesia is so big that it is divided into three different time zones - Jakarta and Yogyakarta, for instance, being an hour behind the Philippines, Bali having the same time with us, and the Papua Province (formerly known as Irian Jaya) being an hour ahead of us. This is the reason why Indonesia has so many local minorities, varying cultures and beliefs, and local languages and dialects. Not to mention that the most viable way to explore the rest of the country is through air.
|Tangkuban Parahu Volcano's crater|
|Inside Borobudur Temple.|
It took us four hours to reach Jakarta, the longest flight I took so far. From the bustling Indonesian capital, which was eerily reminiscent of Metro Manila, we hired a car to explore Bandung, another metropolitan city of Java Island. We also had a side trip at Taman Safari in Bogor, a two hours drive from Jakarta. Days after, we flew from Jakarta to Yogyakarta, the home of two famous temples - Borobudur, the largest Buddhist temple in the world and is considered as one of the seven wonders of the world, and Prambanan, a Hindu temple near downtown Jogja.
Into The Wild
|Feeding the wild animals.|
Taman Safari brought me back to my childhood. It's like the Jurassic Park of Indonesia, only that there were absolutely no dinosaurs for obvious reasons. Guests had the chance to have the closest encounter with various animals such as reindeers, llamas, alpacas, camels, zebras, lions, bears, orangutans, hippos, alligators, and all those animals that Noah brought to his ark. Guests can also feed these animals from the cars, except for lions and other carnivorous animals.
Communicating around Indonesia was really challenging. I thought I'd experience the worst in Vietnam, but no. I was wrong. When you talk to the locals in English, regardless they understood it or not, they will always reply in rapid Bahasa. I guess this was the only drawback in our adventure. But nonetheless, the locals were still helpful. Special thanks to my aunt who helped us throughout our trip. Without her, mom and I would be forever lost in translation.
One Country. Four Cities. Five Days.
I explored the crater of a dormant volcano, shopped like there was no tomorrow at several outlet stores in Bandung, fed the wild animals in Taman Safari, got kissed by the sun twice while temple running at Borobodur and Prambanan, and ultimately got lost in translation. Every. Single. Time.
We should've included Bali (Denpasar) after visiting Yogyakarta but because of work, I need to go back. Nevertheless, Bali can wait. *wink*
Indonesia was the 6th country for my #30BeforeThirty project, but I guess I should scrap that out and just focus to thirty places outside Philippines before turning 30. Hahaha! The latter is more feasible than the former.
Let me share you a glimpse of my Indonesian adventure.
Terima kasih, Indonesia! You were indeed wonderful!