travel tips

+ if english is not your mother tongue, it’s never a good idea to say “suckling pig” and “dirty duck” in one sentence (one breath). i ended up saying “suckling d*ck”.

errr… yes, well….. . apart from the blunder, this trip was awesome. i went to bali – flores and then to jogjakarta. can’t tell you all of it, so i’ll just write the highlights.

– pura uluwatu: not bad. the temple was nice but the monkeys were not. i just found out that apparently i’m afraid of them. padahal udah siap2 dengan sebungkus pisang loh buat dibagi2in, gak taunya tiap mereka mendekat gw menjerit dengan kencang (oh so embarassing) dan pulangnya langsung stress berat. the kecak dance was magnificent though.

tips: bring a sweater. siang emang panas, tapi begitu sunset anginnya terasa dingin and you might have to wait for quite a while before the dance begins.

– babi guling bu oka: again, not bad. actually some bits were quite delicious and tasty. tapi after that while travelling around ubud area we stopped at a local sawah to take some pictures, and lo-and-behold, there was a warung pinggir jalan that sell babi guling. so we ate (yes, again). ternyata lebih tasty loh. believe it or not. si ibu yang jual even had a kind of sausage (dari daging tetelan)…. ini sosisnya ENAK BANGET!! kalo titi kamal makan di situ, dia pasti bilang “MEGANG BANGET!”. :p

tips: kalau makan d warung pinggir jalan yg kebetulan enak begini, mendingan lauknya aja banyakin. nasinya gak penting! dan berhubung bahasa indo si ibu agak terbatas, ngomong lah dengan perlahan. gw minta sambel diacunginnya malah sedotan..diiringi senyuman keibuan.

– bebek bengil: seriously not a resto to be missed. the view was excellent. the food were excellent. a bit pricey but i suppose you can’t help it. bebeknya enak, baby back ribs nya juga uenakkkkkk!

– ubud & kintamani area: skip the usual tourist spot. tampak siring is quite ok, but skip gua gajah, monkey forest and other unnecessary tourist attraction, including bali bird park!! boy that bird park is so exaggerated!! udah harganya mahal untuk turis asing (271rb compared to 71rb buat turis lokal), isinya juga gak bagus2 banget karena burung2nya kebanyakan ada di balik kandang, jadi gak bisa di foto2. quite annoying. burung kakaktuanya juga gak se friendly yang ada di kuranda, so it wasn’t as exciting. it’s better to go straight for the shops (if you’re into it) or the view (sawah terasering..) and the food. much much better.

tips: for shopping, kuta might seem a little more convenient with all the stalls and vendors, but i think ubud has better taste.

– bedugul: go to lake beratan. it’s a must see place. more importantly, go to pura something2 at beratan lake. it’s really beautiful.

– on the way to lovina: another must see places: gitgit waterfalls. kalau dari arah kuta, ada 2 git2 waterfalls. yang pertama, itu bisa lihat 2 air terjun, yang single dan yang kembar. both great, tapi di air terjun yang kembar bisa mandi2. it’s really gorgeous. di git2 yang kedua equally good tapi gak terlalu bisa mandi2 karena bentuk alirannya agak bertingkat2 gitu.

tips: git2 pertama dari bawah: bring towels. might be better to hire local guide to help carry your stuff. if you’re not carrying much, then no need to hire one.

git2 kedua dari bawah: no need guide cos you can just follow the path. but it’s a bit of a walk dan naik turunnya cukup bikin cape, so bring something to drink. a can of cola there cost 10rb. and come early in the morning if you can, so no one is around so you can take pictures without having someone lingering at the background of your photos.

– lovina: trust me. when you go there, stay at frangipani hotel. it’s really gorgeous. the website didn’t lie when it said gorgeous view and private rooms. i simply loveeeeeed it there. the owner were a nice elderly couple. the food is mostly homemade (homemade bread, jam, juice..) and it is only a few minutes walk to the main area of lovina.

– tips: they have tv, but you don’t need tv there. for dining, you can enjoy the jasmine restaurant. ask the locals, they know where it is. it served delicious thai food for reasonable price.

if you want to go dolphin spotting, don’t count on it. the boat cost 60rb per person (can fit up to 4) but i didn’t see any when i went out. it was a good morning to spent looking at sunrise though.

labuan bajo: to get there it’s really easier to book a flight via travel agent located at bali, cos the flight is a bit unreliable. i took indonesia air transport to flores, and transnusa on the way back. they’re a bit pricey, 875rb one way per pax. but you get snacks on board, and the view from top is magnificent. do reconfirm the flight one day before though, cos they only open the labuan bajo airport for check in (hence, once a day).

oh ya, di sana boleh nginep di bayview garden hotel. owned by a dutch. lumayan, 500rb per room sudah termasuk breakfast dan afternoon snack. kamarnya gak indah dan gak magnificent, but it’s got decent room, decent bathroom, and MAGNIFICENT view of the harbour and the islands. apalagi pas sunset…. uughhhhh…. gak ada duanya deh. if the locals don’t know the hotel name, mention “tempat pak adrian”. they’d know it.

tips: ways to travel within labuan bajo: walk, ojek, or angkot (they call it bemo). bemo banyak, tapi gengges banget klaksonnya. ojek juga banyak, most usefull kalau udah lewat magrib (angkot cuma sampe magrib doang). to go to and from airport, hire an angkot for 25rb.

– diving and snorkelling: you could hire one of the many dive operators there. i went with divinediving. not as crowded as dive komodo and the crew were nice. the diving site: SPLENDID. clear water all around and the waves aren’t as crazy as the ones in cairns, so you can swim with ease.

tips: if you’re going snorkelling, wear your tshirt. mataharinya ganas bo.

– waterfalls: in flores, there are also a few more sceneries to die for. apalagi kalau habis nyelam, harus spend a day free of diving kan sebelum terbang. nah isilah waktu ini dengan a bit of exploring. ada cunca rami (cunca = waterfall), ada crater lake, dan lain2. i went to the cunca rami. apparently, “a bit of exploring” is a bit of an understatement. the trekking involved walking on path (1 hr more or less), then went thru a jungle (more or less 2hour), then after seeing the waterfall walk back to the car (more or less another 40 minute). the hike to the waterfall was so tiring, but it was worth it.

tips: really!! bring your towels and bikini!! bisa mandi2 di sini, walaupun airnya dingin. tapi after all those walks… i’m sure you won’t mind getting a bit of fresh dip there. oh, and bring your camera!!!

– food:
untuk dinner cobalah makan bebek goreng di gejayen. seblahnya resto gajah wong. mantep abis. baik dari sambelnya sampe bebeknya. sampe kebawa2 mimpi loh. beneran.
untuk lunch soto yg di gejayen (lupa sotonya pak siapa… ) juga bisa jadi pilihan. seger banget.

– temples:
borobudur is always a good place to go. prambanan is next best, although gara2 gempa taun 2006 kmaren candinya jadi super berantakan dan hancur. sayang sih.

tips: again, foreign tourist mesti bayar 10x lebih besar dibanding turis lokal. untuk di borobudur ini sudah termasuk welcome drink (tea coffee water).. jadi manfaatkanlah itu dengan membawa sebanyak2nya botol air ke atas. daripada beli kan bo? oh ya, kalau mau sih di borobudur bisa hire local guide untuk ceritain tentang reliefnya. i was more interested in the view though, so no need for local guide.

so far that’s about it. i’ll post photo2 next, kalau udah dapet dari si fotografernya. :p

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