Our Asia Trip Diary – Part Two

Check out Part One here!

Last weekend we took it easy. We got invited by someone we met on Instagram to join a walking tour around Tugu (the area our hotel is located). It was quite fun as we were the only foreigners. Quickly we learn the innocent humour of the Indonesians which is quite strange for us. We don’t walk that much but the guide has a lot to tell about the neighbourhood and its history. Afterwards, we went for lunch with our new Indonesian friend and he takes us to the Royal Palace. In the palace, there is a show/dance in traditional clothing and live music, nice to see! In the show this weird humour comes back and the locals are having a blast!

On Sunday we made our own food tour to try some new snacks and dishes. We’re still learning the different ratios of how much different things cost. For us, it seems so weird that snacks have quite a  similar price as a warm meal, but we guess warm meals are just very cheap here. All the locals are very happy and proud if we buy something from their food stand. We also blogged a bit, kept up with our finances, had a call with our family and watched a Flemish show (Down the Road, for the ones who are interested).

Monday morning we visit the Chinese temple around the corner. We tried to go there multiple times before and today it’s finally open! In the meantime, we receive a message from the immigration office to come for photos and fingerprints for our visa, so we immediately go. Afterwards, we go to two less famous temples around Yogyakarta. Our first stop is Candi Kalasan. The temple is not so big and we can just walk around it from the street, so we don’t have to buy a ticket. We do get some lunch at the warung next to the temple. We were lucky that one lady spoke English so she order us something to eat. That is where we first had soto, which is a Javanese chicken noodle soup with rice.

Afterwards, we go to the bigger Plaosan temple, which exists of multiple temples. From the last bus, stop we take a rickshaw to the temple complex. Our driver waits for us at the entrance while we are exploring the temples. These temples we can actually enter inside! It’s so special and beautiful. Because we only decided at the immigration office to visit these temples, we didn’t bring any socks, so our feet got burnt while walking on the edges of the temples. But it was so nice we had to do it anyway!

(You have to take off your shoes when entering any holy place or house in Indonesia.)

On Tuesday we decide to leave the city for a day and go to Kalibiru National Park. We’re very happy to be in nature and escape the hustle of Yogyakarta. 

Wednesday and Thursday we take it slow. We are getting our laundry done and are planning our coming days. We want to go to Mount Bromo (volcano). As it is a more expensive experience, we take our time for planning this trip. We compare the different options we have. First, we decided to do it all ourselves but after we posted a question about it on Facebook, we got contacted by multiple tour guides. We ended up making a pretty good deal with one of them. The deal we made also includes a visit to Mount Ijen and its Blue Fire. We are super excited and repack our backpacks.

Thursday night we take a six-hour train to Malang. Arriving at the station we realise we bought tickets for Thursday instead of Friday, as we were confused because of the departure time at 30 past midnight. We blame the website where we bought them as it was only in Indonesian. Luckily, a Dutch duo in front of us made the same mistake, so we felt a little less bad about ourselves. So we repurchase our train tickets and try to get comfy for the night.

Friday night we climb Mount Bromo and Saturday night we climb Mount Ijen to witness its unique blue fire. Read our separate blog post about this whole experience here!

After Mount Ijen we head to the port of Gilimanuk, where we take the ferry to Bali. In the terminal, there are already taxi drivers approaching us but as we’re on a strict budget we reject all their offers. We do approach some other tourists ourselves and found two French girls who want to share a taxi with us. Together we drive to the north of Bali where we have booked our first night. After two hours we arrive at our hotel. Our room is in front of the beach and after bringing in our laundry to our neighbour’s laundrette we jump into the sea.

What an intense week! We feel so grateful for all that we have experienced so far. The trip to Bromo and Ijen was just indescribably wonderful. But after 3 nights without proper sleep, we really need to get some rest. This week might have been too fiercely for my health (Kobie), struggling with a soar throat since Jakarta and now I’m also coughing up phlegm and lost my voice for 5 days now. Hopefully ,the medicines they gave me here will start to work soon. But now we’re in Bali and ready for some rest and beach time.

See you on our next blog!