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Trave l o g ue january sixth twenty thirteen until january tenth twenty thirteen


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I choose Yogyakarta because I wanted to visit this city since last year because I was based on Solo for New Year’s Eve in 2011. I encourage myself to do solo traveling. Everything from ticket & hotel booking and also the random itineraries.

Outdoor view of Taman Sari Water Castle

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Artistic underground tunnel, a connection to the indoor Taman Sari area

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One thing, that website Couchsurfing helped a lot. I booked a cheap guest house from Couchsurfing and my host took me into a place that totally out from my itinerary. But I’ll let you know very soon since I’m trying to separate the stories into parts.

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I arrived at Yogyakarta at 11.30 AM and I asked my highschool friend, Aryka to pick me out from the airport. And right after that, I decided to visit the nearest tourism object from my guest house, Taman Sari Water Castle. I didn’t Google much about this place. I already know that this place contains several big pools but I didn’t know that the pool is still filled up by the water- and it amazed me to be able to feel the part of the history.

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So now, let me do a warm up blog update at first then I’ll come back with tons of stories because believe me, something big could happened in a solo traveling.

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I always love to see a local university everytime I visit anykind of town, like I did in Bandung. I visited Institut Teknologi Bandung since I got hosted by my high school friend who is recently studying in the campus.

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This time, Ary ka took me into her campus, Indonesian Institute of the Art Yogyakarta (Institut Seni Indonesia Yogyakarta); shortened as ISI. When I visited there, I got my chance to meet some of the local students from Fine Arts major and Visual Communication major. I also met my internship co worker during my visit.

There is an artwork about 2.5 metres wide manual woodcut hang in the wall and it mesmerized me. Since I had the similiar woodcut project in the past semester like I had to “draw� Borobudur Temple view in A3 wood surface and I was tired as hell. And this one, he did the manual woodcut in 2.5 metres wood surface. Obviously stunning.

There is something special from ISI. There are countless exhibitions about their personal campus projects. I saw about 4 exhibitions there. There were typography exhibition and 3 fine arts exhibitions. Well actually, ISI s tudents are obviously stunning. The fine arts students are crazy like hell.

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After I took lunch together with Aryka and Bli Pageh (my internship co worker in Lowe and Partners Worldwide), we decided to drive our scooter to Gumuk Pasir sanddune. It took an hour motorcycle drive to the sand dune from ISI Yogyakarta. Oh, yes I rented a matic scooter during my solo trip because it costs less money if I have to take public transportations. And also, to know the city better, eh.

Gumuk Pasir is located between a mountain and the Parangtritis beach line. This city is honestly unique because you have to “climb” a mountain before you can see a beach. This happened a lot when I drive myself to Sundak & Indrayanti beach (I’ll write it soon, let me share about my Day 2 trip first). The surface of the sanddune is great, with additional tundra look-a-like type of plants. What can I say, I wanted to visit this place since 2011 and now here I am. A good location for landscape photographer, I think.

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Back to my guest house at Prawirotaman, I took a bit rest there. And oh, Prawirotaman Street is an international area in Yogyakarta. Like Kemang in Jakarta and Poppies Lane in Bali. I booked my room from Couchsurfing and this makes my first Couchsurfing experience and it was great. My host is a businesswomen who run her handmade shop in the first floor and my room is on the 2nd floor. She’s very nice person like, I honestly doubt myself for getting close with a stranger from internet but my mindset pushed me like, “Just go ahead” and hey, I got a good room and a very nice hospitality from Shinta, John, Ipan and Marcelle; the peoples in the house. And the most important thing is, it cuts my budget trip a lot. The night comes and unfortunately Aryka couldn’t accompany me to drive along the famous Malioboro street. I nearly desperate (Well no, a bit exaggeration is allowed, right ?). And hell yeah, I never used the GPS feature on my cellphone and here in this city, I finally use it for a direction from Prawirotaman to Malioboro and I did it. I arrived at Malioboro. Alone. I parked my scoote r in front of Malioboro Mall and start to surf the whole street. I stopped at the edge of the street, Mirota Batik. I entered the shop I directly falling in love with shop like wow, they sell a LOT of Batik fabric and I just walk around the shop I bought a Batik fabric & somekind of accessories. I couldn’t wait any longer to see the fabric transformed into a wearable clothes. Soon ! Out from Mirota Batik, a local music performa nce stole my attention, not that far from Mirota Batik. It’s a Keroncong Mahardika. And this is why I love this city. Peoples here are pretty well correlated with the art and its local culture. And they proud of it like this city got a strong character. There’s a male dancer, dancing together with the music beat redudantly. And I consecutively went to Malioboro every nights during my trip there, only to watch the Keroncong performance. In the next day, I had my chance to meet a foreign solo traveler and we had a short talk together. And for the first time as well, I never knew that I am able to talk with a foreign stranger. And he is superbly nice, though. To be continued.

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I woke up at the early morning, even when my hosts were still sleeping. I tried to open the gate and took my first “classy” breakfast at the cafe in front of my guesthouse. Its name is Via Via Café, an international traveler café that has been spreaded around the world. I took a plate of Vegetarian Fettucini and a glass of lemon tea as my breakfast. One thing about this café is, this café is trying to fight the global warming, they tried to go green so that means, less plastic and yeah, they served my lemon tea with no straw. I didn’t knew at first so I just directly ask for a straw and the waitress gave me one. Later, I realize the reason why they didn’t give me the straw. It’s pretty unique , hmm. So, Aryka and Bli Pageh were a bit busy with their campus assignments and recently, no one could host me today. So it’s time to play with my GPS, self sense and driving skill. It was overcast, but I decided to go to the nearest tourism place in Malioboro, Fort Vredeburg and Keraton Ngayogyakarta Hadinigrat. Or some of yo u would realized that, those places has been featured in the 19th season of The Amazing Race, there was a double elimination. 2 teams were eliminated at Keraton Yogyakarta. Pardon me, I am The Amazing Race aficionado.

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A big statue you can find at the entrance of Fort Vredeburg.

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I continue my walk to Fort Vredeburg at first then I found that the drizzles came down and I’m getting a bit wet when I entered the Fort. I purchased the ticket and wow, this is a big Fort. And I can climb to the top of the building and act like a Dutch colony. Oh well, that’s a personal fantasy. Pardon my delusive thingy. I spent about 15 minutes in the Fort before I continue my trip to Keraton Yogyakarta. Yet I learned from past mistake, I asked locals several times to know the exact location of the Keraton and now I know. Fort Vredeburg and Keraton Yogyakarta is pretty close to each other yet it’s quite far if you have to walk. But yet, it’s still (and it is supposed to be) pretty walkable. One thing that makes my mood down was the weather, the drizzles came harder and I arrived at the Keraton with a pretty wet condition and it’s almost closed. It was 1 PM. I walk around the front area of the Keraton and this is where the little magic begins. A stranger called me, he asked me to take some photo of him. And I started to ask him and yes, he’s a solo traveler from Mexico.

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His name is Antonio, a middle aged man (Since world is a little bit smaller in internet, I bet you would find this post, Antonio. Hopefully). I walk around the front area of the Keraton and this is where the little magic begins. A stranger called me, he asked me to take some photo of him. And I started to ask him and yes, he’s a solo traveler from Mexico. His name is Antonio, a middle aged man (Since world is a little bit smaller in internet, I bet you would find this post, Antonio. Hopefully). After I took a photo with him, we started to surf the Keraton together. We had a bit chat about his journey and about his hometown. He nearly can’t believe that I’m Indonesian as well because he told me that my English accent is so different from the other mediocre Indonesians. Oops, a bit proud is allowed, eh ? :p I separated with Antonio when the Keraton is about to close. He’s leaving Yogyakarta at 5 PM and he’s about to swap his destination to Bromo and I swap myself to the parking lot in that rainy evening.

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When the night comes, I made an appointment with my Twitter friend, Bianda Adeti. And my final destination of the day is The House of Raminten. I bet this restaurant is pretty famous and we got lucky because we didn’t have to queue. At all. And what can I say, it has a great restaurant concept. The waitress are required to wear a traditional kemben (Google that) which is such a rare for me. So does the waiters, they were required to work topless. But when I visited, they wear a plain white tee during their works. It was rainy night with a warm conversation with Bianda. She has a good personality. All the best for Raminten because I wasn’t expect that the price range would be that friendly. No wonder if peoples are willing to queue for that long, hmm.

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Travelogue - Yogyakarta