Day 1 plan
Our guide and driver will pick you up at the airport. After meeting service at the airport, we will escort you to the hotel. You can have a rest at the hotel before our tour the next morning, or in the evening we can stroll around Malioboro Area.
Overnight : ISTANA BATIK HOTEL YOGYAKARTA
The first time I saw Mt. Bromo in photos, it blew me away, thus, I immediately researched about, and looked for possible trips and packages for myself. That was the initial plan, just to go by myself. As I began telling my colleagues about this plan, 2 colleagues decided to join me, and surprisingly, one colleague also recommended a reliable tour company in Java, Sunrise Holidays. (http://sunriseholiday.com/web/ ) . I began communicating with Mr. Anshory and he gave us options of customized packages based on the number of days , number of people joining and our interests, which were mainly, culture and of course, nature and adventure. We decided to go for 6 days Java island package, central to eastern , then 3 more days in Bali.
First day of our long awaited holiday…we took an AirAsia flight to Yogyakarta. It was my first time taking AirAsia. As per my bosses’ recommendation, we tried the airline‘s Nasi Lemak, which I found to be a bit salty, but not so bad. I still was able to finish it.hehe I would also like to commend their pilots that day because I was impressed with our very smooth landing, hooray to the pilot!;b
As we arrived at Jogja, I immediately notice their air force flying school. haha Reminded me of the one in Lipa. haiz. Too many memories that I shouldn’t be thinking about on a holiday get away like this.
Located few meters away from the run way were the over-crowded immigration counters, four counters to be more exact. It was a relatively small space, just probably enough to accommodate one flight at a time. Five more steps ( literally) was the baggage claim. Ten more steps was the exit. Lol very very small arrival area.
Coming out of the arrival area, I can already see a name card with ‘Welcome Miss PIA’ on it being held by one small size local girl. I immediately greeted her, introduced myself and asked her to bring us to the closest toilet. I have been holding it (my pee) for more than 30minutes already. After the toilet break, she brought us to a brand new, 2-day old car and we drove to our accommodation that night. (http://www.istanabatikratnahotel.com/)
After checking in, we immediately went out to explore the busy street of Malioboro, which was said to be “The Road of Flower Bouquet and Souvenir Paradise in The Heart of Jogja”. The atmosphere was like Manila, so noisy and hectic. bubbling laughter, screaming car horns, motorcycles everywhere, shouting traders selling food and toys for children blended into one.
The sight of people selling native items and non-authentic Batik everywhere gave more color to this otherwise, normal polluted street. I admired how locals sell and wear Batik in Jogja. Looking at them made me wish we could also freely wear Baro’t saya, our Philippine national costume for females, without attracting stares and grins from observers in Manila.
As it was said that Malioboro Street was a souvenir paradise, we happily walked and looked for items to bring back as ‘resikit’ (gifts). Items were reasonably priced and because of that I shopped a few items, including my new ‘anting polos’ (earrings).
While walking outside one souvenir shop, the owner of the shop approached and informed us about a batik art exhibition nearby and he willingly brought us there. We weren’t planning to buy, but of course we did. Rachel and I bought a painting from Heru. Theme and title of the painting were the main reasons why I bought it. It was entitled ‘Freedom’ and I was feeling ‘happy and free’ at that particular moment.
According to him the painting was inspired by one female activist from East Java who was negotiating for the suppressed workers during her time. That was all I understood. He talked so fast, despite my great interest on the topic, I just couldn’t understand him thus, I just made a quick search to know a little bit more about her and the first art I bought for my new home.
Wiki provided a brief story about her; “ Marsinah (10 April 1969 – May 1993) was a worker activist at an Indonesian company, PT Catur Putra Surya in Porong, East Java province, whose rape and murder drew international attention to the practices of the Suharto dictatorship and the suppression of workers. Marsinah was serving as a negotiator for 500 workers striking over supplemental payments for food and transportation. On May 4 she was kidnapped following a demonstration, her body found four days later. Those responsible have never been brought to justice.”
They also explained to us briefly how to make a batik art; (1) Free hand pencil drawing (2) color lightest to darkest or the other way around, depending on the design. Sounded simple but I was surprised to hear that it could take 2-3 weeks to finish one batik painting. Next few days we would have another chance to know why, because we would be going to a batik factory.
Dinner was part of the optionals we got. It was a buffet dinner with Ramayana Ballet Performance. I enjoyed eating a dessert called ‘bubor sumsom’, a Javanese traditional rice porridge with brown sugar sauce and of course, ‘buah salak’, a fruit native to Indonesia.
We then headed home and to put icing on the cake, we had a midnight swim in the hotel.