1. Ancient temples
There aren’t too many places in the world where you can visit the largest Buddhist temple in the world as well as one of the world’s most spectacular Hindu temple complexes in the same day. Central Java, however – home to both Candi Borobodur and Candi Prambanan – is one of those places.
*Tip* : Arrive at Borobodur at 6am or stay overnight for the best experience!!
2. Awesome views
Located just 2-3 drive from the heart of Yogyakarta, Kalibiru was by far one of the most magnificent places I encountered during my time in Indonesia. The photos speak for themself!
3. Unspoiled and uncrowded waves
As one of my previous post suggested, I fell in love with Batu Karas. Suffice to say, I’ll be back!!
Villa Monyet (www.villamonyetjava.com) is hands down the pick of all accommodation available in Batu Karas. The rooms were fantastic, really quite affordable and best of all, located just across the road from the main surf break. More importantly however, after just a week long stay I felt like I’d lived there my whole life. My vocabulary isn’t broad enough to convey how great Villa Monyet and Batu Karas was as a whole! To put it simply, everyone was just beyond welcoming and super friendly.
I believe most visitors to Batu Karas fly either domestically or internationally into Jakarta and from there fly with Suci Air to Pangandaran before taking a short taxi ride to Batu Karas.
Alternatively, you can do as I did by flying into Yogyakarta before enlisting the help of a quality driver in order to tackle the 8-9 hour drive to Batu Karas through some very remote areas.
This week was probably one of the greatest weeks of my life! Honestly, what could be better than surfing for days in Batu Karas, visiting the oldest Buddhist temple in the world, killing time with friends in one of Jogjakarta’s largest malls and taking in the view at Kalibiru atop a bamboo platform suspended high in the trees.
One morning I woke up early and with no destination in mind, I jumped on my scooter, only to find myself pulling into the parking lot of Goa Gajah not long afterwards. Though it hasn’t changed much since I last visited 5 years ago, I still quite enjoyed my quick walk through the cave. For first timers, the shopkeepers out the front will attempt to persuade to buy a sarong, claiming that you need one to enter Goa Gajah. This is in fact true, however, sarongs are given freely once you pay the entrance fee (Rp 15,000). Though if you are interested in buying sarongs (if you’re a woman, for example) the shopkeepers do have some nice ones that you can pick up for around Rp 20,000. Also, once you’re inside, local guides will offer to walk around with you and give you a quick history of the site for a small fee but it is by no means compulsory to accept their assistance.
This trek must be one of Ubud’s best kept secrets! Luscious grasses spill down the slopes on either side of the gently sloping track for around 2-3 kilometres before the trail ends in place of a road that leads to the official endpoint of the trek – Karsa Kafe – where you can eat some delicious food overlooking the rice paddies or even get a massage if you find the walk sufficiently strenuous. The Campuhan Ridge Trek is best tackled early in the morning to avoid both the heat and stumbling across one of the many young local couples (as I did) who often hide just off the path.