Tag Archives: Wanderlust

Lombok – blissful beaches and good-natured locals!

Following a short stay in the Kuta, Lombok area, I have come to the conclusion that describing Lombok as “Bali’s less crowded twin” simply does not do justice to this beautiful and pristine island. Sure, Lombok may be similar to the way Bali was from a time before I was born (in terms of untouched landscapes and a laid-back vibe) but Lombok deserves to become famous in it’s own right. Not just because it lies a mere half hour by boat or plane from Bali! And here’s why :

In Lombok, I was able to surf waves most tourists have never heard of, and then ride for hours on a scooter without encountering another person (though when said scooter did break down, the first people I came across gave up over an hour of their time to help). I became friends with a young lad who (after selling me a pineapple) wanted nothing more than to chat for a while. And of course, I ate some of the best nasi goreng ever!

However, I believe these images can do a better job than mere words of conveying what Lombok was like for me! Enjoy!     

  
                           

Top reasons to visit Central Java

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!!

   
 

Where to stay in Batu Karas!

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.

   
         
Getting there…

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.

Batu Karas – surfing heaven! 

I seriously wish I could spend the rest of my life right here in Batu Karas! Surfing perfect waves one after the other was absolutely incredible! Even when I wasn’t in the water there was plenty to do, including cruising around in the Villa Monyet surf mobile, exploring secret beaches, riding a scooter over a rickety old bridge made entirely from bamboo and volunteering in a local turtle conservation centre. In a word… Or three : thumps up times! 

   

                               

A Week in Java

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.

   

            
 

  

  

  

  

 

  

  

  

  

  

 

 

 

Goa Gajah – the Elephant Cave

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.







Campuhan Ridge Trek, Ubud

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. 

For details on how to get there, check out : http://www.liveloveraw.com/campuhan-ridge-hike-ubud-bali/