Kuta Lombok, Indonesia one of the popular travel destination in Indonesia. We spent a weekend there and it has proven to be way better than Kuta, Bali. And it is nearer to the Gili Islands than Bali.
June 2018 I had my long straight hair turn into dreads to tick off one of my bucket lists. After a year of having it though I decided to untangle the dreads and left one strand as a souvenir leaving me with a very dead and dry hair.
So on one of our weekend trip, we decided to go to Kuta, Lombok not only to have some beach time as well as to do some girl time (hair and nails did).
Drove an hour and thirty minutes to Kuta, Lombok where we then checked in to our accommodation for the next 3 days.
We spent a full day doing our girly stuff the rest of it was spent on the beach. We were able to find a beach not so far from Kuta, just a 20-minute drive. It was a beautiful, clean shore, clear blue water, and to top it off there was no other soul on the beach. It was amazing, the day was lovely, the sun was at its peak, and we were in high spirits.
The good thing about Kuta, Lombok is that it has its fair number of restaurants and bar you can choose from, plenty of hotels and hosted around the area, and it was so much better than Bali.
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In our recent trip to Java, we had a litte stop in the city called Yogyakarta. It is (often called “Jogja”) the capital city ofIndonesia‘Special Region of Yogyakarta. As the only Indonesian royal city still ruled by amonarchy, it is located in the island of Java known for its traditional arts and cultural heritage. Its ornate 18th-century royal complex, or kraton, encompasses the still-inhabited Sultan’s Palace. Also within the kraton are numerous open-air pavilions that host classical Javanese dance shows and concerts of gamelan music, characterized by gongs, chimes and plucked string instruments. it is located in the Central Java and could be reached via several modes of tranportation.
Train – there are a lot of routes available depending on where you are traveling from. There are two main train station that connects Jogja to different part of Java. As we were previously in Jakarta prior to going to Yogyakarta, it took us 8 hours on a train. We had the executive type of train so it was comfortable.
Plane – Yogyakarta has two international airport that you can fly in directly. Various places around Indonesia has flights available to Jogja as well.
Private Vehicle – This is possibe if you are traveling from another part of Java, the roads around Java are decent and you can definitely drive on your own with the help of online Map apps >> Google Map – Yogyakarta. Make sure to download offline maps.
We started our trip in Jakarta, had a ticket living from Gambir Train Station at 8am. The 8-hour train ride went on smoothly, had several scheduled stop to several stations. That’s pretty much it. The train has mini restaurant where you can buy food, and there are attendants that visits ever so often bringing food for sale. Upon arriving in the Jogja station, we waited for our bike rental which we reserved in advance and drove 20 minutes to our homestay. (tip: better to book for transport in advance to avoid drivers crowding you for service)
Train ticket– You can book your train ticket in advance direactly the train company directly Kereta Api Indonesia, It is convenient and you can skip the long queue at the train station. You can just go directly to the check-in kiosk. You can also check out TRIP.COM they offer online booking on various services, Hotel ticket, train, flight. (Alternative)
Bike rental – Normally you can get this service through your accommodation. we got ours at IDR 70,000 ($5).
Accommodation – Tiga Lima Homestay, they were very accommodating. Breakfast was included in the package and they’d let you choose the time you want to have them from 6-9am, and they’ll deliver it at your door. The place was nice as well and had a pool and rooms are spacious.
Restaurant – Yam Yam Thai Restaurant, the food was great, they had different varieties of curries and all are equally delicious. You would want to reserve in advance as it could get really crowded.
Restaurant – Canting Restaurant – Yogya , It is located inside a mall so it is quite easy to locate. It is on the top floor with an overlooking view of Jogja.
Desserts – Tempo Gelato , there were quite a few gelato places in jogja, and at night they are all packed. This ice cream bar is spacious, with a garden sitting, and the interiors is nicely decorated.
Recreation – Bliss Pool & Lounge, they are open until 4am, they got plenty of pool tables, the place is clean, and the crew are very friendly.
It is always better to drive on your own, as long as you are set to drive on a very busy roads. The city is big enough for a spontaneous city tour with a lot of interesting things to offer.
IDR 350K per pax entrace fee to Prambanan Temple (there are other temples situated in the premesis of the compund)
IDR 50K for petrol
Meal prices is not included as it varies depending on where you go eat
I somehow have a mixed opinion regarding both temples, as both are world acclaimed site, it was way too expensive to visit both. They have fully commercialized both temple that even when you are not dress appopriately to go inside a temple, they tend to overlook them. The people guarding the premesis often overlook tourist that are disrespecting the the temple, like standing, and sitting on the parts of the temple. At the end of the trip, I fully appreciate the ancient people who have built these massive temple it must have taken them years to contruct th huge temples. I am in awe of the intricate designs carved on the walls, it tells stories of what happened hundreds of years ago. Yogyakarta, what an amazing place you are.
Head on to my YouTube channel for travel videos – Girls On Global Adventures , I post new videos weekly. I am currently traveling through Southeast Asia.
SEE DETAILS AND LINKS BELOW FOR TRAVEL GUIDES:
How to get there
How to get around Nusa Penida and things you should know
Transportations, Accommodation and Recommendations
Years ago Nusa Penida was on my bucket list of “Places to go to”. Now I’ve ticked it off, and it was an awesome feeling. It wasn’t the easiest to go to though, the drive was terrible. It was long, agonizing hours on a bike driving through very narrow roads. Twists and turns, ups and downs. The journey was so difficult that I almost decided not to continue. But I’ve longed to see it, I have got to see it!
So I continued driving on these awful roads, massive holes, some didn’t even look like roads anymore. It was more like driving through a dried-out river with stones, sand, and mini cliffs. But boy, I’m glad I continued.
Gazing upon it from above was surreal. It was unbelieveable, like I was living in a dream. It was exactly what I expected it to be. Breathtakingly beautiful and undeniably amazing.
It was almost sunset and that made it more appealing, it added drama to the moment and perfection to the view. Soon enough it’s beauty was covered with darkness and I went home with a grateful heart.
How to get there:
From Canggu – take a forty minutes cab to Sanur port
From Padang Bai – East of Bali, take a ferry to Nusa Penida
Sanur port – forty five minutes ferry ride to Nusa Penida
Nusa Penida – rent a motor bike at the port (alternative – Arrange car pick up from your hotel)
How to get around Nusa Penida and things you should know:
Motor bike – is always the go-to vihecle for exploring, it gets you from one place to another easily and quickly. Just always drive safe and use helmets. There were multiple blind curves, the roads are narrow and sometimes there are huge holes in the middle of it. I recommend avoid driving at night.
Car Service (Alternative) – Arrange car through your hotel, they normally offer per day charges depending on the destination you are going. It’s less hassle but could sometimes hard to go around as the roads are very narrow.
Always download offline Google maps. The signal is really weak around the island, it’s always safe to access your map without internet connection. Click here to download:Nusa Penida map
When snorkeling at the Manta point it is to best leave early, it tends to get really crowded on a later time, hence lesser chances of you seeing the manta rays.
On your way to Nusa Penida, I suggest you be at the port early, tide tends to go up , there could be big waves and also the port don’t have any ramp during onboarding. It is a water entry; flip flops are recommended.
Always wear sun protection, I use Garnier SPF50 sunblock lotion and also wear rash gaurd if you have sensitive skin, protection for jellyfish sting.
Transportation, Accomodation and Recommendations:
Gede Driver (+62 813 5366 6692) – Car Drop-off from Canggu to Sanur port
I stayed in Prasi Sunset Bungalows – Tripadvisor , Prasi Sunset Bungalows – Booking.com , Check the link to see reviews and pictures of the place. Definitely worth it. The place was quite nice, friendly, accommodating and warm crew, the stay was pleasant. They made sure that your is experience great. They arranged car pick up upon arrival and departure, motor rental at the hotel, the boat rental for snorkeling with Manta ray among other water activities. And made the ferry reservation from Nusa Penida to Lombok via Padang Baiand the GIli Island . The view from the villa was lovely, overlooking the sea and great vantage point to see Mt. Agung . It has pool, hot water, Wi-Fi, and breakfast included. If you want more details about the place send a message to Wyn Adnyana, he’s the one who’s taking charge of the hotel.
Virgin Beach Restaurant – was the one restaurant that got stuck in my head. I liked there tuna steak not only because I haven’t eaten seafood for the longest time, but because it tasted amazing and the seasoning was perfect. It was a pleasant meal.
– provides tips and list of things to expect during philippine immigration interview
Left the Philippines and currently in Bali . I am going to live around Indonesia for the next seven months, I am terrified! I will try to learn their language, culture, and tradition. Indulge myself into new flavors Balinese food. It’s going to be a roller coaster life from hereinafter. I am so anxious. It will be a completely different life but I am ready for this.
Roughly two months ago I left my job in preparation for the trip. It was hard, but it was necessary. It enabled me to travel the few remaining islands of the Philippines that I haven’t explored. The last couple of months were hectic. Not only because of the weeks after weeks of traveling from one island to another but also because of the preparation of documents for the actual trip.
But the jitters didn’t stop there, because the actual day of the trip I had to undergo the last hurdle (the hardest one) the Philippines Immigration . As this was my very first trip abroad I was pretty anxious about the immigration. I’ve heard and read stories about people getting offloaded from there flights, people being put on hold for hours. Knowing these things caused panic to my system, so bad that I couldn’t sleep for the last remaining nights I had in the Philippines .
From getting sponsorship letter and telex (few of documents needed for the Indonesian Embassy). No- Filipinos don’t need a Visa to go to Indonesia if you’re only staying less than 60 days. But because I intend to stay there a maximum of six months, I had to undergo the process of getting the visa. And it came through. I also had to process for an International Driving Permit, and have travel insurance.
But as you all know, I did it! I’ve passed the immigration and is now in the very humid country of Indonesia . I am still adapting, but I am getting there! I am going to miss my family in Argao, my friends, and my life in the Philippines . But I am here now and I am one step closer to my dream.