Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Central Java ~ Heritage & Nature Tour

Day 1 - May 17 Singapore/Solo

Arrival at Solo via Silkair

Itinerary
- Solo City Tour
- Mangkunegaran Palace
- Radya Pustaka Museum
- Batik Istana
- Flea Market

Lunch @ Rasa Mirasa (see pic below)
A Nice Local restaurant
JL. Raya Solo Kartasura KM 8
Tel: (0271) 714280
Pabelan, Sukoharjo
Cost: Rupiah 129,500 (Drinks - Cola & young Coconut, Grilled fish-Gurami Bakar, 1/2 Ayam Bakar, Kangkung Sambal Tempe, Nasi Putih, including the local guide & driver's lunch)

- Scenic drive through lovely mountainous, countryside road between Merabu and Merapi Volcanoe
- Ketep Pass to view Merapi Volcano at 1400 meter above sea level
- Check-in Berg View Hotel @ abt 5pm

Accomodation
Berg View Hotel
Jl. Raya Blabak - Sawangan Km. 02 Kec. Mungkid Kab. Magelang
Tel: 62-293-782 237
e-mail: pta@idola.net.id

Fantastic view of Merabu and Merabi in the background of the paddy field.
Spacious and clean room, and huge bathroom


Beatifully landscape with a water-view dining experience




Radya Pustaka Museum was founded on October 28th, 1890. A small museum housed in an exotic old building, showing collections of Wayang Kulit (leather puppet), topeng (mask), gamelan (Javanese music instruments), Royal Barge figure heads and some Hindu sculptures. I didn't quite enjoy it as the exhibit wasn't very well maintained and museum is really small.

Pura Mangkunegara II is a Royal Palace built and completed in 1866. The current prince still stays in the palace. Coming from city, and having been to so many palace in the european countries, Mangkunegara is not very special and not very nicely-maintained. I think can skip this and visit the better-maintained Sultan Palace in Jogyakarta.

The most memorable experience at Ketep Pass was the light snack of freshly-grilled corn at the little shred by the hillside overlooking the vegetable crops. By the time we finish the Audio visual about Mt Merapi at Ketep Pass, the surrounding were slowly covered with thickened mist, so we can't really see Merapi from the viewing stand.


Day 2 - May 18 Dieng Plateau/Boroburdur

Itinerary
- Sunrise (5.15am) and Breakfast @ Pool terrace
- Dieng Plateau
- Boroburdur at sunset

Accomodation
Manohara Hotel just right besides Boroburdur Temple
What I like most about this hotel is it's proximity to Boroburdur Temple, and it's free pass for entrance to Boroburdur for sunrise.

Sunrise @ Berg View Hotel Pool terrace

~ Merabu & Merpi Volcano in the background



"Dieng" in Sanskrit language means hill of heaven. It is located on 2,000 meters height above sea level in a fertile highland of Wonosobo and Banjarnegara Regency.

The drive to Dieng Plateau was beautiful. The endless terraced hills with bountiful vegetable crops was a visual treat to city dewllers like myself. The misty cool air slowly covered the whole terrace as the sun rises up higher the sky. Mysterious and enchanting, though not so good for taking pictures.

A few stops were made at Dieng Plateau area to look at the active crater Sikidang, followed by the mysterious beauty of Telaga Warna(Lake Warna) and the Anjuna Complex (Old Hindu temples).


Telaga Warna is a lake within a broad, low-relief cone of Dieng volcano (2,565 M) in the the volcano complex of Dieng Plateau. You can smell the strong sulphorous air at certain parts along the parameters of the lake, and see bubbles rising up the shallow edge of the lake or pot holes at the side of the lake.


Lake Warna ("multi color lake")

cause by the plankton and vegetation in the sulphurous waters


Here's our friendly driver and local guide


Candi Puntadewa, one of the 5 candi in Anjuna Complex


Boroburdur at Dusk ~ the magical hours



Day 3 -May 19 Boroburdur/Jogjakarta

Itinerary
- Gather at 4.30am from Hotel lobby for special entrance ticket to Boroburdur @ sunrise
- Breakfast buffet @ hotel
- 7.30am Depart hotel
- Pawon, Mendut temples
- Bebeng Lava tour
- Prambanan Temple

- Lunch @ Kali Opak Resto: Riverside Resto
Tel: 08122986927
Tourist class Restaurant by riverside and natuaral landscape

- Jogja citytour: Silver home industries
- Check-in @ Jayakarta Hotel
JL. Laksda Adisucipto Km 8. Yogyakarta 55283

- Dinner @ Pura Wisata Open Air Theatre, followed by Ramayana Dance performance

Boroburdur sunrise: We didn't manage to catch the beautiful sunrise that we see so often in the travel magazines... not because we overslept, but due to the heavy mist and overcast skies.... We caught a glimpse of the shy "salted (egg) york"; after a tiring dash up the long flight of stairs up to the highest ground of the temple for a better view, the sun quietly hid behind the thick blanket of clouds...




Boroburdur Sunrise... the failed attempt


Mediatation @ Boroburdur to a better future~

Kali Opak Resto - Riverside Resto

Have tea at the Gazebo by the river; or take a stroll down to the riverside



Otherwise, just enjoy a meal by the riverside view




The visit to Prambanan Temple is worth it, despite the scorching heat under the noon sun. It was built around 850 CE by either Rakai Pikatan, king of the second Mataram dynasty, or Balitung Maha Sambu, during the Sanjaya Dynasty. The temple was damaged during the earthquake in Java in 2006. Although the site has re-opened for visitors, the immediate surroundings of the Hindu temples remain off-limits for safety reasons.




Silver home industries - regretted not buying at least one piece of silver earnings. The silver accessories were individually handcrafted - exquisite and unique.

Ramayana Ballet is definitely worth your money. Interesting performance with a story adopted from Hindu epic, but the story differs slightly due to the adaptation to the Javanese culture. Definitely worth your time and money if you have not watch it before. We watched it at Pura Wisata Open Air Theatre, Jalan Brigjen Katamso, which performs every night from 8 – 9.30 pm. We also had the dinner buffet served prior to the performance. I must say the dinner is not very nice. Not even the grilled satay!

Other than Pura Wisata theatre, the other more famous location to watch this Javanese ballet is at Ramayana Open Air Theatre, with Prambanan Temple as the backdrop, and this ballet is performed on moonlight in May to Octover from 7.30 – 9.30 pm. But need to check the schedule to ensure if you want to catch the full condensed episode.

Day 4 - May 20 Jogja/Solo

Itinerary
- Breakfast buffet @ hotel
- Depart Hotel @ 7am
- Scenic drive to Solo Airport
- Reach airport @ 8.40am
- Depart @ 955am

Nice scenery on our drive to Airport

~ Home Sweet Home ~

6 comments:

Leo C said...

Hi Veria, looks like a well organised itinerary. Look forward to seeing photos if these will be made available!

Veria said...

Hi Leo,
Thanks! Finally managed to upload the photos... Enjoy~

Catch up with you soon!

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