Thailand & Indonesia, March '15

This trip was billed as a few weeks of tropical relaxation before heading off on a longer adventure. However, it had a metamorphosis in the middle into couple weeks of adventure itself and at times things were anything but tropical!

Big thanks to our Indonesian family members for arranging basically all of that adventure through Java. What an amazing time!

The Thai part of this was pretty much as can be expected. Although I have to say - was not that impressed by Thailand from a tourist point of view. We visited Kamala, Karon, Phuket City & Thalang. Nice enough I guess, but not half as nice as Indonesia wink

Moving on then... after meeting family in Jakarta the fun (or is that madness?!) really started. Lots of catching up meant lots & lots of eating, and you'd be forgiven for thinking this was just a food safari at points!

Drive through Java to Bandung, fly to Surabaya, overland bus to Mt Bromo, Malang & Batu. Train Surabaya to Yogyakarta which was just stunning with it's selection of temples.

A few of us parted ways at this point and some headed to Bali for a well earned (yeah - right! wink) 10 days or so to unwind.

Phew!

22:00

Can't think why we chose this restaurant. At least while Pratiwi is engrossed in menu there's some entertainment! wink

18:00

Little stroll before pre-dinner drinks, Kamala beach. It's pretty small as I managed to jog end to end this morning!

18:35

Obligatory, 'sunset on the beach', holiday snap. Sorry... I'll put some palm leaf silhouettes in the next one wink

18:45

To be honest we've had better Thai food. But it's not like that's why we chose this spot. 'The Corner', Kamala Beach.

19:40

Wondering around few blocks back from Karon Beach. Pratiwi loves street food & on this occasion I have to agree! Yum!

20:05

And for desert... Pratiwi could barely stand the wait for her banana pancake! Guy was super speedy too! Yum again! tongue

08:10

The Big Buddha. Perched top of a hill you can see this from miles around. Misty below though so no view to speak of.

09:10

Wat Chalong. Feels shiny & new. Not at all what we expected from a temple. Very colourful though, hope that shows.

12:15

Karon beach at midday. Umbrellas far as the eye can see but still many lobsters around. Ouch! Not for us until later.

17:55

Sunset pre-dinner walk along Karon beach. Sorry about the tourist pics, but I did say there'd be palm trees coming wink

07:26

Karon beach just after sunrise. Almost makes the jogging bearably wink #MissMyBike cry

19:15

Dinner & shopping in Phuket Town. But mostly dinner. Finished off with durian & beer (yes, beer) from a local grocer.

16:24

Waiting, waiting,waiting... It's not all glamorous you know!

19:05

Confusing amalgamation of food squares & malls in Jakarta. Not sure where we ended up for dinner but it was nice!

08:55

Breakfast in Jakarta. To the uninitiated looks a lot like every other meal. Rice. Curry. Spicy stuff. It's all good.

17:25

Afternoon tea at Ngopi Doeloe, Bandung. Ironically (as we've just left Thailand) I'm drinking Thai tea. Caramel yum!

19:10

Paskal Food Market, Bandung. Actually didn't eat much as still full from earlier! Never mind, great photo ops here smile

11:35

Road to Tangkuban Perahu, around 2000m altitude so nice & cool. Beautiful views to greenery below contrasts crater.

13:35

Lembang Floating Market. Should include the word, 'food' in it's name because really, just another excuse to eat! tongue

16:30

Bandung traffic. Perhaps reflective of Indonesia as a whole. Doesn't quite do things justice but you get the idea.

18:20

Dinner at The Valley, Bandung. Quite a special place. The locals joked that it's only really for couples on dates wink

09:10

The Victoria Luxurious Guesthouse, Bandung. Beautiful lobby. Really well presented. We loved it smile

10:00

Bandung airport. No jet bridges here. When 2 planes board at same time, just remember to get on the correct one! wink

13:15

Fantastic lunch in Ikan Bakar Cianjur. All for the princely sum of $4.50/person. Love Indonesia... while I'm well! grin

04:10

2am wakeup for 4WD journey up a mountain to see sunrise. But all we saw was mist. Oh well, had a good time waiting smile

06:20

Escaping to below the mist. Down in the crater that surrounds Mt Bromo, obligatory 'sitting on the bonnet' 4WD shot.

06:35

A small glimmer of sun on an otherwise rainy day & here's the result. So there is some consolation to this weather!

06:35

Bit of a melee down at the base of the volcano. Rain & mist persisting too. Top spot for fans of Toyota FJ40s though!

07:10

Despite the inclement weather took short (~30 mins) walk up to rim of Mt Bromo... where it was equally grey & wet!

08:20

Savannah section of the Mt Bromo crater. Apparently it's beautiful & green here even when not raining constantly wink

08:50

6 guests, driver & guide squeezed into an FJ40. Sitting in back an old Landcruiser always feels like an adventure wink

09:00

Final area of Mt Bromo crater: volcanic sands said to whisper, when they are not soaked! + more FJ40s for their fans.

09:10

Such a grey day deserves a set of B&W shots. Amazing experience though & easily worth early start & wet conditions.

09:20

Back at hotel not long after 9am. Could have had a lie in & seen this. Would have missed out on all the fun though grin

16:10

After spending all morning shooting in rain improvised lens drying kit: 1kg of rice & an airtight bag. Seems to work.

19:55

Bakso dinner, Indonesian take on meat balls. I steered clear of chilli. Wise move as everyone else was ill next day!

10:55

At Coban Rondo. That spray was refreshing smile

11:00

More than just a waterfall - short but nice forest walk to get there. Too short really though, I'd gladly see more.

11:10

Monkeys at Coban Rondo. Thankfully well behaved. Some tourist spots they will literally take the shirt off your back!

11:40

Few random hillsides we passed. Amazing how locals get terraces on these. Was same (or even more crazy) around Bromo.

12:00

Random flower pictures from the side of the road while we had a little break. Photo ops. everywhere!

12:20

Priorities in an Indo taxi: Seatbelts? Dashboard? Carpets? Working speedo? Rear door? Or 4500W video karaoke system?

12:30

They grow a lot of fruit around Malang, so we visited an Orchard. As you do. There were apples here & everything! wink

13:00

Indonesian pavé! Rough as driving up & down. Easy for this guy with a huge bag of something on his scooter though.

16:10

Stopped by Singhasari Temple (or is it Singosari?) as we passed. Not in bad shape for something around 700 years old.

19:40

Padang food in Surabaya. Yum! This place was pricey but sparkling clean & had the best beef Rendang. Lots o fun smile tongue

07:35

Decided to take a train from Surabaya to Yogyakarta. Stations either end were surprisingly 'normal'. Here's Surabaya.

08:20

Scenes from a moving train, Surabaya to Yogyakarta. Mostly rural, with a little urban. Love the ever changing view.

12:03

On Surabaya to Jogjakarta train. Was going to use time to sort photos but took load more as countryside passed, before falling asleep. Oops!

13:00

Arrived in Jogjakarta. No nonsense approach to leaving the station. Then crammed into a small taxi. Still having fun!

15:00

Lunch at Bu Tini. Not really for the squeamish, but I'm getting used to this kind of thing by now! wink #ChickenBrains

15:55

What happens when someone doesn't trim the roots of a potted palm. Notice the one behind has broken it's pot anyway.

16:10

Malioboro St: famous shopping area packed with horse carts & becaks (bike taxis - often with napping drivers).

04:50

Tourists climb the stairs on Borobudur temple before dawn. Numbers are limited for sunrise but certainly worth doing!

05:10

Stupa silhouettes atop Borobudur before dawn. Not sunlight casting shadows but floodlights just before they turn off.

05:20

Tried some light painting among the domes but ironically it's this shot of Jo doing the same I found most pleasing.

05:30

Dawn at the world's largest Buddhist temple. What a setting. Even clouds can't spoil this simply stunning experience.

06:00

Putting on a brave face after 2:30am start! Easily worth the sleep deprivation, even if you can't tell from this! wink

06:05

Photos really can't do Borobudur justice, but one has to try: more shots from between the stupas at the top. Magical!

06:10

Someone told us that if you can touch one of the enclosed Buddhas & make a wish it will be granted. Here's hoping! grin

06:25

The lower, square levels here are covered in intricate carvings. Don't skip past them on the way down. Amazing stuff!

07:30

Last look back through the trees. Amazing to think it's around 1200 years old & was buried for literally centuries!

08:10

Mendut temple looks quite small on the outside. But... go in & look up at that roof! Nice tree in the grounds too.

08:50

Very quick stop by tiny little Pawon Temple. Linked to Borobudur & Mendut one has to look, but really... it's tiny.

09:10

All temple'd out! Everyone fell asleep after a very early start. Need to recover for the afternoon's temple tours! wink

12:30

Lunch at Djun, Jogjakarta. Hot, hot, hot! I've taken to drinking sweet tea to cool down! Very nice for $2.65/person!

14:10

Prambanan temple. It's Hindu but just as old as Borobudur (where we started the day). I've run out of superlatives.

15:55

Sewu temple, right next to Prambanan. Really interesting to wonder ruins that are making a great puzzle for someone!

16:40

Sunset at Prambanan. Well... it was close to sunset & post processing got us (almost?) the rest of the way there wink

18:40

Dinner at The House of Raminten. Very popular. Large queues. Horse stalls right next to kitchen! Completely crazy!

21:20

Pratiwi trying to figure out what's going on with the millions of Rupiah in our group's kitty. Confusing! wink

11:15

3.5kg of laundry washed & pressed for $2.50 & that was double price because we wanted it express (next day). Bargain!

15:53

Hmmmm... I'm not sure there is enough ginger in this ginger tea. What do you think? wink

19:00

Stepped out for a spot of dinner in Jogjakarta. Pork sate & other goodies on the streets around Malioboro. Yum! tongue

19:50

Local transport in Jogjakarta: the becak. Comes in both motorised & pedal powered forms for locals & tourists alike.

20:10

Fanatical Manchester United fan spotted in Jogjakarta. Clearly loving riding around on his mobile shrine. Crazy! wink

08:50

Pratiwi enjoying her street breakfast. As I have said before, looks remarkably similar to lunch or dinner!

09:15

How to secure your becak with a single padlock. Clever stuff.

09:20

Scenes from a small market in Jogjakarta. And some that we passed while wondering along in the heat beforehand. Phew!

10:30

Jogjakarta bird market. Some pets, some food, some fighters. Many other animals too. All seems a bit cruel though sad

12:20

Fried duck lunch, with some interesting fruit from our trip to the market. Then more fried banana for desert. Yum! tongue

08:38

Oooh... free upgrade to 'premium' seats on our AirAsia flight. Can you tell? wink Amazingly there is a tiny difference!

11:35

Wow! DPS reno is great! Last time we were here was so hot & uncomfortable someone passed out waiting for immigration!

17:00

Pre-dinner drinks at Menega Cafe. Waiting for the sunset 'show' to begin...

17:35

Another unbelievable sunset on Jimbaran Beach. Say no more...

17:50

After sunset... time for the food. Yum! tongue And the obligatory 'seafood cooking over smoking coconut husks' shot wink

06:15

Back by the beach, this time Benoa. You know what that means? More jogging at dawn, with breaks for pictures smile

11:45

Whilst in Ubud we must have an obligatory lunch stop at Ibu Oka. Hmmmm... babi guling! smile tongue

14:50

Typical Ubud sights: guardian statues & flowers. So typical I didn't even get out of the car to take first pic wink

17:50

Dinner at Murni's Warung. Sorry, it's been a long day. Well, for some, who were up running at sunrise if you recall!

07:45

Enjoying the morning view from our balcony. This is Onje Villa, Ubud. Quiet & relaxing & really rather good value smile

19:20

After a hard day relaxing & being pampered it's nice to... erm... relax some more wink Dinner at Bebek Bengil. Yum! tongue

20:45

There comes a time one simply can't eat more fried banana. Luckily, cafes, tea & cake are here for such moments wink tongue

07:15

Woke up too early so went for a short walk outside the villa. We're surrounded by rice paddies soooo...

14:20

Lunch stop at 'Depot Betty' as we head North. Really great food & nicely priced as is away from tourist spots smile tongue

15:05

On the road to Bedugul... view from what was almost a mountain pass we crested. Would have been nice on a bike! smile

15:35

Either Pratiwi has shrunk or accommodation today is slightly oversized! wink And wait 'til you see the view! Love it!

17:10

We saw some really big 'ogoh ogoh' driving around today. These in Bedugul equally impressive! Pre-Nyepi day parade!

06:20

Nyepi day in Bali. Silent at dawn. We cannot leave hotel today so booked one with large grounds. So beautiful here.

06:55

Could get used to this Nyepi thing wink We're at Puri Candikuning Resort & practically have whole place to ourselves!

08:10

Back down by the lake this morning. I dragged Pratiwi along this time. But then again, sun is up so not that early wink

08:55

Just back from breakie looked out the window to see amazing light on the lake. Wow! It's so beautiful here. So lucky!

11:30

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan. Beautiful spot by the water. If only it were sunny! Love the repetition of those mosaic steps.

12:40

Went to Bedugul Botanical Garden & it rained lots! Probably too many pictures here featuring an umbrella wink Nice tho.

16:10

Arrived at Tegalalang to see rice terraces. Sadly clouds had other ideas, so nothing for it but to eat more pork! wink

16:25

Clouds lifted a bit after a little snack. Still a bit dull, but wow! Tegalalang terraces in the mist. Added interest!

17:30

Plenty of rice paddies around Ubud, & many with ducks in them on an eve. So funny to watch & so cute & sooo yummy! tongue

17:45

Random sights from our evening walk in Ubud. Didn't even see that dragonfly there, I just liked the light. Honest! wink

19:20

Time for dessert: pisang goreng cooked on the street. Yum! Look at the size of that wok, think this is popular stuff!

06:40

Up early to visit Ubud market before tourist trash comes out. Priorities for Pratiwi though: breakie like a local!

06:45

Early on at the 'outside' bit of Ubud market. Lots of flowers & the little religious offerings one sees everywhere.

06:50

Look at all that fresh fish & meat. Easy to see why one has to be up early to see it! Lovely colours. So interesting.

14:00

Looking at Pratiwi was a bit hot arriving at Maya Ubud! Thankful for an upgrade w/private plunge pool. Ah... cooling!

17:20

Fooling around with selfies. Please forgive us, but this is the very spot where we were married. Happy memories smile

19:15

Cocktails & dinner at Maya Ubud. Yum! Maybe we're biased, but truly worth it's five star rating. Excellent all round!

09:40

Ah, the resort breakfast buffet. Course one of, erm, maybe I shouldn't say! wink Although I was in the gym earlier! tongue

10:45

Found this fella during our post breakie walk. No macro lens so had to make do sad Luckily tho, he was pretty slow! smile

10:55

Down by the river at Maya Ubud. So beautiful here - we love it smile

12:20

Well... that's the afternoon sorted then! wink How's this for an infinite edge pool? Straight into a rainforest canopy!

16:50

Bali Bakery 'v' Holland Bakery. Which is the best Cheesy John in Bali? We vote... drum roll... Holland Bakery! grin tongue

18:15

Last eve in Bali? What else but Jimberan Beach sunset? Tried a new spot but prefer Menega Cafe. Back there next time!

19:30

Jimbaran Beach once the sun has set... & what happens when your tripod (aka wife) moves mid shot wink Goodnight Bali!

06:30

Images from this morning's jog along Jimbaran Beach. Very much a place of work with lots of fishermen grafting hard.

09:10

Today's breakie was quiet restrained, despite that 8km run on the beach beforehand. What is the world coming to! wink

09:40

We have an evening flight so must to hang around the beach & hotel all day. Tough, but if it has to be done... wink