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A Jakarta-based journalist passionate about art and culture, human rights, lifestyle, environment, music and film. He is a former reporter of The Jakarta Post and Japanese newspaper The Asahi Shimbun.

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  • Pleasure Your Taste Buds At These 5 Cafes in Jakarta!

    Jakarta is home to various culinary delights. As traffic congestion never ends at this city, young urbanites love to spend time at cafes and restaurants to kill time. Here are my recommended cafes and restaurants that are unique, Instagrammable, historical and thick in Indonesian elements. 1. Anomali Coffee Image Credit: Anomali Coffee on Facebook Indonesian coffee beans have drawn the attention of many across the globe, including Starbucks, the world’s largest coffee chain. Far before it opened its first store in Indonesia in 2002, Starbucks has used Sumatran single-origin coffee as its staple offering since 1971. If you are a coffee addict, you need to visit Anomali Coffee, an established coffee chain known to popularize authentic Indonesian coffee. Indonesia itself has made a name for itself as one of the world’s best coffee producing regions and in Anomali Coffee, you can find and taste a variety of coffee beans from all over the country one time, such as Gayo coffee from Aceh and Toraja coffee from South Sulawesi. Established in 2007, Anomali tries to promote Indonesian specialty coffee. It provides freshly roasted coffee under home roasters’ highest standard, but they remained affordable with price ranging from Rp 30,000 to Rp 60,000 for a cup of coffee. Its headquarters is located on Jl. Senopati No. 19 in Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta, but it has six branches across the capital, from Menteng in Central Jakarta to Kemang in South Jakarta. Website | Facebook | Instagram Address: Jl. Senopati No. 19 in Kebayoran Baru               South JakartaOpening hour: 9 AM - 11 PM 2. Tesate Image Credit: Tesate on Facebook Tesate is known for offering a wide selection of Indonesian traditional dishes, from tahu pong (Rp 55,000), a crunchy tofu dish that is golden outside but silky and hollow inside with sweet sauce, sate sapi maranggi (Rp 124,000), spiced tender beef satay coated in toasted grated coconut to lonton cap go meh (Rp 111,000) rice cake served with bamboo shoots curry and chilli prawn. Tesate derives from the word sate that means satay. That is why its signature dish is various satays, such as sate sapi makassar from Makassar in South Sulawesi, an exotic combination of aromatic beef with mouth-watering, intensely sour starfruit, and sate lilit from Bali, crab or duck meat, minced with spices and herbs and wrapped in lemongrass. Tesate, which first opened its doors in Jakarta in 2008, is located on Jl. Sam Ratulangi No. 39 in Menteng, Central Java and inside two big shopping malls in Jakarta, namely Plaza Senayan and Pacific Place in South Jakarta. Website | Facebook | Instagram Address: Jl. Sam Ratulangi No. 39 in Menteng              Central JavaOpening hours: 10 AM -11 PM 3. Burgreens Image Credit: Burgreens Burgreens is Jakarta’s first organic healthy plant-based eatery and catering. It was founded by a vegetarian couple, -- Max Mandias and Helga, who both believes that what we eat impacts not only our health but also animal, farmers’ welfare and environmental sustainability. Max himself is a certified plant-based nutritionist and chef. 90% of Max’s menus are vegan. They contain natural fibers, plant-based protein, complex carbs and good fat in balance. Learning that dairy is hard to digest and may create allergies to some people, he uses natural dairy made from grass-fed, antibiotic-free and hormone-free cows. He also uses a small amount of local sea salt and liquid amino to spice up his menu. To make it taste good, he simply utilizes local herbs. His signature dish is Vegan Big Max (Rp 72,000), double patties on a whole wheat bun with homemade sauce, served with chips, and vegan ramen (Rp 75,000), organic palm noodle in sesame miso soup served with organic tofu, greens, and shiitake mushroom. In Jakarta, you can find Burgreens in six locations, such as Burgreens Menteng on Jl. K.H. Wahid Hasyim No. 47 in Menteng, Central Jakarta and Burgreens Darmawangsa on Jl. Wijaya II No. 37 in Kebayoran Baru in South Jakarta. Website | Instagram Address: on Jl. K.H. Wahid Hasyim No. 47 in Menteng               Central JakartaOpening hours: 10 AM - 11 PM 4. Giyanti Coffee Roastery Image Credit: Giyanti Coffee Roastery on Facebook Giyanti Coffee Roastery is one of the hidden gems in Jakarta. To find this care, you need to walk down a narrow alley on Jl. Surabaya No. 20 in Menteng, Central Jakarta. Having existed since 2012, Giyanti serves not only coffee but also a variety of bread that they make from scratch. Giyanti, which derives from the Javanese word Babat Giyanti, offers almond croissant, pain au chocolate, apple pie, and egg tart portugu. They all are affordable with prices ranging from Rp 37,000 to Rp 47,000. Like those puff pastries, cakes this café offers are also mouthwatering, such as bolu pandan, carrot cake and lamington. Giyanti uses organic coffee beans. To roast them, the café uses Italy-made Petrocini coffee roaster. Unlike other roasters in the market, this Italian roaster can measure beans temperature so accurately that the coffee they serve is like no others. Website | Facebook | Instagram Address: Jl. Surabaya No. 20 in Menteng               Central JakartaOpening hours: 9.30 AM - 5.30 PM 5. Maison Weiner Image Credit: Maison Weiner Bakery on Instagram Maison Weiner is a café and cake shop where you can enjoy the most authentic Dutch bread and pastries in Jakarta. Located on Jl. Kramat II in Kwitang, Central Jakarta. Maison Weiner is the oldest bakery in the capital. Having existed since 1936, the place offers cakes and bread with the same recipes enjoyed by the Dutch people when Batavia, now Jakarta, was under the Dutch rule. Indonesia gained Independence in August 1945. At Maison Weiner, you can find various Dutch cakes, such as ontbijtkoek, a soft Dutch spiced rye cake, and kerstkrans, a Dutch Christmas ring filled with fragrant almond paste and finished with a sugar glaze that resembles snow. Their prices range from Rp 15,000 to Rp 300,000. Maison Weiner was founded by Lee Liang Mey, an Indonesian of Chinese descent. She learned to bake from her boss, a Dutch baker, at a Dutch bakery in Batavia. It was her boss who motivated her to open her own bakery. The name Maison Weiner was given by the Dutch baker. Today, Maison Weiner is under the management of Lee’s grandson, Heru Laksana. He does not change the exterior and interior of the café so that you can feel the atmosphere of Jakarta old days when enjoying a cup of hot coffee with Dutch bread and pastries there. Instagram Address: Jl. Kramat II in Kwitang              Central JakartaOpening hours: 9 AM - 8 PM...

  • Things You Can Do Outside The Month of Ramadan

    Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar in which Prophet Muhammad SAW first received the Holy Quran verbally from Allah SWT via an angel named Jibril. Each time this cherished month approaches, the gates of Heaven are open whilst the gates of Hellfire are closed, and the devils - also known as Syaiton - are chained up.That is why this month is the best time to turn over a new leaf and become a better Muslim so you can get closer to Allah SWT. However, your good deeds should not just stop right after Ramadan is over. Instead, you should continue to work towards becoming the best Muslim possible. As such, below are 3 good deeds that you can practice outside the month of Ramadan.   1) Dua Credit: PixabayMaking dua is a form of direct communication to Allah SWT. Dua can also be implied as a way to recall Allah SWT. Duas serve as a great way for us Musliims to seek help from Allah SWT, especially if we are in a difficult situation. Indeed, duas can be very powerful as they are able to change fate and resolve a problem someone is facing, of course on condition that Allah SWT wills it to happen. Remember, though there are close to 1 billion Muslims roaming this Earth, Allah is always listening to every one of us. “When my servants ask you concerning me, (tell them) I am indeed close (to them). I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calls on me,” says Allah Almighty in the Holy Quran. (Quran, 2:186) Another benefit of making dua is to humble ourselves because when we put our hands up to dua to Him, we will come to the realisation that Allah SWT stands above everyone else since He is the Almighty and the creator of this whole universe - Masya'Allah. Adding on, it is highly encouraged that you make dua not only for the betterment of yourself in this world and the Hereafter, but also for the betterment of your family members, friends and other Muslims around the world. “The Dua of a Muslim for his brother (in Islam) in his absence is readily accepted. An angel is appointed to his side. Whenever he makes a beneficial Dua for his brother the appointed angel says, ‘Ameen. And may you also be blessed with the same,” says Prophet Muhammad SAW (Sahih Muslim).   2) Practice acts of Sunnah Credit: Pixabay “Whoever revives my Sunnah then he has loved me. And whoever loved me, he shall be with me in Paradise,” says Prophet Muhammad SAW (Tirmidhi).The word ‘Sunnah’ means the teachings of Prophet Muhammad SAW. This includes his character, etiquette, habits and legislative obligations that we are highly encouraged to follow. In essence, Prophet Muhammad SAW serves as a good role model for us, Muslims. Therefore, we should look up to him and try as much as possible to follow closely in his footsteps. In Islam, we believe that Prophet Muhammad SAW is the last and final messenger of Allah SWT to mankind. Through revelations in the Quran, the stories of Prophet SAW are what guides us on how to live in this world while worshiping Allah SWT. Truly, if we engage ourselves with the life of Prophet SAW, our love for him and Allah SWT will grow. Another example of a sunnah we can do outside of the holy month is smiling. It is simple and inexpensive, but it can help boost our mood and make us feel more grateful. Smiling can simply create a positive mind and attitude. Prophet Muhammad SAW loved to smile. Another act of Sunnah that many may not be aware of is oiling your hair. This is because it aids in strengthening your hair protein; a component which is vital to prevent hair loss and greying, and to create strong and lustrous hair. Oiling hair also has other benefits such as relaxing the mind and soothing one's brain nerves and capillaries.   3) Read the Holy Quran Credit: PixabayThe Holy Quran is the 4th and last sacred Holy Book of Almighty Allah SWT that functions as a guide for all humans for life and the Hereafter. “This is the Book [the Quran], whereof there is no doubt, guidance to those who are Al-Muttaqoon [the pious],” (Quran, 2:2) The Quran does not merely offer solutions to every problem that we face in our day to day life. It also contains stories of other Prophets and explains how Islam came about.As it is the Book of Allah SWT, Muslims are advised to recite it daily so as to have a better understanding of Islam's history and reap the blessings and rewards from Allah SWT. A hadith by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah states, "Recite and rise in status, recite as you used to recite in the world, for your status will be at the last verse that you recite." The advantages of reciting the Quran are endless. One of is that it will intercede for us on the Day of Judgement as the Prophet Muhammad SAW once said: “Read the Quran, for verily it will come on the Day of Standing as an intercessor for its companions.” (Muslim) Moreover, teaching others how to recite the Quran can also serve to purify and heal your heart from all the sins which you have previously committed.   All in all, yes, Ramadan is unfortunately coming to an end. However, please remember that after Ramadan is over, you should still strive to become the best version of yourself in the eyes of Allah SWT. So keep these 3 good deeds in mind and practice them whenever you can. Undoubtedly, you will thank yourself for this in future....

  • Eat With Purpose This Ramadan

    Ramadan - a time when Muslims fast from dawn to dusk every single day of the month. It is the time in which Muslims try their best to get close to Allah SWT. Concurrently, this blessed month serves as a great opportunity for individuals to strengthen their bonds with each other as they enjoy their iftar (breaking fast) and suhoor (before Subuh prayer) meals together. Having said that, here are six food items that I would recommend you to eat during Ramadan not only because they are nutritious, but also because they are Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W)’s favorites! Eating what the Prophet (S.A.W) loves is sunnah and thus, eating the following will undoubtedly give you great rewards in this earth and/or the hereafter.   1) Barley Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) said that barley in soup form is good for treating fevers. This is true because barley consists of a range of vitamins, minerals and other plant compounds which can help strenghten your immune system.Additionally, its high fiber count will serve to reduce your feelings of hunger, thus leading to weight loss.Next, eating barley can also lower cholesterol levels because it contains 'beta-glucans' which reduce bad LDL cholesterol. Lastly, another benefit of consuming barley is that it can save you from the risk of diabetes. Due to its rich magnesium content, barley will lower your blood sugar levels and improve your insulin secretion at the same time!    2) Dates The Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) loved dates. He once said that a house without dates has no food. Indeed, dates are very nutritious. Dates are rich in fiber and so, it can benefit your digestive health and control your blood sugar levels!What's more, dates are very sweet due to its high fructose level, which is a natural type of sugar in fruits. Henceforth, all the nutrients, antioxidants and fiber found in dates make this dried fruit a far better choice than granulated white sugar if you are looking for a natural sweetener.   3) Figs Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) once said that figs are fruits from paradise. Figs are sweet and have a unique texture. They are often the main ingredient used in cookie and fig bars. Their flesh is chewy, their skin is smooth and their seed is very crunchy.Moreover, Figs are extremely nutritious as they are rich in natural sugars, soluble fibers, minerals, calcium and magnesium. What do all these nutrients mean? Well, its high fiber content can give you feelings of fullness as it simultaneously reduces your hunger and cravings. Thus, similar to barley, figs can help reduce weight loss - if you're focusing on looking leaner for Eid.Next, its high calcium content can strengthen bones and reduce your risk of osteoporosis.Last but not least, figs can also improve your digestive wellness because it has prebiotics that support the pre-existing good bacteria in the gut.    4) Grapes The Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) once said that grapes can purify the blood, provide vigor and strengthen the kidneys. It is true because they contain high levels of beneficial plant compounds - protein, fiber and vitamins. According to research, one cup of grapes provides more than a quarter of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for vitamin K, a vitamin important for blood clotting and healthy bones.Among other benefits, eating grapes has proven to reduce your risk of cancer. Research has shown that grape extracts can block the growth and spread of breast cancer cells. Another research said that eating 1 pound of grapes per day for two weeks can lower markers of colon cancer risk. So load up on grapes the next time you go groccery shopping at the supermarket!   5) Honey Did you know that honey can be used as medicine? Especially when it is mixed with hot water, it becomes the best remedy for diarrhea!It is also no secret that honey contains many other beneficial plant compounds. Researchers believe that honey has an antioxidant power, which has proven to reduce the risks of heart attacks, cancer, strokes and high blood pressure.Interestingly, ever since the era of ancient Egypt, honey is believed to have the power to heal wounds and burns. It can be also used to treat diabetic foot ulcers, which are known to lead to foot amputation. According to various kinds of research, the healing powers of honey comes from its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.   6) Melon The Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) loved melon. And melon contains a high content of carotenoids - an element which is essential to prevent cancer and lower the risk of lung cancer. If consumed regularly, melon can kill cancer seeds in your body. In addition, melon can protect you from stroke or heart disease because it is rich in anticoagulant, which will smoothen the blood in the body. Melon is also a good food choice if you're looking to lose weight because it is low in calories and does not contain any fat or cholesterol. Finally, if you have bad skin, melons can also improve your skin because it contains natural collagen. Its Vitamin A, B, and C can tone your skin too. Especially for those who have dry and rough skin, you can add eating melon to your skincare routine! ...

  • Mosques to Visit in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

    Yogyakarta is popular as it is the centre of art and culture in Indonesia. Additionally, it is the center of development of Islam in the country. It is home to historical mosques that capture interesting stories of the past. Here are four mosques I would recommend you to visit in Yogyakarta if you are looking for a great place to pray:   1. Kauman Great Mosque Credit: Masjid Gedhe Kauman Kauman Great Mosque, or popularly known as Yogyakarta Great Mosque, is located in the downtown of Yogyakarta. Locals like to call it 'Kauman Mosque' because it nestles in Kauman village, which is 140 meters away from the city's major tourist destination: The Palace of Yogyakarta or the Kraton Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat.Established in 1773, Kauman Great Mosque is one of the oldest mosques in Indonesia. It was founded by Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono I, the first king of Yogyakarta Palace. Yogyakarta Sultanate itself was founded in 1755 after Treaty of Giyanti was signed by the Dutch East India Company and Prince Mangkubumi, who later became Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono I.If you visit this mosque, you will be amazed by the majesty of its beautiful Javanese classic architecture in every corner of the building. The architects of this mosque are clerics Faqih Ibrahim Diponingrat and Wiryokusumo.Kauman Great Mosque has a special room, called maksurah, exclusively for the Sultan of Yogyakarta to worship. This space is designed to protect him from any danger while he is praying. If the palace does not hold special occasion at the mosque, ordinary people, including tourists, are allowed to pray in this room.In Kauman Great Mosque, you can see a number of unique ornaments, such as king’s throne-like minbar, triple-tiered roof and mustaka, an ornament on top of the mosque.   2.Kotagede Mosque Credit: @faulannisa on InstagramKotagede Mosque or Mataram Great Mosque is the oldest mosque in Yogyakarta. Having existed since 1640, this building is the symbol of glory of Islam in the era of Mataram Kingdom.Located in Jagalan district, Bantul regency, Kotagede Mosque was built by Sultan Agung, the third Sultan of Mataram Kingdom who was in power from 1613 to 1645. Born in 1593, he was a skilled soldier who managed to conquer neighboring states and expand his kingdom to Lasem in 1616, Pasuruan in 1617, and Tuban in 1619. According to Dutch literature, he was called Agung the Great.What makes this mosque even more interesting is that it is near Mataram royal graveyard. On certain nights of the Javanese lunar calendar, many people will dress in traditional Javanese costumes and visit the graveyard and the mosque to pay their respects and pray.Within the compound of Kotagede Mosque, there is a 100-year old banyan tree named Waringin Sepuh, which translates to 'old banyan tree'. Locals believe that anyone who prays under the tree will receive good luck.   3.Syuhada Mosque Credit: @MasjidSyuhada on FacebookSyuhada Mosque is a gift from Indonesia’s first president Sukarno to the Yogyakarta people. This gift was intended as a way to recall those who had sacrificed their lives for Yogyakarta when it gained independence from the Dutch ruler. The word syuhada is 'shahid' in Arabic, which is a title of honor accorded to those who have embraced death in the way of Allah.This mosque was established in 1952, seven years after Indonesia's Independence Day on Aug. 17, 1945.As it is celebrated every Aug. 17, this mosque has 17 stairs and eight pillars. It also has 20 windows which symbolises the 20 characteristics of Allah.Syuhada Mosque is located on Jl. I Dewa Nyoman Oka No. 13, Kotabaru, Gondokusuman. At a glance, it looks like a rumah panggung (stilt house). It has three floors - the first floor is used for learning activities, the second is for women to pray, and the third is for men to pray.   4.Pakualaman Great Mosque Credit: Masjid Agung Puro PakualamanLocated on Jl. Masjid in Pakualaman district, Pakualaman Great Mosque is one of Yogyakarta's cultural heritages. It was built by Sri Paku Alam II, a ruler of the principality of Pakualaman who was serving from 1829 to 1858. Pakualaman was a small hereditary within the Sultanate of Yogyakarta.This mosque was constructed by Paku Alam II under the instruction of Paku Alam I, the son of Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono I. Paku Alam II was also a renowned artist. He not only liked to produce work of art during his time, but also introduce music and drama to his people.Like Kauman Great Mosque, Pakualaman Mosque also has beautiful Javanese classic architecture. At the entrance gate, you will be welcomed by a writing that reads, “terus luhur terusto raharjo", which means 'straight way to welfare'.It is not clear when Paku Alam II built Pakualaman Great Mosque. Inside the building, there were two beautiful inscriptions in Javanese and Arabic writing. One inscription said that it was built in 1839. However, the other one said that it was built in 1855.The 144-meter-square Pakualaman Great Mosque, which is able to accommodate almost 500 people, has been renovated several times by Yogyakarta administration.So don't waste anymore time. Head over to these 4 Yogyakarta mosques today!...

  • Where to Get The Best Gudeg in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

    Gudeg is one of Indonesia’s most authentic culinary delights that you will not want to miss when you are in Yogyakarta.The brown Javanese cuisine is made from an young unripe jackfruit, locally known as gori. It is cooked slowly for several hours with fresh coconut milk and Javanese palm sugar. In the city, people like to enjoy it with side dishes, such as tofu, tempeh, boiled duck egg and chicken. Eating gudeg will not be complete without krechek, a traditional Javanese cattle skin spicy stew dish.Here are four places I would recommend if you are looking for the best gudeg in Yogyakarta:   1.Gudeg Yu Djum Credit: Gudeg Yu DjumIf you ask people in Yogyakarta about where to find the best gudeg restaurant in the city, they all will say Gudeg Yu Djum.Having existed since 1951, Gudeg Yu Djum is the most popular gudeg vendor in Yogyakarta. To find it is very easy because its seven branches are strategically located across the province.Its headquarters is on Jl. Kaliurang Km. 4.5. It is near Gadjah Mada University, the oldest university in Indonesia. If you land in Adisutjipto International Airport, you can also find its outlet within the area of the airport. If you happen to be around the Palace of Yogyakarta, you can find Gudeg Yu Djum restaurant on Jl. Wijilan.The restaurant is named after its founder, Djuwariyah or popularly known as Yu Djum. Djum is the abbreviation for Djuwariyah. In the Javanese language, the word ‘Yu’ is used to call older women to respect them. Her customers usually called her ‘Yu Djum’.In 2016, Yu Djum passed away at the age of 85. According to her family members, she had been sick for a long time and had been hospitalized several times until she took her last breath at the Bathesda hospital.Gudeg is sweet as it is cooked with palm sugar. Compared to gudeg from other outlets, Gudeg Yu Djum is the sweetest. One portion of gudeg is priced at around Rp 15,000 to over Rp 30,000, depending on side dishes you choose.   2.Gudeg Yu Narni Credit: @gudeg_yu_narni on InstagramGudeg Yu Narni is named after its owner, Narni Suwardi. Its outlets are located on four spots, from Jl. Kaliurang Km. 4.5 (near Gadjah Mada University) to Jl. Magelang Km. 11 (in front of Yogyakarta Regional Development Bank).Gudeg Yu Narni is less popular than Gudeg Yu Djum, but it is loved for its affordable prices. With less than Rp 20,000, you can enjoy a portion of delicious gudeg with sliced chicken and boiled egg as your side dishes.What makes Gudeg Yu Narni more special is that the gudeg itself is not really sweet. In this restaurant, you can also choose two types of gudeg, namely dry gudeg or wet gudeg. The dry gudeg lasts longer than the wet one.Gudeg Yu Narni has opened its doors since 1996. Before running her own business, Narni Suwardi worked at a gudeg restaurant owned by Wito Suwarno or popularly known as Bu Wito.Like Gudeg Yu Djum, Gudeg Yu Narni also provides a takeaway service and catering for special occasions.   3.Gudeg Bu Dullah Credit: @GudegManggarBuDullah on FacebookUnlike Gudeg Yu Djum and Gudeg Yu Narni, Gudeg Bu Dullah is quite far from the downtown of Yogyakarta. This outlet is located in Jebugan village, Bantul regency, which is 13 kilometers from the Palace of Yogyakarta. It will take around 30 minutes to get there by motorcycle or car.Gudeg Bu Dullah is not as famous as Gudeg Yu Djum, but it deserves a try.Gudeg Bu Dullah, which is named after its owner, Dullah, has existed since 1998. In Indonesia, the word ‘Bu’ is used to call a married woman.What makes Gudeg Bu Dullah very special is that the gudeg is made from young, tender coconut flowers, not jackfruit or gori. In Yogyakarta, the young, tender coconut flowers is called manggar.In Yogyakarta, it is hard to find gudeg outlets who make the dish from manggar. Most of them use jackfruit to make gudeg.Because the supply is limited, gudeg manggar is usually reserved for special occasions, such as royal celebrations.Gudeg manggar’s texture itself is as soft as sliced chicken. Many customers of Gudeg Bu Dullah often think that what they enjoy is chicken, not coconut flowers.   4.Gudeg Mbah Lindu Credit: @GudegMbahLinduSosRowijayan on Facebook Gudeg Mbah Lindu is arguably the oldest gudeg vendor in Yogyakarta. It is located on Jl. Sosrowijayan, which is near Malioboro shopping center.The owner, Mbah Lindu, has sold gudeg since 1940, the year when the Japanese empire still occupied Indonesia. The historic value of her business has encouraged many travelers and locals to taste her gudeg.She is 100 years old today, and that she is called ‘Mbah’ because that word means grandmother in English. She is still able to cook, but no longer serves her customers. Her position has been replaced by her daughter. If you visit at 6 am., you will surprise to see that many people already flock to her stall. Her gudeg will be sold out before 10 a.m.A portion of gudeg, which includes a boiled egg and krecek, is sold at Rp 20,000. It will be more expensive if you replace the egg with chicken. The chicken is tender, immaculately cooked and tasteful inside and out.What makes Gudeg Mbah Lindu different from other vendors is that customers can choose whether they will enjoy gudeg with steamed rice or with porridge....

  • Jakarta, Indonesia: 5 Museums You Need To See With Your Own Eyes

    Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, is home to over 20 interesting museums you can find easily once you land in this big city. Here are five must-visit museums we recommend if you come to Jakarta to learn about its history as well as to find Instagrammable spots to take a selfie for your social media accounts. 1. The National Museum of Indonesia Credit: @adzlinaabdullah on Instagram Located along Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat in Central Jakarta, the National Museum of Indonesia is one of the most popular museums in Indonesia. It is home to 141,000 artifacts, including 61,600 prehistoric and anthropological artifacts, from all over Indonesia and Asia. This museum, which was established by the Dutch East Indies government in 1862, is known as the Elephant Museum as it has a bronze elephant statue in its forecourt. What makes this museum special is that it has a comprehensive collection of stone statues of classical Hindu-Buddhist period of ancient Java and Sumatra. Credit: @ullulaz on Instagram Some of the Hindu-Buddhist sculptures, relics inscriptions are on display in the lobby of the museum. Among them is Buddha statues from Borobudur temple, the world’s largest Buddhist temple. In the museum, the largest artifact is the statue of Adityavarman, the cousin of Jayanegara, the king of Majapahit in the 1300s. The statue, which is 4 meters in height, was discovered in Padang Roco, West Sumatra before it was moved to the museum. Having opened its doors to the public since 1868, the National Museum of Indonesia is also regarded as one of the finest museums in Southeast Asia. To get there, you can take a Transjakarta bus and stop at the Monas station. Address: Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat No. 12. Central JakartaTicket Price: Rp 3,000 (Children) | Rp 5,000 (Adults) | Rp 10,000 (Foreigners)Operating Hours: 8AM to 4PM (Tue-Sun) 2. Fatahilah Museum Credit: @benedictusrendra on Instagram If you are in Jakarta and are asking the Jakartans on the location of the Jakarta History Museum, they might be confused. However, if you mention the Fatahillah Museum, they will show you the way to get there because the Jakarta History Museum is locally known as the Fatahillah Museum. Constructed by the Dutch government in the early 1600s, this museum is located in the south side of Fatahilah Square, Old Town area. This area is one of the most famous tourist destinations within the capital. Having opened its doors to the public since 1974, Fatahillah Museum showcases 23,500 artefacts from the prehistoric period of the city, the Dutch colonization period to the era of Indonesia’s Independence in 1945. Among displayed items are historic maps, ceramics, paintings, furniture, and archeological objects. They are saved in several rooms, such as Prehistoric Jakarta Room, Tarumanegara Room, Jayakarta Room, Fatahillah Room, Sultan Agung Room, and the MH Thamrin Room. Fatahillah Museum is also home to Betawi-style furniture from the 17th to 19th century. What makes this museum more special is that it has cells used as dungeons during the era of Dutch colonization. A Javanese freedom fighter named Prince Diponegoro was imprisoned here in 1830 before he was banished to Manado, North Sulawesi. Address: Jl. Taman Fatahillah No. 1. West JakartaTicket Price: Rp 3,000 (Children) | Rp 5,000 (Adults) | Rp 10,000 (Foreigners)Operating Hours: 8AM to 5PM (Tue-Sun) 3. Taman Prasasti Museum Credit: @neilamadeusy on Instagram Unlike ordinary museums, Taman Prasasti Museum's main attraction is the Dutch gravestones. This museum is a cemetery of noble people established by the Dutch government in 1795. One of the those buried in this cemetery is Olivia Mariamne Raffles, the wife of British governor-general Thomas Stamford Raffles involved in the conquest of Java island from the Dutch. Credit: @neilamadeusy on Instagram Officially opened in September 1797, the 5.9-hectare-Taman Prasasti Museum is the oldest modern cemetery in the world. The oldest gravestones came from the 17th century to the end of the 18th century. At that time, this cemetery was established to accommodate the rising number of death caused by an outbreak of a disease in Batavia, now Jakarta. In this museum, you can also find ancient inscription stones, the miniature of various styles of gravestones in Indonesia, and the original coffins for Indonesia’s first president and vice president, Sukarno, and Mohammad Hatta. Address: Jl. Tanah Abang No. 1. Gambir, Central JakartaTicket Price: Rp 3,000 (Children) | Rp 5,000 (Adults) | Rp 10,000 (Foreigners)Operating Hours: 9AM to 3PM (Tue-Sun) 4. Basoeki Abdullah Museum Credit: Museum Basoeki Abdullah on Facebook The Basoeki Abdullah Museum in South Jakarta is the private house of late maestro painter Basoeki Abdullah. The house became a museum in 2001 after its owner was murdered on November 5, 1993. He was killed by his gardener who tried to steal his expensive watches. This museum displays Basoeki’s 720 paintings and 123 works of art he had collected throughout his life. This place also showcased the watches and a blood-stained pajama and glasses that the renowned artist was wearing when the tragedy happened in 1993. Basoeki is known for his beautiful landscape paintings of Indonesia’s nature and portrait paintings of important public figures across the globe, from Indonesia’s first president Sukarno to India’s Mahatma Gandhi. Born on January 27, 1915, in Surakarta, Central Java, Basoeki was the grandson of national hero Wahidin Sudirohusodo. His artistic ability, however, was inherited from his father, Abdullah Soerjosoebroto, a renowned landscape painter. He was a Western-educated painter who started painting when he was 4 years old. He received a scholarship to study at Academie Voor Beldeende Kunsten in the Netherlands from 1935 to 1937 and then pursued his higher education at the Academy of Fine Arts in Paris, France. Address: Jl. Keuangan Raya No. 19, Cilandak, South JakartaTicket Price: Rp 1,000 (Children) | Rp 2,000 (Adult) | Rp 10,000 (Foreigners)Operating Hours: 8AM to 4PM (Tue-Sun) 5. Museum MACAN Credit: @museummacan on Instagram The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara (Museum MACAN) is Indonesia’s first world-class museum dedicated to modern and contemporary art. Last year, it was named by TIME Magazine one of the world’s Top 100 Places to Visit in 2018. Established by businessman and renowned collector Haryanto Adikoesoemo, the museum has opened its doors to the public since 2017. This museum is home to Haryanto’s personal collection of more than 800 international and Indonesian works of art, including pieces by the likes of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, American artists Andy Warhol and Keith Haring, and Indonesian artists Heri Dono and Arahmaiani. Credit: @museummacan on Instagram What makes Museum MACAN even more special is that it is also a picture worthy place. Many young people who visit this place like to take selfies with the artworks. This place also provides various educational programs for people of all ages, such as an educator’s forum, where a regular group of teachers can tour the museum each time a new exhibition is opened and speak to the curators. Credit: @museummacan on Instagram This museum also accommodates Indonesian artists to showcase their work but also allow them to do art performance. Some of the big names who have performed in this museum are Arahmaiani, Tisna Sanjaya, FX Harsono and Agung Kurniawan. Address: AKR Tower Level MM, Jl. Perjuangan No.5, Kebon Jeruk, West JakartaTicket Price: Rp 40,000 (Students) | Rp 50,000 (Adults)Operating Hours: 10AM to 6PM (Tue-Sun)...

  • Fall In Love With Indonesian Fried Rice! Visit 5 Of Their Best In Jakarta!

    Nasi Goreng (fried rice) is the all-time favorite Indonesian dish. Last year, it was the runner-up in the list of the world’s 50 best foods by CNN readers. This homemade dish, — cooked rice stir-fried in a frying pan and usually served with eggs, vegetables, seafood, fried chicken and meat, and crackers, is so popular that you can find its sellers easily across the archipelago. via GIPHY In Jakarta, top-notch nasi goreng dishes are here and there. Here are five of the best nasi goreng I recommend you to try to taste, right after you land in the capital. 1. Nasi Goreng Kambing Kebon Sirih Credit: @bikingendut on Instagram Nasi Goreng Kambing Kebon Sirih is an eatery located on a corner of bustling Jl. Kebon Sirih Raya in Menteng, Central Jakarta. It is widely popular as one of the must-visit culinary gems in the capital. Kambing means goat in English. As the name suggests, nasi goreng here is served with diced tender mutton. It is also known as one of the most legendary fried rice in Jakarta because the stall itself has existed for over 50 years. At this food stall, foodies usually enjoy the nasi goreng with so-called emping (fried crackers made from melinjo nut kernels). Emping, which tastes slightly bitter, enriches the savory of the mutton fried rice. Nasi Goreng Kambing Kebon Sirih, which is open from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. every day, sells the mutton fried rice for Rp 41,000 per serving. If mutton is a problem for you, you can order a bowl of fried rice with shredded fried chicken and it is sold at the same price. It has also opened branches in Bintaro and Blok M in South Jakarta, Cinere in Depok, West Java and Pamulang in South Tangerang. Address: Jl. H. Agus Salim No.41B, RT.1/RW.1, Kb. Sirih, Menteng, Kota Jakarta Pusat, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 10340, IndonesiaOpening Hours: 11AM to 2AM.Contact: +62811190775 2. Nasi Goreng Kebuli Apjay Credit: @chubbytraveller on Instagram Nasi Goreng Kebuli Apjay is located on Jl. Panglima Polim IX No. 19 in South Jakarta. Apjay is the abbreviation for Apotek Jaya (Jaya Drugstore) because the position of this eatery is in front of that shop. Nasi Goreng Kebuli Apjay is unique because the rice that the seller fry is nasi kebuli (spiced rice), which is a popular Middle Eastern delicacy. Like Nasi Goreng Kebon Sirih, this eatery also mixes the fried rice with large cuts of diced tender muttons. It is spicily delicious with a perfect sunny-side-up egg and crackers on top and slices of fresh cucumbers and pickled carrots in turmeric sauce. Every day, this eatery opens its door from 5 p.m. until midnight and a mutton fried rice is sold at Rp 29,000 per serving. If the fried rice is not your favorite, you can order other popular Indonesian dishes here, such as bakmi goreng (fried noodles), bakmi godog (boiled noodles) and martabak (deep-fried stuffed pancake). Address: Jl. Panglima Polim 9, Dharmawangsa, JakartaOpening Hours: 5PM to 2AMContact: +628128359996 3. Nasi Goreng Ijo Thole Credit: @temenbuncit on Instagram Ijo is a Javanese word that means green in English. That is why the color of fried rice in this place is green. If you are interested to taste this green fried rice, you can directly go to Nasi Goreng Ijo Thole on Jl. Panglima Polim V No. 4, Dharmawangsa, Jakarta. It is not a color additive that makes the fried rice green because the seller does not add it to the rice when cooking it. The green color comes from mustard greens. Therefore, this dish is not only delicious but also healthy! A bowl of green fried rice topped with a fried egg and slices of fried chicken is sold for Rp 14,000 per portion. If green is not your favorite color, you may try to taste the red fried rice or black fried rice. The red color comes from beetroot, while the black one is from squid ink. The red fried rice is sold at Rp 15,000 per serving, and the black one Rp 17,000 per serving. If you want to taste the flavor of mustard greens, beetroot and squid ink in one plate, you can order Nasi Goreng Warna Warni (Three colors fried rice). It is sold at Rp 20,000 per serving. Address: Jl. Panglima Polim V No. 4, Dharmawangsa, JakartaOpening Hours: 6PM to 1AMContact: +6281283739335 4. Nasi Goreng Rempah Mafia Credit: Nasi Goreng Mafia on Facebook Nasi Goreng Rempah Mafia is located on Jl. Tebet Raya No. 27 D, Tebet, South Jakarta. Indonesian people are known for their huge love for spicy foods and in this place, you can find various kind of fried rice with different spicy levels. What is more interesting is that the fried rice have unusual names, such as Gangster, Triad (Chinese transnational organized crime syndicates) and Yakuza (Japanese gangsters). One of the most favorite fried rice in this place is Yakuza fried rice. It is a bowl of dark-colored fried rice mixed with green chili and kikil (beef tendon). This fried rice is not is not too spicy and too oily and the kikil itself is also tender. It is sold at Rp 23,500 per serving. If you order Triad, you will get reddish fried rice mixed with dried shrimp and red chili. This eatery also offers a variety of toppings, from fried meatballs, fried sausages to chicken satay. Address: Jl. Tebet Raya No. 27D, Tebet, South JakartaOpening Hours: 10AM to 11PMContact: +622183785343Website | Facebook | Instagram 5. Nasi Goreng Gila OK Credit: Vici Sienna on Zomato Located on Jl. Sidoarjo No. 3 in Menteng, Central Jakarta, Nasi Goreng Gila OK has existed since 1999. Gila means crazy in English and this fried rice is said crazy because it mixes rice with kwetiau (flat rice noodles). What makes this dish more special is that it tops with otak-otak (fish cake). The otak-otak makes this brown spicy fried rice not only different but also more tasteful. A bowl of crazy fried rice is sold at Rp 25,000. If you do not want otak-otak, you can order fried rice mixed with chicken, salted fish or anchovy. Address: Jl. Sidoarjo No. 3, Menteng, Central JakartaOpening Hours: 5PM to 3AMContact: +6287888847199...

  • Planning a Trip to Jakarta, Indonesia? Take A Trip Down To These 4 Historic Mosques!

    With the busy roads in Jakarta, it might take awhile for you to get around. So, why not make a couple of stops at these mosques during your journey. Some of them might not be very instragrammable, but they are all worth the visit due to their rich history. Let's look at 4 of Jakarta's must-visit mosques! Read about Jakarta Islamic Centre 1. Cut Meutia Mosque Picture: RinduMasjid As a former colony of the Netherlands, Indonesia has many European-styled buildings in Jakarta, known as Batavia in the past. One of them is N.V. Bouwploeg, the office of Dutch architect Pieter Adriaan Jacobus Moojen. Established in 1879, it has now been converted into the Cut Meutia Mosque. The mosque is named after Indonesian national heroine Cut Nyak Meutia(1870-1910), who fought against Dutch colonizers in Aceh. When governor Ali Sadikin led the capital city, he turned the two-floor building into a provincial mosque in 1987 to meet the demand of people who wanted to have a mosque in Menteng. The 950-meter-square mosque can accommodate around 1,000 people. What’s unique about the mosque is its architecture that follows the Dutch Rationalist style and a ventilation tower in the center to control the temperature inside. Cut Meutia Mosque is 1.3km from the Gondangdia train station. From the station, you can take a walk to the mosque. However, an easier alternative would be via a taxi, a motorcycle taxi(ojek) using Gojek or Grab. Address: Jl. Cut Meutia No. 1, Menteng, Central JakartaOpening Hours: 4AM-9PMContact: 021-3103941Website: MasjidCutMeutia 2. Istiqlal Grand Mosque Picture: ArtWolfe Istiqlal Grand Mosque is special, not only because it is the largest mosque in Southeast Asia, but also because of its location. It's positioned right next to Jakarta Cathedral Church and has become the symbol of inter-religious harmony and tolerance in Indonesia. This magnificient mosque, which has been open to the public since February 1978, is also near the capital city’s icon and major tourist site known as the National Monument (Monas). Istiqlal is an Arabic word which means independence. This mosque was constructed to commemorate Indonesia’s Independence Day on Aug 17 1945, hence the name. The idea of making this grand mosque came from Muslim figure Wahid Hasyim, Indonesia’s first religion affairs minister. However, its design was made by Christian architect Friedrich Silaban. Istiqlal mosque, which occupies 2.5 hectares of a total 9.3 hectares of land manages to accommodate approximately 200,000 people. The mosque is huge but you do not need to worry about finding a way to get in because it has seven entrances. There are many public transports around but I recommend you to take a Transjakarta bus to avoid traffic congestion. Address: Jl. Taman Wijaya Kusuma, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 10710Opening Hours: 4AM-12PMContact: 021 3811708Website: Istiqlal 3. Sunda Kelapa Mosque Picture: Center For Pluralism Sunda Kelapa Mosque is unique because it looks like a boat. It also has no dome, star-crescent symbol, bedug(traditional drum) and other things that you are used to see in common mosques in Indonesia. In Sunda Kelapa Mosque, the boat shape is a symbol of Sunda Kelapa Port, a famous port in Batavia in the 14th century which is now located in Jakarta. At that time, many Muslim-Arab traders sailed their ships into the port for business. It was during this period that Islam was spread to the whole city. Having existed since 1960, the mosque is located near the Vice President's official residence and the popular Suropati garden, where people like to hang out in the afternoon. Unlike Istiqlal Grand Mosque, Sunda Kelapa Mosque does not have a Transjakarta bus stop nearby. Therefore, you would need to take a taxi or motorcycle taxi(ojek) Gojek or Grab to visit. Address: Jl. Taman Sunda Kelapa No.16,Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 10310Opening Hours: 4AM-9PMContact: (021) 31934261 4. Jami’ Kebon Jeruk Mosque Jami’ Kebon Jeruk Mosque is the first Chinese-Muslim mosque in Jakarta that has existed since the era of Dutch colonialism in East Indies, now Indonesia. It is constructed by Chinese-Muslim Chau Tsin Hwu and his wife, Fatima Hwu in 1718 on 1.5 hectare of land. They left China because majority of the Buddhist people there rejected their presence. It is believed that they built the mosque to accommodate Chinese-Muslims in East Indies to pray because at that time, they were often mocked by locals when they prayed at common mosques. In 1972, Jakarta city administration named Jami’ Kebon Jeruk as a historical building. Address: l. Hayam Wuruk No. 83, West JakartaOpening Hours: 4AM-8PM Read more about Jakarta...

  • Get Your Dream Floating Breakfast And Feel Like Royalty For A Day At These 5 Resorts in Bali!

    In October of this year, American socialite and TV personality Kim Kardashian and her sisters, Kourtney and Khloé, had a vacation in one of the world’s most beautiful islands in Indonesia. During their stay in Bali, they shared their experience at the luxurious Soori Hotel on Instagram. This hotel is one of the top 50 best beach hotels in the world! One of their posts showed them starting off their day with a floating breakfast accompanied by the sound of crashing waves. Unsurprisingly, the post blew up and now people across the globe are eager to try it for themselves. Soori Hotel might just be the most expensive hotel in Bali so here are 5 other places where you can also enjoy a fancy floating breakfast. Read more about Bali 1. AYANA Resort and Spa Picture: Kiwi Collection Only 10 kilometers from Ngurah Rai International Airport, AYANA Resort and Spa is a world-class resort in Badung Regency. Located on 90 hectares of cliff-top land above Jimbaran Bay, it offers an ocean-front view and a white-sand beach. You can start your day in style with an unforgettable breakfast served on a floating tray in your private plunge pool. A butler will set sail to this three-course gourmet brunch accompanied by coffee and tea when you request for no champagne. Adress: Jl. Karang Mas Sejahtera, Jimbaran, Kuta Sel., Kabupaten BadungContact: (+62) 361 702 222Website: Ayana 2. Kamandalu Ubud Picture: The Bali Bible This five-star hotel resort has existed since 1992. It is located on the hills of Ubud, an area famous for its rice terraces, ancient temples and traditional arts. This resort is beautifully built on curving ridges above the flowing Petanu River. It takes an hour to reach this resort from Ngurah Rai International Airport. Kamandalu resort has a facility called Awana Pool and Lounge where you can begin your day with a floating breakfast. You can have a relaxing swim while feasting on healthy and delicious dishes with exotic drinks on a large floating tray. As you are enjoying this unique experience in the pool, you can appreciate the view of Ubud’s magnificent tropical forest and terraced landscape. Do remember to inform their staff if you have dietary requirements so that they can make necessary adjustments. Address: Jalan Andong, Banjar Nagi, UbudContact: +62 361 975825Website: KamandaluResort 3. Aksari Villa Picture: Aksari Villa Combining the enchanting culture, fascinating traditions and beautiful natural scenery of Bali, Aksari Villa is a perfect place for a romantic honeymoon on the Island of Gods. It is a luxury private villa where you can get a private pool and Jacuzzi. When you wake up seeing floating breakfast waiting for your arrival on your personal pool, you will definitely feel like royalty for a day. It is strategically located close to Legian and Seminyak which is just a 10 minutes drive from Seminyak Square and Padma Beach Legian. Address: Jl. Sunset Road Gang Baik Baik 2 No. 8, Seminyak, KutaContact: +6281238504678Website: AksariVilla 4. W Bali Picture: EatAndTreats The winner of TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence in 2017 is located around 15 kilometers from Ngurah Rai International Airport.  It is a perfect choice if you would like to enjoy Bali's fascinating culture and nearby eclectic boutiques, famous art galleries and concept restaurants in Seminyak. Offering spacious rooms with sea views, W Bali is just a one-minute walk from Seminyak Beach. It has classy restaurants where you can taste the world’s exquisite flavors from finest meats, seafood, and spices. To start your day in the morning, you can order a floating breakfast with the freshest selection of dishes on a colorful tray. Do note that they also serve champagne but you can definitely request for your serving to be alcohol-free. Address: Jl. Petitenget, Kerobokan, Seminyak BaliContact: +62 361 3000106Website: Marriott 5. Royal Purnama Picture: TheRoyalPurnama Around 15km from Sanur and 16km from Ubud, The Royal Purnama Art Suites and Villas is located alongside the beautiful Purnama Beach on the southeast coast of Bali, in Sukawati, Gianyar. Locals believe that Purnama(full moon) is a sacred day when Gods descend to the earth and give their blessing. The Purnama Beach itself has glittering volcanic black crystal sand that people like to use for therapy due to its mineral content. When you arrive, you will see lush plantations and rice fields on one side and the glittering black crystal sands of the beach on the other. Picture: TheRoyalPurnama One of the restaurants that they have is the luxurious Standing Stones Restaurant, an open-air beach lounge with a meandering freeform swimming pool. While swimming and relaxing, you can experience a floating pool breakfast and enjoy their food all day long. Their impressive menu merges western classics with Asian favorites. Address: Jl. Pantai Purnama, Sukawati, Gianyar, BaliContact: +62361 8493706Website: TheRoyalPurnama Get travel inspirations for 2019...

  • Yogyakarta: Plan With Ease With Our Ultimate 4D3N Itinerary!

    If you ask white-collar workers in Jakarta about their favorite destination for a short escape from the hustle and bustle of Indonesia’s capital city, they will mention Yogyakarta, the center of Javanese art and culture. We have prepared a 4D3N itinerary for your travel experience at this unique city. There are plenty of attractions that tourists can visit here but we have narrowed it down to the best ones! Read more about Indonesia Where to go? You can board a plane or take a bus or a train to reach Yogyakarta from Jakarta, depending on your budget. It will take at least 7 hours by train or bus from the capital. However, the trip will be less than 90 minutes by plane. Once you have reached this wonderful destination, it's time for you to visit their Instagram-worthy places and fun-filled attractions. Here are the hot spots that will make your trip an unforgettable one! Day 1 1. Malioboro Picture: PhotoKatha Like The Kraton of Yogyakarta, Malioboro is also very popular among tourists. It is the busiest shopping street in the city where tourists like to flock to taste authentic Javanese dishes and shop for batik and unique souvenirs. You can explore the 2-kilometer Malioboro street on foot. If you are tired, you can take becak (pedicab), bentor (a portmanteau of becak and motorcycle) and dokar (horse carriage) that you can find easily throughout the street. The drivers are friendly and will act as your personal guides. They will explain everything they know about Yogyakarta and if asked, they will show you some tourist destinations around Malioboro that you might not want to miss. They, for example, know the best place to find bakpia (full moon-shaped pastry filled with peanut) in Malioboro.Address: Jl. Malioboro, Sosromenduran, Gedong Tengen, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 2. Prambanan Temple Prambanan Temple, one of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, is a 9th-century Hindu temple compound in Yogyakarta. With 47 meters in height, it's the largest Hindu temple site in Indonesia and one of the biggest in Southeast Asia. According to historians, Prambanan was constructed around 850 CE to mark the return of the Hindu Sanjaya Dynasty to power in Central Java after the century-long domination of Buddhist Sailendra Dynasty. For Hindu adherents in Indonesia, Prambanan is an important religious center for Hindu rituals and ceremonies, such as Nyepi (Day of Silence). In this temple complex, you can also watch the ballet of the traditional Ramayana epic. Since the 1960s, it has been performed every full moon night. Address: Kranggan, Bokoharjo, Prambanan, Special Region of YogyakartaEntrance Fee: Rp 40,000 Day 2 Kalibiru National Park Picture: Yogya-backpacker Kalibiru National Park is a beautiful park in Kulon Progo Regency, which is 41.9 kilometers from downtown Yogyakarta. To get there, I recommend you to take a taxi or rent a car. To get a taxi or to find car rentals is easy. You can google or you can ask receptionists of the hotel you stay in. Another option is taking a hotel taxi. It takes around 90 minutes to reach Kalibaru National Park from the downtown. This park is located in the Menoreh hills, 450 meters above sea level. This is the perfect place if you are looking for a peaceful environment with an astonishing nature and breezy wind. In this park, you can enjoy not only a beautiful sunset but also outdoor activities, such as treetops, flying fox and trekking paths. Address: Kalibiru, Hargowilis, Kokap, Kulon Progo, YogyakartaContact: +6281392947249Opening hours: Park Open 24 hoursEntrance Fee: Rp 5000 with Outbound Package 35.000 2. Ratu Boko Palace Picture: Bepetur Ratu Boko Palace is about three kilometers from Prambanan temple complex, one of the most popular Hindu temples in Indonesia. In Javanese language, Ratu Boko means “Stork King” and local people believe that the history of this palace relates to Loro Jonggrang folklore. Older than Prambanan, Ratu Boko is an archeological site built during the Syailendra dynasty with Rakai Panangkaran as the king. Known as Abaya Giri Vihara, Ratu Boko Palace has several rooms, which includes a 'pendopo' where king Rakai Panangkaran welcomed his guests in the past, a 'pringgitan' where the king took a rest and a 'keputren' where the king’s daughters stayed. Picture: Yogya-backpacker.com Ratu Boko Palace is so instagrammable that many people, especially brides and grooms, use it as photo shoot location. Ratu Boko Palace is 19 kilometers from The Kraton of Yogyakarta. To get there, I recommend you to take a Trans Jogja bus and get off at Prambanan bus station. From there, you can take Grab or Gojek motorcycle taxi (ojek) to reach Ratu Boko. The price of the Trans Jogja ticket is less than Rp 5,000. If money is not a problem for you, you can take a taxi. Address: Jl. Raya Jogja-Solo, Prambanan, YogyakartaOpening Hours: 6AM - 5PMEntrance Fee: Rp 25,000 Day 3 1. Borobudur Temple Borobudur is the world’s largest temple. This magnificient structure is actually located in Magelang, Central Java. However, because Yogyakarta is so close to Magelang, many say that Borobudur is at Yogyakarta. Despite this debate, it has never been an issue for both parties since they all love Borobudur. Constructed in the 9th century during the reign of the Sailendra Dynasty, Borobudur has 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues, including 72 statues surrounding the central dome. The temple is still used as a place of worship by Buddhist people in Indonesia. People of other faiths usually visit the temple to learn its history as its reliefs tell many stories including the life of Siddhartha Gautama or Buddha. Many believe that if you can touch the statue inside one of the stupas at the peak of Borobudur, your wish will come true. But, tourists are now forbidden from touching the stupas in a bid to protect it from being damaged. Address: Borobudur Park, Magelang, Central JavaContact: +62 74496402Opening Hours: 6AM-5PMEntrance Fee: Rp 30,000 (US$ 30 for foreign tourists) 2. Gereja Ayam (Chicken Church) Picture: JejakPiknik Gereja Ayam is not a church although 'gereja' translates to it in English. It is a chicken-like building established in 1992. It is located in Rhema Hill near the majestic Borobudur temple. Located in a jungle, Gereja Ayam regained its popularity after it became one of the sets of the film Ada Apa Dengan Cinta? 2 (What’s Up with Love? 2). This place is unique because its shape looks like a giant chicken with a crown on its head. It was established by Daniel Alamsjah in 1990 after he had a vision from God to build a ‘prayer house’ atop a hill. Hundreds of travelers and worshippers from various religions travel to Yogyakarta just to see this building. Gereja Ayam is 45 kilometers from the downtown. To get there, I recommend you to take a taxi. When you arrive, I recommend you to take the stairs to reach the chicken’s head to see the scenery and Borobudur temple from above. Address: Karangrejo, Dusun Gombong, BorobudurEntrance fee: Rp 15,000 Day 4 Plaosan Temple Picture: Borobudur Built in the mid 9th century, Plaosan is a Buddhist temple complex surrounded by beautiful paddy fields. This complex has two major Buddhist temples, namely Plaosan Lor and Plaosan Kidul. The two temples are separated by a road. Plaosan Lor sits in the North, while Plaosan Kidul in the South. Both temples have guardian statue known as Dwarapala. In the Plaosan temple complex, you can see 174 small buildings, 116 stupas and 58 shrines. Many of them have inscriptions. It is said that the temple is a gift of the sanctuary by Rakai Pikatan, the king of the Sanjaya dynasty, Medang Kingdom. Address:  Jl. Candi Plaosan, Plaosan Lor, Jawa Tengah 57454 2. Jomblang Cave Picture: (Jogja) Backpacker's guide Jomblang Cave is located in Jetis Wetan village in Gunung Kidul regency in Yogyakarta. It is 40 kilometers from the downtown of Yogyakarta. With 60 meters in depth, this vertical cave is known for its “Light of Heaven”, sunlight that mesmerizingly enters the cave through its hole. The beautiful sunlight looks like heaven-sent, hence its name. Of course, you can experience the Light of Heaven if you have entered the cave and gone down in 40 meters with a rope and then walked around 300 meters to find the hole. To enter this cave, you have to wear a safety helmet. The best time to enter the cave is around 10AM to 2PM. Inside the cave, you will also meet photographers who will be ready to photograph you with the Light of Heaven. Jomblang Cave was first found by Yogyakarta-based cave explorer group Acintyacunyata Speleological Club in 1984. Address: Jetis Wetan village in Gunung Kidul regency, YogyakartaContact: +62811 117 010Entrance Fee: Rp 450,000 Where to stay Like other big cities in Indonesia, Yogyakarta also offers various Muslim-friendly hotels. These are the three best hotels I recommend. Tentrem Hotel Picture: HotelTentrem Tentrem Hotel is a five-star hotel on Jalan P. Mangkubumi. In Javanese, the word 'tentrem' means a feeling of peacefulness. The location of this hotel is very strategic because it is only 1.78 kilometers from Tugu Station and 7.15 kilometers from the Adisucipto International Airport. It is situated near a number of tourist sites, including the historic Tugu Monument which is only 1.03 kilometers away. Tentrem Hotel is a perfect choice if you are looking for a luxurious hotel. It provides the best spa treatment, swimming pool, an outdoor tennis court, and a fitness center. Most importantly, Qibla directions are marked in every room and you can easily travel to historic mosques nearby including Masjid Gedhe Kauman. The price of the room, which includes breakfast, starts at Rp 1,020,000 per night. Address: Jl. P. Mangkubumi 72 A YogyakartaContact: +62274 6415555Website: hoteltentrem.com 2. Grand Inna Malioboro Picture: Grand Inna Malioboro Grand Inna Malioboro is a legendary hotel in Yogyakarta. Having existed since 1908, this four-star hotel sits on Jalan Malioboro. As the name suggests, this hotel is located in the heart of Yogyakarta, within Malioboro's tourist site. This hotel is near the popular Malioboro Mall and Beringharjo Market, where you can find any type of batik, from the traditional hand-drawn batik to mass-produced, colorful print batik. In Malioboro, you can easily find many vendors of Gudeg, Yogyakarta’s signature dish. Gudeg is a slow-cooked jackfruit dish served with rice and krecek (spicy boiled cow skin). The price of the room, which includes breakfast, starts at Rp 875,000 per night. Address: Jl. Malioboro No. 60 Suryatmajan, YogyakartaContact: +62274 566353Website: grandinnamalioboro.com 3. Sriwedari Hotel Yogyakarta Picture: Sriwedarihotel Sriwedari Hotel Yogyakarta is a three-star hotel on Jalan Laksda Adisucipto. This hotel is only 3.02 kilometers from the Adisutjipto International Airport and most importantly, it is near Ambarukmo Plaza, which is the best place for shopping in Yogyakarta. Affandi Museum stands only a couple of kilometers away from this hotel as well. This is where you can enjoy works of art by Indonesian maestro painter Affandi. Sriwedari Hotel Yogyakarta, which also has a restaurant and 24-hour room service, is an ideal place to check into if you are looking for an affordable place to stay in Yogyakarta. Qibla directions are marked in every room. The price of the room, which includes free breakfast, starts at Rp 350,000 per night. Address: Jl. Laksda Adisutjipto KM. 6 No. 6 Caturtunggal, YogyakartaContact: +62274 488288Website: sriwedarihotel.com Read more about Yogyakarta...

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