Candi Borobudur

One of Indonesia’s seven UNESCO World Heritage sites, Candi Borobudur is still one of the country’s most visited and recognized tourist attraction.

Candi Borobudur
Dina walking towards the temple before the touts spotted her

The Buddhist temple complex dates back to the 8th century, but has been abandoned in the 14th century due to the decline of Buddhism and the mass conversion to Islam of the Javanese.
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Travel Expenses: Indonesia

This is probably the first international trip (not counting Australia) wherein I didn’t make a travel budget prior to leaving. After last year’s trips, I now have a pretty good idea of how much damage I can do to my wallet when I travel. Also, I got too busy and lazy to thoroughly research everything, much less create a spreadsheet. True enough, the amount was as I projected.

The cost of traveling in Indonesia is pretty much the same as other Southeast Asian countries — not as expensive as Singapore, though not as cheap as Vietnam. It’s not a dirt cheap trip — it wasn’t meant to be. It was a vacation, and I don’t want to scrimp. A lot of people have done the same trip far cheaper than I have, but they’re them and I’m me.

I also decided to give CouchSurfing another try so I CouchSurfed with Zuky in Jakarta. Actually, I had intended look for accommodation when I get to Jakarta, but I couldn’t stand the thought of arriving without any accommodation. I tried to find a good, cheap place in Jakarta but the ones that had decent reviews are either already fully booked or are too expensive. I turned to CouchSurfing when I ran out of options, and luckily, Zuky welcomes last minute requests. I requested to CouchSurf with her the night before I had to fly to Jakarta, since the host I initially contacted canceled at the last minute. I had two tickets out of Yogyakarta actually, and I was already considering taking the August 25th flight instead of the 24th in case I can’t find a place. Thankfully, Zuky replied quickly, so I made my way to Jakarta and had a very positive CouchSurfing experience.

Of the three cities in Indonesia, Bali is the most expensive (and has the most touts), but it’s also the most interesting. Admittedly, I am partial to beaches, but it wasn’t the beaches of Bali that endeared me to the place. It was the Balinese culture that’s making me want to go back and explore the island.
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Note from Bali

Bali surprised me. I never really researched about the island, so while I was expecting beaches, I was overwhelmed with culture.

Unlike most of Indonesia, Bali is Hindu. There are temples and shrines all over the island and giant statues swathed in black and white checkered cloth.

I was frankly unimpressed by Kuta and Legian beach, but I was overwhelmed when I came to Ubud. Ubud is just too pretty. I get now why people keep on raving about Ubud. This is one beautiful reason to come back to Bali.

Note from Jakarta

I’m in BSD City, a relatively newly constructed city on the outskirts of Jakarta in Zuky’s room, my CouchSurfing host. It was hard to find good accommodation at a fair price here, so I decided to give CouchSurfing another chance (I didn’t quite like my first CouchSurfing experience in Hong Kong).

I was glad I did because Zuky was a great host. She’s very conscientious, always making sure that I’m alright. She even let me have her room while she sleeps in her flatmate’s room. She would text me every so often to check that I’m not lost, and she would quickly reply to my questions about how to go from one place to another.
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