Traveling Tale 1.0

**This post is SO overdue, I meant to publish this in January but it got left hanging in my Drafts. Read in retrospect!**
I’ve always wanted to start a travel blog but I do not travel as much as I wish to. But earlier this year, I made a vow to myself that I will make it a point to travel to new places at least 3 times in a year and I just (read: 4 months ago) came back from a lovely vacation. After crazy campaign period ended in December, I yearned for a getaway of sorts – anywhere with a good view cos my eyes needed to rest from all that work I did!
Initial plan was to go to Cambodia but ringgit value fell tremendously during that period and we did not dare to even think about spending in USD. So we brainstormed. Shortlisted a few places like Sabah and Jogja. We decided Jogja because we wanted to be in another country, DUH. It’s not too far but I think it is safe to say that we made the best New Years decision. 
We did not expect much, but we should have! Jogja is the most underrated place ever! When I say Indonesia, one would imagine Bali, Jakarta or Bandung. Rarely people go to Jogja for a vacation. Let me tell you one thing, YOU MUST VISIT Jogja if you ever plan for a vacation in Indonesia. 
I can go on and on about the great time I had in Jogja. From the temples to monuments to the hill station we visited, nothing was short of amazing. Food? Well, some food did not suit my taste bud because they use coconut oil extensively in their cooking. The driver took us to some amazing restaurants there and their famous food is Nasi Gudeg (a jackfruit based dish), which I didn’t try because I do not like jackfruit. However, we had the best buffet spread in the hotel we stayed in (highly recommendable!) and some other dishes that were superbly tasty. 
All in all, I would say Jogja is a must place to go if you’re into culture, history and a laid back environment. People there were so laid back and friendly. Fun fact: I saw a Christian tomb and a Muslim tomb NEXT TO EACH OTHER in the cemetery. When I asked the driver/tour guide about it, he said it is common in Jogja. Perhaps we should learn something from our neighbors….
If you ever go to Jogja, go stay at this hotel. It was more than what we paid for. The service was amazing, friendly staffs, and strategically located.

A shopping haven if you’re into batiks and hand-made souvenirs. 

Stupas at Candi Borobudur. The view was so breathtaking, I can’t explain explain how I felt when I was there. Go see for yourself!

Taman Sari. An old castle. Nothing much to see here though.

Women harvesting potatoes at Dieng. 

Dieng Plateau. View from the peak. 

The magnificent Candi Prambanan. A great place for photoshoots.
List of things to do/try in Jogja:
1) Nasi Gudeg (if you’re adventurous enough)
2) Go to Dieng Plateau (bring sweaters as it’s really cold up there)
3) Try the Nasi Ayam Goreng/Nasi Ayam Bakar at Warung Raminten
4) Get awesome cakes/brownies from Amanda Bakery, Jalan Kaliurang
5) Visit Borobudur, Candi Prambanan and Ratu Boko
6) Go cave tubing at Gua Pindul. (it rained while we were there and the whole experience was more fun. At least for me it was.)
7) Shop at Jalan Malioboro. *just don’t bargain if a batik piece costs you about IDR20,000. When you convert, it costs a mere RM5.49.*

Jogja was perfect. I didn’t want to be anywhere else. And I will definitely be back. Definitely!

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