‘Selfie’ and Tourism

Today we can see that everyone has a mobile phone that equip with a camera. The better the phone is, the better the camera. 10 years ago, if we wanted to take pictures every time we travel or gather with friends, we would bring a pocket camera . Now days you just have to bring your phone and take pictures, save it in the computer as a soft copy or have it processed to create a hardcopy. Simple right. Tourism is a big industry. Some countries are blessed with a beautiful landscape that can attract many people to come. Lately, during my visit to places of interest I become aware of ‘selfie’ and tourism. People come to a place to get their pictures taken in many different setting.

 

I went to Yogyakarta for a short holiday. I had not visited Yogyakarta for a long time and there are spots that are famous for this type of tourism. Let’s begin the journey to some places that I can reach in two-day visit.

KALI BIRU

This place is maybe the first place that introduced the concept of creating sets for selfies. It located quite far from the city of Yogyakarta, in Kulon Progo. The way to get there is quite steep. If you drive a car to this place make sure that your vehicle is in top notch condition because you have to drive up the hill.  It is already quite well known, a lot of people know about this place and make it their holiday destination. The entry ticket to this place is Rp. 10.000, that is not including the parking and other stuff.

How is the setting of the place. There are several photo spots in the area, around 5-6 if I am not mistaken. To take pictures there you have to pay 10.000 – 35.000 to get in. My suggestion is not to come here during holiday season, you can end up queueing for more than an hour just to get your turn on the spot. But if it is the only time you can come (like when I was here) be prepared to wait. While waiting you can enjoy the scenery. Don’t worry about food and drinks, they are sold there with a quite reasonable price. As it is far away from other places.

 

HUTAN PINUS (PINE TREE FOREST) MANGUNAN

The pine tree Mangunan is also famous for its selfie spot. This is a pine tree forest in Bantul near the city of Yogyakarta. It is not that big, but it has the different feel if you live in a tropical country. The  Pinus merkusii trees are  neatly grown around the hills. The pine tree forest is actually in Bantul but some people mistakenly said it is in Imogiri because the way here is the same as the one lead to Imogiri. Imogiri is famous because it is a burial ground for the kings/ sultan in Yogyakarta. Now the Mangunan area, especially the part planted with pine trees not only serves as a protected forest but also managed as one tourist destination.

There are several selfie spots in the Mangunan area and its surroundings. When I passed by the road that lead to Gunung Kidul, I counted more that 2 pine trees areas. Those areas are opened to visitors that want to take pictures with unique backgrounds of pine trees. I, personally, like the scenery around that place, even though the weather is quite hot at noon time.

JURANG TEMBELAN (Tembelen Ravine?)

It is also located in Mangunan, Bantul about 22 km from the Yogyakarta city. It takes around 1,5 hours from the city to this place, if the traffic is in normal condition. During holidays the surrounding area has many places of interest so traffic is a problem. The Tembelan ravine is located in a ravine. We can see the how far it is down from one of the photo spot. For a person who fear height like I am, it is quite challenging taking pictures in this place. When I visit this place the entry price was up to you, you can give any amount that you want. I do not know how it is now, hopefully it is still this way.

For the top of the ravine you can see the beautiful scenery. As far as you can see it is green. I visit this place at noon time, so it is very hot. One of the most favourite photo spot is the noah ark, which is placed above the ravine. Don’t look down :))

Road Trip from Jakarta to Lombok

A road trip again, this time 1100 km, and crossing two seas. That’s one way, times 2 if you count the way back home. Exciting plan, and we prepared well for the journey. My car is a city car, not one that is suitable for a long-distance travel. Well, at that moment we planned we thought it would a good try and a great adventure. I lived in the capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta and to go to Lombok we had to travel to the east.

A road trip from Jakarta to Lombok is not exactly an autobahn experience like what my father used to take me around Germany. It depends on your luck. It can be a smooth ride, or maybe a bumpy one. Me and my husband started to drive early in the morning, we went through the toll road Jakarta-Pejagan. It was a 249-km toll road, and most of the road was straight. It would make you sleepy because the long and straight road looked so boring. That’s why at the first time the toll road was open a lot of accident occurred along the way. The more dangerous thing beside drunk driving is sleepy driving. I recommended for drivers to have enough rest if they wanted to make the journey. As a co-driver, I fell asleep numerous of time. Thank God, the driver which is my husband could stay fully awake. We arrived at the end of the toll road before noon. The toll road ends near Brebes, and we planned to have lunch somewhere in Pekalongan which is around 57 km, 1,5-hour drive if the traffic is good. Our choice was Garang Asem at one restaurant at the side of the road. Garang Asem is a traditional food from Pekalongan, it is made from tetelan beef and smothered with sauce that tastes sour but delicious and fresh. Tetelan beef is the part of beef that sticks on the bone. Try it when you visit Pekalongan, it is quite spicy though for people who do not like spicy food.

We continued our journey and stopped at Pati. We planned to visit a friend but we arrived very late because of an accident somewhere before Demak. It delayed our journey for 2 hours. We arrived at the hotel, The Safin Hotel Pati, at 9 p.m. Tired from the journey we decided to eat at the restaurant and took a rest because the next day we had to start early so we could arrived in Bali before midnight. We had been to Bali by road some years before, so we knew that we had to reach Bali that day in order to get an early start to Lombok the next day.

The 2nd day started in Pati, it took at half day to reach Surabaya. It was lunch time already but we could not stop in Surabaya. We decided to stop at Pasuruan, we knew this town at the time we went to Bromo. One of the traditional food in Pasuruan is Rawon. It is served with chili peppers, sliced onions, and bean sprouts. It is tasty and people who enjoy spicy food you can try this. After that we continued our journey through the northern coast of Java (Pantura). One place that I would always remember every time I made a journey to Bali by road was Paiton. It is located 35km from the city Probolinggo, it is a large thermal power station that can generate 4,000 megawats. It is one of the main electricity source for Java. We arrived in Ketapang (harbour in Banyuwangi) at Maghrib time, we stopped for a rest before we continued our journey to Gilimanuk (harbour in Bali). It was a one-hour journey from Ketapang to Gilimanuk. After we arrived in Gilimanuk we headed to Denpasar. It is another 2-3 hours’ journey Denpasar, and it is getting late. Along the road from Gilimanuk to Denpasar there are a lot of trees. I like them, it feels like driving inside a tunnel of trees. So peaceful and dark of course because it is already late. The hotel was in Tohpati, we chose it because of the location. We arrived at midnight at The Favehotel Tohpati, was at the side of the road heading to Padang Bai Harbour. We took a rest for the night. I was so excited because the next day we were going to cross the sea to Lombok Island.

3rd Day, Lombok here we come. We set out for the journey after having breakfast. The journey from the hotel to Padang Bai Harbor only took around 1 hour. The harbor was not as big as Ketapang or Gilimanuk, not mention Merak Harbor. It is a small harbor at the ferries are not that big. The sea was clear green color, overall it is a beautiful harbor. We waited for a ferry to come and dock because we missed the first one. Most of the vehicles that crosses the sea are trucks and busses. My car is a city car, it looks so small compared to the others.

After a 3 hours ferry ride we arrive at Lembar Harbor, Lombok. This is a very simple harbor, small and not really city car friendly. As you know city car does not have a high ground clearence, and to get out of the ferry there was no support except the ferry door and ropes. It was quite high from the ground and my huband had to be realy precisely put the tyres on the road so the bottom of the car would not touch the ferry’s door.

Lombok is an island in West Nusa Tenggara province, Indonesia. It is seperated from Bali by the Lombok Strait, the capital city is Mataram. Eventhough it is 4,514km2 there are less than 4 million people live there. There are a lot of smaller island around Lombok that are called Gili. Gili in Sasak language means small island. Eventhough it is a neigboring island of Bali, the island’s indegenous people are predominantly Muslim.  It was the first time I stepped my foot in Lombok. Hello Lombok, the island of a thousand mosques. Lets begin the journey in Lombok after 2,5 days road trip.

 

 

Captured Moment

Painters paint with their brush, I paint with a different kind of brush. They paint with paint, I paint with pixels. They paint on a canvas, my computer monitor is my medium. I used to paint with canvas and brushes, I will get paint all over my hands. Now days, I play with my keyboard and change the color with a single move of my mouse. The way is not important, all that matters is capturing one moment in life.

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I travel to find views that caught my eyes. I stopped and captured the moment with the click sound of my camera’s shutter. The moment will be immortalize in the form of pixels.  The beauty that I hope will never change through the fast development of mankind. However, my hope is getting slimmer as the time goes by, and development change the mother earth’s face. I tried to make the beauty immortal through the pictures that are hanging on my wall. Maybe it will be gone in a matter of years.

Lately, my photos have changed. I still capture the beautiful scenery which wowed people’s eyes, but I need more. Beautiful scenery becomes a beautiful face without a soul. I want to find the soul to it, a soul that will keep on living even if the beauty dies. I started to see another kind of beauty.  I started to capture moments, people faces, activities, and objects with a story behind them. Each picture has a story to tell, and people will hear them.

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Beautiful scenery always makes my heart skip a beat, but the streets also have a new meaning for me. I find it beautiful in a way I can’t describe. I always tried to add meaning to each moment that I captured. I learn to tell a story and say what I feel when I see the moments pass by. I am still learning and hopefully time will make me better.

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