LAMPUNG

Lampung is a province at the very east of Sumatra. It is actually very near to Jakarta the capital city of Indonesia; however, it is separated by a strait, Sunda strait to be exact. This separation makes the journey takes more time. You must rely on the ferry to take you back and fourth from Java island.

I always think that Lampung has a lot to offer. It has beautiful sceneries which located in various places. We can visit the beautiful beaches, surf in one of the famous surf spots in the world, or pass by the mountain range that gives us lots of fresh air.

The journey from Jakarta will take approximately 6 hours depending on the weather and the speed of the ferry. From Jakarta we can go by the toll road Jakarta-Merak that will take us to the entrance of Merak port. After this 1-2-hour journey we will continue by ferry, in a busy time there will be a ferry every hour. There are several companies that operate ferries in this strait, that is why we can get different types of ferries depending on our luck. The ferry journey from Merak to Bakauheni will take around 2 to 3 hours. If you cross the strait in a clear day you will see the blue sky above, and feel the heat of the sun. I suggest that you sit under the shade in a hot and clear day.

KALIANDA

After arriving in Bakauheni, we will be greeted by the terrain of Sumatera island. We can see the mountainous area from far away. At the gate of Bakauheni there is a construction of a new toll road which predicted to be finished by 2018 or 2019. It will be great help if all are completed because the journey time in Sumatera will be cut a lot. The main road to Bandar Lampung, the capital city of Lampung, is a narrow road. Along this main road we can take a detour and visit some beaches. One of the famous beaches is Kalianda. Grand Elty Lampung is one resort that is known as the gate to the Krakatoa from the Sumatera side. I like the beaches in this area because the sand is so soft and white. I like it even more when there are not a lot of people around. It feels like the beach is your own private beach.

KILUAN

Further to the west through the roads to Padangcermin and Bawang we can find Kiluan. This is place is famous for its dolphin sighting. We can find a lot of cottages and home stays around Krui. Despite the beauty of this place, the way to this place is quite difficult. Some of the roads are not well maintained. But above all it is worthwhile to drive and see the beautiful places in Kiluan and maybe you are lucky to see dolphins swimming along your boat.

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KRUI

If you take another road to the west that lead to Kota Agung, you can arrive in Krui. This place is known as a surf spot. A lot of tourists visit Krui to ride the wave of the Indian Ocean. The beach has wide sandy area with soft sand. The waves are perfect for surfing. A lot of home stays and surf camps can be a perfect place to stay during your visit. There are a lot of people from other countries visit Krui, you can meet them at the time you visit the beach. The town itself is not a big town. There are not any big shops around, but you can buy anything essential for your day to day activities in the mini market, Indomart or Alfamart. Public transportation is not really something to look for, but you can rent a motor cycle if you want to get around.

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‘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 – Kerinci highland, Jambi

Where are you from? Jakarta. How do you get to Kerinci? By Car

That City Car? Only the two of you? Yes How many days? 3 with stops at the end of the days and some short stops.

Road trips outside of Java Island I prefer to have a 4 WD though or at least cars which have higher ground clearance. It is a little bit scary having a city car running up and down the hills in a very poor condition road, and land slide during the rainy season.

“That hole seems better than the other.” Or “the road is flooded. Can we pass?” Or “Landslide turn around.”

It is a daily conversation between me and my husband during one road trip to Sumatra. However, the roads outside of Java is a tricky one. You can have smooth roads for a couple of miles and a very extreme bumpy roads for the next half of the journey.  The roads are better near the Id al Fitr. The government before the D day usually fixes the road so that people who come to their hometown have a smooth journey. A tradition of returning to the hometown makes the road packed with cars and a long line of cars and buses everywhere. During rainy season you have to be prepared for bad condition roads. This situation will be trickier when you are driving a city car through the alternative roads, not the main road. Imagine a city car with low ground clearance has to go pass a land slide because to turn around is an impossible thing. Although the journey sometimes is an impossible one, it is always fun to get around one obstacle to another. I plan to go through roads outside of Sumatra, java and Bali. I don’t think a city car is capable to go through the roads. Let’s plan to use a higher ground clearance car.

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Kerinci – the highland

Sungai Penuh

Sumatra is the second largest island in Indonesia, it was known by the name Swarnadwipa, the land of gold. Gold was vastly found in Sumatra a long time ago, it was the symbol of prestige. Apparently, ‘gold’ now days has changed into Palm oil, rubber and Coal. Plantation can be found all over Sumatra. The land has given the people ‘gold’ in another kind. Today, you can see plantation on the side of the road you travel.

Lake Kerinci

My destination was Sungai Penuh, which is the capital city of Kerinci, Jambi. I started from Bangko at 7 in the morning by car.  At first the journey was a smooth, the road was all right but later on it was not not good. It started to be bumpy all the way. The road was narrow for only two cars, and there was a lot of mud from the land slide. We made it through after half a day of roller coaster ride. The first view that made me feel the journey has been worthwhile was the panoramic view of Lake Kerinci. The sky line and the lake was a gift after a long ride. We stopped for lunch. We picked a small restaurant near the lake. We had fish for lunch and it was excellent, fresh from the lake the restaurant owner said.

Sungai Penuh

Sungai Penuh located not farfrom Lake Kerinci. It is a small town with no big five stars hotel. We stayed in a small hotel. We asked for air conditioned room…. they replied you don’t need one, it is cold in the night. They are right….. We enjoyed the rest of the day going around the city. There were not a lot of things to see. We spoke to a local man, he told us there is not a lot to see in the town. At 9 o’clock everybody is home, because after 9 it is not a good thing to be out in the open. They still believe in black magic, and after 9 it is the time for people to practice black magic. We noted that, we would stay in the hotel after 9. One thing my father taught me, during a journey to places you don not know; It is better to follow the rules from the local area to play it safe.