Backpacking in Java (Overview)

Just got back from Java, Indonesia from a 9 days 8 nights trip. Flight tickets (AirAsia) were booked one year in advance, however the itinerary was only finalized one week before going. And I am proud to say that it was so well-thought-out that we stick to it till end!

The idea to return to Java arose from my love for Yogyakarta. It was unfair to miss out other potential (and must I say, underrated) gems. So a trip that spanned across Central Java to West Java was realized in 9 days 8 nights, to which we managed to cover 5 cities. They are Solo (landing) -> Semarang -> Cirebon -> Bandung and lastly Jakarta (departure). All in all, a reasonable amount of RM1.7k was spent per person inclusive of flight tickets (with me flying from Sarawak transiting one night in KL), accommodation, food, train tickets and other land transportation fees.

Finding information on where to go and how to get around in Solo, Semarang and Cirebon can be a bit hard as they aren’t on the radar of most Western tourists. In fact, we were like the only foreigners they had in these 3 cities with our East Asian figures standing up like a sore thumb thus often getting mistaken as the Mainland Chinese tourists. Lucky for us we are no stranger to Bahasa Indonesia which enabled us to search and gather information in another language that led us to few helpful Indonesian bloggers who have dedicated in promoting their beautiful country online.

Unfortunately, I was not on my best frame of mind. An ideal backpacking trip is one where I get to relax and do some soul-searching, no rush or whatsoever. There was a moment of panic when I realized in pain that I wanted to do the Java trip one year ago, not now! What I wanted these days is a solo trip to the Bali or Lombok beach where I got to do nothing rather than hopping from one city to another under the hot sun. Worst, when I was there, my heart and my mind drifted to KL or back to Sarawak instead. True that I was being myself by being away from work and whatnot yet I wasn’t staying true to myself in so many instances. Aha. And 9 days was simply too long to be out of the life I was familiar with – I was not moving in the direction to be the kind of person I envisioned if I stayed any longer. If that makes sense 😦 .

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