Zainul, The Hidden Photography Talent Behind The Ojek Rider

A few days ago, I saw a meme about some random solo traveler who took a picture of her in the Pyramid with her uber driver. This meme inspired me to write about this ojek (English: motorbike taxi) rider I traveled with when I came to Bromo.

As an occasional solo traveler, the classic problem that I have often encountered is the fact that I rarely get a nice picture of myself in the place that I visited during my solo travel. So what happened if I got a serendipity behind the ojek rider in Mount Bromo?

When I decided to go to Mount Bromo alone, a lot of my friends asked me what’s the fun of visiting Bromo alone as it would be better to go there with a group of friends so you could chip in for a rented jeep to take you around the mountainous area.

I was too broke to rent a jeep for myself and I am single as fuck, so once I touched down to the homestay, the first thing I did was asking my host about the motorbike taxi that I could rent for a tour in Bromo the next day.

Museum Kata Andrea Hirata: Literally Literature at the First Literary Museum in Indonesia

What would come up in your head when you heard the word ‘Belitung’ in the firsthand?

Belitung and its beautiful scenery and beaches might be the first thing that came up when you heard the name of the island located on the east coast of Sumatera.

For Indonesians going political, Belitung might also be associated with Basuki Tjahaja Purnama known as Ahok, the incumbent of DKI Jakarta who’s currently running on the election for the second period as the governor.

For international travelers, Belitung might not be as popular as Bali but for those who are interested in visiting beach area with more laid back vibes, Belitung could also be your option to relax and enjoy the view.

However, it’s fair to say that Belitung has gained its popularity after the release of Laskar Pelangi movie in 2008. Laskar Pelangi (English: The Rainbow Troops) is adapted from the novel with the same title, written by Andrea Hirata. The novel itself was a big success that it has been translated and published in at least 20 countries.

The autobiography of Andrea Hirata who’s originally from Belitung, the author has transformed his childhood home into the first literary museum in Indonesia, Museum Kata Andrea Hirata.

Yogyakarta: What Is It There Beyond the Temple?

One thing that has inspired me to create this blog was this conversation with my ex-coworker who was based in Malaysia and planning to travel to Yogyakarta some time in this month.

She was interested in visiting Bangka-Belitung Islands after she saw my pictures on Facebook, but then as it turned out the ticket to Bangka-Belitung was quite expensive when she was about to book it. Since she would come to Indonesia for her husband’s business travel anyway, they decided to re-route their destination to Yogyakarta (or Jogja, if you please!) and she asked me what is it there beyond the temple as they have been there before and they want to explore more.

Sure, if we talk about Jogja, I think Borobudur temple as the world’s biggest Buddhist temple will be the first to come to mind. The second one will be Prambanan temple, the Hindu one. For some domestic tourists, of course they also set Malioboro in mind as the perfect place to shop and buy some souvenirs. And for the international travelers, Yogyakarta is probably known as the cultural capital of Java as well.

But what’s beyond that?

A Short Getaway to Ciwidey

Originally from Bandung, I feel the need to post something about some place(s) that are worth to see around my hometown. I suppose Bandung itself has been quite known as a city that is visit-worthy in Indonesia.

Being the host of Afro-Asian Conference, Bandung might be historical for some people. But beyond that, Bandung is also popular for its beautiful nature and delicious dishes. Spiced up with the beauty of Sundanese people, it is only understandable that back in Dutch colonial, this city is called ‘Parijs van Java’ or so to speak, Paris in Java Island.

But then again, the classic of being a local is that I rarely get a chance to explore my own town.

So in one fine, sunny day, my friend Irma and I decided to go to Ciwidey as both tourist and local. If we usually go around the town by driving, then this time we chose public transportation to get to Ciwidey with two main destinations: Ranca Upas and Kawah Putih.