At the end of September, my mom and I made our way to Indonesia to attend my cousin’s wedding. There we would meet up with the groom-to-be and my other family members who live in Australia. There were thus three exciting points to this trip: exploring a new country, attending a wedding and meeting up with family we don’t get too see often because we live on different ends of the earth.
For us in South Africa, it would be a long journey getting to Indonesia. Qatar was good value for money but the layover was long and we’d had a hectic week before we left for our holiday.
Despite the tired and the jet lag, this journey was one of my most memorable moments this year.
Here are the highlights of my Indonesian tour:
Family (old and new)
We were lucky enough to get to see our Aussie family twice this year. In January when they visited us in SA and in September/October when we were travelling together for the wedding. I’m so happy to have spent time with my cousins, aunt and uncle and also to have met and spent time with my cousins’ wives. Our family has two great additions and I’m looking forward to the day the other South Africans can meet them.
It was the first city we explored after we arrived in Jakarta and there will be a whole blog post about it. In short, the weather was great – nice and mild like Cape Town mostly tends to be, the authentic Indonesian cuisine was delicious, the volcanoes we visited were something to behold (make a point of going there should you ever find yourself in Indonesia), and the floating market where we fed fish was a perfect ending to our time in beautiful Bandung.
Borobudur and Jogjakarta
We had an overnight stay in Jogjakarta and while we weren’t there for very long, I could tell it was an amazing city. We explored some of the night market and lots of bargains can be found there. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to do any shopping there because of time constraints.
The next morning we took a bus to Borobudur a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist Temple. Boy, what a lot of steps we climbed in the heat to get to the top but we made it and got some amazing photos at the top. I looked the temple up online and it’s a place Buddhists in Indonesia visit once a year to celebrate Vesak, also called Buddha’s birthday.
Tip: Wear a hat or the sun will get the best of you. We all bought pretty hats from the lady’s at the entrance of the temple.
After the temple we had lunch at a mushroom restaurant. Every kind of mushroom is on the menu and it’s all served in different ways. It’s completely vegetarian and you don’t even miss the meat. You can also get a fish pedicure while you’re there. Yes, you read that right. Simply go and dip your feet in the little pool running along the side of the restaurant and let the fish work their magic.
The wedding in Solo
What a beautiful wedding! It was at the hotel where we stayed and it was very different from the weddings I’m used to attending in Cape Town. The nikkah was outside by the pool and later we all attended the reception inside the hotel. We loved every moment of the wedding. It was a great celebration of two people starting out their lives together.
After the wedding we flew to Bali. The first stop was Lovina. We stayed in a villa right on the beach. Life was the most relaxing it had been all year. There is nothing quite like falling asleep and waking up to the sounds of the ocean. Oh to live by the sea forever…
Next we headed to a villa in Kuta. While we were there we checked out the Discovery Mall and on our last night we had dinner on the beach at sunset. It’s one of those this-only-happens-in-the-movies experiences. It truly was the perfect way to bid Bali bye-bye.
Catching our flight to Jakarta the next day also meant saying goodbye-for-now to some of my most amazing family members. But Insha-Allah we will all meet again. Until then, fee amanillah, my dear family.
Our last two days in Indonesia, was just me and mom shopping and exploring the city a little bit. Thankfully it was over a weekend so the infamous Jakarta traffic was not as bad as it could have been. However, I don’t think the roads will ever be quiet in that part of the world. In Jakarta we checked out the fancy shopping malls like Plaza Indonesia and Grand Indonesia. We also went to malls where good deals could be found, like Thamrin City and ITC. For people like us who like shopping this was fun. However, the aircon in some of the places was not as cool as we’d have liked so do always do carry water with you in case of dehydration.
When our two weeks were over, we were ready to head back to Cape Town with plenty of good memories and for me, a hankering for my next overseas trip. Let’s hope it’s soon.