Villa Air – Bandung

October 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Attractions, Exotic South East, Nature

A Touch of Zen – Affordable Luxury in Lembang

Deep in the heart of Bandung, the flower city of West Java, lies a natural boutique resort offering guests a peaceful stay at their evergreen area in the valley of Mt Tangkuban Perahu and Mt Burangrang. The Vila Air is an ideal retreat from daily metropolitan life, boasting private chalets with panoramic views of Mt Tangkuban Perahu. Each villa comes with three bedrooms, private balconies and terraces, a water-heated bathroom, and a cozy traditional living room. Vila Air also offers several activities which guests can take advantage of. If you enjoy nature, try Tea Walk, which takes you through nearby tea plantations. You can also visit the Strawberry Plantation, where you will have the chance to learn more about these sweet fruits and pluck your own fresh strawberries to bring home. Other than that, you can also embark on various tours such as a Bandung Shopping Tour, Lembang Tour and even a Horse Riding Tour.

Vila Air Bandung
Jl Kolonel Masturi KM 9
Cisarua, Lembang
+62 22 7070 2668

Culinary Yogyakarta – Central Java

July 20, 2011 by  
Filed under Exotic South East, Gourmet

Yogyakarta, located in Central Java, is a province filled with mysticism and cultural charms. The location makes it an attractive option for tourists heading to visit the Borobudur Temple, while the charming colonial architectures of old give it a unique flavor who keeps those tourist staying for more. Eating in Yogyakarta is notoriously cheap compared to other tourist hotspots such as Bali and Jakarta, and as more and more people move to Yogya, the flavor of this small town has started to evolve.

4 Before you head back out to explore the town, pay a visit to Holland Bakery (Jl Jend Sudirman 48C) where you can stock up on various delicacies. Popular favorites include the Lapis Legit (Baked Layer Cake) and Bika Ambon (Honeycomb Cake).

5 For the more adventurous at heart, try out the Sate Kuda Gondolayu (Jl Jend Sudirman No 25), a small humble warung selling satays – grilled meats on a skewer. The only difference however, is that they sell exclusively horse meat satays, which were claimed to lack any fats and help improve blood circulation.

1 The Lekker Je Cafe (Jl Cik Di Tiro 22) is a nostalgic rock and roll establishment with an excellent atmosphere and ambiance. Hundreds of obsolete Laser Disc adorn the wall, paired with book, magazines and exotic posters from the 70s. This cafe is part of Hotel Mentana, a simple budget hotel suitable for backpackers or touring bikers.

2 I Cafe (Jl Cik Di Tiro 18) offers a wide range of food, from traditional Yogyakartans (Nasi Goreng Jawa, Mie Godhog Jawa, and more) to International fares (Spaghetti, various cuts of Steak, Fettucini, and more). The eating area is quite large, and the place is popular for its affordable yet good quality food.

3 For dessert and chocolate lovers, head to the aptly named Coklat (Jl Cik Di Tiro 17A), a small boutique cafe offering a variety of chocolate cakes and excellent coffee.

Kavos holidays represent the party atmosphere of Corfu. There is an enormous variety of bars, discos and nightclubs to choose from. The beach at Kavos is an impressive five miles long and the water is clean and safe for children.

Hotel Tugu Malang – Charming Classical Java

July 2, 2011 by  
Filed under Exotic South East, Hotels

Malang is a city that is often called the loveliest town in South East Asia during the colonial times, surrounded by the beautiful treasures of Java and the remains of temples of the Majapahit and the Singosari kingdoms. This was where Dutch planters and civil servants used to retire to a life of ease and luxury, surrounded by serene hilly apple and tea plantations.

It is here in Malang that we have found the heart of East Java – the small, intimate Hotel Tugu Malang is bursting with atmosphere. A rare gem distinguished by its blend of Indonesian art and history, Hotel Tugu Malang is an elegant mansion that tells the stories of Indonesia’s forgotten heritage and houses priceless collection of antiques in every corner of the hotel.

Together with Hotel Tugu Blitar, the Hotel Tugu Malang is the most authentic, richly cultural accommodation in East Java which also serves as the only interesting departure point for an early morning trip to the magnificent sunrise at Mt. Bromo, as well as to explore the hidden exotic beauty of East Java.

The masterpiece suite of Hotel Tugu Malang, the Apsara Residence, portrays the romantic legend of prince Jayawarman II, who once upon a time asked for a beautiful wife to cherish. The Gods sent the most beautiful Apsara dancer from heaven to dance for the Prince over three full moons. The dancer fell in love with the prince and remained on earth. Their love inspired many through generations.

The Apsara Spa at Hotel Tugu Malang celebrates the romantic relationship between Indonesia and Cambodia hundreds of years back. The Apsara Spa is an oasis of peace, secluded from the outer world. One of Apsara Spa’s specialized body treatment packages is ‘Day Dream in Angkor’: a thorough 4-hour, romantic couple treatment that uses special recipes that contain various kinds of herbs, traditional spices and local exotic flowers.

When the sun sets behind the mountains, sit back and enjoy the 101 dining experiences available at Tugu Malang. At Tugu, every meal transports guests back to different periods of Indonesia. Every dining room features not only different food concepts, but themes, rituals of service and atmospheres which are unique from one another.

The Sugar Baron Room, for example, commemorates the memory of the most famous sugar baron of Southeast Asia who lived in Java, and features very rare and exquisite Chinese-Indonesian antiquities. The Silk Road Pavilion, for the romantics, is a feast for the brilliant thoughts of the world’s great artists from the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods.

If you want to escape to a tropical haven cooled by the gentle breezes of the Indian Ocean then Cheap holidays to Mauritius will be perfect for you.

Touring Yogyakarta – Old City

September 28, 2010 by  
Filed under Attractions, Culture, Exotic South East

Yogyakarta is a mixture and combination of various cultural influences, from the historic colonial era to the mystical influences of Sultans and temples of old, this old city has them all. As you explore the cultural and social diversity and daily life, take time to visit historic sites and go museum-hopping, this is a city that is sure to charm history buffs and culture vultures alike!

Photo credit - Java Tourism

Photo credit - Java Tourism

Hustle and Bustle of Malioboro

Tourists in Yogyakarta invariably finds themselves drawn to the hustle and bustle of Malioboro, and so must we start off our tour by visiting this centre of Yogyakarta. This major shopping street is the largest tourist district in Yogyakarta, with various shopping, eating and sightseeing available for all to see.

Photo credit - trugiaz

Photo credit - trugiaz

Historic Fort Vredeburg

Fort Vredeburg was called the Rustenberg Port when it was first built by the Dutch in 1760. But the name was changed in 1765, and since then it was used as a military base until 1992 when it became the National Revolutionary Museum. In the museum are exhibits recounting the nationalist struggles of Indonesia’s revolutionaries against the Dutch colonials, which makes for a lengthy history – the Dutch colonialism of Indonesia lasted 350 years!

Photo credit - DMahendra

Photo credit - DMahendra

Taman Sari – Water Castle

Taman Sari or Water Castle was built as a rest house and pleasure park for the Royal Family back in 1758. This popular tourist destination consisted of the Sacred Room, the Bathing Pool as well as Kenanga or Cemeti Island. The Cemeti Island is an especially interesting place which plays host to various underground tunnels and canals. Legend has it that a secret tunnel exists, connecting the Indian Ocean to the South where mythical Nyai Roro Kidul (Queen of the South) resides.

Photo credit - DMahendra

Photo credit - DMahendra

Keraton – Sultan Palace

The word Keraton literally means the palace of a person of power, usually the King or Queen. In this particular instance, the Keraton is the home of the Sultan of Yogyakarta, a person of the highest importance in Yogyakarta, which to some locals are held in the same regard with the President of Indonesia himself! In the legend of Javanese community, the Keraton is defined as the centre of the world, and as such is held with the highest awe and sacredness amongst Yogyakartans. Part of the Palace is now open to public for sight-seeing, with various showcase of traditional Yogyakarta cultures on show, such as the gamelan, or the various costumes of old.

Yogyakarta is host to Sekaten, one of Indonesia’s most widely anticipated festivals. Find out more about it and Indonesia’s other unique festivals in our review of 6 Uniquely Indonesian Festivals!

Photo credit - Elefevre

Photo credit - Elefevre

Ngasem, Bird Market

The Ngasem Market, only 400 metres away from the Keraton, is a hive of activity and interest, filled with birds of all kinds and variety. Many other animals are also sold here, such as snakes and reptiles, but the birds are without a doubt the major attractions here, with many visitors looking to enjoy the beauty of the birds being showcased, and to purchase them.

Photo credit - Gromanuk

Photo credit - Gromanuk

Kota Gede – Silver City

In the times of old, Kota Gede, or Silver City, was famous for its silver crafts which were of such high quality that they were exported to foreign markets. This former capital of the ancient Mataram Kingdom host hundreds of silversmiths producing handicrafts ranging from jewelries, ornaments and utensils and are renown as the center of Javanese silver handicraft.

Photo credit - Thrillseekr

Photo credit - Thrillseekr

Majestic Borobudur Temple

Undoubtedly the jewel of Yogyakarta, Borobudur Temple is an awe-inspiring ancient Buddhist stupa and temple complex approximately 45 minutes from Yogyakarta’s city center. This is the single most popular tourist attraction in modern day Indonesia, and you can expect hordes of tourists there every day. If you want to enjoy a peaceful, private tour, head on to nearby Manohara Hotel and book yourself a sunrise tour, which gives you the chance to enjoy the magical complex before the crowd can enter. This is well worth the money!

The island of Java is a melting pot of culture and history, with Borobudur being the main jewel of the crown. Check out our photographic journey through this man-made wonders, Borobudur Temple, Central Java!

Photo credit - riza

Photo credit - riza

Prambanan Temple

The Prambanan Temple is often considered the little sister of nearby Borobudur Temple. Massive and impressive, but not quite as enchanting as the popular Borobudur Temple. This temple complex however, is still a very important architecture in Indonesian history. The Prambanan Temple complex is a collection of Hindu temples built by the Mataram Kingdom. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is also one of the largest Hindu temple in the world, which makes it another must-see attractions in Yogyakarta.

Photo credit - Chauromano

Photo credit - Chauromano

Ratu Boko Temple

This blend of Hindu and Buddhist architectural masterpiece is a fascinating attraction located approximately 3 kilometres south of Prambanan temple. The temple is believed to have been built as a dormitory for monks, based on inscriptions dating back to the mid 700s. It is also a reminder of King Boko, the legendary king mentioned in Loro Jonggrang folklore. The temple boasts beautiful monasteries, terraces and ponds, sectioned into two main temples (Candi Batu Putih and Candi Pembakaran), three miniature temples and a Bathing Place.

Unearthing Asia is a travel zine focusing on Lifestyle, Culture and Attractions all over Asia. Don’t miss out on the best bargain holiday ideas and inspirations in the region of Asia, such as this list of top attractions in Ho Chi Minh City.