Thursday, May 29, 2014

Jogja-Purwokerto Trip

We had great fun in Jogja & Purwokerto in the last few days. It's been a long time since I last went to both cities and had been looking forward to visiting them again. So our friends' wedding invitation in Purwokerto was a perfect reason for us to go there.

Our itinerary:
Sat, 24 May: Singapore - Yogyakarta
Sun, 25 May: Yogyakarta - Purwokerto
Mon, 26 May: Purwokerto - Yogyakarta
Thu, 29 May: Yogyakarta - Singapore

I booked the flight tickets very early as T*ger Airways had a good promotion some time back. But just a month shy from the departure date, they announced that the route was discontinued. So we were left with no choice but to fly A*r As*a. Luckily AA was also having a promotion then so the price was about the same. The problem with AA flight was their return flight that's too early at 7am. And I still have not received the refund from T*ger till today - they said it took 30 working days to process the refund.

In Jogja, we stayed for 4 nights in Ibis Style Hotel at Jalan Dagen. First impression - quirky and fun hotel decorated with bright colors. It's family friendly with kids playroom provided free for all guests, and also glass panel separating bedroom and bathroom, allowing parents to monitor children at all times. The breakfast was so-so, nothing to shout about. Service was warm and friendly. But we requested for 2 connected rooms just after the booking was made and a day before we checked in and ended up with non-connecting rooms despite their earlier assurance that connecting room was already reserved for us. When asked about it they just mumbled some funny reasons. I found that a tad unprofessional and untrustworthy.

Ibis Styles Hotel, Yogyakarta

In Purwokerto we stayed in Hotel Horison. We got room 227, a big room located right next to the elevators. The room had no view whatsoever though, as the window faced an outside corridor behind other rooms, so the curtains were always drawn. They served yummy food - we ate lunch and breakfast in the restaurant and ordered room service. One thing that I found lacking in the room was hand towels. They only placed 2 bath towels and minimum toilet paper so I had to asked for them. When I asked to borrow a hair dryer, though, they said they ran out of it and asked me to wait while they 'sourced' for one but nobody got back to me.

Hotel Horison, Purwokerto

Highlight of the trip was the wedding and the return train ride between Jogja and Purwokerto. Unlike the earlier era where train stations were often filthy and messy, now train stations were clean and orderly. Tickets can even be purchased online but not everyone can buy them - information is not readily available and it needs credit card issued in Indonesia. But overall, very good improvements!

We took the executive trains - Taksaka Pagi to Purwokerto and Argo Dwipangga to Jogjakarta. Taksaka Pagi looked newer but Argo's aircon was stronger. I even tried ordering lunch in the train - fried rice and beefballs with noodles (Rp 50,000 for 2 dishes). Not fantastic but enough to calm down the rumbling stomach.

Taking the train Jogja-Pwt-Jogja

The wedding was on Sunday evening, held in Auditorium Graha Widyatama, Universitas Jendral Sudirman. It's one of the grandest weddings I've ever attended. Over 200 tables (each with 10 seats), grand decorations, photo booth corner, and specially-setup children play area! It had ball pit, cars and plastic house. There were dances, songs, speeches, video clips, photo takings and many more in the agenda.

The wedding

What's a good trip without good food? Upon our arrival in Ibis Styles Hotel, we were really hungry, saw a Bakso Jawi stall just across the hotel and decided to give it a try. It's really good and cheap! Other than bakso, we also ate Soto Kadipiro, gudeg Yu Djum, peranakan food at Madam Tan (formerly restoran Tiga Nyonya), sate kelinci and jadah tempe Mbah Carik in Kaliurang, chinese food at Lie Djong.

Food, glorious food

We tried one unique restaurant in Kaliurang - it's called Jejamuran. It offered dishes made with jamur (mushroom). Fuyunghai jamur, fried jamur, sate jamur, pepes jamur, rendang jamur, and many more. Even the drinks used mushroom too. Really interesting how they choose which mushroom is best to go with which dish.

Interesting food at Jejamuran

In our 2 extra days in Jogja, we initially planned to visit Gembira Loka zoo and Taman Pintar. But as it was during school holiday (not to mention the 2 public holidays in the week), the whole city was swarmed with tourists. We took refuge outside the city instead - Kaliurang, Bantul and Gunung Kidul. 

Getting in touch with nature

It's a welcome break from city life. Grateful for the chance to meet friends and families during the trip. For the safe trips and the unprotesting tummies. Till we meet again!

No comments: