Archive for April 2015

Indonesia is really a country with the largest island in the world, because even in Indonesia's capital, Jakarta, also has island. The island is in Kepulauan Seribu (Thousand Islands) regency. It consists of a string of around 110 islands.

Pulau Tidung
The first island of Kepulauan Seribu that I visited is Pulau Tidung (Tidung Island) in October 2012. I went there with my office-mate as our outing activity. We departed from Muara Angke in North Jakarta by timber ship. Around 2 hours on the way, then we arrived at Tidung Island.

Jembatan Cinta at Pulau Tidung
The Corals
I can't swim, but everytime I go to the sea, I will try any kind of water sport that provided. I do that because I think it's too bad if I go to the sea and don't experience something new and fun. I played banana boat on my vacation at Anyer beach during my high school farewell outing, and I did snorkeling during my outing at Pulau Tidung. Honestly I was freaking out when I should jump to the sea from the ship to start snorkeling but finally I did it, and it was sooo fun!

My Friend Held My Hands when I was Snorkeling
My Friends and Other Tidung Visitors were Snorkeling
After snorkeling, we traveled the beach by bike. We passed through the coastal forest to the seaside at the side where we can see sunset. And, this was so amazing, not because the beauty of the sunset, but the energy that I had to pull out when riding the bike on the sands! Haha. Even some of my friends fell down from their bikes. And also, don't imagine that the bike is sport/mountain bike. The bike is only traditional bike (with the basket in front of the bike) and the bike condition was not in very good maintainance. That's why we needed more power when riding it. What an experience!

The Seaside after the Coastal Forest
In the evening, we enjoyed bonfire, BBQ and we played games.

This kind of instant vacation is a very good choice for weekend gateaway for Jakartans. So, the entertaiment selection in Jakarta is not only always about mall, cafe and restaurant, right?
In the third day of my trip in Borobudur - Yogyakarta, I got very amazing first experience to have a one night stay and treatment at one of very luxury resorts in the world, Amanjiwo Luxury Hotel & Resort. Amanjiwo is a part of Aman Resorts Group. There are another hotels in other region or country by Aman Resorts Group such as Amannusa in Bali, Amanpuri in Phuket, Amanfayun in China and many more. You can see the details in their official website:
Amanjiwo Luxury Hotel & Resort - Front Gate

Before I start to share my story, I really would like to say thank you so much to Amanjiwo for this awesome complimentary for me and my friend to had a stay at Amanjiwo Hotel - Magelang and experienced the hotel services.

When we arrived in the hotel, we first met the General Manager, Mr. Mark to have a little introduction about both of us. He was so friendly and gentle! Yes, that was my perception when I first met him. After that small meeting, we were escorted by the room-boy to our room before meet the Personal Assistant of the GM to have a hotel tour with her. And, wow! I was so excited! There are 5 type of the rooms at Amanjiwo, and we got the Borobudur Pool Suite type. In Borobudur Pool Suite, it has a private pool and you can see Borobudur view from the room. The rate is USD 1,150++ /night. The other suites are Garden Suite (garden view, no private pool, USD 850++), Borobudur Suite (Borobudur view, no private pool, USD 950++), Garden Pool Suite (garden view, private pool, USD 1,050++) and the biggest one, Dalem Jiwo Suite (big private pool, private entrance, wrap around terrace and two separate bedrooms and two lounging bales, USD 3000++).

Borobudur Pool Suite - My Room
When I was entering my room, I said to my friend that this place it's too beautiful and calm. We love it! Even in the room, there was an iPod which you can play the Sinden songs at any time. The point is they really tried to make the atmosphere is deeply fused into the local culture and guests will feel very peaceful.

Aman Resort Spa
And, this is it! The part that I love very much; spa! Aman Resort Spa is very well-known. They also sell their spa product for full body treatment (from head to toe). In the spa room, you can try their shower gel, shower bath, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion and sunblock. All of the product had a very good smell and make your body and hair really moist. In the resort, you will find the Spa Suite, a suite for having spa treatment. There are varoius traditional massages, such as Javanese massage, Javanese reflexology, mandi lulur, mandi susu and mandi lulur borneo hitam for the treatment selection. Always remember this, if you didn't try the spa at Aman Hotel and Resort, it means you didn't really go to the Aman Hotel and Resort.

After having a massage, I took a bath in the outside bath in my room. Then, we were so ready to have a dinner with the GM, Mark.

Dinner at Amanjiwo Luxury Hotel and Resort
One of the best night I ever had in my life! Yup, I think this sentence is the best sentence to describe my feelings at that time. We had a dinner at the dining room that located in front of the hotel. We had an enjoyable conversation dinner with Mark. He was so low-profile and gentle. We talked about many things; about traveling, hotel, culture, his family and etc. And how about the food? All was perfectly yummy! Especially the chocolate cake in the bottom of the pictures above (which I forgot the name), oh my God, that was awesome! Cut the cake into half, put the condensed milk into the cake and hmm, heaven in your mouth! Note this, you have to try it if you were there.

Public Pool at Amanjiwo Hotel and Resort
There are two dining rooms. The second one is besides the swimming pool and at that time we chose to had our breakfast at the second one. We ordered breakfasts that you can see on the pictures below. All was perfect! Yup, not that I'm not willing to give a bad opinion because all of this was complimentary, but it's pure my opinion that it was perfect! I was not be able to find the shortage.

Breakfast at Amanjiwo Luxury Hotel and Resort
After having a breakfast, we tour the hotel again while taking many pictures of it. We entered the shop, library and art room, but I can't take the picture of the library because it was being used by a group for having a small lecturer.

Top: Art Room | Bottom: Shop
For your insight, the word "Aman" comes from the Sanskrit language means Peaceful, while "Jiwo" is Javanese language means soul. So, Amanjiwo means peaceful soul. And it's so true that it was very peaceful there until made me wasn't willing to leave Amanjiwo and came back to the super crowded city, Jakarta. Same as Amanjiwo, every Aman Hotel and Resort all over the world has a philosophy on its name. 

The last thing we got was the hotel car that the driver drop us to airport. Once again, thank you Amanjiwo for the favor.
In the second day during my trip in Borobudur and Yogyakarta, I spent the whole day by going around Yogyakarta city. While I have had a very exciting experience in the first day of the trip, but in the second day I only did mainstream touring activity in Yogyakarta. In the morning until afternoon I went to Keraton museum, then I went to some batik and souvenir shops to buy something to be brought to Jakarta. I tour the city by becak and on foot.
Yogyakarta City
Monumen Serangan Umum 1 Maret as the icon of Yogyakarta
Keraton Museum
Abdi Dalem in Keraton Museum
Fyi, Abdi Dalem is just like courtier.

Souvenir Shop
In the evening, I spent my time going to the iconic road of Yogyakarta where so many young people and foreigner love to be (and even stay) there, it is Malioboro road. That road is also near from my hotel.
Malioboro Road
So far, I love Yogyakarta because I can feel the strong atmosphere of Javanese culture and the spirit of regionalism in a city, that I obviously can not get it in Jakarta (or maybe in another big city in Java provence? Well, we'll see). But, it was just a little too bad that I didn't visit some other iconic place and didn't do so many culinary tour at that time. Hopefully someday I could do it if I go there again.

Amanjiwo Luxury Hotel & Resort
This trip story hasn't finished yet. Let's go to the part 3 to know my story when I and my friend were invited by Amanjiwo Luxury Hotel & Resort to have one night stay in their amazing hotel.