Yogyakarta 1 July - 9 July 2012
This trip is quite a bittersweet one although mostly sweet, the ending left a bitter taste of desertion...Anyways back to the trip..8 days in Yogyakarta(pronounced ‘Jogjakarta’), called Yogya for short, is where the Javanese language is at its purest, well known for being the centre of Java’s arts and tradition.
We left Singapore at around 15 minutes past 11. Air Asia flight was right on time.The flight was mostly pleasent although midway was bumpy and people around were very noisy...quite irritating...thank god i have with me my trusty ipad/iphone uploaded with games for the kids and movies for me...the distractions are good....cos i hate flying eventhough the flight time is very short.The flight was manned by an all Indonsian crew.Yogyakarta airport did not have gates that connect directly to the terminal but we alit on the tarmac and walked into a small entry to go through immigration which handled our arrival very efficiently.
Our driver was already waiting for us when we stepped out to the arrival hall, and proceeded to take all our luggages and load them into the car. We were driven to our hotel which was 30 mins away from the airport.
Set in perfectly manicured, luxurious green gardens, the Hyatt Regency Yogyakarta is one of those hidden jewels for any traveler..
Families and kids can enjoy the pools and water-slide..They have an outdoor bar and restaurant that serves quality food & beverages. The staff are friendly, helpful, efficient, hospitable and happy.
On arrival we were given a cold drink as well as a flower garland over our heads which was nice. We sat down and were checked in effortlessly. The outdoor lobby of the hotel was just so beautiful...surrounded by water and miniature borobudur stature and lily pad...it was just like paradise like i imagine it would be..excellent photo opp here..
The room was quite small; the bedsheets was slightly dated and basic, but functioned well none the less. The room is very clean and amenities was sufficient. The hotel did well with our request of a baby cot, which was prepared on our arrival to the room.
As we have a week to enjoy Yogja, hubby and me decide to take our time exploring the city and the temple ruins. It was 3pm by the time we got ourselves settled in. By this time we were kinda exhausted. The children by then was tired out too and Ezra napped while we started unpacking. Time to chill and relax before heading out to town for dinner.
We decided to check out Malioboro that first night and have our dinner at the Legian Garden Restaurant, Malioboro.
This restaurant is located right in the centre of Malioboro Street near the Mall & Ibis hotel. It has great views overlooking the hustle and bustle of the city without having to put up with the hawkers you get on street level.Gamalan music is played in the background while seated in a beautiful java themed garden. It sits on a second floor and you can just look at the crowded shopping street below. It serves both Western and Balinese food. We had Ikan Guraimi that came with sweet and sour sauce. It costs about US$5, very fresh and flavourfull. Their rendang is very different from the one i used to make back in singapore...it was very spicy, very aromatic and hot.
From Legian restaurant Malioboro, you get to shop along the street below and across. They have mainly sourvenirs, batik shirts and T shirts.
Right across from this 2nd storey restaurant is a shopping mall. Behind the mall is the IBIS Hotel. Do not expect any international brands in the mall. Here, we find mainly local products.T shirts costs 30,000 rupiah but quality may not be as good. You also need to check the size cos the L size may be a kid size. We found that the shops on malioboro street sell many similar items and many items designed for kids. Batik bags, shorts, sarongs, shirts are plentiful. Prices also change amongst shops and vendors.
Great first day...we were back to our hotel by 10pm and time to retire for the night as there were many more days of exploring awaits...
Open Door Policy
The once-sleepy Tiong Bahru estate seems to be coming alive as more and more cafe – Drips Bakery Cafe, Forty Hands
, and Open Door Policy – open in the area.
Celebrated galpal birthday here a couple of weeks ago and i must say its a really nice hidden restaurant. Its not exactly accesible to get there — you’d have to walk for about 10 minutes to get into the old estate area from tiong bahru MRT, but the street has a sort of peaceful and quiet charm as the place is still under-developed.
It’ll be impossible to miss the modern-chic looking bistro among all the coffee shops. The bustling restaurant offers a great juxtaposition to the quiet neighbourhood locale.
We ordered chicken wings - they were served with a curry mousse and yoghurt bits on the side. The chicken was absolutely fabulous although the portion was way way too small for the likes of me...and not forgetting to say it was pricey!!
I ordered the chilli crab linguine - The noodles were al-dente. perfectly done. However the sauce was a pure disappointment. it tasted like watery ketchup with mini bits of crab meat. I was left wondering where the hell was the chilli crab???
The grand finale was a very modern white-choco mousse with raspberry, well balanced and sweet enough to go home so happy and craving for more.
I so miss the cool December period and the busy going ons of that month. Wanted to write about the White Rabbit since my first visit that month. I would have to say that the food there is just beautiful and flavourful. We started with an entree of mac and cheese,I ordered the Pan Roasted Sea Bass for my main.
Salad Printemps – fresh mesclun with mango, avocado, asparagus and black truffle, topped with their house dressing. The salad was fresh and flavours of mango and avocado made it different and unique. The dressing was interesting and wetted our appetites for the mains.
We were quite happy with our Entrées. We thought that they were really good and were pleased when they were all served at the same time. We are all rather small eaters and shared the 3 Entrées among the 4 of us.
All in all the service was good as waiters come to your table quite regularly, topping up your water and giving you various assortment of bread free flow. The food had good taste and texture, well prepared. Great ambience, behind a church and in a hall with high ceiling, central airconditioning and great tables and chairs. Lovely stained glass windows completed the scene. The entrance could have been touched up a bit, weeds were growing all over the place.
Penang Day 2-4
Day 2 and 3 was mostly spent in the Hotel's pool and bumming at the beach and dinner we went to Gurney to check out the local cuisines.
Indulge ourselves in Penang’s famous culinary scene. Penang’s many culinary highlights attract visitors from all over the world. It’s not surprising as there’s just so much to discover, from my absolute favourites Penang Char Kuey Teow
and Penang Laksa
, to Nasi Kandar
, Mee Rebus
, Hokkien Mee
, oyster omelettes and spicy southern Indian curries. Penang is a true culinary gem! Head to Penang’s famous Gurney Drive (a beautiful seafront boulevard with many restaurants, cafés and hotels) to kick off our culinary adventure.
Penang Day 1
Day 2 of our drivacation started with a quiet breakfast at the Ancasa Resort. Nothing much to talk about the Resort.The breakfast was pretty scanty and the restaurant really needs a lot of cleaning and not really put together. We wouldn't have stayed more than a day.
It was raining slightly by the time we got to the car and it was drizzling all the way till we reach Penang. It was approximately 3.5 - 4 hour drive up to Penang from PD. The drive was very much scenic as the landscape changes to be much more beautiful with the hilly top of Cameron highlands and the uniqueness of Ipoh with its limestone caves..
The children was truly excited once we reached the Penang Bridge. Georgetown is definately beautiful with its gracefully restored heritage shophouses.
As we passes by Georgetown, i was taken away by the beauty of Penang Hill. It has a funicular railway, jeep track and hiking trails and definately looks cooler at the top with clouds covering parts of the hilltop.
We then finally reached our destination, Hard Rock Hotel Penang which rests on Batu Ferringhi beach.Home to numerous hotels and inns, the Batu Ferringhi beach is one of Penang’s most popular beaches. It’s also a great spot to view a spectacular Penang sunset. Watch as the colours of the sea and sky change from warm pastel hues to a deep crimson red.
Checking into HRC Penang was a breeze, service was excellent. They were fast and efficient despite the many many guests coming in to the hotel. We checked the pool out as soon as we got ourselves settled in our rooms.
Awesome pool area as its very big and has this water slides and water gun jets that was build in the pool. There is always something going on at the poolside where the Rock Agents will keep you entertained or you can simply enjoy the music and drinks served at the swim up bar. It is also fun to try the water slides or reserve a private cabana. Here, you can jump right into the pool from the room's deck!
Incredible oversized free-form 26000 sqft swimming pool, replete with sand islands ...
Dinner was at a simple but beautiful restaurant.We went out from the hotel to have our dinner at Batu Ferringhi.
It feels like we are dining in a secret garden
Road Trip To Penang
December was such chaos!!! A really busy and trying work days that have left me breathless most days. Working very early and ending my day late daily was very stressful for a working mom. Thank god for the great support system at home that made my working life bearable. These people are my mom and my helper. They deserve a awesome holiday don't they.....so the decision to go and have a good time in Penang have been on my mind and hubbs for a while now. Its one of those states in Malaysia that i had never been in and wished to go. Flying there is going to be expensive so we opt for the more exciting and inexpensive version of a vacation which is a drivacation.
The idea is to stop and rest a day in Port Dickson and continue our drive to Penang from there and on the way back a 2 days stop in KL before the drive back home.
We started our day early at 8pm and drove all the way to Port Dickson with stops before PD for lunch. Reached PD at around noon time close to 1. We stayed at the Ancasa Resort for the night and rested well before heading to Nazreen Seafood for dinner.
The food here is really fanstastic and delicious with dinner costing us at only RM 80. We ate the Sweet Sour garoupa, fried quail, Tom yam soup, sambal kang kong and fruit juices. It would'nt be called a good holiday without the great yummy food!!......aaahhh a party in my tummy!!