Day 10 – Bali, Jimbaran Again

After seeing some monkeys, we wrapped up the day by going to Jimbaran, again! But this time with the rest of the family. Putri, Jeff and I came to Jimbaran for dinner the night before, this time we chose a different restaurant. This one had a Kecak performance which was lovely. And this time we arrived early enough to catch the beautiful sunset. 
Jimbaran is a fishing village with its rows and rows of restaurant of the shore and a couple of hotels. This was the spot where the bombings of two “warung” (restaurants) happened in 2005. 
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Picture this: Hot day, but the Indian ocean breeze helped, the smell of fresh sea air, toes buried in the sand, devouring fresh seafood caught that morning sprinkled with some island spices grilled over coconut husks, the colorful parasol topped and cut up fruit cocktails that seems to magically reappear after the last one, the soothing gamelan music with exotic dancers entertained the ears and the eyes during dinner PLUS your loving family is with you. This is my take on heaven.
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This was our table
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Treyton enjoying his Sprite while waiting for the food
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That’s Jeff in white looking for shells
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Chillin’ waiting for the food to arrive. In most of the restaurants, this is how you place the order. Get seated, get your table, come up front and select your seafood. These are all live seafood caught that morning. Then you select how you want them prepared, either grilled or fried. They grilled their seafood mostly using coconut husks instead of charcoal. 
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We got some grilled corn NOT from the restaurant, rather from a street vendor
Corn seller at Jimbaran. Must be hard to push that cart on a sand!
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To cool off we MUST drink! Once you’re tipsy you’ll be able to bear the scorching heat.
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Loosen up after a few drinks.
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Treyton was DRENCHED in sweat, notice his shirt looks wet? That’s not because he went in the water.
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Oh heaven… Taking all these beauty in was so therapeutic.
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Can you spot the translucent crab?
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FOOD IS HERE!
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Clams with special sambal
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Happy fish in the morning, Happy Dhila by evening.
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Kangkung (watercrest) with strips of fried squid, caught that morning
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John’s Baramundi
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The happy couple, John and Roosy
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The gamelan player
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Dinner and a SHOW!
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The story below was taken from here
The story goes that Rangda, the mother of Erlangga, the King of Bali in the tenth century, was condemned by Erlangga’s father because she practiced black magic. After she became a widow, she summoned all the evil spirits in the jungle, the leaks and the demons, to come after Erlangga. A fight occurred, but she and her black magic troops were too strong that Erlangga had to ask for the help of Barong. Barong came with Erlangga’s soldiers, and fight ensued. Rangda casted a spell that made Erlangga soldiers all wanted to kill themselves, pointing their poisoned keris into their own stomachs and chests. Barong casted a spell that turned their body resistant to the sharp keris. At the end, Barong won, and Rangda ran away.
Somebody can die or get seriously injured in a Barong dance. It is said that if Rangda’s spell is too strong, a weak soldier may not be able to resist it, even with the help of Barong. He may end up hurting himself with his own keris.
The masks of Barong and Rangda are considered sacred items, and before they are brought out, a priest must be present to offer blessings by sprinkling them with holy water taken from Mount Agung, and offerrings must be presented.

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Notice that it takes two people to operate the Barong.




Day 10 – Bali, Monkey Forest

After another day of swimming at the Hotel, Putri decided we needed some girl time, so she booked us a message (complimentary from the hotel!).

Putri snapped this picture of me and Treyton
And Jeff wanted to get in the action
Putri thinks this guy could use a little bit more muscle with his hand work, well that’s what you get from a complimentary massage, a bit half-ass job.
Afterwards, we met up with my mom, Alvin, Ria and John at the Monkey Forest. This is a MUST stop and a MUST do if you are in Bali. We went to the site in Uluwatu. There’s also another monkey forest in Ubud Bali. 
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Since it’s a sacred temple, everyone and anyone (adults) entering the temple wearing other than long pants, must be covered with a sarong, much like what Jeff had on. Look at this handsome man.
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First sighting of the monkeys
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A family of monkeys. I was told when I was little that these monkeys were human beings once and were cursed by the Gods.
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Noticed Jeff didn’t have his glasses on? Before entering the temple we were told not to bring ANYTHING with us and to strip all of our jewelries. There are no lockers at this place so you have to either leave them in your car or give them to your mom who’s waiting for you outside while you go through the temple.
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Getting friendly with some monkeys
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Ria getting friendly with her ancestor
I’m pretty sure they could smell fear in me, no wonder no monkeys want my food. The stick on my hand was pretty handy to shoo them away.
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They (the monkeys that is) absolutely LOVE Alvin. They were climbing up his back, combing his head to look for fleas and stuff.
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Do you notice that Ivory only has one sandal? Well the other one got ripped out of her foot by one the naughty monkeys
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This nice lady, got Ivory’s sandal back, after she gave the monkey some cut up fruit. A small bag of fruit cost about 2 pennies and we gave her more for the trouble.
She’s one of the sellers who sells cut up fruit to sell to tourist if you want to feed the monkey. She also told us that overtime these monkeys got smarter. They didn’t steal because they want to own it, they steal from tourist in hopes to exchange their stolen goods with food. Smart fellas!
One must also wonder, is there some kind of collaborative work between the monkeys and these sellers? You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours?
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We climbed up the stairs to get to the temple
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it was hotter than hell that day and we managed to climb up what felt like an infinite stairs to heaven and sure enough we found this heavenly beauty.
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He just couldn’t help it
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This cutest little monkey drew quite a large crowd.
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>>> Next up, dinner at Jimbaran, again,  with the rest of the  family this time and this time we got to catch the famous Jimbaran sunset >>>>

Day 9 – Jimbaran Beach, Bali

We had quite a day today. Went for a swim at the infinite pool overlooking Indian Ocean, saw beautiful birds at Bali Bird Park, and went to see Kecak Dance at the a Tanah Lot where the temple sits on an ocean. We wrapped up the evening with dinner on the beach. Jimbaran is well know for it’s rows of restaurant on the beach shore. We sipped some Bintang beer, devouring made to order fresh seafood caught that morning.

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This was only HALF of the food that we ordered
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Happy family (see Treyton?) How could we not? Sitting by the ocean breathing the fresh ocean air, toes burried in the white sand, the smell and taste of fresh seafood, the smell of the ocean, getting tipsy on Beer Bintang. Not one soul is unhappy here on this beach.
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The sister and I waiting for our food.
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Jeff wished that this moment will never go away.

>>> The next day we went to see thieves of monkeys. YES they STEAL! >>>

Day 9 – Hellow Bali!

If God were to retire or took a vacation he would choose this spot. No wonder Bali is also known as “The Island of God”. After we said sayonara to Borobudur, Prambanan, The Sultan’s Palace,  and the wonderful flavors of Jogja, we arrived in Bali very very late at night.

We met up with our driver and my mom at the airport. Mom, my sister Ria and my brother Alvin arrived earlier. Unlike, Putri, Jeff and I, they decided to stay near Kuta Beach, a tourist-y place. Putri had entrusted us to book the hotel in Bali and we chose Ubud, away from the hustle and the bustle of tourist in Kuta. Where Kuta is the beach side of the island, Ubud is more of the mountain side of Bali. It took us a while to get to our hotel from the airport. The streets are winding, steep uphill and very narrow and there wasn’t much lighting on the streets. I definitely wouldn’t want to be driving in this condition.

Finally arrived at Blue Point Bay Villa, very secluded, beautifully lit hotel at night that is. Since we arrived late at night, we only got a chance to look at the beautiful pool and went down to the beach very brief. We got in to our rooms and Putri managed to pull the headboard out of the bed and unfortunately found mold. She freaked out and asked for a different room. What do you expect? it’s almost a rain forest, this area.

We were too tired to go back to the private beach and slept like a baby.

The next morning we got up to get some breakfast and went swimming. It was lovely!

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Jeff was trying to watch his figure by eating right
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This was my breakfast, pan fried egg noddles with all the fixin’. We call this “Mie Goreng”
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Treyton enjoying the fresh squeezed OJ. The pastries were heaven!
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Waiting for breakfast to come. Gazing over the Indian Ocean
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After we filled up our bellies, we went for a swim. It was a really hot day out so it was the perfect day to cool off on this infinity pool
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If you notice on the frog’s statue head you’ll see flower petals. You see this everywhere. This is one of the striking things about Bali. It’s the daily profusion of offerings to give pleasure to the gods (and the demons). 
>>> After swimming we went to Bali Bird Park. Click the link to see some of the most beautiful birds in the world >>>

Day 9 – Tanah Lot

After spending some time with some of the prettiest birds on earth we went off to Tanah Lot and heard that they have the best Kecak dance. Kecak is a form of Balinese music drama, originated in the 1930s.
Also known as the Ramayana Monkey Chant, the piece, performed by a circle of 150 or more performers wearing checked cloth around their waists, percussively chanting “cak” and throwing up their arms, depicts a battle from the Ramayana where the monkey-like Vanara helped Prince Rama fight the evil King Ravana. However, Kecak has roots in sanghyang, a trance-inducing exorcism dance.
 
During my Sumunar days dancing with them, I got to perform this dance and had such a great time.
 

Tanah Lot is a rock formation off the Indonesian island of Bali. It is home of a pilgrimage temple, the Pura Tanah Lot (literally “Tanah Lot temple”) and a popular tourist and cultural icon for photography and general exoticism.

 

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Ah, he’s so used to this regime “Treyton get over there and I’ll take your picture”. Pose striked! Big smile! Background is Tanah Lot. It was a busy day and it was sprinkling on and off, kinda dark too.
 
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So there’s a big story here.

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When I took this picture, I said “Here comes the big one, Treyton!” and sure enough, it was so big, the wave knocked him down and he was drenched. He scrapped his knees and the salt water stings the wound. I ran out to get dry clothes and it took me so long to find sizes for him. Don’t ask. In the meantime, a nice lady apparently had iodine and bandages and offered to treat his wound and my mom beat me to get dry clothes for him.
 
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The place is highly commercialized. There are rows and rows and rows of street vendors selling knick knacks and souvenirs. This is where your haggling skills is challenged.
 
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There’s that offering again to please the gods and the demons
 
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Day 9 – Kecak Dance

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Here we are finally sitting down to see Kecak. Treyton is not happy with the show. Something about masks that reminds him of clowns and he’s definitely a Coulrophobic.
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The guy in white was blessing the dancers with holy water.
Kecak is a form of Balinese music drama, originated in the 1930s.
Also known as the Ramayana Monkey Chant, the piece, performed by a circle of 150 or more performers wearing checked cloth around their waists, percussively chanting “cak” and throwing up their arms, depicts a battle from the Ramayana where the monkey-like Vanara helped Prince Rama fight the evil King Ravana. However, Kecak has roots in sanghyang, a trance-inducing exorcism dance.
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Hanoman (the kind and wise white monkey).
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Hanoman was quite interactive. Moving around off stage.
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The climax was when the whole stage was lit up with fire and all the Kecak dancers stomping on the ground with their BARE FEET to put out the fire. It was exhilirating!

After Kecak Dance, we decided to get something to eat and took the entire family to Jimbaran, again, where Putri, Jeff and I and the kids had dinner the night before. Click here to see some pictures of the marvelous dishes we had.

>>> We wrapped up the evening by going to Jimbaran for dinner >>>

Day 9 – Bali Bird Park

Bali Bird Park is the most beautiful bird park I have ever been to. The birds roam free and definitely not shy around people as you can see from the picture below.

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On the way to the Bird Park I snapped this picture of two elderly (couple) sifting rocks.

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This pretty peacock fella was not at all scared of people

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Jeff took a decent picture actually. We took this so fast because it started to rain

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Pelicans! They were everywhere!

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Up to see the owls! and stopped to say hi to these geese.

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having challenges working with the limited lights but I got some pretty decent ones
These owls are sooo pretty.

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The 3rd owl on from the left is UBER cute, click on him to enlarge.

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Check out this ancient-looking bird. This guy was as tall as Treyton

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This guy must have lived during the dinosaur days and survived. This guys is about as tall as me.

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Kiss…Kiss…I love you…

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I was surprised Treyton was not scared at all

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This bird is called Kakatua and it talks its name alot. Treyton was so impressed, he kept saying “Kakatua, Kakatua” over and over and over and over again. This one bird definitely stuck in his head.

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What kind of flower is this? I’ve never seen such thing!

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Can anyone tell me what type of flowers these are?

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Of course, Jeff just couldn’t resist

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Across from Bali Bird Park was a reptile garden. Here you can see all sorts of reptiles you can think of. Treyton and I waited outside. After seeing the first giant alligator he no longer wished to proceed. He’s seen enough. This is what Ivory started of with….

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and she ended up with this… my sister (her mom) can be a bitch sometime…

>>> Next Stop, Tanah Lot, temple above the Indian ocean…>>>

Day 8 – Keraton (The Sultan’s Palace)

It was an exhausting day yesterday visiting Borobudur and Prambanan. Today is our last day in Jogja and we have about 10 hours before we had to catch a flight to Bali. We had super awesome breakfast at the hotel (an outdoor covered patio). This day we are to pay a visit to Keraton (a palace) where Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X currently resides.

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It’s breakfast time.
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As you can see Ivory is eating the right-Indonesian-way, with her fingers!
This is our breakfast place at the hotel. It’s called Joglo Bougenville.
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And were greeted by this couple. This is the second “couple” I’ve seen in Jogja in a restaurant.
This is what I had for breakfast:
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I started with a cup of clear vermicelli noodles with this awesome chicken broth that’s so refreshing. I think they call this Soto Kudus. Topped with whatever kinds of toppings you like such as, shredded chicken, spring onions, cakwe, krupuk, and sambal.
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For the second course, I had Gado Gado with spicy peanut sauce, rempeyek (peanut fritter), all kinds of stir fry vegetable (my favorite was Kangkung (similar to watercrest) and complete with sambal and shrimp krupuk
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On our way to Keraton. The kids at the back of the van, unbuckled. They were in heaven!
The Keraton
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We were greeted with the soothing gamelan ensemble

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Click to enlarge, these are terraces to have guests over or to have guests be entertained.
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Sultan’s bedrooms. The Sultan to this day still sleeps in this bedroom.
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check out the carving on the ceiling!
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Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX legacy, “Tahta Untuk Raya” which means 
(I think) “A Crown for Every One”
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The Ladies of Batik Maker
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Getting Around in Jogja

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Becak!

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Becak. The big guy gets his own.

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Andong (horse carriage)
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My sister Putri got to ride in front. I don’t think she was too happy.
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I don’t remember what this is called. All I know that this is some kind of a mark that there’s a wedding nearby. The totem pole like is made by weaving coconut leaves.
After Keraton, the Becak guys took us to Bale Raos, a wonderful restaurant serving some of the Sultans’s favorite dishes. Unfortunately I did not take pictures, my camera batteries have drained out. I believe we ordered almost all of the dishes below that are marked as Sultan’s favorites.
  • Bebek Suwir Suwir (Sultan HB X)
    Special menu of Kraton Yogyakarta, made from slices of duck meat which is served with fried pineapple slices and rasped kedondong sauce.
  • Semur Piyik (Sultan HB IX)
    Unique dish made of pigeon.
  • Urip Urip Gulung (Sultan HB VII)
    Fillet freshwater catfish which is rolled then roasted and served with mangut sauce.
  • Sanggar (Sultan HB VIII – HB X)
    Original menu from Kraton Yogyakarta, made from sliced beef with the spice flavor, which is roasted with coconut fiber and held by bamboo.
  • Soup Timlo (Sultan HB X)
    Classic Javanese soup which is the combination of ginger and ketchup, along with various combination of ingredients.
  • Beer Jawa (Sultan HB VIII)
    Original drink from Kraton Yogyakarta which is made from ginger, secang wood, clove, citrus fruit, etc.

Putri and I ended the day to go “haggling” I mean shopping at Jalan Maliboro near Keraton. Both sides of this main street if filled with souvenir sellers where we bought a ton of batik clothes (cheap ones, not hand made but stamped batik) and some knick knacks. The trick is once you speak English, they know you’re not local so they jack up the price.

Day 7 – Jogja – Prambanan

If Buddhist has Borobudur then Hindu has Prambanan, a 9th century temple. The temple is the largest Hindu temple in Indonesia and one of the largest Hindu temple in south-east Asia. After filling up our bellies with some yummy lunch surrounded by nature, we head up to Prambanan.
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entrance to Prambanan. It was so hot and humid that day, I really wished I could jump in.
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The clouds were especially gorgeous that day
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I noticed that each of this temple is represented by an element…
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…Siwa, Apit, Brahma, Nandi

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on the back of the temple, we found this. My sister said (after talking to a tour guide), these are the workers who are working to restore the temple from the recent Merapi eruption.

>>> Coming up… a visit to Keraton, where the Sultan lives >>>

Day 7 – Jogja – Lunch Time

We stopped at this restaurant that was recommended by our driver/tour guide. It was a beautiful place and the food was pretty good. I wish I remember what this place is called. I’ll do some research and get back to you on that. In the mean time, please enjoy these photos along with dishes we had while we were there.

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No, he did not piss in the koi pond. He just pretended he did.
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Greeted by this couple upon entering the restaurant

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Jeff enjoying casava chips with hot sauce
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Our bungalow sits on top of this pond
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 Took some pictures around the bungalow while waiting for our lunch to arrive. There are so many things to see around our bungalow
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not the same guy as above

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The tropical flowers found around our bungalow

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The family style lunch

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Tongseng and mie goreng

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Fried duck with sambal, white rice and urap

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empek empek (fish cake) and Rawon (beef in sweet gravy)

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Shrimp roll and buras (rice steamed in banana leaves)

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goat satay

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refreshing dessert

>>> Prambanan, Hindu Temple >>>