Visitors in Indonesia~~

We arrived in Jakarta just in time for my mama’s birthday!

thumb_IMG_8057_1024So young and gorgeous still– I keep on reminding Brady that I have excellent gene- I hope that I’ll look as good as my mama at her age.

thumb_IMG_8073_1024So many good cake- this rum and raisin pie was absolutely doused in rum.

Brady also had a hair/beard cut– it’s the end of his traveller’s beard era, for sure.

thumb_IMG_8019_1024This is the picture BEFORE

And here’s AFTER:


And here’s one with freshly shaven beard/hair and my mom’s dogs:

thumb_IMG_8075_1024Looks so clean/ boyish, especially with a couple of chihuahuas on his lap


So– there has been a ‘batu akik’ craze in Indonesia starting for 2 years ago– Basically– it’s a craze to find  what the people call ‘gemstone’ (although we have found some cut up slabs of marble, some rock aggregates, and other crappy rocks) and get these stone polished to the desired shapes, which would then be mounted on different settings- mostly rings or necklace. The whole entire country obsessed with ‘batu akik’– you can find stone/rock slab sellers on the sidewalks, displaying their array of stone submersed in water to highlight their colors. They also entice you to buy the rock, shining super bright flashlight through the transparent part of the stone so you can see the true color of the stones.

Here’s how the final versions look like:

2205528herman-batu-akik780x390(stolen off the internet)– but you get the point– really big stones- very obnoxious. All the guys here wear them– the drivers, the bus conductors, the parking spots guys, street side fruit vendors, EVERYBODY.


After you purchase the slab of rock, you get them to the polishers– below is the scene:



thumb_IMG_8045_1024 They cut the stone to desired shape/size using EXPOSED TABLE SAW (!!!), their fingers are mere 0.1 inch away from the moving saw. I couldn’t stand to watch it.

thumb_IMG_8048_1024Here’s our polisher dude, polishing using the 4 different coarse belts.

thumb_IMG_8052_1024Here’s the store selling all the ring settings– nothing fits Brady, of course. These are reasonably cheap– you can get one for $8 or so–

Anyways– the Poeppings came in town and we showed them ’round Jakarta, Bali (Seminyak and Ubud), Komodo (where we did the live aboard) and Jogjakarta!

Here’s some pictures (pardon me for the excessive monkey photos– I can’t help it!):

thumb_IMG_8079_1024Our villa in Seminyak– with our own pool- woot woot. Traveling with the Poeppings was really posh~




thumb_DSC_0981_1024 Fantastic Kecak dance at Uluwatu

thumb_DSC_0988_1024 thumb_DSC_0997_1024 thumb_DSC_1004_1024 I looovee Balinese offerings at the intricate care they put into the details–

thumb_DSC_1010_1024 Giving offering to the sea– so beautiful

thumb_DSC_1014_1024 Stacks of offerings

thumb_DSC_1018_1024Taking photo of Mark taking photo of Tracy 🙂

Here are the photos of the monkeys from Alas Kedaton– a not very well known monkey forest in Bali– we were the only tourists there.

thumb_DSC_0961_1024thumb_DSC_1038_1024 thumb_DSC_1066_1024 thumb_DSC_1080_1024  thumb_DSC_1091_1024 There were these huge bats!! they are bigger than chihuahuas! Surprisingly they were very domesticated- they like your fingers and act very dog-like.

thumb_DSC_1116_1024 thumb_DSC_1128_1024thumb_DSC_1084_1024 thumb_DSC_1131_1024 thumb_DSC_1133_1024

We also went to Bedugul- a lakeside temple that appears on Indonesian 50,000Rp bill:





The Poepping parents were barely jet lagged! They were in awesome spirits and we enjoyed the beach/nice dinner/villa living/ culture sightseeting/ rice field jaunting/monkey hunting thoroughly

We also went downhill biking in Ubud– highly recommended for everybody who visit Bali– we barely had to pedal and the ride took us through villages, along the rice fields and passing through a few Balinese ceremonies.

12278814_10103606738808413_1469584807299243427_n 11140376_10103606737645743_8101856152107514188_n 12308836_10103606737471093_4129397930294355237_n


After Bali, we flew to Labuan Bajo- located on the West coast of West Flores– basically across from the Komodo national park. We did the live aboard- staying on the boat for 4days/3 nights to dive, snorkel and enjoy the fantastic view.

thumb_IMG_8106_1024 thumb_IMG_8112_1024 thumb_IMG_8117_1024 thumb_IMG_8125_1024 thumb_IMG_8131_1024 thumb_IMG_8141_1024 thumb_IMG_8143_1024 thumb_IMG_8178_1024 thumb_IMG_8176_1024 Gorgeous sunsets and sunrises from the boat.

thumb_IMG_8168_10246 people selfie~

thumb_DSC_0216_1024 thumb_DSC_0222_1024 I love this picture of the boat driver. He’s been demoted from his old job of being a cook to now being a boat driver. thumb_DSC_0234_1024 thumb_DSC_0240_1024 thumb_DSC_0248_1024 They’re scary looking– most of them hang out around the kitchen area. The guides swear that the komodos are not fed– Brady swore that he saw one of the guides chucking a piece of chicken out the window for the komodos.

thumb_DSC_0263_1024View from the short Komodo trek

thumb_DSC_0209_1024 This area is absolutely gorgeous– the ocean endless with really strong currents- and this is where the Pacific and Indian Oceans meet- bringing with it lots of changes in current and water temperature. The water was cold at most part which provided a nice relief from the hot scorching sun. It’s the end of a long dry season here and the rain was just starting- The mounds of islands were green when I visited this place in April a couple years back– now everything was dry brown color– Because this place is where the Oceans meet, the sea life thrives- they have lots of big fish- giant trevallis, lots of sharks, huggeeee turtles (I saw one 3.5′ across), and the fantastic mantas– We saw 15+ mantas in one dive, with a few encounters over 15 minutes as they swam 1′ above us, gently gliding against the current, as we were struggling to stay in one place using dive hooks/ whatever means necessary to stay at one position. The currents were gnarly– I was swept away by the super strong current once and had to surface with the dive master in training. The live aboard is highly recommended for the hard core divers who are looking for challenging and gorgeous dive with thriving sea life. I’ll upload the photos from the go-pros later. We dove a total of 9 dives! It was exhausting and fun.

thumb_DSC_0190_1024 During the sunrise hike- this girl was doing a full on photo shoot– I think this is a fantastic photo

thumb_DSC_0178_1024 sunrise~thumb_DSC_0169_1024 Experiment with my fake ray-bans

thumb_DSC_0155_1024 thumb_CSC_0150_1024Our boat, the Maestro Aldo~ We still had sea legs a few days after we got back on land– the gentle buoy of the boat lulls us to sleep every night – The boat has AC (what luxury!), but they turn in it off at 2AM, almost immediately we awoke covered in sweat.

We then headed to Jogjakarta- where my parents met us. We visited Borobudur, the largest Buddhist temple in the world!

thumb_IMG_8203_1024 thumb_IMG_8242_1024 thumb_DSC_0419_1024 thumb_DSC_0392_1024 thumb_DSC_0364_1024

thumb_DSC_0376_1024All the school kids were excited to take photos with ‘bule’ – Indonesian equivalent for gringo/gringa. Tracy was very excited to take photo with them.

12265906_1060245287354106_4756943186513710674_o The Hartantos and the Poeppings unite

thumb_DSC_0282_1024 View from our hotel balcony—

12294766_10103606737201633_1476964688622216557_n thumb_DSC_0285_1024 Barely visible sunrise


thumb_DSC_0295_1024 thumb_DSC_0292_1024Dining room of our schmancy fancy hotel

12274305_10103606736677683_1661693295591750081_nMark, helping the wayang maker make their leather puppet

thumb_IMG_8214_1024A shadow puppet (with leather puppet) show in Jogjakarta

thumb_IMG_8219_1024My dad, pretending to be part of the Gamelan crew- the music crew that accompany the Wayang show.

thumb_IMG_8227_1024We also rode this thing- I can’t even begin to describe this– it’s a platform, equipped with 4 seats where you can sit and pedal (like a bicycle), propelling this ‘car’ forward. I love the obnoxious neon lights, as well as the blaring music as we rode around the Southern square of Jogjakarta. The locals love these and the road was filled with different music blaring from so many directions and slow moving neon ‘cars’.

After Brady’s parents departure, we went back again to Bali to meet up with Kelley!! It’s always great having adventures with her. No joke, after 48 hours hanging out, we’ve motorcycled, scuba dived, motor boated, surfed and bicycled around an island together.  We went to Bali, Gilis and Kuta Lombok together over 5 days. Lots of adventures, hanging out, catching up, laughs and outdoor showers.

thumb_IMG_8279_1024 thumb_IMG_8286_1024 thumb_IMG_8302_1024 thumb_IMG_8310_1024 The sunset at Gili was amazing — thumb_IMG_8314_1024 thumb_IMG_8330_1024 Magic trick, performed by Abdul, who calls himself the ‘tourist hunter’. He pestered us for a good 30 minutes to stay at his bungalow. He’s super hilarious-

thumb_IMG_8364_1024 Kelley- our bike mule as we had to take a 30 minutes motorcycle ride to surf at Gerupuk by Kuta, Lombok. The surf was so good with an offshore break so we had to be boated in.

thumb_IMG_8394_1024 thumb_IMG_8393_1024


It’s been so nice hanging out with other people (other than Brady)~ Till next time, KWig!

thumb_IMG_8410_1024We cleaned up well to attend my friend’s wedding- Everything I was wearing is my mom’s — so awesome to have a mom with the same size clothes. Brady’s were all tailored in Indonesia. He was wearing Batik – an Indonesian hand made/hand drawn/ hand dyed fabric, tailored to a nice batik shirt. He almost looks like an Indonesian royalty with that batik on (jk).


thumb_IMG_8398_1024We stayed in Bali a couple more days near a less frequented area up North. They have such good surfing with really good vibes. The locals are so friendly, the food delicious and fresh (not the cleanest, though) and plenty of yogas.

thumb_IMG_8433_1024 The beach at Canggu has such great breaks– there’s 4-5 breaks  there, which makes for great surfing. The sunsets are not too shabby either (I’m so spoiled).

thumb_IMG_8434_1024 Needless to say– I got really dark really fast.

thumb_IMG_8438_1024 thumb_IMG_8465_1024Our new three legged dog friend. She stayed at our homestay for the entire day. She walked us out (and left) when we were heading out.


We also visited Singapore to renew Brady’s tourist visa (he’s only allowed 30 days in Indonesia)- great weather, great American beers and meeting up with old friends!

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For now, we are still contemplating of what we’ll be doing next. The novelty of staying at one place has worn off and I’ve got itchy feet! We have a few things up our sleeves but everything is in flux. We’ll keep you guys updated as soon as we find out! What we know for sure is that we’ll be spending Christmas with my family– it’ll be the first time in a while!

Last thing- if you are reading this— leave us a note/ comment below! We always love to hear from home/friends.



12 responses to “Visitors in Indonesia~~

  1. Nice blog and photos, Sylvia! I enjoy reading it and was wondering if you are retiring now, or just an extended honeymoon. Quite jealous actually hehehe.. Anyway, keep it going. Would love to catch up with you. Still interested in the TransBay transit tour, if it is possible 🙂
    Have fun on your next trip.

    Ps. You should get a drone and get some aerial shots, too. I think you. Will b like it


  2. Awesome pictures … once again!
    Loved that you got together with family and friends on this part of the adventure.
    Can’t wait to hear where your take off to next!
    Merry Christmas!


  3. Was this the first meeting of the Hartantos and Poeppings?!
    You have seen so many amazing places on this trip, and I love the way you tell stories about the travels (not to mention all the awesome photos) – excited to see what is up next.
    Suuuper jealous that you got to see KWig. 🙂
    Miss and love you guys. Enjoy your Indonesian Christmas!


  4. That picture of you holding the bat is priceless!
    And… if you two really settle in Indo, you should get Brady a pet rock! 😀


  5. Hello Longhaulers, Last I saw was Brady in a dress and now I hear about an engagement ? I don’t do Facebook so it takes awhile to get gossip news. Congratulations !!!!!!


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