Ramayana Ballet and Wayang Kulit Night at Manohara Hotel

Magnificent Lighting at Borobudur at Night
Magnificent Lighting at Borobudur at Night

After a full day of exploring Jumog Waterfalls, Sukuh and Cetho Temple outside Solo, I decided to take it easy that morning at Istana Griya Hotel. Dabbing my wounds with ointment the night before I can still feel the sting and the soreness underneath the skin. It’s a good thing today is about transit, going from Solo to Magelang for Manohara Hotel Borobudur.

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Batik Tulis: Traditional Indonesian Batik Making in Solo

Batik Tulis maker in Solo Indonesia
Batik Tulis maker in Solo Indonesia

I’ve seen the fascinating Batik patterns in many shops when I was wandering the streets of Solo Indonesia. An Indonesian Batik is a cloth traditionally made using a wax-resistant dyeing technique. It is believed the age old tradition of batik making was introduced in Java between 6th and 7th century from India and Sri Lanka. Batik are usually sold in meters (2-2.5m) like tubes or sarong, but these days wit has been widely popular for contemporary use like a polo shirt for formal occasions (akin to Filipino’s barong) or a kebaya, similar to what the female flight attendants of Garuda Airline wear. Interestingly, the Indonesian Batik was also awarded by UNESCO as one of the “Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity”, this makes it worthwhile to go deeper and inspect how these Indonesian Batik are made.

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Photo Print | Borobudur Under the Dawn Sky

Borobudur
Borobudur, the largest single Buddhist structure in the world

The great glory of travel, to me, is not just what I see that’s new to me in countries visited, but that in almost every one of them I change from an outsider looking in to an insider looking out.

~ Clara E. Laughlin

The gentle early morning chill accompanied us as we climbed the ancient stairs of this 8th century monument. Flash lights beam on our path as we made our way on the top of the largest single Buddhist monument in the world, the Borobudur. Like the other great monuments in Southeast Asia like Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Luang Prabang in Laos or Bagan in Myanmar, Borobudur has also been one of my dream destinations. And here I am standing on its upper levels, marvelling at Borobudur under the dawn sky, waiting for the light to reveal your magnificence.

Large 36×24 Canvass Print available and other print options (starting from 4×6) at SmugMug WHCC Prints.

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Cheng Ho Museum and the Seven Voyage to the Western Ocean

Diorama of Cheng Ho's great fleet of hundreds
Diorama of Cheng Ho’s great fleet of hundreds

When in Melaka, it’s not enough to admire the many shophouses lining up in Jonker Walk. There are several shophouses turned museums in Melaka that it’s worth walking inside one of them to get a deeper insight on Melaka’s history and culture. One that I would highly recommend visiting is the Cheng Ho Museum found near the tail end of Lorong Hang Jebat before the bridge. With a floor area spanning 55,000 square feet, occupying about 8 units of old shophouses dating back to 1786 and three floors of artefacts, it is considered as the largest museum in Melaka.

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Gallivanting in Melaka Dutch Square at Dusk

The Christ Church at dusk
The Christ Church at dusk

After our 2-day program in Melaka, we bid goodbye to our faithful eating companions. Some of us, like me, decided to stay longer in Melaka to explore. It was afternoon and I decided to walk. Walking gives me better grasp of a place’s layout and it is only now that I realised most of the attractions in Melaka are walkable. From the Jonker Walk, I crossed the east bridge and dodged the flow of traffic to reach the famous Melaka’s Dutch Square.

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Squirming Through the Jonker Walk Night Market in Melaka

The thick crowd at the Jonker Walk Night Market
The thick crowd at the Jonker Walk Night Market

Oh I was ready to rub shoulders alright! But it was more than shoulders as at times I had to squirm my whole body way out of the crowd, moving and flowing in different directions at Jalan Hang  Jebat Street in Melaka popularly known as the Jonker Walk. Last I was here, we only ventured this famed street boasting of well preserved Peranakan Houses dating back to 1800s during daylight. This was I was looking forward to my re-visit in this vibrant city, to experience the Jonker Walk Night Market.

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The Melaka Riverside and the City’s Artistic Flair

A Local biker by the Melaka Riverside Murals
A Local biker by the Melaka Riverside Murals

I received an invitation from a bunch of young professionals from Melaka, Malaysia to join their “A Date with Bloggers,” an event to showcasing their rich food and culture of Melaka. It’s been almost four years since my last day trip there and since I have a spare ticket to use at that time, I decided to go and possibly explore the area in a few days. From Manila, I flew to the LCCT airport, got on a Melaka bound bus. One and a half hour later, I was at Melaka Sentral. I was met by a young local organiser of the event and took me to my lodge, Sayang-Sayang Guest House which is found on the Melaka Riverside. I explored the back of the guest house and was immediately awed by the sight of the river and rows of houses filled with creative murals. I got a feeling I’m gonna like it here.

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