Yogyakarta, Indonesia

yogyakarta

ABOUT YOGYAKARTA

Timezone : UTC+07:00

Currency: Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)

Visa: Not required for Malaysian

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GETTING THERE

Went to Yogyakarta by Air Asia. The flight will take you from KLIA2 to Adisucipto International Airport. From the airport you can take a taxi to your hotel. There will be a taxi counter near the exit door. Paid IDR 70,000 for a taxi from airport to hotel in Malioboro. When flying back from Yogyakarta to Malaysia, you will need to pay for the airport departure tax. Paid RM32 for the tax through AirAsia (payment for Indonesia Airport Tax), meaning I do not need to pay before the departure itself. By the way the airport is very small for the International flight so don’t be surprise :P

ACCOMMODATION

Stayed at Whiz Hotel and this time booked a room through AirAsiaGo instead of the usual Agoda.com. Booked it through AirAsiaGo because I’m using a voucher code so manage to get a room at a cheaper price. Whiz Hotel is located in a very strategic area on Jalan Dagen, Malioboro, at the heart of the city’s tourism business district. It is surrounded by various shopping centers, eateries (a lot of Halal restaurants around) and other commercial sites. The breakfast served is Halal although the option is quite limited. (images below taken from their website)

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GETTING AROUND

Yogyakarta is not really a big city so traveling around town will not be too expensive. You can take a taxi (preferable metered taxi), by trishaw or also known as ‘becak’ (quite cheap. Around IDR 5,000 to IDR 20,000 depending on the distance), horse cart also known as ‘andong’ (around IDR 50,000 depending on distance), or you can just walk around.

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SHOPPING

  • Malioboro Street – This is the place where I did most (or maybe all) of my shopping. The stuff sold here are quite cheap (you can get IDR 15,000 for a t-shirt). Even though prices are already quite cheap, don’t forget to bargain for a better price!
  • Malioboro Mall – located in Jalan Malioboro
  • Ambarukkmo Plaza – this is the largest shopping complex in Yogyakarta. Went there by taxi. IDR 30,000 from Malioboro to the plaza

INTERESTING PLACES

  • Borobodur Temple – this is the biggest Buddhist temple in the 9th century. It is also declared as a UNESCO site. Notes to pregnant mommy, when I was there I was 4 months pregnant but still manage to climb up. The top is not really that high up but just make sure to be careful with the steps and take it slowly. Bring along water since it can be quite hot. Entrance fee was IDR 250,000 for foreign tourist (as at April 2015)

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  • Prambanan Temple – an ancient temple dedicated to the Trimurti Gods. Entrance fee was IDR 225,000 for foreign tourist (as at April 2015)

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  • Ratu Boko – an archeological site, 3km away from Prambanan Temple.
  • Malioboro – A famous street in the heart of the city. This is also a must-visit souvenir paradise.

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  • Mount Merapi – For adventure seeker. You can hire a jeep and choose a short, medium or long trail for sight-seeing

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  • Parangtritis Beach – Enjoy a romantic evening enjoying sunset while riding on a carriage or for the more adventurous, you can try the all terrain vehicle (ATV). If you have time, walk up to Tebing Gembirawati (Gembirawati Cliff) and you can see the whole area of Parangtritis Beach, southern sea, up to the horizon. There’s also a temple ruins at the east side of the cliff
  • Benteng Vredeburg – A fort built by the Dutch in 1765 during the colonial domination, which has been converted into a museum. Entrance fee required.

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  • Kraton – Entrance fee required.
  • Taman Sari – Entrance fee required.

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TOURS

Hired a ‘supir’ or driver from the hotel. Rate was IDR 500,000 for the supir + vehicle + petrol for 10 hours. Went to Borobodur Temple, Merapi Volcano, lunch and finally Prambanan Temple.

FOOD

Majority of people living in Yogyakarta are Muslim so there’s no problem finding Halal food. However, every night I went to this restaurant called ‘Mas Bowoo’ and ordered their nasi goreng (fried rice) and chicken. Quite delicious. This restaurant is located near to Whiz Hotel (Jalan Dagen). Also do try out BAKPIA (a local dessert that you should try when you are in Yogyakarta) an NASI GUDEG (a local delicacy in Yogyakarta).

Bakso Bakso Ayam penyet Nasi gudeg food mas bowoo

MORE READING ON YOGYAKARTA

DOWNLOAD AIR ASIA TRAVEL GUIDE HERE: <download>

The serene Da Nang & Hoi An, Vietnam

DaNang HoiAn

ABOUT VIETNAM

Timezone : UTC+07:00

Currency: Vietnam Dong

Visa: Not required for Malaysia

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GETTING THERE

Went there by Air Asia. The flight will take you from KLIA2 to Da Nang International Airport. If you are flying back from this airport, there will be no airport departure tax.

From the airport I went directly to Hoi An. There’s a shuttle bus and taxi but I took a taxi instead. Paid around 500,000 dong for the one way trip. The journey to Hoi An from Da Nang took around 45 minutes.

hoi-an

Hoi An is one of the city in Vietnam and it is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. In my opinion, Hoi An reminds me of Amsterdam…an Asian Amsterdam or maybe Amsterdam would be a European Hoi An :P One more thing about Hoi An is that at night it will be brightly lit with colourful beautiful lantern (You can also buy lanterns there)

ACCOMMODATION

Stayed at Thanh Van II hotel and booked it through AirAsiaGo (you can also book through Agoda or Booking.com, etc. Booked it through AirAsiaGo because I’m using a voucher code so manage to get cheaper price). The hotel is located around 15 minutes walk from Hoi An Anchient Town, but if you are too tired to walk, you can use the free bicycle or take the free shuttle bus which they provided on hourly basis. The shuttle bus will take you from Thanh Van II – Thanh Van (located near Ancient Town) – Thanh Van II. On overall I’m very satisfied with my stay at this hotel. The staffs were very friendly and helpful, the room is clean and big (booked a suite), Wi-Fi connection was fast, etc. Below would be the image of the room I stayed in, the suite, and the hotel (taken from their website)

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GETTING AROUND

Most of the tourist in Hoi An walk or cycle. Most of the hotel provided free bicycle. If not, you can just rent a bicycle. There’s also a lot of taxi around. From personal experience, you may use Vinasun taxi.

SHOPPING

There’s row and rowssss of shops at Hoi An Ancient Town. You can buy souvenirs, silk, clothing, coffee (Vietnamese coffee taste really good!), etc. You can also get a tailor made clothes and shoes. Actually the whole area of Ancient town are mostly shops.

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INTERESTING PLACES

  • Hoi An Ancient Town: This is a must visit place in Hoi An. There are a lot of shops for shopping and monuments and museums to visit. One of the famous monument would be the Japanese Bridge.

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  • My Son: The second day in Hoi An, I took a day tour to My Son, which means beautiful mountain. My Son is actually a cluster of partially ruined Hindu Temples constructed by the king of Champa. My Son is perhaps the longest inhabited archeological site in Indochina, but it was then destroyed during Vietnam War. Too bad when I was there, it rains through out the tour so not much of a photo to share but you can try to goole. It is such a beautiful place. As for the whole tour, went to My Son by bus but took the boat back to Hoi An. It was a better choice since there are more things to see and enjoy.

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FOOD

There’s a lot of place to enjoy local or western cuisine. However if you are a Muslim, make sure to bring a lot of packed foods since I didn’t find any place selling Halal food and most of the restaurant sell pork. Since Vietnam is famous with coffee, make sure to try out their coffee, especially if you are a coffee lover like me. You can find a lit of coffee shops along the road.

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da nang

Da Nang is one of the major port cities in Vietnam and is situated on the coast of South China Sea, at the opening end of Han River.

ACCOMMODATION

Stayed at A La Carte hotel and booked it through AirAsiaGo (you can also book through Agoda or Booking.com, etc. Booked it through AirAsiaGo because I’m using a voucher code so manage to get cheaper price). The hotel is very beautiful! Friendly and helpful staff, big and comfortable room, beautiful decoration and a lot of services you can get from this hotel. (Images below taken from Agoda)

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GETTING AROUND

You can get a taxi or just walk around. From My Khe to the city center is a bit far so taking a taxi is a good option.

SHOPPING

Didn’t find much place for shopping in Da Nang (or maybe i didn’t look hard enough). However if you would like to buy souvenir, coffee, clothing, cloth, etc., you may head to Han Market. The souvenir and coffee there are cheaper compared to Hoi An.

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There’s also a souvenir shop called Da Nang Souvenirs located opposite Novotel Hotel. The souvenir sold there are a bit more different compared to those sell at Han Market or Hoi An so you have ore choices of souvenirs to bring back.

INTERESTING PLACES

  • My Khe Beach – one of the beautiful beach in Da Nang (the hotel that I stayed in faces My Khe Beach). Too bad I was there during monsoon season so the sky is not as blue and its too cold for a dip at the beach or pool.

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  • Ba Na Hills – a mountain resort with indoor theme park

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  • Marble Mountains (didn’t manage to visit but saw it on the way to Hoi An)
  • Han River Bridge & Dragon Bridge (picture credit to Philips)

Philips lights Vietnam’s iconic Dragon Bridge in Da Nang with sustainable LED lighting solutions (b)

  • Monkey Beach

FOOD

There’s one halal restaurant in Da Nang called Mumtaz. It sells nice and Halal Indian food. Throughout the 3 days in Da Nang, I ordered food from there and ask for delivery, which is very convenient!

♥♥♥ THE WEDDING ♥♥♥

Alhamdulillah I am now happily married and just had the most wonderful wedding ever! The solemnization and wedding reception was held in Kota Bharu, Kelantan, and the second wedding reception was in Kuala Lumpur.

If you are planning for your wedding (especially in Kelantan), hope this help :)

HIV TEST

HIV test must be done at government hospital/clinic only. Some require making appointment beforehand and some doesn’t. To confirm on this, it is advisable to call first. I went to Klinik Kesihatan Kelana Jaya and they don’t require making appointment.

HIV test result validity is 6 months (as of now in 2014). If you are getting married in December and you did the HIV test in May, the test result is no longer valid.

PS: If you are from Kelantan, you can still do the HIV test outside of Kelantan but please bring along 3 copies of this form (download here: http://jaheaik.gov.my/v5/images/download/pdf/bpuk/BORANG%20HIV.pdf)

PRE-WEDDING COURSE

Attending pre-wedding course is a MUST. Once you have completed the course, you will received a certificate which doesn’t have an expiry date.

I attended the pre-wedding course in TTDI: http://kursus-kahwin-ttdi.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

WEDDING BRIDAL

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PHOTOGRAPHER

MAKEUP

HENNA

  • I put on my own Henna (just a simple one on all fingers). Tried Beauty Henna Cone and the result doesn’t look nice (luckily i tried it on first before my actual wedding). So for my wedding I use Rani Henna.

WEDDING FAVOUR

  • Nilai 3 have a lot of shops and wide range of selection with affordable prices. Bought few at Nilai 3 and few in Shah Alam. As for decorating the wedding favour, I ‘DIY’ it myself

HANTARAN

  • My own DIY!

WEDDING CAKE

Cake 1  Cake 2

DESSERT

dessert 1 Dessert 2

WEDDING HALL + CATERING

  • Pengantin Eksklusif @ Sumira Place (Kuala Lumpur) – they provide a place for the event + catering + wedding dais + wedding coordinator. They have a few places that you can choose from (wedding hall or bungalow). We had ours near Tasik Titiwangsa; http://www.pengantineksklusif.com/v2/

WEDDING CARD

MISCELLANEOUS

Wedding stamp : http://www.ikahwin.my/weddingstamp

Philips Lighting Brighter Christmas Photo Contest

The Philips ‘A Brighter Christmas’ Photo Contest is now live! Capture the festive spirit of Christmas with your family, in our own unique Malaysian way, and win Philips LED Accent lights worth over RM500. Your photograph must be related to the festive season and the spirit of unity and giving. Your photograph needs to show you and your family in the spirit of Christmas, being as creative in execution as possible.

Click http://bit.ly/FBPXCD to enter, or http://bit.ly/FBPXCM if you’re using a mobile device.

xmas contest

Philips Lighting Malaysia: www.facebook.com/PhilipsLightingMalaysia

Lunch – Nasi Beringin!

Looking for a place to have lunch? Head on to Menara Mutiara Bangsar, Level 2 food court for a delicious Nasi Beringin! Advisable to go there before 1.00 pm because they might run out of food! Parking is also an issue, but this nasi beringin is a must try!

Nasi Beringin

Nasi Lemak – Village Park Restaurant

Looking for the best nasi lemak within Klang Valley? Head on to Village Park! Their nasi lemak is considered as one of the most delicious nasi lemak you can find!

Nasi Lemak

  • Village Park Nasi Lemak
  • 5, Jalan SS21/37, Damansara Utama, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
  • 03-7710 7860
  • Opens: Mon-Sat 7.00 am – 8.00 pm ; Sun 7.00 am – 6.00 pm