While enjoying  the last week of my 20’s I decided to post something here. It’s about my visit to Kuala Lumpur and Siem Reap back in April. I don’t travel much. But I always try to visit at least one place I’ve never been every year.

This year i went for seven days. I spent 2 nights in Kuala Lumpur then flew to Siem Reap. We had a very fun time and left us a good impression of Kuala Lumpur. They have a comfortable, easily available and reliable public transportations (compare to my island: Bali), good food (well the slogan is true, it does represent a truly Asia) and to me the trip was still affordable (compare to its neighbor Singapore :D). The only problem was we didn’t spare enough time to explore more. We only managed to visit Batu Cave, Petronas Towers and getting around Changkat Bukit Bintang.

From Kuala Lumpur we flew to Siem Reap. We were so lucky that turned out it was a day before the three-day of Khmer New Year’s celebration. We stayed at Blossoming Romduol Lodge, perfect place for budget travellers. The staffs were helpful, good location and only within walkin distance to pub street or just $2 with tuk tuk. Although US dollar is the preferred currency I still found it cheap for me. We spent most of our times visiting Angkor and Pub Street, where the New Year’s celebrations were focused on. The party, the cultural events, I felt like seeing the old Bali in the 90’s. Just remember to be very careful of the scams, such as the “baby milk” scam, Airport arrival scams, the quick prayer to get your $10 for a blessing incense stick in Angkor. Those were the scams I had seen. I bet there were more. Make sure you get there in the right season. April was the peak of their dry season i guess. It was so hot and dusty, I do recommend you to wear sunglasses and face mask when you ride on tuk tuk.

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How often do you look a situation with compassion? Do you even know what compassion is?

From what i understand, which isn’t a lot, compasssion is kindess, the abilty to feel the situation that leads us to acceptance so that we can let go of the harm done.

For years i’ve been flirting on the idea of compassion through books & articles. It usually comes up whenever gravity gets me down. But lately i feel like losing it.

It is easy to give myself out for those who are suffering from lost but when it comes to myself, it is very hard to just sit with the pain. How does it work actually? I thought i understood compassion, i thought i was living it.

How can it be so easy to feel compassion for others and be kind to them but on the other hand I keep beating myself up? How can we be sure it’s a genuine compassion?

I read once that the more we resist, the more suffering we are.

Until someone told me to stop being harsh on myself. I smiled with lots of going on in my head.

Am i?

It’s been an OMG week, too much stuffs going on.  I try to dig up the memories but I guess pictures will tell you more.

The last few days of my trip were kinda awesome dramatic irony. I went to Magelang with Elisa; my couchsurfing host, riding a motorbike to see Vesak Celebration. We caught up with some CS Jogja’s friend on the way. It was a smooth ride though the traffic wasn’t really nice, not to mention the lovely on and off rainy weather.

I didn’t tweet much about it while I was there but I believe many of you have known about the celebration chaos.  Too many cameras, young couples joke fun, shout out and so many inappropriate behavior during this Buddhist sacred ritual. Well, I could probably be considered as part of them though seeing the lantern wasn’t my only intention but I had my guilty feeling moment. I was pretty upset seeing the monks & nuns got wet while the speeches from several ‘vvip’ people were like forever.  I just stood still, wishing the rain would stop falling.

Once the celebration ended I decided to contact Mas Pepeng, asking whether there’s still enough space for me & Elisa to sleep over and join their trip, and yes he allowed us to join. Mas Pepeng and friends rented a local village house which was only 5 minutes drive from Borobudur.  I found his itinerary really fit me. The next morning we woke up at 4 to catch the sunrise from Punthuk Setumbu Hills, Mas Pepeng also showed us how to make good coffee from his Presso machine. He’s a story teller of coffee and…. He can do it for you at home, office… wherever you are. Just check him here.

We then continued our journey to the Gereja Ayam or Chicken Shaped Church, need a little hike up but it was worth the struggle. Not really sure about the history of it, but the church has been abandoned for years. You will find some white pillars in it and some unfinished constructions.  Some say the church was being used as a house of prostitution, that’s why the local villagers refuse and stop the construction. Very less information about it, maybe you can do better on Google.

We’re finally back to the house, had our breakfast, packing up are bags. We split up; I decided to visit Borobudur again because I haven’t been up to the temple. Back to Jogja at noon and the next day I went to Malioboro to get some ‘oleh-oleh’.  Had an early morning flight, Thanks to Manusia Super for taking me to airport.

I am very grateful for their hospitality and hope to see them all again someday.

Friday morning in Jogja, My couchsurfing host; Elisa already left for work. Got a DM on twitter from Jensen, we finally decided to go to Prambanan by Trans Jogja. We went from Sorogenen shelter, the southside Jogja. The bus attendant told us we had to change bus at JEC shelter, but of course he didn’t mention that it would be such a long wait as we passed 2 buses because there’s no space left. Once we got one, we had to squeeze in to the bus which was fully packed. Not so much a problem actually, we finally arrived at the Prambanan Bus Stop and turned out that Prambanan was a little bit long walk distance from the Bus stop. To me, nothing more exciting than a long walk.

 I’m not gonna tell you the history of Prambanan, let Wiki do the job. So I just share some pictures of it.

The temple is closed at 4pm, but we stayed until 5 ummm maybe 6 to have some coconut water before heading back to town.

In the evening, my Host Elisa took me to some happening places in Jogja by her motorbike. We went to The House of Raminten in KotaBaru, People say this is the original one. We met Elisa’s friends; Luky, Bani and Tim who were very easy to get along with, discussed about our plan visiting Borobudur for the Vesak Celebration.  The celebration that most and perhaps the only reason why hundreds or thousands of people came to Jogja that week.

Elisa also showed me another place near Tugu Station that serves Kopi Joss; Black Coffee with burning charcoal in it. First time I saw this place was like wow… this place was filled with a group of young people hanging out. I felt like I was too old for this. What am I 20?? Ah no maybe because I am just a shy introverted young woman with a lack of confidence being in a big crowd of people.  I then ordered a glass of cold fermented glutinous rice beverage and coffee for Elisa. I gave myself a sip of Elisa’s coffee but since I don’t drink coffee, I couldn’t taste any difference between the regular and the one with burning charcoal.  We were also passing some other places in town before heading back home to prepare our long ride to Magelang.

I will be back soon with the story of Vesak, Magelang and a journey from a story teller of coffee, Mas Pepeng.

Good night.

5 nights in Jogja, it was 6.30 in the morning when I arrived at Adi Sutjipto Airport. Alone, walking down the hall to the bus station, waiting without knowing exactly where I was heading to. Sorogenen? Wirosaban? Nitikan? I did get a specific address from my Couchsurfing host; Elisa. It’s just I’m not good at finding address.

Trans JogjaI finally found Elisa’s house after an hour walks and getting lost. It was fun tho.

I spent my first day going around on foot. Yep, that’s a great way to discover the city. I also took a ‘becak’ to go to Keraton and Taman Sari before ended up at Lotus Mio; a small café right next  to Monggo Chocolate Shop. I was desperately craving for fluids so I gave my cash for a glass of Strawberry juice, Lime Juice and ice cappuccino.  Price is Ok, cozy place and I got my phone charged too.

Texted by some friends we decided to meet up at night. Although about 30 minutes away from where I lived, I was glad that Fadhil the Superman (Mansup) offered to pick me up that night. We gathered at Kalimilk in Jalan Kaliurang. A café that serve all milk based drink and food, guess it’s one of the hype places in Jogja. We had to queue to be seated and it was really crowded filled with young noisy guys & girls screaming their lungs out. Then came Jensen, Pepeng, Iphan, Gunawan, Lucy, Trianna, and a guy with glasses who must forgive me because I forgot his name.  It was great to finally meet people you talked online a lot. Seeing their faces, the way they talk and their modes of expression. Good times.


To be continued…