I’m writing this piece while inside my resort room at Hotel Ketapang Indah in Banyuwangi, East Java. This is my fifth hotel/resort stay since the Wonderful Indonesia trip started last 23 July. In the span of five days, I’ve taken six flights, including the one from Manila and two transit flights and two boat rides. From Manila to Jakarta to Makassar to Lombok to Gili Trawangan. A transit to Surabaya from Bali and another transit to this small town at the coast of East Java.
Ah Indonesia. For quite a long time, I’ve never stood on its soil or breathed its air. The one time that I finally booked plane tickets to Jakarta, and that was last year, I had to forego it and opted to travel to Bangkok for the TBEX Asia. Despite plans of traveling to this beautiful country, it took an invite from the Ministry of Tourism, as one of the participants of a group of travel bloggers from five ASEAN countries to tour selected places for 10 days.
10 days. I didn’t imagine that it can be interesting as that. 10 days of eating Indonesian cuisine. 10 days of exploring a small part of the country. 10 days in indulging history, beaches and islands, a traditional village and later tonight, a mighty volcano as we search its mystic blue fire and catch the sunrise from its maw. In the last few days, a few more natural wonders and a bit of shopping in Bandung.
But I am a bit overwhelmed from all the many places we’ve visited. Although the boat trip over a wild sea from Gili Trawangan to Bali was not enough to dampen my spirits, I am more excited to trek Kawa Ijen tonight and Kawa Puti in Bandung soon. I am overwhelmed with the spiciness of the food here but at the same time enjoying the experience of eating new food. I am overwhelmed with all these traveling to and fro, on boat and on bus. And on planes. But at the same time enjoying the fact that my Jetlover’s profile and map is expanding. Zipping past boarding counters, landing at new airports, both old and new. And all these while staying in swanky accommodations.
But over the past few days I’ve been plotting to extend my extended stay. Let me clarify. The trip will end this first of August. I requested to leave Indonesia on the 6th to explore around Jakarta. But as the days passed, the more I am emboldened to reschedule my Manila-Bangkok ticket on the 8th to a later date so that I can extend till probably the middle of the month my stay here. 15th? 16th? 17th? I can’t still decide when I should go back to Manila. But that doesn’t matter as I am looking forward to go around Jakarta, the art deco gems of Bandung and probably drop by the city of Semarang before heading back home.
Indonesia, I’m just totally captivated with your beauty. Truly, a Wonderful Indonesia.
This trip made possible through the Wonderful Indonesia program of the Ministry of Tourism. Check out the official website, or follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. But don’t forget to Like my Langyaw Media Facebook page for updates.
For stories during my WONDERFUL INDONESIA trip, click on the TRIP OF WONDERS tag.