Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Batik Road - Travel Recommendations for Java

Taking the Batik Road along the north coast of Java is a wonderful way to visit the batik workshops, gain a real appreciation of the natural and built environments of this region and most importantly, build a stronger understanding of and connection with the people.  In the larger towns or cities or at the road-side stalls we were very quickly welcomed and engaged in conservation.  Being able to pull over at any time allows you to experience a whole range of daily life activities including: fishing; planting rice; local markets; wedding processions; delicious food preparation; identifying various plants and trees; spotting birds; looking at batik drying on lines in home gardens; and so many other activities all of which, enriches your cultural understandings.

As Henry Miller said: 'One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things'.

This unbelievable journey that began at Jakarta and concluded at Ubud, Bali, would not have been possible without the guidance and recommendations of Udhi Sudiyanto, Director of Antar Anda Tour and Travel, Yogyakarta.  After a Google search I emailed five Javanese Tour and Travel agencies.  Udhi replied immediately and his response corresponded to our requests rather then attempting to change our travel plans.  After we indicated the towns and cities we wished to visit Udhi finalised all travel aspects of the journey including the car and English speaking driver, all of the accommodation including breakfast, all parking and toll fees and the car ferry to Bali.  He understood us as travellers and ensured we had a variety of accommodation that meet our interests.

The whole experience was made so much the better because of our driver, Sugiyono (Sugi).  Sugi took his care and responsibility for us very seriously and ensured that at all times we were safe, comfortable, understood and maximising our enjoyment.  He also enjoyed being introduced to batik and batik makers and visiting locations that he had not been to before.  Sugi's contribution to the success of the trip was immense.
      

Our driver Sugi outside the Antar Anda office in Yogya [Photo: Ian Reed]
Sugi (on right) enjoyed the opportunity to meet the many batik makers along the north coast of Java.  Here we are all enjoying a wonderful morning with Budi and Ida Masina of the renowned Masina Batik Workshop in Trusmi, Cirebon [Photo: David Hill] 

We highly recommend Udhi Sudiyanto, Director of Antar Anda Tour & Travel to you and if you are travelling by car please ask for Sugi to be your driver, you will not be disappointed.

ANTAR ANDA TOUR AND TRAVEL
Udhi Sudiyanto, Director
+62 8122962693
Jalan Kledokan B 20 E
Yogyakarta
E-mail: antaranda@indo.net.id
Web: www.antaranda.com

Some of the hotels we enjoyed and would recommend are:


Our room at the d'Omah Hotel in the village of Tembi, 20 minutes from central Yogya.  Rooms are meticulously restored old Javanese houses with all of the modern additions like the Internet.  Each room in the hotel is filled with antiques, artifacts and contemporary Indonesian paintings and sculpture.  You can truly relax here and the restaurant food is excellent
[Photo: Ian Reed]

The Guest House GG House, Happy Valley outside Bogor; Hotel Sare Sae, Cirebon; Nirwana Hotel, Pekalongan; two outstanding hotels in Yogyakarta- d'Omah tucked away in the famous craft village of Tembi, with its resident designer Warwick Purser, the Director of Out of Asia, is 20 minutes south of Yogya www.domahyogya.com and in central Yogya, the historic Phoenix Hotel which was originally built in 1918 and since beautifully adapted to incorporate contemporary features has great colonial charm info@thephoenixyogya.com ; Lor In with its expansive and lush tropical gardens in Solo; while we did not stay at the Hotel Tugu in Malang we would highly recommend it to you.  It is an outstanding example of a hotel museum with every room filled with Javanese antiques and artifacts.; and the Margo Utomo located in the small hill-country town of Kalibaru, our last stop in east Java before catching the ferry to Bali.  This is a delightful Resort to relax in after a long journey.  Very comfortable cottages, lush botanic like gardens to become lost in and very warm hospitality www.margoutomo.com



   

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