Sometimes it takes only a short getaway to rekindle the sparks between you and your loved one. Here are four cities in Indonesia that you should visit for a honeymoon or just to fall in love all over again.
As one of Java’s tourist magnets, Yogyakarta – popularly refered as Yogya – is the soul of the island. Although enveloped by modernity, Yogyakarta with its Kraton (sultanate) is still able to keep its pure Javanese traditional customs remain unruffled.
Serene and peaceful in the day and romantic at night, there are plenty places to visit and a lot more activities to do together with your loved one. You can go around the city on an Andong (horse-drawn carriage) to have a closer look to Yogyakartan slow and steady daily bouts.
A visit to Taman Sari water castle located nearby from the Kraton compound is a must. Once a bathing pool for the sultan’s mistresses, this complex has a romantic vibe with its rusty white walls, narrow tunnels, and interlacing staircases.
A short trip to Kaliurang on the outskirts of the city in the morning is also a nice option. Situated on the slopes of Mount Merapi, Kaliurang offers visitors a bucolic mountainous life as well as a breathtaking view of the truculent Mount Merapi.
In the evening, try having a laidback dinner at lesehan (local eating culture that requires you to sit on a mat and most of the time eat without cutleries) stalls that can be found along Malioboro street.
If the lesehan idea sounds a little bit too adventurous for you, opting for a dinner at Tembi Taman Budaya is also a nice choice. This cultural centre also has a dining room directly overlooking lush green paddy fields. Mostly serves Javanese and Indonesian food, there are some western menu available too. The food is good and comes with moderate price.
Taking a tour to see Ramayana dance performance at Prambanan Temple which is situated about 20 kilometers from Yogya is also an exciting plan. If you happen to come to the Prambanan complex just before the nightfall, take a short visit to Ratu Boko Temple complex nearby to watch the sun sets from the top of the hill.
Bukittinggi, West Sumatra
Perched at 930 meters above sea level, Bukittinggi can be reached in just 2 hours car ride from Padang, the capital of West Sumatra. The city has a cool temperatures between 16 to 25 celcius degrees and is flanked between Mount Singgalang and Mount Marapi.
Bukittinggi’s hilly contours and its tendency to drizzle almost everyday makes the city feels romantic in the morning and even at night.
If you happen to pick Bukittinggi as your honeymoon destination, visiting Ngarai Sianok (Sianok Canyon) is a must thing to do. This canyon has one of the most breathtaking view you can find in West Sumatra.
Lies on the outskirts of Bukittinggi, Ngarai Sianok is surrounded by lush green valley and a winding river with its 150 meters deep steep wall. The best place to enjoy the canyon’s scenic view is from the two-storey observation tower which stands sturdily at Panorama Park.
There are colonies of Sumatran monkeys (Macaca fasciscularis) happily inhabits the forest, so you might want to leave your flashy accessories at the hotel during your visit here.
Come to the canyon just before sunset and you will be able to observe a school of megabats flying through its gorges right to the forest below to feed themselves fruit from the trees. Another fabulous place to visit at sunset is the Limpapeh Bridge that lies over Ahmad Yani Road and connects Fort de Kock with Bukittinggi Zoo. You can see the view of Bukittinggi at sunset.
End your day by staying at The Hills Bukittinggi Hotel that is renowned for its gorgeous West Sumatran styled architectural establishment as well as its panoramic view over mountainous scenery and its own impressive garden.
Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara
Once only functioned as a pit stop for travelers who want to visit Komodo National Park and Eastern part of Flores, Labuan Bajo has been growing from a small fishing village to a bustling and promising tourist destination itself.
Widely known as a paradise for divers, Labuan Bajo actually deserves more than being a pit stop to other parts of Flores and is a romantic place to stay for honeymooners. Tucked on the Western tip of Flores island, the small city has one of the most spectacular sunset seen in the archipelago. The golden sky mirrored by the clear water on its below slowly turns into fuchsia as the dusk turns into night.
For a more dramatic experience, try chartering a boat and sail to Kalong Island. From the boat, you will be able to observe a colony of flying foxes (Pteropus) flocking away in the marmalade dusk sky ready to hunt for food.
Choices of accommodation is plenty along the coast. La Prima Hotel Flores offers you a terrific spot to watch the magical sunset right outside your room’s balcony. With its 19 rooms and 16 villas, Luwansa Beach Resort can give you more privacy and peace during your stay.
For a more secluded staying options, Waecicu Beach Inn offers visitors spacious cottages perched on the hill with a far-reaching views of the sea. Staying at Kanawa Beach Bungalows Resort on the offshore Kanawa Island seems to be a great more lavish hideaway choice too.
Grab some beers at the famed Paradise Bar & Restaurant or rustic Tree Top Retaurant. Heaps of fresh seafood are available at the sea-side night market. It is also a great place to hang out and blend with the locals.
If you’re not really fond of having seafood, Made In Italy is the best place to bring you authentic Italian taste to the small village of Labuan Bajo. The food tastes delicious with a great ocean view from its deck. But be prepared to splurge more too.
Batu, East Java
Perched on the slopes of Mount Arjuna and Mount Welirang , Batu has been known as a popular tourist destination since the Dutch colonial days. Sometimes people refers Batu as “small Switzerland” and they are sure to have good reasons for that.
Situated at 800 to 1,100 meters above sea levels, Batu has a pleasantly cool temperatures fluctuating from 17 to 20 celsius degrees. Flanked between two mountains, this small city is a romantic place to be explored together with your spouse.
During the day, you can visit Punten Village, Bumi Aji or the famed Kusuma Agro tourism to have a first-hand experience of picking fresh green Malang apples directly from the trees.
Another interesting option is to spend your day at Selecta Recreational Park. By spending only Rp 13,000 on the entrance fee, you are already able to explore its green lush garden and enjoy the scenic mountainous vista.
At night-time, head to the city’s alun-alun (central square) to soak up its breezy night air. The alun-alun which is a free public space is surprisingly very clean and decorated with colorful lanterns. The kids playground and the brightly lit ferris wheel serve as the main attractions there.
Batu Night Spectacular is another attraction you don’t want to miss during your stay in Batu. The place is similar to a theme park and there are some entertaining rides too such as the gokart circuit, ghost house and the 4D cinema. Its sparkling colorful lampion garden looks beautiful and gives a romantic vibes at night.
Don’t forget to eat the savory Bakso Malang (Malang styled meatball soup) and try the sweet Ketan (white sticky rice topped with cheese and condensed milk) at Pos Ketan Legenda in the alun-alun.
This article is originally published on The Jakarta Post Travel