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Experiencing Indonesia’s best with Cebu Pacific

It’s not every day that you get to travel to amazing places in the Philippines, let alone to another country. But, thanks to Cebu Pacific, I, along with other writers got to travel to Indonesia and experience its diverse culture, amazing destinations, delicious Indonesian cuisines, and beautiful wildlife.

STAYING CONNECTED

The three variants of CEB Wi-Fi Kit.

We all know how important it is to stay connected and share our amazing adventure online (especially with the type of job we had, we were all lifestyle writers on this trip). Before boarding our flight, Cebu Pacific was kind enough to set us up with its new CEB Wi-fi Kit. To know more Click here

It was very convenient and handy to have, I didn’t need to change my SIM to use mobile data, we were all able to stay connected and work on the sides while we traveled around Indonesia, it made it easy to share our travel experience in social media with its unlimited 4G LTE internet connection, and it doubled as a portable power bank.

Pullman Ciawi Vimala Hills Resort Spa & Convention

Our flight arrived in the evening at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, upon arrival, we went directly to our hotel at Pullman Ciawi Vimala Hills Resort Spa & Convention a 5-star hotel West of Java in Bogor, Indonesia where we stayed for two nights.

One of Pullman Ciawi Vimala Hills Resort Spa & Convention’s pool. Photo by Dave Achondo

The hotel accommodation was amazing and deserving of its 5-star status. Seemingly far from the urban bustle, yet close to Bogor and Puncak and only an hour’s drive from Jakarta – designed with serenity in mind with a sweeping view of the lush resort garden and Indonesia’s rolling landscape, Mount Salak graces the horizon – a view that can be seen anywhere in the resort.

Damar restaurant

The hotel also had a delicious and versatile menu that pays homage to its Indo-Dutch roots as well as other fusion cuisines. One interesting offering the hotel served was Salak or snake fruit a species of palm tree native to Java and Sumatra in Indonesia. It has a snake-like skin, thus the name “snake fruit” and it shares a similar taste to the Philippines’ Jackfruit.

Indonesian cuisines are somewhat spicy, a burst of flavor yet not overpowering. Every meal I had in this hotel was like traveling to other parts of Indonesia one meal at a time.

EXOTIC FRUIT. Salak or snake fruit is a species of palm tree native to Java and Sumatra in Indonesia.

TAMAN SAFARI

Day two of the tour, we got to see the urban city of Bogor as we headed to the mountainside to visit Taman Safari, a world-class zoo that houses over 2,500 animals, including Bengal tigers, Malayan sun bears, giraffes, orangutans, hippos, zebras, cheetahs, elephants, lions and so much more.

Up in the mountain of the safari, houses two fuzzy and cute pandas, Chai Tao (male) and Hu Chun (female) that were loaned to the park by China in 2017. Indonesians and tourists alike got to see a real-life panda without visiting China.

Chai Tao

It was a rare occasion because we got to see the latter’s national treasure. The animals are well-fed and maintained by the park; there are also plenty of activities to enjoy and camping sites for those who would like to spend the night.

Taman Safari’s Panda “Chai Tao” relaxing. Photo by Dave Achondo

BOGOR BOTANICAL GARDEN

On day three we visited the Bogor Botanical Gardens an 87-hectare land used by the Dutch for introducing tropical plants from other parts of the world into the region during its colonial years.

It houses an outstanding collection of palms, bamboos, cacti, orchids, and ornamental trees – an absolute oasis of tranquility in the midst of the hectic Bogor metropolis with an overlooking view of Gunting pond and in the background, Istana Bogor, the presidential palace.

Gunting Pond and in the background, one of six presidential palace, Istana Bogor. Photo by Dave Achondo.

The Botanical garden also has its own restaurant the Grand Garden Resto & Café. It had an amazing view of Astrid Avenue named after Princess Astrid of Belgium to commemorate her visit in 1928 along with a breathtaking view of the landscape.

Grand Garden Resto & Café. an amazing view of the rich landscape.

After a quick stop at Hotel Salak The Heritage a modern hotel rich with historical culture and values. It’s strategically located in the center of Bogor in front of the Presidential Palace and a short distance away from the Botanical Garden – it’s an ideal place to stay in if you wish to be near the city.

Ayana Midplaza’s lobby.

We ended our third day at yet another amazing hotel in the capital city of Indonesia – Jakarta, where we stayed at Ayana Midplaza conveniently located in the heart of Jakarta’s vibrant Jalan Sudirman central business district. This time we had time to appreciate the beauty of the city’s skyscrapers and absorb the things I learned from the trip. The thought of I was in a different time-zone or country – I still ponder in that as of this writing.

Sudirman Central Business District. Photo by Dave Achondo

As our Indonesia tour draws to a close, we had the whole day to walk around town sightseeing, it was a Sunday, and in Jakarta it’s a “No Car Day” meaning the main highway (Soedirman) is closed until 12 noon. This is when people come out to sell products along the highway, jog, ride bikes, enjoy with family, and for us to buy our souvenirs at a local shopping mall.

We made a quick stop at this newly refurbished hotel Mercure Jakarta Batavia (previously known as Batavia) located in the old town before ending our tour of Indonesia at Café Batavia, where we were treated like honoraries by the Ministry of Tourism.

Café Batavia a restaurant located in Kota Tua is the 2nd oldest building in Jakarta facing the Taman Fatahillah square in the old town. The café has been used for different purpose over the years and now serves as one of the best restaurants in old town and home of the award-winning Nasi Goreng made with seafood and crab foam that adds a distinct taste to the traditional nasi goreng – It was like entering a different era due to its colonial interior design.

Overall it was an amazing and enriching experience and I hoped, I had more space to write down everything that I went through and learned during Cebu Pacific’s Bogor, Jakarta Indonesia FamBam tour.

To know more about Cebu Pacific’s package contact your travel agent today or visit https://www.cebupacificair.com. Till next time, Selamat tinggal untuk saat ini.

Indonesia’s official seal which represents the country’s five principle. Belief in the Almighty God , A just and civilized humanity, A unified Indonesia, Democracy, and Social justice for all Indonesians. This is placed on display outside of St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Jakarta. Photo by Dave Achondo.
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About Dave Achondo

Dave Achondo
A person who enjoys doing what he does best – writing anything under the sun; strong-willed and straight to the point. Contributor at SOUTHWALL Magazine a Cebu-based company under Soline Publishing, A former Feature Editor, Business Editor, and Columnist of Mindanao Gold Star Daily, and is the currently its Digital Marketing Head.

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