All of Java: part 2

Indonesia feels like a long ways away, mostly because there’s snow in the air as I type this.  But our pictures from the second half of our trip need to see the light, so here are some highlights from Jepara and Yogyakarta.

PTX Studio in Jepara, Indonesia

Jepara is a city by the sea known for its wood carving and we definitely had Indonesian wood on our minds.  Joel and I have started a company called Raya Exchange and our focus is on supporting small businesses in Java by importing handmade, home goods that we sell via our web store and Charish.  So far, we had been concentrating our efforts on handwoven textiles- pillows, throws and runners- but this trip was planned in order to expand our efforts into teak furniture and planters.  We visited our furniture partner in Jepara to check out the progress of our order and we were thrilled to see our products coming together so beautifully.

PTX Studio in Jepara, Indonesia

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PTX Studio in Jepara, Indonesia

Next on our list was Yogyakarta, affectionately known as Jogja.  This portion of the trip was  a little bit business, a little bit pleasure.  Jogja is our favorite city so we always have a good time scooting about seeing old friends, visiting our favorite restaurants and taking in the sights like the Affandi Museum.

http://www.rayaexchange.com/shop

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PTX Studio in Jogja, Indonesia
Affandi Museum fun, checking out art and wearing Affandi masks

 

PTX Studio in Jogja, Indonesia

We met Ina from Animal Friends Jogja and got to meet all the dogs that she’s rescued from the dog meat trade in Indonesia.  We purchased some AFJ tote bags to support their cause and brought them back to Seattle where they were sold on Joel’s cousin’s doggie food truck.

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PTX Studio in Jogja, Indonesia

Our two weeks in Java hit on almost all of our favorite spots that we enjoyed while living there.  It was also a glimpse into the future of our business that should hopefully be taking us back to Indonesia on a fairly frequent basis.  If you’re interested, you can learn more about our business and the artisans we partner with at RayaExchange.com.

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Favorite Images: Indonesia

PTX Studio in Indonesia

Initially my idea for this post was to make a top ten list of my favorite images of Indonesia, however that soon proved to be impossible.  Scrolling through two years of blog posts there were too many memories and snapshots of unforgettable destinations for me to narrow it down to a mere ten.  So my top ten became a compilation of pretty much any image that I was fond of starting with our fantastic honeymoon in Kuta and Ubud.  I hope you enjoy viewing them as much as I enjoyed compiling them.

PTX Studio in Bali, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Bali, Indonesia

Two weekends in Solo.

PTX Studio in Surakarta, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Solo, Indonesia

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The time I went to the market with Annie and made a slew of new friends.

Gang Baru Market, Semarang, Indonesia photo by Amanda McLaurin

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Gang Baru Market, Semarang, Indonesia photo by Amanda McLaurin

I’ve never been anywhere quite as special as Karimunjawa.

PTX Studio in Karimunjawa

 

Bag-head

Sunrise

Meeting the makers: batik and tenun

Batik in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Troso, Indonesia

Checking out forts and trains in Ambarawa

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Ambarawa Railway Museum

Trips to Jakarta

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Potato-time

PTX Studio in Jakarta, Indonesia

Exploring our city, Semarang

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Discovering Jepara

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That time we went to Borneo

Skimboarding

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Balikpapan-Airport

So many trips to Jogja

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Temples, temples and more temples.  And one more temple.

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PTX Studio at Prambanan, ID

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I’ll miss you Indonesia!

I'll miss you Indonesia! PTX Studio

Truth be told, I can’t wait to get back to the Pacific Northwest- three weeks and counting!  The weather, the water and my beautiful, little doggy will welcome me back just in time for a glorious summer.  Living in a foreign country has been enlightening and also had its share of challenges.  But after almost two years, it’s started to feel like home and there are aspects of life in Indonesia that I’ll be missing once we’re back in Washington.  Here are a couple at the top of my list.

Continue reading I’ll miss you Indonesia!

Springtime in Central Java

| PTX Studio in Jepara, Indonesia

Gecho Inn Country  |  PTX Studio in Jepara, Indonesia

| PTX Studio in Jepara, Indonesia

Gecho Inn Country   |  PTX Studio in Jepara, Indonesia

Gecho Inn Country

Carved everything  |  PTX Studio in Jepara, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Jepara, Indonesia

| PTX Studio in Jepara, Indonesia

Lunch at Jepara Marina  |  PTX Studio in Jepara, Indonesia

As I mentioned before, our days in Central Java are dwindling, so we’ve got lots of odds and ends to tie up before leaving Indonesia to head back to Washington.  One item on our to do list has been furniture.  While prepping to move here, I downsized in a big way and most of my furniture went to Craigslist (coincidentally that’s where most of it came from in the first place).  So when we go back, we’re returning to clothes, shoes and a bunch of still-in-storage wedding gifts, but no bed, sofa or dining table and chairs.  Being the diehard thrifter that I am, Joel and I have been doing some browsing to see if should make some of those big ticket furniture purchases here.  The teak and mahogany furniture market is huge here and the prices are insanely reasonable (like reasonable enough to make up for the fact that we’d be shipping it across the world).

The pictures above are all from our trip to Jepara, the furniture capital of Central Java. We spent a long weekend there in April browsing furniture shops, meeting teak craftsmen and taking a little time to lounge by the pool.

Never Too Old for Spring Break | part two

PTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

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PTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia\

PTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

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PTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

So, so many photos from our week with my mother-in-law, Kirsten.  It certainly means we packed a ton of activities into our six busy days in Jogja.  The mother-son scooter was a sight to see.  With Joel driving his mom and me scooting solo, we wound through busy city streets to see the palace and Water Castle, then through rural villages to climb ancient temples.  At the temples we were photographed by local tourists like we were more exciting attractions than the colossal feats of engineering that produced five story lava rock towers covered in Hindu and Buddhist gods.   Another morning we drove south down rice paddy lined streets to the Indian ocean where Joel and I had previously never explored in our half dozen trips to Jogja.

Kirsten and I also embarked on a tour of the traditional market with a guide who schooled us on the ingredients and formulas of making jamu.  Jamu is a traditional beverage made from roots and barks that is said to cure ailments large and small.  We listened wearily to tales of jamu being prescribed to heal broken bones.  The tour concluded with a massage by a blind masseur that was interesting to say the least.  It was certainly a memorable and educational day.

With our days in Indonesia soon coming to a close, I’m glad to be taking home so many amazing memories.  This trip was one to remember.

Never Too Old for Spring Break | part one

PTX Studio in Jakarta, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Jakarta, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Jakarta, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Jakarta, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Jakarta, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Jakarta, Indonesia

 

We don’t get a lot of visitors from home seeing as how the travel time is about 20+ hours with a $900+ price tag.   But Joel’s mom Kirsten braved the crappy plane food, jet lag and exorbitant expense to come and spend our week long spring break with us and we’re so glad she did!

It was an exhilarating, action-packed week that started in the colossal, congested capital of Jakarta. We met up there for a short weekend before traveling on to Yogyakarta. Having only one full day to sightsee in Jakarta, we compiled a list of top picks sure to impress Kirsten. Unfortunately, Cafe Batavia turned out to be closed (despite the listed hours on their website) so we headed south to Cayenne Home in Kemang for breakfast and to kick off our day of shopping.   From there we drove in circles to find Pak Denny, the iron maker featured on the blog A Journey Bespoke, then hit the two biggest, fanciest malls we could find.  Finally we capped off the night with an amazing and intimate dinner at 1953 Restaurant Indonesien (that I completely failed to capture).   But don’t worry, I outdid myself with the photo taking once we got to Jogja.  Those pictures coming up next…