Months prior to our departure I was fretting over where we would be staying during our stay in Indonesia. Since we would be moving from one place to the next over a period of 10-11 days, it was important we get a place that could keep our stuff in Jakarta while we were in Yogyakarta and Bandung. Thanks to the experiences of Tricia in San Francisco and my sister in Berlin, I began looking at Airbnb as an alternative to staying in hostels and backpacker inns. Plus lodging being quite expensive and we being on a tight budget, we needed budget friendly places. 

Mt. Haryono Residence Apartment

*all pictures were taken from the owner’s Airbnb profile

Our home base throughout the duration of the trip was a small two-bedroom and 1 bath apartment in Mt. Haryono in Jalan Otista, approximately an hour away from the airport. The residence is owned by Sri Arsita “Tiara” Mutiara, whom I contacted practically almost every day prior to our departure on a whole range of things. Though we only met once, upon our arrival in the residence, she was kind and really gave out a lot of tips and things to do in the nearby area. Since we didn’t have any internet nor did the residence have one, we asked if we could borrow her pocket wifi throughout the trip and thankfully she agreed. It was a good thing since that pocket wifi was a huge lifesaver throughout the duration of the trip (something I should invest on in the future). In addition to allowing us to use her pocket wifi, I also asked if it was okay to leave our big luggages in her apartment while we explored Indonesia and thankfully she allowed us and assured us it would be safe and secure.

The kitchen and balcony area (c) Tiara

Tiara’s residence is located on the 8th floor and opens up to views of nearby Mt. Haryono Square and the local masjid. Having never been in a Muslim country before, I would sometimes be startled by the calls of the Imam to prayer, and truthfully hearing those prayers was quite relaxing. Inside the apartment there were all the basic amenities: stove, electric kettle, and cuttlery. There was also a tv with cable and a lot of sockets, though we needed to buy an adapter first since we didn’t know Indonesia uses the circular pronged ones.

The room (c) Tiara
The rooms were also furnished well, adequate number of pillows but sometimes we would look for a blanket and find none. The aircon was somewhat cool but despite being at its lowest temperature and high fan level, the electric fans were still stronger. Thankfully though the apartment was cool. There is a small balcony where we could hang our clothes to dry and the bathroom was small but was also stocked pretty well, just a word of caution, the water pressure from the bidet is really strong.
The residence with the convenience store (to the right) (c) Tiara
After getting accustomed to our home for the next few days we also spent time getting familiar with the neighborhood. In the ground floor there is a convenience store where we bought most of our snacks, water, detergent, and adapter. Likewise there is also a 7-11 nearby in case we craved for food. However I wasn’t able to go to the nearby Carrefour that Tiara mentioned, but maybe that’s for another time. During our downtime we also spent an hour in the pool and spotted a laundromat as well.

Clearly we made ourselves at home in Tiara’s apartment and not once did we feel inconvenienced, it was truly our home away from home.

The Wayang Homestay

*some pictures taken from the Wayang Homestay Airbnb page

From Jakarta we left our luggages in Tiara’s place and moved on to our next Airbnb in Indonesia, The Wayang Homestay in Yogyakarta. Located in a quiet part of Yogyakarta, the Wayang Homestay is managed by the dynamic duo of Jack and Widi who would be give us tips on how best to go about our stay.

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Wayang in the evening

Upon our arrival I was welcomed personally by Jack and we were helped by Widi. Widi went about with the introduction, providing us with a map of the city center and places we should see when we were done exploring the temples. She was also very accommodating with our requests for more towels, or to borrow some slippers, and even the use of their electric fan (more on that later).

Family room with convertible couch and cable tv (c) Wayang Homestay
The family room

We were given the family room which had two beds (queen and single) and a convertible sofa bed. There was a small bathroom with a soap dispenser and the usual commodities, oh and there was a bidet. There was also a split-type AC, like Tiara’s, it was also somehat underpowered hence the need for an electric fan.

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The veranda with Widi and Fred

Outside our room was a view of the residential district and a lot of foliage from the Homestay’s own garden. There was also a rooftop but given the height, the size, and the view we really didn’t go up there as much. On the ground floor the kitchen and veranda were open for us to relax and have a cup of tea or coffee all for free.

Since we had to leave at 4am for our Borobudur and Prambanan tours, Jack was kind enough to pack us strawberry jam sandwiches. When we came back from our tour, Widi suggested we visit the “funny cars” in the square and also go to Jalan Marlioboro to have a good dinner. One way to get there were the free bikes they offered and despite getting lost, we still had a fun time exploring Yogyakarta’s streets.

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Portal to Yogyakarta, the bikes on the lower left are free to use

All throughout our trip, I really felt at home in the places we stayed in. The hosts we met: Tiara, Jack, and Widi, really made us feel comfortable and at home. Service and personal connections that I wouldn’t get if we stayed in a hotel or a sense of home if we were in a hostel. Thankfully my whole Airbnb experience went off without any problems and I think I might just start looking at the website for future travels.

Mt. Haryono Residence Apartment 

Jl. Otista no. 60, Cawang. Jakarta, IndonesiaCheck out the place we stayed in here or check out Tiara’s profile.

The Wayang Homestay

Jl.D.I.Panjaitan, Kp.Minggiran, Gang pisang no 1017, Yogyakarta. Check out their place here.

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