We enjoyed our stay at Plataran Borobudur so much the last time that we decided to visit it again over the long weekend break. We only managed to visit Borobudur and do a bit of horse-riding during our previous stay, so this time round, we wanted to try out some of the other activities offered by Plataran.
We booked the Exclusive Pool Villa again, and were allocated the villa which our friends stayed in previously, which we felt had a slightly nicer and more spacious layout.
Hello again, Plataran!
The drive to Plataran took more than 2 hours this time round, so by the time we got there, we were quite hungry and tired. Thankfully, there was the daily complimentary tea with snacks at the roof terrace above the lobby (it’s usually at the restaurant but it was closed for a wedding), and we had a good time eating while enjoying the view of Borobudur.
Hanging out at the roof terrace
The receptionist told us that the village tour would take about two hours, so we booked it for 930am the next morning. The horse carriages were pretty small, so we had to take two separate ones (one for boys and and one for girls, according to N). The kids were all really excited, although I admit I was quite nervous, especially when the road was bumpy or when we were going downhill. Our guide sat in the girls’ carriage, and provided some really interesting bits of information about the different crops we saw along the way.
The boys’ carriage
The girls’ carriage
We stopped at one of the pottery shops, and all of us except Didi made our own pottery pieces. Meimei’s was a butterfly that she kinda “helped” to pound into the mould, while the three of us used the wheel. C and I took turns working on our pieces, but the kids were too busy harassing the cats there, and snacking on the cassava chips provided, to actually need our attention. N loved working with the wheel so much that he made two items: a bowl and a cover for the bowl. C made a stupa, since we were in Borobudur, and I decided to challenge myself by making a small vase, even though we will probably never use it. The instructor helped us A LOT, of course, but we were all very pleased with our final products. We couldn’t bring them back on the spot, but the shop owner delivered our pieces to the hotel the next night, after they were dried and baked in the oven.
Watching the instructor closely
N at work
Really pleased with his bowl
Meimei gently pounding the clay into the mould
With her butterfly
With my vase
C and his stupa
Our completed pottery pieces
Snacking away while checking out the cats
Look at that, Daddy!
On our way back to the hotel, we stopped by a tofu-making home industry, and learnt how tofu is made. It looked like a lot of work, and they apparently don’t use any preservatives, so the tofu has to be consumed within three days (I think). The kids were tired by this time, so we didn’t stay for very long. Didi, as expected, fell asleep on the way back.
Nap-time for Didi
Plataran Borobudur has a mini zoo of sorts, and guests can feed the deer at 8am and/or 430pm, using the leaves provided in the large urn outside the deer enclosure. The kids loved feeding the deer, and we spent a lot of time here on the second and third days of our stay.
Walking to the mini zoo
Feeding the deer
I really wanted to try batik painting, so we signed up for a class on our third day. The session was conducted at the outdoor yoga pavilion, and the twins were really bored, so after a while, C kindly distracted them while I finished up my batik. We had to use hot melted wax to trace the pattern on the fabric, and it was more challenging than I expected it to be, especially with the Borobudur design. The instructor helped N with his, and although he dripped huge drops of wax on parts that were supposed to be empty, it still turned out really pretty.
The twins fussed so much that we only had time to do one piece each, which wasn’t quite value for money in my opinion. The instructor brought the fabric back so that she could dip them in the colours we chose, then soaked them in hot water after that to melt the wax away, leaving the hand-drawn designs.
Batik painting in progress
C did a mini photoshoot for the kids to keep them entertained
Our completed batik
We also booked a horse-riding session for the kids in the afternoon, since they’ve been talking about riding horses even before we arrived at Plataran. N went on his own for half an hour, while the twins shared a horse for about 15 minutes. Six months ago, Meimei cried like crazy when we put her on the horse here at Plataran, but this time round, she sat happily behind Didi, and kept going, “Hello Mummy! Meimei ride horse (with) Didi!” Both of them kept waving at us when they saw us, and it was so cute seeing them on the horse together.
N on the horse
Didi and Meimei on the horse
Apart from these activities, we spent a lot of time just chilling in the villa, and going swimming in the private pool directly outside our room. The water was quite cold most of the time despite the blazing hot sun, so we would usually adjourn to the bathtub after a short swim. All three kids seem to love being in the pool and tub, and kept asking if they could swim or go to the “tub tub”. Didi would cry whenever he had to get out of the pool/tub/shower, which is ironic because he has been refusing to bathe at home ever since we got back from Plataran.
We had all our meals at the restaurant in Plataran this time round, and the trio loved the chicken porridge that the chefs specially prepared for them. We asked for some broccoli to be served with the porridge, and that was Meimei’s favourite part of the porridge I think. C and I tried both the Western and Asian dishes, and had a tough time deciding which were our favourites because everything was really yummy!
Happy faces at the restaurant
On the last day, we asked our driver where we could buy some keropok, and he brought us to one of the cassava chips home industries, a short five minute drive away from Plataran. We watched how the cassava was sliced by a machine, then fried by two ladies, while another mixed the chips that had already cooled down in some spicy powder. The kids, of course, were really enthusiastic about sampling the different types of chips, and we bought a few large bags back to share with our neighbours.
Cassava chips home industry
Sampling a chip
Mix mix mix
All in all, it was a really good trip for us as a family, with so many wonderful shared experiences. Plataran Borobudur is definitely a place that we wouldn’t mind visiting again, especially with the excellent service provided by all the staff we encountered. We still haven’t visited Prambanan, so we might do that when the kids are a bit older and better able to sit still during long car rides.
See you again soon, Plataran Borobudur!