Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Submitted by viravira on 29 September 2014 • Destination
Finally, I had my first AirBnB experience as a guest, not a host. The place was Rumah Raia, a small accommodation in Batukaras, consisted of 3 bedrooms owned by an acquaintance (but by now I think it’s safe to say that we’re friends), Lia. Batukaras has always been a great place for me to just chill, and staying at Rumah Raia was definitely the cherry on top!
Rumah means house. Raia is actually the name of Lia’s daughter. So Rumah Raia literally means Raia’s House, though we felt really comfortable there just as it was our home.
This small house is built in the back corner of a much larger piece of land. It’s walled with bricks and wicker bamboo, thatched-roofed and has tall glass windows that lets the breeze in when open. The master bedroom is upstairs, completed with its own bathroom. We stayed at one of the two smaller bedrooms downstairs with shared bathroom. A simple kitchen and a water dispenser are located outside the bedrooms.
Located diagonal to the house is a thatched-roofed hut where Lia had hammocks tied to the coconut trees and the hut’s wooden poles. This part instantly became our, Diyan and I, most favorite spot of Rumah Raia! Reading books until we fell asleep on the hammocks was actually the highlight of this no-itinerary trip.
The bedroom that we booked was actually a single bedroom, equipped with a rather large single bed (about 1. that was enough for the two of us to sleep comfortably. So no extra bed was needed.
The mosquito bed was newly hanged, based on previous guests’ requests. Most of Rumah Raia’s guests are westerners, who aren’t used to live among the hovering mosquito ready to suck out their blood. There was no mosquito detected on our stay, but the mosquito net did make the room prettier, what with the red flowers pinned on top.
The night weather was exceptionally cool that weekend in September. It was, perhaps, around 20 degrees Celcius. Not knowing it was going to be that chilled on the first night, Lia didn’t provide enough blanket for us (there was one small blanket, but like usual, Diyan stole the whole blanket for himself in his sleep!). Luckily, I had a jacket and a sarong with me, so blanket deficiency problem was solved!
The decoration of the room was simple, yet includes creative little touches here and there, like the small pot with yellow flowers in the corner and a cushion with a cover made of used flour sack. I love how they use naturally crooked wood as the curtain pole and door handles.
Our hope was set quite high since we had lovely experiences in the previous accommodation in Batukaras trips. Fortunately, the reality lived up to our expectations. In fact, it was even better!
At the time of our stay, Lia, who resides in Jakarta, was spending the weekend in Batukaras as well. Naturally she stayed at Rumah Raia. I’ve always known her as a friendly person and that’s just the kind of host she was. The place is managed and run by Lia and Ondi, her local long-time friend.
Lia was quick to respond to my queries prior to the trip. Ondi was quick to provide whatever we needed on our stay, from hanging the mosquito net to grilling the fish and prepare the chili paste! He was hands on during building the house, that handy man!
Ondi can fill you in with some information on interesting places to visit around Batukaras, like the “lagoon” and many others. We were lucky that they were heading to Madasari Beach with a few more people, so we could just joined in and shared the car rent.
We enjoyed walking out early in the morning to see the sunrise at the beach.
Rumah Raia is surrounded by the locals’ houses, as Batukaras is a village. Walking pass by neighbours gives nothing to worry about because people are friendly and smiles are abundant. With a house located just 3-minute walking from the beach of Batukaras and a neighborhood so friendly, I don’t understand why Lia is still living in Jakarta.
Looking for food nearby could be a little problem, especially on Friday. You’d need to walk a few hundred meters to the Legok Beack to get to some decent diners. But on weekends, Bayview Seafood is open and located halfway between Rumah Raia and Legok Beach. Other than that, you can visit Villa Monyet’s kitchen for meals, only 3 minutes walk from Rumah Raia.
Once you book a room at Rumah Raia, you can either have them arrange a pick up at the bus station or airport, or get there on your own.
Some parts of the road were being repaired, there were a few road works that slowed us down a bit. An ojek ride from the bus station cost IDR 20,000, cutting the way much shorter going through a hanging bridge than the normal street.
On your way there, you’ll walk past several options of bigger accommodation in Batukaras, like the Villa Monyet and Balai Karang. Walk in the aisle just beside Balai Karang and go straight about 100 meters until you see the house on your right. Motorbikes can get to the house, but cars need to be parked a few meters before you reach it because the aisle gets narrower.
There isn’t a signboard in front of the house, but it’s hard to miss especially if you’ve seen the pictures on this page.
Because Rumah Raia is located in a village, neighboring with paddy field and a lot of trees grow in the yards, expect to meet little fellas around the house: insects. Ants walk over my hanging laundry, caterpillars crawl around in front my door, and a spider sticks comfortably at a corner of the bathroom for the whole two days, probably kinkily watching us do our businesses there. However, in my experience, these little creatures were harmless.
You can book a room at Rumah Raia, or the whole house, directly on the spot. Or book it through AirBnB like I did.
The price was USD 15/night for the single bedroom, but now it’s risen to USD 20/night. The double bedroom with a dedicated bathroom costs USD 25/night, and the whole house costs USD 60/night. Breakfast is not included. Added meals vary in cost and menu, just discuss with Ondi.
Do check for price updates here.
Error: Access Token is not valid or has expired. Feed will not update.
This error message is only visible to WordPress admins
There's an issue with the Instagram Access Token that you are using. Please obtain a new Access Token on the plugin's Settings page.
If you continue to have an issue with your Access Token then please see this FAQ for more information.