Java, unlike its neighbour Bali, doesn’t drum to the beat of tourism. Sure, some areas are more set up for it than others, but more often than not, you’re getting a significantly more “authentic” Indonesian cultural experience.

Pantai Watu Karung, East Java

90% of Java is Muslim, and the timeline of our travels fell in line with Ramadan – a month where the religious fast and pray from Dawn until Dusk. This being the case, I’m not entirely sure our experience in Java would be similar to the other 11 months of the year, but upon arriving into Watu Karung, the seaside district that Rob had chosen for us to spend the week in, we noticed how insanely quiet the town was due to Ramadan.

Empty Warungs at Pantai Watu Karung

With not many restaurants open (if any) during the day, I used these peaceful six days we spent in Java as a time to work remotely (#digitallife), devour approximately 2.5 books, and do some much procrastinated writing. Unlike others blogs I’ve written, this isn’t a “how much you can do in 6 days in Java” post, or even “list of things to do in Java” post. In fact, I knew there were a few things around us that I could have explored, but I chose not to. Instead, I chose relaxation, yoga, reading, writing, and for rob – surfing.

My yoga tower at Desa Limasan in Watu Karung.

Where we stayed at Desa Limasan Retreat, made this entirely possible.

Our little Javanese Hut at Desa Limasan, Watu Karung.

They have several choices of accommodation, ranging from traditional Javanese style studio huts (which we stayed in) to a luxurious hilltop multi-bedroom villa with its own private pool. Our villa was perfect for what we needed, and was no more than 50 meters from the wave Rob wanted to surf.

Pantai Watu Karung and the villas of Desa Limasan behind.

With other possible local dining spots closed for Ramadan (except a vibe-y pizza joint that we ate at a few times), we relied on the capable staff at Desa Limasan to prepare our delicious three meals a day that were delivered to our doorstep.

front door food service at Desa Limasan

We both did feel a little funny, we’ve never really been “waited on” before, but it wasn’t bad that’s for sure. After six days of walking around the little town, solo yoga and meditation in the tower built on the property, combined with reading, writing and relaxing by the pool, I feel rejuvenated.

Rob wave watching just beyond our hut at Desa Limasan.

Would I spend our entire three weeks like this? No, probably not, but it was a perfect insertion into the middle of our holiday.

Pantai Watu Karung

With Desa Limasan as a unique little coastal retreat, and just 3 hours drive through the heart of stunning Central Java from Yogyakarta airport, it makes for the perfect remote getaway for any Indonesia trip. I feel like by journeying out here we really got the chance to experience a different kind of culture to what most “Bali-goers” do. (And there’s nothing wrong with being a ‘Bali-goer!’)

After enjoying a bit of peaceful solitude, next stop – Gili T!