28th may 2009 – after taking the overnight train from bandung the previous night, we arrived at jogjakarta early the next morning. we hired a cab driver (500,000 rupiah) at the train station to take us around places of interest in jogjakarta, fondly known as jogja by the locals.
first stop was the borobudur temple (entrance fee: 125,000 rupiah). this is indonesia’s single most visited tourist attraction. to maximize our experience, we hired a guide (50,000 rupiah) to bring us around the place.
ylang ylang can be seen on the ground of the temple. it is local to indonesia.
according to good old wikipedia, borobudur is a ninth-century mahayana buddhist monument. it comprises six square platforms topped by three circular platforms, and is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 buddha statues, although i did not count them.
minor restoration work in progress
pictures depicting the life of buddha is carved on certain panels of the temple’s wall. very well-preserved i would say.
the monument is also a place for buddhist pilgrimage
a main dome, located at the center of the top platform, is surrounded by 72 buddha statues seated inside perforated stupa.
the bee was said to be a permanent resident atop this buddha statue. true enough, when the bee was disturbed, it flew away only to come back to the same spot within minutes.
this group of indonesian secondary students, with their teacher, practising their spoken english with a tourist
active volcanoes opposite the monument
a group picture with the indonesian students who practised their english with me. when i was approached by the fourth group of students, i tactfully told them to look for someone else.
without a doubt, visiting the borobudur temple was the highlight of my indonesian trip
next stop was a smaller temple, which we did not enter. a quick picture outside and off we went to our next destination
as jogja is famous for its silver, naturally, we visited their outlet for silverware
handmade silver bracelet
tools of the trade
besides silver, jogja is also famous for is its batik. the driver brought us to a shop that sells all things batik. batik dress, batik blouse, batik shirt, batik wallet, batik decors, batik.. i think you get the picture.
we had lunch at a nearby coffeeshop. the waiter gave us the menu and told us to write our order. i had bakso mie with mango juice, again. my colleague opted for teh botol with satay.
after our lunch, we visited the kraton yogyakarta (sultan palace, entrance fee: 5,000 rupiah). sad to say, there was nothing much to see.
after about half an hour of walking around the compound of the sultan palace, our guide told us that our entrance fee entitled us to visit a nearby building. he then proceeded to lead us down a deserted lane.
next thing i know, we were inside a shop that sells batik.
from then on, it was hard selling all the way. but we managed to get away after about 15 minutes of sales pitch. this was probably the only unpleasant experience we had throughout our stay in indonesia.
our final destination before leaving jogja was the prabanam temple (entrance fee: 116,000 rupiah)
although it looked magnificent from afar, a closer look would reveal the damage done by the earthquake in may 2006.
certain areas were cordoned off
three years on, the rocks still lie in ruins
we ended our time in jogjakarta with their famous ayam gudeg (green jackfruit sweet stew chicken) and a glass of jus alpukat (avacado juice). after dinner, i used the coffee shop’s washroom to have a quick wipe down and changed into another t-shirt for a more comfortable overnight trip back to bandung.
all in all, i had a memorable trip in jogjakarta.