Exploring the City of Yogyakarta
Trip Start Jul 01, 2008
7Trip End Ongoing
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
My homecoming was a huge step forward in my journey of re-self-discovery. I have always thought in order to continue on it's necessary to go relearn our roots. It's homage to our past because whether we like it or not it had greatly influenced the present and will do the same for the future. In the end, I have a greater understanding of myself. So I urge everyone to learn about your heritage, your parents' or grandparents' pasts, and your origin. Though I wanted to spend more time with my family, I wanted to travel my home country so I left Jakarta by train and arrived in Yogyakarta a couple of days ago. I told them that I would return sometime next month and spend several days with them before heading out to China. I asked the kids what they wanted to do next time and they told me that they wanted me to take them to the mall. At first I was hesitant but I remembered that unlike back home going to the mall is a rare occasion so I agreed
Candi Borobudur not far away from here is perhaps the biggest attraction in Yogyakarta. This Buddhist monument is a must see in Southeast Asia. I booked a transport to take me there in the morning mainly because it gets crowded later in the day and the best time to take photo is before sunrise as the morning midst still hangs below the horizon. If you wonder how design of Borobudur, it's like a mandala or the tattoo on my left forearm. When I got to the site the sun was almost up and I knew I only had minutes. It was an incredible sight and the light was just breathtaking but it quickly ended. Inside each stupa is a statue of the Buddha sitting in a meditative state. It is believed that men should reach in and touch his hand and woman should touch his feet and make a wish and it would come true. Another great site that I visited is a Hindu temple called Prambanan. Unfortunately, a 5.6 earthquake heavily damaged this temple in 2006. Only two temples were opened and many are still under repair. The outer bass-reliefs of the temple illustrated the legend of Ramayana. Later that night I returned to Prambanan temple but this time to watch the Ramayana Ballet. This is a must because it is set up in an outdoor theatre with the temples in the background as a backdrop
As a city I prefer Yogyakarta than Jakarta because it's not as crowded and cleaner. Also, the city still maintains a strong sense of its tradition and culture. The Kraton, which is the sultan's old palace, is still a main attraction in this city. Malioboro Street is the busiest area in this city. The street is overflowed with street vendors selling their goods. Walking on the sidewalk is fighting through traffic of people and your own temptation to shop for cheap batik (hand printed fabric), Dagadu clothes, arts & crafts, etc. I was wearing my dog tags chain that I got here eight years ago. I had it engraved with my name and on the bottom "living to feel alive" and on the other side "In search of true happiness." At night the city comes alive as food vendors set up shop on the sidewalk and sell delicious food attracting many local and tourists
I checked out this morning for Mount Bromo, which is an active volcano in East Java. I will climb to the top of the crater so let's just hope it does not erupt. Also from there I will head out to Kawah Ijen, which is also crater known for it's sulfur and workers would climb up to carry 80kg of sulfur rocks without proper equipment. Many of them develop lung problems. One of my favorite photographers James Nachtwey did a documentary on this. Anyway, until next time.