Trip Start Dec 19, 2006
Trip End Dec 31, 2006

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Saturday, December 23, 2006

Day 5

Ruben said I looked like shit when he came by at 8.30am to wake me up. I wouldn't be surprised as I got back at about 5am. Beer Bintang does not give you a hangover, so that was alright. But 3 hrs of sleep is still a tat too little. But well, this was to be a relaxing day so I figured I could get by on that amount of sleep.

We walked around at little to settle Ruben's flight from Yogya to Jakarta the day after, and then to Setia Kawan, where we were fortunate that there were a couple of people leaving that day and we took over their rooms.

You'll see from the photos why we wanted to stay there. The walls are painted with original artwork. Though the themes are not very original, it is still very surreal and the place conveys a very Mediterranean feel about it, and even Bohemian. Very clean as well. Breakfast is included in the room rates, and was the best of all the hotels we stayed in thus far. Can't ask for more for the price. Highly recommended to anyone backpacking in Yogya.

We visited the Affandi Museum thereafter, who was Indonesia's most famous contemporary artist Internationally.  We also took a trip out to the Prambanan for the 2nd half of the day. Located 17km northeast of Yogya (en route to Solo), the Prambanan temples, built slightly after Borobudur, are the largest Hindu temple complex in Java and bears a striking resemblance to Angkor Wat. However, when we got there, we found the temple complexes cordoned off though, as it was damaged by the last earthquake and some parts of the temple complex is falling off and hence could be hazardous. So we did not get to play where's wally ... much to YH's disappointment.

Rest after dinner ... needed to recover from the session the night before ...
Also noticed that my padlocks for my backpack were missing from the stay at Gloria Amanda.  Nothing else was stolen ... strange ...

Day 6

Walked around central Yogya the whole day.

Morning was spent visiting the Water Palace, Kraton (where we watched a dance rehearsal) and walking around the little streets that surround these areas. We were approached by a 'guide' who brought us around and who, of course, wanted to bring us to Batik Shops and Silver Smiths. I can't say that we were very impressed with both these palaces ... but

Along the way I observed for the first time that there were many horse carriages trudging along the streets of Yogya ... very quaint I must say ...

The highlight of the day though, was after we had our lunch at Pasar Beringharjo (market), we were walking along the street when this young man walked up to us and asked if we needed directions. He then added that he was a student with the performing arts school at the Kraton and gave us details of the schedule of free performances there. He carried on to ask if we had visited any batik shops yet, and warned that while Yogya is famous for its Batik art, a lot of shops sell 'Coca Cola' batik (wash and water turns black) and directed us to a shop called the Batik Art Group where it was a proper school that teaches proper batik art where we could get good quality batiks. What I liked most was he when he said 'if you are going to walk there, I will walk with you but only until the end of this street as I have to go home, but I can help you get a becak (a bicycle which has been converted by adding two wheels and a passenger carrying seat in the front) for 2000rp for you to get there.'. I had read in the LP that people in Yogya are generally friendly and would offer help to tourists, and while some will bring you to their batik shops, others such are this guy, are genuinely helpful, and simply wants to make sure that visitors are not cheated ... I'm definitely a lot more captivated by this city and its people now ...

We bought some Batik and ended off the day visiting Pasar Ngasem (bird market).
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