Jolly in Jogja

Trip Start Jan 16, 2008
Trip End Jun 06, 2008

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Flag of Indonesia  , Java,
Sunday, May 18, 2008

After a comfortable journey in a large a/c mini van, we arrive in Yogyakarta (also known as 'jogja'which derives from its Dutch spelling Jogjakarta.) The City's roads contain a pletohra of transport. Along with the usual - buses, cars and motobikes, there are also the becak's (three-wheel bicycles, often accompanied by a checky rider) and the odd horse and cart. We instantly take a liking to this place. The people are so friendly and jolly, and the streets awash with such wonderful colours. There is a large art scene here, which can be seen in the numerous galleries and very cool street grafiti.
Though sadly there is immense poverty here - we see a lot of street begging, the likes of which we haven't really experienced as intensely since visiting India.

Our first morning we head to the Kraton (Palace), an interesting mixture of architectural styles (tradional Indonesian with a heavy dutch influence). Later we walk to Sono-Budoyo Museum which houses a lot of fine examples of local sculptures and handicrafts. In the afternoon we have a tour which takes us to the Pramabanan temple complex. Unfortunatly the temples were damaged in an earthquake in 2004, so our views where slightly restricted by scafolding which was being used for the renovation project, but nevertheless the temples are still an awesome sight.
In the evening we watch a performance of the Ramayana ballet which is performed in the temple complex. For ten pounds each, we have VIP front row central seats, which have the best view in the theatre. The open air theatre is fab with the Pramabanan temples as a surreal backdrop behind the performers. The Ramayana ballet is a music and dance performance, telling a traditional Hindu love story. Amazing colourful costumes & masks and incredible body dance movements - some of the 'human puppet' characters almost robotic in their dance.

Our next day we take a course on the process of making Batik, both creating our own individual piece of batik. Our design's on a little piece of fabric, a bit amateurish but fun to learn and we both enjoy our time. In the evening we have another course this time in the art of silver making, we both learn how to make our own silver rings (fun but don't think they would fetch much at Tiffany's!)

On our last day we set off before the sun rises to visit the temples of Borobudur. We climb to the top of the temple just as the sun rises over the nearby volcano and we marvel at the intricate carvings which are shown in an incredible light of the early morning sun.

Tomorrow we head to Eastern Java.
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Ruth on

I was recently in Jogja, love your beautiful photos, brought back many great memories!

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