Thankfully Yogyakarta was much more laid back than its big brother Jakarta. So laid back in fact, the driver of a public bus I was on just pulled over and hopped off for a dump, coffee and cigarette (not necessarily in that order) leaving the passengers to endure some awful wannabe musician to hopped on to give us a rendition of stairway to heaven – a prime candidate for X-factor out-takes if ever there was one.
We visited the royal enclave known as Kraton which is a Vatican-esque area where the current Sultan of Java lives. We navigated the local public transport to get us to Prambanan, 17kms north of Yogya, which is an impressive complex of some 50 Hindu temples. The following day we explored Borobudur which is massive Buddhist temple, 42km northwest of Yogya. There are numerous school trips from outlying regions to these temple sights and the kids cornered us on several occasions for group photos with the ‘outsiders’.
- Train travel in Indonesia can be expensive and not always worth it.
- The locals here are among the friendliest I’ve encountered anywhere and you are engaged frequently by strangers who want to practice their English.
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