Sunday, 21 June 2009

Indonesia - Java

Friendly locals

We arrived in Yogyakarta at 3:30am and haggled outside the train station for a taxi (u$d 2) to our pre-booked accomo - Prambanan guest house (u$d 22 ). As we got to the room there was a chorus of prayers and chanting from a nearby building. I used to hate the 7:30am early mass in my days as an altar boy but these people get up way too damn early! We collapsed into bed exhausted with the faint waft of puke as a reminder of our journey.

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’.

Observations:



- 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.


Tags: ..Indonesia - Java..


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5 comments:

Baino June 21, 2009 4:57 pm  

Weird isn't it that kids in Indonesia will clamour for a photograph they'll never see yet I get my camera out and photograph kids here and their parents think I'm a deviant!

nick June 22, 2009 4:41 am  

A complex of 50 Hindu temples? Jeez, they take their religion pretty seriously there! (except when they're posing for visitors, that is)

Stevo June 22, 2009 7:17 pm  

Adventurous life, Paddy. I'd like to see a complex with 50 temples.

Nomadic Matt June 25, 2009 2:43 pm  

i've heard great things about this place but i'm really interested in borobudar. are you going there?

Quickroute June 26, 2009 1:56 am  

@Baino: good point - funny how cultures differ so much

@Nick: way too much prayer time for me alright - I'll stay a heathen

@Stevo: pretty strange indeed - i have the photos!

@Matt: Photos of Borobudur just added

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