The opinions expressed in this blog are mine, and mine alone. They do not represent the views of the Peace Corps or the United States Government.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Indonesia: Jogjakarta

Okay this is my last post about Indonesia.  I promise!  There was just so much to see so I wanted to put up as many photos as possible.  After about a week and a half in Bali, I left the island and headed back to Java.  The easiest way to travel back to Java is by plane.  Of course I decided to do a 24-hour adventure that included a bus, a ferry and two trains to get to my next destination: Jogjakarta.

My lovely bus leaving Bali at 2:00 in the afternoon.  Public transportation is VERY prompt in Indonesia, something which surprised me.  Needless to say, I am not used to that in Botswana.

Boarding the ferry that took our bus from Bali to Java

I decided to be a Chinese tourist on the ferry.  The main entertainment was a little tv that played very loud karaoke.  I thought it was hilarious.  Behind us are all of these karaoke cd and tape covers.

This is Sanet, my friend that I met on the overnight train in Java.  She was so sweet!  I still talk with her on facebook every couple of weeks.  I don't have a photo of it, but she gave me a cute pair of heels!  How nice is that?!  She is one of the most genuine, beautiful people I have ever met.

'Nuff said.  I was in HEAVEN to see one of these at the train station.  Unfortunately, no bagels.  But coffee and donuts? Awesome.

After all that traveling, I arrived in Jogjakarta.  I decided to go to Jogja as my major stop in Java because it was said to be interesting.  It had a lot of cool cultural things in the city.  Outside of the city was a large Buddhist temple, Borobudur, that I really wanted to see.  I met up with a girl named Dorotha at the hostel and spent my two days in Jogja traveling around with her.

The first night in Jogja.  Dorotha and I went to Malioboro, the main street in Jogja.  There were artisans selling everything on the street--tourist souvenirs, clothes, sweets, fruit.  It was quite a scene.

The next day we went to Borobudur.  It is a site to behold.  Borobudur is the largest Buddhist temple in the world!  Construction started in the 8th century AD.  A couple centuries later, the temple was abandoned because of volcanic eruptions.  So it was completely covered with volcanic ash and not rediscovered until the 1800s by the British.  Now it is a World Heritage Site.

When you enter a Buddhist temple, you are supposed to walk around the whole thing three times clockwise before you can enter it.  This practice is called circumambulation.  Borobudur has even different layers, all covered with reliefs of Hindu and Buddhist stories, like the ones pictured above.  They are beautiful.

View from Borobudur, Buddhist statue on the left in the dark

I find this absolutely hilarious.  If you see on the left side of the picture, it says "NO SITTING."  If you all don't know, Buddha is famous for just that...sitting.  That is the purpose of Buddhism.  In meditation, you sit in order to center yourself and reach enlightenment.  I thought it was so funny that there was a sign saying not to sit in a Buddhist temple.

Later that day, Dorotha and I explored the cultural sites within Jogja.

This is the Sultan's palace, called the Kraton.  The Sultan is still an important person in Indonesia, but doesn't hold the political power if I remember correctly.  Different parts of Indonesia had sultans.  So this is the palace of the Jogjakarta Sultan in particular.  They have traditional dances at the Kraton usually.  Unfortunately we weren't able to see one because they don't do them during the holy month of Ramadhan.

Inside the Kraton.  The colors and columns are beautiful.  They represent different aspects of Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam.

BEST mode of transportation in Jogja.  These things are so much fun!

Dorotha and I inside one of those little man-peddled carts

Then we went to this beautiful Batik art place.  Batik is a Javanese tapestry.  It can be worn as a sarong or put on the wall as art.

Here are women making Batik.  They use hot wax of different colors on other cotton or silk.  It dries and then they peel it off to reveal unbelievable designs.  They range in price from $15 to hundreds.

A look within the Batik shop

After a couple days, I left Jogjakarta.  It was a really nice ending to my Indonesian trip.

Looking out of the train through Java on my way to Jakarta to fly back to Botswana


  1. What a trip. Love the photos. I used to do Batik in the 70's. That was a lot of fun. Thanks for the memory of that. Love the friends you meet along the way. Love you!

  2. Dear Amelia,

    I like your story of journey in this blog.
    May i know your email?

    Twitter: @TrikoID