Wednesday, December 29, 2010

20101205 Indonesia – Yogyakarta

I travelled by train to Yogyakarta (pronounce Jogjakarta), or Yogya in short. The service was quite good and clean, though the wagons were not new. It’s Ok, comfortable with a/c. The 8 hour journey passed through villages, symmetrically divided vast lush green rice field, the terraces shored up according to the slope contours, with scarecrows' thatching sleeves hung on the bony frame. I was listening to Yanni, wonderful feeling.

Rain poured lavishly at the time of my arrival. I was partially soaked. The rickshaw driver seized the chance to demand higher charges. I settled at a guesthouse tucked inside a very narrow lane near to the railway station. Was inconvenient to move around to find a better option.

Dinner was OK, had the local vegetarian food Gado-gado and scrumptious avocado juice.

Yogyakarta is said the most touristy city (other than Bali) in Indonesia. This statement misguided me somehow. It was not so attractive. The main draw – Kraton (Palace of Sultans) failed to impress me, only some exhibits of the previous sultans were displayed. The bird market was my pick in the city. Not bad, plenty of birds, roasters, lizards, dogs and cats for pets. The odd creatures like python, civets, bats, monkey were also found. Can't be sure some of them are illegally traded.

Due to the recent eruption of the nearby Merapi volcano, the most famous Borobudur Temple was partially close for ash cleaning and renovation. Tourists were only allowed to stay at the lowest platform though the entrance fees remain the same (EUR 10). Not fair… I skipped the visit this time.

I also planned to trek the highly recommended Bromo mountains. The authorities have banned the trekking due to some signs of eruption and the continuous rain pour lately. The risk had increased. I skipped again. Will definitely make it next time.

Without Borobudur and Bromo, there is no point to stay in Yogyakarta. I decided to leave to Bali, to try to recall some memories almost 8 yrs ago.