NY Trip: Yogyakarta!

It’s a new year. 2014. I feel old now, closer and closer to being 24. I spent New Year ’s Eve with the beau in his house, watching the fireworks over the balcony. It was beautiful, and more importantly: it was just the two of us! Woo.

Jogja, some say, is the city of culture and education. It is also famous for being mystical with its legendary volcano. After all, me and Pete went here with one mission: see the Borobudur temple.

I’ve seen it once before, and I never really think I would come back but what to say, my camera broke a day before my first visit to Jogja, so I was determined that this time I would bring home some good pictures. However, Pete is such a traveler, he wanted to see Borobudur at sunrise. Ah…he would.

We took the only flight available on new year’s day which leaving us arriving at Jogja at night time.I have a cousin who live in Jogja, so I gave them a call, then we met for dinner in an Indonesian restaurant near to my hotel.

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Cousins, nephews, and the beau. 

On the second day, we hired ourselves a car to go see Borobudur temple from Setumbu hill in Central Java at 3 AM. Yes, 3 AM! It was dark and cold and sleepy but we managed to see this Buddhist temple from far, far away. It was surrounded by fog, the sun did rise but it was mostly covered by the cloud. It was beautiful and a bit mystical.

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Borobudur, seen from Setumbu hill. 

We continued our trip to the Borobudur temple to have a closer look of this world heritage site. On the way to the temple, we passed Karangrejo village which presented you with the most beautiful morning topped with the temple itself.

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Borobudur, seen from the paddy fields in Karangrejo village.

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We arrived at Borobudur at 7 am, but it was packed already. There were groups of students from two different schools and a lot of Indonesians families from a group of tour which annoyingly… kept asking to have a photo with Pete. There were many foreigners besides Pete but they were older, and the fact that Pete was with a local girl might attracted them more. We left Borobudur so early, but we had our first Jojga’s traditional gudeg for breakfast in the temple’s exit market.

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Borobudur

After Borobudur, I was going to ask Pete to go to Pindul cave but he wasn’t that interested and I wasn’t too keen on getting wet. Besides, the driver kept telling us story about Merapi volcano. The Merapi erupted in late 2010 and killed about 350 people. The city was covered with ashes, the caretaker of the volcano refused to leave his house and died while he prayed. We took a tour with a jeep to go around the slope of Merapi saw most of what’s left after the eruption. The villagers managed to open a jeep ride and merapi tour since the end of 2011.

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Merapi volcano. It was about 9 am, an hour later as we left it was already covered by the clouds. 

The day was already too late to go to the Pindul cave after we finished our Merapi ride. We were confused and had no idea of where to go for about an hour or so and finally decided we might as well see Prambanan temple, the largest Hindu temple in Southeast Asia. Who knew that in the end, the Prambanan highlighted Pete’s day. He said, Prambanan is much more beautiful than Borobudur. Go see yourself.

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While I am a chocolate tooth, and my favorite chocolate comes from Jogja called Monggo. So we visited the Monggo workshop and store in in Kotagede area. That was my highlight!

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Monggo!

Our third day went easy, as in moseying around with a motorbike and bear with my monthly pain as a woman. We went to the Jogja’s kingdom palace: The Keraton. Yes, Jogja has the king, the princess and the tradition. In this modern era, Jogja still sticks to its royal tradition.

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The palace

We went to Tamansari water palace afterwards for a brief visit, this place is used to be used by princesses to bath. Beautiful.

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Tamansari water palace

For the sake of the exhaustion on the previous day, Pete kindly took us to the traditional Javanese massage parlor. The rest of the hours was spent to walk around the super-long and famed Malioboro Street to buy ourselves some batik. In the afternoon, we left our hotel to my cousin’s house.

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The sunset towards my cousin’s house, and rice paddy fields.

Our final day, my cousin’s family took us the famed Parangtritis beach. The sand is black, and besides that this beach is famous for its (again) mystical story and the big waves. However, no one surfs due to the deep trenches which was just a few metres away from the coast. Pete and my nephews play together and burned themselves under the midday sun. It was boiling.

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Parangtritis beach.

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