3 Days in Yogyakarta

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After missing our original 9:30am flight out of KL we had to hang out at the airport until 4:25pm for the next flight to Yogyakarta. Once we arrived we made the decision to take the public bus to our hostel, instead of the $8 taxi ride. It was definitely an adventure! For .25¢ each we had to transfer onto 3 different busses in a country where barely anyone speaks English. The awesome part about the bus system in Yogyakarta is that at each stop and the bus has a conductor on it. So the first conductor looked at the address of where we were going and wrote us a note of the buses we needed to take and our final stop. We just showed each conductor our note from then on. And they would tell us when to get on and off. Everyone was fascinated with us and found us rather funny. So in all it turned out to be a lot more exciting than a taxi ride!!

After getting off of the bus we had about a 1 mile walk to our hostel. Along the way I stopped at a storefront (tin hut) and purchased a SIM card for $3.50 I got 10G of 4G data!!! He didn’t speak English so I have no idea when it expires. We now have a way to google map our walk to the $9 a night hostel.

The two young women who own the hostel we stayed at were amazing. They both have a beautiful spirit about them. The hostel is only a few weeks old but the restaurant attached has been established. So we order papaya smoothies $1 each and dinner for $3.00 each. Sierra then went for a swim in the pool, while I went straight to sleep.

Beautiful, solid teak, antique door at the hostel.

The following morning we took Grab to The Sultans Palace. We ate some noodles and rice in a packet for .50¢ each from this little street cart for breakfast.

The paper banana leaf packets at the far right were fried spicy glass noodles and white rice.

Then we purchased our tickets and were assigned our $5 English speaking tour guide. She was so old and didn’t really speak English. She had memorized the tour in English but couldn’t understand any of my questions. It ended up being hilarious. We now know by heart how many wives and children each Sultan had because she told us multiple times as though she hadn’t ever told us. She would walk through rooms pointing at China and trinkets in cases saying what country had gifted them. Never looking back to see if we were still following her. “China, China, Netherlands, France, Netherlands, Germany, Netherlands.” This went on for about 10 minuets and 6 rooms. Sierra and I were trying so hard not to laugh.

Palace guards. They live within the walls of the palace grounds and wear the traditional uniform. What you cannot see is the Kris behind his back. A Kris is a traditional dagger or sword in a sheath.

Protector of the Palace.

The door behind Sierra is the actual residence of the currant Sultan. And the building on her right is his office.

The grand dining room. I kinda thought it looked like an outdoor eating plaza at Disneyland.

Beautiful ceiling of the ballroom. In Balinese style, having no walls.

Sultan I’s Private Pool.

The window the Sultan would watch his 19 wives swimming in the large pool and his 75 children swimming in the small pool. He would toss a lotus flower into the pool and whichever wife retrieved it first would spend alone time with him in his private pool.

The Sultans steam bed. In his sauna room.

Underground tunnel that connects the palace to the water castle. Sierra and our water castle guide.

The 4 stairways inside the Water Castle. Representing the four major religions. And the one staircase leading to heaven. No matter what your name for God is, all paths lead to him.

This small citrus fruit is grown around the pools for the Sultan wives to use as a clear lacquer to make their nails beautiful.

Craftsman making a traditional shadow puppet out of buffalo hide.

Menu for the cute restaurant we found next to a soccer club field. RP 13,500 is equal to $1 USD. So each entree was under a dollar!

And Sierra could watch Soccer!

The next day we set out on our day trip with our private driver. Our first stop was Borobudur Temple. Borobudur Temple is a 9th -century Mahayana Buddhist temple in Magelang, Indonesia, and the world’s largest Buddhist temple. Under each dome is a Buddha. The Buddha’s that are visible are due to earthquake damage. The Temple was buried under volcanic ash, only discovered by the Dutch during their colonization. And restored through UNESCO with American funds in the 1970’s.

I’m always fascinated with the desire to put so many resources into the worshiping of God. From elaborate Temples to gorgeous Cathedrals around the world. Especially living in the “self era.” Where people are more concentrated on building greatness for themselves. Hearst, Biltmore, Trump, etc… And churches have moved into strip malls.

After the Temple we went on a real life Indiana Jones Jeep ride. Through an area that had 2 horrific volcano eruptions in the past 10 years.

Sierra made a new owl friend along the way!

We then drove to Prambanan Temple. There is a legend that Javanese people always tell about this temple. As the story tells, there was a man named Bandung Bondowoso who loved Roro Jonggrang. To refuse his love, Jonggrang asked Bondowoso to make her a temple with 1,000 statues only in one-night time. The request was nearly fulfilled when Jonggrang asked the villagers to pound rice and to set a fire in order to look like morning had broken. Feeling to be cheated, Bondowoso who only completed 999 statues cursed Jonggrang to be the thousandth statue.

Entering Shiva temple, the highest temple and is located in the middle, you will find four rooms. One main room contains Shiva statue, while the other three rooms contain the statues of Durga (Shiva’s wife), Agastya (Shiva’s teacher), and Ganesha (Shiva’s son). Durga statue is said to be the statue of Roro Jonggrang in the above legend.

No filters were used. This was the beautiful sunset we got to witness. It was breathtaking.

A fun $1 dessert drink we stopped and tried!

The best banana fortune cookie tasting thing I’ve ever tasted. Imagine a fortune cookie stuffed with fresh bananas, condensed milk and chocolate sprinkles. All for 10¢ each!!!

Our amazing tasting food from a trendy, hip, artsy backpacker restaurant, Via Via. 2 amazing entrees and 2 teas for $6.60. This was a big splurge for us!

Little side alley off of Marlboro Street. We always eat at the stalls packed with the local employees on lunch breaks. And we never go wrong. Best tasting fried rice I have ever had in my life. The soup was also amazing!!! The owner was the nicest person also. We had 2 entrees and two hot teas for $3.40.

Who wouldn’t buy a bag of steamed edamame in the pods, from this sweet lady? We couldn’t pass up this yummy snack! 1 bag full .40¢

Once we got the hang of Grab (Asia’s Uber), we really enjoyed spending time in Yogyakarta. We were sad to say goodbye!

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