Ah.. Borobudur, a name that came to me many years back, but sounded more like a faraway mystical place that I would more likely experience in my dreams rather than witness with my own eyes.
Well, you know what they say over at AirAsia! Let me give you a BIG wet kiss, Tony! *muah*
|Ooo we're cruising along at the same height as the mountain! For a moment everyone's eyes were fixed on spotting the collection of three volcanoes around this area, one of them being the famed Mt Merapi.|
|Found our first dinner of the trip in Malioboro street, properly the most happening spot around town, just around the corner from our hotel. Seen here is a collection of bebek goreng, gudeg (cooked jackfruit) and some beancurds.|
The bustling sidewalk traders along Malioboro, selling mainly batek products, handicrafts and tshirts.
"OK we only have enough for food and temple entrance fee. Stay focused! Stay focused!"
|The Istana Batik hotel where we stayed at have this set of vintage lounge chairs right outside each rooms that I absolutely dig. Think I can manage an entire portrait album just at this very location. :D|
|Itching for something to bite after the barely enough dinner, we found this charming little mobile stall not far from the hotel, still using charcoal for frying stuff. Sat in a row on the bench just by the street and camwhored and had noodles - heavenly.|
|Ah, a charming (though customary) shot of the sprawling Borobudur complex.|
Apparently our trip coincided with the Indonesian school holidays, thus we didn't manage to book into Manohara Hotel that affords its customers access to the complex before sunrise to catch the magnificient views before the maddening crowd pours in.
You'll have to do with this pic. :P
|"Honey, I really really don't mean to doubt you, but are you sure this is Angkot Wat?"|
We stayed adamant to our decision of not hiring a guide to tell us the stories behind the interesting looking carvings, walls after walls of them. Other then the story of the white elephant entering the tomb of a queen that I overheard from a guide leading a group of Japanese tourists, we basically made up the rest ourselves.
"Oo.. that's a deer going down on a .. monkey."
One of the must-do things in Borobudur would be to climb up the stupas and try and reach in to touch the Buddha statue resting within.
The story (again overheard) had it that the Indonesian goverment purposely open up some of the stupas to allow a better view of these statues inside.
|Candi Mendut, a smaller temple that we visited on the same day as Borobudur. Most certainly not as big and grand, but nevertheless we camwhored to the max.|
|Another attempt to tickle my fantasy of doing a portrait shoot here.|
|In between customers, Ismail dreamt of tasty gudeg and crispy bebek goreng for lunch.|
|Found another mobile stall selling noodles, and had another heavenly snack by the roadside, this time sitting on the floor right in front of an oleh-oleh shop. Gosh those MSG or whatever taste-enhancer that Yogya hawkers load generously into their food. My pee smelled of them, but how can I say no.|
Mention 'seephylliz' in Yogya and err.. images of a fashionable teen clothing line comes to mind?
I have a strong feeling that it doesn't work back home.
|During its reminiscing moments, the bird would entertain the chair with colourful accounts of its heydays that would always keep him mesmerised for days on end.|
|Headed down to the river one evening and explored the thriving neighbourhoods there. Despite some of its slum-like activities (well they do rear chickens and draw water from the well and keep fishes in concealed woven baskets dipped in the river), the residents here turned out to be absolutely harmless and were in fact, more friendly and approachable than the other Yokya folks that we met.|
|And they surely have good artistic sense flowing in their blood! Unfortunately, arts don't put meals on the table (at least not the chicken from their own backyard), not in this part of the world.|
|"That lifeless, headless, feather-less piece of meat slumped on the floor near the stove - you telling me that's Daddy???"|
|Started Day 2 of our temple exploring with Ratu Boko, one of the three UNESCO world heritage sites in this vicinity, other than Borobudur and Prambanan. Go google/wiki up this temple la if you're interested, lazy to type here.:P|
|Alvin coming up with another great work for his 'other shit' facebook album collection. Turned out to be an interesting looking bug that's busy devouring a flower.|
|"Mummy, but I need to pee!"|
|Prambanan, appearing as a small pointy object in this pic against the sweeping Mt Merapi (I think) in the background.|
|Oh, don't strain your eyes too much. A better view here. :P|
|The main compound of Prambanan is actually made up of eight temples, the tallest one being Shiva temple. For almost the same entrance fee, Prambanan definitely look much more appealing than Ratu Boko.|
|No Buddha carvings and statues here baby, this is a Hindu temple.|
|The charming Dwarapala statues guarding the entrance of Candi Sewu. Beer bellies can't look more cool than this.|
|Dedicated a full day of our trip to explore the various sites around town. Here, we're on our way to the Kotagede.|
|Push air or pull air, can you just make up your mind?|
|Kalang House, Kotagede, the charming result of the marriage between Javanese and European architecture styles.|
Papaya can take this no more, one side of him is braving the prickly underbelly of pineapple, while the other side, the cold clueless skin of cucumber.
But if it were to know its ultimate fate, perhaps the cramped space would now be God-sent.
|"Erm, can I have a Slurpee?"|
|The collection of low-rise houses crowded near the Tamansari, Kraton area is choked full of photography opportunities such as craftsmen making wayang kulit, batik boutiques, quaint sidelanes, and rusty furnitures.|
|The underground mosque of Tamansari, another charming location for a .. horror photoshoot? :P|
|Eva, obviously having a difficult time deciding what dishes to take for lunch from the famed collection of restaurants selling Gudeg.|
|The pool at our hotel looks really appealing especially after a long day out under the scorching sun exploring sidelanes and temples, but the poor legs screamed and demanded to stay in the room instead, so I never really touched any chlorine at all.|
|The sidelanes near the backpackers' area are just as charming. Well, we even accidentaly discovered the "red-light district" as well while walking back to the hotel one night - not too hard to tell with bored-looking gals in thick make-up sitting on stools all along the walkways I guess.|
|While basically staying disinterested with the sidewalk stalls lining Malioboro throughout most part of the trip (mainly coz we only brought enough money for food and temple entrance fees), the gang discovered that we did have some rupiah left, so went on a little shopping spree on the last morning.|
|The bird market, beware of giant red ants crawling all over the place.|
|Well, till we meet again, jokjakjoy.|