Written by Kristine, Co-Director, Jakarta
The day after my magical Borobudur morning in Jogja, I started out at about 9 am, headed for Taman Sari. Wow, what a rundown, poorly maintained, nothing-to-see-here disappointment. On top of that, I had a guide who spoke terrible English (I understood maybe twenty percent of what he said) and who actually told me to tip him after the really bad tour was over (side eye). I tipped him, not a lot because he did a bad job, but people are in such need and every rupiah counts; I just couldn’t bring myself to not tip him at all.
I hotfooted it away from Taman Sari and headed out of the city to Ullen Sentalu museum. This is a museum in the woods, on the way up to Mount Merapi, that houses the recent history of Yogyakarta and Solo’s royal families. I wasn’t impressed by the royal people but I really liked the museum itself. It was so cool (temperature-wise) and quiet and tucked away in the woods that I could easily have spent all day there sipping hot chocolate and reading a book while lounging in a deck chair.
Prambanan was my next stop. Like Borobudur, this is also a 9th century temple but this 1 is Hindu . I was impressed by the architecture – building these huge temples back in the 800’s could not have been easy – but I didn’t get the point of it. Basically, these temples are huge structures that have a very small open chamber about two-thirds way up, in which there are 1 or 2 statues of different Hindu gods. My question is, what else is under this huge building? What’s the point of building it so big if you’re only going to use 1 small chamber? There are no other openings, so what’s the point? I still have no idea so in the end I wasn’t overly impressed.
By this time it was almost late afternoon and I was starving so I got mie ayam to eat while I made my way to Candi Ijo. I was trying once more to see the sunset but again got beaten by the rain. Still, before the rain came, I got a stunning view of the province of Jogja spread out below me. I was only there for a few minutes before the rain forced me to leave, but the view made every minute getting up there totally worth it.