As discussed in our previous post, we made our way to the island of Java from Gili Trawangan via Bali. Our flight from Denpasar landed in Yogyakarta at 7.30am and by 8am we had arrived at our hotel and ready to relax. We had booked a nice hotel for a few days as our last treat before hitting Australia and staying in Hostels.
We could not get into our room until 2pm so we decided to jump into Yogyakarta city and explore it’s streets.
With Ied Mubarak in full swing, Yogyakarta was very busy. This was great as it added to the buzz and was a great chance to experience busy Indonesian streets, starting with the main artery that is Malioboro Street.
This place was packed. You know when there is a hollywood movie and it needs to cut to a scene in India or other parts of Asia to show a global perspective, and it looks busy… this was Malioboro Street. You could not see pavement for all the Honda mopeds and all there were more horse drawn carts than 1800s London!
We walked down this mad boulevard and headed straight for the cultural action at the Kraton Complex. The former Sri Sultan’s palace is a collection of buildings and roads which used to house the Sultan and all his servants. Nowadays it is a museum with a few exhibitions spread around the grounds.
After this we took a wander around the back-streets and looked at the Batik (dyed cotten) shops. This eventually led us to the other big attraction in the centre of town..Taman Sari, or Water Castle (after the Dutch waterkasteel).
This is a complex of ruins that used to be a pleasure garden for the first Sultan. Built in 1765 it contains bathing pools dedicated to his harem, along with a viewing platform all for himself. To get here we walked through a network of tunnels and alleyways that had a number of live music bands playing.
With a fair amount of the city covered, we stopped for lunch at a restaurant called ‘O Jogja Mio’ for our first REAL Italian meal for quite sometime.
The rest of the day was spent back at the pool and relaxing as it would be 2 full days of Temple exploring to come next.