So on the record, I officially have the worst track record of posting … posts. For that, I have no excuse but a good chuckle, and a rub of my belly, I mean abs… I mean ab. Those who are wondering, I am still quite alive. Here I am getting to some posting after a long time. Above is a picture of the Water Castle or Taman Sari.
The next destination off the list in Indonesia was Yogayakarta in Central Java. It is most commonly pronounced and unofficially spelled as Jogjakarta or simply as ‘Jogja’. I was quite excited to reach the city of Jogja after hearing many great things from friends who have been and loved it. Jogja currently acts as a gateway for the well known attraction Borobudur and Prambanan (what I really wanted to see; in the next post) but also retains a lot of overlooked culture and nice places to visit, which I am glad to have spent time on.
The history of Jogja was an important part of Indonesia as the city acted as the revolutionary capital city of the republic from 1946 to 1949 when Jakarta was still occupied by the Dutch during the Indonesian War of Independence. Thus, many buildings and sights in Jogja have a lot of royal or culture significance in Indonesian history. Now, the city is a very good representation of the Indo-Art and Culture scene with a well established and vibrant community of art, food and life all across the region. Jogja actually rests on a very seismically active fault that often is subject to earthquakes and nearby volcanic activity. The last big earthquake was May 2006 (6000 casualties), and the last volcano to erupt nearby lasted for 2 months in October 2010 (353 casualties). So, check the news before you go.
I stayed at the EDU-Hostel quite centrally located in Jogja. This hostel is actually a hotel turned hostel with all the rooms outfitted with bunk beds and lockers. Definitely a huge remodel of every room was needed. Other than being as big as a hotel, from what I saw, it ran like a well oiled machine both being clean and on-time with their services. The upper floors were used as a food hall where breakfast was served and the giant lobby was used as a hang out area. The hostel was famous for housing school groups due to its size for those field trips to visit the nearby historical sights. Pretty well worth the stay in this hostel and very much recommended by me.
High quality hotel bedding and lockers with power outlets fitted on the inside to have your things safe while charging, a big plus.
Quick map of Jogja and where the EDU Hostel is located.
The city and street art found all over the street and walls of nearly every alley and street. The city itself was small and very manageable by foot. It was surprisingly fun to explore the city and the nearby sights to take in all the charm and vibe of what Jogja had to offer.
Street chess from local trishaw or becak drivers. Really not needed to go around this city but if you do, haggle your butt off as they’re known to overcharge blatant tourists.
Chicken barbecue or barbecue chicken?
My undying thirst for iso/ion/energy related drinks. Plus I’m an Aquarius anyways.
The singular Indonesian version. How I miss the real thing. But really, I am certain it was mentioned in Whatsapp on this very day.
The very unsuspicious entrance to the Water Castle or Taman Sari. The translating definition of the name Taman Sari is an area of a beautiful garden adorned by flowers. It was certainly a place for a few good kodak moments as seen at the top pic of this post. The Water Castle was intended to be a royal garden for the Sultanate of Yogyakarta but later used as several things including being a resting area, workshop, hiding place, bathing complex and a defense area. What is significant about this place and the reason I came here was because I previously saw the tunneling of the Water Castle complex and it was a known area for Indonesian acrobats and parkour fanatics to gather and jump around. I thought maybe I would be lucky enough to catch them here.
When the Water Castle was used by the Sultan as a bathing complex, only the Sultan and females were allowed to enter here. I can only envision a crown of naked women taking all day baths in this private and walled sanctuary. The tower pictured above was used by the Sultan to observe (too formal, but I guess he’s so special he’s allowed, but more like a peep tower for a perv haha) his daughters and concubines below showering. I guess he knew how to live; like a king!
In my opinion one of the coolest parts of the tunneling in the area of the Water Castle in the Sumur Gumuling portion of it. The elevated multi-direction staircase! This is where I saw a video of parkour artists did their thing and jumped from window to window to the staircase but unfortunately, I didn’t see anyone do anything crazy that day.
Jump, jump, jump around.
The front selfie camera on my phone is SHO BAD.
Was coooooool. The entire Water Castle was very European because the architect behind the design visited Batavia (around the Netherlands) a few times and thus we have a European inspired bathing complex. Yay.
Quaint and small streets stretch across Jogja and were really easy to navigate.
Random rest stop for food.
Random meat, veggies, egg, and potato. Felt balanced to me.
I remember trying to order dessert and I asked the server for about half of the menu and he kept saying it was unavailable. I finally gave up and asked WHAT was available.
Got this. It wasn’t very good.
The Malioboro shopping mall in the center of town, along with the tourist heavy Malioboro promenade where shops, restaurants and cafes line the street.
Horse carriage was a travel option.
Inside the McDonald’s where they had a fancy Borobudur glass art (will be next post’s feature!)
Quenching the thirst with a Lychee Lemon drank which wasn’t bad!
Fried Chicken and rice.
Half finished veggie and egg stir-fry with flat noodles… ho fun!
I like to think this group on a field trip was waving bye to me, cuz I’m da man.
Next, I’m going to see the main attraction of Borobudur, the largest Buddhist monument and temple in the world. For some reason I just typed and read the last line in a German accent. I don’t know why I’m so weird.