Friday, 22 April 2011

Yogyakarta trip – 22 Apr 11

The sun rise very early here. It's only 6am and the sky is clear blue now. However the sun also set very early at 4plus in the afternoon.

We have booked a car from the hotel lobby for the short 10min drive to Borobudur. It cost us IDR15,000 ~ S$2 for one car.
It's 6am in the morning

The driver dropped us at the carpark and we have to walk a bit of distance to the admission ticket office.
Stalls are not open yet

The agent who sold us the Borobudur tickets yesterday met us at the entrance. He guided us to the admission counter and left. We hired a guide at the admission counter for IDR75,000 ~ S$11. All the visitors have to put on a sarong before exiting the admission office.

Borobudur admission office
Buddhist event held at Borobudur
I am awed by the size of Borobudur
Another UNESCO heritage site

Borobudur is a Buddhist temple built in the 8th century. The monument comprises 6 square platforms topped by three circular platforms, and is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. A main dome, located at the center of the top platform, is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues seated inside perforated stupa. Borobudur was built on a bedrock hill and is 265m above sea level.

As there are quite a lot of steps to climb up, my mom did not join us and she sat on one of the bench waiting for us. Our guide, Fatah spoke in good English and we are able to understand what he said easily. He explained to us the story of the reliefs which depicts the life of Buddha, the law of kharma etc.
The base used to be covered by bricks
The bricks which covered the reliefs on the previous photo
Monks are also tech savvy nowadays
Our guide, Fatah explaining the reliefs
Interlock of the bricks
An unique coding for each brick 
Buddha in mediating position
A sense of serenity

Due to the volcanic ashes from Mount Merapi, the level of Nirvana is closed to public. Fatah told us that one of the stupa at the Nirvana level is famous for making wish, male and female has to touch different parts of the Buddha inside the stupa when making a wish. However he wouldnt encourage people to make wishes as this would damage the stupa and Buddha.
The level of nirvana
Unobstructed view of Borobudur

The guided tour took us about an hour and we didnt stay long after that as it's already 8am.
Returning the sarong
Touts waiting for tourists
Bricks from Borobudur at the Borobudur museum
Stalls selling souvenirs

As the car from the hotel only provide transport for us from the hotel to Borobudur but not for the return trip, we have to find our way back. I didnt inform Herman to fetch us from Borobudur as I estimated that we would finished the Borobudur tour by 7am. Finally, we managed to get a car and we have to bargain to IDR50,000 ~  S$7 which is still quite expensive compared to IDR15,000 ~ S$2 from the hotel.

By the time we reached the hotel lobby, it's 8.30am and we were deciding whether to have our breakfast at the hotel restaurant or not. Herman was supposed to reach the hotel at 8am but we didnt see any view of him. I smsed him and he replied that he's reaching in 10min. Hence we decided to have our breakfast on our way to Dieng. In the end, Herman reached at around 9am and he apologised that he was stuck in a jam. We left our luggages at the hotel lobby as Herman advise us that it would be too heavy for the vehicle when going up the slope to Dieng.
Hotel lobby

On the way, we stopped by Candi Pawon and Candi Mendut for photographs. I took photographs from the car and we didnt went into the Candis. The admission charge for Candi Mendut is IDR5,000 ~ S$0.70 which include admission to Candi Pawon.

Interestingly, Borobudur, Candi Mendut and Candi Pawon were located on a straight line, suggesting there was a symbolic meaning that binds these temples, although the exact ritual process is unknown.
Candi Pawon

Candi Mendut is the oldest of among the three temples.
Candi Mendut
This trees has huge roots hanging from the branches

Finally, we get to eat our breakfast when Herman stopped at a cafe at around 9.15am. All of us ordered nasi goreng which cost IDR10,000 ~ S$1.50.
A cafe where we had our breakfast
Non spicy nasi goreng
Spicy nasi goreng

After our breakfast, we stopped by a convenience store to buy mineral water and tibits. The journey from Borobudur to Dieng plateau will takes 3hrs hence majority are sleeping throughout the journey.
Local bus
Giant supermarket
Padi fields

Herman stopped at a cafe on mid-way to Dieng plateau. He told me that he will be going to the mosque for prayer while we can have a short rest at the cafe. He even left his car's key with me, probably he is concerned that we may be worried that he will run away.
This cafe is too crowded
The cafe which we went to
Having teabreak here

All of us ordered drinks except Luxiang as he seems to look for food whenever we have a break. I ordered Teh Botol which is famous in Indonesia. It taste similar to Lipton tea.
Teh Botol
Farms in the background

After an hour, Herman returned and we continued our journey. It started to rain heavily when we passed by Wonosobo, the last major town before Dieng. We saw quite a lot of Andong (horse carriage) here. The horse even wear eye protector and raincoat.
Wonosobo market
 The altitute is getting higher as seen from the clouds on top
More vegetable farms
Herman stopped at a viewing tower and we took a short rest. Once we stepped out of the car, we feel a chilling sensation and all of us put on our jacket. We bought BBQ corns from a hawker at IDR4,000 ~ S$0.50 each. The corn is very sweet, yummy.
Sweet corns
Houses at the lowland
5 mins later

Before we reached Dieng, we have to pay IDR3,000 per pax for entrance into Dieng. It's almost 3pm by the time we reach Dieng and we have not had our lunch yet hence we requested to have our lunch first. My sis and I shared a plate of fried rice which cost IDR15,000 ~ S$2.
Lunch at a cafe
Map of Dieng attractions
Nasi goreng
We are 2093m above sea level
Such a cute bus

The first attraction which we went to at Dieng is Arjuna temple complex. However we didnt walked to the temple complex as it is a distance from the carpark where Herman parked his car. YQ volunteered to take the photos for me while the rest of us wait at the carpark. As usual Luxiang is searching for food again and he bought fries make from local potatoes. =p Nothing fancy about the fries so I wldnt recommend.
Candi Gatotkaca is located at on the path to Candi Arjuna
Arjuna temple complex from afar

There are 5 temples in the Arjuna temple complex: Arjuna Temple, Srikandi Temple, Puntadewa Temple, Sembadra Temple and Semar Temple.
 Arjuna temple complex

It's so misty

Next, we went to Kawah Sikidang (Sikidang Crater). There is an admission ticket booth on the road before reaching Kawah Sikidang. It was closed when we passed by, probably due to the rain.  We have to walked for about 10min from the carpark to Kawah Sikidang. As we go nearer to Kawah Sikidang, the sulphur odour become stronger and stronger. The crater is enclosed by wooden fence to prevent visitors from going any further. We spent about 10min taking photos before the vapour from the crater are blown on us which hasten our departure. 
It's so misty that we couldnt see Kawah Sikidang
 Luxiang is so MAN! The temperature is around 10 - 15 degree
Danger ahead!

The last attaction which we went to is Telaga Warna (colourful lake). The admission fee is IDR9,000 ~ S$1.30. When the sun shines brightly, the water looked multicolored, hence the name "colourful lake". But it was drizzling when we were there, hence the lake is green in colour.
 Telaga Warna
The stones are white due to the sulphur in the lake
A fallen branch

It's already 5pm when we left Dieng. Herman took a shortcut on the way back to Pondok Tinggal. We were like taking a roller coaster as the vehicle is moving up the slope then down the slope continuously.  On the way, I asked Herman to help me to inform Rumah Mertua that we will be late. I had previously informed Rumah Mertua that we will be checking in at 7pm and also make a reservation for Rijsttafel at 7.30pm.

We reached Pondok Tingal at around 8pm and took a short rest before continuing back to Rumah Mertua. Finally we reached Rumah Mertua at around 8.45pm.

Once we reached Rumah Mertua, we are greeted by the friendly staff. The reception collected my passport to check-in and another staff guided us to our rooms. We left our luggages in our room and went to the hotel restaurant for dinner.

Rijsttafel is actually a Dutch word that literally translates to "rice table", is an elaborate meal adapted by the Dutch from the Indonesian feast. There are 16 dishes in Rumah Mertua's Rijsttafel and is a speciality dish served in Rumah Mertua. Prior reservation has to be made and minimum of 2 pax is required. It cost IDR95,000 ~ S$13 per pax.

The 16 dishes comprise of Ayam Bakar (Grilled chicken), Sate Ayam (Chicken satay), Sate Kambing (Lamb satay), Ikan pepes (Steamed fish with chilli sauce), Rendang Daging (Beef with spices and coconut milk), Urap (Traditional salad with rasp coconut), Cap Cay (Mixed vegetables), Mi Goreng (Fried noodle), Tempe Goreng & Tahu Goreng (Fried Dried Soyabean curd & Fried Tofu), Nasi Putih (Rice), Sambal Goreng Tempe & Kacang (Javanese dish of fried peanuts), Teri (Fish & soya bean), Acar (Pickels), Serundeng, Kerupuk (Prawn cracker) and Lalapan (Raw vegetables).

Not all the dishes are delicious, some are but some are mediocre. But it's the best meal we had in Yogyakarta so far and we joked that this is 满汉全席(emperor feast).
 Beef rendang, Sambal Goreng Tempe & Kacang and Acar Serundeng
Sambal Goreng Tempe & Kacang, Mi Goreng and Teri
Cap Cay, Tampe & Tahu Goreng, Urap
Chicken satay, Lalapan, Rice, Lamb satay, Sambal Goreng Tempe & Kacang, Kerupuk, Teri
Ayam Bakar

After our meal, we returned back to our room. Some of us went to bath while some idle in the common area. I love the common area as I like the layout and it gives a very relax feel.
The rooms are clean and is much much much better than yesterday accomodation at Pondok Tinggal even though the rates are comparable. 2 bottles of mineral water are provided in each room and it's interesting that the mineral water are in capped bottle.
The common area
Standard room
Bottle opener

1 comment:

Lukas said...

Very nice writing about Indonesia, keep on writing! :)