Yogyakarta (pronounced Jogjakarta for some strange reason) has been surprisingly great. I did no research into Java island AT ALL, so I really didn’t know what to expect from any of the places we’ve visited. After a whirlwind few days last week in which we visited 3 countries (Melaka-Malysia, Singapore-Singapore and Semarang-Indonesia) in 3 days it was time for some much needed R&R, and Yogya proved to be the perfect place for that.
I’ve basically been sitting on the peaceful terrace of our hostel (Bhumi-I would really recommend it) for the past couple of days doing very little, other than working out, catching up on emails and watching Gordon Ramsey’s kitchen nightmares- the travel life isn’t all glam folks. Other than our excursion to Mt. Bromo which you can read about here we’ve not really done or seen a great deal here.
Two of the main tourist attractions in Yogya are its temple ruins; Borobudur (Buddhist) and Prambanan (Hindu). I’ve seen some really beautiful temples in South East Aisa; they’re probably my favourite thing about this continent actually. Borobudur- the more well known of the two was bitterly disappointing, Prambanan was brilliant.
Borobudur is essentially, I felt a novelty in Indonesia. This Buddhist temple is situated in a predominantly Muslim country and this unexpectedly had a lasting effect on my visit. Temples are a place of worship, they’re sacred and you feel like you’re of somewhere important whilst there; this was simply not the case on Borobudur. I saw a couple snogging each others face off, girls in hot pants and string vests (yes there were sarongs available to cover up, however this wasn’t enforced) people climbing all over the ruins and simply not treating it with the respect it deserved. This completely ruined it for me. The admission to the temple was REALLY expensive, and the place is falling apart at the seams-it seems like little conservation work goes on here. So my advice would be to skip Borobudur and head to Prambanan which is practically identical but has; lovely grounds, respectful guests, is cheaper and pretty much 100 times better in every way.