A Travellerspoint blog

Back to Java

Wow the last few days have just been filled with so many wonderful sites and experiences.
We stayed in the city of Yogyakarta from there we went to the Borobudur. It was an amazing Buddhist temple; it is also a UNESCO world heritage site. It is said to be the largest and most complete ensemble of Buddhist beliefs in the world and the oldest in South East Asia (1). Every wall has a set of unique and very detailed carvings and each of these carvings tells a story (2).It is surrounded by amazing lush green lands. There is the entire story of Buddha carved into the walls. It was completely different from anything I have ever seen before; it was breath taking, the beauty and the detail of everything.

borobudur.jpg

Take a look at more pictures of this amazing temple
http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/592/gallery/

We went from experiencing the Buddhist religion to experiencing the Hindu religion when we went to see the Prambanan Temples. The complex is made up of 8 main shrines, and 250+ surrounding smaller shrines. The three main shrines are called Trisakti and each one is dedicated to its own god: Shiva, the Destroyer, Vishnu the Keeper and Brahma the Creator. We were there just as the temple was closing and we found out that just out side the complex there was to be a traditional dance taken from something called Ramayana. It was soo cool to see the natives performing something that is soo important to for others from around the world as well as there own people. It was totally worth not getting back into town until really late.

prambanan_temples.jpg

The city of Yogyakarta is very modern and full of all kinds of shopping. The city is known as one of the oldest cities in Indonesia and has many heritage buildings and monuments. We were able to pick some of the more traditional souvenirs such as shirts, postcards etc and more traditional hand made crafts,Batik cloths, and bowls. The city also has great museums and an amazing Palace.Sultan Palace was built in 1775 by Pangeran Mangkubu mi, the son of the Prince at that time. The palace was built in the elegant Japanese architecture and each part of the palace has its own name. It also is the current place in which the Sultan still resides.

Ok it is getting late and I am getting tired but one more thing before I go, if you ever go here you have got to catch a becak which is like a rickshaw and can be pulled by either a bike or person,to transport yourself around the city. They are everywhere and absolutely everyone uses them. It was great fun.

Posted by Jakarta007 07:04 Archived in Indonesia Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Final Days of Sumatra

Lake Toba - Maninjau

The tour ended today which was pretty sad, but we definitely had an experience of a life time here.

I ended the last entry saying that we had a lot of things planned for the day and we sure did. We went and visited King Sidabutar's Tomb which is located on the island of Samosir. There was a guide that took all us tourists in bunches to tell us the history about the King and his tomb. The king was never buried in the ground, they always had a tomb carved for them which they would be placed in and then located in the center of the town with a tree planted next to their tomb. They gave us sashes to wear which we were told to be a sign of respect. The tombs are a major tourist attraction on the Island, and the Batak people are very envious of their rulers.

tomok_tomb.jpg

After spending the morning at the tombs we went to a local coffee hut which is called a Pondok Kopi. It was a really relaxing atmosphere with a couple of well worn wooden tables with a couple of benches and a single gas burner to boil the water. We spent lunch here and then went to the lake for the rest of the day where we went fishing and swimming.

The last couple of days were full of seeing tombs and grave sights and touring the highland region of Sumatra, but my most favorite part was definitely Maninjau's crater lake. The water's were so crystal clear and the scenery was to die for. We went paragliding off the mountains and the view was phenominal. I highly recomend it to any adventurous travelers out there.

minijau.jpg

Sadly the tour ended this morning and now we are taking a bus down to the south end of Sumarta where we are going to be taking a ferry accross to get to Java.

Posted by Jakarta007 15:27 Comments (0)

Sumatra Mid-Tour

Beautiful Jungles

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It is now day 5 on our tour!! We've been through Jungles and have hiked up mountains and have even floated down rivers on inner tubes. The first day that we got started was a pretty relaxing day we stayed in our hotel in Medan and then went to Bohorok the following morning. We started the day by taking a Jungle tour through Gunung Leuser National Park which is one of the largest rainforests in the world (1). We came accross some amazing animals too such as orangutans, elephants and even some snakes (2). The rainforest is a large part of Sumatra which attracts many tourists to the region to experience the nature.

Gunung_Leu..al_Park.jpg

We day after that in Berastagi we climbed a volcano which had spectacular views or the whole region. The night that we got back from the hike we went for dinner at a local restaurant in the town. Sumatran food is generally pretty spicy, we had a dish that was pretty spicy called Beef Randang, which is dryed beef cury. Some items that you might see in a Sumatran dish may be:

    *Chilli

    • Lemon Grass
    • Ginger
    • Garlic
    • Coriander

You'll find the most spicy food in Pandang called Pandangese food
So if you don't like spicy stay away from there

Yesterday we visited the most beautiful place, Lake Toba. We stayed the night in the most interesting huts called Batak Houses. They were situated in the Karo Batak Village which is on the island of Samosir in the middle of Lake Toba.

Batak.jpg

That following afternoon we visted the beautiful Si Piso Piso Waterfall on the island of Samosir. Today is our free day though and were getting ready now to go out and enjoy the rest of the lake. I'll write back next time I get a chance to.

Posted by Jakarta007 14:03 Archived in Indonesia Tagged ecotourism Comments (0)

Sumatra

10 Day Tour Medan - Maninjau

Today Lauren Tara and I arrived in Medan. We flew from Jakarta to Medan in the early morning, we booked with Adam Air, and it was about a 2 hour flight which wasn’t too bad. This is where we met up with our Imaginative Traveller tour leader Melanie. We booked the tour SADS – Discover Sumatra before we left Calgary through Trek Escapes, this is the website that we found the information for the tour. Feel free to check it out:

http://www.trekescapes.com/trip-details.cfm?TripID=9793

Tomorrow we are starting the tour of Northern Sumatra in Bohorok, which we are all very excited about! We’ll keep you posted on everything we see and do. I’m not too sure when we’ll be able to get a hold of a computer but we won’t forget about you.

Posted by Jakarta007 13:54 Comments (0)

Discovering the Island of Java

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Wow I can't believe that we are actually here!!!
We spent our first day exploring the city of Jakarta. It is not at all like what I expected it is actually very sad in a way, I mean you can be walking down town with modern buildings and a rich feel (and even a few Gucci stores); then you turn the corner and the pavement runs into a dirt street lined with houses that look as though they are made with bamboo and about to fall down. The garbade and the smell are horriable and yet there are kids running up and down the street playing games, smiling and laugh. There is an unbeliveable amount of history here and most of it is based around one religion or another. We went to the Kota (Jakarta Old Town) this is where the dutch and portugesse frist landed and began to colonize the city. We also went to see the National Museum and we got some really great deals at a local market called Mangga Dua, which means Two Mangos. This market was filled with shops sell every thing at wholesale prices and we pick up some local hand made pots

City of Jakarta
jakarta.jpg

We started out our day by catching the train to Bogor, a town just south of Jakarta that was once the capital of Indonesia durning the short lived British occupation. The ride was about 2hours and the train was not comfortable at all. Once we got to Bogor we had Ngohiong it is made using flour and pork, deep fried and then served with tofu, fried potato wedges, a thick sweet sauce and pickles. It looked kindof gross but it tasted really good. The gentleman who sold us the Ngohiong told us that the city is the rainiest city on the island and that we just happen to be there on one day when it did not look like it was going to rain (he was wrong).
The city its self is fairly modern but the neat thing is that it has all of these little gardens and rivers and strems running through it too.
We went to the Botanical Gardens, and it was beautiful. There were so many different kinds of flowers.

bogor.jpg

There was a Presidential Palace there that was once the summer residence of the Governor-General of Java. It was soo different from any other palace I have seen it was unique the art and the design was amazing, breathtaking.
After we finished there we went to a local market where bought I some local hand made fabric, it has a great pattern and feels almost like silk.

Tomorrow we are off to the island of Sumarta to begin our Trek Escapes Tour.
We are soooo excited.

Posted by Jakarta007 07:45 Archived in Indonesia Tagged ecotourism Comments (0)

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