Jogyakarta, Indonesia’s center of Javanese culture looks remarkably different from when I first came here more than 10 years ago. It’s much busier now and Malioboro Street is lined with a few malls and some swanky hotels like the Ibis. Nevertheless, it still retains its provincial feel with people having picnics on the sidewalk on a Saturday night and loads of bakso food carts. I arrived in this city late afternoon last Thursday after an epic 15 hour bus ride that started at 1am in Jakarta airport. It was a loong journey that included 2 toilet stops, a breakfast and late lunch stop and a tour of Borobodur.
With me are a few colleagues and a busload of student performers for the Southeast Asia Music Education Exchange (SEAMEX) at the Yogyakarta National Museum (which isn’t a museum at all but an events venue). The road trip wasn’t boring though as it was just like taking a tour of the Indonesian countryside with rice paddies and little kampung. Of course, the stop at Borobodur was the aaah moment of the day.
The magnificent 9thc temple was still a sight to behold. Even the students enjoyed themselves immensely.
Fortunately, there weren’t many people when we arrived as it was close to noon time.
It took another 2 hours to Jogyakarta where we were finally dropped at our hotel
The past few days have been spent between the SEAMEX events and walking around busy Malioboro which was bursting at its seams Saturday night.Bought some toy gamelan instruments at super crowded Hamza Batik which has a good collection of all the stuff you’ll ever want to purchase for souvenirs. For large-sized people like me, they have a rack of batik shirts that are besar enough.