Wow… at last I’ve been to Jogja. I cancelled the trip to Jogja when I had an accident in 2007. Its a nice place to be and well the people there are warm but could be brutal and harsh at the same time. We didn’t eat much this time as I told earlier… there’s nothing to shout about on Indonesian food. I don’t know why… our local Malay food here are wayyyyy better than top notch Indonesian eateries. I bet ! However… you just have to try some of their food… restaurant such as Bumbu Desa offers good food. There’s Bumbu Desa Restaurant available here in Malaysia. We avoided gudeg as the food looks unhygienic.
Well, we stayed in Novotel, Jl. Jenderal Sudirman. Its not a cheap but its worth the every penny as there is a shopping mall less than 80 metres away. Its so convenient for us to do some shopping and we had our lunch and dinners there. Thank to Ghani of Novotel who told us about Galleria.
Visited Candi Borobudur, one of the ancient seven wonders of the world. It is really magnificent and this is something you have to see at least once in your lifetime. The carvings on the rocks tells the stories of Buddha… well, you can read up on this elsewhere. Candi Prambanan is also another eye-popping wonder. The Ramayana epic was told on the rock carvings…. Hindu and Buddhism had been in the region way before Islam and Christianity arrived here.
While you’re there, I would suggest that you hire a becak (trishaw) for the whole day to see much of Jogja. The becak guy will peddle you around to tourist places such as Kraton (Sultan Palace), Musuem Sonobudhoyo, Benteng Vredeburg (Fort), Tugu (see picture of the monument above). He’ll then will wait for you while you visit the sights.
There’s this guy who approached us at the exit of Kraton and told us that the ticket we paid for the visit to Kraton is inclusive of a visit to the batik crafts centre. He also said his services is free for us as he is paid by the Sultan for taking us to see the batik crafts centre. Being curious…we just followed and the becak guy, Pak Durmo sensed fishy thing and followed us to the centre located in some back alleys. Fuck..its a shop selling batik paintings.
The people there will inch into tourists to take them to buy stuffs… even the guide at Museum Sonobudhoyo led us to a wayang kulit shop behind the museum hoping we would buy something and he’ll get some commission from the shopowner. Even our becak guy, Durmo did it the first time we hired him. We asked him to take us to a place to eat…some gudeg…. and we didn’t know whats a gudeg was. When we reached the place I was shock that its a row of shops selling their local food… you know… those you see on the streets… fried liver, fried fish, fried gizzard…fried tempe… you get the idea. Durmo parked the trishaw in front one of the gudeg and when we said we’re not gonna have oour dinner there and walked away… the shopowner screwed Durmo and chased him away as he cannot park his trishaw in front of the shop if we’re not eating there.
Then on the third day, when we’re having our dinner at Restoran Bumbu Desa (yes..they shops here in Malaysia too)… there was a earthquake scare. There was a tremor for about 2-3 seconds and the ground was shaking….tables shocked… then suddenly quite a number of people screamed and ran helter skelter out of the premises. The quake then stopped. I knew it was an earthquake. I stood up and waited if there’s anymore. Szer was still sitting on the chair, frozed and speechless. I shouted at her… “come on… lets get the fuck out of here !!”. Then only she realised what happened and we ran like a scady cat out of the building while the two ladies sitting next table chatted and laughed away as if nothing happened. People were talking on their mobile phones outside the building… checking for the magnitude and severity of this incident. We listened to their conversations and when things looked good we returned back to our table to continue our dinner. Luckily the food was not looted by the next table because the food was just served and I was putting the second spoon of rice into my mouth where the quake occured. Much of the lauk pauk were still untouched.
Dinner was uneasy although the food was enak. I looked around for emergency action should the quake comes again and the building collapse… we would be hiding under the table with the food and drinks to survive while waiting for rescue. When we went back to the hotel, I asked the concierge guy, Ghani about the quake just now, he told me that its just a very mild one with 5.0 on the Richter scale. We then checked on a geological website on Internet where they reported on a real-time basis of earthquakes occured worldwide. True, the quake just now was the latest one, registering 4.7 Richter as stated by the website. I now know that earthquake happens in Indonesia every now and then.
Ok… lastly… its a nice place to visit….. for the sake of the wonders… Candi Borobudur and Candi Prambanan that is.