Monday, May 08, 2006

ITU BUKAN MERAPI PAK!!! :AN INDONESIAN EXPERIENCE PART 2

On the second day, after checking out, we headed for Chandi Prambanan , the biggest ancient hindu temple complex there. Scattered over the area are also many smaller chandi (s). We didn't enter the temple but only viewed it from the outside as the entrance fee was high for foreign tourist, 10 USD, compared to 5,000 rupiahs for the locals (though I don't think we looked any more foreign than the locals! If we keep our mouth shut , that is!). Prambanan is higher than Borobodur but smaller in size and the deco, idols and etchings are also markedly different as Borobodur is a buddhist temple. At night when the weather is good, an open air staging of Ramayana is conducted at the grounds next to the temple. We initially entertained the idea of watching the show but since iKelah wasn't keen, we dropped it. Anang was made to stop at various spots to satisfy the whims of the two photographers in their bid to get the best shots of Prambanan from afar.

Next, Anang drove us to Ketep Pass to view the erupting Merapi, closer. The journey up took almost an hour and as I was nursing a splitting headache, sleeping through it was the best. At Ketep Pass, we could see the two great mountains, Merbabu and Merapi side by side. Merbabu is higher but is currently inactive. The guys had mistaken Merbabu for Merapi and unknowingly had taken incessant snap-shots of Merbabu instead. We later went to watch a short movie on Merapi at the museum theater and on exiting the place, we took shots of us with Merapi on the background. Only then did the guys realized that they had mistaken Merbabu for Merapi! We had a good laugh at their grave error. Imagine their dispair should they only realize the mistake at home! So, we had to patiently wait for them to redeem their lost, taking more shots of the 'real' Merapi.


Posing with a cloudy Merapi behind.



As the weather was cloudy, Merapi's peak was not visible that morning. But we could see that the mountain was heavily populated with villages strewn all along the terrain, marked by rows of green vegetable farms. The Merapi lava must be providing the ground with good soil and thus good produce. No wonder, the villagers were reluctant to vacate their homes despite the danger.




Candi Borobodur


Next on their list was to capture sunrise at Borobodur. Again, the entrance fee was steep for foreigners and doubled if you enter to catch the sunrise. To optimize cost, we checked into a hotel in the premise of Borobodur that included the entrance fee. The hotel rate was much more expensive but since it included the entrance fee to Borobodur, it evened out. Unfortunately it didn't include entrance for sunrise and as we felt that the price was stupendous, the guys agreed to forgo it. The Manohara Hotel, as it was called, comprised of single storey rooms scattered over the grounds next to Borobodur with absolutely serene ambiance. Big shady trees and scented-flower plants like Kenanga, Cempaka etc contributed to the natural beauty of the sprawling garden.


Down the stairs of Borobodur. Look who are holding hands!!



Borobodur is a huge ancient pyramid-like structure, built into 4-5 levels, on top of a partly leveled hill. On each levels are many bell-like sturctures called stupa with Buddha statues sitting inside, apparently attaining Nirvana. From the top we could again view Merapi and Mt Sumbing. Ikelah made a second mistake of misidentifying the two and again we had a good laugh.

Checked out early to make one last trip round Jogjakarta. We visited Kota Gede (Mataram Sultanate Kraton), the Makam Mataram and prayed Friday's prayer at the Masjid Agung Mataram. Next entry: On Kota Gede and Solo.



Bargaining is our forte! A shop-owner even remarked : Kok Bapak bisa menawar bagus sekali!


You are absolutely right, Kenakelayan! A true budget holiday (shoe-string) would mean sleeping in dormitaries ala YMCA or even in make-shift tents but I don't think that is feasible in Jogjakarta. I guess ours catered more for couples who prefer cheap accomodation with some privacy. Furthermore, if we decide to pitch a tent in the middle of the city, we might induce a 'riot'! As it is, they have enough 'happenings', what with the Merapi eruption, the workers demonstrating, grafts etc. We wouldn't want to add " Empat pengunjung dari Malaysia bikin rapot: tidur di jalanan!" in their headlines!!

Nope, Mama Sarah, we did'nt go there for volunteer work. Eventhough Merapi is erupting albeit 'softly', the people are still put in the 'siaga' state i.e. only those living up high on the mountains are vacated but not those below at the foot. In fact, from the news yesterday, many farmers are fed-up waiting and had stubbornly threatened to return to their farms to tend them. Mynn, as Boogey had put it, the sky did turn purple! :))

QOTH- I think that phrase is truly apt for them! :))

Anggerik, Edward, Simah: it was indeed an adventure for someone like me!

Pycno- Thank you for praying for us. A true friend is one that make dua for another! No , 'wedus ghembel' is only formed when there's profound eruption.

Hiyoshi- there must be concrete reasons that your parents are erupting like volcanoes! :))

16 comments:

Queen Of The House said...

I'm interested in the shopping part of the trip :D You beli apa? I guess the 'damage' is not so bad - dengar kata barang2 di sana murahhhh.... sampai ada orang Msia gi shopping bawa balik satu container barang!

hiyoshi said...

Couldn't help but feel envious at the bit where you mentioned Borobudur. The only time I came across that name was during History lessons, and even then, I managed to sleep through it T_T I think I would've learnt more had there been a field trip to the site! *dreams away*

Oh, there are reasons indeed to as why the volcanoes at home are in an active state, though I feel it'd be better not to mention them here

pycnogenol said...

Perhaps, "ITU BUKAN MERAPI PAK!! ITU MERAPU!!" should have been the title to the entry...:))

DrRoza, with your mastery of so many slangs, I'm sure the Indon or Jawa dialect should be all so easy. Perhaps, to 'look Jawa' would be more of a challenge to you guys.

Looking forward to your next entry on Si Solo di Kota Gedik...oops sorry, Kota Gede and Solo. ;)

Mama Sarah said...

I was 'studying' the photos on ikelah's blog. I was wondering about the garuda. I said, baik betul si garuda tu tak take off pun bila orang sibuk nak ambil gambar.

hmmmm, now (trying not to make a fool of myself - a n y m o r e) i rasa garuda tu patung je! PLEASE don't say that i'm wrong again.

drroza said...

QOTH- Frankly speaking, I didnt buy much as I am a bad shopper! I wanted to buy more but time was short and there's the problem of space and weight!!Yes the things are fairly cheap but quality-wise is questionable. Hmmm... satu container??? Masyallah!

Hiyoshi- As a matter of fact whilst in Borobodur, the International school kids from Balik Papan was on a field trip there! Lucky them eh?

Pycno- "Kamu memang bisa bikin komen memberangsang Pak! "

Mama Sarah- Itu Garuda betul bu! Asalnya idup tapi bila Merapi meletup, ia terkejut lalu mati, jadi keras langsung macam batu! Apa ibu nggak bisa percaya?

Mama Sarah said...

waduh, waduh! kok ingat garuda bohongan itu.

bisa terkejut langsung mati keras, dong?

Allah Maha Kaya

Queen Of The House said...

Iya lah buk! Satu container sebab beli furniture kayu jati. I suppose some of the things are questionable quality-wise ... but if you know where to shop you can get good stuff. One of my SILs pi borong tudung and baju2 jubah, dia kata memang murah. I have yet to set foot on Indon soil.

kenakelayan said...

" Empat pengunjung dari Malaysia bikin rapot: tidur di jalanan!"

That is some headline! :D

Nahh pehaps lugging tents around would take up too much luggage space (this means less shopping!!1 noooo)

Ikelah said...

kenakelayan,

next year kita pergi berenam! tak tau la u boleh backpacking tak? Ini kena tanya OK.

kalau p5 nak kita bawa dia sekali, for this trip dia tak boleh. hehehehe....

DITH ada sebut cambodia or thai, tapi thai is not cheap,
maybe yindia kampung halaman karam singh and .... nothern india is nice, cheap..... tunggu airasia introduces flight ke nothern india.

mynn said...

LOL pasal garuda mati terkejut tengok gunung berapi.

DITH -- pandai bargain tapi tak pandai beli???? what a talent!

dr in the house said...

Mama Sarah : :))

QOTH- tu lah pasal! I cari kedai tudung, tak de yang elok pon. Lain kali sebelom pergi kena tanya org! Beli perabot all the way pakai container?...hmmm...

KKL- Next trip, you and OK are invited!

Ikelah-Jom!

Mynn- actually iKelah yg terror bargain! He would warn me: You senyap, biar I tawar!

kenakelayan said...

:D kena tanya O-K... dia sibuk sokmo..
Hehe tak nak ke pergi Jepun? Suruh Mynn jadik translator.. hehehe

mynn said...

eeeh i nak pegi jepun!!

Jom O-K & KKL??

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