Java, Bali and Singapore – Pt.1

At the end of January we went to Indonesia on holiday. Here’s the first part of my write-up of the trip.

We flew to Singapore with Singapore Air, as good as ever, departing on Thursday, arriving on Friday morning.

On arrival at Singapore, we had to pass through immigration to change to the AirAsia flight to Yogyakarta in Java, Indonesia. While we had a couple of hours in the airport, we found the LionAir desk and booked our flight out of Yogyakarta for the following Monday morning.

[flickr size=”small” float=”right”]4342211894[/flickr]The flight to Yogyakarta was relatively short and we arrived in the middle of the afternoon.

We were staying at The Phoenix Hotel, a lovely old colonial place which used to be a private residence before being converted into a hotel. Our room had a view over the hotel’s pool. Had a bit of a wander around and then set about tackling the jetlag with some sleep. The beds in Indonesia all seem to be enormous and very comfortable.

[flickr size=”small” float=”left”]4342197410[/flickr]Up on Saturday and a cab to the Kraton, the local Sultan’s Palace. Lots of hawkers and taxi/becak touts outside. Becaks are the cycle rickshaws where the driver sits behind the two passengers. We paid out entry fee and joined out English-speaking guide, an Indonesian lady who has worked at the site for 30 years.

[flickr size=”small” float=”right”]4341127547[/flickr]The building was very ornately decorated and is still in use by the current Sultan of Yogyakarta, who is also a government minister. There were lots of items owned by previous Sultans, from binoculars to ceremonial outfits worn at circumcisions!

After visiting the Kraton we visited one of the streets which the guidebook recommended for places to eat and drink, Jalan Prawirotaman. We went to the ViaVia restaurant, part of a world-wide chain focussed on making the most of local talents and ingredients. Nearby is the Civet Cafe, which serves the famous Kopi Luwak, made from coffee beans that have been half-digested and then excreted by the Civet cat (or Luwak), a type of weasel. We decided to pop back to try the coffee the next day.

[flickr size=”small” float=”left”]4341923378[/flickr]An early start, about 7am, on Sunday for our trip to Borobudur by hotel car. The early start was to avoid the heat of the day, it soon reaches 32C. Borobudur was one of the things which initially attracted us to going to Java. It’s an 8th century Buddhist temple, the largest in the world, apparently. It lay abandoned for over 400 years until Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles brought them to the world’s attention while Lieutenant-Governor of Java following a British invasion in 1811.

Photo Album: Java, Bali and Singapore