My last days in Indonesia I spent in Yogyakarta (or simple Yogya) and the laid back town Pangandaran on the south coast of Java.
Yogya is a big city in the centre of Java an is a perfect base to visit the famous Hindu temple "Prambanan" as well as the Buddhist temple "Borobudur".
Long time ago the sultan of Indonesia also established the "Sultan's palace" here in Yogya. In 1946 the city was also the capital of the newly declared Republic of Indonesia and the Sultan's palace was the unofficial headquarters.
Nowadays the capital of the Republic of Indonesia is Jakarta but still the current sultan of Yogya remains an influential politician and important person for the city.
The palace is open for public and can be visited. It is a masterpiece of Indonesian architecture and little had changed since it was built a few hundred years ago.
Unfortunately the time I was in Yogya there were Islamic holidays and the whole palace was closed for tourists...
So instead I hired a bicycle and went to Prambanan. This is the famous Hindu temple compound which basically consists of three rock-shaped main temples + 3 smaller temples. All of them in an inner courtyard. They are surrounded by 224 minor temples, which lie now in ruins due to a heavy earthquake in the last century.
The three main temples are dedicated to the main Hindu gods Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu. The smaller three are the temples of the gods "vehicles". Hamsa, the swan for Shiva; Nandi, the bull for Brahma and Garuda, the sunbird for Vishnu.
The Indonesian government started the restoration of the destroyed minor temples a few years ago. The worker are doing an amazing job but still there will be a lot of work need to be done to restore all 224 minor temples...
And to be honest walking through the ruins of the temples was also quite a nice experience... :-)
If anybody knows Disney's Jungle Book, the temple complex reminded me a lot to ape King Lui's temple- home in the jungle... ;-)
The next day I went together with a Czech couple (Vladislav & Misa) to Borobudur, the largest Buddhist monument in the southern hemisphere.
It is basically a main temple, which is 35m high and covers an area of 200 square meters. The different terraces of the temple should represent the levels of enlightenment. Below is the "chaos of the world" and above is "Nirvana", represented by a huge empty stupa.
We spent the afternoon in our home stays own pool, swimming and relaxing as it was really a hot day!! :-)
A few days I spent in Pangandaran. This small laid back town on the south coast of Java was a secret tip from a girl I met in the Bromo-Semeru National Park.
Not many tourists came here, that's why the beach there was quite empty except by a few locals. I went surfing and played Volleyball with the locals during the evening hours on the beach.
Pangandaran is also the perfect base to make tours to the "Green valley" and the "Green canyon".
I did both on a day tour. In the "Green valley" we first walked through the jungle to the origin of a river. We went for a swim there and then followed the river downstream through the "Green valley", jumping from high rocks and waterfalls into natural pools.
We really had a great time, although the water was getting pretty cold after 2 hours of swimming, jumping and diving.
The "Green canyon" started with a boat-tour upstream, where we afterwards did basically the same like in the valley. But this time we had high rock walls to our left and right of the river with lots of vegetation like trees and plants on the steep walls and on top.
Guess that's why it called "Green canyon"... :-)
We had really a great time and after the canyon we went back with our motor scooters to Pangandaran, which was also quite an adventure!! ;-)
After Pangandaran I went to Jakarta by train to catch a flight to Sumatra. There I planned to see the Orang-Utans in Bukit Lawang, a small town in the Jungle.
But once I was there I got totally ill (fever and headache). So I had to stay in bed for 2 days and
after that I had to go back to the airport to fly to Malaysia as my 30-days visa was expired. I had no chance to see the apes, but hey I believe there is always a second chance in your life!! :-)