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Bec & Simon

Yogyakarta, Indonesia

INDONESIA | Wednesday, 23 December 2009 | Views [942]

Bec still being a twit

Bec still being a twit

Back in Indonesia for about the 5th time but it has been 10 years since I was last in Yogyakarta, things have changed a fair bit in the last decade too.

The city is still mess of people living on top of each other and its definitely not a clean place but it has improved a lot since my last visit. The first thing you notice about the roads is the amount of motorcycles but the thing is that they're all new! Plus the cars that are driving around are all really nice. Maybe its the increased tourism but the people living in Yogyakarta today are doing a hell of a lot better than a decade ago.

Theres still plenty of places around to eat for ridiculously cheap though, Bec and I ate a few times at a place called Kepala Sapi (Cow's Head) for about $1.50 each including a bottle of Coke each. Even the more touristy places only charge about $3 a meal, which was great for us because we were literally down to our last dollars (or Euro's, depending on the bank account). 

We spent a lot of days strolling up and down Marlioboro street looking through the markets. The street is completely different to what I remember, its so much more touristy now and PACKED with market stalls to the point where it clogs up the footpath and you can't get through. However its a lot more laid back now as the market sellers don't harass the tourists anywhere near as much...I like that change. We did a fair bit of shopping, I think mostly because it was nice to be able to afford to buy things again. 

Us toursits, or more correctly the white tourists, still get charged a premium to do anything in the city. For the bus out to Borobudur we pay 20,000 rupiah each ($2.50AUD) non-white tourists pay about 10,000 and locals pay 3,000. Same thing goes for food and in the markets, theres a local price and a tourist price but no matter how good of a bargainer you are you never get the local prices, the sellers would rather let you walk away. Not a huge issue considering its still really cheap but it gets a bit frustrating at times being treated differently.

Bec was really excited to talk some Indonesian with some locals although that was a little trickier than first thought because nearly everyone just want to sell you something or is running a scam so it wasn't easy to find someone who would just chat, although when we got to talking to the locals they were very lovely people. Bec's Indonesian is still pretty good which was good for chatting but also for making sure we didn't get ripped off too much. The local people get really excited to see tourists and we found that the biggest hurdle to get over trying to have a conversation was a lot of them get too embarrassed.

It took us until the last few days to make it out to Prambanan and Borobudur temples. They are both amazing places, right up there with some of the temples in Egypt or the ruins along the Inka trail. Prambanan is a series of Hindu temples each dedicated to a different god, it got badly damaged in the 2006 earthquake but hopefully they are able to restore it. While there we were intercepted by a local girl who asked if she could talk with us to practice her english, obviously we had no problem with that but after a few hours of her following us reading us stories from her book to us it got a bit tiring, lovely girl though I think her name was Mae. 

At Borobudur, Bec was pretty blown away by the size and detail of the temple. I've been there before but I am still very impressed with it. About seven levels and around each one the carvings tell a story about life. Again, we were the centre of attention for most of the Indonesians there, for some reason they all wanted to take photos or even sneaky video of us while we weren't looking. We got stopped to pose with people about 5 times. We couldn't quite figure it out but just smiled and went along with it. 

We've just finished our final pack and we're ready to leave Indonesia because...We're going home! Well for a little while anyway.

Tags: borobudur, jogjakarta, prambanan

 

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