May 23, 2009

Trip to Yogyakarta – Day 3 (Mt Merapi and Malioboro)

After taking a short rest, we checked out at about 11am. Our driver picked us up and we proceeded to visit two other temples in the vicinity of Borobudur. Pawon Temple, 1.5km eastward from Borobudur Temple, is a tiny Buddhist temple. Architecturally it is a blend of old Javanese Hindu and Indian art.

Mendut Temple, 3km eastwards from Borobudur, is another Buddhist temple that is comparatively bigger than Pawon. There are three big statues inside the temple - Sakyamuni sitting in cross legged pose; Awalokitesvara holding a red lotus in her palm and Maitreya, a savior of human beings in the future. Mendut Temple is frequently used to celebrate Wesak day with pilgrims from Indonesia and all parts of the world congregate.

The gigantic banyan tree at Mendut

Borobudur, Pawon and Mendut and is aligned in one straight line, with Pawon being exactly in the centre. Although there is no documented proof, according to a native folk tale, there once was a paved brick road that ran from Borobudur to Mendut, with walls on both sides. The three temples have similar architecture and ornamentation derived from the same time period, suggesting that a ritual relationship between the three temples must have existed, although the exact ritual process is yet unknown.

We then proceeded to Kaliurang, a scenic hill resort with views of Mt Merapi. We had a late lunch at one of the local stalls, and visited the local market which sold many local produce and snacks.

Top: The local food stores, and the few young men who went around serenading diners. Bottom: Glimpses of the local market

We reached Yogyakarta in the early evening and spent some time exploring Malioboro, a well-known shopping promenade and very popular among Indonesians as well as tourists. Spanning 2km in length, it is home to hundreds of shops and street-stalls which offers various kinds of handicrafts such as batik, rattan ornament, leather puppet, bamboo handicrafts (key holder, ornament lamp, etc) as well as blangkon (Javanese/Jogjanese traditional cap), silverwares and general goods.

Beringharjo, literally means slanted land, is the largest traditional marketplace in Yogyakarta. The vendors sell many kinds of goods, ranging from basic household items (vegetables, fruits, meats) to many kinds of handicrafts, batik, Javanese herbs and spices, as well as antique goods.

While at Malioboro, we decided to hop onto one of the many traditional horse-pulled carts, known as andong, or dokar. It took us on a ride along Malioboro, passing Fort Vredeburg and to the surrounding area such as the Chinese area and Pathuk Street, and back to where we started. The ride was about 40 minutes and cost us Rp50,000 (~RM16). Not a bad deal, and it was quite a fun experience.

1 comment:

MeRy said...

Nice holiday trip...