For an introduction. .
Jogja is an old city laden with history, and there are many palaces, old houses, monuments, traditional markets, etc, to visit there and in the surroundings, but do not miss the little small things you may find at every street corner, this city has much more to offer if you take your time, and people are so welcoming, it would be half a visit if you do not get in contact with locals. Usually I avoid guides, but here, for the Keraton or the “Water Castle”, I was very happy to have a local guide.
And when you are not with a guide who shows you what has to be seen in the streets, walk slowly, use the becak, Jogja is a city which has to be deserved, in some way, and going off beaten paths between the “must see” can be your best souvenir of the city.
In the back alleys, in the back yards, you will see very original garden décor like this one on picture 1; you will see vintage street clocks at street crossings (picture 2), or, like in villages, “community drums”, to call for prayer or other gathering (picture 3), quiet village streets (picture 4). . . . . and when you come back to big streets, you will see modern unnoticed monuments, like the Tugu (picture 5), tower for reminding the struggle for freedom from colonialism. Take your time is the best thing you can do. . . .
This general tip is also to introduce you Jogja through an excellent website, a tourist site but with beautiful historical pages and really off beaten path suggestions.
There is a departure tax at Yogya airport. As of June 2008, it's 100,000 IDR for international departures or about $11. They will ONLY take Rupiah. There are a few ATMS to thr right of the departure area, (when you're facing the airport) past all the restaurants and the taxi service. So make sure you have enough Rupiah before you proceed to the departure area. Otherwise, you'll have to go through security screening again.
Musicians with Guitars/future rock stars
Music has a great influence in Java, anywhere in Java you will see young guys with a guitar, playing or trying to play and sing. It is said, that the indonesians like more or less rocky ballads. The countries favourite music is still from the German band Scorpions?
Certainly making music also makes hungry, the guide however said not to open the window of the car...
Located 7km east of Jogja in Desa Sambisari, Candi Sambisari is a relatively new temple discovered in June 1966 by a farmer. What's unique about this temple is that it is about 6 meters below the surrounding ground. It was built in the 8th AD but was covered by volcanic ash from Gunung Merapi in the 10th century. Unlike Prambanan and Borobodur, this temple is just sufficiently funded and kept as I suspect not enough funding has been given to maintain the complex.
There are also other artifacts found in this village which has been collected from farmers living in the area. In the past, the peasants will collect rocks or stones from temples ruins around Java to build or place in their house.
Cuttle-Fish Bones and Birds
I was loitering around a bird feed shop in Yogya when I saw a box of whitish bones. Before I could scratch my head in askance, a kind local explained to me that these were cuttle-fish bones and they were essential supplements for caged birds. Apparently, you give it to those little fellas to fortify them with calcium and whittle away their beaks so that they don't impale their mates.
Where:Pasar Ngasem, Bird Feed Shop, Yogyakarta. Not too far from the Kraton (Palace)