Indonesia, and above all Yogyakarta, Bali and the Gili Islands, had been in our wish list for long, and at last we could gho there in 2016. The planning of the journey was made by me and Enrica, a friend of mine from Turin. We spent hours on the phone and exchanging mails, but everything worked. It was not easy to organize everything, because there are so many things to be seen in indonesia, so in the end we had to choose: we wanted to visit Yogyakarta, Bali and in the end a bit of relax at Gili Air.
We left from Turin with Turkish Airlines, a long stopover on Istanbul and then at last we were in Jakarta! As we had to leave one day before to get a better flight price, we had decided to go and sleep in a small town called Bogor. The day after we wanted to visit Taman Safari, this was our only chance to see the Komodo Fragon! And here a kind of nightmare started; the driver who waited for us at the airport didn’t speak English, whatever we asked him he nodded and smiled withour understanding. The distance from Jakarta to Bogor is not very long; but, as we would understand in the following days, distances in Indonesia must not be considered in terms of kilometers but of time.
It took hours to get to destination and we were really tired! At last, we were in the hotel and we only wanted to go to bed; a pity our hotel was a real disaster!
There were no towels, the toilet did not work and the bed sheets were not so clean. In spite of everything we collapsed on the bed and the morning after we went to Taman Safari. It was nothing special, you visit the first part on a bus (it was difficult to take photos, because the window panes were dirty); the second part can be visited on foot, and it is rather sad as all zoos are! there were some tigers and lions chained so that visitors could take photos with them! Very ugly!
In the evening we went back to jakarta, and luckily the journey was faster than we had imagined. We spent the night in a hotel near the airport, at Zest Hotel, and this time we were lucky because it was nice and clean. In the morning they served us a nice breakfast, then we took our flight to Yogyakarta. At the airport we met our driver; he would stay with us until our leaving to Bali. We got to our hotel for a shower and a little relax. it was luxury, beautiful and also very cheap, it was the Gallery Prawirotamana. Gianni and I decided to have a swim in the pool and then a little snack. In the afternoon we parted; Enrica and Adriano went for a tour to Malioboro Road while Ginni and I went to look for a new suitcase; one of ours was completely destroyed. In Malioboro Road there are a lot of shops, but we could find a good suitcase nowhere. So we took a taxi and went to Galeria Mall. It is a big department store and it reminded me of Dubai malls! We were lucky, we found a Samsonite suitcase at a very cheap price. And then, as we were there, we made a tour of the other shops!
In the evening, we met Enrica and Adriano and went for dinner in a very nice place: the Viavia. it very original, small and crowded, but we had a nice dinner!
The day after, we had a tour of the city. And there were plenty of things to do! The first stop was Pasar Ngasem, the bird market. It is a huge park, full of cages; and in the cages there were different kinds of birds. There were also fighting cocks, dog puppies, little monkeys and other animals. We stopped ther about for an hour, then we had a very quick look at a botanic garden that was just on the other side of the street. Then we went to see the batik production. it is a particular technique to colour fabric or other objects. it was charming to see some women sitting on the ground and working. Even if the smell in the place was really strong because of the products they use. As usual, they tried to sell us their goods, but we were not interested!
Water Palace and Sultan Palace
Taman Sari Water Castle is also known as Sultan Garden. it is a very beautiful place, but only some buildings remain. Some of them have become houses for the locals, and only some parts can be visited by tourists; for example the mosque, the pools and the tunnels. The legend tells that the Sultan invited some princesses to bath in the main pool; then he threw a rose from the tower and the one who caught it would become his wife or concubine.
The last thing we visited in Yogyakarta was the Sultan Palace. It is an important place for Java culture, because it was here that the kings and their families lived, and it is really very charming. Especially in the morning you can see traditional dancing and music shows. Before going there, you should check the timetables!
And the, after a quick lunch, we left to Prambanan, to see the sunrise!