After three days in Jakarta, we flew to Yogyakarta today for the next segment of our trip. Yogyakarta, nicknamed “Jogja” is the city that Indonesians from all over the country visit when they want to go on holiday. It’s a major cultural and arts destination, known for its many UNESCO World Heritage sites, not to mention its art scene. They have these intense puppet-type shows where all the puppets are handmade and carved from buffalo skin (I got to touch one of these today, and they feel so soft, almost like leather!).
We were lucky while in Jakarta because the traffic wasn’t anywhere as bad as we imagined it to be based on all the travel blogs and sites we’d read, but then we quickly realized and were told that the traffic was lesser in the Big Durian because they’d all left the city in preparation for the new year’s holiday. Where did a lot of them go? To Jogja, and the traffic was absolutely horrific here today as result of this. Today, we only got to visit the Taman Sari, or the Portuguese water castle, as a result of this and the rain.
My first impressions of the city are that it’s definitely far more quaint than Jakarta (obvious given the size of Jogja is just a fraction of Jakarta) and actually reminded me of Qui Nhon, Vietnam, and even Siem Riep, Cambodia. The streets, the roads, the traffic, the tuktuks – a lot were very similar to these other two cities I’d visited previously.
We ended up sleeping early and not staying out late to welcome in 2020 because we will be waking up at 3:30 to leave for our 4pm car to see the sunrise over Borobudor Temple tomorrow. This just means that we will be waking up bright and early for 2020 to see the very first sunrise of the new year.