Wednesday, February 9, 2011

An Early Vacation in 2011 Part 3

After our Borobudur experience and on the way to the airport to send off our companion returning home, we visited another temple on top of a hill, Candi Ijo (Temple Ijo). We had to walk maybe 200m of uphill unpaved road, leaving our car below.  It is a very strategic temple to clearly see the lowlands, but we had only a few minutes to take photos.

 Candi Ijo at present is composed of a big temple with 3 smaller ones. A big area is still not yet reconstructed, but the piles of stones are seen below right.
At the left is the linga at the center of the biggest temple, many of these are also seen in some temples in Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Its top directly points to the rooftop with small hole for water to seep through. Water droplets are collected at the base of the linga and believed to be medicinal or even magical. Top right shows the ruins of Candi Ijo waiting for reconstruction.
After sending our companion to the airport, four of us still continued our Indonesia escapade by taking a train from Yogyakarta to Solo, Surakarta. It is a place often suggested in travel sites as an old town with beautiful cultural traditions. For us it really is an awesome experience! After checking two hostels which were full, our taxi driver brought us to a homestay, located along narrow, circuitious residential areas. It was a bit difficult to traverse these alleys, as there are many motorcycles going around, motorcycles being their primary mode of transport. Chakra II Homestay was our hostel for 2 nights in Solo. It is in a big compound with many rooms, and a swimming pool. Serendipitously, it houses the Gamelan Orchestra that practices there every night. A gamelan is a musical ensemble from Indonesia, typically from the islands of Bali or Java, featuring a variety of instruments ( We are free to watch them practice and take photos of the traditional instruments.

Top left: Chakra II Homestay Gamelan Orchestra playing on the floor; Top right: one of the side lobbies at Homestay where we take our free breakfast.                                                        

Top left: an elaborately carved walls for another set of Gamelan instruments. Top right: Wayang Kulit puppet at the Museum in Solo.
Top left: Batik making in one of the batik shops; Top right: image of Visnu in a side street

Becak (pronounced betsak) - unmotorized tricycle and manually pedalled by the operator is a common local mode of transport. Photos 8 & 9 are not becak but #8 is a mobile delicacy store, while #9 is a carriage drawn by a horse. All of the mentioned modes of transport are always very colorful in Yogyakarta and Surakarta, most especially in Solo.

Colored doors and windows of Solo. It is a cultural tradition in Solo to have brightly colored gates, windows, doors, as well as the becak (pedalled unmotorized tricycles).  At bottom right is a mosque door.

Our trip back home entailed an hour by train from Solo, Surakarta to Yogyakarta; followed by another hour of Asia Airlines domestic plane to Jakarta, and lastly, 4 hours via Cebu Pacific Airlines to Manila. We lost an hour in crossing the dateline, but we gained a lot from the wonderful sights and experiences.

Postscript: For a more detailed article of our trip to Indonesia, please visit


  1. Hi Andrea, Looks like you had a wonderful trip to Indonesia. Solo looked like a beautiful place.. The museum looks fabulous. AND--Temple Ijo is another gorgeous place. Thanks for taking us on your latest trip with you.. It was FUN!!!

  2. It must be a magical exciting trip to discover all the ancient temples and seeing cultural & traditional things.
    Did you manage to spot any gardens?

  3. These temples are so cool architecturally. I really am enjoying your trip.

  4. Do you know what I like best in your photos? The trishaw collage. They look very cute together. I would love a cool, breezy ride.

    Don't worry about not catching up with comments. Actually I feel bad that I have not been replying to individual comments but really there is only that much time in a day.

  5. Nice vacation at wonderful place. I went there last year in June. Also visited the Merapi Mountain and Borobudur, for sure now is so different after volcano @ Merapi Mountain. The best part is I took train from Bandung to Jogjakarta. The best part of your post is the bright color of fancy but beautiful.

  6. Betsy - yes it is so nice seeing those old temples and ruins. You should see Temple Prambanan and Borobudur in my previous posts 1 and 2. They are amazing.

    James - it was really an exciting trip, especially because of the rain in the afternoons. Yes there are gardens around the temples, but they seem to be secondary to our purpose, besides they are not really that spectacular. I will post some of the plants later.

    Donna - you should try visiting these places, they are really unusual than those in your country.

    One - yes the becak are so colorful in these places. In fact they are even more amazing when just standing there side by side waiting for passengers. We had a wonderful ride with all openings closed by plastic because of the rain, I and my friends were laughing coz we cant see anything in that so claustrophobic place!

    Orchid de Dangau- you should see my 2 earlier posts. Maybe it is also exciting in Bandung, but that is a bit farther than Solo. We really enjoyed the cultural and physical wonders of Solo. Thanks for dropping by.

  7. Andrea, how wonderful your vacation! And I agree it is best when someone else does the organizing work and I just tag along (unfortunately, it's usually me that does it!) I just read all three parts and it all looks simply divine! Many super photos and great story telling. Good job! You make me want to go there. NOW.

    [I also answered your question on my blog... It's rather long so I won't repeat here, okay?]

  8. You always travel to the coolest most exotic places I could ever imagine. I really enjoy how you bring Asia and that part of the world straight out to your readers since I can only visit there precariously thru your blog. It's a beautiful country.

  9. What a wonderful trip! I would have notice those 'becak's and colourful doors as well. Is that you sitting on one becak there?

    I think I will never have the chance to see Borobudur. Thanks for sharing so many pics!

  10. I am having so much fun traveling with you on vacation. The collages are especially nice to show the amazing variety of your visual experiences.

  11. Francisca - i am glad you still found some amuzement in my photos and storytelling, as you are a seasoned traveller and expert photographer. If only i can tag along with you in some of your travels, that would be very exciting. e.g. Bhutan, Mongolia, Tibet, hehe!

    Tina - I am glad to have shared some unusual experiences and views with some of you, am also glad you like them. thank you.

    Stephanie - why do you say you wont have the chance to visit, when you are very near Indonesia and Air Asia offers opportunities. You should go there now, when tourists are not yet so plenty.

    Carolyn - thanks for visiting, i am happy to have shown you a bit of niceness. Actually, i'm learning to make collages so tried to do it here. As Joey said, it is addictive.

  12. Thanks for the very detailed narration of your trip to Yogyakarta. The pictures helped a lot too. I've never been to Indonesia (nor any other asian countries) but it almost feels like I've been there because of your posts.

  13. Andrea, my dear friend, you are the first I visit after my long break. Oh, wow, Borobudur is so beautiful! Thanks to your scenic photos, I get to have a virtual visit too. I went to Medan, Sumatra for my honeymoon and I hope I can visit Borobudur one day. Indonesia is a beautiful country. I'll visit your blog again to have a second take.

    Happy Valentine's Day!

  14. Hello again! Hope all is well. Someday I would love to live somewhere tropical with temples all around. One of my favorite places has been Tikal of Guatemala.....I love the ancient look of the temple or stone work next to a tropical garden setting. Someday I'll travel to that part of the world, but for now, I'll look at your pics and dream:)

  15. Aah here are the becaks you were talking about - wow, some things haven't changed in Indonesia. Also, I remember the door of my parents house there had a very bright lemon yellow door -so it must be a cultural thing. Thanks for referring me to this post!

  16. These post under Unesco label were really interesting to see.
    I collected just yesterday to Pinterest those World Heritage places were I have visited.
    If you have sometimes extra time, you can see them in this address :
    By clicking photos you can get Unesco`s site.


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