10/01/2015

Yogyakarta 2015 Day 3

We decided to skip Mt Merapi and rest for the 1st half of Day 3 after a full program the day before. The breakfast buffet had a good spread; the usual intercontinental suspects were available, as well as local Indonesian dishes such as bakso (beef meatballs in soup), gudeg (young jackfruit marinated in coconut milk and palm sugar) and thick bubur (porridge). 
Western fare
Local desserts
 
My pick: light pancake and sweet kuih
Assorted sweet & savory bubur
Local fare station
Mmm bread

PS I didn't take many photos of the food because I was busy stuffing my face :p

We took advantage of a low morning sun to swim in the pool. The landscaping was nice and the pool was clean so we swam in the cool water and gossiped about our lives. It was a nice moment shared between 2 friends with much to catch up on :)

Calling for a refreshing dip

Yoga came a-calling 1.30pm and we requested to check out Pak Nardi's rujak es krim, reputed to be the original and best in Yogyakarta. I thought rojak and ice cream would be a weird combination but it turned out to be one of the best desserts ever! The rojak was an assortment of mango, nangka and a light sauce. The ice cream is home made and of strawberry flavor. We learned from the vendor that Pak Nardi suffered a stroke and is at home (wishing you a speedy recovery, Pak Nardi!). The combination was cool + tangy + refreshing! 
Yummy rujak es krim
Keep your eyes peeled for this! 

We proceeded to get an upclose view of the Prambanan temples. The Prambanan temple  was constructed in homage of the Hindu god of destruction Shiva. Local folklore describe the temple as the embodiment of King Bondosowo's love for the Hindu princess Roro Jonggrang. There are 3 main temples, each dedicated to the Trimurti (the largest dedicated to Shiva), and smaller candi in the compound of Prambanan temple. There were more structures in the complex but they were destroyed by earthquakes. There is a wealth of detailed Hindu art at every corner and on every wall. 
Good afternoon, Prambanan!
A preview
Welcome to Candi Siwa
Magnificent
One of the many stone reliefs depicting the Ramayana epic

We were lucky that despite the crowd, we were alone most of the time so we managed to take some amazing shots (sans humans haha). Some of the candi were under maintenance work so we could only visit 4 out of 5 structures. We took a free shuttle van to Candi Sewu, about 5 min from Prambanan. We were only given 5 min to spend at Candi Sewu, mainly because we couldn't enter the temple anyway and it is smaller compared to Prambanan. I love the architecture at Candi Sewu, somehow I find it more intricate than that at Prambanan.
Free shuttle service
Standing guard over Candi Sewu
Beautiful Candi Sewu
We returned to the gate of the complex where Yoga met us and brought us to a lesser-known Plaosan temple. There were virtually no tourists, save for some local teenagers. Candi Plaosan comprises twin candi and served as a Buddhist place of worship. It was built by the Buddhist Queen Sri Kahulunan, and with the support of her Hindu husband. The temples represent the harmony that exists between devotees of different faiths even back then.
Plaosan and tobacco farm
Welcome to Candi Plaosan
Surrounding terrace
One of two Plaosan temples
A Buddhist statue
We took about 30 min to catch sunset from Candi Ijo, which was built at the hillside. We passed some limestone cliffs which are a popular lookout point but we continued on. Candi Ijo is perched 410 m above sea level and the view was lofty indeed. The place was crowded, mostly teenagers seeking romance. Again, most of the structures were destroyed due to earthquakes. There are 3 temples; again the main temple is dedicated to Shiva. This was determined due to the presence of the lingga-yoni, which typically symbolizes the union between Shiva and the goddess Ummi. 
The view on the way up
Ticket booth
Peekaboo! I see you!
Final sunset in Yogyakarta
The main temple
The lingga-yoni
The familiar naga
The view was really amazing; it's a sweeping view of all that is Yogyakarta; green acres, mountains, and the busy city. We soaked in the sights then Yoga recommended us to try Es Oyen, another Yogya delight. It's a mix of milk, nangka, coconut, mango, and sago; it was light and slightly creamy - oh so good after a busy day! 
The humble front
Before mixing
Ready for consumption!
Next we tried siomay, which I'm guessing is Yogyakarta's answer to dim sum. Unfortunately pickings were few so we made do. The sauce had peanuts and the texture of the siomay cannot match the dim sum we know and love so well. 
The available siomay
We were...late
Siomay!
Our final stop was the famous bakso restaurant. The place was bustling but turnover was quick so we got a table to ourselves. You may opt to sit on the floor to eat but we wanted to rest our knees :p The bakso was thick, flavorful and the vegetables were fresh. The beef was also tender and it was absolutely delicious. 
Complimentary prawn cracker
Some cendol drink
The busy kitchen crew
Mmm bakso!

We decided to call it a night and plopped into bed well-fed and satisfied with all the sights we've taken in. Day 4 was souvenir shopping day and we'd to tick off "exploring Malioboro" off our list so we slept early :)

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