Ubud, Bali and Jogjakarta, Java

I absolutely loved Ubud! So many beautiful sights and great shopping… I could’ve spent so much money in that town! We stayed in a little homestay right in the center of town so we could walk wherever we wanted to go. The first day there we went to the monkey forest around sunset. It was like Uluwatu temple, you pay a small entrance fee and see a ton of monkeys and tourists. The monkeys here were freakin’ crazy though. One grabbed my bracelets and I sat down and another one ran up to me and tried to get in my purse! I read that the town of Ubud has changed a lot since the book “Eat, Pray, Love” was written. It is pretty upscale with lots of designer shops and expensive hotels and restaurants. I really liked it but I couldn’t stay for too long because eating out was really expensive here. I miss cooking! Rachel and I keep talking about the foods we miss and I wish we had a kitchen so we could cook some food. I miss Mexican food a lot… Anyways, there are many temples and things to see around Ubud so we were really busy the 4 days we were there. We took a bemo (bus) to a gorgeous temple called Gunung Hawi, in Tampaksiriring about 20 minutes from Ubud. The area is so lush and green with waterfalls, streams and ponds all over the place. This was the best temple I’ve seen so far. There were statues carved into the rock walls with rice paddies all over the place. On the way back from the temple we stopped at Goa Gunung, also called the elephant temple. There is a small cave that supposedly was used by Buddhist monks a long time ago. I took some great pictures of both temples. We were exhausted after doing so much walking that day, the temples have so many steep stairs to climb. The following day we went to see the rice terraces that Ubud is famous for. They were absolutely beautiful but I was kind of disappointed because I was expecting to see a lot more. There are shops and houses all over the place so maybe this used to be different? I don’t know but we saw the whole thing in under ten minutes. We didn’t want to waste a day so we had our driver take us to see the volcano and the large crater lake. Also kinda disappointing… it was beautiful but you can only view it from a road and I would’ve liked to actually go to the lake and see it up close. We stopped at one more temple along the way back and watched people bathe in the natural springs of the temple. I think Ubud was the “temple tour” of our trip because everyday we went to different temples.

We had to get up at 345am to drive from Ubud to Denpasar to catch a flight to Java. The airlines are so strange here… they don’t check anything. Seriously they didn’t even check Rachels passport. Her name was misspelled on  the ticket but it didn’t matter because they don’t even care to see your ID. It was a one hour flight to Java and the time is one hour behind so we left at 6am and arrived at 6am. I was so scared when we arrived in Jogjakarta because it is a big dirty city and we have 5 days here so I was really worried we were going to hate it. It reminds me of the bad parts of LA. My guidebook had a recommendation of a homestay that they said was really popular so I tried booking ahead 2 different times but they were full so we just thought we would try showing up and see what happened. We got there around 7am and got the only room available, I was so happy because this place is amazing! I think its my favorite place we have stayed in so far. The owner is an artist so the whole place is painted different colors with artwork everywhere. There is a common area with games, books, magazines and free coffee and tea all day long. There’s so much to do and see in Jogjakarta, the main reason I wanted to come here was to see Borobodur so we booked that right away. We explored the city a bit on our first day and once again I was so happy and surprised at how friendly everyone is here. Our waiter asked us if we would like to see the sunset at the beach that night so he and his friend took us to the beach in Java on their motorbikes. The beach is FAR from where we are staying and trips there by bus cost a lot of money so I was so excited to get a free trip 😉  The beach reminded me a lot of California except that everyone was Muslim… Yesterday we went to Borobodur! I was soooo excited for this as I have learned about it in my Buddhist art history class. It was so amazing to see, I could’ve spent hours there looking at the carvings. I can’t even imagine how much time was put into creating Borobodur, it is HUGE. There are several different levels and you walk around each one counter-clockwise then go up another level and do the same. There are 1000’s of relief carvings depicting images of the buddhas previous lives. Once you reach the top there are 72 stupas each containing a buddha that you can see through the lattices on the stupas. We were there for sunset so there was gorgeous lighting around the entire temple. It was an incredible experience, I almost felt like it was a dream. I keep seeing such amazing places and I always think I must be dreaming. I have seen so much in the last month it amazes me. We have been to 10 islands in Indonesia already, each one is so different. “Same same but different” is a thing the locals say a lot and I think it really sums up the islands in Indonesia. Today we relaxed all day, definitely need to relax more… We are always on the move! Tomorrow is another day of visiting temples and we will watch a Javanese “ballet” at Prambanan temple. I am extremely happy with this trip and I never expected I would see so much of Indonesia, I absolutely love it. There have been ups and downs but overall everything has been so wonderful. If only I wasn’t covered in bug bites from head to toe…




3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. erinkrout
    Jul 29, 2011 @ 20:48:20

    I’m so happy that you are having a good time and seeing all of these amazing places!!! You are an inspiration to everyone here at home, we love you!


  2. Sara Mikkelsen
    Jul 30, 2011 @ 08:58:00

    It sounds so wonderful & I’m happy that you’re seeing so much – 10 islands already! I would love to see Borobodur and Prambanan – hope you enjoyed the Javanese ballet. Sounds fantastic!


  3. Sara Mikkelsen
    Aug 04, 2011 @ 11:18:45

    Please take more pictures of Ubud, the town. I’d love to see more!


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