As previously mentioned, I recently spent five days in Jogjakarta. Located on the island of Java, Jogja is a city well-known in Indonesia, specifically for being a center of culture and education. With two UNESCO World Heritage sites less than an hour away, innumerable batik shops, the Ramayana Ballet, and a handful of universities, the city one of the most popular tourist destinations in Indonesia, second only to Bali.
While in Jogja, the primary focus of my group was to go to language school. Through a series of recommendations, we settled on a fantastic school, and booked a hotel only 150m away. We started right away, literally going straight from the airport to the school. Four hours later, with our brains jammed full of Bahasa Indonesia, we checked into our hotel.
In the following days, we visited Prambanan, the largest Hindu temple in Indonesia, Borobubur, a massive Buddhist temple, as well as the Malioboro Market, and a local artist’s studio.
Our first trip was to Borobudur. We really wanted to go for a sunrise tour, so we woke up early (3:30!) in order to be on site before the sunrise. Once we arrived, we realized that the temple didn’t open until 6:00 unless you paid 20 USD for the special tour. Because we knew we could get in for only 2 USD with our Work Visas, we decided to wait it out. So, finally, and hour later, we were able to climb to the top.
For our trip to Prambanan, we decided to go for sunset. We had much better luck with this expedition. We didn’t have to wait for the ticket booth to open, and we were able to enjoy the brilliant sunset.
Language school was a extremely valuable experience. I felt like I was able to ask questions and solidify some of the basic structure I had already been experimenting with. We studied for hour hours a day at language school, and learned a lot of basic words, mostly focused on everyday items, food and numbers. In addition we learned a lot of basic conversational phrases.
We all felt very inspired, an now many of us are considering hiring tutors or going to a language school someplace in the Jakarta area.
And that concludes Part One: Jogjakarta. Next time, I will write about the Lombok portion of our trip! Stay tuned!