Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Jogjakarta Indonesia 2013 : Day 4 - A Day Of Nothing.

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Jogjakarta 2013 : Day 4 - A Day Of Nothing
 14th May 2013
Today I will do just ..... NOTHING!
During the last day of any of my holidays, I try to take time out just to relax and laze around  After all, that's what holidays are for - to wind down and rejuvenate before going back home to the grinding mill. There's no point in returning home all tired, and needing to take a holiday from the Holiday.


While Lynn and the others woke up earlier, I slept in late then went for a nice extended hotel buffet breakfast. They really do serve good food here - a range of local, Western and fusion fare.
Then I went for a nice cool dip in the pool, came back to munch a bit again and the went dipping again.

That done, I went round exploring the hotel. Hanging on the walls here and there were  artwork. At at strategic nooks were some sculptures. Here is what I saw:
Oil painting of boats in the town canal.

Abstract art oil painting.

Sculpture of a bamboo shoot with Buddha's head inside.

A small bust of Buddha sitting on a wooden trestle.

Mixed media art, very bright & colourful.

A Night Cultural Presentation.

Stylized painting of animals in the forests.

Panel painting of insects and a pot.

Colorful panel stylized painting of fishes and flowers.

Panel painting of colorful insects.

Surrealistic fabric painting of two ladies.


The rest came back from their shopping and my lazing time was over.
Time to go the airport; when we reached the airport it was dark skies again. Hopefully there will be no repeat of what happened during day 1.

A Wayang performance.
We had time to spare, but I was blessed. They were nice water colour paintings hanging on the walls there too. Time to feast my eyes while waiting for the plane.
Village horse carriage.

Cowherd and his cows.

Street music performer.

Cock Fighting

Javanese Horse Wariors.

And with this it was time for us to ride of to the horizon ... er... I mean fly off to the horizon and back home. 

Selamat Jalan
It was a smooth flight home.

This is page 4 of a 4 page blog, click below to go to other pages :
Jogjakarta Day 1 : A Day Of Reckoning?
Jogjakarta Day 2 : A Day Of Temples
- Jogjakarta Day 3 : A Day Of Palaces

Related Blogs :

You may also like :

Cambodia : Phnom Penh Museums : December 2012
A surprisingly educational visit to the National Museum of Cambodia.

You are at - Jotaro's Blog / Footsteps / Jogjakarta 2013 / Day 4 - A Day Of Nothing     |  Go to Day 1 / Day 2 / Day 3
If you like this, view my other blogs at Jotaro's Blog
(comments most welcomed below. if you like this pls share via Facebook or Twitter)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Jogjakarta Indonesia 2013 : Day 3 - A Day Of Palaces

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                    Footsteps - Jotaro's Travels                        
Jogjakarta 2013 : Day 3 - A Day Of Palaces
 13th May 2013

Today will be a day of palaces, but it will also be an artsy day. We will be visiting two palaces in the city and after that we will explore the Kasongan district - any area renown for multitudes of art shops offering all sorts of artwork.
Oh.... somewhere in between we will also visit a batik shop, a sort of shadow puppet museum. Sounds like another busy but interesting day.
Let's go!

Bewildered by Batik Beauties

After the hotel's buffet breakfast that was much better than the previous morning's meal-in-a-box, we headed off to start our exciting day. Our minds were geared to being royally impressed by the palaces; but my brother Anslem had some other ideas - a detour to a batik center and a shadow puppet theatre, let's get educated first. It's a fitting start to the day, seeing what the plebeians do before going to the regal places. Perhaps what they created will go help decorate the palaces.

Hery's "Palace Batik Center" is an art gallery of beautiful batik paintings; do not be mistaken that this place produces fashionable clothing batik fabric. It is a gallery with a veritable assortment of collection of batik art. 

"Birds of Paradise"
We were bewildered by the way batik art has evolved. There were pieces painted the traditional classic style ...

Colored Waves In The Moonlight
To ones along very modern lines.

And some were an aesthetic blend of old and new (... see more at Hery's Batik Painting blog).

A piece on Wayang Kulit Puppet Lady Dancers appropriately links us to our next destination...


Wayang Kulit is a puppet show but one of a different type. One don't see the puppets themselves but only their shadows.

Cut puppet figurines pending painting.
At the House Of Wayang, we were shown how these shadow puppet figurines are made. The puppets are two dimensional but are finely crafted with traditional shapes and many holes in the puppet. Holes? Yes. Holes.

As one see only the shadows, the puppets have to be finely crafted with holes to let the light shine through. A Craftsman is seen here, slowly and intricately cutting out patterned holes in a leather to form the puppet.

After the cutting, the puppets are painted with nice & colorful patterns. Of course the audience can't see the colors and pattern, this painting is done more as a pride of the craftsmen to display their artistic skill.

A light is shone onto a screen, and the puppets are played in front of the light. The puppets' shadows are thrown onto the screen and the audience watch from the other side. With the puppet master moving the puppets, often the shadows are but a blurry action movement (... see more at The House Of Wayang blog).


Just round the corner from the House of Wayang is the Sultan Palace known locally as Kraton. This is a living palace-museum, the Sultan of Yogjakarta still resides here in a private inner section. The doors at the arched porch entry to this section is closed (see above photo), barring the public from going into this private sanctum.

The palace ground is large, and we together with other visitors are free to wander around and admire the many building, halls, etc. There is even a museum section that displays photos, regalia, family trees of the royal family.

At one of the halls, royal musician played their musical instruments. The rythmatic striking of the gong with the  light taps of drums in the background lulled my senses, relaxing me.....
 and I almost nodded off.

I wandered off to the museum buildings, these are the ones I like best as I am always drawn to antiquities and art. Here, there were paintings and photos of former royalty on display. The one shown above is that of Sri Sultan Hamengko Buwono VIII.

Displayed on the walls too are royal family trees that were drawn ages ago. Although some looks tattered and discolored, these are now preciously preserved. (... see more at Sultan Palace blog - coming soon)


After the educational visit to the Sultan Palace, we drove a short distance to the Taman Sari Palace. Although physically near to each other, in terms of design and ambiance the two are poles apart. While the Sultan Palace is grand and has that official look; Taman Sari Palace has a more laid back simplified design, looking more private with a tranquil atmosphere. Probably, it is here that the Sultan take a break from his official duties, to rejuvenate himself in a serene, quiet surrounding.

When as we entered the palace, we could feel a marked difference. It was an entrance that introduced a softer, more relax atmosphere. A feeling of ease permeates the air.

The mainstay of the palace is water, water that gives meaning to life! Taman Sari means "Garden of Essence". Probably when built, it was with a thought of providing essence, restful essence to the Sultan (... see more at Taman Sari Palace blog, coming soon).

Feeling tranquilly rested after that visit, we went for lunch at the Sekar Kedahon Restaurant. This is a touristy place facing a large car-park compound. Around this compound are other shops (selling the famous Kopi Luak, artwork, souvenirs).
The food here was of much better class than that of our previous day's rustic lunch, although I must add that both have their individual good peculiarities. The atmosphere inside the restaurant itself is more formal but not overly officious.
While going around Jogja, do not be surprised if you see statues garbed in traditional Dutch army costumes of old (like the ones guarding the doors above). Jogja still have lingering memories of its colonial past, one when the Dutch ruled over Batavia.

Stomachs sated with a good lunch, we were recharged and raring to go again.
This time just round the corner from our lunch place was a place known as AS Java. When the girls saw the blue direction sign just as we entered the could not be happier... SHOPPING TIME!!

AS Java sells some batik, but what interested the ladies were the leather goods on offer. There were hand-bags, belts, jackets all of good quality and workmanship. Grinning with delight, the girls were suitably occupied.

Anslem knew that this would be a diplomatic place that would keep all of us occupied with our individual fancies. For while the girls were busy with THEIR thing, I was busy admiring the many art pieces here, like the statues of this old Javanese couple carved from volcanic rock. No impatient waiting there for me while the girls shop .... Yahoo!

OR these cute, brightly painted wooden Javanese dolls. Little did we know that this place is just a teaser, more was to come. Even though this is supposingly a tourist shopping place, the price were not touristy. No slaughtering of the over-keen tourist shopper here, prices were surprisingly reasonable (... see more at AS Java blog).


Having tickled our the girls taste for shopping and my penchant for art, Anslem took us over to Kasongan. This district is a haven for those seeking good bargains for artwork and furniture. The number of shops dealing in all sort of artwork that can be found here boggles the mind, I took more than my share of time visiting as many as possible. More importantly the pricing here are cheap when compared to getting the same items from elsewhere. Haggle more and the prices will drop even more.

An interesting handicraft - a large seashell table lamp made from clam shells.

Of all the shops in Kasongan  the one we found most interesting was one that dealt with sea-shell art called Multi-Dimensi. I have seen many sea-shell artwork at flea markets, night markets and the like; more often than not those found at these markets were of questionable quality and poor design.
The ones found at here were of good craftsmanship, quality handiwork, and of very interesting unique designs.

Lamps with roses made from seashells, and formed into a sphere.

Furniture made from paua mother of peal shells, the patterns made to look like a shimmering peacock's tail (... see more at Sea-shell Art blog).

Further down the road were several shops dealing in driftwood art, like this one of a horse and her foal made from pieces of driftwood.

Bust of a Red Indian Chief.

Profile of a horse head carved from the cross-section trunk of a rotted driftwood. The artist had to be very, very careful, lest the piece broke while he was carving it out (... see more at Kasongan Driftwood Art blog).

Village Maidens Carrying Fruit Baskets On Their Head
As we went deeper into the Kasongan district, I was enthralled. There were simply too many shops to visit. While finishing admiring some painting at one shop, another beautiful one caught my eye from across the road.

Needing to make up for time, I dashed across the road. This one is a painting of Buddha's head, but with an interesting difference - line drawings of hibiscus flowers was finely penciled onto the face. The flowers were there but not obtrusively marring the painting, they blended well with it. Superbly done!

Another one caught my eye again! This one from diagonally across an X-junction, and I dashed over again. I was zig-zagging here and there like a crazy roadrunner bird. Beep! Beep!
As I stood there admiring a mixed-media art of a bull elephant head crafted from coirs of a coconut shell, I aesthetically felt that my mad dashing about was worthwhile. The artists here are truly amazing in their abilities to create such nice pieces from unexpected medium (... see more at Kasongan Painting blog).

Porcelian statues of Javanese ladies wearing their traditional costume.
I am deliriously lost in this jungle of shops, but there seems to be some system here. The painting shops slowly filtered to shops selling carvings, statues, and pots. I am not so lost after all.

The shops here sells all sorts of craft, even volcanic stone statues (like this one of a baby hippopotamus) that can be used for outdoor hard landscaping as a fountain head.

And colorful vases to dazzle your friends who come visiting (... see more at Kasongan Crafts blog).

I was still full of enthusiasm to continue at Kasongan  but my fellow traveller Cheong's was getting tired, or as he put it, his battery is running low. He has to go back to the hotel to rest & recharge.
Nevertheless, it had been a long but very fruitful day; we managed to visit two temples and very much more. So I won't bore you with what we ate for dinner (actually these photos were erased by my cuckoo phone). We did go for an nice evening ride around town on these cute rickshaws.

Till tomorrow then. Good night.

This is page 3 of a 4 page blog, click below to go to other pages :
Jogjakarta Day 1 : A Day Of Reckoning?
- Jogjakarta Day 2 : A Day Of Temples
- Jogjakarta Day 4 : A Day Of Nothing

Related Blogs :

You may also like :

Cambodia : Phnom Penh Museums : December 2012
A surprisingly educational visit to the National Museum of Cambodia.

You are at - Jotaro's Blog / Footsteps / Jogjakarta 2013 / Day 3 - A Day Of Palaces     |  Go to Day 1 / Day 2 / Day 4
If you like this, view my other blogs at Jotaro's Blog
(comments most welcomed below. if you like this pls share via Facebook or Twitter)