The Affandi Museum – Jogja

The Affandi Museum lies in Jalan Laksda Adisucipto 167. on the main road connecting Yogyakarta and Solo, on the west bank of GajahwongRiver. The whole complex siyuated on a 3500 square meter of land consisting of the museum and another where Affandi lived himself.

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There are three galleries that permanently exhibit a collection of paintings. The first was opened in 1974.

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The paintings consists of sketches on paper, watercolors, pastel, oil paintings on canvas and a number of selected reproductions.

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The second gallery was built with the aid of the Indonesian government and officially opened in 1987. This gallery is used as an exhibition hall for the museum’s painting collection from various famous artists.

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The third gallery was built by the Affandi Foundation and finished in 1999. It was built to fulfill Affandi’s last wish to have a sufficient storage for his collection.

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Three storied building was built with the same basic idea as the other buildings. Curved and spiral shapes can be seen through the entire complex as well as the banana leaf shaped roof. From the top of the roof you can see the GajahWongRiver as well as the road.

Opening Hours: 9am – 4pm daily except on public holidays.


Candi Sewu (Thousand Temples)

The Temple of Love and Betrayal.

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When coming to Jogja, the Prambanan temple complex is one of the highlights to visit in the area. This Hindu temple compound is the largest in Indonesia and dates back to the 9th century. Most tourist go straight for the main temple complex however just 800 meters north lies Candi Sewu. My favourite.

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They temple dates back to the 8th century and was likely completed by the Medang King, Ratai Pikatan, who married a Buddhist princess. However nobody seems knows the real story behind these magnificient temples.

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To visit Candi Sewu, you enter through the main gate at the Prambanan temple compound. Follow the signs to the bicycle rental and train tours, you could take any of these however if you have time and its not too hot I would recommend walking. Before you reach Candi Sewu you will see a row of temples that are no longer intact and temple stones piled everywhere. The complex was severely damaged during the 2006 earthquake.

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The main temple in the centre is the largest one in the complex and has been completely refurbished, and you can go inside safely. Iron framing is embedded in the structure, and some stones have been replaced with newer ones. But overall the temple looks beautiful and majestic, with the shape and reliefs maintaining its authenticity.

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Candi Sewu is the second largest Buddihist temple in Indonesia after Borobudur.

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Hope you enjoy Candi Sewu as much as I did.

Pasar Ngasem – Jogja

The bird market’s old location use to be part of Taman Sari (standing on a half acre lot that was once part of the boating lake), it has now been moved to about 3km outside the tourist area. It’s busiest on Sunday, although whenever day you arrive you should see all manner of birds, dogs, lizards and rodents for sale. This market is definitely not for the faint hearted.

Bird marketBird market

Bird marketBird market

Happy Travelling!

Borobudur – Jogja

Forty kilometers west of Yogya on the fertile Kedu Plain is Borobudur, Java’s number one tourist attraction. It is the biggest Buddhist temple in the world.


Borobudur for me was a little underwhelming and disappointing.  I expected it to be bigger and have more detail instead it was rather squat and obscured by trees.


 Most people choose to see the site on a day trip from Yogya. Plenty of agencies and hotels offer all inclusive tours We hired a car for a day ( Rp. 600 000) and did Borobudur and Dieng in a day. The next day we hired the same driver for Rp.400 000 and saw Prambanan and most of the surrounding temples.

Happy travelling!

Ps: Naming Borobudur

One of the greatest mysteries surrounding Borobudur is the origin of its name. One theory suggests it’s derived from Sanskrit Vihara Buddha Udhr (Buddhist Monastery on a Hill), while others claim that Budur is actually a place name, and that Borobudur means – “Monastery of Budur”. The most likely explanation, however is found in a stone tablet from 842 AD on which is inscribed the word Bhumisambharabhudara (Mountain of Virtues of the Ten Stages of the Boddhisattva). It’s believed that the name Borobudur is derived from bharabhudara, the last part of this tongue twister.

Taman Sari – Yogyakarta

A five minute walk to the west of the palace, along Jalan Rotowijayan and down Jalan Ngasem and Jalan Taman is the spectacular Taman Sari (watercastle).

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This giant complex was built as an Amusement park for the royal house. It has a series of swimming pools, fountains, an underground mosque, a large boating lake and a few small groves of coconuts and cloves. 

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Underground Mosque.

A tower was built, from which the sultan could watch his harem splashing around in the pools below. Having made his selection from the bathers, Mangkubumi would then retire to the tower’s bedroom. 

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Front entrance to the swimming pools.

The complex fell apart after the death of the sultan and the building was badly damaged during the British invasion and several earthquakes however its currently being restored.What is amazing about this complex is the kampung (village) that surrounds both the inside and the outside.

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The people here are extremely proud of their heritage and are more than willing to show you around for a small fee which of course is  all part of an elaborate scam. On our two hour tour, our “guide” made two pit stops where we ended up buying two medium size wayang puppets for Rp.200000 each and postcards at the batik store. The kampung has lots of little alleyways and its real easy to get lost or to miss something.  

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Happy Traveling!

Kraton – Yogyakarta

Kraton is a walled city designed by Yogya’s first Sultan, Mangkubumi. Very little has changed over the last two hundred years.

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Around the palace, there’s a reverential hush in the high walled streets, which is lined with quaint whitewashed cottages. Further west, are Javanese kampongs (villages) they are more chaotic and crowded.

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Most people enter the Kraton through the nothern gates by the GPO, beyond which lies the busy town square, Alun-alun Utara. This is a large threadbare yellowing field. It use to be a venue for public entertainment in the 19th century. The most popular was with a tiger and a buffalo. The tiger represented the Dutch while the buffalo represented the Javanese. These animals weren’t the only victims, the emperor sometimes make criminals, condemned to death fight tigers. Even if the criminal survives the fight, he must still die by command of the emperor.

Entrance fee: Rp 7000 / Camera fee: Rp1000

Happy Traveling!

Street Art in Yogyakarta

Most of the descriptions of Jogja are focused on its cultural heritage, but beyond the city’s unique cultural attractions, on the little side street is where you can get a real feeling of what’s happening in the city today.

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It’s hard not to notice the abundance of street art. In Jogja it can range from graffiti and stencil works to murals.

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The types and styles of graffiti are extremely diversed: spanning political protest, skilled artistic endeavor and territorial or identity tagging or sometimes just plain boredom.

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Whatever the reason, they certainly make the city or interesting and colourful.

Happy Traveling!