Monday, April 20, 2009

D'Jo D'Ja

Mr. Scam is living in Yogyakarta (pronounced Djodja) and I meet him everyday during my stay in East Java.

From the simple fruit seller on the street to the most respected university professor, Djodja has been a continuation of scamming exercises. Not a single person did not talked to me about the famous Batik Center. It almost that the entire city has been going to Scam-school and has a consistent message: Go-To-Batik-Center.

Snake Fruit

Each and every conversation ended in showing the Batik-Center direction in a very forceful and determined way (insisting could not be the word, since some used their body has a physical barrier against my physical movements). An entire web of scammers has been deployed in the city to direct you to the world famous Batik-Center in which today and only today and for two hours and before closing and being shipped to Europe, the center propose Master, Professor and Student Batik work at a discounted price, just for you. [Laughs]

Prambanan Hindu Temple

It’s unfortunate that a city with such a beautiful and interesting arts, architectures, culture and food could not be enjoyed peacefully. By resentfully trying to scam foreigners & local travelers, a handful, yet very well organized inhabitants, is forging an irreversible reputation and the city will soon be unfortunately avoided. I do understand that the balance of mass and upcoming tourism within a developing world is always difficult to reach, annihilating any government incentives if any had happen, but for sure this opportunistic short-term mindset, although easily understandable, should be discouraged for the sake of the Javanese. “How” is the million Rupiahs question (equivalent to US$100 for those who wants to know).

Check Players in Djodja

Now, if you dare explore the outgoing charms of the region, you will encounter the delights of Prambanan, a collection of massive Hindu temples built by the 10th century Mataram Kingdom, rulers of central Java and defeaters of the Sailendra Dynasty.

Borobudur Temple

Although this compilation of Hindu temples is stupendous and now suspended (an earthquake in May 2006 ravaged the majority of the site), this is nothing compare to another architectural jewel one hour away from the capital of East Java. Borobudur is considered to be the world largest Buddhist complex discovered today.

View from Top of Borobudur

The monument comprises six square platforms topped by three circular platforms, and is decorated with thousands relief panels and hundred Buddha statues. It seems that Borobudur was abandoned following the fourteenth century decline of Buddhist and Hindu kingdoms in Java. The first archaeological study of the site was initiated in 1814 by Sir Stamford Raffles, founder of Singapore. First restored in 1907, the monument suffered from neglect and war and was once more in effect rebuilt in the 1970s under the guidance of UNESCO, who designated Borobudur as a World Heritage Site.

Borobudur's Young Pilgrims

The best time to visit the place is early in the morning. The early wake up is worth the extra effort to admire one of the most beautiful scenery on top of the most remarkable Hindu temple.

Borobudur & Volcanoes

The site is open to the public from 6 AM to 5 PM. However, the Manohara Hotel is apparently, according to some source, the only hotel that can provide a truly sunrise tour. But as you know already this is not something I can confirm since Mr. Scam has also been seen walking around the hotel.