Hello from Taipei, well not quite Taipei, rather inside immigration at the airport. We have left Indonesia and are on our way to Japan again. I realised that the last post was a bit short on information from Yojakarta so I’ll elaborate. We were in Jogja (shortened version of Yojakarta) for 2 nights but we did do quite a bit. As I said Nancy and I wandered the city for about half a day looking around and trying not to be rude to people as we said no to pretty much everything. We also met many people who had been to Canada, Montreal to be exact. Apparently lot’s of Indonesians in Jogja speak French. It was interesting to be speaking French in Indonesia. The second day we were in Jogja we went to Borobodur which is Buddhist temple first built several hundred years ago. Apparently it is on par with Ankor Wat in Cambodia. Anyhow, It was impressive, it was huge! And quite ornate. We wandered around there for a few hours whilst climbing up the temple to the stupa on top and being accosted by school children for photos. Actually Ben was accosted. Nancy and I just laughed and took pictures. In my mind though was Prambanan, a series of Hindu temples to the east of Jogja that we went to in the afternoon. It was all the more impressive because of the ornate nature of each of the temples as well as a un-restored portion of the site. The unrestored portion was really some towers and a bunch of rubble that you could walk amongst and it was rather interesting. After Jogja we went to a place a bit further up in the mountains called Bandung. Bandung is actually where Jakartans get away from the city and as we found out it is really crowded during holidays. However we did have a great time there. There was a day where we just walked around the downtown area and shopped and ate street food. We also signed up for a tour to the area south of Bandung which was a bit harder to get to. Anyhow we thought we signed up for a tour but it actually ended up being the 3 of us, the tour guide and our driver. Not bad for 92$ for the 3 of us. We went to a bamboo weaving “factory” but really it was only 4 women and 2 men weaving whilst on the floor, a tofu making store where we thought our guide Enos, knew the people as he just kind of wandered into their home and workplace. It turned out that the store had just opened up 1 week ago and he was just curious. We did have really fresh tofu though. We also went to a pretty crater with a sulphurous lake at the top and the best part, a natural hotspring where we were the only foreigners there and only Ben got to go into because it would have been a bit shocking for women to go into with our “western”bathing suits. It was a bit of a hike in though but completely worth it.
Our last 4 days were spent with Haruka, Baskara, Kokoro and Tina (their live in girl). Haruka, Baskara and Kokoro came to Bandung on the 31st and we all left together on the 2nd to go back to Depok. The Indonesians are crazy for fireworks. We moved hotels when they came so ended up in the hills of Bandung with a great view of the city. Fireworks started going off around 7:00 and at midnight it all reached a climax! I got some video so I will try and post it soon. It was CRAZY!!! We did try to site-see to the north but as I said earlier bandung is where Jakartans and their cars go to vacation so as it was New Years it was BUSY. We spent all day in a car to go about 80km round trip.
Once we returned to Depok we did a bit of last minute shopping we took some ankots into town and worried the ankot drivers as we obviously had poor Indonesian skills, but it all work out. Haruka came with us to the airport this morning and now we are in Taipei.
The only interesting thing that happened here is that our bags were sent out of immigration and we can’t leave as we are staying in the transit hotel inside immigration. ‘We weren’t told that we couldn’t claim our bags in Jakarta so when we reached Taipei we realized that we are seperated from our bags.
We’ve talked to a few people now so hopefully our bags have been put into storage until tomorrow and aren’t going around and around on the baggage carousel in the other terminal. Whatever, I guess we’ll see what comes up tomorrw. Well then hope all is well. Over and out!