Day 4 – The long road to Prambanan

Prambanan is a collection of Hindu temples ruins. In 2005, there was an earthquake which pretty much messed up the place. Restoration works are in progress and many of the temples are off-limits and cordoned off to the publick.

Sun Sep14’09 – The long road to Prambanan.
The plan was to take the city bus to Prambanan early in the morning. Come back by lunch and spend the rest of the day shopping in Djogja. But even the best laid plans get derailed. As we walked to the bus station, some fellow who claimed to be owner of the souvenir shop offered to show us a batik painting exhibition. “This is the same exhibition shown when I was in Singapore in Hotel Raffler (sic) last week.” “Only up for next two days.” “There will be a cultural show later at 2pm in Prambanan to signify religious tolerance during the Muslim fasting month, so why not see the batik exhibition since there is time.”

We being the naïve idiots followed him into a back alley house where works “from 25 artists chosen out of 100 applicants” are on display. Granted, the pieces are really quite well done, but what irks me was when the exhibition owner did the hard sell on us and started to ask us to “see which ones we like”. And also put the paintings on strategic locations to catch the light (in the process also blocking our way out the door…). We excused ourselves, their attitude turned nonchalant, and left.

Since the cultural show was at 2pm, we went down Malioboro and checked out the Beringharjo market. Bought a batik shirt, (bargain!) and made our way down to the Kraton. The entrance fee (5000 Rp) covered a tour with guide around the Kraton area and a visit to a fine art gallery that is open until 2pm on weekends… We refused the guide (cos we need to do this quick) and did a loop around the Kraton. Unofficial “guides” without badges will also offer to show you around, be prepared to tip for their services.

Leaving the Kraton, the same guide said we should take the chance to visit the fine art gallery since it was part of the ticket price. And the gallery is near the bus station to Prambanan whereas from where we were, the bus station is “far, far away”. So, we again took a detour by becak to the gallery. This gallery is also in a dodgy back alley, so we left without even entering and made our way to the main road, where supposedly the bus to Prambanan lies. Asking for directions, we walked 10 minutes and lo behold, we appeared out on the same bus stop along Malioboro where we started at the beginning of the day!


Finally. We took the TransDjogja city service to Prambanan. The afternoon weather was way too hot to do much traipsing through the ruins. After the main area with Civa, Vishnu, Brahma structures and their three mounts, we caught the Audio Visual (pretty ok, not as informative as the Borobudur one) before heading back. By the way, we checked at the information counter: there was no cultural show at 2pm that day…

Evening dinner was at Bedhot along Jalan Soroswijaya’s small side roads; your normal tourist-targeted Jack Johnson playing eateries. The food was good though.


Getting There
Take the TransDjogja city bus service 1A from Malioboro road (bus stations outside Hotel Mutiara or the market) to Prambanan bus terminal at 3000 Rp. The bus station is easy to recognize by the blue sign and the raised platform. 1A also passes by the airport (Bandara Adisujipto station). At the Prambanan station, take the horse-carts or walk out to the main road, turn right and walk for 800m (aim for the mosque minaret). The main entrance to Prambanan (11 USD) is just there.

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