My Trip to Yogyakarta, Indonisa

Some 30 years ago, I visited Indonesia and discovered its beauty.

The trip brought me from Jakarta all the way southwards to Bali, passing through notably, Yogayakarta and Surabaya.

I was stunned by the beauty of Boroburdur temple ( built in the 8th century) and also watching the rising sun from the Bromo Mountain which is an active volcano.

I vowed to return.IMG_6161 (1)

This trip, I brought my wife with me, as she has never seen the beauty of Borobudur and also Prambanan.

On this trip, I rediscovered the beauty of Boroburdur temple and the Prambanan; not only that, we toured the second most active volcano Merapi on a jeep, coming to within 4km of the crater and walked the terraced fields of Melagan, getting our feet wet and dirty. There we have a close encounter with the local peasants, seeing how they plow their land with oxen, how they harvest and how they carry the firewood etc on their backs.

We lazed around in our hotel which was within a short distance from the Borobudur temple. Every morning we would gaze towards the temple which has a dreamy setting of many layers of trees below it and fabulous cloud formation above it. We knew our lives are blessed as we hear the night prayers broadcast in the middle of the night (4:30 am).

We ended our trip sitting under a pavilion among the terraced fields; having lunch whilst over viewing the green and yellow paddy fields with relatively strong wind blowing over our faces and bodies.

We have returned home yesterday and learned that there was a 6.4 scale earthquake at Lombok. We were happy with the decision not to go further south to stay in Bali.

Impressions of Xinjiang, China

I told myself that I should jot down some notes before I forget about Xinjiang.

I started thinking what have impressed me most about this very vast and diverse area up in the north west extremity of China.

I can vividly remember:

The clouds, some fantastic and silky; the clear blue sky.

The swiftly flowing rivers, with rapids.DSCF2237A

The blue lakes; tranquil and clear. The enchanting reflections in the lakes.

The endless grasslands.

The special landforms – high mountains, rugged rocks, colored rocks ( Yangdan).

The snow capped mountains, areas of ice.DSCF2391

The place is generally over 2000m in elevation and have an Alpine setting.

The horses, camels, goats, sheep, dogs, cows.

The people – Eurasian looking, with a lot of Caucasian features in the face, the beautiful ladies and the handsome young man. Smiling kids with goats as their pets.DSCF2612

The beautiful sunset shining on the meanders of the rivers.

Beautiful villages with their timber huts.

The flowers – daffodils, canola, lavender, chrysanthemum etc.imgonline-com-ua-HDRJPGqZgllD7eCch6

The pine trees and fruit bearing trees.

The Mongolian yurts, the herdsmen, their cars and motorcycles.

The eagles, swans , other birds, dragonflies.

Their traditional food, with lots of oil and chili, the kebabs, lambs served in three styles.

The long coach / bus / electric cart  travels. The trips on the boats. The cable car. horse pulled carts.

Strict speed control on the highway and vigilant security control at the airport, hotel, scenic areas, restaurants. Limited Wifi and almost no WhatsApps and Gmail.

Stinky toilets except near Karamay where they are rich with their oil.

Big differences in day / night temperatures. Sudden rain and coldness in the highland areas and in the grasslands.

Beautiful performance – of flute, by a band and a male dancer. Wine tasting / greeting tradition.

Yes, a day would go by mixing some of the items together.

My days in Xinjiang are made of these.