Our hotel also had free breakfast, so we took advantage of some really delicious pineapple pancakes, mini egg roll, honey/coconut milk roll, mie goreng, watermelon juice, and fruit when we came back since it felt like lunchtime for us (even though it was only 9). Since many of the sites closed by 1, we opted out of a nap and headed back out into town to see the museum, Sultan’s palace, and water castle (taman sari). Only the museum was impressive – it was small but featured snapshots of the culture and history of Indonesia, starting with ancient relics, burial practices, tiered societies, batik, puppets, weapons, and religious relics. We must’ve overlooked something with the other two because there didn’t seem like much to see – the palace merely featured some caged roosters, a stage/banquet area, and an old room with portraits of all the past sultans. Surely we missed something?! We continued walking to the water castle but to our dismay, there was no water! Just a rundown shell of a building with lots of kids hanging around – Doug’s likening it to Hostel was reason enough for me to want to split. We were pretty far from Malioboro, where we had to catch a bus to get to Prambanan, so we took a pedicab back over. It was so hot and I felt so bad for our driver as he had to bike two people uphill in stifling heat! We didn’t have small bills to pay for our 5,000 rp ride so we gave him 50,000 rp and made his day. In an effort to save money and get a real feel for the city, we took a public bus from Malioboro to Prambanan which took about 45 minutes (and about $3). Despite being the only tourists on the bus, we managed to navigate our way to the right stop…which ended up being the final one anyhow.
As one of the largest Hindu temple sites, Prambanan was a site to be seen, with a massive complex consisting of 9 or 10 temples each honoring a different god, including the 3 big ones: Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. It was hit pretty hard by the 2006 earthquake, so efforts were still being made to restore the temples, as evidenced by piles of stone still sitting around the complex. Nevertheless, it was certainly interesting contrasting the style of these temples against what we saw this morning at Borobudur. Some of the temples that were still intact had statues of the gods in the interior chamber that could be reached by climbing a short flight of stairs. The biggest temple, however, was inaccessible on the inside since this one had crumbled quite a bit from the earthquake. The site was surrounded by beautiful gardens, a small museum, and even a deer park. We hung out there for a few hours, then took on the challenge of riding the bus back to Malioboro.
Since the hotel had such great breakfast (and the same couldn’t be said of our experience in the city), we opted to enjoy the Rijstaffel meal back at our hotel. This consisted of about 12 local dishes we could sample, and it was way too much food as expected. We tried chicken sate, lamb sate, beef rendang (stewed in spices with dry coconut milk), shrimp chips, a warm salad, BBQ chicken (this was the unanimous favorite), fried tofu/tempeh, jackfruit and peanuts, soya beans and peanuts, fish cooked in coconut milk, vegetables cooked with shrimp, and mie goreng (fried noodle). Of course, we made sure to wash this down with a large Bintang. We ate til we were about to explode and still had about half of the food left, and thankfully could roll ourselves the 50 feet it took to get to our room.