Java isn’t like Bali, it’s more like Indonesia. Gone are the posh resorts, the vans with tinted windows, the busloads of Australians invading temples like cellphone-wielding locusts, and the westernized malls. Yogyakarta, or Jogja as it’s called here, has no synthetic attractions and caters mostly to locals. Very refreshing. Much cheaper too.

Rented a becak – a bicycle rickshaw, see photo – for the afternoon to show me around the various neighborhoods. Jogja’s main streets are not beautiful; life happens in the little alleys that are not shown on any map. Old ladies bbq satay squatting on the ground, people sit in front of their houses to make the silver and batik souvenirs sold on Java’s markets, and children play soccer pretending to be Bayern München. I skipped the usual tourist attractions like Borobudur, you can read up on those way down in this blog.