Archive | May 2014

OWS swim #1 2014: Minami-Atami swim (1.5km)

It’s that time of year again – the open water swimming season, that is.
I’ve been training hard, or at least training, for the last 6 months or so.
Miles make the champions, so they say.
This year will be the year of some long-distance swims for me, so stay tuned for some hopefully interesting swim race reports.

Swimming has been consuming much of 2014 so far.

First race of the season was last Sunday. Just a baby one of 1.5km. It was technically an aquathlon event, but they did also have a 1.5km swim only option which I signed up for, but only because I knew a couple of other people were going to be there as well. It was a long way to go for 1.5km. Down at Minami-Atami Nagahama beach. Took over 2 hours to get there. But I wanted do at least one open water swim in race conditions before this weekend’s big swim. I also need to practice swimming with gels in my cossies.

The day was warm and humid despite being a little overcast. The water was flat as.

From Minami-Atami OWS 2014
From Minami-Atami OWS 2014
From Minami-Atami OWS 2014
From Minami-Atami OWS 2014
From Minami-Atami OWS 2014

Here is us testing out the water:

From Minami-Atami OWS 2014

The water was surprisingly cold. A chill 19 degrees. I had gone to the beach the day before at Onjuku, and whilst it was refreshing, I was not prepared for how cold it would be down Atami way. Water felt a lot colder. I struggled with it at first.

Our little swimming posse:

From Minami-Atami OWS 2014

I have an extremely high kick in this photo:

From Minami-Atami OWS 2014
From Minami-Atami OWS 2014
From Minami-Atami OWS 2014

The 500m distance was up first, and then they moved the buoys out for the 1500m. It was supposedly a 750m course of which we were to do two laps.

Number 502 is ready to race!

From Minami-Atami OWS 2014

I felt strong and fast through the swim. Everyone went hard out to the first bouy and it felt like I was back of the pack, but come the second buoy I was lapping everyone. And kept lapping more people as did the second lap. I felt fast. But the course also felt short. Really short. It must have been less judging by our times. For a supposed “1.5km”, I got a time of 16min and 39 seconds. My guess is that it was only about a 1km or so. I had a gel pack with me (not that I was going to drink it) and I lost it before I even got to the
first buoy. Must tuck it fully into my cossie. Lesson learnt.

Lisa and I were the only two females in the swim event. She took out 1st place and I took second. She had beaten me by a minute. Such a shame that it was not a proper 1.5km course. How do they even measure these distances? They were basically just riding out jet skis and moving the buoys. But how do they measure the course?

From Minami-Atami OWS 2014

I got a second place female medal. And came 5th place overall (male and female) for the 1.5km swim race.

Advertisements

Harrods Tea Plantation, Ginza: Afternoon tea

Due to a technical glitch, I hadn’t been able to blog for the past week. Couldn’t get access into blog host to post up some recent happenings.

Ticked off another afternoon tea venue in Tokyo, bringing my total tally to 28 venues, and that’s just in Tokyo alone. Doesn’t include the rest of Japan nor my afternoon teas abroad. I have singlehandedly had high tea at about 50 different venues around the world.

This time it was off to Harrods Tea Plantation Salon in Ginza, located in the Mitsukoshi department store.
Went there with a friend (whom incidentally started out as a blog reader, got in touch with me when she was in Tokyo and now has a job here. We’ve become friends, and meet up on the odd occasion to partake in tea and scones.).

From Harrods Ginza afternoon tea

It had a hint of a Singapore Raffle’s vibe to it:

From Harrods Ginza afternoon tea
From Harrods Ginza afternoon tea

Afternoon tea is available here from 2pm onwards (until 5pm) and boy did it get busy after 2pm. Luckily we had gotten there early at 1:30pm and were seated right away. We ordered the afternoon tea, even though we wouldn’t be served it until 2pm. The venue does not take bookings.

The Harrods Afternoon Tea set is a set price for 2 people so it needs to be shared and you’ll need even numbers. It includes a pot of tea each per person but the pots here are very small.

From Harrods Ginza afternoon tea
From Harrods Ginza afternoon tea

The tea selection is pretty impressive covering about 3 pages worth.
We went the Georgian Blend No. 18

From Harrods Ginza afternoon tea

and the Assam Orangajuli.

From Harrods Ginza afternoon tea
From Harrods Ginza afternoon tea
From Harrods Ginza afternoon tea
From Harrods Ginza afternoon tea
From Harrods Ginza afternoon tea
From Harrods Ginza afternoon tea
From Harrods Ginza afternoon tea

From 2pm, the place gets busy.

From Harrods Ginza afternoon tea

The teapots are tiny. Barely enough for 2 cups of tea. Free hot water refill is available, but the tea gets really weak.

From Harrods Ginza afternoon tea

I really liked the sugarcubes. They had different sized cubes, perfect for when you only want a half teaspoon of sugar!

From Harrods Ginza afternoon tea
From Harrods Ginza afternoon tea
From Harrods Ginza afternoon tea

Afternoon tea for two:

From Harrods Ginza afternoon tea
From Harrods Ginza afternoon tea
From Harrods Ginza afternoon tea
From Harrods Ginza afternoon tea
From Harrods Ginza afternoon tea
From Harrods Ginza afternoon tea

This place is an all-round good afternoon tea venue. The food was classic. Not too fancy but not too plain either. All in all, everything was pleasant.

From Harrods Ginza afternoon tea
From Harrods Ginza afternoon tea

I quite enjoyed all the sweets.

And the sandwiches were plentiful. There were 6 triangles each to consume, so it wasn’t too skimpy on the portions.
This was the serving for one person:

From Harrods Ginza afternoon tea

Scones were typical of the scones in Japan. Not the same as Aussies scones, mind you. Aussie scones are the best.

Scones with strawberry jam and cream – simple and sufficient. Scones served with any other jam than strawberry is blasphemous.

From Harrods Ginza afternoon tea
From Harrods Ginza afternoon tea

At the time of you ordering, you had a choice of either a plain scone or a raisin scone.

From Harrods Ginza afternoon tea
From Harrods Ginza afternoon tea

The price is split between two people so at a price of just a tad over 2500yen per person, it’s a very reasonable afternoon tea in Tokyo. Food was good, and plentiful. But no all you can drink tea.
It’s a nice spot for afternoon tea if you need a break from shopping in Ginza without breaking the budget.

Am now seriously running out of afternoon tea venues in Tokyo!

Indonesia Day 1: Taman Sari Water Castle

Back to Yogyakarta on day 1.
After checking out the Palace, we walked onwards to the Taman Sari Water Castle which was nearby and a hell of a lot easier to find the the Palace.

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/jW-ypb9PEKONoUEGkJ1RRd0ErprwCYrsut0bVWpMc2o?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-k3KWZIDABHU/U2o8DAxyW3I/AAAAAAACkzk/YkoukME9jxo/s640/DSC_0104.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/TamanSariWaterCastle?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Taman Sari Water Castle</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/uJ0XWK8DmtvQizw_G_8Oct0ErprwCYrsut0bVWpMc2o?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-qC7wrs_lMX4/U2o8DCVfV4I/AAAAAAACkzw/KSfTYGgB2Ik/s640/DSC_0105.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/TamanSariWaterCastle?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Taman Sari Water Castle</a></td></tr></table>

Passed a chick on the street:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/iuUiF0p8KNKf7aJ03xvRSt0ErprwCYrsut0bVWpMc2o?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-q_pB6dlfsx4/U2o8ERq839I/AAAAAAACkz8/W-nWVzg07cE/s640/DSC_0108.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/TamanSariWaterCastle?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Taman Sari Water Castle</a></td></tr></table>

Being all about water myself, I was keen to check out the Taman Sari Water Castle, but it wasn’t very big at all. Just a few old half empty pools. Nevertheless it was kinda chill and a chance to take a seat and get some respite from the heat. It’s always very relaxing to be near water – a natural energy.

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/xXaJHtaLJza-l07sxnEq990ErprwCYrsut0bVWpMc2o?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-fcW9cQ2C13o/U2o8FtjxQDI/AAAAAAACk0Q/8tthgRTL3Zk/s640/DSC_0111.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/TamanSariWaterCastle?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Taman Sari Water Castle</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/RQ4mIICZVnBAs1MaNJDAUN0ErprwCYrsut0bVWpMc2o?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-6K4ucGAHNns/U2o8Go62a_I/AAAAAAACk0o/m1wl320wtbw/s640/DSC_0113.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/TamanSariWaterCastle?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Taman Sari Water Castle</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/iyI2teu4IYbz4Nj0IrN-Nt0ErprwCYrsut0bVWpMc2o?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-mUTC4PMh8Bo/U2o8HADXD_I/AAAAAAACk0w/M1PQPCZiOfA/s640/DSC_0115.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/TamanSariWaterCastle?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Taman Sari Water Castle</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/ws4gS-vBaSqWis06CriOtN0ErprwCYrsut0bVWpMc2o?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-v-CKfgdphWw/U2o8H-CvTmI/AAAAAAACk1A/-tIxZd2zKGI/s640/DSC_0117.jpg&#8221; height=”640″ width=”425″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/TamanSariWaterCastle?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Taman Sari Water Castle</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/etVXgm1VopS4BEauJIw2Lt0ErprwCYrsut0bVWpMc2o?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-KYJYYX_VIvw/U2o8I2ftUTI/AAAAAAACk1U/hXcpP3w-nzk/s640/DSC_0116.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/TamanSariWaterCastle?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Taman Sari Water Castle</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/IEburiAo6mn-HLS-xXFBAt0ErprwCYrsut0bVWpMc2o?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-op_oLrwBQgA/U2o8JWI2pPI/AAAAAAACk1Y/bxo59BgwcBk/s640/DSC_0120.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/TamanSariWaterCastle?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Taman Sari Water Castle</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/gvPHOQarkcXJ7QQLjO5BW90ErprwCYrsut0bVWpMc2o?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-KSV4lcBbSrg/U2q-vkeRzcI/AAAAAAACl8E/-Ut_1FDNS-8/s640/IMG_7624.jpg&#8221; height=”640″ width=”480″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/TamanSariWaterCastle?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Taman Sari Water Castle</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/6HNAR1g5KxgVOpo1ZnSzoN0ErprwCYrsut0bVWpMc2o?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-TljsI93tct4/U2o8LXAbXdI/AAAAAAACk2Q/oODnVxp57SI/s640/DSC_0125.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/TamanSariWaterCastle?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Taman Sari Water Castle</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/vW_7otuFu_X7MUI__NjWSN0ErprwCYrsut0bVWpMc2o?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-JIpu0LGLy4g/U2o8MCvsPPI/AAAAAAACk2Y/nW8SFYtwChE/s640/DSC_0127.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/TamanSariWaterCastle?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Taman Sari Water Castle</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/-7rsqmBFVTL95LcuCPG7Pt0ErprwCYrsut0bVWpMc2o?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-LrhqA6qNzMA/U2q-w6VrdFI/AAAAAAACl8c/v-leC323RqE/s640/IMG_7628.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/TamanSariWaterCastle?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Taman Sari Water Castle</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/X7-iWnDjIsuow9hibRaQd90ErprwCYrsut0bVWpMc2o?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-55ylFRbuacg/U2q-w5fhiFI/AAAAAAACl8Y/46YOd7zmoMc/s640/IMG_7629.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/TamanSariWaterCastle?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Taman Sari Water Castle</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/kYPctEln_MTakXaOVPDZH90ErprwCYrsut0bVWpMc2o?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-9WeEm9Lz2s0/U2o8OY947tI/AAAAAAACk3E/bhh-j-UCIc8/s640/DSC_0132.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/TamanSariWaterCastle?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Taman Sari Water Castle</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/4PEo-g0z-MlvM0bGPStkUt0ErprwCYrsut0bVWpMc2o?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-DHH3hBHSjm4/U2o8PUXwSZI/AAAAAAACk3Q/SIaH2HzasII/s640/DSC_0134.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/TamanSariWaterCastle?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Taman Sari Water Castle</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/MuqXG8U6gsqPCVamB0-ugN0ErprwCYrsut0bVWpMc2o?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Jhf9DjZamwg/U2q-9Zf_2xI/AAAAAAACl8k/AyI6Os2Eiqk/s640/IMG_7651.JPG&#8221; height=”640″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/TamanSariWaterCastle?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Taman Sari Water Castle</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/klZj-KLvNf8s6ACa-rhBdt0ErprwCYrsut0bVWpMc2o?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-DGXQsoBeoRg/U2o8Qw_G3PI/AAAAAAACk3o/JIEP8k7LHPA/s640/DSC_0136.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/TamanSariWaterCastle?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Taman Sari Water Castle</a></td></tr></table>

View over the local rooftops:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/W49dpIrk8NfzG1fL0wpuQN0ErprwCYrsut0bVWpMc2o?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-R2Wy1ovRfgs/U2o8RJZ39gI/AAAAAAACk3w/i_7xVqkLt6Q/s640/DSC_0137.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/TamanSariWaterCastle?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Taman Sari Water Castle</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/ZMIvYbkf4wMaoLoxEIqiTN0ErprwCYrsut0bVWpMc2o?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-NMoTyfy6XYc/U2o8R65SQJI/AAAAAAACk38/FYR_qSfqup4/s640/DSC_0139.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/TamanSariWaterCastle?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Taman Sari Water Castle</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/QtmKDaLteBNSvVK–Zwqh90ErprwCYrsut0bVWpMc2o?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-cesg-IFFdtM/U2o8SSb21SI/AAAAAAACk4A/at9YsFik9SA/s640/DSC_0140.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/TamanSariWaterCastle?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Taman Sari Water Castle</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/LjlVXVQ6aUaQyJB-icJxZ90ErprwCYrsut0bVWpMc2o?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-EiBUPfZyek0/U2o8TDM-zzI/AAAAAAACk4M/VUHgTXgcUf4/s640/DSC_0142.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/TamanSariWaterCastle?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Taman Sari Water Castle</a></td></tr></table>

Nobu, Tokyo

The year is flying by. Turned another year older last week. Kept it pretty lowkey and had a birthday dinner on the day of my birthday even though it was a school/work night.

Had a nice birthday lunch courtesy of my boss with a few colleagues. Went to Nobu which is a really nice (and pricey) restaurant. I really enjoy the food there. Have been there a few times now.

The Chef’s Lunch Box: A little bit of everything.

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/XSWr1Ksn7ThrI1oi-v1zStmlF_Hgg1WgE844Oxhxuns?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-6Ia91PThqy0/U3oj0m2FZrI/AAAAAAACp7A/02p5tlaq-aw/s640/IMG_8816.jpg&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Birthday201402?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCLKd54_FlaPenwE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Birthday 2014</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/lmv4k6Dleu1DKwJTOqIwd9mlF_Hgg1WgE844Oxhxuns?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-1UK09X6_e2g/U3ojxQGo_pI/AAAAAAACp1k/zcUtII4pAY8/s640/IMG_8810.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Birthday201402?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCLKd54_FlaPenwE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Birthday 2014</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/mG1IeKjSuCDTYNhlLc3fYdmlF_Hgg1WgE844Oxhxuns?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-_PEiB7aSnAU/U3ojxvt9CaI/AAAAAAACp1Q/VHZOhjkrEWo/s640/IMG_8811.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Birthday201402?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCLKd54_FlaPenwE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Birthday 2014</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/jiUtQKScazTrnFc8d-6A-tmlF_Hgg1WgE844Oxhxuns?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-r1FBIb3Ku8o/U3ojyQaLOjI/AAAAAAACp1Y/zxM7RdfuXqk/s640/IMG_8812.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Birthday201402?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCLKd54_FlaPenwE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Birthday 2014</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/WjYwr6IIme-__9FaVFmUMdmlF_Hgg1WgE844Oxhxuns?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-dOm3fqRKi1o/U3ojzGucoII/AAAAAAACp1s/WEsAeGl_RbA/s640/IMG_8813.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Birthday201402?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCLKd54_FlaPenwE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Birthday 2014</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/4DPQj74lJz7D9-RahnM6X9mlF_Hgg1WgE844Oxhxuns?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-YHbW4S7IUS8/U3ojzcC4tbI/AAAAAAACp1o/r9JpcysL34w/s640/IMG_8814.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Birthday201402?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCLKd54_FlaPenwE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Birthday 2014</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/PTNHh7Ehw5Jzq-9Ve761zNmlF_Hgg1WgE844Oxhxuns?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-84b1AzPw7H8/U3ojz-40ReI/AAAAAAACp14/SofLELe2ZsA/s640/IMG_8815.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Birthday201402?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCLKd54_FlaPenwE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Birthday 2014</a></td></tr></table>

Amazing chocolate souffle:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/PLNjub6Uwxv6014YPHikwNmlF_Hgg1WgE844Oxhxuns?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-gS-nTWp2DHk/U3oj9yEzfEI/AAAAAAACp4Q/RTR8u-2ccXY/s640/IMG_8974.JPG&#8221; height=”640″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Birthday201402?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCLKd54_FlaPenwE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Birthday 2014</a></td></tr></table>

And then my birthday dinner was at a casual retro Mexican restaurant in Nakameguro – Junkadelic. A place that has been on my bucketlist for a while now. Finally got to tick that off. I highly recommend the fajitas there and there frozen mango margaritas.

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/mWQFk98S-_yWP2XU-iytgNmlF_Hgg1WgE844Oxhxuns?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-mLU_wWY0z74/U3okA1D4TQI/AAAAAAACp4g/CqgH-My_jE8/s640/DSCN3435.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Birthday201402?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCLKd54_FlaPenwE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Birthday 2014</a></td></tr></table>

Got two Mexican jokes for ya courtesy of my best friend:

Why are Mexican houses so hot?

… coz they have fajitas (four heaters)!

And why are Mexicans so good at laying carpet?

Because they really know their underlay, underlay!

Chimmichanga time:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/roHSb7jZn1H-YBX-G_0Zx9mlF_Hgg1WgE844Oxhxuns?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-XrQuS4qoFf4/U3okJWqItXI/AAAAAAACp48/Kf__UG33668/s640/DSCN3444.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Birthday201402?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCLKd54_FlaPenwE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Birthday 2014</a></td></tr></table>

Good friend. And good friends:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/O6aq-t1Kz1r393TkAT1IANmlF_Hgg1WgE844Oxhxuns?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-VUqDj8zRHK8/U3okN2moIHI/AAAAAAACp5I/D8Ucts8ddP8/s640/DSCN3445.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Birthday201402?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Birthday 2014</a></td></tr></table>

And surprise birthday cakes. Yes, plural. Two cakes!

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/J6jPja8dRQfixwx-lzKFZ9mlF_Hgg1WgE844Oxhxuns?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-k3QXEyAlu28/U3okYVyAZNI/AAAAAAACp5s/GhFWEiZ2RSE/s640/DSCN3449.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Birthday201402?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Birthday 2014</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/IHI8dOFkDZrQcSRCDgGdT9mlF_Hgg1WgE844Oxhxuns?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-WqfeUpb1Vhk/U3oke6LLATI/AAAAAAACp6E/6eOPQbgpCb4/s400/DSCN3454.JPG&#8221; height=”300″ width=”400″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Birthday201402?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Birthday 2014</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/6TpEdpOmZ3Fiy1pc6IYrmNmlF_Hgg1WgE844Oxhxuns?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-zmFQKfRMNQg/U3oj9-I49EI/AAAAAAACp4Y/bw5CUjXuWzs/s640/IMG_8973.JPG&#8221; height=”640″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Birthday201402?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Birthday 2014</a></td></tr></table>

Got some nice flowers which was sweet:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/DAASDf-6l29R1oBwfyTqb9mlF_Hgg1WgE844Oxhxuns?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-tZEUv4M80EI/U3oj9j99PEI/AAAAAAACp4M/MLoemZnNszI/s640/IMG_8919.JPG&#8221; height=”640″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Birthday201402?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Birthday 2014</a></td></tr></table>

And when I got home later that night, I found my bedroom filled with balloons, courtesy of my housemate!

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/s-0pNghVoHKpU3wquaABTNmlF_Hgg1WgE844Oxhxuns?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-4KPos6_Y18s/U3oj77oPikI/AAAAAAACp4I/ZaLM8MLZT8Y/s640/IMG_8831.JPG&#8221; height=”640″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Birthday201402?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Birthday 2014</a></td></tr></table>

Some of them even glowed in the dark!

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/DqakYs-xh4NGWbzTA25j-NmlF_Hgg1WgE844Oxhxuns?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-wp8g8BihfjQ/U3oj5FiYEzI/AAAAAAACp3E/74wehGGdnrA/s640/IMG_8825.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Birthday201402?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Birthday 2014</a></td></tr></table>
<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/0R93iRt4EXkIE2_vR-ncVtmlF_Hgg1WgE844Oxhxuns?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-wED5ALU4puc/U3oj4vyRCOI/AAAAAAACp24/Ia72dVceoRM/s640/IMG_8824.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Birthday201402?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Birthday 2014</a></td></tr></table>

Cheers to that!

Birthday 2014

The year is flying by. Turned another year older last week. Kept it pretty lowkey and had a birthday dinner on the day of my birthday even though it was a school/work night. Had a nice birthday lunch courtesy of my boss with a few colleagues. Went to Nobu which is a really nice (and pricey) restaurant. I really enjoy the food there. Have been there a few times now. The Chef’s Lunch Box: A little bit of everything.

From Birthday 2014
From Birthday 2014
From Birthday 2014
From Birthday 2014
From Birthday 2014
From Birthday 2014
From Birthday 2014

Amazing chocolate souffle:

From Birthday 2014

And then my birthday dinner was at a casual retro Mexican restaurant in Nakameguro – Junkadelic. A place that has been on my bucketlist for a while now. Finally got to tick that off. I highly recommend the fajitas there and there frozen mango margaritas.

From Birthday 2014

Got two Mexican jokes for ya courtesy of my best friend: Why are Mexican houses so hot? … coz they have fajitas (four heaters)! And why are Mexicans so good at laying carpet? Because they really know their underlay, underlay! Chimmichanga time:

From Birthday 2014

Good friend. And good friends:

From Birthday 2014

And surprise birthday cakes. Yes, plural. Two cakes!

From Birthday 2014
From Birthday 2014
From Birthday 2014

Got some nice flowers which was sweet:

From Birthday 2014

And when I got home later that night, I found my bedroom filled with balloons, courtesy of my housemate!

From Birthday 2014

Some of them even glowed in the dark!

From Birthday 2014
From Birthday 2014

Cheers to that!

Indonesia Day 2: Borobudor

Have recently just got back from Golden Week holiday in Indonesia . Had an amazing adventurous time. Only spent about 10 days there. Way too short. I totally loved Indonesia. Definitely warrants another visit. So much to see and do there. Only went to Java Island and Lombok region. Went with a friend flying from Haneda to Yogyakarta on Java Island. We decided to avoid Jakarta although we did have a layover there enroute. On the second day upon arrival in Yogyakarta we went out to Borobudur about 1.5-2 hours from Yogyakarta. Borobudur is pretty amazing. It’s the world’s largest Buddhist temple. The stupas (bell-like mounds) are really cool to see. Just the scale of the place is pretty amazing.

From Borobudur
From Borobudur
From Borobudur

There are apparently 72 of these stupors. Entry into the grounds of Borobudur requires all visitors to wear a sarong (provided) regardless of what you are wearing.

From Borobudur

Pretty fashionable stuff. Cheesy poses are mandatory at all touristy places.

From Borobudur
From Borobudur
From Borobudur

The grounds are pretty massive surrounded by various gardens and forest. So lush and green, surrounded by low-hanging mist.

From Borobudur
From Borobudur
From Borobudur

The temple consists of a few different tiers:

From Borobudur
From Borobudur
From Borobudur

Most people are eager to climb up straightaway to check out the stupas, but the correct ritual is to actually walk around the whole complex three times in clockwise motion. We took the time to do this before entering the temple getting a 360 degree view of the place, all three times.

From Borobudur
From Borobudur
From Borobudur
From Borobudur
From Borobudur
From Borobudur
From Borobudur
From Borobudur

The stupa mounds are pretty fun to look at. They kinda look like bells or Hershey kisses or short-handled toilet plungers. They’re so photogenic, one cannot stop taking photos of them. There is after all, 72 of them to look at. And you betcha that I’m going to post a photo of every.single.one.of.them. Just kidding. But I did take a hell of a lot of photos.

From Borobudur
From Borobudur
From Borobudur
From Borobudur
From Borobudur
From Borobudur
From Borobudur
From Borobudur
From Borobudur
From Borobudur
From Borobudur
From Borobudur
From Borobudur
From Borobudur
From Borobudur
From Borobudur
From Borobudur
From Borobudur
From Borobudur
From Borobudur
From Borobudur
From Borobudur
From Borobudur
From Borobudur
From Borobudur

The walls of the temple:

From Borobudur
From Borobudur
From Borobudur

Check out all the Buddha carvings into the concrete:

From Borobudur
From Borobudur
From Borobudur
From Borobudur

A walk through the garden grounds:

From Borobudur
From Borobudur
From Borobudur

We had to pass through a maze of street stalls strategically placed enroute to the ground exit full of sellers selling their wares and touristy knick knacks. Mmmm coconut. I love fresh coconut water.

From Borobudur

Borobudur is Indonesia’s single most popular tourist attraction. I can see why.

Kobeya afternoon tea

My mission: to find a cheap afternoon tea in Tokyo. The request was for under 3000yen. That was going to be a hard challenge.

I had plans a few weeks back to meet with a couple of ladies from my Namie NESS days.
We usually meet for coffee/lunch etc. They wanted to do afternoon tea but had set a budget for 3000yen or less.
The starting price for afternoon tea at most places in Tokyo is 3500yen.
And the consumption tax rate in Japan has recently risen as well (that’s been a huge pain!).
This was not going to be an easy task. And I wanted to throw in the extra personal challenge of choosing a venue that I have not yet been to.

I put my research skills to the test and came up with an afternoon tea venue for under 1500yen! Total score.
Not the best afternoon tea I’ve had in terms of food quality, but it made for a pleasant afternoon nonetheless.

The venue was Kobeya at the Tokyo International Forum (TIF) in Yurakucho. Points gained for location.
Kobeya is actually a really nice bakery chain. Some of their bakeries have extended into cafe dining restaurants where you can actually order main meals etc. The only place I know where the afternoon tea set is available is the Yurakucho branch of Kobeya. It’s kind of a “gentei” thing, which means it’s limited to so many servings a day. And they don’t take bookings so you’ve just got to turn up and try your luck that they haven’t reached the limit for the day. Luckily, it’s not heavily advertised and most people don’t know about it. You’ll need to ask for the Tea Time menu. And it’s only available between 2-6pm.

The afternoon tea is simple and no frills.
A pot of tea is included. One tea selection only (but you can ask for hot water refill, but the tea did not taste so good after we did this). I think I went with the UVA tea but they also had a couple of other options as well as an organic tea which is technically the tea that comes with the set.
I liked the little touches such as the timer and the teapot cover.

From Kobeya afternoon tea
From Kobeya afternoon tea

The 3-tier set is light and sufficient, but no so tasty. More skewed to Japanese tastebuds.

From Kobeya afternoon tea
From Kobeya afternoon tea
From Kobeya afternoon tea

I enjoyed all of the sandwiches, except one. There was a mentaiko sandwich. And mentaiko is the roe of pollock and cod (basically fish ovaries).

From Kobeya afternoon tea
From Kobeya afternoon tea

The other sandwiches were perfectly fine.

The second tier was essentially the pastry course: a chocolate chip scone, a green tea (matcha) pastry and a berry pastry.

From Kobeya afternoon tea
From Kobeya afternoon tea

Not enough savoury morsels for your liking? They threw in some olives as well.

Clearly, these items are just from the bakery section of their store.

From Kobeya afternoon tea
From Kobeya afternoon tea

I don’t like matcha flavoured stuff, so I didn’t really enjoy this much. Also the jam doesn’t really go well with a choc chip scone.

The last dish was heavy on the grapefruit theme. Again, not a huge fan of grapefruit, so this afternoon tea wasn’t really to my liking. But I wasn’t here for the food. I was here for the company, to catch up with some friends over language exchange.

From Kobeya afternoon tea
From Kobeya afternoon tea

There was a cheesecake which was quite nice. Can’t go wrong there.

From Kobeya afternoon tea

The afternoon set is 1300yen plus tax. Food items will vary as it will be seasonal. I think I must have gone during grapefruit season.

If you go on a weeked to TIF, you might also be in time for the regular antique market that they have there. Great antiques and knick knacks, but not cheap.

I ordered “pancakes”

Back in April, a bunch of us had planned on going for a Sunday hike. Weather was not in favour so we went to brunch in Omotesando/Harauku instead.
Went to an unusual cafe. It looks like a tiny non-descript coffee shop at the front. Not at all enticing for a tea-drinker like myself. But lo and behold, once you enter and if you go out the back and downstairs there is a lot more seating. And they do brunch, lunch and dinner. So much more than a coffee shop.

I ordered the crab burger, which was a tad on the small portion size for my liking.

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/769K0fyvTOvFCAEHdBhqqS1tLRW7weQC4VUklPbLQQo?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-zuaCCGn5xYQ/U1OgFjFT06I/AAAAAAACjlM/h8ywgQ0yAxk/s640/IMG_7430.jpg&#8221; height=”640″ width=”480″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OmotesandoBrunch?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Omotesando brunch</a></td></tr></table>

Oh well, that just meant that there was room for brunch dessert so I ordered “pancakes”.
But what I got was a “cake” made in a “pan”. Well played, Japan.
No disputing that they were “pan” “cakes”.
Surely, these are the thickest pancakes my eyes have ever laid on.

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/tGfEkIrTJIVVwK3SeqquEy1tLRW7weQC4VUklPbLQQo?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-w9msqNLFWVU/U1OgFkPXv7I/AAAAAAACjlI/vohOBVC2eeM/s640/IMG_7432.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OmotesandoBrunch?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Omotesando brunch</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/QjULp9duWzzCjXJnlbTq9C1tLRW7weQC4VUklPbLQQo?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-7lFRP_6gHyU/U1OgGuNPx2I/AAAAAAACjlk/3O50vE2Y9s8/s640/IMG_7433.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OmotesandoBrunch?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Omotesando brunch</a></td></tr></table>

It was like a cake batter cooked in a pan.
The thickness didn’t detract from their flavour, but they certainly were filling. They were thick and fluffy to be sure.

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/GQGCBpRm7vQtLzPdVIx0Hy1tLRW7weQC4VUklPbLQQo?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-rf0Flos6PcQ/U1OgHHoTGBI/AAAAAAACjls/LYMbfPhM_gs/s640/IMG_7435.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OmotesandoBrunch?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Omotesando brunch</a></td></tr></table>

Had to drown these in syrup.

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/28-sTZpaP3151JSo1JcEPC1tLRW7weQC4VUklPbLQQo?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-y0Lw-muAs84/U1OgIlRYodI/AAAAAAACjl0/_Yy9AdaN4gg/s640/IMG_7437.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OmotesandoBrunch?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Omotesando brunch</a></td></tr></table>

And if you thought that was a generous quinelle of ice cream, you thought wrong. That was whipped cream with a side of butter.

Right now, can’t remember the name of the place, but I know exactly where it is.

Indonesia Day 1: Kraton – Yogyakarta Palace

We arrived into Yogyakarta on Saturday night. Therefore Sunday was Day 1 of our Indonesia trip.
It was hot hot hot.
Sunday was our designated day to sightsee the city of Yogyakarta. Most people stay in Yogyakarta as a base to see Borobudur and Prambanan further afield. It didn’t seem to me that there was a lot to do in Yogyakarta and most of the major sights can be covered in a couple of days. We had two main things on our checklist for the day: Yogyakarta Palace (the Kraton) and Taman Sari (Water castle ruins).

We set off on foot to the Palace. We kind of got lost along the way but eventually found it although we kind of came in at the wrong entrance point.

Everybody in Indonesia rides motorbike scooters. They are everywhere.
We passed a lot of bicycle shops, motorbike scooter stores, and surprisingly a lot of wooden coffin stores. Correlation or coincidence?

Another dubious store:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/0NesBtbV44PhVE8yzb87FPU5QC8SDchkDIvDpg7-jbE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-xA_Ju1O6pSQ/U2o7NMBgriI/AAAAAAACkoQ/3BpA9uujQok/s640/DSC_0013.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/YogyakartaPalace?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Yogyakarta Palace</a></td></tr></table>

A becak – rickshaw vehicle where the driver rides a bicycle to transport you.
<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/mgQ_lzut4gH1gLepajxDsfU5QC8SDchkDIvDpg7-jbE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-i40gsZRpzD8/U2o7NH9yUMI/AAAAAAACkoM/8BvKMFyACN8/s640/DSC_0014.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/YogyakartaPalace?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Yogyakarta Palace</a></td></tr></table>

It took us a solid half hour or so for us to finally reach the Palace with a couple of detours.
The Palace is rather unusual. It’s basically a large gounds complex with a lot of performance pagodas. You can see performances of traditional music and dance. Apparently the dance performances are only on certain days, Sunday mornings being one of them.

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/–EltiyIk5PW81QkKs7rTPU5QC8SDchkDIvDpg7-jbE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-zZjHjQLErmQ/U2o7OIuVO-I/AAAAAAACkog/JJCY0xK8sXk/s640/DSC_0016.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/YogyakartaPalace?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Yogyakarta Palace</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/KeGy9_j0lOgqhMki4clK_fU5QC8SDchkDIvDpg7-jbE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-0f7Yq33dd0A/U2o7PFjYlWI/AAAAAAACkos/GpVl2fHv5ik/s640/DSC_0018.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/YogyakartaPalace?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Yogyakarta Palace</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/J0lsE5G3WR8sT-pdrkq1IPU5QC8SDchkDIvDpg7-jbE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-IAnryq6kAH0/U2o7RsMNG0I/AAAAAAACkpM/XmX76hVuIBw/s640/DSC_0022.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/YogyakartaPalace?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Yogyakarta Palace</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/IQtuewqXoGYTmPjM2kZzq_U5QC8SDchkDIvDpg7-jbE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-OKNk55hDoqY/U2o7VVqCa8I/AAAAAAACkps/D3j9Du58lnU/s640/DSC_0026.jpg&#8221; height=”640″ width=”425″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/YogyakartaPalace?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Yogyakarta Palace</a></td></tr></table>

There were a lot of school groups and the kids pounce on all the foreigners/tourists to practice their English and do questionnaires in English and have their photo taken with Caucasians.

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/LbYKfkPEh_h15okqKkPO3_U5QC8SDchkDIvDpg7-jbE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-jlTG9EbCOEk/U2o7WkeDhOI/AAAAAAACkp4/MLC8lh6Y120/s640/DSC_0028.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/YogyakartaPalace?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Yogyakarta Palace</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/5pvZcKvO75mdRGwRC63Mv_U5QC8SDchkDIvDpg7-jbE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-WKjr4FO7QBc/U2o7XOPFjAI/AAAAAAACkqI/jxSxtuqfm4s/s640/DSC_0030.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/YogyakartaPalace?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Yogyakarta Palace</a></td></tr></table>

Here are some tourists being mobbed by the schoolkids:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/zRZpl1sZrndoDaPttuxua_U5QC8SDchkDIvDpg7-jbE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-4KqukP2FoOE/U2o7bS0KBMI/AAAAAAACkrg/mHxNnSTTu98/s640/DSC_0039.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/YogyakartaPalace?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Yogyakarta Palace</a></td></tr></table>

The Palace is essentially a museum of sorts, but a lot of it is not really accessible nor is it very informative.

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/vBOjyZwU-W3F7R6j6PEhPPU5QC8SDchkDIvDpg7-jbE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-jS3WLPbqCuA/U2o7XTSQ-QI/AAAAAAACkqM/85dN6s5xftg/s640/DSC_0031.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/YogyakartaPalace?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCN74l-j3wNHryQE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Yogyakarta Palace</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/gqkj15Go3jS5X-w9ek-eLvU5QC8SDchkDIvDpg7-jbE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-OAhFHwMkeyY/U2o7Ykvx5kI/AAAAAAACkqg/SjxB7WvzV_4/s640/DSC_0032.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/YogyakartaPalace?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCN74l-j3wNHryQE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Yogyakarta Palace</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/rP7Ri4O1szEq3U-qKcKE2fU5QC8SDchkDIvDpg7-jbE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-cfVEYcP5ado/U2o7c9qUphI/AAAAAAACkrk/hZcM2IY2PjA/s640/DSC_0042.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/YogyakartaPalace?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCN74l-j3wNHryQE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Yogyakarta Palace</a></td></tr></table>

The highlight and the only interesting attraction are the cultural performances.

The males dancing:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/vybsYPZLu3RT_ebJPa_UWPU5QC8SDchkDIvDpg7-jbE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-wxtg_iqvuPU/U2o7k5qdk9I/AAAAAAACkso/ggWMtqx4cOg/s640/DSC_0050.jpg&#8221; height=”640″ width=”425″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/YogyakartaPalace?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCN74l-j3wNHryQE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Yogyakarta Palace</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/-Q-twtUxx2bQdT2zDjA-HvU5QC8SDchkDIvDpg7-jbE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-l4l0ymfcblo/U2o7l7n2AcI/AAAAAAACks0/Ui3mZbU_zhM/s640/DSC_0052.jpg&#8221; height=”640″ width=”425″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/YogyakartaPalace?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Yogyakarta Palace</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/71OSnYOvyZeO845sTIp_AvU5QC8SDchkDIvDpg7-jbE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-_sM3muIGnI0/U2o7m4_ac0I/AAAAAAACktI/OLxGouvUJiE/s640/DSC_0054.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/YogyakartaPalace?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Yogyakarta Palace</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/SJIQT67iKs2pR32PrnTzAPU5QC8SDchkDIvDpg7-jbE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-lsWwrPsUhh4/U2o7oDeSwJI/AAAAAAACktY/mVx8yZaM6fo/s640/DSC_0056.jpg&#8221; height=”640″ width=”425″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/YogyakartaPalace?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Yogyakarta Palace</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/mlrV_yKGRCBX6rr38pYVFPU5QC8SDchkDIvDpg7-jbE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-LncZkjULmcM/U2o7po_KUyI/AAAAAAACktw/jgPoch7bePs/s640/DSC_0059.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/YogyakartaPalace?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Yogyakarta Palace</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/NG7BpHfBjQZMfzjo5_lU5vU5QC8SDchkDIvDpg7-jbE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-HKBRFAFfCcc/U2o7qimF6mI/AAAAAAACkt4/AFaVgiebCgo/s640/DSC_0060.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/YogyakartaPalace?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Yogyakarta Palace</a></td></tr></table>

Got to see the females practising outside before they went in to do their performance. The girls looked so pretty and graceful.

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/–h_qdLsN5TLpyUiFsB0rvU5QC8SDchkDIvDpg7-jbE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-uwJyhDZDIyc/U2o7rNNOChI/AAAAAAACkuE/DFied0jm3e4/s640/DSC_0061.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/YogyakartaPalace?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Yogyakarta Palace</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/qNuw8ZGDrW7OouvzTJZf9PU5QC8SDchkDIvDpg7-jbE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-IUhXq1cKK4M/U2o7tfSalxI/AAAAAAACkuk/gZ8ONPFn2BQ/s640/DSC_0064.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/YogyakartaPalace?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Yogyakarta Palace</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/0x6ZVV-XtoymT6NUkGWfVvU5QC8SDchkDIvDpg7-jbE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-iJr3uYTx76k/U2o7vxxyqaI/AAAAAAACkvQ/jMAndJhHB8w/s640/DSC_0070.jpg&#8221; height=”640″ width=”425″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/YogyakartaPalace?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Yogyakarta Palace</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Amj72M8NCrrOV7_2R1xo6fU5QC8SDchkDIvDpg7-jbE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-FiycUvFIC2U/U2o7w1_MwFI/AAAAAAACkvk/tDOUhSudwpw/s640/DSC_0072.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/YogyakartaPalace?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Yogyakarta Palace</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/kaK1pSwkQ1XgCA8-o-4KN_U5QC8SDchkDIvDpg7-jbE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Tt8Cpu_9eSo/U2o7xTt_i1I/AAAAAAACkv0/A0znyzkrXoA/s640/DSC_0074.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/YogyakartaPalace?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Yogyakarta Palace</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/GJYPQ5bWeMcP7ILg7fpJ3fU5QC8SDchkDIvDpg7-jbE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-U7kxvugOTqE/U2o7z8xPkuI/AAAAAAACkwY/mLtymf3YQRo/s640/DSC_0079.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/YogyakartaPalace?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Yogyakarta Palace</a></td></tr></table>

On stage:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/NXLltluS_oh9KNLFQktvtvU5QC8SDchkDIvDpg7-jbE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-DRp5_tE2hfQ/U2o76bUMQzI/AAAAAAACkyI/mWeslXp26EI/s640/DSC_0095.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/YogyakartaPalace?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Yogyakarta Palace</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/C67SzFA_DrT_pwmQPEAjE_U5QC8SDchkDIvDpg7-jbE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-0VrAvMXQmr0/U2o78kUzxXI/AAAAAAACky4/eVACFXSZ54s/s640/DSC_0099.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/YogyakartaPalace?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Yogyakarta Palace</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/h00l1sS8ZRsRwQBR8zBEhfU5QC8SDchkDIvDpg7-jbE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-1RkwkbXsn0U/U2o77sA2f3I/AAAAAAACkyg/1yhWRoCaMyY/s640/DSC_0098.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/YogyakartaPalace?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Yogyakarta Palace</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Jj2MVGiapCiw27BEgEkCiPU5QC8SDchkDIvDpg7-jbE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-pcQE-3Sy48g/U2o79D6flNI/AAAAAAACky0/SoDDU5y_Ot4/s640/DSC_0101.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/YogyakartaPalace?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Yogyakarta Palace</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/9W0FhJzLAn-FUzRl6MsU7PU5QC8SDchkDIvDpg7-jbE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-Ib7vrazdweg/U2o79fplyjI/AAAAAAACkzA/Oc3d6DHwQhc/s640/DSC_0102.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/YogyakartaPalace?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Yogyakarta Palace</a></td></tr></table>

Other parts of the Palace:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/l60mNNdgA8XC328Yl8Q_9vU5QC8SDchkDIvDpg7-jbE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-9TYL3_pwhb4/U2o72r_b1XI/AAAAAAACkxA/cp_kSMDLgGk/s640/DSC_0085.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/YogyakartaPalace?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Yogyakarta Palace</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/OlWjmxysdHQZLgEEfu6XPvU5QC8SDchkDIvDpg7-jbE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-ODRU_xEe2Us/U2o72yPaoNI/AAAAAAACkxM/9nRxriTYRlo/s640/DSC_0086.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/YogyakartaPalace?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Yogyakarta Palace</a></td></tr></table>

One of the things I observed throughout the trip was that very few buildings in Indonesia seemed to be built above one storey. All the buildings are flat. It doesn’t have that metropolis skyrise effect. Everything was just single storey buildings, Not a lot of high rise apartment buildings nor apartments for that matter. Even most of the hotels, hospitals etc weren’t built much higher than 4 floors. Everything was built flat and spread out rather then built upwards and underground. Perhaps because Indonesia is prone to a lot of earthquakes and volcano eruptions. But I noticed that everything was built low and out rather than up. Huge contrast to Japan where space is scarce and so everything is built up and down with numerous multistory buildings and a huge underground network.

Indonesia Day 2: Borobudur

Have recently just got back from Golden Week holiday in Indonesia . Had an amazing adventurous time. Only spent about 10 days there. Way too short. I totally loved Indonesia. Definitely warrants another visit. So much to see and do there. Only went to Java Island and Lombok region.

Went with a friend flying from Haneda to Yogyakarta on Java Island. We decided to avoid Jakarta although we did have a layover there enroute.

On the second day upon arrival in Yogyakarta we went out to Borobudur about 1.5-2 hours from Yogyakarta. Borobudur is pretty amazing. It’s the world’s largest Buddhist temple. The stupas (bell-like mounds) are really cool to see. Just the scale of the place is pretty amazing.

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/XSxsUuqJk-_vgKChpIfPbpHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-8gWNLuqbeog/U2o-rGzBMYI/AAAAAAAClFo/eyWI71NPy2o/s640/CSC_0412.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCNfG_eeXhKzSwwE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/ZHJPY4Ou6uwbKaLR0QihZpHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-xt8HWkIaGtk/U2rCC7QNDJI/AAAAAAACmGE/Ku7rqxCneFw/s400/IMG_7799.JPG&#8221; height=”400″ width=”400″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCNfG_eeXhKzSwwE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/28pXHK2vv378AT0FKpGZY5HCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-qWFSJTRxBRQ/U2rCC5sG9II/AAAAAAACmGA/4SUptqaOEko/s400/IMG_7798.JPG&#8221; height=”400″ width=”400″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCNfG_eeXhKzSwwE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

There are apparently 72 of these stupors.

Entry into the grounds of Borobudur requires all visitors to wear a sarong (provided) regardless of what you are wearing.

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/STu8sPVkBZgXjTrBbCbxZJHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-Y47rFnfh0OA/U2o-t6GaBDI/AAAAAAAClGE/ZKfOAG03VPE/s400/DSC_0290.JPG&#8221; height=”266″ width=”400″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCNfG_eeXhKzSwwE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

Pretty fashionable stuff. Cheesy poses are mandatory at all touristy places.

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/NaU_bugxFYaNlcBATABOnZHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ALtvdVpz01w/U2rBkzi9x5I/AAAAAAACmEM/AgJ66f75CxM/s400/IMG_7726.jpg&#8221; height=”400″ width=”300″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCNfG_eeXhKzSwwE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/HLTXAwr76Ba0RzLQDucr6pHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-r-rthK5sdTQ/U2rCC2J72gI/AAAAAAACmF8/HIZHcK4xL1A/s640/IMG_7797.JPG&#8221; height=”640″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCNfG_eeXhKzSwwE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/NduJ2T231qlVspmSti5Ch5HCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-aMZzFIvmSwY/U2rBiXUlKzI/AAAAAAACmDY/TlY3AVYPI4k/s640/IMG_7719.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCNfG_eeXhKzSwwE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

The grounds are pretty massive surrounded by various gardens and forest. So lush and green, surrounded by low-hanging mist.

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/rLid8gv0Rw7uM8NCpiO8qpHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-cB-NChVhKnU/U2o-rXHUEYI/AAAAAAAClFs/n16Fyw3KgG4/s640/DSC_0288.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/VHKEdbiQ8xC1j_FyfSDdu5HCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-hmTkd4GNYSQ/U2o-rnzFX1I/AAAAAAAClFw/tsqwQ02rJoU/s640/DSC_0289.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/AlCnyfV6gpaZGsZMRrMNT5HCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-MiZaWtccvOs/U2o-xbLwBWI/AAAAAAAClGs/qAZotmbMbhg/s400/DSC_0296.jpg&#8221; height=”400″ width=”266″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCNfG_eeXhKzSwwE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

The temple consists of a few different tiers:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Fv6BssVWoAkOGL-bfJltKpHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-LfCX2nBAlQQ/U2o-y38km4I/AAAAAAAClHA/IfbhQfoGhKI/s640/DSC_0299.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCNfG_eeXhKzSwwE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/g4yDX9j1LuMwgdduUKrDBJHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-WmY2US64idE/U2o-1EjEeHI/AAAAAAAClHU/EkOwxh8c6y0/s640/DSC_0301.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCNfG_eeXhKzSwwE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/cHMFxqzycBuIuMxRgZr2RZHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Xpvp_nzFUnc/U2rBUpnuQNI/AAAAAAACl_A/SiKjiYbp3dE/s640/IMG_7682.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCNfG_eeXhKzSwwE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

Most people are eager to climb up straightaway to check out the stupas, but the correct ritual is to actually walk around the whole complex three times in clockwise motion. We took the time to do this before entering the temple getting a 360 degree view of the place, all three times.

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/JcqJhgiiFSdizWQdXSn6yZHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-nqwlmuICQuQ/U2o-13b1J3I/AAAAAAAClHc/sIhUc0VU1LQ/s640/DSC_0302.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCNfG_eeXhKzSwwE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/vfsJEHf1xMBtuRduhCUtu5HCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-s0ZDmbrO56U/U2o-2LKuHwI/AAAAAAAClHk/xkGPbIGYSZI/s640/DSC_0303.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCNfG_eeXhKzSwwE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/zIScaIwysJPBV_nuyBOOmJHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-saGNVv2WrSg/U2o-2rLIHkI/AAAAAAAClIE/Jl3SUKrXw3c/s640/DSC_0304.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCNfG_eeXhKzSwwE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/fV7V3a2JJ6zfh-pxO-_RE5HCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-arNwaUc3r18/U2o-27Gy6II/AAAAAAAClHw/JpvvpSxSF84/s640/DSC_0305.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCNfG_eeXhKzSwwE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/v3ScQZW6Xn92fEF60tIZk5HCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-iDb8fWKpTDE/U2o-8WpbX4I/AAAAAAAClJk/e07YpXOa6Ck/s640/DSC_0317.jpg&#8221; height=”640″ width=”425″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/juZVlnTmc_DS_cIY6qePaJHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-sHkZL8FdwjM/U2o-9Zdsj0I/AAAAAAAClJo/UN5p0WiSrr8/s640/DSC_0319.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/ezvIWuMsmV5N9vH2n87NxZHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-PEl4eT1Y_YA/U2pAAC4mSII/AAAAAAAClZM/BvE0hEXm5Og/s640/DSC_0453.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/yzjsMYh8_eHnZoWNPZ_DSpHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-wja7roqmtiU/U2o–FyxOfI/AAAAAAAClKA/vAPenTKOSIg/s640/DSC_0323.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

The stupa mounds are pretty fun to look at. They kinda look like bells or Hershey kisses or short-handled toilet plungers. They’re so photogenic, one cannot stop taking photos of them. There is after all, 72 of them to look at. And you betcha that I’m going to post a photo of every.single.one.of.them. Just kidding. But I did take a hell of a lot of photos.

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/opIOnyl03DOXGu9HgM_ybpHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-S4KGHrZ_KJ8/U2o_H5py0ZI/AAAAAAAClM8/C6ep64bB78w/s640/DSC_0351.jpg&#8221; height=”640″ width=”425″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/O5YjXC5xENZaLCGlzj_fLpHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-SgOhaofnX9k/U2o_HZvkJaI/AAAAAAAClM4/AA8WncQDBFU/s640/DSC_0350.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/YNgoZWLb6mBh7Z66ux2yE5HCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-UbR4KAEXRyA/U2o_JuBQ9JI/AAAAAAACmNI/jyIteMhjQnI/s640/DSC_0355.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/fJ2Qp_x1W2QLEkZt2Vspx5HCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-Et6_TOLTmDw/U2o_JqF7BOI/AAAAAAAClNk/GXMEfPoLw7M/s640/DSC_0356.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/t47Xv3pDnzC215i2bOWML5HCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-bRRbyyXEkxY/U2o_MF_ReZI/AAAAAAAClOQ/LHrqKDM8q5A/s640/DSC_0363.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/EALbEZxbdwsh_-fdhbC6a5HCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-8js8bqspwVQ/U2o_NXL7L8I/AAAAAAAClOc/GmP5CBTzg9E/s640/DSC_0365.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/h1A7Irm_zMG4Pwbh6G7WyJHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-ZZiEHjtcn-U/U2o_OMBWKvI/AAAAAAAClOk/GjdP2uTps9Y/s640/DSC_0366.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/7jj0rIMzs4ls2tn6ht-6NpHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-mMoZoX4gJBg/U2o_P4143BI/AAAAAAAClO0/ZIisNlmXeS0/s640/DSC_0368.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/UpKdRBCIxirZttWPO-UyWpHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-sBYYZ_icpRY/U2o_RsSSwuI/AAAAAAAClPc/ilFMOf4hqIo/s640/DSC_0373.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/RVNnLFY2USQD6T_T0TfEjJHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-twXLojGnFUY/U2o_R3FUv7I/AAAAAAAClPo/Ip2NHNMny1E/s640/DSC_0374.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/xQsAvQ8O1-mbBhP4esRZpJHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Zg3uR33RjOw/U2o_SJOAGLI/AAAAAAAClPk/rkv9UWy-Rys/s640/DSC_0375.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/c39VuCk2KjaA93hy1roCKJHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-7XVZDctn2ro/U2o_TvWnfkI/AAAAAAAClP4/4a-GNwKJ1zg/s640/DSC_0377.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/MlSn0cF3URaf41_5kz4CE5HCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-awdbTdVwJUY/U2o_ZRyDOqI/AAAAAAAClQs/wcbJqc9XWiw/s640/DSC_0383.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/pAyuBQ9nUIi2SmMKYBJr_ZHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/–uOONltO-h8/U2o_c6AtZ4I/AAAAAAAClRM/auDy1ygnC58/s640/DSC_0388.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/fECoyvpvWvsfag_rUnEskZHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-iksp-v8wleo/U2rBaTuzM4I/AAAAAAACmA8/bdap13ef01c/s640/IMG_7697.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/7S0wRaR8S97LJ8UW_mlQrpHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-5oNjhXRsiYM/U2rBboVEJuI/AAAAAAACmBM/jLe_ANuUP-A/s640/IMG_7701.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/iZKSvP9rWSPxP23WcQXPIJHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-q8YA24G8tJI/U2rBbarAWkI/AAAAAAACmBc/DoiN4Wkmgwo/s640/IMG_7700.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/mlqa31Laqn3CIZCtTDV4sZHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-LzH4vwDS0bQ/U2o_irMsqtI/AAAAAAAClSM/3q5UEpzl9rk/s640/DSC_0395.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/FMNE0Z2Ciz7tMZcOsCXC-pHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-zZtKMwG1wD8/U2o_mtkAmZI/AAAAAAAClS0/9cRM-ka_9RY/s640/DSC_0402.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/3WLYwImQbB3cHp4oRxWqVJHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-zFFaezdYbHk/U2rBeBj2TGI/AAAAAAACmCY/Jtnzjk0K3MM/s640/IMG_7707.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/ZVCaAtXUuhD1WK6zzIBAdZHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-RYoMe29WUCs/U2rBmaQ73RI/AAAAAAACmEs/BCdVN8OkS9k/s640/IMG_7732.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/55fGj7RErDVVGlH1nKZB-pHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-Q03DpP6RBlo/U2o_vAbh3CI/AAAAAAAClUI/KkrkaPjF5kY/s640/DSC_0411.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/QNOaxxj7ZgZWTIL9fmIW2JHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-EQT1-W1TAGQ/U2o_w5HHiAI/AAAAAAAClU0/bnN49EpnaQY/s400/DSC_0416.jpg&#8221; height=”400″ width=”266″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/J_IASfEbx8wvVubQjSc4WJHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-n3SDKVJ95QI/U2o_znlk8-I/AAAAAAAClVo/c6qYR0l0zpk/s400/DSC_0423.jpg&#8221; height=”400″ width=”266″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/_sUl-01APf0ihKWaLCBPb5HCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-tHeh4rAbOsI/U2o_4YI8BKI/AAAAAAAClXE/vA3wFB8qhXA/s640/DSC_0434.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

The walls of the temple:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/gvo2P1FfxYOiGDLzy87VRpHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-clhLv7cuGME/U2o_5VR5vtI/AAAAAAAClXM/oAMMXQsNj7w/s640/DSC_0436.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/P1qOmp1ms2hbZ5sA544lBpHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-uNBOwOv95ek/U2o_6WK9LSI/AAAAAAAClXk/FKFYko-xCJw/s640/DSC_0439.jpg&#8221; height=”640″ width=”425″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/ZUkPtC4_ktjGctLouYEd4JHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-qiHOpZcs9io/U2o_655cstI/AAAAAAAClXw/u_0-9QAOIws/s640/DSC_0440.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

Check out all the Buddha carvings into the concrete:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/HmurpCfJ__VXjQ3H1BuG4JHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-z71hEJ1GqTQ/U2rBndu8mlI/AAAAAAACmFM/zh6eiH3mltQ/s640/IMG_7735.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/-f6jNmqYD3TJV9hMXuCvopHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-hln1lqifS0Q/U2o_7tO9g0I/AAAAAAAClX8/4rH_qxGTAbw/s640/DSC_0442.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/vLJblRR6pdGxd0hUZFwwepHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-F0bZ0Ez5AHk/U2pAB1BlNOI/AAAAAAAClZs/zFmNSeykzy4/s640/DSC_0456.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/g_dbRy3LG7KqBFT-6Ja8VJHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-o9vK-nVU8b4/U2rBYZEFVcI/AAAAAAACmAQ/EGeRLp4luDk/s640/IMG_7692.jpg&#8221; height=”640″ width=”480″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

A walk through the garden grounds:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/uRUQQU_a0YqlwSX78PzqEJHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-497XpTK2npg/U2pAErIoowI/AAAAAAAClaw/cmPHcL0MnbE/s640/DSC_0464.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/tXMOxSeiWVD0W0gHLlDT8ZHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-83AUAqE82_o/U2pAE79U_oI/AAAAAAAClao/w08ai0R0b_E/s640/DSC_0465.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/T_9Inmb5-Tvefm2WFTg8PJHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-BfEW-1YhNDU/U2pAGmhYA-I/AAAAAAAClbI/fRB7nbOYdWg/s640/DSC_0469.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

We had to pass through a maze of street stalls strategically placed enroute to the ground exit full of sellers selling their wares and touristy knick knacks.

Mmmm coconut. I love fresh coconut water.

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/111lk-X7AHrUcC8-DEK21ZHCYBtANBcX0ZiJ3pYmzlE?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-tUkxwnA9xSA/U2pAIJW_c_I/AAAAAAAClbg/seveP4EdHbQ/s640/DSC_0472.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/Borobudur?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Borobudur</a></td></tr></table&gt;

Borobudur is Indonesia’s single most popular tourist attraction. I can see why.