Our first stop was Jakarta, but we shimmied outta there pretty quickly as there’s not much to see or do for tourists (disappointingly – I’ve always thought it sounded all cool and exotic).
So we caught the night train south to Yogyakarta, which our guidebook reckons is the most amazing town in the world, but we found to be pretty average also. Do not trust the Java section of the Lonely Planet guide to Indo people, it lies! The old Dutch kratons were very interesting to see, but apart from that it’s just really a nice but regular Javanese town.
We quickly changed our plans and sped up the rest of our time in Java. The one thing that does deserve a mention was the incredible 9th century Borobudur Buddhist temple near Yogya.
The stonework was absolutely mindblowing - the entire temple was covered in these story panels depicting various Buddhist and indigenous scenes.
With the mist hanging in the valleys beneath us and the light of the day fading, it was a pretty magical experience actually:
Um, so we then travelled for about 22 hours straight to get to Bali, hired a motorbike and then headed down to the the Bukit Peninsula to avoid the crowds and catch some waves, dude. I chanced upon the INCREEEEDIBLE Temple Lodge Hotel in Bingin, on my internet ramblings, and have to say it is currently holding the spot for best hotel of the trip so far – more on this later…
This is Bingin beach, where the waves are usually massive, but by chance were actually perfect for us semi-beginners – not a bad spot!
And after we’d had a go, we pootled down to Uluwatu to check out the pros:
Aaah, it was pure bliss! Make sure you check out Bingin if you ever go to Bali peeps, it’s just gorgeous.