Borobudur the palace Scamming
13.10.2012 30 °C
Arriving here after another long bus ride, which seems to be the only method of transport Indonesia, wasn't too bad despite arriving late in the evening we knew it was another trek from the bus depot to the town. Now having been in Indonesia for a month now and travelled all around Asia this is the only place where I haven't felt safe especially after the incident in Pangandaran!
We got off the bus and were hasselled by a group of men offering their taxi....which were incidentally where to be seen! This should always be a cause for concern having read all about the scams around Asia what the outcome could and has been for some is they are not actual taxis but guys looking to use their unroad worthy cars to take you places and there have been allegations of women being sexually assaulted in the cars. So bearing this in mind we had to make our way past the groups, who are very insistent and will tell you all sorts "No taxis Mrs, too late, too dangerous to leave bus station!" yes they are right but also too dangerous to even consider getting I to their invisible cabs. We walked to the entrance of the station and low and behold they were many taxis with all the drivers sat in the road side cafe (shed) drinking tea. We had a hard negotiation and the guy wold not budge on the price but after the journey, which is quite far from the station we arrived in a dark alley. The driver refused to take us to our accommodation telling us to walk through the lanes. Yogyakarta backpacker area is a network of alleyways full of rooms, restaurants and massage parlours - its nice but on arriving first of all it can be a bit daunting to be told to traipse through these with all your bags. That's like being an advert for 'come and get me....I can't do anything cause I'm weighed down with stuff....stuff you might want!' We refused to get out of the cab and insisted he take us to our room which eventually he did.
Yogyakarta was probably the only place I felt comfortable, there are many Europeans here and the locals aren't too bad at giving you hassle except for the Art scam. Is is where they get you to have a look at their Art Show and they to sell you ridiculously overpriced bits of work, which I later found out they buy from local artists at small prices like £1 and try to sell to Europeans and Americans for approximately £100 and some do believe it or not so the scam continues.
We took a trip to Borobudur which is a temple similar, but by no means as amazing, to Ankor Wat, dated between 750 and 850 AD The shame of this is they actually cut all the building into blocks and put it back together again. It was discovered in 1815 under heaps of volcanic ash, unfortunately the site was water logged and started to subside so in 1973 to 1983 they cut it up fixed the water problem and rebuilt it. Then it was bombed in 1985! One site was as big as a football pitch just full of blocks of ancient stone, god knows how they will put it together as there are no markings on them.
We went to the palace.....which was an annoying time as we just got hassled by men and lied to about opening times, prices, approached by god knows how many bikes and cars "Where are you going?" This is a common thing, a random man...always men...will come and ask where you are going, then if you do tell them they try to get you a car. Sounds helpful? Don't think that....its a pain.....they will get the driver to charge extra so they get commission. This is all around Indonesia.
My shoes broke on the way so my first job was to get a pair of slippers aka flip flops. Now from the bus journey I was told by a helpful man that I should easily get a pair for less than 20,000 Indonesian rupees as his leather shoes cost this amount. So as we walk out of our room we immediately get "Where are you going?" I'm not feeling very sociable so I just say to get some shoes. "I can get you a good price" He's being very polite, so we tag along, whilst arguing between ourselves as I just want to go. We get taken to a small shop who want to charge me 100,000 Yeah right! In the end I tell him if I'm going to buy shoes I want to pick them....not him. "Ok you must see my brothers art work please it's in here." Hence we know about the art scam, stuck there for an hour trying to get away from buying anything.
The traffic there is horrendous and continuous but in the backpackers area it is quiet because they can't drive through the alleys.
The food is hyped up for the tourists at tourist prices.
We ate at Atap which had a really good menu and the best meal we had in Yogjakarta.
For a change nothing unusual happened here, so took a flight to Bali early in the morning and were looking forward to some beach time.