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A Tour to Singapore, Bali with extension to Java with Martha Gill of Gill Interiors


buddha detail at borbudur


Java Extension

October 16 - 19



Add the grand temples of Borobudur and Prambanan, and the Sultan of Yogyakarta's Palace to your journey.

ganesha stue prmabanan The early Javan capital of Yogyakarta is the cultural and historic heart of Java. In addition to the Kraton, the Sultan of Yogyakarta’s palace, with 15 miles are the ancient temple complexes of Borobudur and Prambanan, Buddhist and Hindu respectively, dating from the 8th Century. These temples are second only to Angkor Wat in their size and complexity. During our stay on Java we’ll see both of these temple complexes, and the Kraton. The culture of Yogyakarta is a mixture of early Hindu, Buddhist and Islam, with the stories from the Ramayama inspiring dances performed by the Muslim Sultan’s troupes. Statuary and sculpture are similarly a mixture of cultural history, making Yogya a fascinating city. While here we’ll also take in Wayang Kulit, the shadow puppet performances that in their truest forms may continue for over 12 hours. The Hindu culture of Bali originated in Java, and it will be instructive to see the origins of the culture that we have just spent two weeks exploring.


Day 1 (Day 15 of main itinerary) – Saturday, October 16: Bali / Yogyakarta, Java
This morning we sadly bid farewell to the magical and mystical island of Bali. We return to the airport and fly to Java, and the ancient capital of Yogyakarta, arriving just after noon. The Kraton, or palace, is home to the Sultan of Yogyakarta Sultanate, and contains iconic Javanese architecture and wares. Although Java, like most of Indonesia (but not Bali) is Muslim, a strong Hindu influence, from earlier times, remains in architecture, culture - especially stories and art – and design. The Ramayama is still the basis of most dances and wayang kulit stories, the delightful and often lengthy shadow puppetry. Prambanan and Borobudur are wayang kulit puppetstwo ancient, World Heritage listed temple complexes near Yogyakarta. Just north of the city is Borobudur, an 9th C Buddhist temple complex, comprised of six platforms with 72 stupas containing Buddha statues, another 500 exposed Buddha statues, and over 2,600 carved panels. Buddhist pilgrims earn me rit by ascending the three cosmological levels of the complex, being led through the stories on the carved panels on the way. You’ll also see the smaller, individual temples of Mendut and Pawon nearby. The immensity and detail of Borobdur is a life experience not to be missed. This evening we enjoy a performance of Wayang Kulit, the shadow puppet performance beloved by locals from Malaysia to Bali, Java is considered the birthplace of this story-telling art form. Although the picture shows color, in fact this is taken from behind the screen; viewers just see black shadows, not the puppets themselves.     (B,L,D)


Day 2 - Sunday, October 17: Yogyakarta
This morning we visit the Kraton, where there may be a display of Javanese dances (this varies and cannot be guaranteed). But even without this, the Kraton is a treasure chest of Javanese culture and art. Afterwards yogyakarta kratonwe have a little time to search for souvenirs, or to make connections with companies that may be useful as materials suppliers. This afternoon we visit Prambanan, the 7th and 8th Century Hindu temple complex second only to Cambodia’s Angkor Wat in scale and complexity. There are many layers, statues, carvings and friezes at Prambanan to explore, and we make sure we look into the various niches holding deity images, not obvious when one just walks past. There are over 200 individual shrines, with the main center three shrines devoted to the three gods Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma, with Shiva, the most powerful, in the center. After dining locally we enjoy an evening open air performance of the Ramayama ballet, performed on a stage with the temple complex as backdrop, with a full gamelan orchestra. The Ramayama, Hindu and Indonesia’s most famous epic tale, tells the story of the God King Rama (he’s the blue-colored one seen so often as statues and in paintings) and his wife Sita, who is kidnapped by the evil king Rawana, and finally rescued with the assistance of the Monkey King Hanuman and his monkey army. Hanuman’s role is freeing Sita is why monkeys are honored and protected throughout the Hindu world.     (B,D)


Day 3 – Monday, October 18: Yogyakarta / In flight
Our tour of Bali and Java has finally come to an end. Depending on flight time we may have time to see other parts of this royal city. We transfer to the airport for our flight home, taking many images, both in our minds and cameras, of the amazing places we have seen andcome to understand, and the friendly and gentle people we have come to know.      (B,*M)


Day 4 – Tuesday, October 19: In Flight/ Gateway City/Home City
We arrive back in the US today, and transfer to our flights to our home cities.    (*B)










The Java extension is $635 with a single supplement of $210.



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