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Travel sketch: Yogyakarta

Jogja collage

Yogyakarta holds a small handful of short but vivid memories. The immense scale of Borobudur, its stupas carved in black andesite, rising from an emerald green countryside blanketed with palms; rows of hand-carved furniture lining a dusty street, puttering vehicles kicking up clouds of ochre; and standing wide-eyed at the foot of Merapi, beside a large sign warning of the danger ahead. This beautiful but lethal giant, at once life-giving and brutally destructive, was the first volcano I had ever seen.

Working at a regional adventure travel magazine means I am constantly learning about places across the breadth of Asia. Some time ago I drew a collage for an article my editor wrote after visiting Yogyakarta – the image was never published but I was thrilled to discover the range of outdoors activities around the Javanese cultural capital. Adventure-seekers can go rock climbing at Siung Beach, caving at Gua Cerme, whitewater rafting on the Progo and Serayu rivers, and of course, scale the nearby volcanic peaks. Although Merapi is one of Indonesia’s most active volcanoes, it’s possible to climb up to the crater rim and behold its fiery furnace.

26 Comments Post a comment
  1. Nice one!
    Don’t forget to put signature in your drawing 😉

    October 24, 2012
    • Makasih Timothy! 🙂

      October 24, 2012
      • Sama2, James 🙂

        Ditunggu postingan selanjutnya … 🙂

        ~~ Well, don’t ask Bama to translate that! 😛

        October 24, 2012
      • Let me guess… “waiting for the next post”? 😛

        October 24, 2012
      • Haha … Lucky guess! 😛

        October 25, 2012
  2. Bravo you!

    October 24, 2012
  3. It will be sooner than later for you to explore more of Jogja. Prambanan, Sewu, Plaosan and many other ancient temples await you.

    October 24, 2012
    • I’m looking forward to revisiting Jogja in the next few years – perhaps being there will stir up more memories!

      October 24, 2012
  4. Beautiful drawing, James. Yogyakarta is one of the places I’d like to visit soon. Nice to learn that there’s a lot of things to do in the area.

    October 25, 2012
    • Thanks Marisol. I doubt I’d be able to try all those activities the next time I go – with so many temples and ancient sites to visit, I think I’d have more than enough to keep me occupied!

      October 25, 2012
  5. James did you draw that? It’s so cool!!

    October 25, 2012
    • I did, Sophie. 😀 It started out as a freehand drawing in pencil and pen, then I had it scanned before adding the colour in photoshop.

      October 25, 2012
  6. You drew this? Wow what a talent

    October 25, 2012
    • Thanks Siobhan. 🙂 It’s what happens when you study architecture…

      October 25, 2012
  7. ree cyntara #

    Reblogged this on sky + scraper.

    November 5, 2012
  8. as always cool :-D. ayo datang lagi ke indonesia james 🙂

    November 7, 2012
    • Makasih Danny. 😀 I’m sure I’ll be back in Indonesia sometime soon!

      November 7, 2012
  9. Very well done James! I can spot the architects hand 🙂

    November 7, 2012
    • Thanks Madhu! It must be the two stupas of Borobudur that gave it away… 😛

      November 8, 2012
  10. well said about Jogjakarta 🙂
    and i fall in love with your sketch 🙂

    May 31, 2013
    • Makasih banyak, Yuna. 🙂
      Someday I hope to go back to Jogja and explore it all over again!

      July 26, 2013
      • Hi James,

        i do hope so 😀

        July 27, 2013
  11. Well, so have you revisited Jogja? It’s my hometown, a complete tourism city. You’ll find everything in it: palace, temples, old buildings, tasty foods, art centers, beaches, mountains, caves, rivers. And the city itself has a good public transportation (compared to other Indonesian big cities like Bandung or Surabaya)

    September 26, 2014
    • Belum, Teguh. Mudah-mudahan saya pergi kesana tahun depan – it has been more than 17 years since I was last there! Bama is very eager to show me around Jogja as both his parents are from that region.

      September 26, 2014

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