INDONESIA:  YOGYAKARTA & BALI
9 DAYS // MAY 9 - 17, 2017

MAY 9 - YOGYAKARTA

Arrive at Yogyakarta airport and transfer to hotel via private, air-conditioned vehicle.

Overnight at the Melia Purosani Yogyakarta. 

MAY 10 - YOGYAKARTA CITY TOUR & PRAMBANAN TEMPLE

Enjoy an all-day city tour featuring ornate historic sites. Highlights include the Kraton, or Sultan’s Palace; the Taman Sari, or Waterkasteel (Water Castle), a royal pleasure park for the first Sultanate of Yogyakarta and his harem; and Prambanan, a 9th Century Hindu temple compound.

In the evening, we gain backstage access to the Ramayana Dance, where we will witness and photograph dancers preparing to perform. 

Overnight at the Melia Purosani Yogyakarta. 

MAY 11 - WAISAK CELEBRATION AT BOROBUDUR

After an early breakfast, visit the Waisakesak Festival, a Buddhist festival that celebrates the birth, death and the enlightenment of Siddharth Gautam as Buddha Shakyamuni. The three events comprising the festival are called Waisak Trisuci. At Borobudur, thousands of Buddhist monks will join together to repeat mantras and meditate as they circuit the temple in a ritual called "Pradaksina.” This is a form of tribute to the temple. Monks celebrate the special day by bottling holy water (which symbolises humility) and transporting flames (which symbolize light and enlightenment) from location to location. Our guide will accompany you to see the ceremony preparation in Mendut Temple, follow the parade, and witness the procession in Borobudur Temple.

Overnight at the Melia Purosani Yogyakarta. 

MAY 12 - DIENG PLATEAU TOUR  

Depart early for three hour drive to the Dieng Plateau, home to some of the oldest Hindu temples in Java. Meaning “Abode of the Gods” it is believed that around 400 temples originally stood on this volcanic caldera but today, only eight remain. In addition to the temples, the area is one of great scenic beauty surrounded by volcanic craters, sulphur springs, hot muddy geysers and mineral lakes.  The drive to the Dieng Plateau itself is a spectacular one, taking you through the tea and tobacco plantations of the Sindoro-Sumbing valley. Overnight at the Melia Purosani Yogyakarta. 

MAY 13 - YOGYAKARTA TO BALI

Enjoy a morning at your leisure before transfer to Yogyakarta airport for flight to Bali.

Upon arrival in Bali airport, meet with our guide and transfer to hotel in Ubud.  

Later, attend the Keack Dance performance in the beautiful museum setting. We will have an opportunity to photograph the dancers before and after the event.  Overnight Alaya Ubud.

MAY 14 - BALI

Rise early to photography the sunrise over Mt. Agung and nearby rice fields. Then, visit a traditional market in Pejeng, Ubud for portrait and street photography opportunities. 

For lunch, enjoy a traditional Balinese meal cooked in the home of host family.vSpend the rest of day photographing dancers and people watching while we absorb the local culture. Overnight Alaya Ubud.

MAY 15 - RURAL BALI

Depart early en route to Subak Guliang, a traditional farming community east of Ubud. The homes in this village are based on the Asta Kosala Kosali tradition of house building, not dissimilar from the ancient art of Feng Shui. Upon arrival, we will enjoy tea and coffee in the courtyard of our host family.

Take the remainder of the morning to explore the local vicinity, learn about the complexities of rice growing, or simply enjoy the fresh coconut water abundant in the region. 

Later, visit Pura Kehan, and 11th Century temple complex near the town of Bangli and Penglipuran, a well-ordered village surrounded by plantations and bamboo forests. Finally, move on the Kintamani, the best location for views of Mount Batur, an active volcano. Enjoy sweeping vistas of the caldera rim. Overnight Alaya Ubud.

MAY 16 - BEDUGUL, JATILUWIH & TANAH LOT SUNSET TOUR

Depart early to transfer to the small town of Mengwi in Central Bali. Long associated with the Balinese Royal Family, Mengwi is home to the superb temple complex at Taman Ayun. 

Next, drive further north to Bedugul Regency, renowned for its stunning beauty and three caldera lakes (Beratan, Buyan and Tamblingan). After a break for lunch, return south, stopping along the way to view the rice terraces at Jatiluwih. Recognized by UNESCO, these endless rice paddies offer superb vistas in all directions.

Our last stop will be the Tanah Lot Temple. Tanah Lot is an integral part of Balinese mythology and one of seven sea temples said to form a ‘chain’ around the island. The temple is only accessible at low tide but despite its off-shore location in the Indian Ocean, it features a fresh water spring at its base said to contain holy water.  Overnight Alaya Ubud.

MAY 17 - DEPART BALI