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Indonesia

One of my favourite temple anywhere is Borobudur, near Jogjakarta, Java. The last time I was there I saw a spectacular sunrise over it (see the top photo on www.zhero.net). But the rainy season subdued the sunrise. Yes, it's an amazing temple, but in amazing light it looks even more magical.

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We spent a couple more days exploring Jogjakarta, it's Sultan's Palace, the bird market and generally roaming the streets. I found this wonderful room tucked out the back of the Sultan's Palace that they used as a storage room for gamelan instruments and paintings. This is the kind of place I love to find. Jogja, like most Javanese cities still has becaks (pr. be-chacks - Indonesia rickshaws). I'd usually end up peddling while the normal driver sat up front and waved to all of his friends, who thought I was mad. Always fun. The bird market was a mixture of sad and amazing. So many stunningly beautiful birds, but the Javanese keep them all in these little cages. By contrast, Bali is full of stunning wild birds flitting in and out of the beautifully maintained gardens.

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From Jogja we took a train up to Surabaya then a flight over to Banjarmasin, the capitol of Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. From there we went to Tanjun Puting Nation Park to spend time with the orangutans. And that's the subject of the next email. Prepare for cuteness!