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    Tropical Punch Tour: Java Video

    Spanning roughly 150 x 600 miles, Java is one long stringbean of a volcano-spined tropical island. Boasting the highest population of Indonesia, many of whom are Muslim, its largest cities–Jakarta on the West side and Surabaya on the East–are sprawling, polluted, centers of raw, urban chaos. Yogyakarta and Solo in Central Java rival each other as centers of culture, with regular dance and gamelan music performances and tons of other traditional artistic output in the form of carvings, sculpture, painting, and much more. Endless beaches, jungles and mountains also attract their fair share of foreigners.

    Tropical Punch Tour: Java Video aims the spotlight on musical and cultural life in and around Yogyakarta. The shenanigans begin with a quick glance at raw street musicians on the main drag in town, Jalon Malioboro. Next up, a few Wayang Kulit shadow puppets float into view, followed by a sprightly gamelan orchestra and Wayang Kulit shadow puppet play at the Sono Budoyo Museum. Next morning, we peel ourselves out of bed for an early morning visit to Borobudur, a giant Buddhist temple that’s bigger than a city block and taller than Godzilla. It was built back in the ninth century, when Buddhism reigned as Java’s primary religion. A violent Wayang Golek wooden puppet play with another chiming gamelan orchestra goes down at the Sultan’s Palace, followed by the super-colorful Ramayana Ballet at Purawisata. The video closes with a visit to the serene Taman Sari water palace, and musical instruments under fiery construction at a gamelan foundry in Bentuyang.

    For tons of photos and a detailed travel journal, visit the Tropical Punch Tour page.

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