Amanjiwo boasts two dedicated anthropologists, each with a deep connection to Java's cultural heritage, who offer engaging lectures, and lead comprehensive tours of ancient temples and sacred sites. Patrick Vanhoebrouck, who first arrived in Indonesia in 1997, holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Illinois, Chicago, as well as a Master of Arts in Cultural Anthropology and a Master of Science in Humanitarian Action. Meanwhile, Jean-Pascal Elbaz, a French native with over 30 years of experience in Asia, brings his expertise as a Resident Anthropologist. With a background in social psychology and a history of working as a journalist in Paris and for the French Institute for Asian Studies, he now divides his time between translation, interpretation for development organizations, and academic pursuits, including his ongoing PhD studies in Cultural Studies at Sanata Dharma University, Yogyakarta.
Immersions in nature
Central Java’s dramatic landscape is ideal for trekking, whether up the steep flanks of Mount Merapi or into the lush Menoreh Hills. Discover villages lost in time amid fragrant clove plantations or walk to Selogriyo, an 8th century Hindu temple high on the slopes of Mount Sumbing. Here you can picnic with enchanting views of the rice paddies below.
Legend has it that 2,000 temples once graced the plains beyond Amanjiwo. Those still standing include the magnificent Pawon, and Mendut, constructed around 800 AD. Time-weathered Hindu temples on the Dieng Plateau date from the 7th and 8th centuries, and the ancient complex of Ratu Boko in outskirt Yogyakarta boasts an ancient settlement built in the 9th century.
Arts and culture
Central Java is Indonesia’s cultural heartland, where art in all its forms has been celebrated for centuries. Rural villages host frequent festivals and celebrations, with gamelan music and spirited dancing, while Hindu and Buddhist temples exhibit remarkable architecture and centuries old sacred rites. An hour drive to the neighbouring region of Yogyakarta sees a vibrant mix of Javanese antiquities with an ancient temple complex in the north and a younger Yogyakarta Palace complex in its centre.