Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Located in the island of Java in Indonesia, this is a place of plenty, where palaces and temples meet verdant mountains and paddy fields. It is one of the oldest towns in Indonesia, and offers a step back in time, to traditional values. It’s a centre of Javanese fine art, offering samples of batik, ballet, drama, music and poetry, and is easily traversed by bike, pedicab and horse and cart. Street performers entertain visitors on every corner, and there is a sense of peace and ambience when you are here. It’s a great place to partake in classes; whether you wish to learn the ancient art of Batik or make jewellery in the style of the locals, all classes can be taken up while on the island. People here are friendly and welcoming, so you will never be short of someone to talk to.

If you are making the journey for the ancient wonders of the city, then take a trip to Borobudir, an ancient Buddhist temple dating back to the ninth century. See it at sunrise and it’s mythical, like a monolith emerging from the mist. Each temple has relief panels reflecting the Buddha’s teachings, and the sculpture is magnificent. There are also lots of beautiful parks to visit on the island if you are shying away from the cultural walks, and the city is bordered by the ocean to the south.

To get here from London is an arduous trek. Flights stop first in Singapore, and then Jakarta, before landing in Java, but it is well worth the trip for the rich history you will see here. Make sure you have your Travel Insurance and passport, and hop on the flight!