…Yogyakarta, the gateway to the extraordinary cultural heritage of central Jawa…


Amazing Yogyakarta…

Guys, once again I’m out of Malaysia, beginning another interesting adventure again, but this time, I’m not travelling only with Xiangyun, but together with my parents and sister. Guess what?  We went to the place which was once considered as the heart of Indonesia before Batavia became the capital as Jakarta for Indonesia, Yogyakarta…

I’ve been to other parts of Indonesia such as Pontianak, Medan, Lake Toba, Padang, Pekan Baru etc ., and this is the first time I’ve stepped into Java, and “WOW!” that’s all I can say.  The trip was fantastic!

View of Mount Merapi from the plane.

Travelling within Asia now is so convenient compared to older times, especially thanks to AirAsia, you’ve made ‘Everyone Can Fly’ possible…And I’m one of them!!!  And you made my dream came true, by cutting down on my budget so that I can travel more frequently!

AirAsia now offers 2 trips daily from Kuala Lumpur to Yogyakarta…

Departures Arrivals
Kul-Jog 0700 0835
Kul-Jog 1145 1510

Innocent children along the street of Malioboro.

So, a short intro about Yogyakarta…

Yogyakarta, previously known as Jogja is the capital city of the province of Yogyakarta Special Region which is in the southern part of the Central Java province.   It has become one of the major tourist destination in Indonesia.

Urip Sumoharjo Street

The reason why Yogyakarta has become one of the most visited cities by tourists all over the world is due to its renowned centre of classical Javanese fine art and culture such as batik, ballet, drama, music, poetry, puppet shows and also one must mention that this is the most strategic place to rest or stop before you begin your adventures to one of the great wonders of the world, Borobudur!

Yogyakarta Puppets

It has been my dream to visit Candi Borobudur since I was small.  I’ve always came across this magnificent temple together with another great temple, Angkor Wat which is located in Cambodia in my history text books, and I have always wonder how they built such a great temple in the past time where it is almost impossible in modern days even with all the latest techniques and machines…

Local Satay seller

So, I’m going to share the do’s, and don’ts, and some experiences during my 4 days 3 nights stay in Yogtakarta.  In my opinion, this is the minimum stay in Yogyakarta that is ample for you to have a quick glance through the city and also Candi Borobudur-Prambanan-RatuBoko, the UNESCO Heritage sites.

Me and Xiangyun @ Malioboro

To save on your budget, do pre-book your air ticket as early as possible especially when there’s a ticket sale via AirAsia.  For me, the ticket only cost about Rm300 for two ways per person.  Getting a nice and comfortable room is essential for you to replenish your energy after a tiring day of walking and, for that I chose my hotel via Agoda.com.  The place where you can get a cheap yet nice room.

Do not pre-book any vehicles or driver online as you can get lots of choices once you stepped out the Adisucipto International Airport, and you can bargain the price on the spot.   Trust me, you can get that much cheaper than via internet.

We reached Yogyakarta very early in the morning, thanks to the nice flight schedule. We were lucky as we met a good guide and driver once we reached  our destination.                 Pak Handoko, a very polite, friendly guy, fluent in speaking English and the most important  thing is he’s  a very punctual person so that we won’t have any delay on our schedule.  He was  our guide and driver for the next three days.

Becak

Becak, cycle rickshaws in Indonesia are everywhere in the city as they will offer you a ride to anywhere you want.   Well, honestly, I did not have a good experience with these becak paddlers.

Soon after we checked into the hotel, we wanted to wander around the city and some of the famous landmarks, so we hired two becaks for the five of us. But, instead of the tourist attractions, they took us to all the souvenirs shops and batik shops, telling us that the tourist attractions were closed for lunch and blah-blah-blah.  We were so frustrated as they keep on taking us to those souvenirs shops, one by one hoping us to get some souvenirs so that they can earn some commissions, and we ended up our day trip just shopping.  Be careful when you deal with these becak paddlers.  In my opinion you might just as well charter a taxi to anywhere you want which is a better option.

Places to visit in Yogyakarta…

There are some famous tourist attractions around Yogyakarta which is worthwhile for you to pay a visit…

Kraton Complexes…

The Sultan’s Palace, Kraton NgayogyakartaHadiningrat is the primary kraton of the Yogyakarta Sultanate.  It costs Rp 12,500 per person, and an additional charge of Rp 1000 for camera.  There’s  a guide to walk with you along your visit in the palace, although they didn’t asked for any charges, but do kindly give them a tip as a sign of gratitude in return for their explanation, although sometimes their English is sort of confusing…

There are music and dance shows within the palace regularly, free with the ticket, therefore do try to check out the times when you arrive in Yogajakarta.

Taman Sari…

Water castle, this is a partly ruined complex built as a pleasure garden by the first Sultan in 1765.  One of the bathing pools was dedicated to the sultan’s harem, and he had a tower overlooking the area so he could take his pick.

After a tiring day of walking, try to catch to one of the famous local cultural performances, the Ramayana, an ancient Sanskrit Epic performed by the locals.  This is a bit costly as the show plus a buffet dinner will cost you about Rp 280,000.

And before you leave Yogyakarta, do not forget to try the local tropical fruit, Salak Pondah as Yogyakarta produces the most famous Salak from Indonesia.

Souvenirs?

Malioboro shopping area, framed by shops, offices, restaurants, star hotels and historical building. You can get all the souvenirs you need here.

Try to ask for coffee Luwak, which  is produced from a civet poops and yet the most expensive coffee in the world! (But you can get a good price here).   Most of the coffee Luwak are produced from Indonesia with Yogyakarta being one of the major exporter.   We were given a chance to visit the factory and see how these expensive coffee are processed. Trust me, it is safe to consume and this is the finest coffee I’ve ever had.

The non-processed cat’s poops

For your information, a cup of coffee Luwak in a hotel will cost USD20 and above.

Well, that’s all from now for Yogyakarta.  On my next entry, follow my adventures to one of the greatest monuments in the world, Borobudur Temple and Prambanan, which is under the list of UNESCO Heritage Site.

P/S: For anyone who is interested to travel to Yogyakarta, you can try to contact my previous guide, Pak Handoko at his email address at handoko.transport@yahoo.com.

Visit my another entry about Central Java…

Venturing into the magnificent monuments of Buddhist and Hindu World, Borobudur, Mendut, Prambanan

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2 Responses to …Yogyakarta, the gateway to the extraordinary cultural heritage of central Jawa…

  1. Pingback: Venturing into the magnificent monuments of Buddhist and Hindu World, Borobudur, Mendut, Prambanan | Limshouzhi's Weblog

  2. handoko says:

    thank you for put my name at your blog about yogjakarta so i hope we can meet again nexs time
    and i realy went we can meat again

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