Yogyakarta – my rush travel for 2016. Literally booked my air ticket and hotel 2 days before the flight, this was the trip that pushed through by sheer willpower alone, aided and abetted by my crazy yet awesome travel buddies – Camille and Frankie!
If it’s your first time in Yogyakarta (like me), check out my blog basics – that lays out everything you need to know about Yogyakarta (from how much cash to bring, to where should I stay, to is it safe to travel around as a female)!
Otherwise, read on to find out the beautiful gems that you’ll be privileged to see when you head to Yogyakarta!
THE REASON WHY YOU WENT TO YOGYAKARTA. Borobodur is quite possibly the largest Buddhist temple ever built, so you should DEFINITELY check it out
- Operating hours: 6:00 – 17:00
- Cost: ~410k Rupiah (~PHP 1,500)
We joined a tour van, and got the Borobodur sunrise package. This way, we would be at the peak of the temple when the sun slowly rises from the east, which meant we got to Borobodur when it was still completely pitch dark! The resort provided us with flashlights, and really bright rain coats to keep us dry through the looooong climb up (just kidding, took us probably ~10mins max to climb the stairs, and we are pretty unfit!)
And then the moment of truth! As the Buddhist monks solemnly chanted, the sun slowly broke through the horizon! Alas, it was raining and the clouds obstructed our view of the glorious sun… So no majestic sunrise shots for us. Nevertheless, it was definitely an experience to remember – deemed spiritual by many of my friends who’ve been here before, so don’t forget to check it out when here!
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A UNESCO World Heritage site consisting of hundreds of Hindu temples – think Indonesia’s Angkor Wat equivalent! This was part of our Borobodur sunrise tour package, so our entire group headed here post Borobodur
- Cost: 230k Rupiah (~PHP 850)
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The beautiful water fortress built for royalty (the Sultan’s wives to be exact)
- Operating hours: 8:00 – 14:00
- Cost: 3k Rupiah (~PHP 11)
Meander along the castle corridors, descend into the underground catacombs, and re-emerge outside to bask in the beauty of the swimming pool and courtyard – all while you snap multiple shots for your IG account
Lots of local guides will be at the entrance, offering to provide a guided tour. Feel free to commission their service (which we did), but make sure to agree on a price upfront. They’re helpful to ensure you check out all the needed sights, as well as providing handy photographer services! Having said that, there’s certainly no need to commission their services, so feel free to tell them no upfront and they should stop pestering you
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Alun-Alun Selatan Kraton
The perfect place to sight see and watch people (both locals and tourist alike) at night!
If you’re lucky, there might even be a concert that night. Feel free to eat dinner there as well – it doesn’t look 100% hygienic, but none of our tummies ached afterwards, so I guess it was clean…
In addition, these streets will be filled with these crazy blinged out cars that are really cute to look at and take photos of! One small loop should cost you 15k IDR (~PHP 55) for 4-6 people
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The perfect haven for souvenir and bargain hunters alike!
There’s a seemingly endless line of random wares being sold on the streets and the multiple stalls lining the area. While there, don’t forget to check out Beringharjo Market as well
Wares range from cutesy T-shirts (that cost only 15k Rupiah), to batik print purses (10k Rupiah), to jewelry, handicrafts, batik (trousers, t-shirt, dresses, bangles, and even paintings!), sandals, blangkon (traditional central Javanese headdresses worn by men), and everything else in between… THIS is where you go for cheap stuff, and remember, the key is to bargain bargain bargain!
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Gumuk Pasir Parangkusumo
Otherwise known as the SAND DUNES! No need to go to Dubai to get your sand dunes shots – just head to this place for IG-worthy photos!
- Operating hours: 8:00 – 18:00
- Cost: Free; Rides will cost from 50k to 150k Rupiah (~PHP 180-500)
We spent roughly ~45mins to get here via cab – we hired a private one for ~200k Rupiah (~PHP 730) that would bring us to the place, wait for us, and bring us back to our hotel
We went close to sun set time, which allowed us to take lovely shots as the sky slowly changed hues. Supposedly, you can also sandboard and rent ATVs while here – didn’t get to try though!
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For other cool out-of-town day trips, check out this link which served as my inspiration throughout my journey
Hope this helps you plan your Yogyakarta journey, and inspire you to travel to many more distinctly different locales all around the globe!