Why go to Yogyakarta? Easy! Borobodur looks looks amazing, the location was just right (I was working in Kuala Lumpur, and my friends were working in Jakarta at the time), but also because it didn’t need bikini bodies (sorry Bali)
But… what did we actually know about Yogyakarta? And how easy would it be to navigate for three young female adults? The answer is… relatively easy! So, read on to reap the fruits of our intensive (!!) research 😉
If you already know all the basics, head on to my Yogyakarta travel blog – to get the lowdown on the touristy and not so touristy places to check out while there! As a sneak peek, here’s a beautiful photo of the Borobodur Temple
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How much cash do I have to bring?
Most places in Yogyakarta don’t accept credit cards (to my eternal chagrin), aside from the legit shops. Assuming you’ve paid for your hotel when you booked online, then I’d say bring ~800 to 900k Rupiah for three days, and that should suffice
ATMs are also available at the airport, and near the hotel I stayed at, so you can also withdraw money as well
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Where should I stay?
Japan Prawirotaman and the South: This was the area where I stayed, and would highly recommend as two main tourist attractions (Alun Alun Selatan and Taman Sari Water Palace) and loads of restaurants are within walking distance. In fact, Maliboro would also be considered walking distance if you’re willing to walk ~20mins – which I did, so totally doable!
Maliboro and the Center: This would be where most tourists stay, and is an extremely busy place. Having said that, the only thing I did here was visit Jalan Malioboro which is their street market of sorts
Borobodur Temple: If your main goal is to see Borobodur and you don’t want to wake up at an ungodly hour to travel all the way from Yogyakarta to Borobodur (travel takes roughly ~90 mins), then you might opt to stay at Manohara Resort – room rates would already include the Borobodur entrance fee
Quick note: As Indonesia is a Muslim country, they heavily discourage (actually, they don’t permit) unmarried or unrelated males and females from staying in the same room together – something to keep in mind when you’re booking your hotel online
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Where did you [aka me] stay? Hotel Rengganis
The accommodation was rather spartan, but for the price (PHP 620 per person per night for a private 2-person room), it was well worth it. Not only is it cheap, but:
- Its location is top-notch. As mentioned previously, it’s walking distance from the main tourist sites I wanted to go to
- They provide free drinking water (so don’t forget to bring a water bottle for refills) as well as free breakfast (pretty decent, nothing to write home about, but not bad either)
- They have a swimming pool, ready for you to dive in after a long hot day exploring the city
- Their restaurant is GOOD! Loved the food we ordered, and prices were decent as well
- Service was excellent, staff was friendly, and they had tour packages to offer us when we asked (for lazy travelers). Tour package prices weren’t the cheapest for sure, but for the convenience, I figure it’s worth it
My only gripe would be… the wifi is abysmal inside the rooms! You have to go to the lobby just to use the internet. Nevertheless, as I was there to enjoy my friends’ company; and not to go online – this was a minor complaint for me
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What’s the best way to get around the city?
■ By foot: If you stay in the same area as me (Japan Prawirotaman and the South), then most of my recommended sites should be within walking distance. Also, I find walking a pleasurable activity here as there aren’t a lot of cars, and it gives you a chance to check out how the locals live
■ By tuktuk: Prices are decent, but make sure to haggle if you think the quoted prices are unreasonable
■ By cab: Slightly pricier alternative, but if you want to leave the city and head to the beach/sand dunes/mountains, and you’re in a hurry, then this one might be a good option for you
■ By tour van
For really popular tourist attractions – aka Borobodur Temple and Prambanan Temple – you should definitely scout for a tour van you can join (this would include the cost of the transport, plus the temple admission fees itself)
Because we were short on time (and a bit lazy, we were VERY tired from work), we ended up going with our hotel’s tour van package. But if you have time, you should head to Maliboro and visit the travel agencies there – they’re sure to give you a better price. Likewise, I heard hostel packages are also cheaper since they’re geared towards backpackers
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Is it safe to go around the city, especially if I’m a female?
Yes! My three friends and I are all female, and we were walking the streets of Yogyakarta pretty late at night – and we didn’t feel like there was any cause for fear
Having said that, it’s best to travel/walk on well-lit roads, and in groups (even if all females). It’s always best to be safe rather than sorry. Also, our hotel warned us that there was a recent surge of pickpockets, so it would also be wise to look after your bags and wallets
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How do I get to my hotel from the airport?
You can either go to the cab stalls (it’s at the Domestic Airport, you’ll see it as soon as you exit. For those arriving at the International Airport, there’s a free shuttle that can bring you to the Domestic Airport). A flat fare cab from the airport to the city will cost you ~100k Rupiah (~PHP 370)
There’s only one option here – take a cab! Travel time from the airport to the city should take roughly 30mins, with minimal traffic along the way
On the other hand, you can wait for a cab to drop someone off, and hail that cab instead! This will be ~30% cheaper as it will be based on the meter, costing me ~63k Rupiah (~PHP 230) only – super worth it!
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Hope this inspires you to travel to Yogyakarta, but if it doesn’t – here’s another photo of me and my friends having random fun at Gumuk Pasir Parangkusumo (SAND DUNES WOO)