The City of Culture, Yogya

July 2012

Yogyakarta - despite the official spelling, the name is usually pronounced and commonly written Jogjakarta or just Jogja (Jogh-jah). It is located near majestic Mt. Merapi, an active volcano in Java Indonesia. The historic city of Jogjakarta offer visitors a copious variety of cultural experiences.

How to Get There:

There is no direct flight from Manila to Jogjakarta. Passengers can take a flight bound to Jakarta, Bali or Kuala Lumpur then take a connecting flight bound to Jogja.

CANDI PRAMBANAN

Candi Prambanan is the oldest structure in the world and most visited temple in Prambanan Complex. There were 237 temples that were originally built. Most of them have been destroyed and the main remaining attractions are the six temples (restoration on-going) of the central court.

Since Candi Prambanan is just near at the airport, I visited it first before going to the city centre. The entrance fee costs 137,000 IDR or around 13USD.

From Adisucipto Airport, I took the Trans Jogja (BRT- bus rapid transit system) with a fix fare of 3,000.00 IDR (around 15 Php). Just ask the staff for more information and assistance.

I was not able to see Kraton Ratu Boko, a ruined place or temple of uncertain origin, located on the hilltop 200 meters above the Prambanan plain.










CANDI BOROBUDUR

Borobudur is the largest Buddhist temple in Indonesia, located in the highland Kedu, Magelang District Central Java. It was built between the years 778-842.

I availed the Manohara Hotel’s Borobudur Sunrise Tour on July 11, which happened to be my birthday. I paid around 40USD for this tour since I was not a guest of the hotel. The package includes free light breakfast, flashlight and use of “Sarong”.

Regular entrance fee is around 20USD but the gate opens at 6AM.

Sunrise tour is the most recommended activity, but unfortunately I never saw sunrise, it’s cloudy.

To get to Borobudur from Malioboro St., I rented a car with a driver from my hotel for 4 hours (10USD per hour). We left Abadi hotel at 4 in the morning. The journey took an hour. At exactly 5AM, I joined a group of people for the Sunrise tour. I stayed only for 2 hours at the temple then I went back to the city.











JALAN MALIOBORO

Jalan Malioboro is the centre of Yogyakarta's largest tourist district surrounded with many hotels and restaurants. There were small stalls on both sides of the street selling variety of goods like batik, handicraft and fashion products. During the night, you can see several open-air street side restaurants, called lesehan. At the northern end of the street is the train station and Kraton or Sultan Palace on the South. I explored the street by foot instead of riding Becak (Yogya’s local mode of transportation).


JAKARTA’S MONAS

When I arrived at Jakarta’s Terminal 3 from Yogya, I took the blue bird taxi going to the city of Jakarta. My hotel was within MONAS in Central Jakarta. Taxi fare costs 150,000 IDR (around 20USD) depending on the traffic.

Jakarta’s traffic has always been a big problem for the government the same as Manila’s.

There are airport buses called DAMRI that serve from/to the airport and various points including GAMBIR STATION located near MONAS. I rode this bus going to the Airport for 20,000IDR (around 4USD) from Gambir.

MONAS (Indonesian: Monumen Nasional) symbolizes Jakarta. It was opened to the public in 1975. It has an observation deck. From here, you can see Jakarta’s skyline, the independence hall and museum. I just took some pictures outside the building.


This tour fulfilled one of my birthday wish which is “to celebrate while on Travel”. This was also my first solo tour. It was indeed a momentous birthday celebration. 

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