THE CITY OF CULTURE
- 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.
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 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
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.
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 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).
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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