Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Submitted by viravira on 22 July 2014 • Destination
On my trips to Yogyakarta, I’ve never missed a visit to Via Via café since 2004 when I discovered it. Now the café has grown to be a restaurant with other business lines such as a shop, accommodations, travel tours, and occasional events. Having been a loyal customer and a fan of their friendly and creative spirit, I booked a room at Via Via Guesthouse on this furniture-hunting trip to Yogyakarta.
Norman and I unluckily arrived in Yogyakarta early at dawn when the volcanic ash from Kelud mountain just started to pour over the city. Our plan to find breakfast before checking in the guesthouse had to be canceled because no diner nor warung was possibly open. So we arrived at the guesthouse too early when it was still closed.
Understanding the situation, one of the staff opened the door for us and let us in. Luckily, our room was ready, so we could clean ourselves up and take a rest while waiting for the ash downpour to subside. They served us hot tea to warm ourselves up.
Protective masks were provided for free for any guest that was going out. When we did finally decide to go out, the guesthouse staff kindly arranged motorbike hire for us. Sadly, he said, motorbike rentals sometimes don’t put enough trust in fellow Indonesians due to some motorbike run-offs in the past. But the staff managed to convince the rental to rent out the motorbike to us since we were staying at their guesthouse. Awesome!
The Sumatera Room with bunk beds and AC was our choice for the 2-night stay. The bathroom was sandwiched between and shared by us and Java Room. Our room had just enough space to move around, equipped with a chair and a small round piece of furniture that served as a bedside table.
I’ve always liked having a window that faces the street because I can see people go while daydreaming in my bed. On this specific stay, I could also easily check whether the ash had stopped falling or at least reduced, to decide whether we could go out or not.
I think Sumatera Room is the only bedroom with bunk beds. The Java, Papua and Bali rooms have double beds. Some are equipped with private bathrooms, TV, AC or fans.
Sumatera Room: IDR 175,000 / night / room. Inclusive: breakfast and tax.
Breakfast was served in the common room, consisting of grilled bread/pancake and fruits. For lunch or dinner, we had our food delivered from Via Via Cafe since it was still too ashy to go out. The ash really took the fun out of culinary treat that I’ve always loved in Yoyakarta, but it was a good thing that the food was delicious anyway. Unfortunately, I can’t recall what menu we had, sowwy!
Breakfast is included in the room rate. If you checked in early like we did, you could order breakfast about IDR 25,000 per portion.
As youth of today, who doesn’t like having a good and free WiFi, right? Via Via Guesthouse accommodates that for you, as well as the sofa where you can read some books displayed in the shelf. If you’re looking for some tours around Yogyakarta, there’s a list of their recommended tours from which you could choose on the bookshelf.
Some sets of tables are provided in the backyard. They were all covered in ash at the time I was there, but I can imagine how lovely it would be to have breakfast there with the chirps of little birds hopping on the tree branches.
Via Via Guesthouse is located in the Prawirotaman area, only about 200 meters from the famous Via Via Café. This location is great especially if you are going around mostly the south part of Yogyakarta.
Prawirotaman is the backpacker hub of Yogyakarta. It’s got a lot of mid to budget accommodations, restaurants and cafes, stretched to Tirtodipuran Street, and a few bars. Car and motorbike rentals are easy to find here, as well as tour and travel agents.
However, it’s nothing like the Kaosan Road in Bangkok or Poppies Lane in Kuta, Bali. Prawirotaman is more quiet and I’ve never seen drunken people walking around the streets.
Via Via Guesthouse is actually owned by a couple of Via Via café’s staff. Their boss encouraged them to have a business of their own, so they did! isn’t that awesome? I’m not sure whether they still work for the restaurant part time or resigned totally. Either way, it’s so noble of the boss and hats off to the staff’s will to grow!
On our trip to Laos, we accidentally found a Via Via café in Vientiane. It has the same logo with the one in Yogyakarta. Turns out, there are several branches of Via Via all around the world, from Asia to Africa! That explains the multi clocks with different times I’ve seen in Yogyakarta’s Via Via Café.
More about Via Via international chain: click here.
Via Via Guesthouse Website: Viaviajogja.com/guesthouse Located about 200 meters from Via Via Cafe. Address (of Via Via Restaurant): Jl. Prawirotaman 30, Jogjakarta. Phone: +62 274 386557