YOGYAKARTA, D.I.Y – AN ALL-GIRL HOLIDAY AT THE EVER SO CHARMING CITY

Submitted by indohoyindohoy on 16 March 2010   •  Itinerary

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I know, I know, it’s quite awhile ago since I did this trip with my girl friends, sorry for the loooong delay to upload the story here. I’ve been busy with… errr.. just busy. **grin** But I’m sure that most – if not all – of my experience and information here is still valid and applicable until now. (Note that now is February ’10.) I’ve proven that not so many drastic changes happen in Yogyakarta since my first visits in the 90s and the last ones in a few years back. And probably the lack of change is actually what makes this city so dearly to many domestic and international tourists.

Travel Indonesia: Jogjakarta

So, what got me to go back there again and again? It’s a delightful vacationing place. It’s laid-back, it has a unique combination of Indonesian modern and traditional lifestyle, it’s a great place to shop for traditional goods, and like many other places than Jakarta, people are much much nicer. Plus, it was the wedding of my very good pal Koko 🙂

SHOPPING – BERINGHARJO MARKET

Since my girls had a mission to shop for batiks for their quilt business (www.simplisheety.blospot.com), we visited Beringharjo Market, a 3-story market on Malioboro st. (I’ve written a bit about it before in the activity tab here)

The market hall holds maybe thousands of stalls that sell batik, food, raw materials for cooking, modern clothes, and so many others. It is a market, of course!


Travel Indonesia: Jogjakarta

Travel Indonesia: Jogjakarta

I myself purchased a brown tie-dye dress for Rp 25,000, a brown batik dress for a friend also Rp 25,000, and a tie-dye t-shirt for another friend for Rp 15,000, while the other girls were busy choosing patterns and haggling. Cheap? Yes, very. But remember, you’d have to wash the clothes separately from anything else in your laundry  and don’t soak it because the colors would fade and stain other clothes when washed together. Do this for the first few washes, and some clothes will always have to be washed separately forever.

SHOPPING – MIROTA

Mirota Batik shop was our next destination, located just across the Beringharjo Market on Malioboro st. I always go there whenever I’m in Jogja (this will probably refresh your memory). I think they have a lot of great stuff, other than batik they have mostly Javanese specialties, with affordable prices. Meaning, don’t expect to see a silk batik.

I purchased some incense cones and sticks, which I lighted later in Jakarta, but they didn’t really function well. Well, they only cost about Rp 6,000 – Rp 10,000 a pack of 5, so what would you expect…?

On our second visit to Mirota, I bought a batik dress for Rp 42,500 and a batik wide pleated skirt for Rp 84,000, which were both for my friends, and I forgot to photograph them. Darn! But trust me, it was more than what it cost. Or else, why would I buy it right? 🙂

While waiting for the others to finish their shopping, I went and checked out the sidewalk market, which is composed of a lot of stalls – which are made of only tables and hanger poles. Most of the goods sold there are t-shirts, batik products, and other traditional mass products like rattan purses and silver jewelries. Mind you, these are even cheaper stuff than the ones in Mirota, so don’t expect too high of quality. I got myself a tie-dye t-shirt for only Rp 15,000.

SHOPPING – BATIK RUMAH & BATIK KUNTHI

We headed to a shop called Batik Rumah at 2A Nogosari Kidul Street by taxi with the meter on. It’s a house turned into a shop and located among houses in what seems to be a nice neighborhood. A row of becak were parked in front of the shop, ready at your service to take you to whatever house shop you want to have a peek in.

Travel Indonesia: Jogjakarta

They have various types of goods, from clothes to tablecloths. The prices range from ten thousands rupiah to hundreds of thousands, mostly depending on the batik types.

Travel Indonesia: Jogjakarta

I walked out empty handedly in our 1st visit to the shop, not because none of them I liked, but because the things that I liked were kinda out of my budget. But I was happy that I got what I wanted in a nearby shop called Batik Kunthi, at 6 Nogosari Street. A loose black blouse with orangey batik borders for Rp 110,000 after a 20% discount. Yay!!

Two days after that, we went back to Batik Rumah, and I finally came out with a shopping bag. Well I didn’t get anything for me, only a shirt for my dad and a loose blouse for my sister, both Rp 162,000 in total. They were on discount!

SPA & MASSAGE IN YOGYAKARTA

Then we decided to go for some massage at a salon/spa which we had googled in the one morning. Because the area was quite unknown to us, taxi became our method of transporting. Rp 15,000 took us to Salon Siska at 56 Ki Mangunsarkoro street.

Travel Indonesia: Jogjakarta

Salon Siska is what I’d expect what a spa looks like. It’s got a calm and quiet ambience with a lot of ethnical ornaments in the lobby, and white and brownish interior. It kinda surprised us that the decorative ornaments weren’t exclusively Javanese, they’ve also got Japanese and other kinds. Turns out that they are often visited by groups of foreign tourists who like to give gifts from their countries. Nice!

The traditional massage costs Rp 75,000 / hr, Rp 100,000 / 1,5 hr, while the Stone massage – this is what I had – was rp 175,000 / 1,5 hr. But stone massage is from Sweden, why would I get it in Jogja? I know, I know, it’s just that I had been curious what a stone massage feels like, and since I rarely go for massages in Jakarta, I thought I’d just have it here while I could. But guess what, the stones that they use for the massage are grabbed from the famous volcanic Merapi mountain at the border of D.I Yogyakarta and Central Java. At least that’s what the masseur told me.

Travel Indonesia: Jogjakarta

SHOPPING – KOTAGEDE

A shopping tip I once got was that it’s not recommended to shop with an empty stomach. Hunger often is the source of foolish decisions. So, it was great that we went to a silver shop after lunch.

Travel Indonesia: Jogjakarta

This Aranda’s Silver shop is at 30 Kemasan Street, Kotagede. As a lot of other silver shops in Kotagede, it has rows of jewelry display. Oh and they actually sold other decorative ornaments as well, like statues or miniatures of horse carriages, all made of silver. I forgot how much the price for the miniature was, but the spiral ring that I got and fell in love at the first sight with was Rp 160,000 after a 20% discount.

Travel Indonesia: Jogjakarta

SHOPPING – AMBARUKMO MALL

After having some taste on horse satay and ronde on our second day in Jogja, we checked out the Ambarukmo shopping mall on Adisutjipto Street (it’s quite near to the airport), just to see what it’s like.

Well, a mall is a mall. It’s just like a middle class shopping mall in Jakarta that I’ve seen a lot. But the good thing is, I spotted a statue of mbok jamu*  that’s now sitting nicely on a rack in my living room. I saw statues like it in Mirota Batik shop but they’re not crafted as neat as the one I bought 😀 yes, you should pay a little detail when purchasing anything ethnic.

 Travel Indonesia: Jogjakarta

The street where the mall is on, Adisutjipto Street, is also known as Laksda Adi Sucipto Street, it’s a newer way of spelling, I guess. Also known as Solo Street because it is the long street that connects Yogyakarta and the city of Solo, Central Java 

*mbok jamu = herbal drink seller lady

ENJOYING THE COOL WEATHER OF KALIURANG

Kaliurang is actually reachable by bus, but I didn’t feel like going by bus cos I wanted to look fresh at my friend Koko’s wedding that we were gonna attend.

I’ve phoned a car rental service previously, they could rent us a 7-seater for Rp 500,000 including the driver for a day (the number was +62 274 743 4961). Luckily Kania got us a way cheaper rent through her friend, so we only had to pay Rp 300,000 including the driver, for 12 hours.

We rented the car from 9 AM, which means we got in Kaliurang at about 10 AM. The wedding didn’t start until a few hours later, so we visited Ullen Sentalu museum which is only across Wisma Kinasih, the wedding area.

ULLEN SENTALU MUSEUM

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Ullen sentalu is a Javanese art and cultural museum. They’ve got lotsa pictures of the Javanese royals, paintings and crafts with historical themes (some are considered as mystical), old musical instruments like gamelan, and a collection of handmade batik which the princesses had to fast for days before making them. Batik at that time was something sacred, every pattern has meanings, and they should be worn for the right purpose. For instance, there’s special patterns for wedding, for giving birth, for funeral, for royal events, etc.

The architecture of the museum is awesome, made of stone walls and the building is labyrinth-like. The main building is built on a lower level, it’s like you’re going into a cave. There’s also stairs and narrow pathways with fences connecting the buildings. Too bad they don’t allow visitors to take pictures at all.

(Click here to take a peek of the inside and the complete story about the whole museum.)

Travel Indonesia: Jogjakarta

The prohibition is only applied in the museum. In the gardens, restaurant, and souvenir shop you’re free to take as many picture as you want. And here’s in the colonial-styled Beukenhof restaurant.

Travel Indonesia: Jogjakarta

The entrance fee is Rp 25,000/pax, including a complimentary drink once we got out of the museum.

THE WEDDING

Getting out of Ullen Sentalu complex, we went directly to Koko’s wedding. I loved how he decorated the yard, and yes he and the wifey Deni arranged everything by themselves, he even bought the symbolic doves himself the day before the wedding.

Travel Indonesia: Jogjakarta

The food was great. Our main dish was Salat Solo, which is the usual salad dish modified with addition of potato and sweet-soya-sauced meat (or known as semur).

Travel Indonesia: Jogjakarta

AFFANDI MUSEUM

Affandi Museum came next. Located on Laksda Adi Sucipto street with the entrance fee of Rp 20,000 / pax. Affandi is Indonesia’s  well known artist, mostly known for his expressive abstract paintings. He passed away in 1990, and here’s the official website of the museum, galleries, and about the respectable man himself.

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Gallery 1 only displays Affandi’s works, while Gallery 2 displays others’. We didn’t go into Gallery 3, but I think it also displays other artists’ works. Across Gallery 1, there’s a café where we hung out for a while, sipping some bottles of Teh Botol Sosro (my favorite bottled tea, especially when served cold).

Next to the café, stood a caravan-like bamboo building that now functions as mushalla, a prayer room for Moslems. It was initially built by Affandi for his private room with his first wife who passed away before he did. Aww… aren’t artists romantic..?

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PARANGTRITIS BEACH AT NOT-SO-RIGHT TIMING

At that time, I didn’t know much about beaches in Yogyakarta. Parangtritis was the only beach I had heard of. And I didn’t bother to find out because I wasn’t in the mood for snorkeling or anything that got me soaked. But it would be nice to relax a bit at the beach.. haha.. inconsistent me. My friends agreed to go to Parangtritis, while we still had a lot of time to use the car and too tired for any shopping, it was already almost 5 PM.

An hour ride was the length from Sudirman street to Parangtritis beach. Too bad when we got there the sun was s     etting and we weren’t really at the right spot to view a beautiful sunset. And I didn’t realize that the beach wasn’t as beautiful as I had remembered. It was brownish sandy beach. Or was it because already almost dark? I guess I should go back there again one day to make sure about the beach 😛

Travel Indonesia: Jogjakarta

The interesting part was that I bought these fried undur-undur (ant-lion) at some stall on the beach. It’s a kind of small animal that’s seen a lot on beaches. And from the name of it, I guess they do walk backwards? ‘undur’ has a similar meaning with ‘mundur’ which means going backwards. The fried undur-undur cost Rp 2,500 / box. Taste-wise, it was too salty for me. But it was alright,  I was starting to get hungry anyway. And then we also bought grilled corn on the cobs, costing Rp 2,500 each, sold by a lady who sits her equipments on a mat on the beach.

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There were quite many visitors on the beach that day. I guess because it was in the weekend, and around the school holiday. Lots of cars and buses parked about 15 meters from the shore line, and a lot of commercial stalls were built. I remember going there with my family some 18 years ago, and we went on this horse carriage (delman) ride, it was lovely. I wonder if they still have that kinda service for tourists.

PRAWIROTAMAN STREETS, THE RIGHT PLACE FOR TOURISTS AND BACKPACKERS

There are a couple of streets named Prawirotaman, numbered from I to … I don’t know how many, on the right and left sides of the Prawirotaman avenue.   

(avenues, streets, roads, are all translated into one term in Indonesian, that is ‘jalan’)

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You can find a lot of hotels, hostels, cafes, internet cafes, restaurants, travel bureaus, shops, money changers, and becaks on these streets, and sometimes even delman (horse carriage). It’s probably like the Khaosan Street of Bangkok, but tranquil.

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In an attempt to spread the words about this beloved website, I took time to distribute flyers in some shops, hotel lobbies, and travel bureaus. Hey, maybe you can spread some words about us in your area, too? 😉


LESEHAN DINNER

We went walking from Windy’s house on Agus Salim street to have dinner at Malioboro street at some random street stall. The walk to this main avenue of Jogja took about 30 minutes, no rush, passing by the Alun-alun Kidul (South Square) while enjoying the relax atmosphere of Jogja.

The food stall was typical of Jogjanese style, lesehan, that’s where you sit on the matted floor with your legs crossed, and food is served on a low table.

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The menu that we chose:

Pigeon, fried Rp 19,000, grilled Rp 20,000

Duck, fried Rp 12,000, grilled Rp 13,000

GADO-GADO BU HADI

I got this informative guide book dedicated for culinary stroll in Yogyakarta, and from it we found the info about Gado-gado Bu Hadi at the 2nd floor of Beringharjo Market.

The market hall turned out to be really big, it stretches until maybe about 1 km to the back. We had to walk 500 metres from the main stairs to Gado-Gado Bu Hadi. There isn’t signage to tell you where everything is, so we asked the security guard for direction.

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Gado-gado is Indonesian salad consisted of variety of veggies with tofu or beancurd, potato, and pestled peanut sauce. A portion cost Rp 7,000. You could eat it with rice or lontong for a little extra rupiah.

Honestly, we thought the gado-gado wasn’t special, tasted just like any other gado-gado in Indonesia. But it was okay.

Travel Indonesia: Jogjakarta

GUDEG BU IS

On one of the mornings, Windy’s aunt provided us Gudeg Bu Is in boxes for breakfast. It was sweet and spicy,  and served in big portion for a breakfast – at least to my standard.

Travel Indonesia: Jogjakarta

As I am not really an expert on food, it took me quite some time to try to describe what gudeg is… until I found that Wikipedia has the right way of describing it:

“Gudeg is a traditional food from Central Java and Yogyakarta, which is made from young Nangka (jack fruit) among other things, boiled for several hours with palm sugar, and coconut milk. Additional spices include garlic, shallot, candlenut, coriander seed, galangal, bay leaves, and teak leaves, the latter giving a brown color to the dish. Gudeg is usually served with white rice, chicken, hard-boiled egg, tofu and/or tempeh, and a stew made of crispy beef skins (sambal goreng krecek).”

There you go 😀

I’m sorry I couldn’t give you the info of the gudeg price because we got it for free. But from the box, you can see where to get it:

Gudeg Bu Is

Pelekung Wijilan Pandean street # Pb 1/159

Phone: +62-274-371972 or +62-81392642234

And although as I said I’m no expert, I can say that compared to other gudegs I’ve tasted in Jakarta, Solo, and Bandung, this one is the best.

LABA-LABA CAFE

While strolling along the Prawirotaman area, we saw a lot of cafes and restaurants. We picked one for having dinner, it’s called Laba-Laba Café. ‘Laba-laba’ literally means spider, I don’t know why they named it that, but I can assure you that I didn’t see any spider crawling in the cafe.

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The food was just okay. An omelet costs Rp 16,000 and a jaffle is Rp 13,000. But business went kinda slow that night for Laba-Laba Café, only a few tables were occupied.

Our way back to Malioboro street from the café by becak cost only Rp 10,000 per vehicle.

SEKAR KEDHATON

After a series of batik shopping, we then headed to Kotagede area for some silver shopping. But on the way, we got hungry, because of course, it was noon already. And by then I got restless hehehe…  We had the taxi waiting for us in the parking lot of the restaurant called Sekar Kedhaton. Lucky for us, the taxi driver agreed to take us to a few stops, pausing the meter each time we stop at stores and restaurant. Most taxi drivers wouldn’t agree to that.

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Sekar Kedhaton is a middle-upper class restaurant that’s visited a lot by groups of foreign tourists that come by buses and minibuses on tours. From the outside, looking at the size and look of the restaurant, we thought the menu would be more expensive than they really are.

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Spot on! Iga Brongkos cost me Rp 49,000 plus tax, and the whole of our meal cost Rp 241,230 including tax. We walked out satisfied costumers because the food tasted good, the restaurant was nicely decorated – a combination of old Javanese and Dutch style, the staff were friendly, and the prices made sense. And good news for you because the waitresses seemed to talk quite good English, maybe because they’re used to having English-speaking guests.

HORSE SATAY

Oni, a friend of Mia’s, picked us up at 6.30 PM on our second day. He’s a Jogja native, so he knows the ways around. We – and it was my idea – asked him to take us to a horse satay diner that I knew from the culinary guide book. I was just curious what horse meat tastes like. Ok, don’t think of us as barbaric, just… resourceful :).

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The diner turned out to be a frugal stall near the Santika Hotel on Jenderal Sudirman Street. Because we didn’t know how good or bad it was gonna taste, we only ordered 2 portions of satay, each consisted of 5 skewers, and drinks.

The whole thing cost Rp 28,000. And no, I don’t think I will look for horse satay anymore. The meat was kinda tough, and it tasted sort of bland. If curiosity killed the cat, then this trip killed this cat’s taste buds.

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JO’ KLERU

Then, Oni took us to another frugal stall called Jo’ Kleru (translates to ‘Don’t Be Mistaken’) at Pasar Terban. They sell noodles, ronde (ginger drink with peanuts and rice flour balls), and others. Hm, don’t ask me how much, ‘cos Oni paid for everything this time. Such a darling host, he was.

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SOTO KADIPIRO

On Saturday morning, Aunt Tung, Windy’s aunt next door, took us for a breakfast at Soto Kadipiro, on Wates Street. The menu was chicken soto (soup-like dish), mainly consisted of shredded chicken and vermicelli, and you can also plunge your steamed rice in it or prepare it in a separate plate.

Travel Indonesia: Jogjakarta

Travel Indonesia: Jogjakarta

What made the diner interesting for me was not the food – chicken soto is always just an okay to me, never been my first choice of food, but it’s just something personal, no offense to the soto – but the decorations. Visual esthetics always intrigues me. They’ve got pictures of wayang (Indonesian puppetry), vintage stuff like bottles, photos of the first president of Indonesia Republic showing so much respect to his mother and other oldie photos, and then there’s a sign that says “Please smoke cigarette as much as you like”. (That’s wrong, I know, but you wouldn’t see that anywhere else.)

CAK KOTING DUCK

On Saturday night, it was time for another hint from the culinary guide book. Cak Koting Duck on Dr. Sutomo Street, across Mataram Theaters was our choice.

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I had the grilled duck which cost Rp 20,000. It was yum yum. But of course they also provided other menus such as fried duck, pigeon, tempeh, and a lot more. The ‘restaurant’ was these tables and chairs arranged on a sorta like parking lot, open aired.

GADRI RESTO

We had lunch once at Gadri Resto on Rotowijayan street (link www.princejoyokusumo-house.com). It’s actually the house of Prince Joyokusumo of the Yogyakarta sultanate, the little brother of the ruling sultan in present time, Sri Sultan Hamengku Bowono X. Never been in a royal house either than the sultanate being, the Keraton before but there is a first for everything.

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The front porch was turned into a restaurant with a little spot in the corner by the cash register dedicated as a batik workshop. You can also pop inside to see the antique Javanese decorated house. The family still lives there but activities mostly roam in the back part.

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The serving took a while, we had to reconfirm with the waitress whether our orders have been cooked or not. Turns out that there’s been a mix-up in our order. Oh well! After taking our time by checking out the bakery next door, finally we got our food. The taste was okay, but to my starving tummy it was such a delight!

Travel Indonesia: Jogjakarta

I had Blawon Rice, Rp 27.500 a portion. It’s consisted of rice, boiled egg, deep fried chicken, meat, salad, and a cracker. But from what I read in this guy’s blog, the name ‘blawon’ doesn’t really describe what’s on the plate, but the plate itself. He wrote that it came from the tradition in the colonial time where the kings used to be served food on dutch plates which mostly had blue paintings on it. Blue = ‘blauw’ in Dutch, and transformed into Blawong or Blawon in Javanese. Interesting, eh? Maybe I should check out the same-named menu in other restaurants. See if they do serve it on ‘blauw’ plates, unlike the one I had in Gadri Resto.

KAFE VIA VIA

I always go to this place whenever I’m in Jogja. And I’m glad that my friends liked it too, and we were satisfied with our meals there. Es dawet (sweet beverage with ice that’s basically made of coconut milk, palm sugar, and rice powder jelly), Banana lassi, java coffee, fried tempeh, various pasta, sausages, and garlic bread, all for Rp 157,500 for our dinner.

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They provide both local, western, and a bit of Chinese food and beverage, also free wi fi connection. Visitors are both local and international.

Travel Indonesia: Jogjakarta

BAKPIA KURNIA SARI

In our last morning in Jogja, of our holiday, we picked up bakpia which we ordered the day before, at Bakpia Kurnia Sari at 91 C Glagahsari street, in the Umbulharjo area. What is bakpia, you wonder?

Bakpia is a small round-shaped pastry, usually stuffed with mung beans, but in the past couple of years it also comes in other fillings like chocolate, durian, and cheese.

There are a lot of places that sell bakpia, and some are the bakpia pathok kind, which has softer wrap. But Kania wanted exactly the one in Kurnia Sari, which was fine by me because I thought it’s delicious. It has the right saltiness and crisp. My favorite was the one with cheese filling.

In the shop, they also sell other kinds of Javanese special food, like Krasian and Yangko. The bakpia itself cost Rp 18,000 / box of 5 pieces.


We were so lucky to have a friend, Windy, who has an unoccupied house in Jogja (short for Yogyakarta). And although she couldn’t join us in the trip, she kindly let us stay in the house instead of having to pay for hotel.

The house is on Agus Salim street, a quiet neighborhood with strong Islamic influence and located in the Kautaman area, near the Keraton (the sultanate palace). We definitely couldn’t pass such a generous offer like that, although that means we have to really control our voice volume when gossiping and laughing at jokes before bedtime.. You know how loud four girls can be when having a slumber party.

The house is one of a few in her family’s small complex. The house next to us is her aunt’s who lives there with her husband and kids. Every morning she provides us delicious Javanese breaksfast.

PERWITA SARI HOTEL –  PRAWIROTAMAN STREETS

I was so thankful for the free lodging. However, I was still curious to experience the Prawirotaman area, not only for hanging out at the cafes there, but also to stay at one of the hotels. So I got my friends to agree on staying at Prawirotaman just one out of the 4 nights of our stay in the city 😀

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We looked for the hotel by strolling down the streets of Prawirotaman, asking several hotels directly to the receptionists, not online. Finally we booked the Perwita Sari Hotel at 31 Prawirotaman, because our first choice, Delta Homestay was fully booked which you check out at www.dutagardenhotel.com and www.dutahotels.com .

At the hotels on this street you can also book for tickets for the Ramayana show at Prambanan Temple or www.borobudurpark.co.id.

A swimming pool happened to be on our check list in considering hotels on this occasion. Kania and I were ready with our swimming apparels in our travel bags. But eventually we failed to swim in the pool because it didn’t look clean enough. Sigh!

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PHOENIX HOTEL

When going back from Kaliurang to Yogyakarta city, we asked the driver to take us to Phoenix Hotel on Sudirman Street, and he had no idea what we were talking about. Luckily we remembered where it was, cos we just went passed by it the night before and were impressed by its exterior. Turns out that he knew the hotel by another name because it used to be named Mercure. D’oh.

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And why did we go there? Obviously not because we stayed there. The cheapest room rate there was Rp 750,000 / night, definitely out of our budget for the trip. Well, we just wanted to see what the hotel was really like, what facilities they’ve got, what their rates were, for, you know, just in case next time we got richer. Plus, they must’ve had nice bathrooms. I really wanted to pee when we were still at Affandi Museum, but I didn’t like their bathrooms. So to Phoenix we went.. Tee hee…

But hey, staying at this hotel does make a to-do point in my travel list. I loved the design of it, classic yet with a modern touch.

 

 AIRPORT

There are trains, busses, and plane services to get to Yogyakarta from a lot of cities within the country. There’s even flights straight from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to Yogyakarta’s Adisutjipto International Airport.

We took a flight by Lion Air from Jakarta, costing us Rp 600,000 / pax, there and back. The flight took only an hour one way.

All sorts  of options of transportation can be found in Yogyakarta. Choices range from modern fuel consuming options like taxi, ojeg, and bus, and to the more traditional biological powered options  like becak and delman.

Riding a becak wherever I could, is such a joy. It’s banned in Jakarta so I it’s a luxury for me. Becak is the cheapest way to go in general, but there isn’t really a fixed price. Becak drivers will determine the price looking at how heavy the passengers and their load are. You should try it, but don’t haggle too low. The heavier you are, the harder the becak driver works, means the more energy they have to put out. And many of them are old. Trust me, after seeing the device called becak you would understand that becak driving  depends a lot on the driver’s physical strength to get the becak moving. The unfixed pricing system also applies to ojeg and delman,

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You gotta be careful with the taxis in this city. Although the most convenient, Taxis sometimes don’t wanna bother to turn on the meter. They’d just ask you where you wanna go, and then give you an opening price that sometimes you can try to haggle.

I’m not saying that this is always what happens, but usually foreign tourists – or just any non Jogjakarta locals – would get charged more than the locals.

So, my advice is, before you’re going anywhere with these means of transportations, consult with your hotel staff or any trusted locals. Oh, and it’s better if you have the written destined address, so that they know clearly where to take you.

However, you can get a good start arriving for the first time at the airport by doing what we did. We ordered a taxi at a booth just outside the exit door and they’ll give you the official price.

Outside of airport, taxis and everything else are scattered all over the streets. Becak and delman are often seen hanging at street corners, waiting for passengers. They definitely are more popular and outnumber ojeg here, unlike in other big cities in Indonesia. May I add, more environmentally and tourist friendly all the way.

 

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MOTORCYCLES AND TRAFFIC

As for the most common private transportation in Jogja, the Oscars go to motorcycles. Before experiencing the streets of Vietnam, I thought Jogja had the most awful traffic because they have soooo many motorcycles on the streets.

I don’t have anything against motorcycles, but it’s the riders’ attitude that seldom puts me on the edge of my seat. Because the vehicle is small, slim, and can go fast enough, they can sneak up on you, suddenly show up so close to you from the right, left, or behind when you cross the street or – in the typical cases in Indonesia – when you have to walk on the asphalt because the sidewalks are occupied by street stalls.. or where there’s no sidewalk at all. That’s a saying that parents used to say to us when we were small – look both ways when crossing the streets – applying  both to crossing and walking on the streets here. Something we should still remember till now.


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