I can’t emphasize the advantage of being in South East Asia. You are located so close to neighboring countries, it is easy to be chalking up stamps in your passport, being somewhere different each weekend if your wallet allows. (And it’s not even that expensive!)
Well we did just that and found ourselves soaking up Yogyakarta over the weekends:)
3 days in Yogya, here’s what we did:
1. Borobudur Temple.
Yogyakarta is home to one of UNESCO’s sights, Borobudur temple. This place is a sight to behold, an adventure almost if you choose to buy the sunrise ticket.
We went with the sunrise ticket and I highly recommend this even though it was double the normal ticket price. We left our hotel at 3.15am and arrived at about 4.00am with no traffic!
We were then given individual torch lights after paying and started our march out towards the temple. It was only a short walk, approximately 5 minutes from ticket counter to the temple.
Walking in the dark felt like an adventure, flashing our torches around and the feeling of not being able to see the surroundings but only on what was shone on was akin to being on the brink of discovering something amazing. We climbed up the steps of the temple to the highest point and found ourselves a spot towards the east to catch the sunrise.
Tip : Apparently, we met a guide roaming around the grounds when we were about to leave, told us the best spot for the sunrise was instead at the few levels before the highest level, and not the highest point where everyone went. There, there is no competition with another person for a space and the place will feel like it belongs to you entirely as no one else will be there, and the high walls meant everyone else on the highest level is blocked from your view!
Entrance ticket for sunrise = $380,000 rupiahs, student discounts not applicable / Normal non sunrise entrance tickets = $240,000 rupiahs, student discounts applicable.
Honestly, it reminds me of Ang Kor Wat, but a much smaller one.
2) Dieng Plateau
A ride up to cooler grounds, it was just breathtaking. Quite beautiful to see the volcanoes in the distance.
Perfect to read a book, have your afternoon tea while having this scenery in front of you:)
A dish that’s quite popular here – bakso! (Instant noodles and some meat balls)
To be honest, I didn’t really like it, or maybe I hadn’t had the good real ones!
That said, I did enjoy the tempeh stewed in coconut sauce, tofu and stewed jackfruit over rice! Delish!
Wish I could eat me some now..
We went to some temple on the way and saw some teletubbies! They have come out to play, over the hills and far away ! You could pay a little amount and take pictures with them, guess they are after the kid’s market. Not only teletubbies, I saw hello kitties, sailor moon and many more!
This kind of tickled my mind – the Indonesian economy must not be doing so well, unemployment , lack of jobs etc which meant locals have to think of ways to earn some $$$ for their next meal. And this was one way. It’s also strange to think how creative one can get too to earn some $$$.
This makes me feel a little torn, makes me feel really blessed that I do not really have to worry about the $$$ source for my next meal. Which always brings me back to this “You don’t choose where you were born”
Maybe they are really happy, maybe they are already satisfied. Much more satisfied than all us city dwellers, paper pushers. Who knows?
Saving the best for the last – Our fantastic Accommodation!
Hyatt Regency Yogyakarta! My first comp stay! All those tears, hard work, hours burned… now repaid with this:)
Hostels are my usual go to – but this is crazy! Literally it felt like I went from 1 star (hostels) to 5 stars!
We were greeted with nice smelling garlands when we stepped off the cabs. In our backpackers outfit. So out of place! Even got treated to a yummy orange welcome drink:)
Got ourselves a room with view of Mount Merapi and went around the hotel to check out the pools with slides, the spa and the golf course!
They even have a delicious buffet dinner every Saturday that comes with a dance for approximately USD 16.50!
I really recommend staying here if you can, not only because of the above points, but also because of the location. Yes it’s about 20 minutes from Maliboro street but why stay that close to a noisy strip? This is literally a retreat away from all that craziness!
It’s situated among the lush greenery with views of Mount Merapi, coming back to this felt so good. Almost feels like you are coming back to a peaceful respite. This feeling, you will be very thankful for, especially after a long day out for sightseeing or business .
Take my word for it!