This quick getaway to Yogyakarta (also called Jogja) was one that lacked planning, so crazy! But my flights plus hotel booking with AirAsiaGo – marking my very first time – turned out to be a fairly good experience.
Though, before I go on, I must clarify this is not an advertorial. Well I love travelling. Without any doubt I have benefited a lot through it. At the same time I am a firm believer of the “give and take” principle. After gaining so much from travelling, maybe the best way to give back to others is by sharing my genuine travel experiences.
Anyway… Jogja is a slow-paced city that is steadily heading into modernisation but still pretty much characterised by its strong agricultural setting. Right before landing at the Yogyakarta Adisucipto International Airport, one will be greeted with a bird’s eye view of the unbelievably neat agricultural terraces each with a varying colour, from the plane window.
I think Jogja people are a creative lot. Everywhere you go, whether in the urban or peri-urban setting, you will see random graffiti on the walls of most buildings.
I asked my driver how the graffiti works came about. He said while some of them were intentionally painted on by property owners, some were simply a result of vandalism.
During my short Jogja escapade, the main places I had wanted to visit were the Prambanan and Borobudur temples. Thus before going I dropped my guesthouse, Delta Homestay an email requesting for charter service to fetch me to the said spots.
Based on Google Earth’s estimation, the airport and temple are 8km apart. The guesthouse staff estimated a journey of 45 minutes to reach Prambanan from the airport, but it actually took us 15 minutes less thanks to the not-so-congested traffic.
For charter service from the airport to Prambanan, and then from Pambanan to my guesthouse situated about an hour away, it cost 280,000 rupiah (RM76) for a total of 5 hours including waiting time. It was actually really cheap.
At the time of visit, entrance fee for foreign visitors had increased from some 185,000 rupiah previously to 198,000 rupiah (approx. RM55).
It was rather costly for a small site like Pambanan (it was so much smaller than Angkor Wat). However considering that the money is being used for a good cause – to restore and maintain the UNESCO-endorsed site, I really didn’t mind paying that amount at all!
This Hindu temple site was built over 1,000 years ago in the 9th century and dedicated to Trimurti – the Creator (Brahma), the Preserver (Vishnu), and the Destroyer (Shiva).
There was supposed to be a total of 240 temples in Pambanan, but at the time of visit, most of them – especially the smaller temples to the exterior – were already in ruins (as can be seen in the photo below). What a shame.
From this point onwards, I shall let my photos do the talking.
For those who intent to visit Prambanan and are curious as to how long to spend your time there, well it depends on what kind of a visitor you are.
For someone who likes taking photos like me, I spent two hours at the site. In fact given more time I would probably need half an hour more. If you are someone with thin patience and don’t enjoy details, 1 to 1.5 hours will probably be sufficient for you.
If you love souvenirs, on your way out you may want to take a look at the key chains. While some were being sold at only 1,000 rupiah (RM0.30) each at the exit area, the same types of key chains were also found along the hustle and bustle of the Malioboro street (a major shopping street) in Jogja, but at double the price.
Do check out my entry on Borobudur next.