This going to be a long one, there’s shitload of travel photos about Yogja, and to tell you the truth some of them really do look amazing, Yogyakarta is also known as an education city, classical javanese fine art mecca and of course, the old candi and city ruins. Judging by all the photos in facebook viral post, Yogya seems to be a good place to soak your foot in, from heavenly beaches to old and rustic old buddhist temples.
Day 1 started off with a big yawn, we took the cheapest and earliest flight to Yogya, no check in, everything carry on. Too my relief, nobody seems to care about the weight of your bag that morning. Heard stories about Air Asia actually weighing up every single passenger backpack before they boarded in, maybe it’s too early in the morning. The plan was to stay somewhere near Prambanan temple since it’s closer to the airport, bookings were made through Agoda. We’ve choosen Joglo Ayem Tentrem, a retreat hidden behind the village outskirts surrounded by padi field. It’s a bit costly for us, but we really want to indulge with something else rather than motels, and we’ll save up on the transport fees from Kota Yogyakarta to Prambanan, thats what we thought.
So we rented a bike with the hotel, you got to keep the scooter for 24 hours with just RM15. Thats a deal for us, if you’re familiar with riding a moped/scooter then thats the easiest way to get around Yogyakarta, google maps works well and with a cheap Indo sim, you’re set to go. The ride from our stay to Prambanan temple just took 15-20 minutes with all the wrong turns, just be careful with the traffic over there.
You’ll be welcomed with a grandeur view, in my head, I’m humming mortal combat’s theme song, yeah yeah I know it’s not the same temple, the might have use the Angkor Watt’s photo for that.FTW, smack in the centre of the fields, that is after you’ve paid the tickets, We got around with under RM20. Somehow we might as blend in with all the locals tourist pounding down hard that day, apparently it’s a long weekend, and the temples are just full of tourist. Selfie stick fest, I swear to god that I’ve never seen so many people with a selfie stick in their hands. Fuck I wish I’ve brought a tripod, gotta slow shutter that thing or get those multiple frame and stamp out the crowd next time. Prambanan is an 8th Century Hindu temple, dedicated to the Trimuti concept (if I’m not mistaken) the three Gods concept somewhat consist of the Creator (brahma) , the Preserver (Vishnu) and the Destroyer (Shiva). The temple was abandoned way long time ago, if you look up through wiki, its around 930s, somewhat Volcanic eruption and the shifting of government/rulers somehow contributed to its declined, along the way the dutch discovered it and with the help of the Indonesian people they restored it to its former glory. That was hundred of years after it was abandoned.
Being a Unesco heritage site Prambanan really lives up to its name, after being restored/rebuild back in 1920’s you can’t imagine the grand awe when you walk into the temple, the stones raw, the steps steep while you’re climbing up.
Around the corner there’s an another historical site, called Ratu Boko (4km~ish). We just google maps it and ride away getting lost along the in the midst of padi fields, and we did that on a different day, The experience was mediocre at most, but the roads towards the site was pretty awesome, passing through the small roads and hills just seems to trigger the old “kampung” memories. Entrance fees cost around RM30 per-person, and you’ll get a complimentary drink and snacks at the cafe, we’re supposed to witness the most beautiful sunset, ending our long ride with a bowl of bakso.But shit turn up sideways.Too much cloud and there goes your 30bucks, nasi goreng and ice tea. Kena kehpak.
Next stay was at this boutique guesthouse, tuck in right in the middle of Kota Yogya, somewhere around the old walls of the city.The Patio, owned by a dutch guy who fell in love with Yogya, 15 years ago, Frank who is also an interior designer, designed the whole joint, recycling some of the old furnitures that comes with the house and making good use of space and light. I can’t explain how well lit and the warmth that you felt in the house, something like a grandad house feeling. It just warms your heart, instantly you’ll become familiar. Read something about balinese belief that a house is a living thing. Felt like my shit photography ain’t doing any justice on that place, should have brought a fucking tripod.
Nights are spend with bbq sausages and a short walk to the famous alun-alun, somewhat like a square, basically it is a square, a field with people just trying to relax and have fun, thats what I tried to put into my head though. So people pay to get into this cart/car with LED lights and blasting off some euro thrash on a portable dvd player, and you’ll need to paddle it yourself, Taman Sari were on the hitspots tomorrow, and The Kraton.
To tell you the truth, if you’re a pool person, this might entice you, but meh. I tried to talk in Indo at the ticket counter, hopefully we’ll got some local rates going on like the ones we did in Prambanan, got busted because of my accent. And the ticket lady used to work here in KL, busted haha. Next plan was to get super early, have a good breakfast get our motorbike, get to a new hotel put all the loads in and pump that scooter for 2.5 hours for 75km up the winding road, stroll down Gunung Kidul get to Timang Beach, watch some sunset and stop by at Bukit Bintang on our way home.
We missed a turn with a dodgy signboard stating Timang Beach, instead we arrived to our surprise called Pantai Siung, minutes from the sun setting. Fucker la google maps, but if we’re to go to Timang at this hour, we’ll just have a blank black view. For an 5 hour scooter ride that day, this better be good. And the timing was just nice, all the tourist bus were leaving when we’re on our way to the beach, mostly because the roads are just too fucking dark and dangerous.
Even though we managed to avoid the crowds, there’s still a bunch people left at the hill, like us they all drove down here from Kota Yogya on scooters. Half an hour of glory and suddenly it’s pitch black, everyone seems to scurry back to their scooters, beside a few shacks selling bakso, there’s nothing else here. We bid farewell to pounding waves, a final salute and begins the torment of numbness on your lower back and a long ass haul back home. This kind of shit always happen when you’re DIY-ing your own travel itineraries , shit would be much more easier if you’re on a tour bus. But hey, this shit beats the hell out of boring bus drive like everybody else. Cigarette on my left hand, numbing back and whole clear sky above you.
Overall, the amount of shit we’ve did in Yogya doesn’t even scratch the surface of spots, if you’re taking a guided tour, you could gather more ground and information, and I’m sure thats not a wrong thing to do, but if you’re looking for some gps error and a way to save up some money, shit just get a scooter.There’s gonna be tons of adventure and something to talk about when you get back home.
p/s : Indonesian road laws and style of driving might defer from your home country. Be advise.