Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia
Trip Start Dec 25, 2008
141Trip End Dec 25, 2009
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First of all I broke all my travelling rules when I left Jakarta. First one is to always take the first flight, train, bus out - I went for cheaper and my 5:00 flight was delayed and ended up arriving in Jogya around 11 p.m. when most everything at the airport is closed!!. Second of course is never arrive in a city after dark!! With the delay, of course it was nighttime. Third, if I need to arrive after dark I need to have a room reserved!! I did not have a reservation!! Luckily when I did arrive in Jogya the taxi office was still open and I could get a coupon (55,000 IR) for a taxi to the hotel I had picked. (I had tried e-mailing them but had not received any answers - Ministry of Coffees) When I arrive the hotel is full. It is dark so I really don't want to walk around with my bags to try and find a hotel so I have the taxi bring me to another hotel which is just a couple of streets away but driver sees an easy way to make extra money and overcharges..firstname.lastname@example.org) They do have a room and again because of nighttime I don't argue the price and don't even check the room!!! Of course, like I have noticed throughout Asia, the room is not as impressive as the foyer but it is clean and the linen is clean!! Next morning I try to negotiate the price being that I will be here for several days. I end up paying 325,000 per night incl. buffet breakfast. After walking around here I can see that there are plenty of hotels and most seem very nice and many have swimming pools but I decide that I will just stay where I am and not even bother checking out the other hotels. I am pretty sure there are great deals to be had but I just don't feel like spending anytime checking out hotels.
First day I am off visiting Kraton which is the huge palace of the sultans of Yogyakarta and the Water palace. I also visit the Bird market which is totally gross because it seems that there is more bird feed then birds and that means bugs that have escaped flying everwhere, maggots and rice on trays and ants running everywhere!!! I don't linger long here and walk to Malioboro street where the streets and sidewalks are full of stalls selling souvenirs and mainly batiks
I walk way too far and have to go back to finally find the office on Sosrowijana called Great Tours. I am in luck and they do have a group going to Borobudur the next day. I pay 200,000 for what they say will be a 12 hr day tour. Pick-up is to be at 4:45 a.m. Happy of my success I decide to walk back to the room. Once again I hadn't realized how much I had walked and finally give up about 1 km from the room and pay 5,000R for a becak to the room. Again, once in the room, it is time for a shower to cool off, get the aircon going and relax.
On my third evening I attended a Ramayana Ballet at the Open Theatre Purawisata and it was excellent. The ticket was 140,000 and they had someone pick me up at the hotel and drive me back after the 2 hr performance. I beleive that there are tickets at different prices and I chose the most expensive to get the best seat!!!!! Unfortunately the photos don't do justice to this ballet as the lighting was not conducive to great photos. Most of them are too dark. However, the costumes, make-up and the dancers were fantastic.
If I was to return to Jogyakarta one day I would definitely pick an hotel room in the Sosrowijayan Area. which is way more central.