Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia

Trip Start Dec 25, 2008
Trip End Dec 25, 2009

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Where I stayed
Indah Palace Hotel

Flag of Indonesia  , Java,
Thursday, September 17, 2009

Today is already September 18 and I have been in Yogyakarta since the 13th!!! Where is the time going!!!!!????

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... At this time of night I really don't want to start negotiating the price.  So off we go to the Indah Palace Hotel which looks very impressive. (The Indah Place, Jl. Sisingamangaraja 74, Prawirotaman - phone 62-274-383738 - www.hotelindahpalace@yahoo.com)  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 spend some time here as well as in some oversized "fixed price" stores and end up at a mall for lunch (it is 4 p.m.)  and then start walking back to the room.  It is only then that I realize how far I have walked and how far my hotel actually is from the center!!!  I arrive at the room, take a shower and then my body refuses to move so I have no choice but to call it a day!!  The following day I start all over again and walk again to Kraton and this time it is to visit the museum - Sono-Budoyo museum.  I am not very impressed. It is under renovations and there are just a couple of rooms. Also, the whole time that I am there a tout is following me around and does not stop talking and trying to get me to go to the Art Center . . .  batik, puppet . . . shops.  I am very happy to be finished the visit and get out of there.  I do more walking and check different buildings from the Dutch period and once again end up on Malioboro Street.  This time I decide to go back to the mall and check out the coffee place.  I cannot remember the name but it is at one of the entrances and has Aircon.  Very nice to hit some cool air (it is normally between 31 and 35 here and with humidity it seems like 42!!! sooo hot!!) I picked a good place where they offer a free glazed doughnut with a coffee.  I have my usual americano with seperate milk which is one of the best coffees I have had for awhile and the doughnut is so fresh that it melts in the mouth!!!!! Enough said!!!  Finished, and have regained some energy and now I try to find the Tour Office mentionned in Lonely Planet.  I will try and join a group for a tour to Prambanan or Borobudur to visit two sets of temples - one is hindu and the other is bhudist.
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.
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