Oh gosh, sometimes I can’t believe that it has been 16 months since I moved from Jakarta to Yogyakarta (or Jogjakarta, can shorten it to Yogya or Jogja). Though I could say that my home base is somewhere between the two cities: Yogyakarta and Jakarta, I am (mostly) living in Yogyakarta. In that time I’ve learnt a lot.
Some good friends say that I must know everything about Yogyakarta, no guys you are so wrong! Like always, we tend to not explore our own backyard. I still have plenty of restaurants-to-try and museums-to-visit in Yogyakarta. I am guilty on went to the same places again and again, just staying in my comfort zone. 😀
During my stay in Yogyakarta, I have moved homes (or you can say it an apartment) four times. Yeah, I know! It is quite a lot moving around. I have stayed in the west part of the town, in Godean area. I stayed at the city center, at Gejayan area. I’ve been staying a while in the east part of the town (it was walking distance to the airport) and now I am settling myself in the south. I can quickly say that I love the south better than the other parts (though I haven’t tried to live up in the north!).
So during my more or less 16 months staying in Yogyakarta (West, East, center and yeah South, you name it!), I would like to reveal 5 random facts slash knowledge that would be useful for tourists. I warn you it might be as random as it can be, but don’t worry because it is useful.
1. The busiest area for tourists is Malioboro (Sosrowijayan and Dagen street) and Prawirotaman. If you haven’t booked any accommodation, then walk door to door to find a place ito stay in these areas. I guarantee that you’ll find a place eventually. But of course, booking in advance would always be better. I can say that Malioboro area is busier than Prawirotaman. During peak season Malioboro is too crowded.
2. Public transportation in Yogyakarta means taxi, motorbike taxi (we called it: Ojek), rickshaw (we called it: Becak), horse carriages (we called it: Andong), old buses, and Trans Jogja buses. I would advise against taking the old buses. There are not so many of them so it always takes a while to get them and you’ll find difficulties to communicate where do you want to go.
Most taxis in this town use a meter, two of my favourites are Jas taxi and Sadewa taxi. If you are thinking of exploring the city slowly then you should try the rickshaw. If you would like to wander around Yogyakarta with a rickshaw, do a deal for one day. It is less hassle! Most of rickshaw driver can speak a little English so bargaining and discussing destination with them wouldn’t be hard thing to do. Remind them not to take you to souvenir stores if you don’t want to do any shopping.
Trans Jogja is actually pretty handy to go to several places. The only problem is sometimes it takes ages to wait for the bus. Don’t worry about changing the shelter and such, you can always count on the driver or the bus assistant. As long as you have the destination name where you want to go, they’ll let you know when you need to change bus or get off.
3. If you are feeling hot, don’t worry there are plenty of swimming pools that you can go to. Expect to pay anything from 20,000 – 90,000 idr per visit. I’ll reveal some of my favourite swimming pools in this town in my next post.
4. If you would like to bring back some spices to your country like vanilla pods, you can go to Beringharjo market. Please do bargain and use your common sense about how these things should costs in Indonesia. The sellers tend to charge twice (or even 2,5 times) the original price if they see foreigners. They even mark it up and put additional 20,000 idr to domestic tourists.
5. Only do Borobudur and Prambanan in one day if you are pressed for time. Borobudur is located in Magelang, which is up north of Yogya meanwhile Prambanan is located to the east part of the town. I can say that is possible to do these two big temples in one day, but it will be absolutely tiring especially if you try to drive by yourself. Another option that more fun to do would be to visit Borobudur and Kedung Kayang waterfall in one day and visit Prambanan, Ratu Boko temple and more temples around it on another day.
So that is it. Some random things about Yogyakarta that I hope will be useful for your visit to Yogyakarta.
Have you been to Yogya. Do you have any random facts to share? It might be useful for other tourists! Don’t shy to share 🙂
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Still need to book your hotel for Yogyakarta? Save yourself some time! Here’s a list of the best hotels near Malioboro for every budget.