It was my third visit to the Batik making workshop when the owner invited me to join the early morning Yogyakarta cycling tour around Tembi (and Imogiri), just outside of the city. The cycling tour is part of an initiative to develop sustainable tourism in the area as well as show a different side to Yogyakarta.
Let me tell you more about the bicycle tour so you know what to expect if you decide to join (you can find information about how to book the tour at the bottom of the post).
I love the idea behind the project and I wanted to experience the cycle tour for myself (who doesn’t want to cycle along empty roads through beautiful countryside on holiday?). I was super excited when I woke up at 6 am to join the tour. It was a short 15-minute journey out of Yogyakarta for my first Yogyakarta bicycle tour. The local guide was already waiting for me at the batik center with two bikes when I arrived. The bike I was supposed to use was a tiny bit too tall for me. After adjusting the saddle to make it the perfect height.
Before we started, the local guide asked how far I wanted to cycle. I really wanted to make the most of the cycle tour, so we decided to do a 20km trip. The halfway point would be Imogiri royal tombs, which I had visited before with my best friend (feel free to check out the story here). We set off slowly. The roads were almost empty as it was early morning. School children were heading off for class and people were starting their daily routines. A few minutes after we started we were cycling cross-country passed paddy fields covered in early morning mist. The morning air was fresh and with a nice cool breeze.
On the way to Imogiri royal tombs, we cycled through small villages and endless fields and fields of emerald green paddy fields. It was a beautiful view. It took almost 40 minutes of cycling to reach Imogiri royal tombs. I enjoyed the ride. The landscape was flat and the roads were good. I liked the fact that the local guide always brought us along little roads with a nice balance between small villages and open countryside. It was obvious that they had spent some time coming up with the cycling route for the tour.
When we arrived at Imogiri royal tombs I was feeling quite fresh. We parked the bike and then we started climbing. And climbing. And climbing… There were so many steps (Imogiri royal tombs are at the top of a big hill). I felt a bit like Rocky, but the view at the top was worth it. You can check out the video below. We stopped and rested at the top of the hill and chatted. Our guide talked a bit more about the different tours that the village is running. I learnt that they rotate the person leading the cycle tour so people from the village get to participate and share their knowledge of the area. He also talked a bit more about the batik course that they run. On the return trip, we stopped for breakfast at a roadside restaurant. My stomach was already rumbling and I was happy to fill it up with some tasty food. There were a lot of different dishes on offer (like Gudeg and rice porridge). The food was tasty and the sweet tea gave me some instant energy for the final ride back to the batik workshop.
Join A Cycling Tour
I really enjoyed the Tembi cycle tour and the approach that this community is taking towards tourism. I partnered with the local community to offer Discover Your Indonesia readers a chance to join the tour.
Included in the tour:
- Friendly fun English speaking guide
- A bottle of water and a bicycle
- Optional breakfast
- A hot cup of tea or coffee
Interested in joining a cycling tour? Fill in the form below to make a booking.
Have you ever joined a community development tourism project? Do you enjoy cycling holidays? Share your thoughts in the comment below.