Getting to Yogyakarta from Jakarta
We set off from Jakarta on Monday 26 June. Due to the end of Ramadan & beginning of Eid, it was impossible to buy train tickets, which was our preferred option (8 hrs). We didn’t investigate the bus as it is an 11 hr journey & we couldn’t face it. So we managed to find two airline tickets on Batik Airlines for £65pp (55 min journey).
Tamansari (Water Castle)
Day 1 was spent finding our way around Yogyakarta which is much bigger than we thought. We visited the Tamansari which is the site of a former royal garden of the Sultanate. It is located about 2 km south within the grounds of the Kraton (Royal Palace) & built in mid 18th century.
Alun Alun Night Scene
We’d seen these pedal powered vehicles during the day with 3-4 car batteries strapped to them to power the array of fairy lights. Come darkness the whole area behind ‘The Royal Palace’ comes alive. Apparently some can be rented by visitors & the drive-by is a nightly occurence.
Prambanan Hindu Temple
Day 2 saw us moving hostels for a better one. In the afternoon we visited Prambanan which is a UNESCO World heritage site the largest Hindu temple site in Indonesia & one of the biggest in South East Asia.
It is characterized by its tall & pointed architecture, and by the towering 47-metre high (154 ft) central building inside a large complex of individual temples.
Borobudur is the largest single structure Buddist temple in the world & the 2nd UNESCO site in Yogyakarta. Full details here: Borobudur Temple. We did not want to take the 4am tour as it is extremely busy with everyone jostling for sunrise photos so we went an hour later & were pleasantly surprised how quiet it was despite the Eid public holiday.
Kraton (Sultan’s Palace)
We finally found the place after walking ‘around the houses’. The entrance fee is approximately 75p & an additional 6p for a camera, so my expectations were low after the $25 entrance fees to the temples. However, I was pleasantly surprised.
There are apparently 1000 Royal Guards on duty each day & the job is for life. Their children automatically become Royal Guards too. Once they are too old to work they are looked after at the Palace.
Where we Stayed:
Our first hostel was not worth mentioning, but the second Holland House (a B&B only £2 more a night) was a great budget place.