I went to Yogyakarta in December 2016 specially for the sake of visiting Candi Borobudur. The last time I went to Candi Borobudur when I was a little. I’m making this mini travel guide of Yogyakarta to give you a bit of an idea. I did more than the travel guide I wrote down below but not putting it all here, cause it’s not necessary. The Yogyakarta travel guide in here is the one that I think you should go/try. There’s definitely so much more than my lil travel guide here.
Day one is the day I arrived from Jakarta to Yogyakarta. For me, day one is the day when you need to get the feeling of the city. But since it’s my own home country, I don’t need to get the feeling anymore. It’s in my blood and skin already! I hired a car and a driver to get around. Candi Prambanan is quite far from the city centre of Yogyakarta.
Greenhost Boutique Hotel
This is seriously the most beautiful eco boutique hotel I’ve ever stayed in. Greenhost Boutique Hotel. I love everything about this hotel. Starting from the reception, the room, the lobby and most of all, the rooftop! Go to this blogpost I wrote to see more pictures of Greenhost Boutique Hotel.
Taman Sari Water Castle
If you don’t know yet, Yogyakarta is a kingdom. Yogyakarta have their own king or sultan and has been ruling 18th century. Taman Sari Water Castle, used to be one of the royal house. It is called Water Palace because it used to be the bath house for the royals. Not only bathhouse, it also used to be the like the vacay house or hiding place. Rumor has it that it connects to the main castle/resident of the royals. Taman Sari Water Castle is actually a very complex neighborhood but as time goes by, it becomes kinda neglected. However, it is still worth to visit. That’s why it’s in my Yogyakarta Travel Guide. If you like history, go here!
Candi Prambanan definitely have to be part of my Yogyakarta Travel Guide. First, because it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Second, it is the biggest Hindu temple in Southeast Asia (Borobudur is Buddhist temple). What interest me since I was a kid is the legend behind it. The legend/folklore is about Roro Jonggrang where a prince fell in love with Roro Jonggrang (a princess), but the prince have to build thousand temples in one night. The prince failed and the rest is history haha. Search it up if you’re interested with the legend. Other than Candi Prambanan, there are several more temples around the area such as Candi Sewu, Candi Plaosan, Candi Morangan, etc. At night, usually there’s a performance using Candi Prambanan as the backdrop.
Ratu Boko Palace
Ratu Boko (if translated literally: Stork Queen), is still related with Candi Prambanan. Located in a top of the hill, it is almost similar with Taman Sari Water Castle but mostly in ruins. Ratu Boko is popular for its gate because it is use as one of the filming sites for “Ada Apa Dengan Cinta? 2”, a famous film in Indonesia. It is a site where Hindu and Buddhist structures are together, concluding that probably both religion lived together in harmony. The bathing place is so damn big I can’t even imagine how it used to be.
I dedicated day two from my Yogyakarta travel guide for Candi Borobudur. Starting from Punthuk Setumbu to Candi Borobudur, it was a day where I learned the most during my time in Yogyakarta. At night, it is the time to taste the real Yogyakarta.
How to see Borobudur Temple as a whole? Punthuk Setumbu is the answer. Punthuk Setumbu is a place on the hill where you can get the best view of Candi Borobudur Silhouette. Usually people go during sunrise or sunset (or both!) to get those Instagram-worth pictures. After taking pictures in Punthuk Setumbu, then you go to Candi Borobudur to take the close-up picture. I advise you to use proper footwear unless you’re so good at wearing sandals and doesn’t mind to get slippery along the way.
Gereja Ayam (Chicken Church)
Nearby Punthuk Setumbu is Gereja Ayam (Chicken Church). It’s supposed to be a dove-like church but people think it’s a chicken, so that’s how it get the name. It’s still going through construction even after 15+ years. It is a Catholic church and sometimes the owner/architect of the church is on site (say hi to him 🙂 ). The walk from Punthuk Setumbu to Chicken Church can be challenging if it raining or post-rain. So Imma remind you again, PROPER FOOTWEAR!
I made a separate post about this largest Buddhist temple, Candi Borobudur where you can click here. Like I mentioned in the introduction, I went to Yogyakarta with the main reason to visit Candi Borobudur. I have no memories of Candi Borobudur when I was a child. So it felt like I’ve never been there. I also think that a lot of people (tourist or non-tourist) go to Yogyakarta because of Candi Borobudur. This is also a UNESCO World Site Heritage! Not only I recommend Candi Borobudur in this Yogyakarta Travel Guide (Duh!), but I recommend you to hire a guide that can explain to you everything while in Candi Borobudur. I hired one and after that, Candi Borobudur is not only the largest Buddhist temple anymore for me. It is more than that! But I’m not gonna tell you to make you curious and hire one lol. The official tour guide of Candi Borobudur can be found nearby the gate to Candi Borobudur (or ask around). It was Rp. 100,000 for around 2 hours.
P.s.: the tour guide in Candi Borobudur knows all the secret places to take the best pictures for your Instagram!
Via Via Yogyakarta
This restaurant is nearby Greenhost Hotel and I don’t remember having a special moment here. Nonetheless, if you’re confuse where or what to eat when in Yogyakarta, you can just simply go here. For those of you a local-seeker or tourist-avoider, this place is not for you. It is full of foreigners because of the very convenient location. But they got wifi, so……..
Can I say this is the Rodeo Drive of Yogyakarta? Minus the luxury brand and the luxury cars. Instead, you can see delman/andong (Google this!) and street vendor. Why I put this in the Yogyakarta Travel Guide? Because even locals go here every time they visit Yogyakarta. You can get souvenirs and food in a very cheap price if you’re good at negotiating. I personally have to bring my mom because I’m not good at it. But don’t get to low with the price, they are human beings too who got bills to pay!
My last day in Yogyakarta, I decided to go far to seek this one temple. The temple is called Candi Selogriyo (Selogriyo temple). I saw the picture from the Internet and I was inspired to go there. Little did I know that it was very far and remote. I also got an idea when I was traveling to Candi Selogriyo that it would be extremely cool to explore all temples (or candi) in Yogyakarta that are not overexposed yet. But it was my last day :'(. Maybe next time?
It’s located in Magelang, quite off Yogyakarta and you need a car and a motorbike to get there. Once you get to the nearby area of Candi Selogriyo (a village) you have to hire a bike (with the driver) from the village. They are the ones who know the way to get there and can be your guide as well. Remember to negotiate, especially when you’re foreigner and they like to knock-off the price up high. You can be generous too if you want, no one’s in your way. On the way from the village to Candi Selogriyo, you’ll get serve the most beautiful rice terrace. Ask the driver to stop for you to take some pictures. Oh, actually you can walk from the village to the Candi Selogriyo but it might takes 1-2 hours. With motorbike, it’s only 10-12 minutes I think. Once you get to the ‘gate’ of Selogriyo Temple, you still need to climb the stairs to the Candi Selogriyo. That tells you how remote it is. Unfortunately for me, it was ‘under-renovation’ (although nothing was being renovate and the string around the temple is to hold it). I wouldn’t say this is a must for your Yogyakarta Travel Guide but it was fun for me. If you’re looking for underexposed places in Yogyakarta, there are dozens of temples waiting for you to discover them. It does need a little extra of research, but trust me, it’s worth it. And you’re helping Indonesia’s tourism if you put it in your social media and stuff. Win-win <3
Il Tempo del Gelato
While waiting for my flight and after a long drive from Candi Selogriyo, I was steaming off in Il Tempo del Gelato. It is hands down the best gelato I’ve ever tried in Indonesia. What I love, love, love about this place is that they use common Indonesian flavor such as kemangi (basil, it is use for Indonesian cuisine). I couldn’t recommend more this gelato place to be in this Yogyakarta Travel Guide because just how good it is. Since Indonesia can be very hot and humid, this place is the best to chillax.
AgliOo! Pizza And Pasta
Hmmm… I’m not that into this restaurant but the pasta was alright. It is just right next to Il Tempo del Gelato. This place is probably best for people who can’t eat local Indonesian food (cause we hardcore spices lovers).
Are you excited to go to Yogyakarta now? I hope this post can be a little bit useful for you! Of course there’s still so many attractions, destination to discover, whether it is Yogyakarta, Java or Indonesia! Don’t forget to tell me your trip to Yogyakarta or anywhere really cause I can’t wait to hear about it <3 If you got intrigue to find out more about Indonesia, you can click “Indonesia” from the travel category and see more of Indonesia posts.