Go Back   British Expats / Living & Moving Abroad / Far East and Asia / Indonesia

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old Sep 15th 2015, 4:00 pm   #1
Hostage Negotiator
Premium Member
 
InVinoVeritas's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 5,013
InVinoVeritas has a reputation beyond reputeInVinoVeritas has a reputation beyond reputeInVinoVeritas has a reputation beyond reputeInVinoVeritas has a reputation beyond reputeInVinoVeritas has a reputation beyond reputeInVinoVeritas has a reputation beyond reputeInVinoVeritas has a reputation beyond reputeInVinoVeritas has a reputation beyond reputeInVinoVeritas has a reputation beyond reputeInVinoVeritas has a reputation beyond reputeInVinoVeritas has a reputation beyond repute
Default A trip to Yogyakarta

Recently, my wife and I did a 3D/4N trip to Yogyakarta in Central Java. This was our first trip to Indonesia and we chose Jogja (as the locals call it) because it is only a couple of hours from KL by daily AirAsia flight.

Jogja is not a visa-free port of entry into Indonesia so it's necessary to purchase a visa on arrival at USD 35 per person, you can pay in dollars but change will be given in rupiah (about 14,500 to the dollar). You will also need to complete a customs declaration (had we known this we would have asked for one on the plane).. The arrivals lounge is a little shambolic with the visa kiosk, immigration,baggage carousel, customs area and baggage-scan on arrival (for drugs) all in quite a small area.

The taxi booths in the airport work out more expensive than metered taxis outside the airport but in any case the ride into town was extremely cheap - just $9 for the 40-minute journey to our hotel.

We chose the Gallery Prawirotamanan Hotel which has very good TripAdvisor reviews. It’s in a nice part of town but a little way out from the very centre of the city. This is a Muslim country and the call to prayers is impossible to ignore - bizarrely Indonesia is also 1 hour behind Malaysia so we were woken (briefly) at 4am each morning. Jogja is devoid of any tall buildings due to being in a seismically active area and this makes quite a change from Penang but it also means that the town is spread over a huge area and getting anywhere can take a very long time as there is serious trfafic congestion. There are many cars and many more motorbikes but the driving style is a little different. Unlike in many countries, the bikes actually respect the traffic lights as well as the white stop line at the lights - in all other respects the driving is pretty bad with little respect for speed limits, liberal use of the the opposing carriageway when overtaking and frequent close combat (ie cars and bikes jostling very close to each other much of the time). One of our taxis even overtook a police car by crossing the double white centreline - it was at this point I noticed that not all taxis have rear seatbelts!

The town has a very pleasant feel, its streets and pavements are very clean (I have never seen so many people sweeping and brushing) plus the locals are very friendly, smiling, polite and helpful. It seems white Europeans are very well regarded here (especially by the beautiful local girls who seek a rich husband to look after them and their family). The cost of living is very low (about half that of Malaysia) and average wages seem very low too but everyone is busy doing something and there is little in the way of begging. But this does not mean that they miss any opportunities to make money from tourists, haggling for goods seems almost pointless when the prices are so low but when I did I got stuff for around a quarter of the starting price.

To get around we hired a car with a driver each day and again the price was open to negotiation. The hotel’s limo only cost $50 for the day but $35 is easily achievable for a nice taxi or 4x4. There are many interesting monuments and temples to see in the surrounding area but they can take quite a while to get to. The Borobudur temple is an imperative but it was a 2 hour drive each way, so after the visit and lunch there wasn’t much time left to do anything else. It would perhaps have been better to stay a night somewhere near the temple or on the flanks of the Merapi volcano as the countryside here is very pleasant. There are 4x4 excursions to visit the volcano (the most active in Indonesia) and this seemed to be very popular judging from the number of vehicles we saw here.

On the subject of food in Jogja, Penang it is not, and we didn’t find the eating experience very exciting at all - in fact the hotel itself was generally better than the alternatives. We asked the limo driver to take us to the best restaurant he knew when we were near the volcano as we saw several up-market hotels and restaurants -but frankly it was really not worth the bother or the price.

Our last day we stopped by the main Malioboro shopping mall but it’s actually quite small in KL or Penang terms. This is in the touristy part of town and taking one of the many horse drawn carriages would be a great way to see the immediate area.

Departing from the airport was much more pleasant than arriving as the departure lounge is quite large and has several shops and restaurants - it should be noted however that there is nothing once you go into the international departures section so it pays to delay this until the last possible moment.

Overall this was a very pleasant break and 3 days gave enough time to see everything - serious hikers would probably want to add on extra day or two to include the early morning ascent to the volcano’s summit.

Finally, I would mntion that we took US dollars with us and changed up as and when needed but there were actually quite a lot ATM machines dotted around, though maybe the rate was not as good.

++IVV
InVinoVeritas is offline  
Old Sep 16th 2015, 9:27 am   #2
Is
Premium Member
 
bakedbean's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 17,548
bakedbean has a reputation beyond reputebakedbean has a reputation beyond reputebakedbean has a reputation beyond reputebakedbean has a reputation beyond reputebakedbean has a reputation beyond reputebakedbean has a reputation beyond reputebakedbean has a reputation beyond reputebakedbean has a reputation beyond reputebakedbean has a reputation beyond reputebakedbean has a reputation beyond reputebakedbean has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: A trip to Yogyakarta

Good write-up IVV. Enjoyed reading that
bakedbean is offline  
Old Sep 18th 2015, 7:37 am   #3
BE Enthusiast
 
NeonHippy's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2014
Location: Penang
Posts: 497
NeonHippy has a reputation beyond reputeNeonHippy has a reputation beyond reputeNeonHippy has a reputation beyond reputeNeonHippy has a reputation beyond reputeNeonHippy has a reputation beyond reputeNeonHippy has a reputation beyond reputeNeonHippy has a reputation beyond reputeNeonHippy has a reputation beyond reputeNeonHippy has a reputation beyond reputeNeonHippy has a reputation beyond reputeNeonHippy has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: A trip to Yogyakarta

Quote:
Originally Posted by bakedbean View Post
Good write-up IVV. Enjoyed reading that
Yes another very helpful post. And nice to get here from your link Thank you on both counts.
NeonHippy is offline  
Closed Thread

Go Back   British Expats / Living & Moving Abroad / Far East and Asia / Indonesia


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT. The time now is 10:05 pm.


Powered by vBulletin: ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 1999-2010 BritishExpats.com