Ten things to do in Yogyakarta


By Flipnomad for Yahoo! Travel

It was the perfect time to be in Yogyakarta when I was there last October (mid-month) due to a variety of things. A Royal Wedding, the most anticipated event of the year happened on the same week that I was there. Aside from that, the annual Jogja Carnival was also being held.

October seemed to be the perfect month to visit Yogyakarta because of this celebration. Locals prepare huge floats and colourful costumes and the parade is held along Malioboro Road. This is an annual event that must not be missed.

The major attraction of Yogyakarta is of course none other than Borubudur. It is also regarded as the single most visited tourist spot in Indonesia.

Borubudur is probably one of the biggest (if not the biggest) Buddhist monument in the world. It's also very majestic. Legend has it that a curse was laid to all who will ascent to this shrine by the heavenly architect who created Borubudur. Entrance fee costs $15.

Just a few kilometres away from Borubudur is Prambanan. It is another UNESCO World Heritage site that can be found in Yogyakarta. There're so many temples in this complex unfortunately, a lot of them have been damaged by the 2006 earthquake. Entrance fee costs $13. You could also pay $20 instead of $13 to gain access to Ratu Boko (shuttle included from Prambanan).

Ratu Boko's function seems to be unknown until now although a lot of locals think that Ratu Boko is the palace of the legendary King Boko.

Taman Sari Water Castle is a garden with three swimming pools for the Sultan and the family. You could also see the fascinating underground Mosque on your way to the water castle which unfortunately is not being used by the Sultan anymore.

Nearby Taman Sari is Kraton or the Sultan's Palace. The fee includes a guide that will explain various things about the Coronation Hall, outfits that the local families wear and the performance hall. Unfortunately, you wouldn't be able to go inside the palace aside from the above mentioned places.

Around the Kraton complex are batik shops where you could see local women making Batik. You might think initially that it's a tourist trap, maybe it is but it's nice to see how it's being done. You're not forced to buy anything anyway.

If you find the price a little bit high in the Batik shops near Kraton, you could go to the shops in Malioboro for more options.

Kraton to Malioboro seems to be a long walk for some. if you don't want to walk under the scorching heat of the sun, you may opt to try riding the becak or the local rickshaw which should not cost you more than $3 per becak (can accommodate 2 people).

Yogyakarta might not be the place to expect to see a Komodo dragon, but they do have three of them in Gembira Loka which is their local zoo. Perfect time to visit them would be around 12noon so you could see them being fed.

These are just some of the things that you could do in Yogyakarta. There are a lot more options if you explore for some more days.