Jogyakarta (also known as Yogjakarta or Jogja) located in central Java is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the south and Mount Merapi to the north. Home to the ancient site of Borobudur, the largest Buddhist monument in the world.
The earliest known kingdom in this area, dates back to AD 732. The Sono Budoyo Museum in Yogyakarta was founded in 1935 by the Java Institute. The museum houses ancient bronze items including bells as well as batiks and a variety of puppets and masks from Central and West Java.
The main street of Yogyakarta, Jalan Malioboro is the main shopping district with rows of shops selling arts, crafts, clothing and fruit and vegetables. At night time when these shops close, food stalls are setup as a night food market. All along Jalan Malioboro during the day are shops and stalls selling a huge range of souvenirs including wooden carvings, paintings, jewelry as well as t-shirts, shorts and shoes.
At the end of Jalan Maliboro is the Kraton which is the Royal Palace which dates back to the 18th century. The palace is open to visist from 8am - 2pm. Entrance cost 15,000Rp. The Palace walled city within Yogyakarta which once had 25,000 people living within the walls to service the Royal Family.
Located around 2km south from the Royal Palace is the Taman Sari Water Castle which was the royal garden for the Sultan of Yogyakarta which was built around 1758.
Borobudur, which lays to the west of Jogjakarta, was built by the Mahayana Buddhist dynasty know as Sailendra (Kings of the Mountain). The best time to visit Borobudur is at sunrise or sunset. For more information check out the History of Borobudur.
To get to Borobudur from Jogjakarta go to the Jombor bus terminal on Jln. Magelang. Buses here will be marked with Borobudur. Bus fare costs 10,000Rp and takes around 1 hour. A taxi to Borobudur will cost around 100,000 and take about 30 minutes. The gates into Borobudur open at 6am. If you want to go to Borobudur for sunrise (which is before 6am) you either need to join a tour (most hotels offer a sunrise tour of Borobudur for 400,000Rp or you can go directly to Manohara Hotel which charges 320,000Rp per person to enter Borobudur through their hotel and receive a free coffee and muffin after your visit. The sunrise tours that the hotels offer is the best option as it includes your return transport from your hotel.
Just east of Jogjakarta is the Hindu Prambanan complex. A taxi from Jogjya to Prambanan will cost around 80,000Rp. Entrance into to see the Prambanan Hindu Temple costs foreigners 117,000Rp for Adults and 63,000Rp for children. You can pay this by credit card (Visa or Mastercard). Local Indonesians pay 40,000Rp to enter.
Hindu Prambanan complex
Mount Merapi (Gunung Merapi) is located just 25kms from Yogyakarta and is clearly visible on a clear day. Mount Merapi is 2968m tall and is one of Indonesia's most active volcano with the most recent eruption in October 2010. Check out the Top 10 Volcanoes in Indonesia.
28km south of Yogyakarta, on the coast of the Indian ocean are a series of beaches with considerable surf. The closest of these beaches is Parangtritis Beach. Close to here are the Langse Caves. Other beaches include Parangendog Beach, Parangkusuma Beach, Sumas Beach, Pandansima Beach and Trisik Beach.
The waters of the coast drop off dramatically into the Indian ocean trench so there are considerable undertow making the beaches unsafe for general swimming.
Grebeg Syawal Ceremony
At the end of Ramadhan fasting, Muslims in Yogyakarta enjoy the thanks giving ceremony of Grebeg Syawal. Around 8am there is a procession of Kraton guards (Kingdom guards) through the streets of Yogyakarta in their uniforms.
Golf Courses and Resorts in Yogyakarta
Merapi Golf Course is located 30 minutes away from Yogyakarta. An 18 hole, 6370m, par 72 golf course looking up at the magnificent volcano Merapi. https://www.merapigolf.co.id/
Borobudur International Golf & Country Club Magelang located 40Km from Yogyakarta, designed by Nick Faldo is an 18 hole, 5635m par 72 golf course. www.borobudur-golf.com
The Hyatt Regency Hotel has a 9 hole gold course and floodlit driving range.
Getting to Yogyakarta
Yogyakarta's airport is called Adi Sucipto airport. The airport is 9km away from the town centre of Yogyakarta. It takes around 15 minutes in a taxi. The following airlines have flights to and from Yogyakarta:
Air Asia direct flights between Yogyakarta and Jakarta, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. www.airasia.com
From Yogyakarta's Umbulharjo Bus Terminal you can get bus services to other parts of Java and to Bali. Bus trips take 2 hours to Solo, 1.5 hours to Magelang, 3.5 hours to Semarang, 5 hours to Cilicap, 8 hours to Surabaya, 10 hours to Bandung, 12 hours to Jakarta and 16 hours to Denpasar (including the ferry ride).
Train to and from Yogyakarta
Accommodation/Hotels close to Borobudur
Manohara Hotel (1 review) Manomara Hotel is the closest hotel to Borobur backing on the complex grounds. Located at Complex Taman Wisata Candi Borobudur Jalan Badrawati Borobudur Magelang 56553 Java Indonesia Ph: +62 293 788 131. For more info, photos and hotel reviews for Manohara Hotel click here.
Pondok Tingal Hotel is located only 700m from Borobudur. Room prices start from 200,000Rp per night. www.pondoktingal.com
Saraswati Hotel - Borobudur Internet rates from US$89+ www.saraswatiborobudur.com
Amanjiwo Resort has luxury accommodation overlooking Borobudur, perfect for a romantic getaway. Room prices from US$700+ per night www.aman.com