Yogyakarta is the center of fine Javanese arts and culture. Well known for its traditional method of producing beautifully hand-made Batik crafts, this city is also a paradise for their must-see ancient temples including one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Borobudur Temple. A historical and cultural experience awaits you as we give our list of best things to do in this city
1. Watch the sunrise at Borobudur Temple
The largest Buddhist monument on Earth, Borobudur Temple. A giant pyramid with 9 levels, 2672 carved panels and 504 Buddha statues. Topping it off, on the top level there are 72 bell-shaped stupas, each of them containing a statue of the Buddha. Back then, this temple was targeted by unresponsible parties by detonating bombs which destroyed certain parts of the temple.
Witness the stunning yet magnificent scenery at Sunrise. You’ll arrive at the viewpoint overlooking the temple while it’s still dark. After sunrise you will get to explore Borobudur, before a relaxed breakfast at a restaurant nearby. A day spent in Borobudur Temple is one of the best thing to do in Yogyakarta. Don’t miss it!
2. Visit Goa Jomblang
Goa Jomblang cave is one of the tourism highlights of Yogyakarta. Why? Definitely, this is an Instagramable photo site! In about 90 minutes drive from Yogyakarta, you will be arrived at this cave.
The unique way to enter Goa Jomblang is you will be lowered 60 meters over the edge of a cliff into the sinkhole by a safety belt and rope. There is a light shining through the cave opening from the top and every morning the light filters through like a natural spotlight. Do bring your camera to this site for a great photo opportunities.
3. Hike Merapi Volcano Mountain
There are a lot of volcanos around Yogyakarta to hike. Mount Merapi, one of the largest mountain in Java and the most active volcanos in Indonesia. This mountain is about 50 kilometers away from Yogyakarta and surrounded by a wonderful nature.
To hike this mount, it will take approximately three hours and start at midnight. Cool yet fresh temperature and twinkling lights from the villages at the valleys below will be seen during hiking. Although it will be a tough journey, it will be worthed-it.
4. Visit Timang Beach
At Timang Beach, you can do something different. You will found this activity only at this beach. One in a lifetime, you can try a thrill ride with a cable car to a large rock in the sea with a big waves. The cable car also known as “Gondola”. The condition of the Gondola itself is a traditional cable car made with simple materials, not a modern cable car.
Long ago before many people know about the timang beach,the Gondola is used for lobster fishing spot by local people. A strong mental will be needed to take this ride. The distance between the beach to the large rock is around 100 meters.
5. Watch the Ramayana Ballet Show
An outdoor theatre ballet show in front the Prambanan Temple is a must if you have visited Prambana Temple. This show starts around 7.30 pm and very recommended for people who enjoy Javanese culture. A copy of stories will be provided before the show begins. To have a clear understanding about the plot of the show, you need to read it first better.
A lighted temple of Prambanan, the night sky, a ballet performance with traditional ensemble of Javanese music will complete your experience in Yogyakarta. After the show ends, you will get a chance to take a picture with your favorite character during the show. Truly, this is one of the best thing to do.
6. Visit Malioboro
Get the best deals at Malioboro, the famous street shopping. The famous Malioboro is a shopping paradise for those souvenirs’ hunters. You will find a lot of things here, such as fabrics, bags, artworks, and many more.
Beside that, a parade of street foods can also be found along the way. Their specialties in food are fried rice cakes, jackfruit-based dish with rice, spicy dark beef, rice with vegetables in peanut sauce, and many more. The best way to enjoy the street is either by food or by renting a pedicab. A four-wheeled horse carts also available here. To end your trip at Yogyakarta, you must visit here!
7. Visit the famous Prambanan Temple
Set in the plains of Central Java, the magnificent Hindu's culture temple of Prambanan is one of the top highlights in Southeast Asia, especially in Indonesia. Borobudur temple also located nearby. The temples at Prambanan were built in the 9th century and is known locally as Roro Jonggrang, coming from the legend of the ‘slender virgin’.
This is a place of religious importance so remember to dress appropriately. Make sure your shoulders are covered and pants or skirts are below the knee. Prambanan will set you up for a great trip, also with a great knowledge for Hindu's history and culture .
8. Visit Kota Gede
An old town prominent for its arts and crafts such as silver jewelry . Only thirty minutes ride from Yogyakarta and you will find this city. An actual process of making the craft can be witnessed directly on the spot. You can also make your own silver souvenirs with the local guides.
Therefore, you also can visit the batik workshop and admire the stunning fabrics on display. Surely, this will be your unforgetabble memories in Yogyakarta.
9. Visit Banyan Twin Trees
A couple of twin old banyan tress located in the Alun Alun Selatan, Yogyakarta. There are a lot of myths from the locals about these trees. One of them is if you can pass the trees in the middle with your eyes blindfolded, make a wish, then your wish will be granted. Maybe, it seems easy, but actually it difficult. Many people have tried to walk straight, but in fact they happened to walk to the wrong direction.
Beside these twin trees, there are many other things we can do. The darker the night, the higher the crowd. You can rent a pedicab with modern lights which can accommodate up to six persons and drive around the city square. If you are feeling tired, you can take a break and ordering street foods nearby.