Sunday, May 6, 2018

Travel Log: Things to do at Yogyakarta

I went Yogyakarta last year, but I was really too busy to write them. But this trip was really memorable because I went with my uni friends. And it is really different from a grad trip, cos a grad trip always felt to me more like a mandatory social protocol. For all you know, half the people were only there cos they wanted to look like they "had friends".

So I guess a part of me was extremely heartened that I have friends that were willing to squeeze time for each other. At least I guessed we mattered and the relationship was not superficial. :P We had a longer stay than more tourists so we had the opportunity to go to more places of interest. And I can fairly say, I can now round up some Must-Go places.

1. Timang Beach 
This is definitely made famous by Running Man. And fortunately, we went there before Running Man step foot on this "secret haunt" I guess we got it cheap. A ride on the gondola only cost around SGD20. Basically, there is nothing much to do on the island. You are literally there to watch and be in awe of the waves.

Now, there is also another option - hanging bridge for you to reach the island. I think it only cost SGD 10 max. But my friends were too scared to walk across with me and I was to scared to do it myself. And so, I have added it to my to-do list when I come back.

Just so you know, Timang Beach is a little far out from Yogyakarta and you would also need to take a motorbike up, which is an equally thrilling ride. This is also where I was burnt by the motorbike exhaust and now have a scar (looks like my BF's symbol though) on my thigh. And, I didn't buy insurance. Guess, I am a true dare-devil.

2. Jomblang Cave
This is a place of enlightenment. I have no better way to describe this, when you see the light shining through the crack in the cave at noon, it really does make you believe in God. The moment is fleeting but very breathe-taking. Many people were doing the instagram-shots moments. But I dono why we chose to dress in our worse.

We only had a Go-Pro which I still have no idea how to use...Oops and some handphones. For any adrenaline junkie, this is a must-go because you get to descend down a cave and trek through some see a magnificent sight. Plus, it is not too far away from town. :)

3. Dieng
We weren't there for the sun-rise but apparently the sunrise here may beat the sight at Borobudur. To travel here, it is pretty far. I think we woke up at 3am. To catch sun-rise, we probably have to wake up, sorry I mean forget waking up just continue traveling at midnight. HAHA.

Personally, I like the village-tour with greens and all. But that is because I am a city girl and the closest I see to unripe vegetables and fruits are at supermarket. But if you are more worldly than me, you will enjoy the plateau and the sulphur springs. Do get a guide if you do not want to miss the bouncing grass patch and other interesting fun-facts.

I don't remember our rather good-looking guide being expensive. Plus, he speaks good English and is a great photographer for our group shots. And he is very energetic, so he brings our spirits up in spite of the little rest we had.

4. Borobudur
I didn't rank this too highly not because it is not as gorgeous as the world promises it to be, but simply because it is very touristy. And honestly, who will miss this? For me, I don't like too many random people in my shots and this was annoying because there was just too many people setting up tripod stand and blocking our good view.

There was barely any benefit in being the first to go up. Still, it is a place you have to visit at least once because the pictures didn't really capture its beauty. Plus, there were quite a few hunks that formed part of the great view. *winks* I guess I just wished I had a better phone up there. Iphone totally couldn't own any night.

5. Prambanan Temple
Another temple, but it is a Hindu temple so the architect is slightly different. In fact, I really like Prambanan Temple because there were more tiny spaces for you to explore. It does get a bit repetitive for the smaller monuments. But there is quite a few nice instagrammable places and the night view is awesome.

6. Merapi Jeep
Many travel blogs ranked this pretty high. But I thought it was a bit over-price and wasn't as cool as I expected it to be. Visiting the volcano ruins was one of the highlight in fact. The jeep ride was quite thrilling but after a while, the novelty sorts of die off.

It seems that every guide in Yogyakarta is eager to take photos for you. The jeep driver literally taught you how to pose and took many, many photos of us in every angle. I guess with that many photos, a few had to turn out well. But he also took his artistic direction a little bit too seriously. There were some shots which he insisted we had to take some random field.(._.)"'

7. Tubing
This could have been more fun if the guide spoke English. Half the time, I am just slipping down on the rocks because of my lousy, cheapass slipper. Even when my friend helped me with my float and all I had to do was to keep my balance, I just kept tumbling down. In fact, I think I am lucky I didn't break my head or lose a tooth.

There was also the opportunity to jump from a waterfall. Part of me really wanted to do it. But because no one did it, I didn't too. Because...I guess I am no spring chicken and...I didn't buy insurance.

8. Snorkelling at Sadranan Beach
The tide was just too high when we were there so we didn't have a chance to snorkel. We saw some locals lying on the beach to be hit by the waves so followed suit...and we got washed away...nearly into the sea.

I think I was grabbing hold to another friend's leg, wondering if I will lost my gopro,my specs or maybe my life. One of my friends who couldn't swim got washed into the rocks. You know in movies and novels, they talked about the look of desperation. That was the look she gave when that happened. And after that, I think she lost half of her guts and her will for any adventures during the trip.

9. Flying Fox
It is not very expensive, but the view is average. I guess won't be too bummed even if I sat out on this one. It is apparently the longest zipline in SEA. But, considering they can't give you instructions in English, you may just lose a arm or 2. For me, I had a bad halt in the air. ;(

*10. Sky Swing
We didn't go for this. Our guide only introduced this to us on the last day. So, this is going to my to-do list and possibly when I re-visit Yogyakarta, I will revise this list :D

**Note: I think I lost my GoPro videoes. Shit, I thought I was scared when I was nearly washed away at Sadranan Beach. But I am scared now too. Sigh, definitely going to get scolded by my friends for losing videos. (T_T). 

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