Yogjakarta, exploring with best friends, March 2015

Yogjakarta, exploring with best friends, March 2015

Yogyakarta or you often hear people call it Jogja, is one of my favourite destinations in Indonesia. I love it ever since my first visit here when I was a teenager, years ago now.  Its history, kingdom, culture, arts, food, temples, textile arts, of course, it has to be one of my favourite places in Java. Jogja has so much to offer.

I travelled here with two of my very good friends from Jakarta. We flew from Jakarta Halim Perdana Kusuma airport, which took us approximately 45 minutes. A car was arranged by my friend,  Ina, and upon arrival at the airport, we were picked up and taken for a real scrumptious Javanese food in the centre of town.

My two Indonesian friends from Jakarta who travelled with me used to live here in Jogja, so I wasn’t expecting to visit the main tourist attractions whilst travelling with them, apart from the Borobudur temple. We visited traditional markets, mingle with the locals and enjoyed proper Javanese food made for the local people. We visited special Batik shops, museums and the Taman Sari water castle.

In the evenings we sat at some of the best angkringan/lesehan (the food stalls along Maliboro) and enjoyed cheap traditional cuisine. Maliboro is a must-visit place when you are in Jogja. is filled with souvenir and batik shops as well as lesehan/angkringan food stalls. Malioboro has also developed tremendously in the past few years, there are so many new modern buildings here, with modern hotels and restaurants.

During lunchtimes, we would hunt for some real gudeg restaurants. One of our favourite places was Yu Djum gudeg restaurant. I was so thrilled to have given access to their kitchen, watching the food being prepared using super-size pans and pots, and the heat there was indescribable.  We were also very lucky to watch amazing music performances by a local band, playing at the veranda of the restaurant, priceless.

Enjoying some music at Yu Djum Gudeg restaurant

Borobudur, your visit to Jogja just doesn’t feel complete without a visit here. My friend Ina, is a keen photographer and always in search of unusual subjects to capture. One morning I was taken to join a crowd of people watching the sunrise at the Borobudur temple. To be honest, I am not a morning person, and we headed there before 4 am and this was a bit too much for me. Disappointingly, the sunrise on the day was a real disappointment, too much cloud on the horizon, the weather wasn’t perfect enough for a sunrise watch. But it was an interesting experience, and I am not sure if will make another attempt to visit so early in the morning. We had a fabulous time once the sun was out, lovely to be climbing up and down around the temples without the scouring heat.

Borobudur early in the morning, a great time of the day to climb the steps to the top of the temple, no scorching sun

From Yogja, we headed towards Gunung Kidul to visit a craft centre where they made some amazing Batiked Wood and durian hunting along the way. This was a very special journey for me, where I was given access to understanding Batiked wood processing. Buying craft item from this centre was truly affordable, so much cheaper than buying them in Malioboro. Here we could choose from so many varieties of newly made ornaments and you were still allowed discounts.

The process batiked wood making

We were here only for a few days, but as always, truly satisfying to be in Jogja again, enjoying my favourite things in life. Till my next visit.



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