IT IS LITTLE SURPRISE THAT YOGYAKARTA IS ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR PLACES FOR TOURING IN INDONESIA. CLASSIC OUTINGS INCLUDE THE SUNRISE AT BOROBUDUR, PHOTO SHOOTS AT PRAMBANAN AND JEEP TOURS THROUGH MOUNT MERAPI.
The streets of Yogyakarta pulse with rich Javanese culture, mesmerising art and a wealth of historical traditions, but most visitors never explore the hidden treasures that surround this city. On arriving in Yogyakarta, I took two days exploring the neighbouring city of Solo and travelling around to some of the city’s top tourist destinations.
Solo is a town only 60 kilos from Yogyakarta and is famous for its high quality fabrics, amazing food and lively atmosphere. Stop at the Klewer Market where beautiful batiks can be bought at bargain prices. Enjoy one of Solo’s signature dishes at the Omah Sinten Heritage Hotel and spend your afternoons listening to live Javanese music and learning about the city’s history. After a tasty meal, consider heading to the foot of Mount Lawu to visit the Sukuh and Cetho temples. End your trip at the Saturday Night Market in Ngarsopuro to stimulate your taste buds with some mouth-watering street food and to find a few Solo souvenirs.
If you’d like some time away from the city, head to Yogyakarta’s beautiful beaches for a short daytrip. The two-hour drive to Timang Beach flies by as you weave through a natural landscape offering fascinating views of the city. Once you arrive, enjoy the pristine white sand and hop onto a cable car gondola that runs between the beach and Panjang Island. Most of the beaches in this area have not been developed so you can enjoy their laid-back beauty having escaped the crowds of the city. Before making your way back to city life, make sure to enjoy a dinner of locally caught lobster at one of the many beach restaurants with their divine cuisine and breathtaking sunsets
Yogyakarta boasts some beautiful landscapes beyond its beaches, so make sure to take advantage of some of these places, especially The Goa Jomblang Cave, which is located only one hour from Yogyakarta and is an excellent place for an afternoon outing. Your adventure starts as you are lowered 50 meters into a massive sinkhole. This crazy sensation is only matched by the experience of following passages through the underground system of caves. The best moment of the trip is when you turn a corner and are greeted by rays of light pouring in through a small crack in the roof of the Grubug cave. It is an amazing sight that leaves you spellbound by the breathtaking underground beauty and the grandeur of this hidden landscape.