Yogyakarta Things to Do

  • Merapi Tour
    Merapi Tour
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  • Sunrise Mt. Merapi
    Sunrise Mt. Merapi
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  • Borobudur at Morning
    Borobudur at Morning
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Most Recent Things to Do in Yogyakarta

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    Water Castle (Taman Sari)

    by lebonginsomnia Updated Oct 7, 2014

    he name Taman Sari comes from the Javanese words taman, meaning a "garden" or "park" and sari, which means "beautiful" or "flowers". Hence, the name Taman Sari means an area of a beautiful garden adorned with flowers. An old article described it as a "water castle" (Dutch: waterkasteel); as by shutting the watergates, the complex would be completely immersed in water, leaving tall structures standing out.

    Taman Sari (also known as Taman Sari Water Castle) is a site of a former royal garden of the Sultanate of Yogyakarta. It is located about 2 km south within the grounds of the Kraton, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Built in mid 18th century, the Taman Sari had multiple functions, such as a resting area, a workshop, a meditation area, a defense area, and a hiding place. Since 1995 the Yogyakarta Palace Complex including Taman Sari is listed as a tentative World Heritage Site.

    Inside Taman Sari, formerly a recreation garden or a resting house for the Sultanate of Yogyakarta and Family, lies this very unique mosque.
    "The tunnels in this area were underground passageways to the Sultan palace. The legend says about secret tunnel connecting to the south sea (Indian Ocean) where Nyai Roro Kidul or the Queen of the South has her palace. The supernatural Queen becomes the wife of Yogyakarta Sultan for many generations. This secret tunnels is gateway to the world where the Sultan meeting is supernatural wife. However the building also functioned as a hiding place for the royal family against the enemy attack."

    Water Castle Water Castle from Top Labyrinth Water Castle Under Ground Mosque Water Castle Outside
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    RATU BOKO TEMPLE

    by lebonginsomnia Written Oct 6, 2014

    Ratu Boko Temple is a magnificent heritage building palaces built during the reign of Rakai Panangkaran, a descendant of Sailendra dynasty. The palace was originally named Abhayagiri Vihara (meaning monastery on a peaceful hill) was built for seclusion and focus on the spiritual life. Being in this palace, you can feel the peace while seeing the sights of Yogyakarta city and Prambanan Temple with the background of Mount Merapi.

    The palace is located 196 meters above sea level with an area of 250,000 m2 divided into four, namely central, west, southeast, and east. The middle section consists of the main gate of the building, grounds, Combustion Temple, pond, sacred terrace, and Paseban. Meanwhile, the southeast part includes Hall, Hall-Hall, 3 temples, ponds, and complex for princess. Complex of caves, Buddhist Stupa, and there is a pool in the eastern part. While the western part consists only of the hills.

    As a heritage building, Ratu Boko Temple is unique among other relics. Other buildings are in the form of a temple or shrine, as the name implies it shows characteristics as a residence. It was evident from the presence of a pole building and roof are made of wood, even though we can only see remains of a stone building. The palace, then you will get more, one of them a very beautiful view of the sunset.

    Ratu Boko Temple Ratu Boko view Ratu Boko Panoramic Our Silhouette at Ratu Boko
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    Sunrise Mount Merapi Treks

    by lebonginsomnia Written Oct 6, 2014

    For the fearless, the climb to the top of Mt Merapi is an adventure and adrenaline rush worth pursuing. The climb is arduous but the reward on reaching the top is some extraordinary views from the top of one of the world’s most active volcanoes. This is a climb for those who like to live on the edge and aren’t afraid of a physical challenge.

    There are observation posts built on the mountain from which you can take in the view of the lush Central Java landscape and the surrounding mountainside. The dramatic volcanic landscape is spectacular.

    If you are willing to make the effort and leave very early in the morning you will be able to see the sunrise from Mt Merapi. The 360 degree panoramic view of sunrise from the craters rim is amazing.

    Depending on your level of fitness, it usually takes around 5 hours to climb up and 3 hours to return.

    Sunrise Mt. Merapi Sunrise Mt. Merapi Mt. Merapi Panorama Merapi Tour
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    Visit Borubudur Temple

    by lebonginsomnia Written Oct 6, 2014

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    Borodbudur is a 9th-century Buddhist Temple in Central Java, Indonesia. It is the largest Buddhist monument in the world and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
    The three circular upper levels of Borobudur Temple contain seventy-two small stupas surrounding one large central stupa. Each stupa is bell-shaped, studded with decorative openings and houses a Buddha statue inside.
    Very Beautiful view when Sunrise at Borobudur, we can see top of Mt. Merapi when the clearly dawn.

    Sunrise at Borobudur Borobudur at Morning Merapi view from Borobudur Boronudur Statue Borobudur at Dawn
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    Fort Vredeburg

    by tenluk Written Aug 30, 2014

    A Fort built by the Netherlands in 1760 on the ground of the Palace called Fort Vredebug. Historically this building since its establishment till now has undergone a variety of changes function in 1760-1830 as a fortress, in 1830-1945 served as the military headquarters of the Netherlands and Japan, and in 1945 to 1977 served as the military headquarters of RI. Now becomes a Museum. OPENING HOURS Tuesday-Friday: 08.00-16.00 PM Fri-Sat: 08.00-17.00 GMT. Monday and national holidays, closed. ADMISSION Adults: US $ 2000.00

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    Hindu Temple

    by tenluk Written Aug 28, 2014

    Prambanan is a Hindu temple located at Sleman, The sculpture of the Temple is telling the story of Ramayana dan Shinta the old HIndu stories. It easy to reach by bus Trans Yogya number 1 A. Ticket cost Rp. 30.000

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    Sultan Palace

    by cal6060 Updated Oct 3, 2012

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    Sultan Palace was constructed between Oct 9, 1755 to Oct 7, 1956, which was started few months after "Giyanti Angreement". It was built in a straight lines between Mount Merapi and Parangtritis beach. The Palace's buildings were built with European and Javanese architectural designs. There are several courtyards, buildings, and performance platforms inside the palace. In fact, it is more like a museum visit and learn more about the Javanese cultures and heritage, the history of the Kings and families and their contributions to the society. It has rooms that display royal items like ceramics, glassware, weapons, miniatures and replicas, and batik.

    We enjoyed the Javanese Musical Performances, Tue Garmelan Music. The show starts at 10:00 am on Monday and Tuesday only.

    Check out my travelogues to see more photos and information.

    Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday (8:00-14:00), closed at 12 pm on Friday.

    Admission: Rp 12,500 (US$1.4) + Tips for the guide.

    Sultan Palace, Yogyakarta Sultan Palace, Yogyakarta Sultan Palace, Yogyakarta Sultan Palace, Yogyakarta Sultan Palace, Yogyakarta
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    Taman Sari Water Castle

    by cal6060 Updated Oct 3, 2012

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    Taman Sari Water Castle was built 3 years after the Giyanti Agreement, by Sultan Hamengkubuwono I. This secret place was the pleasure park for the Sultan to rest, mediate, meeting, play or hide himself during war. It was occupied between 1765 to 1812. It was a huge compound with a large artificial lake with Islands and Pavilions plus the bathing complex in the center. Today, only the bathing complex remains. The bathing complex was the playground for concubines. The sultan could see and select the concubines he liked from the tower. The artificial lake and other pavilions had been destroyed and replaced by houses of a village, Ngasem.

    We came here in the early morning before the bathing complex opened at 8:30am. A friendly guy, Kus Gontlng, came to talk to us and he seem very knowledgeable about this place. He told us that there was another place that we could visit before bathing complex opened at 8:30am. So, I asked him to lead us the way. So, he showed us the Sultan's hidden underground palace. It was such an amazing experience as we could walk down the underground through a tunnel. In the center of the tunnel, it was the Elevated Platform with stairs as emergency exit. It was water on the ground during 1700s and 1800s. During our visit, there were no other tourists. Kus said most tourists don't know this part of the palace unless they go with a local guide. As this compound is still in bad condition and under state protection, the tourism board has not yet published this archeological site to public yet. In fact, this site is waiting for the UNESCO list of approval.

    Check out my travelogues for more photos and information.

    I believe you can hire any local guide to visit the underground tunnel.

    Kus Gontlng was our guide. He did not demand a specific charges from us but expect a small tips to appreciate his time. We paid him (Rp 50,000, US$6) His number: 085725993112.

    Admission to Bathing Complex: Rp 14,000 (US$1.50)

    Operating Hours: 8:30am - 17:00 (subject to change)

    Taman Sari Water Castle, Yogyakarta Taman Sari Water Castle, Yogyakarta Taman Sari Water Castle, Yogyakarta Taman Sari Water Castle, Yogyakarta Taman Sari Water Castle, Yogyakarta
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    UNESCO: Borobudur

    by cal6060 Updated Oct 3, 2012

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    Borobudur is an ancient Buddhism Temple unlike any other Buddhism Temples we usually see. It is a square stones blocks with three layers of levels to represent different Buddhist theory. It starts with the 1st layer, Kamadhatu, the foundation of Buddhist theory. It comes with the theory that one should have the basic control of desire. It is followed by higher levels of theories until reaching the top meaning to Nirvana or heaven.

    You can read more in my travelogue.

    I enjoyed the art works surrounding the temple. I walked up the stairs to reach each levels, and circled around on narrow corridors to enjoy every angle of the views.

    Don't miss..

    Admission: Rp 135,000 (RM46 or US$15) per adult.

    Borobudur, Yogyakarta Borobudur, Yogyakarta Borobudur, Yogyakarta Borobudur, Yogyakarta Borobudur, Yogyakarta
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    Ratu Boko

    by cal6060 Updated Oct 3, 2012

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    Ratu Boko is an archaeological site that the history and actual reasons of its existence are still unclear. Archaeology's finding is mainly from inscriptions and folklore. It is located on the hill of Boko with an altitude of 196 meters above sea level with an area of about 160,898 sq meter. It is influenced with the combination of Buddhism and Hinduism.

    Based on the oldest inscription, Abhayagiri wihara inscription, this site is a temple complex dated in 792 AD. The temple was built by a ruler of Saliendra Dynasty (760-780AD) named Rakai Penangkaran after he resigned from his leadership. He built this temple to find spiritual peace and concentrate on religion matter. He had chosen a site with spectacular views.

    The Mandyasih inscription had stated a Hindu ruler named " Rakai Walaing pu Kumbhayoni" in between 856-863 AD had changed the name of the site to Walaing Kraton or Palace.

    In 17th Century, a Dutch man H.J. DeGraff had reported the site being the Palace of Prabu Boko, a king from Bali, based on a Loro Djonggrang folklore.

    When I explored this site, it was like being in an ancient Java Kingdom's palace. Most of the sites are ruined, but the remaining gates, walls, stones, stairs, structures are enough to fantastic the life of the ancient Java Kingdom. The compound consists of several sites that worth to visit, they include:

    1) Grand stone Gate - In my review
    2) Burning Temple and the Holy Wells -In my review
    3) Paseban (King's hearing Place) - In my review
    4) Pendopo (The Audience Hall) - In my review
    5) Pool Complex - In my review
    6) Keputren (Women's quarter) -In my review

    A complete map of the site is in my travelogue.

    Admission: US$20 (Joint ticket with Prambanan including transportation between the two sites)

    Ratu Boko, Yogyakarta Ratu Boko, Yogyakarta Ratu Boko, Yogyakarta Ratu Boko, Yogyakarta Ratu Boko, Yogyakarta
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    Vredeburg Fort Museum

    by cal6060 Updated Jul 12, 2012

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    After the Sultan Palace was completely built, the Dutch worried Kasultanan Yogyakarta's development had become stronger, and persuaded Sultan Hamengku Buwono I to build a fort to look after the security of Kasultanan Yogyakarta and its surrounding. In fact, the Dutch wanted to build a fort in order for them to observe the activities inside the palace and to ensure that Kasultanan would not rebel against Dutch. In 1787, a more permanent fort was built named " Rustenburg". Then, its name changed to "Vredeburg" after it was renovated due to earthquake in 1867.

    Untill today, this beautiful Dutch architectural buildings are preserved as historical site in Yogyakarta. You still can see its surrounding walls, gates, Armour, Hall, Kitchen, Barrack, and Residence. In Nov 23, 1992, Vredeburg Fort was officially used as Special Museum of National Struggle or " Museum Benteng Yogyakarta". Right place to learn the history of Yogyakarta!!

    I believe this could be the only Dutch compound remains in Yogyakarta. So, don't miss..

    Opening Hours: Tue-Fri ( 8:00-16:00)
    Sat-Sun ( 8:00-17:00)

    Admission: Rp 20,000 (US$ 2.2)

    Vredeburg Fort Museum, Yogyakarta Vredeburg Fort Museum, Yogyakarta Vredeburg Fort Museum, Yogyakarta Vredeburg Fort Museum, Yogyakarta Vredeburg Fort Museum, Yogyakarta
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    Malioboro Street

    by cal6060 Written Jul 10, 2012

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    Malioboro Street is well known to tourists as a shopping street that full of vendors and shops that sell local souvenirs, batik clothing and fabric, art and crafts, and etc. Restaurants, hotels, shopping malls are other amenities built to cater both local and international tourists. It would be a great place to see the local scenes than just shopping.

    It might have some Feng shui theory, which the road is the north-south axis line between the Mount Merapi and Yogyakarta Sultan Palace. Some of the interesting points of interest on this street including Phoenix Hotel, Tugu monument, Tugu Railway Station, Vredeburg Fort Museum, Yogyakarta War Monument, few colonial buildings on the south before reaching Sultan Palace (Kraton), Sonobudoyo Museum, and Sultan Palace.

    Rickshaw is commonly used as one of the transportation mode in the area.

    Malioboro Street, Yogyakarta Malioboro Street, Yogyakarta Malioboro Street, Yogyakarta Malioboro Street, Yogyakarta Malioboro Street, Yogyakarta

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    Mount Merapi: Kinahrejo

    by cal6060 Written Jul 9, 2012

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    If you are planing to climb the Mount Merapi, Kinahrejo would be the place to start the climb. It is 9 km to the peak of Merapi and takes around 10 hours to reach the top (based on local guide). If you just want to see the mountain, this is one of the places to see it. They charge Rp 3000 (US$0.30) to enter an area with a tar road so you can climb to a higher ground to have a good views of the mountain. Other than the mountain view, you could see some villages on the hill sides. If you like motorbike, you can rent a motorbike to go a bit further to see the mountain. The villages nearby were affected by the eruption in the past.

    Kinahrejo, Yogyakarta Kinahrejo, Yogyakarta Lava from Mount Merapi, Yogyakarta Kinahrejo, Yogyakarta Kinahrejo, Yogyakarta
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    Mendut

    by cal6060 Written Jul 9, 2012

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    Mendut is the oldest temple among the three temples, Pawon and Borobudur. It was first built in the early ninth century AD. It was believed that Mendut has ritual connection with Pawon and Borobudur as they were built in a straight line within 3 KM away. During Vesak annual ritual around May or Jun, the local Buddhists walk from Mendut to Borobudur passing trough Pawon.

    This 26.4 meters tall temple is facing northwest. It looks like the roof stupa had been destroyed , so it is flat on the roof. The outer wall of the temple had been crafted with Buddhism Arts of major Buddhism figures. Inside of the temple, there are three carved large stone statues, seating in the middle is Dyhani Buddha (3 meter tall), left is Boddhisatva Avalokitesvara (Karma of Speech) and right is Buddhisatvara Vajrapani (Karma of Thought).

    The temple is located in a small village. There is a big old tree next to the temple. Nearby I also visited a modern temple, and saw a church across the street.

    Mendut, Yogyakarta Mendut, Yogyakarta Mendut, Yogyakarta Mendut, Yogyakarta Mendut, Yogyakarta
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    Pawon

    by cal6060 Written Jul 9, 2012

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    Between 790-860 AD, Pawon was built along a straight line with Borobudur and Medut. Pawon is located in the middle between 1.75km from Borobudur on the west and 1.15km from Medut on the east. If you are visiting Borobudur, don't miss Pawon and Medut. Pawon is situated in a small village surrounded by village houses, and atop shop houses. It is a small temple that you can spend around 30 minutes enjoy the structure and outer wall carved with reliefs of Boddhisattvas and taras. There are five small stupas built on the roof. Pawon means "Kitchen" in Javanese language. It could be the place where they cooked the food, then made offering at the Borobudur temple.

    Pawon, Yogyakarta Pawon, Yogyakarta Pawon, Yogyakarta Pawon, Yogyakarta Pawon, Yogyakarta
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