Batik, Indonesian Heritage, BUT NOT THE PAINTING!
Around Sultan Palace, there are lots of Batik and Silver mafias.
They'll bring you to the batik or silver shop, where you can find many batik paintings.
The original batik is only cloth, then the painting is a tourism-impact.
And if you see a wonderful batik painting in a batik gallery, wait until you see another REALLY SAME painting in other galleries.
If you like the picture, fine.. If you care about art, forget it!!
Plus, the mafia who bring you there get 30% of your money.
The becak (rickshaw) drivers usually the one who show you the places.. Make sure you tell them NO BATIK, NO SILVER!!
Careful and stay relax! It's holiday!!
Unique Suggestions: Easily say NO BATIK NO SILVER!!
Fun Alternatives: You can directly leave the person, say that you're in a rush..
Maaf, saya harus check out dari hotel.
Sorry, but I have to check out from my hotel..
- Arts and Culture
Borobudor and vendors
We were warned about the vendors.
I have one guy after me for more than 500m.
He try to sell me stone souvenirs (Buddha, stupa's, ..)
The vendors are with the hundrud people there.
Unique Suggestions: Don't speak to them, don't look at them and don't stop walking.
Fun Alternatives: Say with a good strong voice "Tidak" (means No).
Beware that taxi driver will bring you to your destination via a long way. From Novotel to Higo's Cafe is only less than 5 minutes ride, but the cab who brought us there took 30 minutes.
Fun Alternatives: get familiar with the map and warn the drivers about doing that.
i found the cheapest batik (framed wall decor) along malioboro. batik in taman sari could fetch at least 10 dollars when you can get it for 4 dollars in malioboro, same size. there is another batik store that probably some local would recommend to you and take you there. we were told it is a government run store. i doubt any truth to that claim. first we were ushered to a little corner of the store and demonstrate to us the batik process in a very hasty forgettable manner. and the rest of the time the store attendants are busy griping my ass. they got this irritating habit of following you wherever you go as if telling me: come on pick that up and go straight to the counter. that store can be a scam too. why do becaks taking tourists there
receive commission? i don't even think their batiks are reasonably priced. same size batik that i got for 4 dollars in malioboro costs 9 dollars in that store. when we were about to leave the batik store, we were coaxed to visit the puppet store. oh that made me realize these batik/puppet stores try to milk all our dollars out of us.
taman sari: scam scam scam
picture this. we were walking aimlessly somewhere in kraton. one local man in his late 40s popped up from nowhere telling us he is on his way home. we followed him because he seemed to be guiding us the road that leads to the water palace. first we passed by the standing ruins of a temple. he said climbing to the top treats you to a scenic view of the jogja town. there were a bunch of people sitting there on top but instead of doing the same thing, we continued walking to the tunnel all the way to the sultan's infamous swimming pool. as we followed the steps of this guy, i was quietly wondering what the heck he's up to. is he just a friendly local guy or a con-artist by profession. i mean how can he be doing this tourguide-like services without asking for a fee? we thought he was going home and located along the road that leads to his house are tourist sites, so why not follow him and suck in the free chance of visiting the places without actually hiring a tourguide. after the sultan's pool, his act of kindness started to smell fishy when he took us to a house selling batik. oh he's probably getting commissions for taking us there in case we buy something. our next stop is a
house that sells puppets. i'm starting to get irritated going to these places because we had no intention of buying whatsoever and we were put into a situation that requires us to let go of our cold cash. our final stop is what he calls his home, full of batik. yes, he is selling batik to us on the pretext of free taman sari tour. he is demanding us to buy his batik to help him send his kid to school. to get out of this situation- show him your feigned intention of buying his batik by quoting a very low price. he charged 10 dollars for a piece of batik. i said i will buy that if you give it to me for 4 dollars. he refused. so that's how we got out of this taman sari scam.
Pay Parking almost anywhere you go
"Parkir" as what the local says, the parking fee is anywhere from Rp2,000 to 5,000 depends on location. They normally charge when you park your car or van, so far becak has been exempted. The "parkir" attendant is everywhere, outside of restaurants, tourist spots, outside of souvenir shops etc. How they work is that the full day parking revenue is shared 50:50 with the local council or authority.
- Road Trip
Your drivers, tourguide & becak drivers will try to do this...bring you to their friends souvenir shops. If you are not keen just say "no" but most of us would probably want to buy some souvenirs anyway. In Jogja, there are Silver jewelry, Batik, T-shirt and art & craft shops.
There are also plenty of peddlers selling souvenirs outside of the tourist spots like Borobodur, Prambanan etc. They can be very persistent and annoying at times, just gently say "no", bargain only if you are keen on the item.
Unique Suggestions: If the items and pricing are not right you can always walk away or bargain till you are satisfied.
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
If you transit via Jakarta
For those who has no never been to Jakarta airport. Upon arrival, you have to take a lift to the 2nd level for departure. Some 'friendly' locals will offer to show you the way for your departure and ask for a sum of money in return. Just ignore them.
Unless you look Indonesian, most sellers will hike up prices (since, after all, you are a tourist!)
Alot of the sellers in the Borobudur area will sell you postcards for 20 for 100,000IDR (that's $10USD.) That is a good price.
But once you decline and walk away, most sellers will decrease their price and follow you. I played the game and was able to get postcards for 20 cents each! I can't believe the person agreed to it.
Try to learn the numbers in Indonesian. It helps ALOT in bargaining! Good luck!
BTW... some of them accept USD or Euro.
dont believe when people on the street try to lure you to a "batik exhibition". they will take you to a place where they will show you poor quality batiks and they will insist you to buy the big lot of them!
Unique Suggestions: just say "tidak, terima kasih" (no thanks) and keep on walking. don't show any interest at all or they will keep on following you.
- Arts and Culture
Kraton Ratu Boko
In Prambanan you see very big banners: Don't miss Ratu Boko.
Accoridng to my Lonely Planet, it should be a partly restored summer castle of the sultan from which you have a splendid view on Prambanan.
A becak took us there from the main road in Prambanan for 10.000 each, two ways.
We walked up a hundred steps to find out that they asked 10 US $ entrance.
No way, it couldn't be it's money worth.
We cursed, went down and rode back...
- Budget Travel
It's very common for the trishaw riders to try to persuade you to visit the batik shop or silver galery nearby as they'll earn commission if you buy. Some of them can be very persistent.
Unique Suggestions: -Try not to go into the trap, as some vendors are very persistent.
-Tell them you've bought it yesterday.
-Convince that you've run out of money :)
Fun Alternatives: Reject politely.
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
Borobudur park the labyrinth?
Well, it took me less than 10 minutes to enter the park but I had spent more than half an hour to find my way out. As I arrived at 6am when those souvenir stores were closed but they had already set up at 9am. Upon exit you'll see the 'exit' sign where the adventure begins. You'll have to walk a single path with souvenir stores at your right/ left side and this is a long and tiring way to go.
Unique Suggestions: -Smile and walk patiently.
-Take a look at the souvenirs. In fact they are interesting.
-Bargain before buying.
-Run quickly :)
-Some people are pushy but most of them are ok.
Fun Alternatives: Don't follow the 'exit' sign as it is misleading. I'm sure that there must have a way where this hassle can be avoided.
- Historical Travel
BATIK BATIK BATIK !
Only the word turns me nuts now.
I lost my hart to the batik of Kalimantan-banjarmasin , which is totally different - they sew patern before dyeing the silk.
Anyway , first of all people will come up to you asking if you already bought batik. Second is that the ones you saw , for instance in Taman Sari , is of a lot worse quality then that of them.
You wash theirs , and wooops , the colors are gone. They don't have quality...
And then there are the students with a traveling exhibition , last night in Jogya...follow me.
They are often modern dressed , handsome and at first helping you out with something...
Just keep on smiling , say your not interested , ....
Practise that smile weeks before you leave. lol
Fun Alternatives: Please , there is no need to get paranoid ,
there are a lot of people who just like to talk to you.
It's just difficult to find out who's trying to sell and who isn't....
Asking about the price
Jogjakarta is a friendly city absolutely! But sometimes, bad thing can happened. If you're decided to have meals in pedestrian of Malioboro, do not hesitate to ask about the price first. As happened in me once; without asking, me and friends order grilled chicken and the bill was TOO expensive for four of us! A man nearby there gave a simple explanation; because you looks not native Jogja or local, they're think you don't know the EXACTLY price for it!!!!!
Unique Suggestions: As I said above; asking the price first before order. Or read the price list and make sure; is it too expensive than average price there.
Fun Alternatives: Make a small survey about average prices along Malioboro before decided to have meals.
- National/State Park