Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Is it Yogyakarta or Jogjakarta in Indonesia?

Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Yogyakarta is the official name but our friends in Bali constantly referred to it as Jogjakarta or simply, Jogja. So we followed their suit and called it Jogja since then.

Four days. We only had four days at the center of classical Javanese fine art and culture. We only had two things in mind; to check out the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Borobudur and Prambanan Temples and to experience the cultural diversity of Java.

Yogyakarta is a busy touristy town in Java, Indonesia mainly because of its close proximity to the said temples and other major tourist destinations in the area.

Yogyakarta, Indonesia

It was an early flight from Bali to Yogyakarta. The group had so much lull time at Ngurah Rai Airport that we got to witness the majestic sunrise from its roof deck. We safely arrived at Jogjakarta with the littlest information on how to get to our hotel – Jambuluwuk Malioboro Boutique Hotel – so  we asked the locals around. We got there feeling tired, sleepy and famished – I immediately fulfilled the second need.

Yogyakarta, Indonesia

We could’ve taken a cab going to our hotel, but we heeded the advice of some locals at the airport to take the cheapest way around town via TransJogja. And I loved it since then.

TransJogja is the most common local transportation around town. These air-conditioned buses have designated elevated bus stops with six different routes operating from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. The cheapest fare is around 3,000 Rupiah (US$ 0.23) and you could transfer to the different routes by hopping on to the right bus transfer, the staff were all accommodating on helping us. It’s quite cheap and convenient if you’re not pressed for time.

Yogyakarta, Indonesia
TransJogja's elevated bus stop
Yogyakarta, Indonesia

If you need to get to your destination the quickest way, you may opt to just take a cab, the flagdown rate is around 6,000 Rupiah (US$ 0.45). There is also the traditional three-wheeled pedal-powered cart or the becak (beh-chak) which is usually the preferred mode of transportation for short distances around town; there are no standard rates, haggling starts at 10,000 Rupiah (US$ 0.75).

Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Becak
Walking around Jogja felt like we’re on an old town with a very unique character. The fact that it was a former Dutch colony makes it more interesting. We enjoyed strolling around unfamiliar streets and alleys while checking out some graffiti on walls and side streets. 

Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Yogyakarta, Indonesia

We had a map, but ignored it for it was more fun to get lost in all the chaos. We walked until it felt like we crossed over at the end of our map's jurisdiction, where civilization stops, so we would go back and explore other streets and alleys that looked interesting. And then we reached the touristy area of Malioboro where hundreds of shops lined the streets with souvenirs and knickknacks to take home with.

Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Food tripping has always been our top priority so we always checked out the small eateries that serve legit Javanese dishes in town. 


Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Choose your add-ons
Yogyakarta, Indonesia
US$ 1 = 13,000 Rupiah
Define cheap rice meal!
We never failed to get our favorite Nasi Ayam Goreng which is typically your good old fried chicken (stewed in local spices, then deep-fried until crispy) served with steamed rice with traditional sambal (chili sauce) and raw vegetables on the side. We usually order Dada or the breast part of the chicken. I’m usually a chicken wing-kinda-person, but Jogja’s Ayam Goreng Dada was just too mouthwatering.

Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Kopi Es
Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Nasi Ayam Goreng
We also tried out some halal eateries along Malioboro Street where the only dining option is to be slumped on the covered floor of the paved sidewalk. Of course, we went for our fave Ayam Goreng with Javanese fried rice. Yummy!

Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Teh Botol - the most famous bottled drink in Indonesia (iced tea)
Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Javanese fried rice is heaven
We also tried the local McDonald’s store just to fulfill Julius’ fast food cravings. All the burgers were really good, but for me, their fried chicken wasn’t that tasty (plus there's no gravy at all – at this point I was already dreaming of the fast food gravy goodness in the Philippines).

Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Fast food for once
For our beer sessions, we usually go to the touristy area of Jalan Sosrowijayan and Jalan Prawirotaman where beers are openly served. Please be reminded that alcoholic drinks are usually hard to find in this town because it is forbidden by Islam belief (Muslim is the predominant religion in Indonesia).

Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Jogja is nice if you really like a legit old school town feel, but if you’re not into that kind of thing, well, you might wanna check out Bali. But as for me and the group, we loved our four-day stay at Yogyakarta, especially the Dada! Oh, how I miss their fried chicken.









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