(From On The Road Asia)
We had planned to do very little on our first day in Yogyakarta (pronounced locally as Jogja), so the pool at the Puri Pangeran hotel made a good excuse for just that. In the afternoon we took a walk to Malioboro Street which is the main tourist strip for shopping. I was expecting something similar to Kuala Lumpur’s Petaling Street where you can sit at a side cafe with a beer and watch the world go by.
Being Indonesia beer was not available, and neither were roadside cafes, there were people asking if you wanted a taxi every 6 seconds though. The street was literally lined with t-shirt vendors, thousands of them, so unless you wanted a t-shirt, some Javanese Batik or handicrafts there was little else here. A t-shirt saying “I don’t want a fuggin taxi” would have been useful.
Organised day trips and tours are ridiculously expensive in Indonesia (compared to Vietnam or Thailand), but we had little option unless we wanted to trudge around temples in the roasting heat all day – there was little else to do in Jogja.
We opted for a half day river rafting excursion followed by a visit to the main attraction for the area; Borobudur temple. The rafting turned out to be great fun, something I’d never done before and the kids loved it. The rapids were pretty tame but it was a blast nonetheless, the only downside was the shocking amount of trash that lined the Elo river, one of the many that flows down from the ever looming Merapi volcano. Read more