Celine Travels — 4D3N trip to Yogyakarta (Part I)

For as long as I’ve lived, I’ve only been to very few cities outside of Jakarta. When people asked me about Indonesia, I could really only tell them about Bali. Even then, I have barely visited Bali growing up because my parents much prefer heading to other countries in Southeast Asia.

Well, being 26, I felt quite embarrassed every time someone mention to me about these cities — Yogyakarta, Surabaya, Medan, Gili — those were very foreign to me. Quite frankly, I don’t think I can even consider myself being an Indonesian because I know very little of our culture and heritage.

One thing I looked forward to being a home-preneur is having the ability to do work remotely. Hence, to celebrate my one month of working from home, I decided to reward myself with a trip to Yogya. Why Yogya? Because I heard it was very budget-friendly. I also heard that there are quite a few things to see. Mind you, I have only recently visited Bali, so all I know is drinking, beachclubbing and … massages. I wanted to explore somewhere different.

Because of Instagram, I could also research on the recommended places and one that I followed was @Depepedia (I tried some of the food he recommended but sadly was disappointed).

DAY 1 

On a very random weekday, my friend (Jane from @floralchemy) and I took Citilink to Yogya. We decided to stay for 3 nights in Gaia Cosmo Hotel which was located conveniently close to almost everywhere we wanted to go.


Upon arrival at our room, I immediately changed into shorts and we headed out to explore Yogya. 


Jane really likes potteries because of her flower arranging hobby; so we went to Kaloka Pottery. It is very hidden and we needed to go through this really small road to get to the place. It was worth it though!

Many of you have even asked me where it is and honestly, it’s not that I’m pelit info but I want to make sure the place and products are of quality first because I recommend it to my viewers! (Also, okay, I admit I want to post the photos first so it doesn’t get too overhyped hehe).

Because it is a pottery shop, you’re able to see every step of the pottery making process. I had a great time taking pictures in Kaloka, the people were so friendly and welcoming. However, I think you have to call them and ask whether they accept visitors that day. During the time we were there, they stopped accepting visitors after 3pm.


After Kaloka, we headed to Warung Bu Ageng for dinner. It was a small, humble eatery with a classical interior. Warung Bu Ageng is just a tiny semi outdoor hut, which serves Indonesian Nasi Campur. I didn’t take any pictures there but it is a nice place to have a simple meal. I had their Nasi Campur Lidah Sapi and it was yum. The thing about Yogya food is that it is very very very sweet. Not a fan of sweet food, I always order an extra serving of sambel bawang, which is just enough to balance out my taste buds. The whole meal for 3 was so affordable at 190k I believe. *cries tears of joy*


Remember when I said I’m not a fan of sweet food? Yeap, I am not a dessert person either. But since this is a must-go, so we went. It was a short walk from Bu Ageng and I loved how I could walk on the roadside in Yogya. The scene is really different from Jakarta. The streets weren’t too crowded and the weather itself was pretty cool. I had the specaloos ice cream. It was okay.

After that we stopped by HENJU which is a local jeweller’s shop. Her jewelry focusses on crystals, stones on sterling silver and gold.


Because the night was still young and Jane wanted to chill and drink, the closest place we could sit back and relax was Greenhost Hotel’s restaurant and bar. So off we went. There was a band playing that night and I loved it so much because the singer actually played his flute! That’s really something new, so refreshing. We got home at about midnight and continued drinking til 2am, realizing we only have 2 hours to sleep before we embark on our next location.



With just two hours of sleep, Jane and I were dying by the start of the morning. But we needed to leave at about 4.30am to Candi Borobudur to catch the sunrise. The view itself was magical. As I said numerous times on my Instagram, I was so amazed at how clean Borobudur was kept. There were a handful of cleaners up in the morning sweeping the floors. There were no random people loitering around and… it was so beautiful.

One thing I think I missed was the availability of tour guides. I went to Candi Borobudur not knowing the history whatsoever, there were no signage nor boards to tell us the significant details of the historic site. There were also no tour guides present.

Oh, I was pretty amused by how much food stalls at tourist sites con other people. After an hour (or two?) or roaming around Candi Borobudur, I was famished and wanted some good ol’ Indomie. I went to one of the stalls and guess how much I paid for 2 es teh and 2 indomie? 58k. Whaaaaat. 1 indomie was 20k.



Oke, after that we stopped by Plataran Heritage Borobudur which was a very nicely designed hotel. Sadly, I was pretty tired and we only took very little photos. To eat at the restaurant also costs 250k per person and it was just breakfast. Mind you, I ate indomie already so I was pretty full. I would totally consider staying there for a night as it seems like a very peaceful hotel. We decided not to stay and head back to the hotel to nap.

Jane ordered Ayam Geprek Bu Made and I ordered Tahu Walik Om Ta recommended by Depepedia on his instagram but both were … not up to my liking. I love Tahu Goreng but this is just biasa aja. I wouldn’t order this again. The sauce was sweet and reminded me of popiah sauce. The ayam geprek was okay. I’m not a diehard fan, so I’m not sure how the really good one tastes like. But I’d skip both entirely the next time I visit Yogya.


After waking up from my nap, I went to Taman Sari. Taman Sari is the site of a former royal garden of the Sultanate of Yogyakarta. When I arrived, I was pretty confused… Not only was I confused because the place was in rubbles, but it did not pride itself as a historical site. Because it is a royal garden of the Sultan, I would expect it to be more wellkept. I understand that it is currently a very popular site for Instagram worthy photos, but really, are we all there just to take a photo and leave?

I felt quite sad, to be honest. When I went to Rome, and saw the Colosseum in Rome, it was still nicely maintained. I could make out what it used to be. Taman Sari was an utter disappointment.

I hired a local guide to take me around and if he didn’t tell me that Prince Charles had donated an amount of money to “maintain” this place, it would have been easily overlooked. It did not look maintained at all and there were no distinct path to show us the trails. It was all stones and we had to take shortcuts into the residential areas, which was also something new to me because… Isn’t that weird? People living inside a tourist site?


Next on our itinerary was Kebun Bunga Matahari Samas, which is translated to the sunflower park. A few weeks before heading to Yogya, I saw Dinda’s IG and she took lovely pictures at a sunflower garden.

When I got there, I was surprised that not all the sunflowers were pretty, only a handful had that brown center that I love. It was nice to just be in the moment and take multiple pictures of beautiful flowers. I had fun.


Because we were pretty far out from the city center, we planned to immediately go for dinner. One of my followers have recommended Legit Dapur and Kitchen because I had said that Yogya food was too sweet. This restaurant serves really spicy food (WHICH I LOVE) and their Instagram showcased so many types of food that I would like — like lidah, ayam suwir, etc. IT IS GOOD. IT IS WHAT I LOVE. If you love spicy and homecooked food, this is your type of restaurant. I love their sambel bawang. HUUUUU LOVE.

We called the night early that day.

(To be continued….)

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