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INDONESIA TRAVEL GUIDE: Jakarta-Yogyakarta in 6 Days. What to Eat, Where to Stay + Itinerary

Here is a the travel summary of our trip to Indonesia in 2014. We only got to go to Jakarta and Jogjakarta in the island of Java, only a preview of this vast country but we definitely had a taste of what this beautiful country can offer.  Indonesia offers a unique take on what island life means. The culture, the food, the people, Indonesia is so diverse and more unique than I expected.
6 days 5 nights, that's all we had to explore this beautiful country. Our trip focused on two cities, Jakarta and Jogjakarta.


Day 1: 
8:55 pm ETD Manila
11:45 pm ETA Jakarta
6:00 am -connecting flight to Yogyakarta via LionAir.

Soekarno–Hatta International Airport is the primary airport serving the Greater Jakarta area approximately 20 km northwest of central Jakarta. It is one of the busiest airports in the world serving 62 million passengers in 2014. There are currently two (2) terminals with terminal 1 for domestic flights and terminal 2 for international flight. There are free shuttles connecting the two terminal but make sure you check the schedule especially if you are arriving late night or early morning.

Day 2:
7:00 am ETA Yogjakart
8:30-12:00 noon—Explore Prambanan Temple Complex
1:00pm –Check in Edu Hotel
2:00pm –lunch + explore city + shop
7:00pm –Dinner + Party/ Night life
11:00pm - Rest

We thought about going directly to Jogjakarta after arriving past midnight. Our connecting flight was at 6:00 am so we had ample time to refresh a bit. Travel time by air from Jakarta to Yogyakarta was approximately 1 hour. It was such a breeze despite heavy clouds along the way, thanks to the experienced pilot of Lion Air
We arrived in Yogyakarta on schedule. It was a sunny day. We exchanged local currency and immediately got into the available TransJogya bus to Prambanan Temple. Yes, you don't need a taxi to Prambanan Temple as it is easily accesible via public transport for only 3,000 Rupiah and took us only 30 minutes.

READ: Taxi to PRAMBANAN? No, do-it-yourself via TransJogja
We were starved so we decided to eat breakfast first before entering the temple. Next to the TransJogja Terminal near Prambanan Temple is a small market and a couple of restaurants along the main road.  We were excited to try local dish and noodles was the one readily available. Hello soto and bakso!
Prambanan Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is probably the most famous Hindu Temple in all of Indonesia. The place is old. And when I say old, I mean construction dating back 9th or 10th century. This temple is hundreds of years older than Angkor Wat. Wow. Just wow!

Otherwise known as Candi Prambanan or Candi Rara Jonggrang, it is the largest Hindu temple site in Indonesia, and one of the biggest in Southeast Asia. It is characterized by its tall and pointed architecture, typical of Hindu temple architecture, and by the towering 47-metre-high (154 ft) central building inside a large complex of individual temples. Source

There used to be a total of 240 temples in Prambanan when it was completed. Today, around less than 20 are standing. Owe it to the reconstruction efforts.The three main temples ( Trimurti temples) dedicated to the three Gods: Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Keeper, and Shiva the Destroyer. are the most prominent. We explored the smaller buildings first. We didn't hire any guide so we were on out own appreciating the reliefs around the towers. Also tried the free museum near the exit later.

Entrance fee is 198,000 Rupiah which is roughly $16. 



EDU HOSTEL Yogyakarta
Edu Hostel might not be the best in terms of location but it is also the advantage of the hotel. Since it is a little away from the happening street of Malioboro, its here where you can be more calm and relaxed. I like it because of its modern and fresh feel. I like its concept of space --the common area, the restaurant, the lobby, and the roof deck --all spacious. The physical space for me translates into a place which is breathable both in the body and the spirit.

For that, I would say Edu Hostel was a good choice. ^^

We stayed in a 4-bed private dorm which costs 46,000 Rupiah per night..The room is good for 4pax. Since it is private, you have to pay for the whole place even if there are only two of you. We opted for this because we traveled with our friend Rupert and it was perfect because the bed is queen size on the first deck and two single on the upper deck.

We didn't waste time after check in to explore the city. We went to the popular MALIOBORO STREET which is well known for shopping and food finds. Old, colonial building also dot the stretch of this road. Many cheap hostels too. Malioboro is to Buking Bintang in Kuala Lumpur and Orchard Road in Singapore.

This is the place to buy souvenirs. A lot of nice items on the cheap. This is also where we tried Jco durian flavor. We don't have that in Manila.

If jeepneys are the king of the road in the Philippines, bekak is for Yogyakarta. It is similar to that of predicab, a non-motorized vehicle. As such, you sometimes wonder why a bekak ride can get so expensive given local prices. Already same rate with taxi and the annoying part is the haggling. I think bekak has become over rated despite its inconvenience. It is not even that clean for a ride. anyways, you don't have much choice if you are in Yogyakarta, they are still the most ready and easy way of going around small streets. It could also be fun riding one.


Kota Gudeg or City of Gudeg
Did you know: Yogyakarta until this day is ruled by a sultan. Cool ayt?

And there is a food made for royalty, fit for royalty--- they call it GUDEG.
It is no surprise therefore that it is the most popular dish in Yogyakarta. It can be found in every place in city. Actually, Yogyakarta is sometimes referred to as Kota Gudeg or City of Gudeg. 

Gudeg is made from young jack fruit boiled for several hours with palm sugar and coconut milk. Additional spices include garlic, shallot, candlenut, coriander seed, galangal, bay leaves and teak leaves. It is also called Green Jack Fruit Sweet Stew. Gudeg is usually served with white rice (nasi gudeg), chicken, hard-boiled egg, and tofu.

Day 3: 
4:00 am -Sunrise Burubudor
4:00 pm -back at hotel
4:00-6:00 pm -REST
7:00 pm- dinner
8:00 pm- explore downtown
1:00 am—lights out

BOROBUDUR Golden Sunrise Tour
This is not the main temple tour of Borobudur yet. I also thought we would go to the renown Buddhist temple in Yogyakarta for sunrise but I was wrong. We availed of Golden Sunrise Package Tour through our hotel Edu Hostel where the standard rate is 85,000 Rupiah that we had to reserve the night before. We had to leave the hotel at 4:00am. The hotel car was already waiting for us at the lobby when we went downstairs. The rate is per pax and we had to share the ride with two other tourists since there were only three of us. The car is spacious so it was a comfortable 45-minute ride to our first destination.

We were not lucky, it was too cloudy that day we didn't see the breathtaking view of seeing Borobudur in the backdrop of sunrise. It was a fun experience hiking up the hill anticipating the view though. We were then taken to Burubudor Temple itself as part of the tour package we availed.


A temple or a shrine? Well, both refer to places of holy worship and could be synanymous but there is a nuance between the two. A temple could be a shrine but a shrine is not necessarily a temple.To make the explaination short, a temple has an inner house where worshippers can gather to venerate their god (s). According to our guide, Borobudur is more of a shrine than a temple since it has no inner house or enclosed space which qualifies it for a temple. Makes sense?

This you cannot easily find in books but one that you can discover when you hire a guide when you visit Borobudur Temple.
Day 4:
7:30 am –leave for airport
10:30 am; Flight to Jakarta
11:30 am; Arrive in Jakarta
1:00 pm-lunch downtown Jakarta
2:00 pm –Check in Hotel Kempinski Jakarta
2:00-6:00 pm—Relax at the Hotel/ Gym / Swim
7:00 pm Dinner Downtown + look for souvenir
9:00 pm back at the Hotel

Then it was Jakarta's turn. Back to the big city. It was meant to be only an overnight stay but a very memorable one.
January marks the active rainy season in Indonesia and we saw the news of flooding in Jakarta a week before we flew in so I have already prepared myself for the worst. I was confident things will turn out great because we were booked in one of the most popular, strategically located and celebrated hotel in Jakarta.

Hotel Kempinski Jakarta
It didn't disappoint. We stayed in a deluxe room at the 11th floor with an amazing view of the fountain and the Welcome Statue.

You know this is one proud hotel once you step in.The lobby is a balance between space, simplicity and freshness without leaving behind elegance.

At the 17th floor is pool beautifully nestled in the middle of a garden. You don't have to look up to notice the tall towers around. This garden in a city feel compliments a relaxing dip. We were here for a few hours at night to lie by the lounges around the intimately lit pool. On the other side is the Sky Pool Bar Cafe where you can order cocktails for a more pleasurable stay at the rooftop.
 Also on the rooftop is the fitness gym which is a little more elevated than the pool such that it allows for an almost 360 degree view of Jakarta's skyline through its floor-to-ceiling glass walls. We were almost out of time the day of our checkout but I made it a point to at workout at least an hour here. Who wouldn't be motivated to workout in this kind of environment.
Speaking of the sauna, me and my wife loved it. I also find the floor area a little small but it is well kept with sufficient lockers, spotless tiles and two big saunas. The dry sauna is my favorite. There also two small pools, one cold and one hot for a relaxing dip. There are separate spas for both men and women. My wife went to the sauna at night and again in the morning.

The dry sauna is my favorite. There also two small pools, one cold and one hot for a relaxing dip. There are separate spas for men and women. My wife went to the sauna at night and again in the morning.

Grand Indonesia Shopping Town
Despite our packed schedule, we got to explore nearby places a bit, especially Grand Indonesia Mall and nearby shopping complex.

Grand Indonesia Shopping Town is a mixed-use complex including a shopping mall and the Hotel Indonesia Kempinski and Kempinski Residences covering an area of about 640,000 m2 located on the Welcome Monument Roundabout in Jakarta Indonesia.
It was easily accessible in our case since we stayed at Hotel Indonesia and so we were here a couple of times for window shopping and yeah, food. Comfort food that is.

Read: LITTLE YOKUZUNA at Food Louver Grand Indonesia

Jakarta Old Town a.k.a OLD BATAVIA
SoI already mentioned that we stayed in a very nice hotel and we had all the reasons to just cuddle inside our room and/or use the different facilities and never think about anything else. At night though, we thought about going around the city to hunt for a nice place to eat.

After the short conversation with two locals in the hotel sauna, we decided to give Old Kota District a try. Old Batavia is Jakarta's equivalent to Intramuros.

Before leaving for Old Kota District, we dropped by Selamat Datang Monument (Welcome Monument) which is located in the center of a roundabout known as Hotel Indonesia Roundabout because of its proximity to to Hotel Indonesia Kempinski. The fountain sorrounding the Welcome Monument is the view we see each time we look out of our hotel window. This was constructed during the 1962 Asian Games.

Day 5: 
7:00 am –Breakfast at Hotel Restaurant
8:30 am –Swimming / Gym
12:00 Noon –check out
12:30-5:00 pm –Tour Jakarta Old District + shopping
6:00pm –dinner
8:00pm –leave for Airport

Email Contact:
Telephone: +62 21 2358 3898

Well, she had to do that because she over-stuffed herself over breakfast as Signatures Restaurant which is the main restaurant of the hotel and where breakfast for in-house guests is served. The selection at Signatures Restaurant is quite a feast. It was a good time for me to try local delicacies we missed prior to dining there. According to the local I talked to at the sauna the night before, Jakarta is a special case when it comes to local food. You need to know where to go so as to find good food as the usual things you see around are not really the good ones.

Read: SIGNATURES RESTAURANT at Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta

Day 6: 
12:05am -ETD Jakarta
5:30 Am -ETA Manila

Shopping at Block M and Meeting a local friend

TransJakarta Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) System, the first BRT system in Southern and Southeast Asia and now the current holder of having the world's longest BRT route , has its first corridor Blok M to Kota passing through our hotel along Selamat Datang Monument. Perfect because on our last day, we thought of a little shopping (for cheap clothes or accessories) and at the same time meet Acen who is a Jakarta-based blogger.

Read: TRANSJAKARTA Bus Rapid Transit to BLOCK M for a little Shopping + meetup w/ Acen, a local Blogger friend

And that's was it. 6 fun days in Jakarta ang Yogyakarta . See you again soon Indonesia, next time Island experience naman. ^

In case you missed the links here are all Jakarta and Yogyakarta related past posts.