The Chase from Sunrise to Sunset in Yogyakarta, Indonesia
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The next leg of our tour with the Trip of Wonders took us to the bustling city of Yogyakarta in Indonesia. With its gamut of natural wonders, local arts, and tradition, it is easily the 2nd most visited destination in Indonesia after Bali.
Here we stayed at the historical Royal Ambarrukmo Hotel (check rates), which is within close proximity to the airport. Its hotel grounds are spacious and beautifully landscaped. Being formerly occupied by the royal family, traces of royalty are evident throughout the place in the form of well-preserved traditional Javanese architecture.
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The cultural aspect of the hotel can also be experienced not just through the interiors but also through their royal tea ceremony for their guests. This, for me, proved to be a good place for us to start the introduction into their heritage!
Guests are invited to stroll through the gardens and lounge by the pool as much as they want. And oh, don’t forget to try out their signature spa treatments if you can!
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The morning after was the start of what felt like an amazing race in this city! First up was the Borobudur Temple. Considered to be one of the 7 Wonders of the World, this Buddhist temple attracts a high number of tourists, especially since it’s known to have one of the best views of the sunrise so it can get very crowded. That being the case, we gathered at the foot of the temple by 4:30am.
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Everything was pitch black when we got there and we were each given a flashlight before we made our ascent along what seemed like a staircase that was made for giants! It was quite a bit of a workout getting up there but that wasn’t the end of our challenge we reached the top. There were hundreds of other people eagerly anticipating the sunrise at that hour so we had to quickly find our spots before that happens.
After several attempts of landing a good spot, we finally did. Within the next 30 minutes or so, hints of the golden hour started surfacing, gradually revealing this view of the lush greeneries surrounding it. It was certainly worth the struggle!
Shortly after that, we took a 15-minute bus ride to the Stupa by Plataran for breakfast. Here we got served traditional Balinese breakfast al fresco with this view! We arrived here before 10am so the morning breeze was still very much present!
As if witnessing such magnificent view from one location to the next wasn’t enough, we geared up shortly after breakfast to take in a new set of breathtaking scenery! This time around, we went cycling around the beautiful village of Borobudur!
Bike rentals are available for an hour-long bike rides and the long route can get quite tiring for some but if you’re an adrenaline junkie like most of the people in our team, then the minutes will just fly by. This is especially true once you ride pass the rice fields, with the fresh air blowing against your face and the friendly locals taking a brief pause from their day to greet you with a smile!
Our bike ride came to an end when we reached Warun Kopi Borobodur. Here we were asked to take part in a Javanese painting technique done on fabrics called batik. You do so by either drawing dots and lines with colored wax on a piece of clothing forming patterns or images. I didn’t fair so well here since my artistic hands were really built more for technology but it was great fun!
*Borobudur Bike Tour* Package : IDR 450,000 (min.4 pax) Include : – bike rent – drinks and snacks – make your own pottery or batik – lunch
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Now the best way to wrap up the hot and jam-packed day is dropping by the Candi RatuBoko. It’s the place you come to for the sunset. Located on a plateau, this old structure and its wide open spaces allow you to sit back and relax as you get there late in the afternoon.
Similar to the Borobudur Temple, however, people come here for a very specific reason, which is to catch the sunset so it can get very crowded. Being with a group of Instagrammers, we were very much challenged to take artistic pictures of the place! Don’t get discouraged, though.
Its rustic charm will still win you over, a perfect excuse for all those awesome Instagram photos if you’re patient and skillful enough to avoid the photobombers!
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