Bali has been most tourist’s favourite destination in Indonesia. Bali has been known for its Balinese culture, the islands of the Gods, and its paradise island. No wonder holidaymakers around the world come to visit Bali every year. Despite having Bali as the most well-known tourist destination, Indonesia also has Yogyakarta on their top of the list tourist destination. Yogyakarta is known for its Javanese culture including puppets and its palace of Yogyakarta. You can make a list of Yogyakarta places to visit because there are several wonderful places that might take up your interest.
Prambanan Temple is one of the interesting places in Jogja. It is the largest Hindu temple complex in Indonesia. Prambanan Temple has three main temples. They are dedicated for the Trimurti: Shiva the destroyer of the universe, Vishnu the keeper of the universe, and Brahma the creator of the universe. When Mataram Kingdom was on its glory days, Prambanan was used for various royal and religious ceremonies. There are also three Wahana (vehicle) temples across the Trimurti temples. The temples are named after the vehicles of the Trimurti. Garuda temple is across Vishnu, Nandi (ox) is across Shiva, and Angsa (swan) is across Brahma.
There are things you can do in Prambanan besides looking and wondering around the temple. The first is to watch Ramayana Ballet. Ramayana is an ancient Sanskrit epic which follows the story of Rama rescuing her wife Sinta from Rahwana. The story is performed in a highly stylized dance art form. The performance combines music, dance, and drama and it is performed without using any dialogue. The second things you can do in Prambanan is to watch the sunset. You can watch the sunset between the temples because the temples face to the west. To watch the sunset, you better come around 5 PM or the gate will be closed.
While Prambanan is the largest Hindu temple, Borobudur is the largest Buddhist temple in Indonesia. It was built by the ruling dynasty in Central Java at that time, Sailendra dynasty. It was used for glorifying Buddha and guiding mankind from world desire to the enlightenment according to Buddha. In contrast to Prambanan where you can watch the sunset, you can watch the sunrise in Borobudur. It is one of the most interesting things to do in Borobudur. The time of the sunrise is around 5.30 AM but you need to go around 4.30 AM because you will climb 118 stairs to the top of the temple. Make sure you get enough sleep in the night so you will not miss the chance to watch the sunrise at Borobudur. In addition, there is a package which covers Prambanan-Borobudur tour. You can check on their website.
Besides having Prambanan and Borobudur, Jogja also has nature spot if you look for relaxation. Kalibiru is a national park which is managed by the local citizen. Kalibiru has been favourited tourist destination for the last three years because of its exotic views. Kalibiru is a beautiful park of lush nature and a peaceful environment to get relaxed. Besides its beautiful and exotic views, Kalibiru also offers great deals of outdoor activities. They are climbing to treetops to look great views and panorama, flying fox and spider-web, and trekking paths. There are several photo spots in the treetops and other areas in Kalibiru. Unfortunately, you will be charged for some amount of money for taking pictures in the spot. Despite the money charged, the pictures taken is worth the money because it is a good place. To avoid the long queue for taking pictures, visiting Kalibiru during weekdays is highly recommended.
The Palace of Yogyakarta
It is a palace complex in the city of Yogyakarta where the Sultan and his family reside. The palace complex is the centre of Javanese culture in Yogyakarta. It also contains a museum which displays royal artefacts of the palace. The visitors can wander around the palace where it is not forbidden to enter. Note that there are some areas in the palace where the visitors are not allowed to enter. Visiting the palace is one of Yogyakarta points of interest. It is because the palace is not only for royal residence but also for a focal point of Sultan’s entire kingdom. Besides visiting the palace, you can visit the grand squares outside the palace namely Alun-Alun Lor on the north and Alun-Alun Kidul on the south. Alun-Alun Kidul is known for its festive evening ambience and mysterious Masangin tradition. Masangin stands for “masuk di antara beringin” or “entering between the beringins”. It is said that if you are able to walk between the two sacred beringins, you will have any of your wishes granted. The interesting thing is that you have to do it blindfolded.
VW Camper Van Waduk Sermo
The next Jogja things to do which you can do is by camping in Waduk Sermo. It already becomes a habit for people to look for a place to do gathering or relaxing. Waduk Sermo is one of the places which you can visit for your holiday. There are many campers who love to camp on this Waduk Sermo because of its scenery. The cool air and the beautiful scenery makes this Waduk becomes the most favourite place among the campers. The campers who always do gathering on this Waduk is the VW Camper Van club. They will do BBQ-ing together, telling stories, playing music, and many more. Because of their VW van, they do not need any tent. They will sleep or sit inside their van while waiting for the sunrise.
Besides camping, you can also do fishing in this Waduk. Many tourists love to go fishing in this Waduk Sermo to catch the Setan Merah fish, the most popular predator fish in this Waduk. If you do not want to go fishing, you can rent a boat to go around the Waduk Sermo to look at the stunning view of Menoreh hills.
Yogyakarta does not only have an ancient and historical spot for a tourist destination, but it also has a nature tourist destination and hipster neighbourhood to visit. Make sure to make a list of destination before visiting Yogyakarta. No need to get confused because you have plenty of options for Yogyakarta places to visit.