Friday, 6 May 2011

Trip to Jogja

Last weekend I took a flight to Jogja and to explore around for a couple of days and also to meet and catch up with some of Yovitas family. 
 Before the trip I had been working rather hard at work and the break could not really have come at a better time as I have not had a proper break since January. Yes I know I have been to Singapore and KL in the past 23 months but that was due to work and also just day trips. This was a trip into Java and also a chance to relax and rest.
The flights had been booked in January or early feb and again I was travelling with Air Asia as it is always the cheapest and simplest option. Being Air Asia, the flights were delayed but this was sort of good as it meant an extra hour in Jogja and an extra hour in Jakarta so it made for less hurry etc.
We left from Central Park in the most horrendous storms and rain and got to the airport where there was blue skies although that did change. The flight was simple enough as was checkin and flying for 45 minutes is easy and so simple its almost nice.
Jogja international airport or Adisujipto Airport is a typical small airport and usefully enough they have a taxi desk where you just say the place you want to go and then for a fixed fee you go there. Most regional airports I have visited seem to do this. 
We were staying just off Maliboro Street in a hotel called Sakanti City Hotel. A review of the hotel can be found here.

The hotel was very nice and clean close to the shopping and mall historical sights. We checked in and then went up Maliboro pushing through the sellers and buyers watching for pickpockets. We started to look for food and so wandered off through the small side streets but could not find any so we carried on until the old post office and then walked back down. We stopped eventually at Maliboro mall for food and drink and for more shopping before eventually getting back to the hotel. We then decided to visit some family and so took a taxi out into the countryside some where near the slopes or Merapi.

The evening was fun as we were fed and watered and where we were, was a fish farm with pools of cat fish and goldfish and a fishing competition. So we stayed and chatted until the early morning and then got a lift back. 
The next day we took a becak to the Sultans Palace and had a wander around it. The best thing was that it was Mayday and so the police had closed the roads off for the May day marches and so travelling through Maliboro was delightful.


We went to the Sultans palace and had a wander round. It was not expensive and you had to pay for using a camera. The place was loaded with school kids and tours and so it was rather too busy. It was nice but nothing special, most of buildings looked like railway buildings although the big areas where music would be played were impressive. From there we went to the second palace or Purawisata which was far nicer and emptier and had lots of water features and also a very well kept Kampung around it. 

  Merapi is behind the cloud honest
After that we took a becak back to the hotel, got changed and then were picked up by family and went back to the fish farm for the afternoon. More food and fun. We took a walk through the rice fields and it was simply lovely. No noise, fresh air, cool breeze and although we could not see Merapi and I wish we could it felt close.
 We watched the storm clouds turn up and the lightning strike before setting off again for the city. 
By the time we got back to Jogja the rain was falling at a very impressive rate and so feeling hungry we managed to get a becak to take us out for food and paid him well for his trouble as we did on the way back.
We were flying back Monday afternoon so that left enough time for more shopping for oleh oleh (souvenirs and food) and so we did. Food, batik and crap stuff a plenty, we checked out of the hotel and got a taxi to the hotel.
The fixed price taxi from the airport was 50,000 and the taxi on meter back was 42,000 so thats not too bad. The airport tax was 35,000 each and as normal with Air Asia, no one asked why we had so many bags to carry on the plane and yes the flight was 20 minutes late but half empty which was nice. 
A nice few days out of the big smoke and a little more relaxed and with some good news and some personal fears disappearing next week all looks a little rosier again :)

I have had more than enough trouble getting this blog published and I apologise again for the layout and the disarray of the photos. All my photos of the trip if you are interested can be found here

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