BACKPACKING YOGYAKARTA – EXPLORING THE WATER CASTLE AND THE MALIOBORO STREET

Java is one of the largest islands in Indonesia. According to wikitravel.com, there are 130 million people populating Java, and that makes Java the most populated place in the entire world. I spent 11 days in Java for the main courses this island has to offer, and I will be telling you, my fellow readers, how I traveled Java, the places I visited, the budget I spent, and how fun it was to explore and get lost in one of the largest islands in the world.

Back in 2016, the first time I traveled, I never thought I would go so far from my house

The journey began in July 2016, with Yogyakarta being the first destination. I used Traveloka to book the flight tickets, it was a 2-hour flight from Batam. I arrived at Adisutjipto Airport and I had no idea where to go. I didn’t even know where the exit was, so my first mission was to find the closest bus stop to head to Kotagede.

Adisutjipto Airport at night, after the rain.

This is the bus stop at Adisutjipto Airport, clean and tidy.

My first night in Yogyakarta, I can still remember the fresh air and the strong atmosphere.

I took the bus to reach the hostel I was staying in, which only took me 15 minutes to get to my next stop in Kotagede, and what surprised me the most was that it only cost me Rp. 3.500. Well maybe that’s just because I almost never took a bus before.

Important: Sometimes you need to tell the bus driver which bus stop you need to hop off, or they will just keep going on and on.

I arrived at the Nyi Pembayun bus stop, I walked the empty street, turned left, and then I heard dogs barking, and that’s where I stayed, at Bhumi hostel.

First night at Bhumi

I didn’t do much that night, I felt tired and hungry so I went out, and I remember I spotted some sate stands across the street, and I had my dinner on the street, with sate, a cup of hot tea, in a rainy night, it was perfect and quiet.

I slept like a normal person that day, I woke up at 7 in the morning, after the breakfast and shower I had no idea where to go. Well I did, but I wasn’t really sure, I can’t remember why. I ended up asking the hostel manager, and they suggested me to visit the Water Castle, maybe because I said that I wanted to visit Malioboro street as well. Lucky for me the hostel manager offered me a ride, we were heading the same way, and that was how I got to the Water Castle in Yogyakarta, it was a 15-minute-ride from Kotagede, plus it was free.

The outside of The Water Castle in Taman Sari Yogyakarta

If I’m not mistaken it cost me around Rp.15.000 or $2 to enter the Water Castle, and there’s a special price, higher of course for foreigners to enter.

The Mighty Water Castle

I wish I spent more time exploring the Water Castle, I couldn’t though, the heat was killing me, it was very hot, and I didn’t have my sunscreen with me, and there was no food or drinks to buy inside the castle, you’ll need to bring your own beverages before you enter the castle or you’ll have to get out to buy some.

The place is very beautiful, I can see how well-maintained this place is. And after spending maybe an hour in the castle, I started to look for a way out. I didn’t really want to ask the local people, because sometimes getting lost is necessary, especially when you travel, and that is how you find new places.

Finally, after going through the villages and people’s houses, I found the exit.

Looking for a way out of the Water Castle

After getting out, I saw some souvenir shops outside the Water Castle, I didn’t get in, but I could see what they were selling, looking pretty cool, most of them sold pens, t-shirts, keychains, and other little things.

Me feeling not tired at all, I decided to visit Malioboro street that day, and of course I was hungry so I intended to have my first lunch in Yogyakarta in this very well known street.

Malioboro street, looking for lunch

So I browsed on Google for places for some good meal and I decided to try some local Soto.

Chicken Soto with rice, not so spicy, but it is very tasty.

I had 2 bowls of Soto, and I stayed for like 30 minutes in hope that I would be hungry again just to have one more bowl of Soto.

My journey in Java did not end here, it continued. See you up on the mountain!

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