Indonesia is one of the most popular ASEAN countries because of its beaches and islands. Most tourists think of Bali when they want to go to Indonesia, but did you know that there are other places that you have to explore?
Jakarta, the capital and the largest city of Indonesia is popular for its growing start-up tech companies such as Go-Jek and Traveloka. It’s one of the bustling cities loved by finance and technology experts. If you ask me, it’s very similar to Manila, Philippines in terms of look, feel, and even the traffic!
If you’re visiting for work you can go around and check out the malls and the bars. The rooftop bars like Sky Bar has an awesome view of the city skyline. But, if you’re up for a road trip and a domestic flight from Jakarta you can explore Bandung and Yogyakarta!
Bandung is the capital of West Java and because it’s a few kilometres above sea level, it has a cooler temperature all year round versus the other areas. It used to be under the Dutch Colony so you will see some influences of the Dutch architecture and culture.
While Yogyakarta, considered a “developed” city, is part of the Yogyakarta Special Region, a semi-autonomous region in the southern part of Java. It is popular for its temples, arts and culture.
For this itinerary, you can allot 7-15 days enough to get you around without feeling like you’re in an amazing race!
Fly-in & Explore Jakarta
Fly-in & Explore Yogyakarta
Fly out of Yogyakarta
What to do in Bandung:
From Bandung City area you can go to Kawah Putih via land travel. It will take you round 3-4 hours depending on the traffic so I suggest go early around 7am.
Kawah Putih is one of the volcanic craters of Mount Patuha which has been dormant since 1600. Since it’s a few meters above sea level, expect that the climate is chilly. We went there in April and the climate is around 15 to 18 degrees celsius. The lake has a strong concentration of sulfur that it changes the colour of the water to whitish green. We asked the tour guide if it’s safe to go into the water, he said it’s okay but not for a very long time. We tried for a few minutes.
Alun Alun means downtown, here you can see the old buildings like Gedung Merdeka and some historical ruins showing the Dutch influence.
Also called Jalan Braga, is a small street in the city centre of Bandung. Back in the Dutch colonial days, it was a popular street with quaint cafes, shops , and restaurants. Now, you can still see some of the old Dutch buildings as well as cute cafes and shops.
Other Places you can check-out:
Bukit Moko / Moko Hill for sunset if you want to see the skyline. It has a cafe where you can watch the sunset.
Saung Angklung Udjo
If you want to experience some music, you can watch this interactive cultural show. Through some dances and performances, it shows the beauty of the angklung, an instrument made up of bamboo in different sizes to create different sounds.
What to do in Yogyakarta:
This Buddhist temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Central Java and also one of the world’s largest Buddhist temples. It is undeniably one of the best locations to watch the sunrise. You arrive before 5am so you can climb up, sit there and watch the light emerge from the back of the mountain and cast light to the forest and on the stupas before you. They even play some prayer music while this is happening. You should see for yourself.
You can visit Borobudur in the morning and then go to Prambanan Temple for the sunset. This area is quite near the city center compared to Borobudur.
Prambanan Temple is a temple dedicated to Shiva and also houses Vishnu and Brahma. The area also include Sewu, Bubrah and Lumbung Temples. I was only able to see Prambanan and Sewu due to the weather and time constraints.
There’s not so much online information about Goa Pindul but is quite popular to the locals. Honestly when I went there, I didn’t like the experience.
The adventure is called “tubing”, a combination of rafting and caving. You will go through a cave while you’re floating using a big rubber tube. I think it’s good if you visit during the lean season. When we went there, there were lots of people that when we went to the tunnel, it was really crowded and we didn’t enjoy the scenery or the environment.
Aside from Goa Pindul, they also offer other tubing and river rafting activities in the area. You can ask around. It’s not yet as tourist friendly because it’s mostly the locals who go there.
This is one of my favourite places in Yogyakarta! It’s 3 hours away from the city by car. It’s a bit similar with Angel’s Billabong of Nusa Penida but less touristy. It has a beach where you can swim and a few meters, around 10-15 min walk, there is a Rockpool too! We stayed here till sunset! If you want to eat, there are local stores by the shore and they offer changing rooms as well. I saw a few lodges if you are keen to do an overnight stay.
Timang beach is one of the attractions in Yogyakarta because of its white sand and because of the Panjang Island nearby. It is quite famous for locals. To get to Panjang Island you have two options – one is to cross a tiny bridge attached to rock formations or the second option is to use the pulley, manually pulled by the locals operating it. The place is owned by two different parties so there are 2 operators, one for the bridge and another one for the pulley. Thus, you need to pay 2 tickets if you want to use both. Safety wise, I think it can still be improved.
The locals in the island offer photography service using your phone. It is safe and they don’t ask for tips. Plus, they take good photos and they know the good angles to showcase the island so make use of it!
It is a water castle, known as the bathing complex of the Royal Palace. They said the King brought his wives here for relaxation and it also has a secret path just in case the King needs to escape.
What to eat in Indonesia?
They love rice. Common food that you will find are grilled fish (ikan bakar), fried chicken (ayam goreng), samba (a spicy dip) to name a few.
You also have:
Nasi Goreng – usually composed of rice, chicken, and sunny side up egg.
Mie Goreng – noodles with egg, vegetables, and chicken
Most food are also spicy so make sure you ask before you order.
That’s it for this trip!
You can find me in instagram @travelanyway for some random trips and daily musings! Ciao!