Rishi Sankar: Ah Trini Travelogue

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5 Misconceptions I had of Yogyakarta and Prambanan …

Posted by Rishiray on July 23, 2011


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A couple misconceptions I had before I got to Yogyakarta … since I think every preconceived idea of Indonesia has been shattered with my arrival into Yogyakarta.

  1. Yogyakarta is some dusty temple town that will be easy to get around.
    FALSE : “Yogya” is pretty god damn big and you will need a driver to get around.
  2. Since Yogya is a small town, I will be able to saunter into town, see 10 main attractions in 3 days and leave full satiated never wanting to come back
    FALSE : There is so much around Yogya, that one could spend two weeks here and still not see everything around and all the cultural shows
  3. Prambanan would be some small temple that can be done in an hour
    FALSE : If you only visit the main temple, then sure. If you visit the entire complex and surrounding smaller temples and ruins, then you will easily spend a full exhausting 10 hr day in the heat walking around with no pool time 😀
  4. There would be ridiculously spotty technology here and I wouldn’t be able to do anything I needed.
    FALSE : See #2 … there are about  700,000 people. The city is broken up into 14 districts and there is all the technology and connectivity you need.
  5. Thailand/Philippines have the craziest drivers in the world.
    FALSE : Patently and utterly false. Indonesia now truly tops my list of world’s most insane driving. The only thing that is even remotely followed, would be street lights (and they are optional at late night). The only thing that even comes close to what we experienced driving here, would be the following clips from the 1981 Sega smash hit video game : Turbo. (Yes, I played this game in something called an “Arcade” – I am officially once again … OLD)httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NvNtqv0sKo

Now this being said, getting from my hotel (Sheraton Mustika) to Prambanan was a easy 15 minute taxi ride. You get into the parking lot, walk to the tourist entrance and you’re in. Simple and easy!

I would suggest that you do some requisite reading about the place before, since the tourist information is lacking in much detail. There are tons of explanations of the Siva, Vishnu and Brahma temples.I also would start at the Sewu temple about 1km away walking in the complex and then work your way back to the main temples.

Once you’re finished with the Sewu temple which is pretty impressive, then you’re backtracking past the smaller ruins into Prambanan itself.

5 Essential Details for a Prambanan Hindu Temple day trip

  1. You should really stay in Yogyakarta. It is a easy day trip from here and there are multiple daily flights from Jakarta (CKG) to Yogyakarta (JOG) … if you’re looking to rush it.
  2. The foreigner entry price is 13$ USD … which is steep, if you’re a backpacker – but assume that your money is going to help the conservation effort. (That’s what I would like to think)
  3. Find a reliable driver that will take you around. A good tourist price that will make you feel good about yourself, is paying 3.50$USD an hour (30000 rupiah). This will include gas, vehicle and the driver’s time.
  4. 9am would be a reasonable time to head in. It’s not too hot and the tour buses haven’t started coming in.
  5. 3 hour for the entire complex would be quite realistic, although you could completely power through the thing in 1 hour, but if you did do that, then you should question why you’re actually going in the first place.

You want to learn about Prambanan …

My photolog …

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