Yogyakarta: Where I Closed My Challenging 2017 and Opened My Shaky 2018

Short escape again! Exactly dude! Get out of school stuff then go traveling! Relax, easy take it easy. No need to shout out loud. I got you. On December 2016. I booked my train ticket spontaneously. Hell yeah! I packed my stuff in one small backpack then I moved my ass from Jakarta to Yogyakarta by train NOT an airplane. Was I too tired of flying? or had not enough money to afford the airplane ticket? Or wanted to experience seeing cities passing by through train? Well, the answer is all of them.

So I arrived a day before Christmas which means I had approximately one week before the new year eve. What a perfect schedule you see. I actually didn’t expect to choose Jogja as my destination to celebrate my big accomplishment BUT why not trying to visit one place I’ve never been before. I honestly didn’t know about it nor even browsing on the internet to find out what best things to do there and/or what best spots to visit. Well well well my spontaneous soul just told me “Don’t be so hard on this trip. Just enjoy yourself finally out of the cage”. Uhm that advice made sense so whatever happens I  just  improvised it diplomatically.

I arrived in the afternoon after 8 hours on the train from Jakarta. On the first night, I stayed with my classmate’s family. The next day we just spent the whole day at home sleeping because it was super tiring. In the afternoon I managed to move my ass to the famous spot in the city center – Malioboro to enjoy the local street foods as well as local souvenirs. It was crowded which full of people who were shopping here and there.

On the same day, my friend brought me to “The house of Raminten“. This place is very famous in Yogyakarta as people always say that “You can’t say you’ve been to Yogyakarta if you never been to Raminten in both shop and restaurant”. This place just unique on its own way. Well, too unique. It’s just different. Like the first time I went there, I needed to be on the waiting list since the place is always crowded. The funny thing is the owner really made a waiting list room for visitors to wait together with chairs just like in the hospital when you’re waiting to be called. The most unique thing in this restaurant is the smell and the vibe – so Javanese. Like cultural and spiritual value mixed in one package. Besides, this place also sells some local souvenirs. I bought 3 unique bags for my friend which were not so expensive. Just the fair price for the tourism spot like that.

The next day I decided to explore the city by myself and I randomly found out a super cool travel mate from Vietnam. She had a plan to trek and climb the mountain or volcano in Yogyakarta. As a human who’s so insane about the volcano, of course, without doubt, I was in! So I moved to the hostel where she stayed then we chilled in the cafe “Via Via Cafe Jogja” near our hostel with another Australian girl. On the same night, I got contacted by someone who could borrow us a bike for tomorrow’s trekking so it was a really awesome spontaneous plan.

The next day we supposed to climb, the weather wasn’t friendly enough so we postponed our plan and explore the waterfall and beach instead. It was still cool since we spent a really good time eating local foods and drinking coconut water on the beach while chilling enjoying the windy vibe. We went to Kedung Pedut which is kinda far away from the city center.  We enjoyed the waterfall there while swimming as well. Nobody was there at the time so we felt so private.  After the waterfall, we went straight to the beach which was Glagah Beach. This beach is not the best in the area but still one of the famous beaches. We walked under the sun and chilled out drinking coconut water.

I almost forget. Remember the bike that a guy borrowed us? Lemme tell you about this wonderful bike which accompanied our trip to the waterfall. Since we’re just trying to cut the budget so we decided to borrow a bike instead of renting it. I knew one guy who was willing to lend us his bike and at first, he told me already the bike doesn’t look good and the machine was old already but it was still okay. For me personally, as long as the bike works so why not? I told my friend about the condition and she was okay with the bike.

Once we saw the bike, both of us were speechless and didn’t know what to expect. Well yeah that we got for free. You didn’t even pay for that so would you mind shut up Winda? I didn’t mind. So here we go. During our trip with the bike, my friend drove while I helped her with the direction. You know dealing with maps. The funny thing was when the rain suddenly came, we needed to stop and covered the bike with plastic since the bike had no cover so you just saw the machine without cover. We also got trouble when a nail hit our tire so we needed to fix it in the workshop.

The other story is when we needed to pass the steep road I pulled over myself from the bike while I let my travel mate climbed the tricky road by herself and the bike won’t cooperate so she fell down since the road was a bit slippery as well.

The last story about this incredible bike is when we finished our trip and about to give the bike back to the owner and I told my travel mate “Can I drive? It’s so near from here and I promise I won’t make us fall down plus you’ve been driving for the whole day so let me do a favor for you to just chilling as my passenger”. So yeah I drove. Guess, in the traffic light the bike stopped working. You know the feeling like when you’re shocked, nervous, stiff, shaky and blah blah blah… We were in the middle of the road who were strategic enough blocking drivers. So I was like a crazy girl screaming and it was really shameful everybody looked at us and starring on our bike. Well yeah, that’s the point. The super cool bike with that look stuck in the middle with the dead engine. PERFECTO! Everybody was beeping on us. THAT WAS EVEN PERFECTLY PERFECT! Fortunately, one police came to us and helped us move our bike out of crowds. We realized that was so hilarious and we laughed out LOUD! That was the nice farewell from the bike. Well done buddy. You’re the best bike on earth.

The next day I split with my travel mate as I had to see my other friend. So my friend brought me to some places. First, she brought me to Alun-Alun of Yogyakarta City where people can chill while enjoying the night we played a traditional game which is called “Masangin“. You need to close your eyes walking to pass the middle of two big trees. I failed three times like suddenly I walked to the right or left side. The last try I finally made it by walking straight without mistake to the big trees. The local said, once you made it you can make a wish which I know it doesn’t make any sense but I made a wish by the way just for fun. Even though I was a bit convinced by that, but whatever as I said previously just for fun. Don’t ask me what I wish for. That’s a secret 😛

Well, locals believe this game based on history a long time ago which is a myth. During King Hamengkubuwono I era, there was a beautiful princess and plenty of men wanted to be her husband. So there was one condition to marry her by walking to pass two big trees with closed eyes. Prabu Siliwangi made it because according to the King the one who could make it only the one with pure and genuine heart. So finally Prabu Siliwangi became the princess’ husband. Besides, there is also the other story. The location was a place for supernatural defense to trick the Dutch dudes who wanted to attack the kingdom of Yogyakarta back then. So then they lose their direction because of the trees. What do you think about the stories? I also tried another traditional game namely “Egrang“. This game is so difficult. You will stand in two sticks and you need to walk and keep the balance of your body. I failed thousand times. No chance. 

In the morning, we went to “Gumuk Pasir Barchan” which is the wide-field who is full of white sands just like in the desert. Next stop was Parang Tritis Beach. I can tell this beach is better than my previous beach but still, it’s so crowded. After that, we moved to Pinus Pengger in the Bantul area. This place is well known as the best point of view in Yogyakarta as you can see the city lights at night and the pines are so awesome.  

The next day I went back to my classmate’s house as she promised me to bring me to the Borobudur Temple and here we go. I went there and I couldn’t stop admiring the temple. It was just so beautiful.  In the afternoon we went to the Ullen Sentalu Museum which is for me such an amazing place to visit as I love history. This museum will fill your knowledge about the history of the Kingdom of Yogyakarta and the following Kings. Last but not least, we went to Mount Merapi Museum. This museum surprised me as all of the information about the volcano eruption in Indonesia particularly Merapi volcanic mountain can be founded there. This museum was established to remember the eruption of Mount Merapi which became such a big loss for the civilians. All kinds of stuff of the eruption were kept here.  

I almost explored everything in Yogyakarta so finally, I celebrated my NEW YEAR EVE! I met new friends in both domestic and international through the event I joined. It was the coolest new year’s eve celebration I’ve ever had.


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