Borobudur and Yogyakarta - How long?

May 14th, 2015, 01:10 AM
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Borobudur and Yogyakarta - How long?

We leave for Java in a few weeks and will be spending a month travelling from west to east flying out of Bali at the end. I am beginning to formulate an itinerary but any suggestions for unmissable sights, places to stay or activities would be much appreciated.

My pressing need however, in order to take advantage of a special hotel promotion, is to decide how long to spend in Yogyakarta and Borobodor. My inclination is 2 nights Yogyakarta, 2 nights Borobodur and a further 2-3 nights in Yogyakarta. Too much, too little? Any thoughts or opinions would be much appreciated.
crellston is offline  
May 14th, 2015, 03:45 AM
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Interestingly, we'll be there too, in roughly the same timeframe. FWIW, we decided on three nights in Borobudur and four in Yogyakarta, with a few excursions and day trips in the plan. Whether this is a good plan or not remains to be seen.

If you bump into a fifty-ish couple from Chicago with a 22-year-old daughter, be sure to say hi. We'll buy you a drink and swap travel stories!
mr_go is offline  
May 14th, 2015, 07:03 AM
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I seem to remember visiting Borobudur from Yogyakarta.
thursdaysd is offline  
May 14th, 2015, 07:41 AM
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Four nights in Yogyakarta would be what I recommend, which would give you one day for Borobudur and the Dieng Plateau, one day for Prambanan, and one day to wander around the city. You could add additional days to see additional Buddhist and Hindu temples if that appeals to you. We did Borobudur as a day trip from Yogakarta, although it involves an early morning departure if you want to be there to see the sunrise.
tripplanner001 is offline  
May 14th, 2015, 11:54 AM
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Crellston
We had a week in Yogyakarta last October.
It was too long really. I've never seen so many clothes stores in my life!
We were already suffering from temple fatigue, so the usual sites weren't on our radar.
Traffic is manic, but you'd expect that.
Getting an alcoholic drink is confined to a small area.
The zoo on the perimeter of Yogyakarta was very pleasant, and we didn't notice any apparent cruelty. But you'll probably be the only Westerners, so expect to be part of the exhibits!
We stayed at the Favehotel, which suited our budget, nice pool, and adequate buffet breakfast.
Taxi from the airport cost 55,000 rupiah from the fixed price desk.
LancasterLad is offline  
May 14th, 2015, 01:26 PM
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Getting an alcoholic drink is confined to a small area.

Yikes. Even beer?
mr_go is offline  
May 14th, 2015, 04:55 PM
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We had no difficulty ordering beer/wine or any other alcohol at our hotel in Yogyakarta or at our hotels in Surabaya or Malang. LL's experience may have been peculiar to his hotel or the places he ate.

We opted to stay in Yogya rather than out at Borobudur I've always found lots to do in that area. (My first trip to the area, we spent two weeks in Yogya) I highly recommend the Ramayana Ballet performance in the open air venue near Prambanam.
Kathie is offline  
May 14th, 2015, 05:47 PM
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Thanks guys that is all really helpful. From yours comments the consensus seems to be that for want we want to see and do we have the time about right. It helps to split our stay in Yogyakarta as accor hotels have a deal on at the moment - book three 2 night stays and you get loyalty points to the value of €200. Given that their hotels in Indonesia are very reasonably priced, it was too good a deal to miss!

We have the time and like to travels at a slow pace would like to be at Borobodur at dawn and dusk, hence the two nights there ( and the above deal) . I appreciate that it is possible as a day trip from Yogyakarta but, whilst I am very much a morning person, my wife is not!

mr_go would be great to meet fellow travellers. We have met several fodorites over the years and have always enjoyed those meetings. I will be the Englishman wandering around Yogyakarta muttering "where the hell to I get a beer!"

Tripplanner, thanks for your input which was really helpful. We were planning on visiting the Dieng Plateau separately on the way to Yogyakarta maybe staying at Boronso and also Prambanan en route to Solo. Are they worth the diversion for a couple,of days?

LL thanks for the heads up on the beer situation��. This is becoming a problem in parts of Asia. Cambodia and Vietnam we spoilt for choice for a beer usually at 50 cents a glass. Here in Borneo it is 8x that price if you can find a place to sell it. I read on Travelfish only this week that the government has banned sale of alcohol in small shops, restricting its sale to hotels and supermarkets. Will have a look at the Favehotel just in case we want yo stick around for a day or two longer.

Just about to search for your TR as, If I recall rightly from a previous post didn't you stay in a homestay in Denpasar on you last trip? Not planning on spending too long in Bali maybe get a ferry from Java to the north, do some diving and then head to the airport.

Any more thoughts on what to do, where to go in Java would be much appreciated.
crellston is offline  
May 14th, 2015, 07:30 PM
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Crellston, I very much enjoyed the Dieng Plateau. With a couple of days you can take some leisurely hikes among the fields and visit some of the small villages that really do not get many tourists.
tripplanner001 is offline  
May 14th, 2015, 07:30 PM
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I like Java a lot, but I'm less fond of Yogyakarta (and even less of Surakarta/Solo). I find them sweaty, congested and difficult to navigate, and Shopping for arts and handicrafts however is diverse and excellent.

So my inclination would be to spend more time in the Javanese countryside -- either at Borobudur or other areas around Mt. Merapi -- and less in Yogya city. Aside from Prambanan which is close to Yogya, you can easily use Borobudur as your base for day trips -- to Dieng, to Merapi, to the coffee/ea plantations around Magelang.

All of Java is intensely populated, so you're never far away from a charming village or dusty town and the natural beauty is profound.

Where is Boronso?

Indonesia has recently severely restricted outlets that can sell beer and alcohol. Thankfully most of Bali was exempted; otherwise we would have had an all-out surfer revolt! I haven't heard of restrictions on restaurants/cafes selling alcohol (except during Ramadhan) but there's no question that Central Java, especially Solo, is becoming more influenced by conservative Islam.
marmot is offline  
May 14th, 2015, 10:46 PM
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"Where is Boronso?" An excellent question Marmot! What I meant type was Wonosobo - apparently the gateway to the Dieng Plateau! I would like to blame my IPad spell check but fear it was just down to me being too lazy to check my map.

Anyway, your input is much appreciated. I have just booked a couple of nights in Yogyakarta but we do want to get out of the cities and into the countryside so will follow your suggestion and base ourselves in Borobodur or its environs to explore the rest of the area and just return to Yogya as a transit point.

We are going to do most of the travelling by train if poss so now off to seat61 to try and sort that out next.

TP thanks for the comments re the Dieng Plateau, sound exactly the sort of place we are looking for.
crellston is offline  
May 15th, 2015, 12:03 AM
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@Kathie<<>>

We don't drink alcohol in hotels Kathie, far beyond our budget!
What I meant was in Yogyakarta city centre, where there is just
a small(ish) area on a couple of roads and lanes off Malioboro [near the top], with [not a lot] of bars and restaurants. Definitely a lot more Indonesian than southern Bali, and I was v.surprised to find a [v.popular] McDonalds near the top of Malioboro.
LancasterLad is offline  
May 15th, 2015, 12:15 AM
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Crellston

Here's the review I posted on TA about our stay at the Favehotel in Yogyakarta...

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUse...arta_Java.html
LancasterLad is offline  
May 15th, 2015, 04:06 AM
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Thanks LL but have already sorted Yogyakarta accommodation - more interested in the homestay place you stayed at in Bali ( near the airport?).

Kathie, missed your post re the ballet. Sounds really interesting and is on the list!

PS not sure what is happening with the new format but I keep seeing posts suddenly appearing that werent there previously and have had a lot posts that I have been typing disappear for not apparent reason? Weird!
crellston is offline  
May 15th, 2015, 06:13 AM
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The homestay was at the northern end of Sanur, about an hour from the airport. I booked it on Airbnb.

I wouldn't recommend it though as it was on the wrong side of the v.busy highway that runs parallel to the beach. Fortunately, most of what Sanur has to offer is safely between the beach and the highway. Also off-season there's an over supply of hotels, so a lot of bargains.
LancasterLad is offline  
May 15th, 2015, 07:54 AM
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Yes, crellston, with the format refresh, Fodors is behaving oddly. I have had similar experiences.

LL, we ate in a couple of local restaurants in Yogya and in Solo and likewise, there was no difficulty ordering a beer. I've certainly had times elsewhere where a Muslim restauranteur didn't serve any alcohol (such as once in Penang) but never ran into it in Java. But it certainly can happen.
Kathie is offline  
May 15th, 2015, 07:54 PM
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Crellston, What are you looking for in Bali? Maybe I can help. South Bali is currently on overload with super budget how-low-can-you-go hotels. I would avoid Sunset Road and look in Petitenget, Batu Belig.
This one is okay, busy street but good neighborhood.
http://www.favehotels.com/hotellist/...vehotel-umalas
marmot is offline  
May 15th, 2015, 09:36 PM
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<<>>

We stayed on Sunset Road for our last few nights at the Swiss Bel Rainforest. Very nice hotel, great value, but crossing Sunset Road was a nightmare, especially after dark.
LancasterLad is offline  
May 16th, 2015, 05:11 PM
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Thanks for the link and for the offer of assistance (Favehotels seems like an ice budget chain and the same as that posted by LL in Yogyakarta). I will be back to take you up on that. Also particularly interested in nice , smaller guesthouse or home stays. Our plans for Bali are a bit up in the air at the moment. We are getting the 30 day visa this time and plan on working our way down from Jakarta to the southern tip and then get the ferry across to the north of Bali.

Have a vague outline and hotels booked as far as Yogyakarta and explore that area from Borobodor as you suggested. From there we are not too sure. Definitely Bromo and???. Not sure how much time we will have in Bali, possibly 4-7 days. Some of this may include diving around Menhagan Island from Permuteran other wise we will try to check out some less visited places before heading to the airport. If you have any suggestion for your fave places , I would love to hear them!

Checked our flight times and we don't leave until 5.00pm so I don't think we necessarily need to be that close to the airport on our final day.

We leave on the 6 July as we are getting out before the end of Ramadan and will return after that probably with a 60 day visa to explore Sumatra, Flores/ Komodo and possibly Sulawesi. On this section of the trip, we may begin or end up in Bali and would be interested in renting a small house/villa/ apartment for a week or two if you know of any?
crellston is offline  
May 17th, 2015, 11:09 PM
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Faves are all over Indonesia. I wouldn't say it's long on charm but it has a good attitude, and its location in Petitenget is not as dispiriting as Sunset Road can be.

I don't have particular recommendations on guesthouses or homestays, but they're pretty widespread all over Bali. I would choose the area that you want to stay in and then research accordingly.

At the beach I'd would look for places in Petitenget, Batu Belig, Kerobokan, Umalas. These are all laid back beach-y neighborhoods. You should be able to find plenty of inexpensive guesthouses and villas in this area, though the budget hotels are rapidly putting them out of business.

Just disregard the list prices on their websites. Everything, everywhere is severely discounted.

In Ubud you will have plenty of choices. I especially like Alam Sari in Keliki both the regular hotel and their homestays.

Here are a few suggestions that friends have stayed at, though I don't have personal experience at any of them. You'll find lots like this.
http://www.summerhomeseminyak.com/
http://www.villabunga.com/index.html
http://newwmanhotels.com/en/our_hote...feather-hotel/

You should also look at air bnb. They're active all over Bali.

In East Java, I would try to get to Ijen. I haven't been, but it's definitely on my list.

Not sure when you'll be in Central Java. June 2 is Waisak a major Buddhist holiday. Borobudur will be jammed with adherents, but it's an awesome spectacle.
marmot is offline  

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