Yogyakarta and Ubud

Mar 26th, 2012, 08:29 AM
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Yogyakarta and Ubud

My husband and I are planning to visit Ubud and Yogyakarta, we like to hike and would like to know if those two places are good. Also, what is there to see un Yogyakarta? is an overnight trip good enough?
Thanks for any advice we can get!
orquidea is offline  
Mar 26th, 2012, 09:07 AM
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I would say that Yogyakarta is no longer a good hiking destination. It is an amazing cultural destination to see the 8th Century Bobodurur Temple and 12thC Prembanan Temple as well as the Sultans Palace is worth a viit while you are there. The flight takes 75 minutes and cost $160-$170 RT and a very nice hotel like the hoenix offers standard rooms for $85-$95 USD. Guest houses with A/C are about $60 but are not as accessible. I always suggest if your budget allows that you consider using the guide we have used in both Yogja, Mt. Bromo and West Java. He is so very knowledge and with his van you can accomplish in 1 day what it would take you 2 days if you relied on buses. Also he can give you the most in-depth understanding of th meaning of the reliefs on the temples in that he was recently appointed UNESCO's Advisor to Bobodurur.He is far better than the for-hire guides at the temples whose knowledge and English is limited. He also took us to some villages that are still in the 1930's and we did not see elsewhere except West Java and certainly not in Bali. But his daily rate is $80 for 10 hours. He could even take you up as far as they let you go at Mt. Merapi but you would have to start your day at 7AM-5PM to get all that in. He can be contacted at Bobobururtourandtravel.com or [email protected]
In Bali I would look at Lonely Planet for they give you great places for hiking but some are several miles outside of Ubud. You might want a guide to take you there and wait. Guides in Bali are $50-$60+ but since you will know where you want to go you do not have to spend more than $50. I would not spend less because thy may have a car that is not well maintained and will breakdown and ruin you days. Enjoy.
StanKase is offline  
Mar 26th, 2012, 09:19 AM
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The reason most people go to Yogyakarta is to visit Borobudor, the largest Buddhist monument in the world and Prambanam, a huge complex of Hindu temples. If you aren't interested in these sites, I don't know that I'd recommend a stop in Yogyakarta. Certainly one night there is not enough. There are some intersting hikes in the area. One, in particular, sounded interesting - a hike around the Dieng Platesu through the old Hindu temples and the little villages. The plateau is the caldera of an ancient volcano and it is full of hot springs and such.

There is plenty of hiking to do in Bali.
Kathie is offline  
Mar 26th, 2012, 09:37 AM
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I second the Dieng Plateau area. Beautiful scenery, and a good day trip in conjunction with Yogyakarta. Lots of hiking near Ubud, and the guide we have used several times, Putu Arnawa, is very familiar with hiking in the hills north of there. I highly recommend his services.
susncrg is offline  
Mar 26th, 2012, 12:09 PM
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Thanks so much to all of you for taking the time to reply. This is our 25th anniversary so we would like to celebrate in Ubud by staying at a nice spa resort. I looked up the hanging gardens but I think I need to spend more time looking. Any reccomendations?
orquidea is offline  
Mar 26th, 2012, 02:19 PM
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As susncrg mentioned a trip out to Dieng Plateau is spectacular but it takes about 2.5 hrs. by car. We went and the last hour of the trip has agriculture on terraces that actually but bali to shame. It is awesome. I did not mention it only because of the lengthy trip but in our opinion it was well worth it. The Plateau itself can also be very impressive and we had a great day. We had our guide stop at at least one market on the way out and another on the reurn. We also had him take us a different route on the return. If you go it is wise to also get going at 7-7:15 for the first market on the way will still be bustling at 9 AM. The one on the return sells cattle and pigs and we stoped there at about 3:30 as I recall.
We have stayed at The Chedi Club for 3 nights and it was heaven. It is a member of the Great Hotels of the World which is a very select group. It has 20 one room villas and we are returning again this year because it was simply heaven. It was nicer than the Four Seasons-Sayan (2009) and the Viceroy (though we stayed there 6-7 years ago). This year they have a special for every 3 nights you only pay for 2. The rate is $330 plus taxes with breakfast. You do not have to go to a hotel that has a large spa operation just a good one and my wife loved this one. I even thought it was quite good and I am not into messages. You cannot miss there. It is 15-20 minutes out of the bustle of Ubad but their shuttle goes reallyon your request we experienced even though they supposedly had a schedule. They also picked us up after dinner at a time we requested but the food at The Chedi Club is very good and not that expensive except for wine/liquor but that is the same all over Bali.
StanKase is offline  
Mar 26th, 2012, 02:54 PM
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Central Java -- where Yogyakarta is located -- is a great place for hiking and experiencing nature in general; however, you will need a guide because it's difficult to know where to start. Your hotel or resort could put you in touch with someone or you could go through a travel/tour service.

As others have noted the ancient temples of Borobudur and Prambanan are the main attractions. The town of Yogya is an interesting place too, especially for arts and crafts and the performing arts related to the court of the Sultan.

If you choose to go to Central Java I'd definitely plan more than one night as getting places of interest involves a fair amount of driving and things move slowly in Indonesia. Be aware that it's hot (HOT!) all year, humid and at certain times of the year very rainy.

If hiking includes mountain climbing then there are lots of opportunities in Central Java and also in East Java in the Mt. Bromo area. If you're more interested in nature than culture then I'd head for Bromo. It's not easy to get to but it's phenomenally scenic and photographic.

No shortage of places to hike in the Ubud area. You can wander off on your own or, even better, go with a guide who will show you the back roads and little villages, through the rice padis, along the rivers and on the mountain sides.

You will be spoiled for choice of places to stay in the Ubud area. I like Samaya, Kayumanis and if you really want to splurge Como Shambhala. On the other end of the price scale Alam Sari is charming.
marmot is online now  
Mar 26th, 2012, 03:14 PM
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Though I know marmot is from Java the visitors I have met who went to Yogja were dissapointed with the hiking after the Mt. Merapi eruption about 2 years ago. Mt. Bromo certaintly has many interesting hiking opportunities that I used to enjoy years ago and now those I have referred say it is still very worthwhile but that adds days to your stay in Java. I should have mentioned that our guide was able to get us very good rates at the Hyatt Regency, about 10 minutes out of town if you are interested in a modern upscale hotel in Yogja rather than the Phoenix which is in-town but town closes up at 7 PM except for restaurants.I think now a Deluxe Room is $175+/-.
StanKase is offline  
Mar 26th, 2012, 07:38 PM
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If hiking is your main interest rather than temples and monuments like Borobudur and Prambanan in Central Java, then perhaps one night would be ok but more is better. Then you might consider doing a few days in Ubud for arts and culture and Munduk or Sanda in the mountains for vast scenery.

Then fly to a place like Sulawesi. The Tanah Toraja are in the mountainous northern part of South Sulawesi and they have a very interesting architectural style, culture and the scenery is just spectacular. Just amazing.

Or Flores is also really fantastic, especially around the central part of the island. Look up Kelimutu Lakes and Moni for photos and information. Flores and Sulawesi are also a bit more off the beaten path, so to speak!

Central Java would not be my first choice for hiking locations.

Oh, and Hanging Gardens is lovely, great views and you feel a bit like you are in the middle of nowhere....but it's only about 20 - 30 minutes out of downtown Ubud. Its located in Payangan, Ubud, and it's a wonderful location for hiking right outside the hotel grounds.

Have a great time whatever you decide to do!
kuluk is offline  
Mar 27th, 2012, 03:06 PM
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kuluk; Has a good idea for hiking by going to Torajaland,. The culture of the locals is so very different as is the style of their homes and how they go about doing commerce. Also there are great sights and hiking opportunities. The flights from Bali though are not that inexpensive and you really need prior arrangements to get up to Taraja. But up there to my surprise there were several hotels and one, I forgot the name was 3+-4 star for $125+/night back 2 years ago. Two or three days there would give you hiking and an unusual cuktural experience. You might want to spend 6-7 days in Bali, 2 in Central Java and 2 on Sulawisi. With 1-2 days plus 1 full day lost in travel you have a 2 week diversified vacation. By the way we visited the Hanging Garden for kunch which is a little bit further away fron Ubud than the Chedi and it is quite lovely but in our opinion it does not have the understated elegance of The Chedi Club.Reservations are a must 4-5 months in advance.
Hopefully you are not planning on going in the Oct.-Feb. because you will run into more rain during thart period in Bali and Central Java.
StanKase is offline  
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