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Published: November 10th 2016
Travel with Garuda from Perth to Yogya via Bali (4hr layover spent getting from International to Domestic Terminal, wandering aimlessly, drinking coffee and having a reflexology neck and foot massage before getting my 2nd flight. Love airports. Really, I do.), arrived at Good Karma Guesthouse (AUD$27/night for deluxe dbl room, breakfast, air con and an outdoor bathroom). I used a third party booking site but it is also available on airbnb (costs more). There are some nice pics of it on the airbnb link or on their facebook page. https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/11098295
Airport to Good Karma was via an airport taxi- fixed price Rp 80 000 (AUD$8) from the taxi counter outside the arrival terminal. It was a smooth process and the taxi driver was friendly, getting me to Good Karma in about 45 mins in traffic. The streets were reminiscent of Denpasar but not exactly the same, maybe more urban. We drove past many mosques, the majority of women wore headscarves- that may also have been the subtle difference. Anyway, I felt immediately at ease and excited that the week was going to be a great one.
Good Karma was a good base; well located on
Jl. Prawirotaman which is close to lots of restaurants, money exchange and a couple of small markets, and within walking distance to the Kraton and Jl Malioboro. I didn't really have any clue as to the layout of the city but it worked for me. The street that Good Karma is on is quiet, lined with regular houses, trees and the odd chook, as well as a couple of office fronts and a small hotel further along the road. The guesthouse was colourful, quirky, clean and comfortable. I felt really comfortable the minute I walked in- might have been the prayer flags strung up in the courtyard. The decor was totally up my alley! When I arrived the guys working there gave me a drink, an intro and showed me the room, I paid for the 3 nights I had booked and got settled in. All very low key. The room was good, the a/c kicked in pretty quickly and the shower was hot. Towels were supplied but not soap/shampoo- BYO. There was hand soap at the basin. The bed linen was really clean and fresh and the bed comfortable. The room being directly off the central area could get
noisy if lots of people were there but I wasn't bothered by the noise at all.
Having settled I got some info on where I was and a very handy map showing me the immediate location and surrounding landmarks. The owner has a travel company called Satu Dunia so the guesthouse really is an "all in one shop" for tour bookings too. I ended up booking two things through them- a private car/driver for a 10 hr trip to Borobodur/Prambanan/Mendut/anything that took my fancy as well as the group tour Mt Merapi trek. Given my limited time I wanted to get those things squared away so didn't go looking at any other tour companies. http://www.satu-dunia.com/
Having made the bookings I headed off, map in hand to get cash, get a local SIM and get some dinner. The little map ticked all the boxes. I didn't get lost. Not even once!
First stop was the SIM card shop- I paid Rp 65 000 for a Telkomsel 4G simPATI data card (the cost on it was Rp 50 000 but the extra included set up, etc). This seems to be accepted practice and was done quickly for me.
I think I had a good deal- who knows? Anyway it was fast and worked and didn't run out. There's some info on the link below if you want to know more about the complexities of data pricing structures, etc. http://prepaid-data-sim-card.wikia.com/wiki/Indonesia
From there it was the money exchange, it was less than 30m along the street on the same side (this is relevant in that the streets are busy and can be challenging to cross so the less street crossing the better your odds for survival). Money place was called Pt Perdana Mulia Valasindo, located on Jl Parangritis No 64 RT/RW 059/016, Mantrijeron, Yogyakarta. Telp (0274) 2871053. Exchanging AUD for IDR was easy- the rate is displayed, you sit at a counter to do the transaction, there is no pressure, it is airconditioned, they give you a cup of water (and some lollies if you would like a sugar hit) and take all the time in the world. No tricks. As it turned out, (I would use their services again a couple more times before I left Yogya), they also act as a booking office for flights and train tickets.
Still on a mission, I was tantalised
with my first taste of the abundant street art that Yogya is full of. This was unexpected, I love street art, I had no idea that it was so prevalent- it was excellent- stay tuned- lots of photos ahead. Anyway, dinner called so I daringly crossed the street and turned into Jl Prawirotaman 1- to find restaurants lining both sides of the street. I had heard of ViaVia from reading Trip Advisor reviews and there it was so that is where I ate. Extensive menu with lots of local style food, they have a special each day as well as buffet style certain nights a week. Nice ambience, lots of space, good wifi, cool vibe, etc. It also acts as a tour booking centre, has an attached fairtrade shop and a magnificent bakery!!! Needless to say, this was my first visit, not my last!
Wandered back to Good Karma and set my alarm for my 0300 wakeup for Borobodur! It had been a long day.
Summary- I think I love Jogja already.
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