Flight to Yogya was pleasant and quite short. First we were welcomed by Merapi Volcano lean out above clouds, and next we saw extensive city and tiny airport. There waited for us a big heat and a long queue for a visa. Locals quickly and efficiently divided us into Indonesians and the “rest of the world” stuffing to the appropriate queue. A tourist visa for 30 days costed $ 50 per person (I recommend Dollars, because Euro has had a very bad exchange rate). A man who had not the relevant currency was even allowed to go beyond the area of the airport to the exchange office ;D, then he nicely came back and did the whole check-in ;). After immigrations I was surprised to hear my name shouted out – a man from the airport stuff checking my documents forgot about one page and he took it very seriously ;) Of course all of this was with a lot of laughing. Then we pick up our luggage with the assistance of helpful airport employees, “x-rayed” again and we are free.
If you take a taxi from the airport you have to be tough, and wait longer or go a little further, because the first prices are very inflated. They should go down to 50.000-60.000 rupees for a ride to Malioboro. To city center is quite far from the airport, traffic jams are big, it was really long ride.
The city itself does not impress, heavy traffic, noise, university, the palace of Sultan. And of course, crowded and colorful Malioboro stalls. We accommodated at the hotel and went to explore the city. There is a lot of tourists from all over Indonesia, so we quickly realized that we are a better attraction than places they wanted to see in Yogya. First we were confused, then laughing, but after some time we were also tired of this – and there is nowhere you can hide ;) Perhaps I have a million pictures on FB and Insta ;) Individual, group, and even selfies. People obviously are very nice and polite, some terribly ashamed and can walk a few minutes after someone, before asking for a photo – and if they hear “yes” they jump for joy :) The most surprising were older people who bow in gratitude for pictures with them. To be honest I was very surprised, given the history of Indonesia and its liberation actually not so long ago. So make sure to have scheduled additional time for the pictures :)
If anyone wonders buy it now or buy it later while traveling I inform that Jogja is cheaper than Bali and Lombok. Also some stylized for traditional clothes I have not seen again later.
In Yogyakarta we noticed quickly that every minute and everywhere someone slips the money in someones hand, without a word. It is not known for what and why ;) EVERYWHERE.( note 25.03.2015: friend living in Yogyakarta told me that probably they paid for parking place and for road repairs :) )
Along the way, we faced what was written on the internet – a man from nowhere appears, just a typical local guy, and then he convince that the Sultan’s palace (or whatever you want to visit) is now closed then tells you various stories, they probably tend to where you can buy a “real” Indonesian products and that he knows these places and will take you… only once because of courtesy we let someone to reach that point, after that one we finished every talk like that much earlier. The principle is simple: you need to quickly and politely stop the conversation and go ahead as planned. Of course, the palace was open, did not impress us with anything special, actually surprised with its name. Watercastle “hidden” somewhere from us, maybe because we got to the Indonesian martial arts festival during the “ Pencak Malioboro Festival 2014 “and focused on it :)
In the evening, dinner and swimming in the pool on the roof of the hotel :D Feel good and have a great view of the city. Airplanes fly very low, it looks good although a little disturbing. Hotels are rather cheap compared to other places we visited, the standard is OK, but our room was not properly ventilated and smelled musty from still wet bathroom. P>
First day in Yogyakarta