What better to do in Indonesia’s culture capital than hire a car and explore all the sites? That’s what Danielle, Jeanna and I decided, at least.
Borobodur, a stunning and ornate Buddhist temple built in the ninth century and often listed as one of the wonders of the ancient world, is an easy day trip from Yogyakarta and pretty magical. Get there early (or really late) as it is crowded with tourists, but don’t worry – it’s big enough that you can find space to do your own thing (like take lots of photos that aren’t filled with strangers). Entrance fee seems steep for the region at $18, but it’s worth it.
Our second stop was the Merapi Volcano, which last erupted in 2006. It was probably really beautiful but it was hidden by all of the clouds so we just chilled in the lava stream. At least the trek up was good practice for Central Asia!
Our final stop was Prambanan, a Hindu temple compound and UNESCO World Heritage Site — and another steep entrance fee. So we opted to split from the German couple we were sharing the car with and checked out a nearby temple where admission was only 50 cents instead. Afterwards we all compared notes and realized that we pretty much saw the same things — they said the $18 entrance fee wasn’t quite as justified as the fee at Borobuder. Then again, at home in Germany $18 wouldn’t feel expensive at all, so it is all relative.
Borobodur: Entrance fee- $19 or $9.50 with a student ID. Bring you student ID even if it’s old; it saves you so much money. Silvia used her Japanese ID so they clearly aren’t picky.
Merapi: Free if you walk. There are options to rent motorbikes or a jeep.
Prambanan: Entrance fee- $18 or $8.50 with a student ID. Apparently the area containing the famous Shiva statue has been closed since the 2006 earthquake, which is not advertised.