Yogyakarta Voyage - The Fort, The Beach, and The Hill

 After leaving Prambanan,  I entered the city center of Yogyakarta around 2 PM. Passing a famous street, Malioboro then I dropped in front of Vredeburg Fort Museum. It was a nice museum to learn about Indonesia's struggle to fight for and defense its independence against colonialism. This air-conditioned museum is a perfect place to cool down after burning up under sunny day in the temple.

Entering the Vredeburg Fort.
Inside the Vredeburg Fort.
Nearby the museum, some old buildings can be found such as Presidential Palace, City Square (Alun-Alun), Keraton (Yogyakarta Sultan Palace), Taman Sari, classic bank's buildings (Bank Indonesia and BNI). Just like buildings we see in Kota Tua, Jakarta.
Old bank's building.
The next day, my friends joined in. We went to Nglambor Beach in Gunung Kidul Regency (southern part of Yogyakarta). Not like another beach in the area, Nglambor is recommended for snorkeling. There is a vendor that provides snorkeling package which includes equipment rent and underwater documentation in a reasonable price of IDR 35K. It was my first time snorkeling in the beach without hopping to another island. It was about 1-2 minutes walk from the coastline then we could start snorkeling and watch colorful fish swimming around. The guide provide some bread to attract the fish, particulary during the photo session.

Sunny day in Nglambor Beach.
Snorkeling in Nglambor Beach.
Underwater shot while snorkeling.
 The last day in Jogja, I visited Kaliurang. It is like a highland of Yogyakarta. My first stop was Ulen Sentalu Museum where we could learn history of Java through Islamic Mataram Kingdom descendants. The museum mostly highlighted the origin of Yogyakarta, Surakarta, Pakualaman, and Mangkunegaran with its strong Javanese culture and philosophy. What's unique is we also can sneak into personal stories of the Javanese royal family.

An iconic sculpture in Ullen Sentalu Museum.
Another statue near the exit gate.
I also went to Bukit Plawangan, near Mt. Merapi. It is a hill in Kaliurang, not really far from Ullen Sentalu Museum. From the hill, I should have been able to observe Mt. Merapi from afar and its lava river. However, I could not see the volcano due to mist. The weather was not good.

View from Bukit Plawangan.
Unfortunately, I could not see Mt. Merapi due to the mist.
There is also a historical site in the middle of Bukit Plawangan. It is called as Goa Jepang, a cave used  by Japanese soldier during the war against the Dutch. However, it was my first hike experience. I only hiked till the Goa Jepang, and did not want to climb to the top because the weather was really misty. So,  that concluded my Yogyakarta voyage almost three years ago. In the evening,  I was leaving the city by train.
Hiking trail to Goa Jepang.
Goa Jepang in Bukit Plawangan.
Beside Bali, Yogyakarta is a tourism destination that offers a broad range of attractions. During the voyage,  I visited historical site from Hindu/Buddhism heritage, Islamic Javanese culture, national struggle against colonialism, the beach and the hill. It was just a short trip, but gace me many experiences. There are so much more Yogyakarta can offer. I am looking forward to visiting this place again. 

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