3 days in Yogyakarta

The underground mosque

Yogyakarta (also Jog-ja-kar-ta – Jogja in short) in 3 activity-packed days; what to see, do and eat (including costs)!

– S E E  &  D O –

†1. Jomblang Cave

Geared up for Jomblang Cave

Price: $50/person (includes rental of rubber boots, helmet, harness, and a simple lunch after)

Trekking through the cave can be a messily, muddy activity, but they have a shower area here! Just remember to bring your own soaps, slippers and a towel.

To be honest, I thought it would be a fairly simple STROLL, but it turns out to be a bit more strenuous than that! You will have to slip and slide your way along the stepping stones inlaid along the muddy ground or simply sink through the sucking mud and make your own way through. It is all worth it when you see the light at the end of the tunnel (literally), and if you’re into rocks, the really cool limestone formations too. You will also be able to hear and maybe catch a glimpse of the burbling subterranean stream if the light is strong enough.

Pro tip:
– Best to reach at 8-9am to secure a spot, limited to 50 persons/ trip.
– 10am–12pm is when the sun’s rays are at the best intensity and positioning.
– Bring a handy torchlight for when the lights in the cave fail, cave=muddy + dark + unknown, you get the drift.

2. Hutan Pinus Pengger (pine forest)

A touristy pine forest, supposedly a romantic place. But I don’t see how that is the case. I had really high hopes for this place but we arrived when it was already nightfall and it was simply too dark to take photos.
In addition, the scenic/photo spots were all hogged with tourists and locals trying to earn an extra buck by offering photo services which did not make for a pleasant experience (not that they pressurised us or anything, but they monopolised the area so that it was difficult if we just wanted to use our own camera to take our own photos).

Pro tip:
– Arrive when it’s still light out, as it gets too dark for photos when night falls.

3. Punthuk Setumbul Nirwana Sunrise Spot
(view of Borobudur temple at sunrise)

Entrance fee: 30,000rp/ person (sgd$3); children under 5 free entrance

Apparently catching the sunrise over Borobudur Temple is actually quite a rare phenomenon. Your view is usually shrouded by thick fog, and a wasted trip. Oh well ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

4. Taman Sari

The underground mosque

Entrance fee: 15,000rp/person (sgd$1.50) + additional 3,000rp/camera (sgd$0.30)

Here is one touristy area. Though it is worth a visit for your first time. The compound is kind of separated in two parts; first you’ll enter into the bath grounds and to visit the other portion, you’ll have to go through a small doorway that leads you along a small lane of housing estates before arriving at the “Insta-famous” underground mosque. It took us a while to find it ourselves

5. Taman Gumik Pasir
(where the sand dunes are in Parangkusumo)

The sand dunes at Gumuk Pasir

Entrance fee (into the area/region): 10,000rp/person (sgd$1)

Actually one of my favourite spots though it is quite a distance away from Jogja city itself! The sand dunes have ample photo opportunities everywhere. We were there for sunset and the golden hour was perfect. They have activities like sand-boarding too.

– E A T  &  D R I N K –

1. Mediterranea Restaurant by Kamil

Our meal at Mediterrena


Meal total for two: ~sgd$30

A popular dining spot especially for dinner, reservations might be recommended if you do not want to wait too long. We did not have a reservation then and waited for about 15mins to be seated. Food arrived pretty quickly; we got a pizza, pasta and soup to share which they gladly separated the one serving into two bowls for each of us – nice touch there! Definitely coming back! ó ꒳ ò

2. Il Tempo Gelato

Il Tempo Gelato


Price: 25,000rp/ double scoop w cone (sgd$2.50)

Must-try! Interesting and refreshing range of gelato flavours.
First things first, pay for the number of scoops you want and whether you will have it on a cone or cup at the cashier where you will receive a paper slip. Now, proceed to queue for your gelato flavour, and when it is your turn, pass the slip to the ladies manning the gelato and choose your preferred flavours! A bit different from how we order back home so here’s your heads-up!

3. ViaVia Jogjakarta

Our meal at ViaVia


Meal total: <sgd$10/person

Priding themselves on providing organic vegetables and rice as much as possible, we were met with fresh and tasty meals. Normally when we hear local food we think fried and oily but, here they are big on healthy eating (choice of brown rice at no additional charge) and their food is less oily, drinks are served unsweetened, with sugar syrup at the side. Wah I was so satisfied hahaha.

Pro tip:
– Friday nights (8 – 10:30pm) are jazz nights.

4. Jejamuran (Mushroom-specialty restaurant)

Our spread at Jejamuran & their mushrooms for sale


Meal total for two: ~sgd$30; sgd$1.2-3/dish

Here is a mushroom-only spot to fix all your mushroom cravings – mushrooms 100 ways hurhur. They serve mushroom-like satay, crispy mushroom bites, tom yum soup with mushrooms, rendang mushrooms… yup you get it. Great for sharing, get as many types and have it with rice. Most of their mushrooms are homegrown, and you can even buy your own mushrooms to grow at their in-house store. Definitely worth-it!

5. Culturehead

Coffee at Culturehead


Price: sgd$2-3.50/drink

Our first day exploring Jogja, we chanced upon this cafe while hunting for Waroeng Steak and Shake (kind of disappointing; but well their low price point…)
Apparently a quiet day for them, besides another pair, we were the only ones. They do decent coffee (mild acidity) in a really cozy, industrial-ish space.

Stay at:

ARTOTEL Yogyakarta


They have an indoor slide from the second to first floor that is completely functional! Quite a new hotel in the area, rooms are clean and spacious. As their name suggests, they also have a mini exhibit/store at the reception showcasing seasonal works, which was an interesting touch into the local art scene.

Getting around:

hired driver/motorbikes


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