After 2 days of sunrise volcano hikes and basic rural homestays, it was nice to get into the city and find a hot shower. I arrived into Yogyakarta in the evening, exhausted from the journey and got an early night. My main aim for this destination was to see the famous Borobodur temple at sunrise, but I needed a full night of sleep so decided that could wait.
The next morning I headed to Prambanan, the city’s other famous temple complex and took a walk around. After the friendliness of Bali I was surprised that in parts of Java some people are far less helpful, and when I got off the bus at Prambanan and asked for directions I was met with forceful shouts of ‘Motorbike’, ‘Very far’. Determined, I walked away from the drivers who were really just trying to make a living, feeling frustrated that this is what the place had become.
A little further down the street I met another person who pointed me in the right direction and ten minutes later I arrived. The temple itself was a nice distraction from the city and not too crowded. I took my time to walk around and take it in before heading back into town.
The next morning I headed to Borobodur for the sunrise. There are two ways to visit the temple, with a normal pass during official opening hours, or for sunrise through the Manohara hotel. You pay a premium but the crowds (albeit still large) are slightly smaller, and the atmosphere in the temple as dawn comes is really unique. Although it was a little cloudy and not the most beautiful sunrise of my trip it was still great to be there and explore.
The rest of the day was a bit like my Prambanan experience, trying to navigate the city with little help and finding the Sultan’s palace to be closed for two days holiday, the water palace to be more of a derelict building, and the streets to be busy and chaotic. I retreated to the hostel, satisfied that I had seen what I came for but ready for the next stop. Apparently cities really aren’t my thing!