Jogjakarta, My First Impression

20 years ago,I was a sophomore in high school sitting in wide-eyed wonder as my teacher talks about Buddhism and attaining Nirvana showing us several photos of the stupas.  I can still clearly remember when I first heard about the majestic Borobudur Temple in Indonesia like it was just yesterday. As I gazed in awe, the pictures start to come to life. Fast forward 20 years later, here I am now, in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

First stop: The Temples
No photo can ever justify how grand and majestic these temples are.

Borobudur Temple
Borobudur Temple
Prambanan Temple
Ratu Boko Temple

Despite not being able to witness the sunset at Ratu Boko Temple, it never lost any of its old-world charm.

Next stop: Mt. Nglanggeran
With an altitude of 700m above sea level, this should be an easy hike. Several huts are provided as pitstops, and of course, it would not hurt to relax and enjoy the view from the top once in a while. But the greatest reward is reaching the peak and finally setting up our tent. The idea of hiking at night is to be able to wake up and witness the sunrise amidst the sea of clouds. Unfortunately, good weather was not on our side.

a Valley from Mt. Nglanggeran as background

Last stop. Malioboro
Eating like a local, but obviously looking like a tourist in Malioboro. A Jogja tour will never be complete without the obligatory shot under the Malioboro street sign.

under the Malioboro’s Street sign

Tasting the local food and drink, and mingling with the locals, is the part I look forward to the most in my trips. The Gudeg and the Kopi Joss is a must-try. Jogja food leans more on the sweet taste, which is perfect for my palate and suitable to my liking.

Legendary Kopi Joss

The locals? Soft-spoken, polite, and hospitable. Yet, bustling with activity and bursting with youthful energy.

3 days is not enough to explore this city. History, architecture, and arts are reflected and seen all over Jogja.

Jogja made a very good first impression on me 2 decades ago. Seeing, tasting, feeling and experiencing Jogja in the present, made that impression memorable and lasting.

About Contributor:


Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, Reina is a teacher by “choice” and a traveller by “chance”. She has chosen to teach kids from pre-school to primary for the past 10 years and would not do any other job in the world. Travelling solo as a backpacker, she travels any chance she gets exploring and enjoying life one adventure or misadventure at a time.

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