Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Jogjakarta Tips and Preparation

My recent trip to Jogjakarta was quite a disappointment. Don't get me wrong, the trip was alright but it was the amount of times we were ripped off that got me annoyed. Granted it's not a huge amount but as a group, we probably ended up paying more than what we should have. That aside, some of the attractions are amazing like the Borobudur and the views are magnificent especially the one at Pantai Timang.

Hence this post is basically as a quick guide on what NOT to do in Jogjakarta so as not to spoil your experience.

1) Do not trust the holiday agents at the airport. Do not allow them to buy your tickets or entrance fees despite the amount of brochures they show you (it will look legit) with the tempting offer of getting it cheaper. You can get them cheaper YOURSELF when you reached the attraction.

2) Rent a car or get a tour before you land. Do not bother doing a last minute rental. You will be charged extra and the service will not be as promised.

3) If you are getting a Borobudur sunrise package, you need to be there by 4am, and not set off at 4am.

4) Gua Joblang is not worth the visit unless you are willing to fork out 450k-550k IDR. A ridiculous amount and the ride there can be tedious and "off-road"-ish.

5) Do not take taxi for attractions in the city. Get one to the first attraction and ask for directions to the next. Even if they have taxi meters, there is the minimum charge even for a minute drive which is quite hefty when a good 5 minutes walk would suffice. Or, just take a trishaw. Some are willing to save you a 5 minutes walk for as little as 5000IDR.

6) If taxi refused to use their meter, even after you insist, just take a photo of their plates and licenses to complain (if you want to bother with it). Otherwise, just walk away.

7) Do NOT allow any official looking individuals or worse, not even official looking individuals, to show you anything of interest at attractions unless you wanted a in depth guide for certain attractions. Some are just looking for a quick buck and will pull you to a corner to show you a "wonder" or "place" and insist on money. Sometimes a small amount is not enough to placate them.

8) If you see people banging on your windows on your way to somewhere, do NOT bother to wind down your window. If your driver does and then ask you for donations, tell him not to do it in the future. This can be quite annoying as a short stretch would mean contributing to a few donations at minimum. I know this sound heartless but shouldn't donations mean any amount without a minimum? If you are very kind, then yes please go ahead and donate all the way.

9) The usual fare for a trishaw is about 25000IDR for tourists in the city. Sometimes cheaper when competition is high. In Malioboro, it will be quite pricey to go back. Be patient when haggling and you will find some willing to lower to 30000IDR.

I know some of the tips seemed the usual practice but sometimes we forget when we are travelling in a big group.

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