When it comes to travelling with friends, some of the most common destinations include Taiwan, Bangkok, Vietnam, Bali, Phuket and Korea will come to my mind. Usually, these choices come up as they are considered as affordable, safe and photogenic countries to my friends and me.

While Indonesia is also a pretty affordable place to travel in, but other than Bali, it is rarely considered. This may be due to the lack of media coverage or publicity, I would not know the reason though. However, this place is pretty amazing in reality! This is especially so for people who do not enjoy going to touristy places and prefer a little adventure!

My friends and I were looking for a location that can offer us an insightful, refreshing and fun new experience. We can safely conclude that Yogyakarta (Jogja) really offered us that! Yogyakarta is a city on the Indonesian island of Java. On top of that, it was unexpectedly photogenic with the stunning view of waterfalls, hiking trails and caves.

A haircut with wash and blow was 3SGD and we even bought and lit fireworks for a very affordable price. It was truly an affordable and memorable trip.

With that, let me share with you why Yogyakarta was a great travelling destination!


1. Very Fun Hiking Trails

Narrow climb up the ladder during our hike.

When we talk about hiking, the most common image Singaporeans can probably imagine about will probably be Bukit Timah Hill. The hike is pretty mundane and easy, not much of a challenge to most. However, in Jogja, the hiking routes are so much more interesting. While there are some challenging hills along the way, it is also pretty manageable for youngsters! Hence, making it satisfying and fun to reach the top. The view is magnificent and weather-wise, I would consider it very pleasant due to the windiness.


2. Photogenic Temples

Spot the Stupa (bell-shaped ornaments) and guess which temple did I went?

I went to the UNESCO World Heritage Site – Borobodur which is the biggest Buddhist temple located just outside of Jogja.

Check out the spectacular sight as we take a photo to remember this moment at Prambanan Temple

Even if you are not a believer, Jogja temples are known to one of the highlights in Indonesia. Understanding the beauty of its history and taking time out to admire it was a very cosy feeling. We visited two temples, one at sunrise and one at sunset. Honestly, the views and lighting were a beautiful scene to behold.

Along the way, we even made friends with a photographer tourist from Australia.


3. Economical Good Food

Free breakfast meal included in our Borobudur Temple visit ticket

 Our last dinner in Yogya at a restaurant

Boat noodles after caving! The three of us were so hungry we finished 9 bowls in total.

The food prices there are very affordable. One of the most memorable foods we tried was Kopi-Luwak (cat poop coffee).

The Cat Poop Coffee before de-shelling


4. Provides lots of fun and adventurous activities

ATV ride along the beach!

Adventure at Jomblang Cave

Jeeps ride on a volcano – Mount Merapi

Will you dare to walk or sit through the suspended bridge?

Manual cable car operated by using a pulley system.

Beach Views.

Sand boarding at Gumuk Pasir.

Some of these activities include a bumpy jeeps’ ride on a volcano, volcano hideout exploring, sandboarding, caving, AVT rides, and taking a manual cable car.


5. Affordable

As university students, most of us do not have much savings. For our whole Jogja trip, each of us spent approximately less than $500 including all the activities including the air ticket fees.


Inside one of the shelters of the volcano where people would hide when the volcano erupts.

Beautiful beaches views and waves.

Also, due to the fact that there was not many high rise buildings or constructions, the sunrises and sunsets were especially beautiful as there were little obstructions.

Before travelling to Jogja, I have never heard about it. Of course, never thought that I will be travelling there and ended up having so much fun and fond memories. If you are looking at travelling with your friends on a budgeted trip I would say Jogja is a good choice! Enjoy~

This article is written by Ho Kar Yern a Year 2 accounting student from National University of Singapore who loves a good cup of coffee and weekly mala sessions ~ She is passionate about serving the needs of the elderly in Singapore and participates actively in delivering her service and time to them whenever she can.