Dec 31, 2009

Beautiful Places in Yogyakarta, Among Others

We started the day with a big breakfast at Soto Kadipiro, continued with visits to beautiful places like Ullen Sentalu Museum... 


This day we’re gonna go to Kaliurang, a district north of Yogyakarta city, to attend my good friend Koko’s wedding. In the morning, Tante Tung, Windy’s aunt next door, took us for a breakfast at Soto Kadipiro, on Wates Street. The menu was chicken soto (soup-like dish), mainly consisted of shredded chicken and vermicelli, and you can also plunge your steamed rice in it or prepare it in a separate plate.

What made the diner interesting to me is not the food – chicken soto is always just an okay to me, never been my first choice of food, but it’s just something personal, no offense to the soto – but the decorations. They’ve got pictures of wayang (Indonesian puppetry), vintage stuff like bottles, photos of the first president of Indonesia Republic showing so much respect to his mother and other oldie photos, and then there’s a sign that says “Please smoke cigarette as much as you like”.

That’s wrong, I know, but it's kinda crazy and you wouldn’t see that anywhere else.


Kaliurang is actually reachable by bus, but I didn’t feel like it cos I wanted to look fresh at the wedding :D I’ve phoned a car rental service previously, they could rent us a 7-seater for Rp 500,000 including the driver for a day (contact us for the rental phone number). Luckily Kania got us a way cheaper rent through her friend, so we only had to pay Rp 300,000 including the driver, for 12 hours.

We rented the car from 9 AM, which means we got in Kaliurang at about 10 AM. The wedding didn’t start until a few hours later, so we visited Ullen Sentalu museum which is only across the wedding area, Wisma Kinasih.


Ullen sentalu is a Javanese art and cultural museum. They’ve got lotsa pictures of the Javanese royals, paintings and crafts with historical themes (some are considered as mystical), old musical instruments like gamelan, and a collection of handmade batik which the princesses had to fast for days before making them. Batik at that time was something sacred, every pattern has meaning, and they should be worn for the right purpose. For instance, there’s a pattern for wedding, for giving birth, for funeral, for royal events, etc.

The architecture of the museum is awesome, made of stone walls and it’s labyrinth-like. The main building is built on a lower level, it’s like you’re going into a cave. There’s also stairs and narrow pathways with fences connecting the buildings. Too bad they don’t allow visitors to take pictures at all in there.

(Click here to take a peek of what the inside is like and the complete story about the whole museum.)

The prohibition is only applied in the museum. In the gardens, restaurant, and souvenir shop you’re free to take as many picture as you want. And here’s us in the colonial-styled Beukenhof restaurant.

The entrance fee is Rp 25,000/pax, including a complimentary drink once we got out of the museum.


Getting out of Ullen Sentalu complex, we went directly to Koko’s wedding. I loved how he decorated the yard, and yes he and the wifey Deni arranged everything by themselves, he even bought the symbolic doves himself the day before the wedding.

The food was great. Our main dish was Salat Solo, which is the usual salad dish modified with addition of potato and sweet-soya-sauced meat (or known as semur).


Affandi Museum came next. Located on Laksda Adi Sucipto street, the entrance fee was Rp 20,000 / pax. Affandi is Indonesia’s well known artist, mostly known for his expressive abstract paintings. He passed away in 1990, and here’s the official website of the museum, galleries, and about the respectable man himself:

Gallery 1 only displays Affandi’s works, while Gallery 2 displays others’. We didn’t go into Gallery 3, but I think it also displays other artists’ works.

Galley #2

The graves of Affandi & wife in between galleries
Across Gallery 1, which would be on your right side when you just enter the gate, there’s a café where we hung out for a while, sipping some bottles of Teh Botol (my favorite bottled tea, especially when served cold).

Next to the café, there’s a caravan-like bamboo building that now functions as mushalla, a prayer room for Moslems. It was initially built by Affandi for his private room with his first wife who passed away before he did.


When we asked the driver to take us to Phoenix Hotel on Sudirman Street, he was confused. Luckily we remembered where it was, cos we just went passed by it the night before and were impressed by its exterior. Turns out that he knew the hotel by another name because it used to be named Mercure.

And why did we go there? Obviously not because we stayed there. The cheapest room rate there was Rp 750,000 / night, definitely out of our budget. Well, we just wanted to see what the hotel was really like, what facilities they’ve got, what their rates were, for, you know, just in case next time we got richer. Plus, they must’ve had nice bathrooms. I really wanted to go when we were still at Affandi Museum, but I didn’t like their bathrooms. So to Phoenix we went.. Tee hee…

But hey, staying at this hotel does make a to-do point in my travel list. I loved the design of it, classic yet with a modern touch.


At that time, I didn’t know much about beaches in Yogyakarta. Parangtritis was the only beach I had heard of. And I didn’t bother to find out because I wasn’t in the mood for snorkeling or anything that would get me soaked. But it would be nice to relax a bit at the beach.. haha.. inconsistent me. My friends agreed to go to Parangtritis, while we still had a lot of time to use the car and too tired for any shopping, it was already almost 5 PM.

An hour ride was the length from Sudirman street to Parangtritis beach. Too bad when we got there the sun was setting and we weren’t really at the right spot to view a beautiful sunset. And I didn’t realize that the beach wasn’t as beautiful as I had remembered. It was brownish sandy beach. Or was it because already almost dark? I guess I should go back there again one day to make sure about the beach :P

The interesting part was that I bought these fried undur-undur (ant-lion) at some stall on the beach. It’s a kind of small animal that’s seen a lot on beaches. And from the name of it, I guess they do walk backwards? ‘undur’ has a similar meaning with ‘mundur’ which means going backwards. The fried undur-undur cost Rp 2,500 / box. Taste-wise, it was too salty for me. But it was alright, I was starting to get hungry anyway.

And then we also bought grilled corn on the cobs, costing Rp 2,500 each, sold by a lady who sits her equipments on a mat on the beach.

There were quite many visitors on the beach that day. I guess because it was in the weekend, and around the school holiday. Lots of cars and buses parked about 15 meters from the shore line, and a lot of commercial stalls were built. I remember going there with my family some 18 years ago, and we went on this horse carriage (delman) ride, it was lovely. I wonder if they still have that kinda service for tourists.


Alright, being on a dark beach when you’re not equipped for it is just not fun. Plus, our tummies started to growl… so it was time for another hint from the culinary guide book. Cak Koting Duck on Dr. Sutomo Street, across Mataram Theaters was our next destination. Another one hour ride.

I had the grilled duck which cost Rp 20,000. It was yum yum. But of course they also provided other menus such as fried duck, pigeon, tempeh, and a lot more. The ‘restaurant’ was these tables and chairs arranged on a sorta like parking lot, open aired.

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