By: Bound2explore October 11, 2017
The special region of Yogyakarta is a province in Indonesia that still maintain the old tradition by having a king of Yogyakarta as a governor. This province is beautifully wrapped in royal tradition and ancient landmarks, from kraton (king palace), taman sari (water castle) to Malioboro street. But Yogyakarta offers more than just a royal experience. For daredevil and adventure junkies out there who crave for adrenaline rush, Yogyakarta surely can accommodate you. There are many adventurous things to do in Yogyakarta. As romantic as it can be, imagine having dinner in the downtown park while a sinden (traditional singer) serenade you, rest assure that all of you who are looking for adventure, you definitely can find it in Yogyakarta.
For a start, here is a list of adventurous things to do in Yogyakarta:
Cave tubing at Goa Pindul (Pindul Cave)
Have you ever wanted to explore the water cave? Imagine yourself staring at stalactite surrounded by water and spotting bats at their own habitat? If you say yes, then this is the kind of place you want to check out. What is the best way to explore the water cave? Would you rather swim or kayak? How about tubing? Pindul Cave (Goa Pindul) offers a guided cave tubing. Cave tubing has become a popular activity for local tourists. In fact, I didn’t even meet any foreigners when I was there.This is the most convenient way to explore. You can observe the entire cave at slower pace.
The opening of the cave is quite small. The cave was really dark that the guide had to use a flashlight to point out bats on the ceiling of the cave. I honestly got a little freak out when I heard something splashing in the water while I was floating on the tube. Snake was my best guess. Just be aware that there are snakes living in this cave. To be safe, make sure to wear a life jacket in case you get totally freak out when you encounter a snake and fall from your tube. Life jacket will save your life because some part of this water cave is very deep.
Climb the tree house at Kalibiru National Park
Do you love height and breathtaking view? Craving for a little adrenaline rush? Then climb a tree house at Kalibiru National park. The view await you is absolutely stunning. Don’t be afraid to fall because they won’t let you climb the tree house without the harness. The altitude is quite high. There are three different three houses you can climb. The place also offers zip lining and easy to moderate hiking trail. When you are tired after all of those activities, you can chill at one of those small cafes lined along the hiking trail. Kalibiru National Park is located in Kulonprogo, Yogyakarta. It is about 1.5 hour drive from the city of Yogyakarta. The locals manage and operate the park. From all adventurous things to do in Yogyakarta, this one is my favorite.
Climb Mount Merapi
Mount Merapi is located on the border between Central Java and Yogyakarta. This is one of many active volcano in Indonesia. If you are lucky, sometimes you can see the lava coming out from the top. The government will close the place for public when they detect potential eruption. When the Mount Merapi is calm and safe to explore, you can hike, climb and camp at Mount Merapi. If you are not a local, it is prudent to find a guide who will accompany you in mountain climbing. Another way to explore Mount Merapi is by taking a jeep tour.
Hike the Pine Forest (Hutan Pinus Pengger)
The hike is pretty easy compared to Kalibiru National Park. Here, you can enjoy pine trees, a view from a look out point and have an instagram moment with an owl. Best time to visit Hutan Pinus Pengger is in the morning if you want to capture best picture.
Watch the sunrise the Borobudur temple
Watching the sunrise over the Borobudur temple is probably the best way to enjoy this magnificent Buddhist temple. Imagine having this place all for yourself before all the tourists show up. Being a night owl, I totally missed this experience. By the the time I showed up at the entrance gate, the place had already crowded. The experience was still wonderful. Climbing all those steps to reach to the top of the temple. The place is massive and beautiful at the same time. No wonder it is listed under UNESCO world heritage site.
Find your destiny in Alun- alun
Alun- alun is a city square/ downtown park in Yogyakarta where people can enjoy a night out. You can find many cafes that sell authentic local food with outdoor seating. You sit on the ground, have a dinner while a street musician serenade you. It has that romantic atmosphere. Here, you can also rent a decorated Beetle Volkswagen bike. No engine inside this Beetle volkswageen, so you have to pedal your way around the alun-alun. If you want to completely immerse in the culture, why not try your luck in Alun-Alun. According to local folklore, if you are able to navigate your way between the two Banyan trees while both of your eyes are blindfolded then you will receive a good fortune. I tried it and successfully navigated my way thru it. I guess we shall see if the luck is on my side.
Explore Indrayanti Beach
There is so much crowd during holiday season and weekend. If you want to enjoy the beach all for yourself, visit during off shoulder season or weekday. Better yet, stay at one of the cottages on the beach. Here you can easily find restaurants and cafes along the beach that serve fresh seafood.
Walk around Prambanan Temple
This Hindu temple is a masterpiece. It is the most beautiful Hindu temple in Indonesia. While walking around the temple is not really an adventurous things to do in Yogyakarta, I’m sure you will find the story behind this masterpiece quite interesting.
Try a local delicacy
Trying a local delicacy while you are traveling in a foreign country is an adventure itself and a good way to get yourself accustomed to the culture. The question is, will you dare to try anything? How about grasshopper? If you do, Yogya is a place to try a grilled grasshoppers.