Silhouette of Buddha from the steps of Borobudur
1. Getting around is the hardest part of travelling when you are in developing countries. So, the only way to survive is get a driver throughout your stay there or, alternatively, when you hop on to a taxi make sure it is 2-way. Because, except for Malioboro Street, it is virtually impossible for you to get a taxi anywhere in Jogja. You can trust me on that, as I was literally stranded on Parangtritis beach with just 5 hours between me and my flight back home.
2. Jogja people are generally helpful and forthcoming in being your tour guide and/or your driver. That also means, they rely heavily on tip from foreigners as their primary source of income. So, a general rule of thumb would be tip anywhere between IDR 10,000 – 20,000 and you are safe.
3. Street food is really cheap. You can easily have a bowl of Soto Ayam for IDR 7,000. Popular desserts would be Es Teler, for example, which is basically a concoction of fruits served in coconut milk. With the sweltering heat, a ice-cold dessert after a meal would be refreshing.
Sunset at Prambanan Temples
4. Like most Asian countries, haggling is a MUST. You generally can make a purchase for half of the initial price or even less, at times. So, you really have to master the art to survive.
5. People are persistent when they want you to buy something from them. You have to be a bit thick-skinned to get them off your back. Or, alternatively, you can shove them with a pack of cigarettes and they will leave you alone. That trick worked for me inspite of the fact that bribing my way into Borobudur to catch sunrise didn’t.
All images belong to Solosingaporean unless otherwise credited for. Please give credit where it’s due.