Sunday, 13 October 2013

Yogyakarta - Flying There and Getting to Town

In search of an exotic and inexpensive place to spend our post-minionship days, Galen and I ventured into Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Yogyakarta, also known as 'Jogja', is in central Java, and very close to the legendary Borobudur and Prambanan temples, as the fiery Mount Merapi.

Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2

Tigerair Aeroplane

Tigerair is one of the few airlines that flies from Singapore to Yogyakarta's Adisucipto International Airport (JOG). The others are AirAsia, Lion Air and Garuda Indonesia. Silkair has recently started flying to Yogyakarta as well. Our tickets were bought during a Tigerair sale and cost SGD 260 all-in for both of us. Though the check-in at Changi Airport Terminal 2 was a bit of a helter-skelter (1 counter for 3 flights really?), the flight was very much on time for boarding.
Singapore passports and Indonesia immigration cards

Immigration cards were promptly distributed by the cabin crew after take-off. Galen and I are always very thankful that Singaporeans enjoy visa-free travels to many countries, including Indonesia. It is a 30-day maximum stay in Indonesia for holders of the Singapore passport. Visa on arrival in Indonesia cost USD 25 and there was a snaking queue at the tiny counter which we could proudly skip while holding our little red passports. We are proud to hail from  little red dot, with a little red passports that could bring us to many, many places!

Coastline of Java Island

You should request for a window seat at the left side of the plane (seat A) to enjoy the beautiful coastline of the Java Island. Many, many photo opportunities on board this flight- I mean how could you be sleeping in broad daylight right? This is one of the rare flights that I have taken in mid-day. The flights that I usually take are usually at unearthly hours in early mornings. This particular flight from Singapore to Yogyakarta was slightly more than 2 hours.

Yogyakarta Adisucipto International Airport

Upon arrival, watches have to be adjusted - Indonesia's time is 1 hour behind Singapore's. Yogyakarta's Adisucipto International Airport has nothing more than the bare essential. Once in the small arrival hall, keep to the left if you hold a foreign passport without a need for visa (like us); keep to the right if you require a visa on arrival. Immediately (and I really mean immediately) after the immigration counter is the belt to collect your luggage; and within 10 steps, we were out. Out to the main hustle bustle that one could appropriately term as "Indonesian".

Transjogja busstop

There were taxi counters and many airport staff right at the exit, but Galen suggested that we take a lil adventure to try out Yogyakarta's bus service- Transjogja - to get to Tigalima Homestay. To get to the bus station, walk through the underpass right in front of the arrival hall and turn left. The Transjogja bus station will be on the right, just across a small road.

Transjogja busstop- single trip card

A single trip on the Transjogja cost IDR 3,000, regardless of the distance travelled. In comparison, the flag-down rate of a taxi in Yogyakarta is IDR 5,500. The card is purchased from the staff at the entrance of the bus station. The single trip card has to be inserted at the gantry, while the regular Transjogja card has to be tapped at the reader before you can enter the bus stop.

Transjogja busstop- transjogja map and route

Bus 1A would take us to Jalan Affandi where Tigalima Homestay is. 1A is also the route to the main attractions in the town area of Yogyakarta, along Jalan Malioboro. A conductor announced the arrival of the bus and we were swiftly whisked into the bus, alongside the locals. Yogyakarta is a small town; the ride to town would take no more than 20 minutes.

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