Yogyakarta or Jogja has been one of my family’s favorite destination to go for vacation. I couldn’t remember how many times we have visited this city and this time, we decided to explore a bit of the edge of the city from Magelang, Kulon Progo, to Imogiri. There are a lot of new spots around those area which are currently happening in social media. Are you curious where did we go? Keep reading!
After around 7-hours road trip, we finally arrived in Jogja. Before going to the city, we dropped by Kalibiru, a pretty cool destination in Kulon Progo, Yogyakarta. I’ve visited there a couple of years ago, but this was the first time my family went there. We were all so tired already, but excited to explore this place that people said have a very beautiful sunset view.
Kalibiru National Park, Kulon Progo
Kulon Progo is a district located on the west part of Yogyakarta which became popular since a couple of years ago because it has a lot of new tourism spots around the area. Kalibiru is one of them and located in the Menoreh Hill. We arrived there in the afternoon. There weren’t a lot of people as we went there on the week days. If you go there during weekends or public holiday, you would expect a very crowded and long queue on the area.
After taking a few photos and enjoying the scenery, we decided to continue our trip to Jogja. We tried not to go back too late because the route would be a bit scary at the evening. We stayed at one local guest house in Jogja.
Gereja Ayam, Magelang
On the next day, we decided to explore Magelang area (FYI, Magelang is part of Central Java, not Yogyakarta. But yes, it’s indeed pretty near to Jogja city). We went to the infamous Borobudur Temple in the morning as my cousins haven’t ever went there. I’ve been there a couple of times, so I decided to just stay in Manohara Restaurant with my Mom and had breakfast there and looked forward for the next destination.
Did you watch AADC 2 movie? Haha, I know right. This movie was such a hit back in the days. There are a lot of new spots in Jogja and its surrounding that became popular because of this movie. One of them is this ‘Gereja Ayam’ or Chicken Church, in Bukit Rhema, Magelang. This place is located not too far from Borobudur, or around 45-km away from Jogja.
Although the name is Chicken Church or ‘Gereja Ayam’, the shape of the building is actually a dove, not a chicken haha (It indeed looks like a chicken with a crown when you see it). And although it is named as ‘church’, it’s actually a prayer house for everyone which means for any religion, not only for the Catholic or Christian people. Interesting, right?! On the inside of the building, there is this big auditorium and a lot of small cabins for praying on the basement floors.
Finished exploring the basement area, we went up to the 4th floor, which is the most popular photo spot in this place. We need to take a queue number and wait until our number is called to go upstairs, as the area isn’t so big to accommodate a lot of tourists and people who come and visit the place.
This church is located in the middle of forest and close by to another infamous tourism spot, which is Puthuk Setumbu where you can watch the sunrise view from even higher hill. I promise I’ll go there one day! Ah, almost forgot to mention, there is also a cafetaria on the 2nd floor of the Chicken Church building where you can take a rest and have some coffees or snacks while enjoying the view.
Kebun Buah Mangunan, Bantul
Next, we went to Kebun Buah Mangunan, or Mangunan Fruit Garden in Imogiri district, Bantul, on the other side of Jogja. It was actually quite far from Magelang, around 2-hours car ride, but we were having so much fun together with the family squad hehe. This place is actually a garden which is (again) located on the top of the hills where you are supposed to be able to view sunrise or sunset view from the top. There were a lot of street snacks sellers around the area, and you can enjoy snacking while enjoying the view.
As I mentioned above, I’ve been visiting Jogja so many times. But just realized that somehow, I haven’t got the chance to visit Candi Prambanan area. So, we decided to go there on our 3rd day here.
Candi Ratu Boko
Once we arrived in Candi Prambanan, we took a quick visit to Candi Ratu Boko first by taking shuttle bus provided there. It is located around 10-mins away from Candi Prambanan. The first thing that captured me about Candi Ratu Boko was how the enormous the area was. The main site is located right at the center before a huge green fields. There are numerous half destroyed shrines on the other side of the fields. Candi Ratu Boko itself is an ancient Hindu destroyed temple on the top of a solitary hill. We can also see the fantastic views of Candi Prambanan and the countryside around it.
Going back to the main sites, we explored the Candi Prambanan area which is the tallest and the most beautiful Hindu temple that is legendary. Just like many other place in Indonesia, Candi Prambanan is also believed to have its own legend of the infamous Roro Jonggrang story. Unline Candi Borobudhur which is a Buddhist temple, Candi Prambanan is Hindu sites which consist of three Hindu’s Trimurti, which are: Candi Siwa, Candi Brahma, and Candi Wisnu. There are other hundreds of temples as well around the area surrounding the main temple. We walked around in a breezy weather before suddenly a stormy rain drenched, which forced us to go back early because none of us actually brought any umbrella.
We went back home on the next day and it was a fun trip!