Wednesday, October 23, 2013

How to Go to Prambanan from Yogyakarta

Prambanan is a complex of ancient temples dating back to the 10th century when Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms still ruled Java Island, Indonesia. It is located at the city limits of Yogyakarta and is thus very easy to reach from here. Coming from Yogyakarta city center, the Prambanan temple complex is the same direction as Yogyakarta Airport. Both are northeast of the city and are easily accessible from the Yogyakarta-Solo highway.

Before anything else, know that to get inside the Prambanan temple complex, foreign travelers will need to pay an entrance fee of 170,000 IDR (17 USD), independent of any transport costs.

Prambanan, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
The main set of temples in the Prambanan complex: Loro Jonggrang

Here are three transport options to get to Prambanan from Yogyakarta.

Option 01: Tour

You can join a tour offered by the hotels and travel agencies scattered around Sosrowijayan and Prawirotaman areas. Costs straddle a wide range of prices depending on inclusions and exact itinerary. For example, the hostel I stayed at, EDU Hostel, offers an afternoon tour of Prambanan and nearby Plaosan temples. It costs 75,000 IDR (7.5 USD) covering the shuttle to get you there and back, total tour duration of five hours. If you are decided on taking a tour, best to shop around to get the best prices.

Related Post: It Started with an Old Photo of Prambanan

Option 02: Taxi

If you are a part of a group of two to four travelers and you want to DIY it, then hiring a taxi to take you from Yogyakarta to the Prambanan temple complex (and back) might be a good idea. According to Wikitravel, a return-trip may cost you 120,000 IDR (12 USD). Expect to be quoted a higher price, of course. Always, always negotiate.

Prambanan, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Another temple within the Prambanan complex. This is called Candi Sewu.

Option 03: Transjogja Bus

If you are a solo traveler like me, it is best to take the bus. The public air-conditioned bus service is called Transjogja. What is curious about Transjogja buses (and Transjakarta buses, too, in Indonesia's capital Jakarta) is that the doors are elevated. They are aligned with the elevated bus stops, which are like train platforms complete with barriers that accept your token.

To go to Prambanan, you will take Bus 1A. There are two bus stops along Malioboro close to the Sosrowijayan area. Coming from Prawirotaman, the nearest bus stop is along Jalan Jenderal Ahmad Yani outside Museum Benteng Vredeburg. It's a bit of a walk to get there. Best to hire a becak (autorickshaw) as soon as you see one. The one-way fare is 3,000 IDR, about 30 cents US. (I know, right?!)

Related Post: It Started with an Old Photo of Prambanan

The bus ride will take about an hour (or more during the busy hours of the city). You will pass by the Yogyakarta Airport before you get to your stop, which incidentally is the final stop for Bus 1A. The stop is in a market right by the Yogyakarta-Solo highway. Cross the highway and you come upon a fenced, quiet area with lots of trees. That is the Prambanan temple complex. Walk further up the road, past the ancient-looking arches, to get to the entrance by the car park.

Prambanan, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Details on Lara Jonggrang, the main set of temples in Prambanan

Aside from the main set of temples of Prambanan called Loro Jonggrang, make sure to walk around the quiet grounds, too. There are other temples here, like Candi Sewu, have been made safe and ready for visitors, which is not to say that reconstruction has stopped. It hasn't, not for Candi Sewu or for the main set of temples of Prambanan. Others still lie in ruins.

To get back to Yogyakarta, simply head back to the market outside the Prambanan temple complex and board the bus heading back to the city.

Related Post: It Started with an Old Photo of Prambanan

I hope this simple guide helped you go to Prambanan from Yogyakarta. What option did you take and how was your experience?

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