6D5N Yogyakarta Hiking Trip On A Budget – <SGD$1000 ALL-IN! (Part 1)

For all trip-related posts, navigate here:

Part 1: Arrival @ Yogyakarta, Dinner @ Superman Restaurant, 2D1N Hiking

Part 2: Goa Jomblang (Heaven’s light), Goa Pindul (Cave tubing)

Part 3: Borobodur Temple, Nglinggo Tea Plantation, House of Ramiten, Malioboro Street


A friend of mine is heading back to Sarawak to further her studies. Us, being good friends, have decided to plan a trip together before she goes back for good (~3 years). We don’t know if she might find a boyfriend and get married in 2020, so it would be insurance to spend quality time now to go on a hiking trip together.

I’ve got to say that this trip was so tiring. Out of 5 nights, we had to wake up at 3am to catch different sunrises at different places. While typing this, it daunted upon me that we didn’t manage to catch a full sunrise on all the nights, despite being present at those places!

The first sunrise was supposed to be at the summit of Mount Merbabu, and we left our campsite at 3am to try and reach the summit. But we were too physically unfit to do so. LOL >_<. In the end, we had to stop at a savannah and chill there until the sun rose and there was decent sunlight for us to continue. Yay to hiking achievements.

The second sunrise ended up being so disappointing. We left our hotel at 3am to go to Borobodur Temple. By the time we reached there, it was flooded with ang mohs and Singaporeans like us.

Trying to capture the sunrise there was almost like when you’re a sardine packed in the MRT during peak hours, raising up your arms to find a handle to grab, but you give up on that thought because someone standing beside you will have to smell your armpits.

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Or, you could be that someone.

Complains aside, the trip was pretty awesome. I got to cancel another item off my bucket list and foster better relationships with my friends. Like literally, I can say that we’ve been through shit together. Kinda.

Day 1

We took Airasia this time because they had an ongoing promotion for flights to Indonesia. As we slowly arrive at Yogyakarta, we could see a few mountains above a bed of clouds.

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So near yet so far!

There is only 1 runway for landing at Yogyakarta airport, and our airplane was circling around for about 2 hours in mid air before we could land.

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We used Grab to take two taxis to our hotel from the airport. Bad decision because we had walk a big round before being able to meet up with our Grab driver. The airport does not allow Grab drivers to go to their pick up area to pick customers as it will disrupt the business of the transport services available at the airport.

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Our hotel was strategically located at the main area of Jogja and a stone’s throw away from Malioboro Street. Apparently this is the most happening street in the entire Jogja area. Even my grandma’s helper introduced this street to me when I told her that I will be going to Yogyakarta.

Had dinner at Superman Restaurant which was nearby our hotel. The entire street it was on radiated a hipster vibe! The street is populated with hostels and home-stay inns that provide accommodation for backpackers.

Day 2

We headed out early to reach the base camp of Mount Merbabu (Suwanting route), which was 1300 metres above sea level. Mount Merbabu is located beside the more well-known active volcano, Mount Merapi, which erupted just 1 month before our trip. We bought hiking insurance to cover us up to 3000m and above sea level, but fortunately our trip was not cancelled as our volcano is out of the 3km radius of Mount Merapi. Oh, and Mount Merbabu is dormant! The last eruption was eons ago.

After meeting up with our guide and porters, we started our hike with the welcoming arms of a 40~45 degree slope incline.

At that point, we were already thinking to ourselves, what have we signed up for?!

The journey from Base Camp to Pos 2 was extremely exhausting. Because I was a beginner to hiking, my knees couldn’t take the stress and I had some cramps when going from Pos 1 to 2.

The porters prepared Gudeg for us, which was a traditional dish of Yogyajakarta. It’s braised with coconut milk and brown sugar I presume, and from the pulp of jackfruit. Most comforting lunch in the mountains!

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Gudeg in the middle of a volcano

I initially wanted to turn back to Base Camp after reaching Pos 2. After having lunch, some stretching and motivation from my friends to keep going, I decided to continue the climb, resting whenever needed.

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Using the belay for steep inclines

Managed to climb to Pos 3 and our camp site despite being the slowest :p. Didn’t know why, but I felt less tired physically than the hike from base camp to Pos 2.

We were already above a bed of clouds before night came. The sunset was immensely picturesque!

Day 3

We woke up at 3am to have breakfast and head towards the summit to catch the sunrise. Unfortunately, we could not catch it and sat at a Savannah to rest for awhile before continuing to the summit.

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Mount Merapi opposite us, which erupted a month ago

We are finally 3,142m above sea level! How do I remember the volcano’s height so well? Cos it’s equivalent to π (pi)! Teehee 😀

After reaching the summit, we went down via Selo, which was an easier route that is taken by more people. On the way down, we greeted many fellow hikers. Our guide also helped other hikers along the way to climb up to the summit!

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Big steps for a shortie like me

Climbing down, although less tiring physically, is actually more difficult than climbing up. We had to go down on all fours and slide down some parts of the hike because the path was too slippery. It was very fun, though!

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At the base of a savannah.

Look how far up we were. And we still had another 2 hours or so to reach base camp!

We finally made it. I looked like a homeless person at the end of our hike hahahaha.

After our 2 day 1 night hike, we went back to our hotel to have dinner.


TLDR? Here’s a condensed version of my itinerary.

Day 1

Arrival at Yogyakarta @ 12.25pm (Delay ~2pm)

Walk around Malioboro Street

Dinner @ Superman Restaurant

Day 2

Head to Mount Merbabu Base Camp via Suwanting route

First day hiking:*

Base Camp –> Pos 1 (1.5 hours)

Pos 1 –> Pos 2 (3 hours)

Pos 2 –> Pos 3 (5 hours)

Reach camp site at 5.30pm, have dinner and sleep

Day 3

Second day hiking:*

Camp site –> Summit (4 hours)

Summit –> Base camp via Selo route

Dinner at Hotel’s restaurant

*Hiking duration is very dependent on individual’s fitness level. We look a lot more time than planned. Do your own training first!

Stay tuned for the other parts of my trip in future blog posts! I’ll be posting the other activities that I’ve done after the hike, and the expense breakdown of all items.

Miss Niao.

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Author: Miss Niao

Hello! I blog about financial matters and things that average people can do to have a better retirement. I want to inspire people to take control of their money and have a better understanding about it. If you are interested to know more, follow me @ missniao.wordpress.com! :)

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