Top 10 things to do in Yogjakarta

Yogjakarta (also commonly referred to as Jogjakarta) is my favourite Indonesian city. Despite a population of over 500,000 people it still feels like a small town. It has a wonderful historical centre, the Kraton, around which are located some great restaurants, cheap relaxing hotels with pools (mandatory for the afternoon heat), and unlike most Indonesian cities, it is easy to walk around. Not that you get much chance to do so with the Becak (trickshaw) and Ojek (motorbike) riders enticing you to take a ride and let them do the work.

Surviving the Wet Season in Java, Indonesia.

Travelling in the wet season in Java (from November to March) is not recommended by most guide books. Roads do get flooded, and travel plans may be have to be altered. However like the children excitedly, albeit somewhat dangerously, playing on the flooded road pictured above, it can be enjoyable and a great time to travel. And with weather patterns changing globally, you never know what to expect whatever season you travel in!

Sunrise at the Bromo Caldera. Gunung Bromo, Java.

The caldera at Mt Bromo in Java is a vulcanologists paradise. Four active volcanoes are located close together in a beautiful and easy to access location. A short journey by public transport from Probolinggo, or via bike from Malang (see this blog), and you are in Cemora Lawang, perched on the very edge of the caldera crater.

Riding onto the Ash Plains of the Bromo Caldera. Java

I needed to get to the volcanic caldera at Bromo, in the far east of Java. There were plenty of tours, but I had talked to others who had been cheated, abandoned at out of the way hotels far from Bromo, and generally suffered in cramped conditions on arranged mini buses out of both Jakarta and Jogjakarta. The closest city to Bromo, Probolinggo, has a particularly nasty reputation as the place to be ripped off in, and I wanted to avoid it. So I set up my own, more manic, trip to the caldera.