5 REASONS TO STAY IN GUNUNGKIDUL
One Day Won't Ever Be Enough
After paying a visit to Malioboro, the Royal Palace of Yogyakarta, Water Castle, and Prambanan, it's time to pack and head to Gunungkidul. Start by watching sunrise from above the sea of mists at Kediwung Peak or Mangunan, then continue with a photo session at Hutan Pinus Mangunan, moving on to Cave Tubing Gua Pindul, raft to Sri Gethuk Water Fall, and enjoying brown rice as lunch at Lesehan Pari Gogo. Done with all that, check-in at a local inn to store your baggage and take a little rest, as in the afternoon you'll head to Pok Tunggal Beach to watch sunset. When night comes, have dinner at Bakmi Jawa "Success" Pak Pur or Sate Ayam Cak Syarif before you head back to the inn.
The day after, more fun adventures have been waiting for you. There's Jomblang Cave with its ancient forest and "light of heaven", off-road drive to the lighthouse at Pantai Baron, snorkel at Nglambor Beach, to rock climbing at Siung Beach. It can also do you no wrong to relax at Gunungkidul's exotic beaches, such as Drini Beach and Pulang Syawal Beach, or most commonly known as Indrayanti Beach.
Want more? Come, extend your stay to another night in Gunundkidul! There are a bunch of tourism attractions that you've yet to see, like Gunung Nglanggeran, Gunung Gambar, Banyunibo Water Fall, Kosakora Hill, and Kalisuci Cave Tubing.
While offering flexibility to explore the various tourism attractions, staying in Gunungkidul is also fun. Here are 5 reasons to stay in Gunungkidul.
1. Staying in Gunungkidul is Affordable
Most of the lodgings in Gunungkidul are located within the town of Wonosari, or just near the seashore. The advantage of staying in the town is that, among others, you can easily access 24-hour minimarkets, clean water, more restaurant options, and it's relatively easier to reach other tourism attractions (aside from beaches). If you're careful when choosing, you'd get clean, comfortable lodging at reasonable price. Wisma Joglo Samiaji for example, offers fan/AC rooms at Rp125,000 - Rp275,000 for 2 persons. Another option is Casa Meira Gunungkidul, a charming guest house with a secret garden, offered for rent in whole at Rp600,000 (for 4-6 persons).
2. Culinary in Gunungkidul is More Exotic
Another pleasing thing to try in Gunungkidul is the culinary. Words have it that this is exactly where the famous bakmi Jawa (Javanese-style noodle) came from. Bakmi Jawa "Success" Pak Pur tastes even better when combined with the hot, spicy chicken rica-rica. You'd also have to try brown rice and the tasty green chili soup at Lesehan Pari Gogo, served in small plates. Just an advice, don't hesitate to take the dishes served; just finish the whole plate or take home the leftover 'cause the price won't be too much of a difference. Another distinct culinary of Gunungkidul is tiwul, made of cassava and served as a substitute for rice. When it comes to tiwul, Thiwul Yu Tum is the champion. Pssst, Gunungkidul also has extreme culinaries, such as fried grasshoppers and Ungkrung (teakwood caterpillar). Try only if you dare to.
3. Life in Gunungkidul is More Relaxed
This is the most pleasing aspect of Gunungkidul. Here, it feels as if time stands still. You can sit relaxed all day long or strolling around the quiet streets to some beaches (except during holiday seasons).
4. The Air in Gunungkidul is Cleaner
Nothing is more pleasing than breathing clean air. Gunungkidul is blessed with numerous forests; even the town of Wonosari ('wono' is a Javanese word meaning 'woods') still has many teakwood forests. When the weather is bright, it's very easy to find clear blue sky in Gunungkidul.
5. Traffic Jam Along Jl. Jogja - Wonosari During Holiday
Every holiday (Eid Al-Fitr and New Year), ten thousands of tourists from Jogja will come altogether to Gunungkidul. It's not a wonder that Jl. Jogja-Wonosari, the main route to Gunungkidul, will be covered by traffic jam since morning to noon. As night is coming, it's the return route that will be crowded.
Instead of wasting your time for nothing in traffic jam, it's better if you depart from Jogja in the afternoon, an then spending the night in Gunungkidul. The next morning, when other tourists have just departed from Jogja, you'd already be having fun in cave tubing at Pindul Cave, relaxing in the beautiful beaches, and so on. In the evening, don't go straight home, or you'll be trapped in traffic jam. Extend your stay to another night in Gunungkidul. You can return home the morning after, when the streets are less crowded.
Text KIRANA SAGA Photography JAYA TRI HARTONO, DANIEL ANTONIUS KRISTANTO Translation WIDIANA MARTININGSIH
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