Every morning, when i go to my office, i see three big mountain in the north side of Yogyakarta, Merapi Mountain, Merbabu and Sumbing Mountain. That always amaze me, how the God create so many mountain in Java, Indonesia , yet the island is still being the most densely population in the world. The people have their own wisdom to live between the dangerous of the nature.
Merapi is the closest mountain, soaring about 9000 feet this mountain is the most active volcano in Indonesia. Every one or two years the volcano will erupt, produce so many lava and ashes. However, the people still live and cultivating the land surround this dangerous volcano.
In ordinary day, this mountain will look tranquil and show its beautiful scenery. We can climb into the top and it’s not so difficult. This volcano has at least six hiking trail from easy to difficult level.
On the south slope Merapi has two hills that cover the small beautiful town named Kaliurang from the eruption caused by volcano activity. Kaliurang is famous as a resting place in the colonial period. The temperature is quite low, and the situation is relax, serene and being a favorite place to spend the weekend for Yogyakarta people. Until now, we can see old style house which built more than 70 years ago. Kaliurang town is about 25 kilometers from the downtown of Yogyakarta. People usually go with their own vehicle or by public transportation spend around 5000 – 8000 IDR.
Kaliurang has their own traditional food. It called Jadah Tempe. Sticky rice with sweetened tempe (made from soy). We can easily find this food in the food stall or tourist spot in Kaliurang.
In the east side of Kaliurang, there are interesting spot where the two major rivers confluence. The river used to flow of lava when Merapi is exploding. The place called Kali Kuning (Yellow River). The most beautiful scene of Merapi can shoot with camera from this place.
When the volcano start to erupt, crater of Merapi produce giant ashes called ‘Wedhus Gembel” and the ashes down from the peak and clean up all the trees in surround. People move from the slop to the Yogyakarta city to make sure they’re safe. Many people injured and killed when Merapi being angry.
The most devastating eruption in last 5 years happen in 2010 when Yogyakarta covered by the volcanic ashes. 2 million meters cubic of ashes, dust and volcanic sand diffused for hundreds kilometers.
Finish with the mountain, don’t forget to find the beautiful scenery of Yogyakarta’s beach. There are so many type of beach that lies in the south part of Yogyakarta. The most famous beach in Yogyakarta is Parangtritis. People believe that in Parangtritis has their own kingdom with the cruel queen controlling all part of south Java beach. They believe that they can’t go to south beach wear blue or green clothes. The queen will take them by tremendous waves and the disappear body won’t found.
Parangtritis lies about 28 kilometers from the Yogyakarta city. We can easily reach this beach with motorcycle or by public transportation. Parangtritis has few part named according their usefulness. Parangkusumo is the most sacral place. Earlier kings of Yogyakarta meditated in this place to meet with queen of south sea to ask for help in times of disaster or war.
Not so many people know that Yogyakarta has beautiful white sand beaches. Lies in the southeast part of Yogyakarta, there are several pristine magnificent white sand beach. The beaches is in the territory of Gunungkidul regency. Admittedly it’s not so easy to reach this part. We can go by motorcycle for 1.5 hours or by public transportation from Wonosari, the capital of Gunungkidul Regency.
Here some famous white sand beach in Gunungkidul area (marked with black shadow in the map).