UrbanLegends: Simon Proudman and Yogjakarta

Simon Proudman is an Australian travel blogger whose passion lies with far flung places, so that’s what he named his blog! From Papua New Guinea to Turkmenistan, Simon has seen parts of the globe that many of us have only heard of.

He has a travel addiction, loves history, active volcanoes, music and local food and beer. His travels to obscure parts of the world are detailed in his blog, www.farflungplaces.net. He has also published an Amazon bestseller about his journeys around Turkemenisatan, and is writing a new book about Vanuatu.

Simon on his bike near Mt Bromo volcano. East of Yojakarta on Java.

Simon on his bike near Mt Bromo volcano. East of Yojakarta on Java.

What is your favourite city in the world, and why?

Yogjakarta, Indonesia. For its food, people and the fact that it is close to both the most serene site I have ever visited, Borobudur, and the active Volcano Merapi.

When did you first visit the city, and what was your experience like?

2014, I was welcomed with an earthquake that shook me from side to side in my bed.

Mount Merapi volcano

Mount Merapi volcano

What is your idea of a perfect day in this city?

After a lazy breakfast of fresh fruit and tea from a stall in the Prawirotaman area I would walk to the Kraton. This is the old part of the city, surrounded by city walls with four tiny entrances. I would wander around the tranquil streets with its old homes, before diving into one of the many restaurants hidden away in a side street for lunch. I would then catch an Ojek (motorbike with rider) to the Volcano Merapi, passing through lush countryside before going for a long hike around its base, clambering over rivers and old lava tubes, before returning to the city in the evening and heading to a hawker market to grab some Satay and rice, along with a nice cool Bintang beer to relax with.
An entrance to the Kraton, the walled city of Yogjakarta

An entrance to the Kraton, the walled city of Yogjakarta

What is your favourite place to go/thing to do in this city?

It would be the Borobudur temple. Not technically in the city but only about a 45 minute journey from the centre. A truly magnificent and serene place, at least it is first thing in the morning!

What’s your favourite place to eat in this city, and what dish is your favourite?

I love the Wayung, street markets that appear on the pavements after 5PM. You can enjoy a wide variety of Indonesian food at extremely cheap prices. My favourite would always be the fresh Chicken Satay, dripping with peanut sauce, and rice.

If you could dedicate a song to this city, which one would it be?

10:15 on a Saturday night, by The Cure. Brings back memories of good food, drinks and friends late at night in Yogja.

Do you have any insiders tips for visitors to this city?

Get to the gates of Borobudur at 5:30AM. It is not supposed to open until 6 AM but you are often allowed in early. The tour groups arrive at 8AM so you get two hours of tranquility before the onslaught of megaphones and coach loads of tourists.
Temples at Borobudur


Is there anything you don’t like about this city? (be honest!)

The traffic can be a bit crazy. Trying to cross a road when motorbikes are massing in groups on both sides of the road (including going the wrong way) can be a bit daunting.
Would you like to read more? Connect via social media:

Click here to find out more about Simon’s book Turkmenistan: Adventures on the Silk Road

Comments (6)

  • Andrew Boland Reply

    ive heard nothing but good things about Yogjakarta! another on the list! Looking forward to reading about Turkmenistan!

    July 19, 2015 at 7:51 am
    • Tim Blight Reply

      Turkmenistan is an intriguing place!! And yeah, definitely add Yogjakarta to the list 🙂

      July 19, 2015 at 8:37 am
  • Andrew Boland Reply

    also Tim – the link to the blog doesnt appear to be correct. tried a couple of variations with no success 🙁

    July 19, 2015 at 7:52 am
    • Tim Blight Reply

      Thanks for that – now seems to be working 🙂

      July 19, 2015 at 8:37 am
  • Agness Reply

    Unfortunately me and Cez did not manage to visit Yogjakarta when we were travelling around. I’ve heard the food was amazing there and people even more hospitable! Well done man for amazing trip and so many adventures. You’re a true inspiration for many! Love!

    July 25, 2015 at 5:17 pm
    • Tim Blight Reply

      Yes, Yogjakarta is a great city, and Simon really knows how to enjoy it!! Thanks for reading 🙂

      July 26, 2015 at 4:18 am

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