Originally, I plan staying at a more posh, boutique-type EDU Hostel. Their website is very enticing and they offer cheap rates for budget traveler like me. They also have free breakfast. Quiet a steal really. But things change when I entered the famous Gang II of Sosrowijayan St. Sosrowijayan St is the Pha Ngu Lao and Khao San Road of Jogja.
first night in Jogja
After parting ways with the Indonesian family I met in Gambir station, I tried to explore Sosrowijayan St. in lieu of my search for a cheap Mt Bromo-Denpasar tours. The plan is to book my Bromo-Denpasar tour before heading to my hostel – which is a little far from the area.
I may look Indonesian to them – but with my backpack and my camera – again, my cover is compromised. Few men approached me, trying to offer their travel tour packages – in full Indonesian Bahasa dialect. Kala kasi talaga nila Indonesian ako. Haha.
Based on research, these are the few reliable travel companies that offer great deals on my chosen leg (Jogja-Bromo-Denpasar) – Cecko Trans, Simple tours and Sorso tours. The first two agencies are located next to each other in Gang II area. While Sosro is located near Malioboro Inn.
Upon entering Gang II, different travel agencies and ‘anda’ (guesthouses) will welcome you. Bike rentals, internet café, money charger will also join the welcome party. It's called the international village for obvious reasons that the area houses different people from different countries.
Signs of Cecko and Simple tours are hard to miss when you’re in the alley. I first checked Simple tours but it was too crowded with tambay. I walked a little more and saw the office of Cecko Trans. After talking to the guy in charge, I booked myself one slot for Jogja-Bromo-Denpasar package for 350,000IDR. This includes the following:
- Private transportation from Jogja to Probolinggo to Cemaro Lawang – 13hrs (with stops)
- Overnight stay with breakfast in Cemaro Lawang (shared room)
- Jeep transfers to Mt. Penanjakan and Mt. Bromo
- Private transportation from Cemaro Lawang to Probolinggo to Denpasar, Bali – 10 hrs (with necessary stops)
In dealing with Mt Bromo tours, make sure to ask if the ‘jeep transfer’ is included in the package or not. So you won’t be charge again in Probolinggo for the jeep transfer (100,000IDR), unless you want to walk all the way to Mt. Penanjakan and to Mt. Bromo. Other backpackers had this dilemma when they realized that jeep transfers were not included in their tickets – when they pay the same amount as mine. I paid directly to the travel agency, while they pay through a third party.
After settling my Bromo package, I exited the office. Just in front the Cecko trans, I saw Anda Losmen. Because I told the Indonesian family I met that I had reservation in Anda Losmen, I tried enquiring their rooms. Good thing, they had one single, fan room with private bath for 35,000IDR – I got excited about the price and checked the room – it’s very basic. But it has free WIFI. I love being basic and I love free WIFI – so I took the room, 70,000IDR for 2nights. My budget is 60,000IDR per night. Yes, may pang KFC na ako. Life is great.
right in front of Cecko Tours
35,000IDR = 175.00Php per night
Talk about the room being basic, it has one outlet. I had four essential lifeless gadgets to charge (one camera, one mp3, one cell phone for roaming, one for local use). Not to mention the fan in the room. The price I had to pay. Haha.
One of the attendants of Anda Losmen was kind enough to accompany me buy an adapter. We took the short cut and walked the narrow alleys of Gang II area.
newly painted walls in one of the alleys
I then decided to change my dollars bills to rupiah in an authorized money changer near Garuda Inn, it's along Malioboro St.
my first million in Jogja
Before calling it a day, I leisurely walked the streets of Malioboro. It’s famous for batik and the likes. Souvenir items and other Indonesian crafts are being sold here. There’s also a nearby shopping mall in the area.