Gunung Kidul Yogyakarta Reviews
We came back for more Nov 29, 2011
I wrote about this place few months back about our first visit to GK.
Vanessa and I have been telling our friend about the outdoor adventures activities this place can offer since our first visit in October 2011. We have 4 other friends whom decided to come along with us this time around.
Our first trip to Gunung Kidul was short but we both really enjoyed ourselves very much. We did cave tubing in Pidul Cave and Caving in Gua Senen (we were the first tourist who were brought into the cave).
I am going to share with you what we have done in our 2nd trip to GK.
Our first activity for the day is river tubing in Gunung Pindul.
We were told the river is about 10km long but due to the limited time we have, we only did 2km. Along the way we did cliff jumping and having fun at the waterfall. I have to say that the guide there are very professional , they always make sure that you are safe.
In the afternoon, we thought that it was late and kinda impossible to carry out the second activity. Do we suggested to watch the sun set. Kupiyo and team suggested we do canyoning while watching sunset. We thought that was awesome. While waiting for them to prepare for the activity, we enjoying ourself with the sunset view. Mike was so excited about it do as the rest of us. No doubt, it was really really fun. Now we are looking forward to challenge a higher waterfall on our next visit.
As we have another activity on the next day and there is no accommodation available at the area, the outdoor adventure team made 3 camps for us at Siung beach. We spent the night talking to the local people and had a wonderful Javanese dinner at the beach.
Our 3rd activity started at 9am in the morning. We have been eyeing at this cave since our first trip after looking at the photo the staff shown to us.
This cave was discovered by the team leader. Like he said, it was a mystery! He dreamed about this place and he and team started to search for the cave. It was discovered in 2011 May and it look exactly like what he saw in his dream. (He also claimed that he want to have his wedding held in the cave : )
To enter into the cave is not easy. 45 minutes bumpy ride in a Jeep; 30 minutes trekking (across 3 hills) ; 20 meters abseiling from the cliff ; DIVE 3 meters to get into the cave (due to the time that we went in was wet season and the cave was filled with mineral water).
The moment we lift up our head from the water, we were surprised how big the pool that was created. It was as huge as a swimming pool and we were also been told it was as deep as 5 to 10 meters.
We swam for about 15 meters to get to the limestone, climb up the limestone and waited for all our friends to be sent in one by one. The water almost covered up the entrance of the cave, that’s also the reason why we have to dive in. The cave was really amazing. Guess what? We were the first tourists who get invited to enter the cave! The team leader told me that few months back the media actually requested to film the cave after they saw it from his facebook but he refused to bring them in as he is afraid that with more people know about the place, it might destroy (dirty) the beauty of the cave.
On our way back from the cave we have to climb the bamboos instead of abseiling). Trust me, you will definitely like it… it was really cool!
Other activities available in GK:
- Rock climbing
- Watching local people picking seaweed in the beach
- Bird Watching
- Bike Tour
- ATV rides
- You may not be able to find anyone who know about the adventure activities in Yogyakarta City ( we spent about 2 days looking around in the city, finally we were introduce to a person who were one of the outdoor adventure team member. We make friends with the adventure team members and this is how we make our 2nd trip happened)
- The adventure activities prices are not expensive but the transportation to Gunung Kidul
- It is impossible to carry out more than 3 activities a day due to the limited resources and advance booking is required. Currently they cater to more local tourist than international.
- We managed to get 3 contacts during our 2nd trip. Backpackers who are interested may contact:
- http://www.facebook.com/#!/Kupiyo (the team)
- http://www.facebook.com/#!/katamatadolandolan (The agency)
- http://www.facebook.com/#!/KALINGGAADVENTURE (The agency)
Please do negotiate the price with them before you get there. Do note that due to the unforeseen weather changes, not all activities are available at all time.
I will upload photos from another device. Do drop me a message if you would like to find out more about the place.
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Untouched gems in Yogyakarta not even known by local Oct 29, 2011
It was the Borobudur temple that attracted me 2 years ago.Last month, i finally have a chance to visit yogyakarta.
I am not a sight-seeing person, most of the time I would just rest and relax, do things at my own pace.
Most people think that, Yogyakarta only have temple to offer, so as the local.
I did a little bit of research online, I found nothing other then those temples. But I want to have some outdoor activities rather than just visiting the temple. 2 weeks before my trip, while I was watching amazing race on axn channel, guess what? They went to Yogyakarta! Their first stop is at gunung kidul and Gua Jomblang is their first challenge. It was so cool!!! So I told myself- this is something I am looking for.
I was lucky enough to found a few local website which recommend some sports and outdoor activities in gunung kidul. So we decided to look for a travel agent in the city once we arrived.
To our surprise, 95% of the local people doesnt knows that this place exist! And none of the travel agency offer any tour to Gunung Kidul. So we tried to rent a car and hire a driver to get us there, guess what? Even the driver showing no confirdent that he knows the way to those places that we wanna go? We were so upset and think that we might not be able to go to Gunung Kidul.
While having an Ice cold tea at the stall at the roadside, we started having conversation with some of the local, this guy, whom work in one of the LOSMEN (guest house) told us that not many people in the city know about this place including those drivers. Then he started telling us what he had experience in. He was trekking in Gunung Kidul and lost his way out, one of the villages actually invited him to stay with his family. The house is located right at the beach and the view was nice. He then told us that the people there are very hardworking, friendly and always happy eventhough their lcoation is kinda isolated. The more he told us about Gunung Kidul, it makes us really want to make it happen, but how????? He then bring us to meet up with some of his friends who ever visited the place and share with us about their trip in Gunung Kidul.
Finally, the next evening, we bump into this guy again! He introduce us to one of his friend who is running a restaurant in Yogyakarta international Village (in Gang 2). He was surprised that we know about this place! He is actually belongs to one of the adventure team member, so he will help us to contact the person in charge see if they are able to arrange some activites for us. He was so happy when we came to him and start showing us some of his photos taken in gunung Kidul....... bla bla bla..... After 2 hours, we finally got a confirmation from the person incharge that we can go to Gunung Kidul for those activities tomorrow. Hurray!
I am going to tell you what i did in all my photos.
if you are an outdoor person and keen to go to gunung Kidul, there are few things you may want to take note/know:
- Gunung Kidul is about 2 hours from Yogyakarta City
- Advance booking require for caving and canyoning
- Maximum activities you are able to do is 3 in a day
- this place is also called The Thousands Mountain
- there are more than 46 beaches and 1000 caves in this area
with only about 14 are open to public and more than 800 caves undiscovered yet
- the local people speak little english, but the outdoor adventure group that we engage speak understandable english.
we spent a wonderful 2 days 1 night with the local people and volunteer to help them to promote the ecotourism in that area. We are currently helping them to setup a website so that more people can know about this place.
Please contact me if you need more information about Gunung Kidul or find them on facebook - Kalingga Outbound Adventure.
Part of the Gunung Kidul, Yogyakarta travel blog