Although I like Yogya, I prefer the countryside. Parangtritis beach seemed to be a good way of spending time outside the city and see the Indian Ocean. Parangtritis beach is no ordinary beach, it is the realm of ghosts and goddesses, it is the realm of Queen Ratu Kidul or Nyai Loro Kidul, the Queen of the South Sea.
Every year the Sultan of Yogyakarta send offerings in a beachside ceremony called “Labuhan” to keep the Queen happy. Still, legend says that those who go for a swim, will be taken by the Queen or one of her ministers to her underwater kingdom never to return.
Parangtritis beach is the beach area for local people in Yogya. It is certainly not comparable with for example Bali but it's a good day out. As I had my hotel south of the city center, it was easy to find the road to Parangtritis. All I had to do was cycling south, no junctions.
It was a very pleasant short ride. Apparently I had to pay entrance to Parangtritis but no one stopped me, so I cycled into the little town which was now on Monday, no more then a deserted ghost town. Still, during the weekends it must be really busy. There were hotels and guesthouses and plenty of restaurants offering not only food but also toilets and showers.
The beach was very wide. From afar I could see the waves coming in. It was certainly too dangerous (as the board says) for a swim here. Despite the lack of tourists, there were some people selling fruits at the beach but most stalls were deserted.
I went on the beach, sat there for a while enjoying the cool wind from the Indian Ocean and the big waves hitting the beach. It was surely dangerous for swimming. I had a cup of tea in a small restaurant and cycled out of town.
I didn't want to take the same way back, so I took a junction. I could have gone to Imogiri, where the Sultans of Yogya have their tombs. However, I changed my mind to explore some other areas south of Yogya. Not that it was all exciting but it was very pleasant cycling through the padifields and small kampongs on the way.
And although Parangtritis is only 20 km (not 27 as some maps suggest) or so from Yogya, by the time I was back in town, I had cycled 68 km. It had been a well spend day.
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My favorite city in Java, full of culture and plenty to see, and not crazy busy as for example Bandung, Surabaya or Jakarta.
The back road to Borobudur
One of the nicest roads to cycle is not the main road to Magelan but a small back lane, here's more about that lovely little road:
The Dieng Plateau does not get the visitors the area deserves to see. There are several small temples to visit. This plus the magnificent scenery and lakes make the plateau a well spend day out of Yogyakarta.