Via Via Yogyakarta

When we were in Yogyakarta, we used a local agency to book all our activities, and it was brilliant. Via Via in Yogyakarta really enhanced our stay in the city and allowed us to discover Yogyakarta in unusual ways.

via via yogyakarta

We were staying at the Delta Homestay, just in the next street to Via Via, so it was very easy to find:

What is Via Via?

Via Via is a cafe, restaurant and tour centre in Yogyakarta. The first time we went it was to eat, and while the food was pleasant enough, there are much more authentic experiences to be had in Yogyakarta and much better prices too.

Though I will say that Via Via is a great place for a beer, as beer tends to be hard to come by and quite expensive in Muslim-orientated Yogyakarta.

But our main reason to visit Via Via was to book our tours. The tours that we did with Via Via were some of the best tours I’ve ever done anywhere.

Yogyakarta: Prambanan and the Hidden Temples

Via Via Background

Via Via is not a one-off shop in Yogyakarta; it is actually one of fifteen all around the world. It was started in 1995 by a group of Belgian friends who wanted to give back something to the communities where they were travelling.

They set up this company to employ local people, use local, sustainable products in the cafe and to offer eco-friendly tours to visitors. Part of the proceeds go to projects in the local community.

You can read more about the philosophy of Via Via on their homepage: ViaVia.com

Via Via Tours

If I had been staying in Yogyakarta for longer, there were many more tours offered by Via Via that I would have liked to have done. You can see a full list of their tours and prices here.

But as we had only limited time, we had to just choose a few:

Via Via Prambanan and the Hidden Temples

Prambanan and the Hidden Temples was the first tour that we did with Via Via and we loved it. We set off from their office early in the morning, each with a motorbike and driver, who drove us out of the city and through the countryside to some of the most amazing piles of rubble I’ve ever seen.

Prambanan

Each of the temples that we visited on this day was in the process of being painstakingly put back together volcanic rock by volcanic rock. The temples all dated from around the 9th century, yet had been buried in ash and lava for centuries. They have only been rediscovered during the last century and many are still being excavated.

One of our four drivers was also our guide, and when we arrived at each site, Mukhlas would tell us all about the history of the temple and what it was used for.

We felt like we were in good hands with our Via Via drivers and we thoroughly enjoyed discovering Prambanan and the Hidden Temples.

Read here the post: Prambanan and the Hidden Temples

Read here the post: Candi Sambisari

Via Via Jamu and Massage

We really fancied the Jamu excursion because it takes you to a local market where you can learn all about what the different herbs and spices are used for in the medicinal sense.

This time we were taken on the public bus to another part of town, where we visited the Jamu herbs market. Our Via Via guide was very good and she was able to tell us what all the different concoctions were used for in the market.

Jamu Herbs Tour - Yogyakarta

She told us about the history of Jamu medicine and explained why this traditional medicine is still used in Indonesia and especially in Yogyakarta.

After the market, we went to a local Jamu cafe where people can order a Jamu tea and drink it before continuing on their way. We also got to try the disgusting potions.

Afterwards we were supposed to go for a massage but I was not feeling well, so I wanted to go back to our hotel. Our guide called us a taxi and dropped Toni and I off before taking Yoko and Omar for the massage.

We had another tour booked for that afternoon with Via Via and I wanted to change it for the next day. It was no problem whatsoever to change the day and Toni and I even got a partial refund for not having had the massage, something that I did not expect at all.

Read here the post: Jamu Herbs Market, Yogyakarta

Via Via Culinary Tour

What a laugh we had when we did the culinary tour with Via Via. This was another motorbike tour and we were taken all over the city to different establishments where they serve the traditional food.

We learnt about some pretty disgusting ducks’ heads and eggs that are cooked for 24 hours. But we also got to sample the typical sweets and cakes and we finished the tour on a really high note when, at the Sultan’s Palace Square, there were plenty of food stalls and a great atmosphere.

The best part of this tour though, by far, was when we went to a street food place and we had to cook our own food! We even had a few customers!

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How about you? What’s the most unusual tour you’ve done? Feel free to fill the comments section.

I would like to remind you that all the photos used on InMyShoesTravel.com are my own unless otherwise stated.
You can see my whole collection of Travel Photos here.

Filed Under: asiafeaturedIndonesiaJavaYogyakarta

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About the Author: Lisa, born and grew up in England, live in Mallorca, Spain... Have visited more than 20 countries, have twice as many to yet visit, love sharing experiences....

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