Gedong Songo is probably one of those places tourists in Central Java wouldn’t think of venturing into. Few people know about the place, and there is only a brief mention in the guidebooks about this hidden gem. If it weren’t for the pictures I saw in an online forum a few weeks prior to our Yogyakarta trip, I would not consider going their either.
The trip – though long, tiring and winding – proved to be a rewarding one. Gedong Songo is literally translated as “nine temples” and that’s exactly what visitors see. The temples themselves are small, and scattered all over the place but it is the setting – on hills 900 meters above sea level – that makes the place a must for any Central Java itinerary. The resort is about 8 celsius cooler than Yogyakarta, making it such a refreshing change from the tropical humidity. All around we could see verdant hills, vegetable terraces and humble farmers ekking out a living from the land. The place was almost completely deserted of western tourists. We had a horse ride (IDR 50,000) that took us to all the 9 temples, each with its own unique scenery. There is also a hot spring located between the temples which makes the place even more charming.
topmost temple – Gedong Songo
Just before the path to the last temple is a wide grass field that is very suitable for contemplating. It’s a very idyllic scene with views of Mt. Ungaran and the surrounding volcanoes of Central Java. I couldn’t imagine a better place to just sit and relax.
what a view!
How to get there: The easiest way to get to Gedong Songo is through hired car with driver. The site is about 2 to 2.5 hours from Yogyakarta and is a little less if coming from Semarang. Gedong Songo is geographically closer to Semarang.
one of the persistent vendors in gedong songo – she followed us all the way to the top!