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Lava tour in Merapi,  famous among adventurous travelers in Yogyakarta

Taking the Lava tour in Merapi volcano via off road jeep is one of the most famous and popular programmes for adventurous and experience-hungry tourists in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
Yogyakarta is the capital of the Yogyakarta Special Region located on the Indonesian island of Java.
Shortened by locals to “Jogja” or “Jogya”, it is brimming with examples of classical Javanese fine arts and culture such as batik, ballet, drama, music, poetry and puppet shows.

Media delegations from Laos, Vietnam, Philippine, and Indonesia join tourism officials for a group photo during the Lava tour of Merapi.

However, the nature loving tourist should explore the experience of adventure off road jeep tour around the Merapi volcano, an area rich with natural beauty despite the damage caused during the volcanic eruption in 2010.
The green grass and trees of this area make you feel relaxed and you can forget the vast population and air pollution of the city for a while.
Local residents from communities around the volcano have not yet been permitted to return to settle for safety reasons, but I am assured a visit is safe enough with conditions monitored continuously.
Merapi volcano is also a famous site for trekking.
Reaching the peak was tough but the sunrise and the view repaid every single effort.
There is something special about watching the sunrise from the highest peak as you see the land spread out below you for miles around.
Tourist can choose off road jeep tours from three packages from short, medium to long that take about 1.5 to 2.5 hours to complete respectively.
Meanwhile, each jeep can comfortably fit three passengers but can squeeze in up to five if you need to.
The driver will take you over the old road which suffered a bit of damage due to the volcanic eruption.
Of course, the way to best experience this trip is to open your eyes widely and breathe freely while the driver drives the jeep through the remarkable landscape.
The tour takes you to the top of high hill which was created during the eruption.
The real thrill is the cruise down but don’t worry about your safety too much as the drivers here are professionals.
The tour also stops at some sites such as the Sita Hartaku which is a modest museum in a house that was affected by the last eruption.
Some clothes, household items and other belongings of the house owner are shown inside the museum.
Also displayed is a broken watch permanently set at five past twelve in the morning, the time of the eruption on November 5, 2010.
The next place to visit is the Alien stone, a big stone shifted by lava durng the last eruption.
To look at with your own eyes it appears the ringing image of the classic Hollywood-version extraterrestrial but when photographed it takes on a more melancholic appearance.
Touring the tropics is hot work so local snacks, souvenirs, soft drink and local foods are for sale along some roadside stalls during the tour programme.
You can ask the driver to stop if you want to have a look, take a photo or taste the local cuisine.
Along the road from one place to another, tourists will see remnants of villages now left abandoned as ghost towns.  
On a more somber note, the last stop before this tour ends includes a bunker which was built to protect people escaping from eruptions, yet failed to do so.
It is no longer use because it could not protect people from hot lava.
Alas, two people found dead inside during the eruption in 2006.
Inside the bunker is dark and quite wet, so a torch or flash light from your cell phone are needed to see inside.
Inside remain a large pile of cooled lava and some flowers and candle in a bamboo basket are set to pay respect to those who passed away.
To cheer up you can relax and look out over the sprawling Yogyakarta city from a vantage point nearby.
If the weather is clear, you can also look up to see the peak of Merapi volcano from the same place.
The tour was full of unforgettable adventures and new experiences and memories.
So if you have chance to visit this city, this is a must do programme for the adventurous.  
Yogyakarta served as the Indonesian capital during the Indonesian National Revolution from 1945 to 1949.  Kotagede, a district of Yogyakarta, was the capital of the Mataram Sultanate between 1575 and 1640.


By Souksamai Boulom
(Latest Update June 5, 2017)

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