"Wonderful people, beautiful city" Top 5 Page for this destination Yogyakarta by kokoryko

Yogyakarta Travel Guide: 779 reviews and 2,082 photos

Arts and culture capital of Java

Yogyakarta is the official name since the reform of orthography in Indonesia, before it was Jogjakarta, most Indonesian still call it Jogja. . . . . or Yogya. . . .
After Bali, Yogyakarta is the second tourist destination in Indonesia, and the preserved Javanese traditional way of life, as well as history, past and present cultural activity, beautiful Hindu or Buddhist remains, Islamic asceticism, traces of Portuguese architecture and language, influence of Dutch rigorist administration. . . . . all this contributes to the special character of this 550.000 inhabitants city in the centre of Java.
Jogja is the arts, science and literature capital city of Java, represented by the famous Gadja Mada University, but also by the beautiful Keraton and the Water Palace (Taman Sari), the museums, the numerous modern or traditional batik workshops, street musicians, street art. . . and if Jogja has not generated prominent figures like Pramoedia or Ayu Utami in modern literature, Jogja traditional theatre or tales spread out over Java and beyond; the house of world renowned painter Affandi is now a museum and a pilgrimage for Indonesian artists.

Street life

There are certainly many ways to discover Jogja, but the best is to use your feet, walking on the big avenues or in the small back-alleys, and if you begin to get tired from the hot sun or high humidity, the becak is a very convenient vehicle to get you from one place to another.
Walking, you will get close to real life of the city, having difficulty to fix your attention to people here, a shop window there, a funny scene on the other side. . . . . and you will enjoy the spicy smell of the food stalls, the noise of the traffic and the voices of kids and women, and walking more, get in quiet empty streets where you will enjoy the shade of the trees, while looking at the map or guide for the next destination in the city. . . . . Of course, day or night (day AND night), walking along Malioboro may be one the best souvenir provider of a stay in Jogja.

History in Jogja and around

A visit to Jogja cannot go without a visit to the famous Buddhist temple of Borobudur, or discover the awesome constructions of Prambanan, which so much contribute to the cultural interest of Central Java. Not far from Jogja is also the beach of Parang Tritis where many visitors like to spend some time far from the crowds, but the countryside of Jogja offers so much too, with the villages, the rice fields at the feet of the Merapi volcano. . . . .
Ah! I was writing about “Central Java”, this is here used as a geographic term, as “Central Java” is an administrative province of Indonesia, and Jogja does not belong to that province: Yogyakarta belongs to and is surrounded by “Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta” (Special region of Yogyakarta), an administrative entity, created after independence, partly for “good behaviour” of the Sultan of Jogja during WWII and fight for independence, to the contrary of the Sultan of Solo (Surakarta) who cannot “enjoy” a “special region”. So, the sultan of Jogja has still some formal authority on his territory, and enjoys many advantages like palace maintenance, personal administration, having a seat at government institutions. . . . . and –of course (?)– traditional “Lord’s right”. . . possibly.
I visited Jogja lastly, in February, during rainy days, but who cares? The weather is part of our trips, and we also can enjoy places during rainy days; the famous water castle (Taman Sari) and the underground palace next to it have a special atmosphere under rain, and you can make nice encounters in the shelter of the underground city.

Pros and Cons
  • In a nutshell:Touristy places can be beautiful; look for the unusual!
  • Last visit to Yogyakarta: Feb 2009
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (35)

Comments (3)

  • DennyP's Profile Photo
    Sep 19, 2010 at 6:00 PM

    Hi Herman Thanks for your kind comments on my train travelogues and thanks also for visting my Bagan page..Your tips are very detailed and informative..will return to read more..thanx for sharing..

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Nov 9, 2009 at 3:04 PM

    A great new page with a wide variety of detailed tips, from the back alleys to the palace of the sultan with the incredibly long name. That gudeg sounds delicious! I agree that the "cheapest" fare isn't a bargain if you have to spend hours finding it.

  • Oct 22, 2009 at 1:33 PM

    Hermann, I always look forward to viewing your new VT pages. I admire the way you are able to plug yourself into the social pipeline of each and every country that you visit. I try but don’t always succeed.


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