"Wonderful people, beautiful city" Top 5 Page for this destination Yogyakarta by kokoryko
Yogyakarta Travel Guide: 734 reviews and 1,878 photos
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.
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.
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.
- In a nutshell:Touristy places can be beautiful; look for the unusual!
Walking in the backstreets between Jalan Mataram and Gajah Wong River, between the small houses, enjoying the smiles... more travel advice
I do not write here to give some silly “democracy lesson”, I just enjoyed the flags and posters decorating this city;... more travel advice
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