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The Special Region of Yogyakarta, together with the twin cities of Surakarta (Solo), is the cradle of civilization in Java.
The city was the center of power that produced the magnificent Borobudur and Prambanan Temples in the 8th and 9th centuries and the powerful Mataram kingdom that was not until the 16th and 17th centuries.
Quoted from the official website of Indonesia Travel, Yogyakarta is known by the slogan “Jogja The Never ending Asia” because of its endless appeal.
Today, Kota Gudeg is also known as “Jogja Istimewa”, a tagline that describes special values.
The city is one of the leading cultural centers in Indonesia. From strolling around the living museum of The Kraton or The Keraton (Sultan’s Palace), hanging out in the famous Alun Alun, to watching silversmiths produce extraordinary jewelery in Kotagede.
You can also try shopping as much as you want on Jalan Malioboro. Then catching the sunrise at famous temples like Prambanan and Borobudur in the neighboring city of Magelang, are just a few of the many ways to never get bored in this relatively small, yet bustling city.
You can experience five wonders in this artsy city. Starting from indulging in natural wonders, visiting beautiful beaches, and photogenic landscapes.
Parangtritis, Indrayanti, Pok Tunggal, Siung, Krakal, and Jogan are some of the famous beaches in this city.
Then the amazing places, such as Becici Peak, Pinus Pengger, and Tembelan Gorge.
These are just a few of the more attractive back-to-nature destinations in Yogyakarta.
For a culinary miracle, don’t forget to try Nasi Gudeg first, a special dish of traditional Javanese recipes that has become the city’s icon.
Bakpia, is a traditional snack with many interesting flavors which is popular as a souvenir.
As for drinks, you can try herbal medicine. Natural herbal mixed drink based on ancient traditions used for natural medicine.
Sales have even mushroomed in various regions in Yogyakarta.
Then there is batik, a national treasure based on the Javanese words ‘amba’ and ‘point’, which means writing dots. This is the art of decorating fabrics using a waxing and staining process.
Yogyakarta has a distinctive batik pattern which is usually made with a bright white base. Some of the motifs are Parang Kusumo, Kawung, and Truntum, each of which is created with a special philosophy behind each point.
There are Batik Tulis, Batik Cap, Batik Print, and a mixture of the results of various techniques. The most expensive batik is Batik Tulis, which is made from 100 percent hand painted ornaments. It would be more expensive if it was made of high-priced silk.
The length of time to make good quality Written Batik can range from one day of production to a very meticulous process of months. This depends on the size and intricate design details.
Wayang is also an amazing artistic heritage known from Yogyakarta.
There are shadow puppets that are played in a shadow puppet show by a puppeteer or puppet heads through a screen that is lit by lights.
Then, Wayang Orang with a life-sized performance depicting the same philosophical message from the ancient stories.
In contrast to wayang kulit, wayang orang is played by men and women in elaborate traditional costumes.
Apart from that, you can discover recreational wonders, by visiting the tourist villages in Yogyakarta. Tembi, Pentingsari, and Nglanggeran are three places that you can start exploring.
Experience the daily life of an authentic indigenous people and learn some new skills, such as playing the gamelan, weaving janur and performing traditional Javanese dances.
Adventure wonders are also plentiful in Yogyakarta. Starting with exploring Mount Merapi National Park, riding a thrilling jeep, and climbing Mount Nglanggeran, an ancient volcano located in a beautiful village.
Rock climbing can be done at Siung Beach, while Tubing Gua is the main attraction in Goa Pindul. You can even try visiting Jomblang Cave for an extraordinary caving experience.
Yogyakarta is indeed a city with many attractions to enjoy. All that has been described and much more to explore, has made Yogyakarta the most visited destination in Indonesia after Bali.
How to get to Yogyakarta
If by air, there are many daily flights from Jakarta, Surabaya, and Bali, choose the destination to Yogyakarta Adisucipto International Airport.
Meanwhile, if by land, there are regular train services between Yogyakarta and other neighboring big cities. Yogyakarta is also easily accessible by car or public land bus services.
Once you arrive, there are a number of ways to explore Yogyakarta. Walking around Yogyakarta City is a great way to take in the sights and meet the locals, even if it’s hot in the middle of the day.
Take a walk in the heart of the city and find many tourist attractions located near the Malioboro area.
Take the local mode of transportation and try a rickshaw, a powerful traditional tricycle. Remember to negotiate a price before you start your journey.
Traditional horse carts known as Andong can also be found in the tourist area of Yogyakarta. This is a relaxing and romantic way to take in the scenery.
You may want to plan to use a car and driver while you are in Yogyakarta. If you know how to ride a motorbike, you can rent a motorbike in the city.
Taxis are available and can be arranged through the hotel where you are staying. In addition, buses are also the main form of public transportation in the region, however their operating hours and capacities are limited.
Try to enjoy some parts of the countryside on a bicycle ride and discover the picturesque corners that can inspire you to fall more in love with the special charm of Yogyakarta.
The closest cities that you can also visit from Yogyakarta are Magelang and Solo.
Walk to Punthuk Setumbu and witness the elegance of Borobudur temple from a different perspective at sunrise.
Solo or also known as Surakarta, has a very charming palace and is famous for its natural wonders, such as the Grojogan Sewu Waterfall.
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