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YogyakartaWritten 10 February 2022
Yogyakarta, together with its twin city Surakarta (Solo), is the cradle of civilization on Java. This city was the seat of power that produced the magnificent temples of Borobudur and Prambanan in the 8th and 9th century and the new powerful Mataram kingdom of the 16th and 17th century.
Yogyakarta was known with the slogan of “Jogja The Never ending Asia“ for its endless appeals. Today, it is also renowned as “ Jogja Istimewa “, a tagline that elaborates its special values.
This city is one of the foremost cultural centers of Indonesia. From strolling through the living museum of The Kraton or The Keraton (Sultan’s Palace), to hanging out at the famous Alun Alun, to watching silversmiths produce amazing jewelry at Kotagede and maybe try a splurge shopping up at Malioboro road.
Chasing sunrise in famous temples like Prambanan and Borobudur in the neighboring town of Magelang, are only some of the many more ways to never get bored in this relatively small yet bustling city.
The Wonders of the Ancient Heritage
You can experience all five wonders in this artsy city. Starting from indulging in the natural wonders, by visiting scenic beaches and photogenic landscape. Parangtritis, Indrayanti, Pok Tunggal, Siung, Krakal, and Jogan are some of the famous beaches in town.
Breathtaking points such as Puncak Becici, Pinus Pengger, and Jurang Tembelan are only several of plenty more exciting back-to-nature destination in Yogyakarta!
For culinary wonders, don’t forget to try the Gudeg first, special cooking of traditional Javanese recipe that is iconic to this city. The Bakpia, is a traditional snack with many enticing flavors that are popular for souvenirs. For a beverage, you can try the Jamu, a natural herb mix beverage based on ancient tradition used for natural remedies.
Batik is the national treasure based on Javanese word of “amba” and “titik”, meaning to write the dots. It is an art of decorating fabric using wax and dyeing process. Yogyakarta has a signature batik pattern that are usually made with a bright white basic. Some of the motifs are namely The Parang Kusumo, Kawung and Truntum, each was created with the special philosophy behind its every dots.
There are Batik Tulis, Batik Cap, Batik Print and the mixed result of the techniques. The most expensive is the Batik Tulis, which are made of 100% hand paint ornaments. It will become even more expensive if it is made from precious silk fabric. Making a fine quality Batik Tulis can range from a day of production to a meticulous months-long process, depend on the size and sheer complicated details of the design.
Wayang is also an amazing art heritage known from Yogyakarta. There are the Wayang Kulit or leather puppet, played on a shadow puppet show by the dalang or puppet master through a screen lit by lights. Wayang Orang is the life-size performances depicting the same philosophical messages from ancient stories and is presented by men and women in elaborate traditional costume.
You can discover the Recreation wonders, by visiting the tourism villages in Yogyakarta. Tembi, Pentingsari, and Nglanggeran are three of the places that you can start with. Experience the authentic daily life of the locals, and learn some new skills, such as playing the gamelan, weaving janur and perform a Javanese traditional dance!
Adventure wonders are also aplenty in Yogyakarta. Starting with exploring Mount Merapi National Park, riding the thrilling jeep ride and hiking Mount Nglanggeran, an ancient volcano located in a beautiful village.
Rock climbing can be done in Siung beach, while cave tubing is a major attraction in Goa Pindul, and you can try to visit Jomblang cave for an extraordinary caving experience.
Yogyakarta is indeed a city with numerous attractions to enjoy. All of this and many more to explore has brought Yogyakarta as the second most visited destination in Indonesia after Bali.