If you’re aiming to learn about history and culture of Indonesia and Java, enjoy mystical scenery of the mountain and the beach, and go on a shopping frenzy for a large variety of art products ranging from silver to batik products, then Yogyakarta is the place for you. This town has been known by domestic and international tourists for its beautiful culture, art, and scenery. So, what to do and where to go when you’re in Yogyakarta? Here are some suggestions for you:
This is the place to go if you want to get an insight of Java culture and learn about Yogyakarta’s royal family. Keraton is the center of Sultan’s activities, as a lot of ceremonial festivals held here. Tourists will be able to see the exhibition of Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX’s personal items and enjoy various art performances like traditional dances and puppet show.
This ancient Buddhist temple, located around 40 km northwest of Yogyakarta, is one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. It has 1460 relief panels and 504 Buddha effigies in its complex, and was built in the 9th century. The relief panels on this ten-terraces building are sculpted skillfully and depict the story of Ramayana. Visitors should walk clockwise from the entrance of the temple understand the sequence of the stories.
If Borobudur is a Buddhist temple, then Prambanan is a Hindu temple located around 20 km east of Yogyakarta. There are three main temples in the primary yard, Vishnu, Brahma, and Shiva, the symbols of Trimurti in Hindu belief. If you have a chance to visit this temple, make sure you have a guide in hand to show you around and explain the wonderful magical legend behind every temple.
The beach on 27 km south of Yogyakarta is closely related to the legend of Ratu Kidul, as many Javanese believe that this beach is the gate of Ratu Kidul’s magical kingdom that controls the southern sea. Tourists are forbidden from swimming in this beach, but there are ATV rentals for visitors to put the pedal to the metal and have fun.
Malioboro & Beringharjo Market
Experience the wonderful hectic of this busy street of Malioboro that is a haven for souvenir fans. Batik, leather puppets, accessories, and other traditional souvenirs can be found here in a fairly low price. In Malioboro street, you’d also find Beringharjo Market, a traditional market to find delicious traditional Javanese snacks, batik products, Javanese herbs and spices, and antiques.
This sub-district in Yogyakarta is the center of silver handicrafts in Indonesia. Not only it’s perfect for some silver handicrafts shopping, but tourist can also learn to make their own silver handicrafts. Some places even have a reliable English and France speaking guide. The duration of each course ranges from 3 hours to a whole day, from morning to evening. The fee for each course varies, depend of the duration of the course.