The second most popular destination after Bali, Yogyakarta is the cultural and spiritual hub for Javanese people. It is also where tourists would usually base their stay when visiting Borobudur, which is actually located in Magelang. Over the past few years, numerous changes have taken place in this area of Java: the Trans-Java toll road is now connected, a new international airport is being built, and numerous charming beaches known previously only to locals are becoming more visited.
Central to the island’s artistic and intellectual heritage, Yogyakarta (pronounced ‘Jogjakarta’ and called Yogya, ‘Jogja’, for short) is where the Javanese language is at its purest, the arts at their brightest and its traditions at their most visible. 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.
The Wonders of the Ancient Heritage
You can experience all five wonders in this artsy city; Starting from indulging in the natural wonders, 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 destinations in Yogyakarta!
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 have brought Yogyakarta as the second most visited destination in Indonesia after Bali.
The South coast
Around 40km from Yogyakarta city centre, you will pass rows of karsts hills hiding a network of underground caves. Some of these caves have become popular tourist destinations – for activities such as cave tubing, visit Goa Pindul, or witness the spectacular shaft of sunlight entering the rotunda at Goa Jomblang.
Many of the visitor destinations in south Yogyakarta have become more popular due in part to social media. In the past, these beaches and caves were considered mysterious; they were difficult to reach and effectively closed to visitors. Nowadays, with better infrastructure, you will be able to discover numerous beaches to visit, ranging from the more popular ones such as Pantai Parangtritis, Pantai Baron or Pantai Sundak to many smaller, more private stretches of sand.
Why you must visit Solo? For many, Solo, or Surakarta is like the calmer and more laidback version of Yogyakarta. In the past, Solo has served as Central Java’s cradle of culture and mythology and still serves as a home for members of the ruling dynasty of central Java. Two royal palaces, the Keraton Surakarta and the Mangkunegaran Palace, remain here from this final era of regal dynasties in Indonesia. Although of course, Solo is not just about its history. We list you reasons why you should pay this city a visit every once in a while.
Unlike their counterpart in Yogyakarta, who use the title of sultan, the rulers of Surakarta use the title of Sunan and its palace smaller than the Yogyakarta palace. It is still home to the Surakarta royal family. A more European-style decor was added by wealthy rulers in the late 19th century and early 20th century. The entrance to the Kraton Surakarta opens on to the Alun Alun, where its main audience hall (Pagelaran) is located.
Kampung Batik Laweyan & Kauman
Solo, is the home of one of the most popular and beloved types of batik, Batik Solo. Two of the most popular kampung batik or batik village in Solo, where you can find original batik houses that sell original and mainstream batik designs in all possible price range, design, and types. Batik Kauman is the most pleasant to explore by foot, with its narrow roads and laid-back charm. In the old days, Kauman is where the abdi dalem (loyal servants of the royal family) that were specially appointed to make batik lived. Whereas laweyan, is an expansive neighborhood that was assigned by the government as a batik destination for the city, also has countless batik houses though best explored by becak, bicycle, or car.
Architecturally, this palace was built to resemble the Keraton or Javanese palace, although a much smaller one. The palace was built in 1757 by Raden Mas Said, when he submitted his army to Pakubuwono III in February, and swore allegiance to the rulers of Surakarta, Yogyakarta, and the Dutch East Indies Company. What’s interesting about this palace is that almost the entire part of the palace was built using whole teak wood. This palace also has quite the collection of traditional mask from all over Indonesian and even China. It is best to explore the palace with a tour guide.
There are plenty of daily flights from Jakarta, Surabaya, and Bali to Yogyakarta’s Adisucipto International Airport.
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