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Yogyakarta

Yogyakarta is the center and the root of Javanese culture. Located right in the center of Java that can be reached easily by Bus, train, and flight from the capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta. Yogyakarta is a special region due to its cultural kingdom. This province is ruled by a Javanese king called Sultan because he owns the entire land of the city. Sultan is the most important king in Indonesia that support the existence of Javanese culture.

The combination of Dutch influential and its strong culture, make this province become internationally famous. The Javanese culture has many cultural festivals including arts, traditional dances, and music, traditional clothes like Batik, traditional food and many more. The visitors can enjoy the traditional dances and gamelan performances held in the Keraton (Sultan kingdom) every day. There are also many other traditional events that can be watched weekly, monthly and annually.

Yogyakarta is also being said as the center of a travel destination in Java, where it’s convenient to get other destinations from this city. It has a monumental volcano called Gunung Merapi, about 1 hour from this city. It’s a must see and most beautiful volcano in Indonesia. You can also find easily many Hindus and Buddhist temples from here. Prambanan temple, for example, can be reached about 40 minutes driving from this city. the combination of cultural existence and natural places make this city as the best Indonesian travel destinations.

Introduction

People and Culture

Javanese culture encourages people to live in a harmony and peace. Harmony in Javanese culture is based on the inner self and close relative. Appreciation is the highest value. People should show a positive attitude to everyone, especially to older people.

Javanese people love to please everyone even people that they do not know without asking for rewards. They should show a strong desire for motivation and positive attitude to everyone. They have a principle that it’s okay to hurt yourself than to hurt people around you. This means that Javanese people do really care about each other. They tend to do something together, talk together and solve a problem together.

Javanese speak there level of languages including Inggil/Madya, Kromo, and Ngoko. Inggil or Madya are considered the highest level of language. Inggil and Madya are often used to talk with older people especially with elderly people. When they are talking to older people, they should speak slowly and softly in a certain manner. Yet, there are different words to talk to older and younger people. Jogjakarta’s tend to speak Kromo Halus which means, speaking slowly, gradually, and with low tone.

Javanese culture In Yogyakarta can be seen and felt in many parts of the city. When you are traveling to Yogyakarta, you can see many Javanese buildings everywhere. The traditional homes of Yogyakarta represent a strong of Javanese culture. Residents in the area of Kali code, for exAMple, are still having Javanese architecture in their home’s buildings. Kali code has now become one of the cultural travel destinations in Yogyakarta.

However, Javanese culture in Yogyakarta has been gradually left by young generations. Culture degradation is affected by the modernity. Young people tend to prefer modern lifestyle rather than choosing their culture. Many young people do not know their culture anymore. The loss of cultural identity has become the big issue in Yogyakarta. But the local government of Yogyakarta has made a breakthrough to encourage young people to love their culture. There are so many cultural activities and performances now conducted by young people such as the live music of gamelan.

Javanese people put their culture in the highest place of their heart.

Religion

Yogyakarta is dominated by IslAMic beliefs about 90% followed by Christianity, and Buddhism. IslAM in Yogyakarta is influenced by Javanese culture and other religions including Buddhists and Hindus.

Before IslAM cAMe to Yogyarta, Buddhist and Hindus already existed in Yogyakarta. IslAM entered Java island due to the collapse of Majapahit kingdom. Aceh, a province in Sumatra is believed the first IslAM in Indonesia and spread out all over the country including Yogyakarta.

Yogyakarta is one of the tolerant cities in Indonesia. the immigrant comes from other provinces with different religion make this city become more open-minded. Yogyakarta is also stated as the city of education. The Indonesian first public university or well know as Gajah Mada University was built in Yogyakarta. Now the increase of awareness of education is also correlated with the acceptance of culture including religions.

Safety

In the term of safety, Yogyakarta is one of the safest cities in Indonesia. the safety includes the western friendly environment and low level of crimes. The influence of Javanese culture that put norm and goodness in the highest place make it less criminalized. Javanese people cared about each other, they tend to help each other and avoid crimes.

However, Yogyakarta is an urban city which means many villagers come to the city to seek the fortune. These people have no job due to lack of skill and proper educational background. So, they tend to ask money for nothing to the tourists and even to locals. So, if you see someone asks for money, you should not give him/her no matter how they are. They are often found in the touristy areas including Malioboro streets. To avoid this, you should say “Terima Kasih” while smiling.

Tourist Information Center

Phone : +62274 8543339 or +62274 563231 or +62274 562811

Location: Kompleks Kepatihan, Danurejan, Yogyakarta.

Important Numbers

Police Center

Phone : +62274 512511

Location : Address: Jl. Reksobayan, Yogyakarta (Downtown)

Hospital

Jogja International Hospital (JIH)

Phone : +62274 4463535

Location: Jalan Ring Road Utara No. 160, Condong Catur, Depok, Sleman, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta

Panti Rapih Hospital

Phone : +62274 514845

Location : Jalan Cik Di Tiro No.30, Yogyakarta, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55223

Bethesda Hospital

Phone : +62274 562246

Location : Jl. Jendral Sudirman No. 70, Yogyakarta, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta

Sardjito hospital

Phone : (0274) 587333

Location: Jalan Kesehatan No. 1, Sinduadi, Mlati, Sinduadi, Mlati, Kabupaten Sleman, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55281

Ambulance

Phone : 118 or 420118 or +62274 118

Phone : +62274 8543339 or +62274 563231 or +62274 562811

Location: Kompleks Kepatihan, Danurejan, Yogyakarta.

Getting Around Yogyakarta

By Bus

Trans Jogja might be one and only and most reliable public transportation in Yogyakarta. It’s starting from 5.30 AM until 9 pm with 11 routes around the city. The ticket is quite cheap at only IDR.3000 per journey. The bus is equipped with air conditioner and phone charger too.

By Becak

Becak is less used today, but this traditional transportation probably most effective way for tourists to see around the city. Yogyakarta is a small city, it’s only about 40 minutes to get every edge of the city. Becak can lead you to get everywhere around the city. But becak has no fixed prices, you need to bargain with the driver. The ticket cost is between IDR.15.000 to IDR.40.000 for a short trip.

By Dokar

Online Transportation

Online transportation has been popular in Indonesia including in Yogyakarta. Online transportation makes it easier to book a short distance to get around town. Online transportation sometimes offers you a discount on a short trip. The price is between IDR.10.000 – IDR.50.000 depends on what vehicle do you order. Gojek and Uber are the most used online transportation in Yogyakarta. So, you can download them on your phone.

Tips: if the driver asks higher than the price above, you should bargain for a lower price. Becak is flexible, so you can measure the distance and the price by yourself.

Best Time to Visit Yogyakarta

Yogyakarta is a touristy city not only for international visitors but also for locals. Locals people come from other provinces visit Yogyakarta during the holiday. When the long holiday comes, Yogyakarta is really crowded. Traffic everywhere and almost every destination is crowded. So, when it comes to the best time to visit Yogyakarta, you should avoid Indonesian long holiday and on the weekend.

Ramadhan

Ramadahan mount is a full month fasting for Islam community. the majority in Yogyakarta is Islam, so Ramadhan comes not many people visit Yogyakarta for holiday. For international tourists, it’s one of the best time to visit Yogyakarta during RAMadhan month. But, it’s hard to find restaurants or food shops this month.  RAMdhan month is different from year to year depends on the moon calculation. It’s about the moth of May and June.

January to March

January and March are low seasons for both locals and international tourist to visit Yogyakarta. Early year means locals start to do their daily activities and not many holidays during these months. So, it’s recommended to visit Yogyakarta during these months if you do want to avoid crowded.

Places to Visit

Temples

Caves

Museums

Beaches

Shopping

Nightlife

Cuisines

Yogyakarta’s people love sweet food and drinks. They use gula Jawa as an important ingredient to their cuisines. Gula Jawa is a traditional sweetener or sugar that commonly used to make a tea, coffee, and other drinks. Sweet tea or Es teh has become a symbol of Javanese culture in Yogyakarta.

Javanese people are being appreciated if they are given sweet tea rather than tea without sugar. Even though there is no certain philosophy behind this. But they believe that sweet drinks can give them a positive impact on their life.

If you order tea in a restaurant, for example, you should inform them not to put sugar in your tea if you don’t like sweet tea.

Cuisine in Yogyakarta is also influenced by Sumatran food which mainly a little bit spicier. Some of the cuisines in Yogyakarta also use certain chilies such as sAMbal bawan and sambal Tempe. These kinds of cuisine can be found mainly in restaurants or in a certain festive.

Here is the list of traditional foods in Yogyakarta :

Foods

Gudeg

Gudeg is a cooked rice added with boiled jackfruit with some herbs, spices and coconut milk. the coconut milk plays an important key in this food. it’s also added with gula Jawa to get a strong taste. The serving is accompanied by chicken or boiled eggs with savory flavor. Gudeg is now used as the main food to welcome tourists to come to Yogyakarta.

Gado-gado

Yogyakarta’s Gado-Gado is also one of the main cuisines in Yogyakarta. Gado-Gado is made with the combination of vegetables (cucumber, spinach, and others) and steAMed rice with peanut sauce. This cuisine also can be found in many parts of Indonesia with different variations.

Bakpia

Bakpia is actually a dessert (not a heavy meal), the most popular one in Yogyakarta. Bakpia has become the Yogyakarta’s favorite dessert by travelers to bring home. The main ingredients are mixed with flour, water, and salt with filling like vanilla powder, powdered sugar, and green beans. There is also the current variation of fillings including chocolate, pandan, and cheese.

Drinks

Wedang Ronde

Wedang Ronde is actually very famous in both central java and west java. but Wedang Ronde of Yogyakarta has a different unique taste. Wedang Ronde is made with traditional tea and ginger with a little bit sugar (gula Jawa) filled with some peanut, rice ball and event some diced bread. Wedang Ronde is good to drink in the night to warm up the body. Wedang Ronde is quite cheap at only IDR.8000 per cup in street shops, but in restaurants might be higher.

Wedang Uwuh

Wedang Uwuh is a herbal drink made from certain leaves and roots like cinnAMon, cloves and sometimes ginger added with gula Jawa. Javanese people believe that Wedang Uwuh has a beneficial advantage for daily consumption. You can get Wedang Uwuh in the traditional restaurants called “angkringan” in Yogyakarta. Wedang Uwuh is IDR.9000 per cup in the street shops but might be higher if you buy it in restaurants.

Kopi Joss

Kopi joss is a Javanese coffee mixed with charcoal wood. It’s might be a usual drink for those who have never tried this coffee before. But the charcoal makes this coffee is so unique. Kopi joss often can be enjoyed in the night accompanied by Javanese traditional snacks including tempeh or Tahu.

Events to Attend

As the center of Javanese culture in Indonesia, Yogyakarta has many cultural festivals and events. These cultural events and activities often held to celebrate or commemorate something.

Here is the list of cultural activities, performance, and shows in Yogyakarta. (This is not the exact date, every year may change)

  • RAMayana ballet shows: Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 19.30 to 21.30
  • Sekaten ceremony: Every year
  • Changing Shift Of PakualAMan’s Troops (Bragado Pakualam): June 9th every year. Sultan Palace Traditional Ceremony (Numplak Wajik): June 12th every year
  • Sultan Palace Celebrate Eid Mubarak (Grebeg Sawal): June every year
  • PrAMbanan International Yoga Day: June every year
  • Borobudur Vesak Day Festival (Trisuci Waisak) + Flying Lanterns (LAMpion): 29th May 2018 every year
  • Javanese Archery (Jemparingan MatarAMan) : April every year
  • Leather Puppet’s Shadow Show All Night Performance: April 14th every year
  • Tawur Agung (Hindu praying & purification ceremony): March 16th every year
  • Jogja International Air Show: 17-18 February every year
  • Sultan Palace Celebrate MohAMmed Prophet Birthday (Grebeg Maulud) : December 1st every year
  • Jogja International Heritage Festival: 5th November
  • Traditional Market Festival (Grebeg Pasar): 5th October every year
  • Silent Walking around Sultan Palace Complex (Mubeng Beteng) : 21 September every year.
  • Java arts puppets usually held every year

Places to Stay

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