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Yogyakarta

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Yogyakarta— despite the official spelling, the name is usually pronounced and not uncommonly written Jogjakarta or just Jogja (JOGH-jah) — is a major tourist destination in Indonesia. It is the capital city of the province of Yogyakarta Special Region which is in the southern part of the Central Java province, Indonesia.

Understand

Yogyakarta is both the name of a province Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta (DIY), literally the Special Area Yogyakarta, and the name of one of DIY's 5 Districts, Kota (or city) Yogyakarta'. The other districts are Sleman on the slopes of fiery Mt Merapi to the North, Bantul all the way to the sea to the South, the hills of Gunungkidul to the East and the low lands of Kulon Progo to the West

One of Indonesia's few Special regions (another being Aceh), the Yogyakarta Special Region owes its special status to the sultanate of Hamengkubuwono, which has ruled the area since 1749 and steered the state through difficult times of occupation and revolution. When the central government tried to weaken the sultan's power by calling a direct election for the state leader, present sultan Hamengkubuwono X was chosen by an overwhelming majority.

Today's Yogyakarta is a bustling town of some 500,000 people and the most popular tourist destination on Java, largely thanks to its proximity to the temples of Borobudur and Prambanan. The town is a center of art and education, offers some good shopping and has a wide range of tourist facilities.

At 6:30AM on Saturday morning, May 27th 2006, a Richter 5.9 earthquake struck the province of Yogyakarta and the adjoining district of Klaten in Central Java. Although relatively mild, from 40 km below the surface the earthquake produced violent shockwaves that wobbled through the soft clay soils of Yogya's southern and eastern rice paddy districts for a brutal 60 odd seconds. In this briefest moment in time nearly 6,000 people died and over 300,000 houses were completely destroyed, with another 300,000 seriously damaged, making the Jogja earthquake, (in terms of physical damage) one of the worst in global history

Although Yogyakarta city was less than 25 km from the epicenter few areas of the city suffered significant visual damage, with most damage confined to the south and east of the city centre in areas such as the famous silver smithing area of Kota Gede and the artsy areas to the south of Jl Prawirotaman

The massive response by the people of Java, the Indonesian government and the national and international aid community has resulted in one of the most rapid and effective disaster recovery operations ever.

The above said, many residents of the affected districts of Jogja and Central Java still remain deeply traumatized, continuing to suffer from the deep pain caused by the loss of family, injuries and loss of livelihoods. Aid efforts continue to this day, with many families still housed in makeshift or semi complete accommodation. Visitors should feel encouraged to travel through the earthquake affected area, assisting however they can.

Get in

By plane

Yogyakarta's Adisucipto International Airport (JOG), 8 km east of town, is a small but busy mostly-domestic hub. There are near-hourly connections on Garuda to Jakarta (50 minutes) and Denpasar, while other domestic airlines service major cities in Java, Sumatra, Kalimantan and Sulawesi. For international services, AirAsia connects Yogyakarta to both Kuala Lumpur and Singapore while Malaysia Airlines flies between Yogyakarta and Kuala Lumpur.

There is a tourist information desk, ATM and taxi stand in the arrivals hall. Fixed price official airport taxis are available for around Rp 50,000 depending on your destination, pay at the taxi desk in arrivals and then head for the official taxi rank. Give the receipt to your driver, there is no need for any additional payment. It about half the price to use a taxi dropping passengers off at departures - insist on using the meter and expect to pay the Rp 2,000 airport entrance fee, even though this has already paid by the previous passenger on the way in. A departure tax of Rp 25,000 is charged for domestic flights and Rp 100,000 for international flights.

Yogyakarta airport is the sole rail-connected airport in Indonesia. Those arriving from (and departing into) the airport can take a Prambanan Ekspres regional train to/from Kutoarjo (west of Yogyakarta), Palur (just east of Surakarta) and several stations in between, including Tugu (just off Malioboro Street in Yogyakarta) and Solobalapan station at Solo. The station at the airport is just a few minutes walk from the terminal, with an air-conditioned underpass leading all the way to the platform for trains into Yogyakarta.

By bus

The main bus station is Giwangan, 4 km to the southeast of the center. There are regular services throughout the island, including Jakarta (9 hours), Bandung (6 hours), and Surabaya (8 hours).

There is also a new bus station as of March 2008 which is part of the Trans Jogja Busway System inside the airport. From there you can get to any one of the many bus stations in the system. It costs Rp 3000 for a ticket.

If you are going north, to Borobudur temple or Semarang for example, head to Jombor terminal located just above the northern Ringroad. Expect to be ripped off on any bus to Borobudur, the going rate for westerners at the moment is Rp. 15,000 (local Rp. 7000).

If you are planning to come to Yogyakarta from Bandung then you need to go to Cicaheum Terminal in Bandung to get bus. If direct bus is not available then take bus to Purwokerto (6-7 hrs, IDR 45000). From Purwokerto there are regular buses available for Yogyakarta (4-5 hrs, IDR 30000).

Since Yogyakarta is in close proximity with Semarang and Solo, there's also a shuttle bus that operates between these cities, called Joglosemar (Jogja-Solo-Semarang), IDR 45000 to Semarang, and IDR 25.000 to Solo Joglosemar Joglosemar jl. Magelang Km 5,5 0274-623 700 http://joglosemarbus.blogspot.com/ IDR 25.000 to IDR 45.000

By train

Trains to Jakarta take between 7 to 12 hours from the main Yogyakarta station, commonly called Tugu Station. The Argo-class trains (Argo Lawu and Argo Dwipangga) are the best of the lot: most comfortable and fastest (~8 hours, Rp 310,000-330,000 including mineral water and snacks). Taksaka is almost as good. These expresses connect Yogyakarta and Jakarta in 7-8 hours, either at daytime or overnight. The line between Kroya and Prupuk, where the railway crosses the main backbone mountains of Java, is scenic.

Passengers to/from Bandung should take the Argo Wilis or Lodaya expresses which traverse a scenic part of Java during daylight hours, with rice fields and mountains (although there is an overnight Lodaya and the Turangga from Surabaya also travels overnight. The fare is Rp 155.000 including mineral water and food (or more like snacks).

Passengers to Surabaya are served by the twice-daily Sancaka service departing in the morning and afternoon.

Yogyakarta and Solo are connected by several Prambanan Ekspres trains. Despite the name, the train does not stop at Prambanan station, and even if it does make an unscheduled stop, the station is rather far from the temple complex of Prambanan. The Prambanan Ekspres does stop at Maguwo station (for the airport) making it easy for travelers to change modes.


Get around

Yogyakarta is a relatively small city, so travelling around town should not be too expensive. If you are traveling on foot, note that a street sign facing you at a corner indicates the name of the street you are entering, not the cross street. The Tourism Authority has maps in English that can be obtained from its offices next to Hotel Mutiara on Jln Malioboran and at the airport and station. Beware that these maps are not to scale.

By taxi

Yogyakarta's taxis are metered and nowadays most taxi drivers are trustworthy. Flagfall is Rp 5500 and most trips around the center of town should not cost more than Rp 15,000. After dark the minimum fare for a taxi is Rp 10,000 even if the meter reads less that Rp 10,000. If by chance you find a taxi driver that you feel comfortable with and trustworthy, ask for his cellular phone number so that next time you need to travel you can call directly to his cell phone and arrange your travel needs. Most taxi drivers will be more than happy to do this.

By trishaw

Traditional three-wheeled and pedal-powered cart, known as becak (pronounced beh-chak), which can be found in most part of Yogyakarta. Haggle furiously before getting into the becak. Be sure to determine whether the price is for a one-way or return (pulang) trip and if you want the driver to wait whilst you conduct your shopping or business. A ride from within the city to the Malioboro shopping precinct should not cost more than Rp 20,000.

By horse cart

Traditional horse-pulled carts, known as andong, or dokar, wait for tourists outside hotspots like the train station, the Kraton and Mal Malioboro. Haggle furiously. The traditional route is from Jalan Malioboro to Keraton, and this is where you'll find most andong. Usually, andong opt to take you to shop for fake Dagadu t-shirt in Ngasem area with hefty prices. Then, andong will take you back to your initial journey. The cost for one round trip for andong is Rp 20,000 (twenty thousand rupiahs). Usually they ask for Rp 30,000 but they may settle for less. Andong can accommodate up to 5 adult passengers.

By bus

Medium and small size buses are the main public transport in Yogyakarta.

There are two kind of bus: regular and patas. Patas buses, known as TransJogja operate from 6AM to 10PM and stop only at designated shelters. Unlike regular buses, TransJogja is air-conditioned and generally safer. Tickets can be purchased directly at the shelters and cost for single trip is Rp 3,000. Passengers may purchase regular trip cards which cuts per tip cost to Rp 2700, and allows transit to other shelter. There are six routes, and route maps can be downloaded here [1].

Regular buses normally operates from 6AM to 5PM, and some long routes extend their operation until 9PM. Please never bring anything valuable on public buses, pickpockets in buses are now more common than ever before. Cost for single trip is Rp 2,500 regardless of distance (within the city). Usually on a bus there will be one driver and one helper who will hang from the side of the bus and handle money and try to get passengers. The helper will usually tap you on the shoulder to indicate you should pay him. If there is no helper you can pay the driver directly. When you are ready to get off a bus, tell the driver or helper "Kiri," which means left. Animated bus route maps are available at Transportation Agency of Yogyakarta website [2].

See

Being one of the oldest cities in Indonesia, Yogyakarta has many heritage buildings and monuments. The number one must-see attraction is Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono's palace, better known as Kraton Ngayogyakarta. Other heritage buildings from colonial era are: BNI '46 building, Kantor Pos Besar (Central Post Office) building, and Bank Indonesia building, all of them are located near Sultan's palace.

Other notable landmarks and attractions are:

Kraton Complex

The Sultan's Square

Alun-alun utara, the northern Sultan's Grounds, was originally used for Sultan's army training and hence closed to public, but the area was opened to the public during the reign of Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX. Now, alun-alun utara is the venue for the quarterly parade known as Garebeg, which is held in the month of Maulud, Besar and Sawal. In this parade, the Sultan's servants bring huge cone-shaped offerings to the alun-alun utara. After the parade, attendees scramble to get a scrap of this offering, as it is believed to bring good luck.

Prior to the month of Maulud, a public fair is held in alun-alun utara for 30 days. This fair is very popular and offers many kind of goods ranging from traditional handicrafts to melamine dishes from China. A unique snack sold in this event is galundeng, deep fried dough similar to a donut.

The Sri Sultan's palace or Kraton encompasses the main palace, Sultan's residential, two Sultan's grounds, and large residential area where sultan servants used to reside. Notable attraction in Kraton complex are:

Yogyakarta city was built with deep philosophy: the city was designed so that the main elements of the city forms a imaginary line. This straight line starts from Parangtritis on the coast, to Kraton Yogyakarta, to Tugu Monument, and finally to Mount Merapi. This represents Sultan's strong relationship with the guardian spirits of Mt. Merapi and the beach of Parangtritis.

Museums

Candi (Ancient Temples)

Candi is ancient archeological structure constructed during 7th-9th century aimed for a specific religion (Budha or Hindu). It was constructed from hundreds of volcanic or river stone blocks and assembled solely by human labor. Candi walls is often carved with reliefs depicting stories, and a stone God or Godess statue usually sits at the center.

There are several candi located in Yogyakarta and it's proximity. Borobudur, one of famous candi is in Magelang, not far from Yogyakarta. Prambanan, also a well-known candi is in the Yogyakarta-Central Java border area.

Art Gallery

Do

Learn

Yogyakarta is known as the city of education as well as the city of culture. This title is not without reason: many education institution are located here. Every year, around mid-July, thousands of new students from all over Indonesia flock into this city, converting the once quiet town to a busy yet dynamic city.

Buy

Many curious goods are available in many places in this city. If you love timeless pieces, Yogyakarta is the home of batik , traditional wayang puppets, sculpture, ceramics and silverware. Countless handicrafts from outside Yogyakarta can also be found here. Don't be surprised if you bump into souvenirs from Bali or Asmat, often with better deal than if bought in those islands. Alternatively, as a constantly growing city, Yogyakarta has several stylish malls and trade center that offers interesting goods and services at a reasonable cost.

Malioboro

Malioboro is a well-known shopping promenade and very popular among Indonesian as well as international tourists. Spans from the Tugu Station to the Sultan's square, Malioboro is 2 kilometers in length and home to hundreds of shops and street-stalls which offers various kind of handicrafts. Several notable places in Malioboro are:


If travelling on foot is not your thing, you can ride the pedal-powered trishaw called becak, or the andong horsecart.

Warning: While Yogyakarta is safer than Jakarta, it's not free from pickpockets. Most of the time, Malioboro sidewalk is overcrowded, take standard precautions to protect your belongings.

Shopping Malls

While not as populated as Jakarta, Yogyakarta has several trendy malls which shows a glimpse of the alternate side of Yogyakarta culture.

Handicrafts

Eat

Sweet & chilli cuisine

It's not a big secret to Indonesian people that Yogyakarta people adore sweet foods. The local dish known as gudeg , for example, is distinctively sweet in flavor. Local snacks, such as bakpia dan yangko, are extremely sweet. However, not every local dish is sweet. Krecek—the orengeish fried beef often served with gudeg—is poignantly hot for untrained tongue. Lodeh made by the locals, even though often referred as 'too sweet' by non Jogja, still has a hint of the fiery chilli taste. Its a good idea to ask the food vendor whether the dish is hot or not. For those who are just curious, simply ask them to omit the chilli from the dish and serve it separately. This way you can still taste the original flavour of the dish, but if you can't handle the chilli flavor you can simply not adding the chilli into your meal!

Originally, Yogyakarta dishes were known for their sweetness. However, as more and more people move to Yogya, this small city starts seeing more diversity in flavor. Now you can find many kind of interesting dishes, ranging from sweet, to spicy, to fiery. Sometimes a fusion from other cuisine such as Chinese or Western can be found. Note that restaurants in the center often close quite early by Western standards, with admission often refused after 21.00.

Local delicacies

The following dishes should be on every traveller's agenda:

Budget

Pasar Tiban Kauman

During the Ramadhan fasting season, the local residents at Kauman area open a temporary market selling many kind apetizing snacks and dishes. This market is not only great for sampling local foods, but also great for experiencing old architecture as it is set on a long pathway of classic javanese neighborhood. Opens at around 3PM and closes at 6PM, the foods are meant to be eaten for breaking the fasting at dawn. Consuming the food in the area before dawn, even if you are not fasting, is considered inappropiate. Kauman, means the place for preachers since it is in the same block of the Masjid Agung (sultan's royal mosque), was home to many islamic leaders such as Ahmad Dahlan, the founder of Muhammadiyah movement.

Yogyakarta is heaven of inexpensive foods, and some tasty and filling dishes can be as low as 25 US cents. However, since there are hundreds, if not thousands hawker stalls offering inexpensive foods, some of them are not delicious. For a start, head to well known food stalls such as:

Mid-range

Splurge

Yogya is filled with many 'high-end' restaurants serving many kind of dishes, from western to asian to asian-fusion cuisines.

Drink

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Clubs

Lounges

Lounges/cafe's are an evergrowing phenomena throughout Indonesia's trendy inner city environments

Sleep

Budget

There are hundreds of budget hotels in Yogyakarta. Most of them can be found in Sosrowijayan street (which is adjacent to Malioboro) and the Prawirotaman road area, which is about 3km to the south of the center.


Mid-range

Splurge

Contact

The international country code for Indonesia is 62. The local area code for Yogyakarta is 274. There are three main telecommunication providers in Indonesia: Telkom Indonesia, Indosat and Excelcomindo. Coin operated public phones are limited in Yogyakarta. However there are many official telephone kiosks called Wartel.

International dialing

To make an IDD call from Indonesia, dial the access code 001 (for Indosat) and 007 (for Telkom), followed by the country code, area code and party's number.

also available cheaper IDD call via VoIP Technologies, IDD Prefix is 01016 (for Indosat user) and 01017 (for Wartel, Telkom, and Telkomsel user), and 01000 (for XL -excelcom- user)

Mobile Phones

Mobile Phones are carried by almost everyone in Indonesia. Prepaid SIM cards are widely available from many telecommunication providers, such as, Telkomsel, XL, Indosat, 3, and Axis, just bring your own GSM 900 or GSM 1800 phone. The pre-paid SIM card costs around Rp 10,000 up to Rp 30.000. A local phone call costs between Rp 500-Rp 2000 per minute. Local text message (SMS) costs about Rp 350, while international SMS cost about Rp 3000.

also available for CDMA users, Telkom Flexy, StarOne, Esia, And Mobile-8 which are cheaper, but you must have RUIM CDMA Phone

Internet

There are many internet cafes in Yogyakarta which offer speedy access to the internet. Several hotels provide Wi-Fi on the lobby. Ask the front desk about internet access. The Taman Sari food court at the Plaza Ambarrukmo, coloquially known as Amplas, offers a free wireless internet service for any Wi-Fi compatible device.

Tourism

Tourism Information Centre in Jogyakarta:


Stay safe

Like any other larger Indonesian city, Yogya has its share of petty crime like pickpocketing, especially in local city busses. Watch out for gallery scams and streetsellers trying to get commission for batik. These scams tend to occur around the Kraton and Jalan Malioboro. Scammers will approach tourists and tell them about a government art center, and will hire cheap transport to the 'genuine' gallery. If you're interested in buying batik, this isn't necessarily bad. However, keep in mind that you are, in essence, being manipulated.

Take caution when walking by the city. Traffic is very brutal! You might have difficulty crossing roads and streets especially in crowded places.

An earthquake in 2006 caused severe damage. The volcanic presence of Mount Merapi, which last erupted in 2006, looms over the city.

Always travel in groups when you are traveling to or from Parangtritis beach. The long stretch between Yogya city and the beach are dangerous place at the night. You may get stopped by someone riding motorcycle trying to rob you. Police stations or posts are very little on these road, and unfortunately the posts are often unoccupied.

Cope

Emergency

List of hospitals with 24 hours emergency room (ER):

Consulates

Get out

North


East

South

Related Information




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A list of contributors is available at the original article on Wikitravel. Additional modifications may have been made by users at TRAVEL.COM [25].

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