Under the shadow of temperamental Gunung Merapi, one of Indonesia’s most active volcanoes, the ancient Buddhist monument Borobudur emerges majestically from the surrounding jungle and farmland. ... Read more about Borobudur .
We’ll forgive you if you’ve never heard of Prambanan until now, as Borobudur certainly steals the limelight when it come to antiquities in Central Java. The UNESCO World Heritage-listed temple complex of Prambanan however is captivating in its own right. ... Read more about Prambanan .
Taman Sari (literally fragrant garden), or the “Water Castle” as it’s popularly known, was once an extensive playground for the Sultan of Yogyakarta. It encompassed a large artificial lake with islands complete with rare fruit trees, fragrant gardens, swimming pools and meditation areas as well as a network of secret underwater ... Read more about Taman Sari and Sumur Gumuling (Water Palace and Underground Mosque) .
For the people of Yogyakarta, the Kraton, or Sultan’s Palace, has been the cultural (and mystical) heart and soul of the city since the mid-1700s. ... Read more about Kraton (Sultan's Palace) .
Kota Gede was once the seat of the powerful Islamic Mataram Sultanate. Today it's more well known as a stop on shopping tours visiting its thriving silver industry. We have nothing against getting a bit of bling on and supporting local crafts, but think the often ignored (by tourists) historical sights and architecture in this small, interesting area are the real drawcard and worth an ... Read more about Kota Gede .
If the Kraton (Sultan’s Palace) is Yogyakarta’s heart, Jalan Malioboro is its main artery, pumping 24/7. This heaving boulevard, Yogyakarta’s main thoroughfare, runs on a north-south axis that follows an important mystical line in Javanese cosmology, linking Mount Merapi, the Kraton and the southern ocean. ... Read more about Jalan Malioboro .
The Alun-Alun Kidul (Southern Square of the Sultan’s Palace) abounds with myth and folklore. One story is that the two large and ancient banyan trees in the middle of the square have protective powers, guarding the Kraton from those with impure intention. This belief has morphed into a popular game. Every night the Alun-Alun Kidul abounds with folk taking a stab at the challenge of walking ... Read more about Alun-Alun Kidul (Southern Square of the Sultan’s Palace) .
Several tour companies run Yogya village bike tours, which provide real insights into authentic Javanese village life. On first impressions, Yogyakarta may seem like a busy traffic-clogged modern city, but minutes out of town the paddy fields mature, farmers tend their crops and local industries produce traditional products, just as they have done for millennia. ... Read more about Bike tours .
Wild seas, jagged cliffs, sand-boardable black dunes, huge skies with stunning sunsets, Parangtritis Beach, 30 kilometres south of Yogyakarta, is certainly atmospheric. And if the tempestuous landscape isn’t enough, the local myths and legends will send chills running down your spine. The Sultanate of Yogyakarta and its precursor Mataram have long been shrouded in mysticism and folklore. Key ... Read more about Parangtritis Beach .
A giant cement chicken roosting on a forested hill overlooking Borobudur is perhaps a little unexpected, but this is not a cock-and-bull story. In the late 1980s Daniel Alamsjah (who sounds like a good egg, but a bit cracked) was cooped up in Jakarta, and began hatching a plan after he was egged on by God via a vision to build a house of prayer shaped like a… er, ... Read more about Chicken Church .