Inforial (The Jakarta Post)
Thu, February 2, 2023
Indonesia has a myriad of appeals that constantly allure tourists from far and wide. Yogyakarta is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Indonesia.
This special region, equivalent to a province in Indonesia, is the fusion of the Yogyakarta Sultanate and Paku Alaman regency, which was formally recognized by the Dutch.
Based on the historical facts, it comes as no surprise, therefore, to learn that the city is rich in culture, tradition and local wisdom, from the embedded creative economy from one period to another.
Prambanan temple is one example of historical heritage that tourists can visit in Yogyakarta. Situated in Sleman regency, Prambanan temple is the biggest Hindu temple Indonesia and also the most beautiful one in Southeast Asia.
According to the Siwagrha inscription, Prambanan temple’s construction began during the reign of the Rakai Pikatan from the ancient Mataram kingdom, whose center was located in Central Java in the mid 9thcentury.
The remains of the temples were not discovered until hundreds of years later. Then, the history of the temple was unknown, which led to the creation of the Roro Jonggrang Bandung Bondowoso legend, which was told from one generation to another about the supposed origins of Prambanan temple.
A serious restoration project started in the 1930s and was completed in 1953. Towering at 47 meters high, adorned with mystifying ornaments, the Prambanan temple complex is home to an estimated 240 small and big temples. And yet, only 18 temples were successfully restored. The remnants of the others are scattered piles of stones. The three primary deities are called Candi Trimurti (three forms), representative of the three supreme Hindu gods: Brahma Sang Pencipta (Brahma, the creator); Wisnu Sang Pemelihara (Vishnu, the sustainer) and Siwa Sang Pemusnah (Shiva, the destroyer).
Visitors can easily reach the magnificent temples by taking a bus, the Trans Jogya, because it is located only about 17 kilometers to the east of the city center of Yogyakarta.
Another thing that makes Yogyakarta special is that its sultanate is still well preserved. Centralized in the keraton (palace), the Yogyakarta sultanate is a great way to learn about authentic cultures from the city.
Founded by Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono I in 1755, the Yogyakarta keraton was built amid the split of the Islamic kingdom of Mataram under the Giyanti Treaty.
The Yogyakarta Palace Complex is divided into three areas from north to south. The areas are divided into other smaller, areas that also house several structures.
In every building, visitors can see architectural designs that contain symbolic meanings.
In the western area of Alun-Alun Utara, there is the Gedhe Kasultanan Mosque Complex.
In the second area, you can find a kedaton (throne), a home to important buildings such as Prabayeksa Pavillion, Kencana Pavillion, Gedong Purworetno, Gedong Jene, Trajutrisno, Bangsal Manis, Kasatriyan, Keputren, Kedaton Kilen and Kedaton Wetan. The tourist objects include Tugu Golong Gilig, Panggung Krapyak, Kepatihan and Pathok Negoro.
Your visit to Yogyakara won’t be complete until you visit Taman Sari, the site of a formal royal garden of the Yogyakarta Sultanate, rich in classical nuances. Located 300 meters to the west of the Yogyakarta Palace, the Taman Sari has been restored several times, keeping it well maintained without losing its historical value.
Taman Sari features a pool surrounded by six-meter-high fortresses. In the old times, the site served as a place where wives of the sultan bathed. If you come here, you will find a sort of viewing tower. Once you’ve explored the lower part of Taman Sari, you can ascend to reach the tower, which will allow you to enjoy a view of the city from above. In the tower, there is a window with an authentic wooden bar that has never been replaced since its construction. What is more, visitors can view residents’ houses, the area of which was originally intended for the fruit planation of the Yogyakarta Sultanate.
On top of that, delicious culinary delights and other diverse creative economy products add to the specialties of Yogyakarta.
One of the typical foods that visitors can try is gudeg, a traditional dish made from nagka (jack fruit) stewed for several hours with palm sugar and coconut milk.
Gudeg is commonly served with steamed rice, chicken, boiled egg, tofu and tempeh and sambel goreng krechek (stew of crispy beef skin). The enjoyment of eating the tasty food will surely cause visitors to always remember the specialties of Yogyakarta.
Are you eager to understand more about Javanese culture? If so, visit a number of Tourism villages in Yogyakarta, such as Tembi, Pentingsari and Nglanggeran. The destinations support sustainable tourism and, at the same time, provide outlets to learn from local wisdom and savor unique experiences.
In Tembi tourism village, visitors can take a look at a collection of cultural items, learn how to make batik, enjoy traditional cuisine and participate in healthy and refreshing outbound activities. Meanwhile, in Wisata Pentingsari tourism village, visitors will have an opportunity to mingle with local residents and learn about herbal medicines, explore the village by taking a car, a Volkswagen, and also experience the fun of staying the night in a camper van. In Wisata Nglanggeran tourism village, you must not miss out learning how to make chocolate and seeing beautiful natural attractions.
Visitors will have endless tourism spots to visit for their impressive holiday #DiIndonesiaAja (Just in Indonesia). There are still many other appealing destinations in Yogyakarta and its surrounding areas that you must visit. Apart from cultural and historic tourist spots, visitors can indulge in shopping tourism along the legendary and internationally recognized Malioboro street.
You can visit Pasar Beringharjo, the oldest market in the Yogyakarta Sultanate, which has been operating since 1758. Here, visitors can enjoy varied refreshments at eateries such as Es Dawet Mbah Hari, Bakmi Pentil Bu Marzuki, Sup Kembang Waru, Krasikan and many more.
You can also find a varied craft products that you can bring home as souvenirs, such as batik fabric and leather puppets. Don’t forget to visit Kotagede, where you can find a collection of high-quality silver items.
Indonesia has the fortune of holding the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) this year, the biggest tourism conference in Southeast Asia, with Yogyakarta entrusted with hosting the event this year.
ATF 2023 will last for four days, from Feb. 2 to Feb.5, 2023.
Delegates from ASEAN and from several invited countries outside the group will discuss a number of tourism issues.
As the ATF is getting near, Yogyakarta is getting ready host the annual event, which was first held 20 years ago.
Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno has inspected the preparations for this year’s ATF, themed “ASEAN: A Journey to Wonderful Destinations”, in Yogyakarta.
He said Yogyakarta offered complete infrastructure that exceeded expectations and needs, such as the availability of the Yogyakarta International Airport, a range of five star hotels, superior destinations and super priority destinations such Borobudur temple.
Minister Sandiaga expressed the hope that the successful holding of the ATF could underpin the achievement of the foreign and domestic tourist target of 7.4 million in 2023.
“Certainly, our hope is to attract tourist arrivals and to see them buy Indonesia’s creative economy products. We also hope that the successful organizing of ATF 2023 can make an early contribution to achieving the target of 7.4 million tourists,” he said.
He also hoped that the international event could bring about new initiatives to cope with various major challenges to which the world is paying heed.
“And the ministry will be the first to welcome the Indonesian force in ASEAN in 2023. That’s why, hopefully the central government, the Yogyakarta regional administration and tourism industry players will attend and support the success of ATF 2023,” he said.
This year’s ATF will be held in the Expo Centre, where the TRAVEX (Travel Exchange) will be held, and Prambanan temple, where the conference will be opened. Apart from the two venues, the Yogyakarta Palace will serve as the site of a royal dinner for the invited delegates. A number of destinations in Yogyakarta will also be utilized to promote tourism potential in Yogyakarta.
If you are interested in making travel plans to Yogyakarta, make sure that you have met the obligations regarding COVID-19 vaccination and adhere to the prevailing health protocols.
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