Yogyakarta (or Yogya as it is frequently abbreviated to) holds a special place in Java as a centre of education, arts and culture. Handily located as a stopover from Jakarta en-route to Bali, the city has a relaxed, erudite feel to it. As a Sultanate (of Hamengkubuwono if you’re interested!), and ‘autonomous region’ (a privilege only shared with Banda Aceh), the people are fiercely proud of their city – and rightly so. As the home of batik this is a great place to browse for presents – or alternative art classes for your children! The Sultan’s Palace is easily reached by horse drawn dokar, or pedal powered becak (trishaw).
A main drawer is Yogya’s proximity to the stunning Borobudur – the world’s largest Buddhist monument, and Prambanan, a collection of massive Hindu temples. Both UNESCO World Heritage Sites are valid entries for a ‘must-see’ list, and fully rewarding for those inspired to arrive before sunrise – and the other tourist hordes.
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