Yogyakarta Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia (4K)
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Yogyakarta Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia (4K)

The Indonesian city of Yogyakarta rests on
central Java, between the cool breezes of the Indian Ocean
and the steamy breath of volcanoes. It’s a scenic train ride from Jakarta, or a short flight from Bali or Singapore. The home of sultans, artists and the devout
since the 8th century, Yogyakarta is the gentle epicenter of classical
Javanese culture and education. Step from the main station into the bustling
flow of Jalan Malioboro, and you could be in just about any Javanese city. This is where Jogja, as the city is known, comes to wander, shop, and snack, …but refinement, is just a becak ride away. Cruise down Jalan Malioboro to the very soul
of the city, the Kraton. Since 1785 this city within a city has been
the home of sultans, and the keeping place of
Yogyakarta’s incredible cultural, intellectual and spiritual traditions. While the inner palace serves as the royal
family’s private home, the ceremonial courtyards, …pavilions…and museums are open to all. Nearby, visit Taman Sari, the water palace
where sultans of old – and their chosen few could escape the demands of duty, and the
Javanese sun. Yogyakarta’s courtly center sets the tone
of Javanese culture, and from here the island’s arts flow forth
in all their purest forms. In the gamelan’s percussive magic, which drifts across the Kraton’s walls to
far-off kampongs, inspiring the maestros of tomorrow. In the ageless shadows of the Wayang Kulit
puppets, who pass thousand-year-old stories of good
and evil across the ages. In the fine strands of silver, which have
been woven into delicate artworks for centuries. In a cuisine that leans toward sweetness rather
than fire, …and in the molten beeswax making its rhythmic
marks across the finest batiks. While Jogja is a place of tradition, it’s also a place of ever-evolving culture. Just a few steps from the Kraton, walk the
lanes of Kampong Cyber, where the community has combined street art
with online expression to forge new creative possibilities. A short becak ride away is the Affandi Museum, the former home, gallery and resting place of the maverick artist who loosened the binds
of tradition, and created a seismic shift in Indonesian
painting. Jogja has long been at the epicenter of political
and ideological shifts as well. Just across from the presidential palace, pass through the gates of Fort Vredeburg to
hear the stories of resistance and sacrifice that led to the creation of the Indonesian
Republic. Just 10 miles to the north-east of Jogja, venture back to the eighth and ninth centuries, to a time when Buddhism and Hinduism vied
for the kingdom’s hearts and minds. Prambanan is the heart of a Hindu temple network that stretches for miles. Pay your respects at the towering temples
of Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma, then follow the bas-relief panels in a clock-wise
direction to see epic Hindu tales unfold from within
the stone. Just a half hour stroll from the main complex
is Ratu Boko, where palatial remains frame the same views
to Mount Merapi once enjoyed by the visiting princes who rested
here after long days of devotion. Yogyakarta sits at the doorstep of incredible
Buddhist monasteries and temples too. While many stand shoulder to shoulder with
the Hindu temples of the Prambanan Plain, the greatest of them all, Borobudur, lies
20 miles to the northwest. Borobudur is the world’s largest Buddhist
temple, and one of the most visited sights on all
of Indonesia’s 13,000 islands. Come early for a sunrise you’ll never forget, as hundreds of stone Buddhas bless the new
day’s light, just as they have for over a millennia. Yogyakarta is more than just a city; it’s
a kingdom. Climb aboard a dokar and ride though the immaculate
farmlands and kampongs of the rural heartlands, where life’s necessities and pleasures are
still handmade, and made with heart. Meet the people who live calmly and creatively
within the shadow of Mount Merapi, an active volcano whose moods have been known to topple temples and bury villages with ash. In our unsteady, rapidly-changing world, deep cultural roots anchor us to all that
is important. Culture teaches us to embrace and appreciate
the meaning in all life’s moments, from the richest to the ordinary. If that’s the kind of journey you’re looking for, take a ride through Yogyakarta, a cultural kingdom that steadies the spirit, and inspires the soul.


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