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Monday, 2 December 2013

Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Part I

Istanbul van Java (Istanbul Pulau Jawa)

That was the conclusion I made as I completed my visit in Yogyakarta, Indonesia (Jogja). A historic city and rich with culture. I am definitely would say, this is the Istanbul of Java. Why? I have my own reasons for sure. If Istanbul could boast with its Hagia Sophia, Jogja has the Borobodur, plus the Prambanan and Sewu. If Istanbul has the astonishing Topkapi Palace + Harem, Jogja should be proud of it's exotic Kraton Palace + Taman Sari. Definitely Kraton Palace is no match to the Topkapi Palace in many degrees but it still gives certain values for the visitors. Besides, only few compartments are opened to public. What about the Blue Mosque? For me the equivalent is the Masjid Agung Gedhe Kauman (Gedhe Kauman Grand Mosque). Then, is there any competitor for Istanbul's Grand Bazaar? Oh yes there is; it should be the Pasar Beringharjo though it is not as big as Grand Bazaar but I think Beringharjo is denser than the Grand Bazaar. Well, that is awsome. Many sources exhibit that this city had been erected since 700's during the Srivijayan Empire (I believe this place had been occupied prior than that but I had lack of evidence). Then came the famous Majaphit and Mataram Sultanate. Mataram Sultanate (later Yogjakarta + Surakarta Sultanate) has been regarded as one of the surviving kingdom though the Dutch (Netherlands) occupancy in Indonesia since 1600's. The other is Achehnese Sultanate (Go Acheh Go!). Hmm, it looks like the power transfer from Seljuk to Ottoman and Byzantine to Ottoman in Turkey indeed. What a complicated history. If the Dolmabache Palace accommodates the Ottoman descendants till now, so on with the Kraton Palace which become the Majestic Palace for the past and present Kings of Jogja. That's why Jogja had been recognized as a 'Special District of Yogjakarta'.
Similarity Analysis Between Istanbul and Jogja

Interesting Attractions (Compared to Istanbul):
  • Kraton Palace >> (Topkapi Palace)
  • Taman Sari Water Castle >> (Harem Sultan)
  • Masjid Agung Gedhe Kauman >> (Blue Mosque)
  • Pasar Beringharjo >> (Grand Bazaar)
  • Borobodur >> (Hagia Sophia)
  • Malioboro St. and Mangkubumi St. >> (Sultanahmet and Beyazid area)
  • Benteng Vrandenburg >> (Rumeli Hisari)
  • Underground Mosque and Water Castle >> (Basilica Cistern with Medusa head)

*** Additional places to visit in Jogja:
  • Mount Merapi Park
  • Prambanan & Sewu Temple
  • Ratu Boko
  • Kotagede silversmith zone
  • Batik making near Kraton Palace
  • Parangritis and Samas Beaches
  • Car museum

  • Baklava ~ Bakpia Pathuk
  • Turkish tomato rice ~ Nasi Gudeg 
  • Meatball pasta ~ Soto Bebola Sapi
  • Kebap ~ Sate
  • Turkish delight ~ Dodol Garut
  • Turkish tea ~ Teh Poci

Cultural activities:
  • Whirling Dervish ~ Kuda kepang
  • Turkish dance ~ Gamelan and Wayang kulit

and many more..and more...and more.....

That's why I say, this is the Istanbul of Java. Interesting places to visit? As I mentioned above. The detail of my travelogue with few tips is described in the next part. For me, it is worth to visit Jogja, there are more to explore, learn and enjoy.

 Prambanan Temple (Hindu)

 Borobodur Temple (Buddha)

 Taman Sari Water castle

 Ramayana Epic Theathre

 Kraton Palace - It is a big palace but only few sections are opened to the public

 Model of the Grand Mosque at Kraton Palace. The real mosque is just 200m from the palace.

 Pasar Beringharjo (Beringharjo Market)

The famous and authentic Nasi Gudeg (Gudeg rice) with additional Kerang bakar (grilled cockles) and Fried Prawn. You might find it during the breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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