The photo above was taken while the plane rotating on top of Java island, before descending to Adisutjipto Airport, Yogyakarta.
Looking at the subtle motion of the wave at coastline through the window, it feels like viewing a GIF-ted image.
I didn’t have any idea about Yogyakarta when I purchased my flight tickets.
Then I came to the name part –Yogyakarta or Jogjakarta?
Well, both are refer to the same city. Most people just refer the city as Yogya or Jogja.
Another tricky part is the pronunciation! Despite the official spelling ‘Yogyakarta’, the name is usually pronounced as Jogjakarta or just Jogja (JOGH-jah).
1 • Fritters
If it’s not because of my one foodie friend kept raving about Yogyakarta food, I would not thinking of coming to Yogya.
Yes, I admit. When I said I didn’t have any idea about Yogya, I did already have some idea about food to eat.
On my first day, I spotted a food shop cooking and selling dishes. All fresh cooked just out from wok. There were few types of fritter among the dishes. Fried tempe and vegetables and all sorts. They were sold as snacks or served with rice.
I immediately understood why my foodie friend misses Indonesian fritters.
2 • The beaches
The amazing ariel view of Indian Ocean from the plane made me come here. After a few rounds of Q&A with locals, I picked the beaches in Gunung Kidul region.
It’s not easy to reach here if you don’t have a private transport. Though the locals were friendly to help, most of them were not capable to understand the transport route as well!
It was worth to make the effort nevertheless.
You got to be here to see what my eyes have seen because my camera didn’t capture the grandness of it. With the waves of Indian Ocean hitting the rocky bay, the landscape was truly breathtaking. I can’t tell you how many times I gasped ‘wow’ on the viewpoints that my scooter driver brought me to … and he was just kept giggling seeing my expression.
So called a paradise but take a look of this.
The village is well informed with this tsunami evacuation map.
3 • The street food
I easily go crazy over street food. I mean, why not? It’s cheap and convenient. On top of it, it’s quite something to see food been cooked and prepared in front of my eyes.
Yogya had so much to offer to such a person like me. The only problem was, I always been tempted to buy more than I could eat.
Hence I had to think constantly on what to pick while strolling around the streets of Yogya.
My favourite was gado-gado, the best food to beat the heat of tropical weather! Crunchy, juicy and refreshing.
Indonesian dessert is quite similar to Malaysian’s but far more variety. Bubur kacang ijo is richer and tastier than bubur kacang hijau in my country … something that I never thought of! So much to discover … es jeruk wedhang ronde sate oh yeah I can eat savoury Indonesian emping (bite-size chip) non-stop*!
The best part about street food was — I got the chance to interact with the street vendors. I think I did well with my Bahasa.
4 • Taming Sari the Water Castle and the Underground Mosque
Taman Sari was a resting area, meditation area and hiding place of the Sultan of Yogyakarta. The castle is believed to be a place for the sultan to accommodate his concubines.
Here is the picture of the tower where the sultan stayed to spy on his concubines.
Today, only the pool complex remained as a reminder of a once flourishing area.
Walking from Taming Sari to Kampoeng Cyber and here it is – the unusual Underground Mosque or Sumur Gumuling. It was built around the 18th century by the Sultan of Yogyakarta where it is said to be his private prayer place.
The architecture was impressive judging by how enthusiastic of this guy doing his photography.
5 • The pets
There are surely many animal lovers in Yogya!
I saw pigeons with homes (obviously they were built by locals), just beside a street.
A proud rooster in the compound of Taming Sari, with his happy family – hens and chicks.
And a cat that wished to speak to me. (I tried my best to read his expression)
Oh yeah, I must show you these photos.
While on the train trip from Yogya to Prambanan, I saw this cute scene from my window.
A cat and a guy sitting next to each other. Hang on… it was not like the only two seats left in this train station.
Have you seen something like this before?
Let’s go to the part 2 for another five things I hate about Yogya!
*Thanks to my guesthouse owner who fed me enough emping.