Yogyakarta, often shortened to just Yogya, is Java's cultural capital and the seat of the once mighty Javanese Sultanate of Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat. It is home to many a gamelan orchestra, as well as to classical and contemporary dancers, painters and other artists, while Yogya's wayang kulit (shadow puppet) theaters are exemplary.
Yogyakarta is also a cnnvenient hub to visit the world famous Borobudur temple and the Prambanan temple complex that date back more than 10 centuries. Some years ago, a modern light show was designed to bring added value to these places of worship and extend visiting hours to well after sunset.
The Sultan's palace surely is one of Yogya's main tourist magnets and a visit to this Royal House is a must. Right behind the palace we'll find a maze of narrow streets and alleys that reveal the quarters of the people that once worked at the palace or, in some cases, still do. Wondering these quarters opens up a rare view on a historic place of bygone years.
Yogya's batik industry is worth paying a visit as it is here that one gets the 'full monty' on how batik, once a thriving home industry, is made and produced. Kota Gede is home to the silver industry, yet another handicraft industry for which Yogya has a claim for fame. Here one can witness designers and craftsmen in their daily role of makers of famous Yogya silver items that find their way the world over.
Yogya's main shopping street is named Jalan Malioboro where little stalls sell everything under the sun from textiles to handicraft and other kitsch items and souvenirs. After the sun has set, Jalan Malioboro is turned into an open-air restaurant where the famous nasi gudeg and other famous central Javanese delicacies are sold. In the food stalls, one doesn't expect a chair to sit on or an old-fashioned table to eat from, as the Javanese usually eat while sitting on a mat or tikar. We call it lesehan.
Yogya offers golf on two 18 holes courses and one 9 holes course. In the foothills of Mount Merapi (Fire Mountain), one of the many active volcanoes that dot central Java's landscape, we find one of Indonesia's most impressive golf settings, Merapi Golf. Playing golf in the shadow of an active volcano is something completely different, something you must have done at least once in your live.
Near Adi Sutjipto airport we find an older parkland course with tree-lined fairways. Maintenance is somewhat poor, but the layout makes up for it in a big way. If you're not too spoiled a golfer, go there and play it. It's cozy and real friendly. You surely will like it. The Hyatt Yogya has a 9 holes practice course that allows you to put in a quick round. Mostly par 3 and par 4 holes and just one par 5 will have you back in your room in less than two hours.
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