Yogyakarta: Beguiling charm that combines mysticism and academia - Tourism Indonesia




Sunday, September 30, 2007

Yogyakarta: Beguiling charm that combines mysticism and academia

It's easy to fall in love with Yogyakarta; not so easy to explain how it is that the city so beguiles and enthralls the visitor.

To walk in Jogja, as it is fondly called -- and part of the city's charm is that it invites you to do just that -- is to be taken by surprise in a hundred tiny, enigmatic ways.

Cumulatively, the sum of all those impressions reveals that Yogyakarta's found a way to invoke simultaneously its mystical and dynastic past while getting on with its flourishing role as an academic hub.

It's the footloose wanderer Jogja best rewards. And to wander is to "go French": not only is almost every road laid out avenue-style, in straight lines, but there are proper pavements, or trotoir, a very near miss of the French trottoir.

Step off the bustling axis roads such as Jl. Sultan Agung and Jl. Senopati and there's a garden city waiting to be savored, away from the tourist essentials, such as the Kraton and Alun Alun and away from Jl. Malioboro, which has long outlived its charm.

By Adrian Thirkell


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