By Mike Smith
[Mike Smith went in search of culture and spice in Central Java and found both.]
Central Java has a mystical landscape of active volcanoes, rice fields and sugar cane plantations as well as an abundance of enchanting, ancient temples. It boasts a rich culture with a long history of arts, music and theatre. Other attractions include local handicrafts, spicy food and shopping.
Yogyakarta, Central Java’s crown jewel, has much to offer and is easily reached from Singapore. The bustling city of 3.5 million people has old palaces, shopping, culture and culinary delights. The vast and beautiful Borobudur and Prambanan temples are world class man made monuments.
Jalan Malioboro is Yogyakarta’s main street and is the best place to shop, especially in the evening when the night market is on. I browsed the wide selection of local goods such as batik, puppets, bamboo, silver and leather goods plus the more common tee shirts, dolls, hats and key rings and of course parted with my tourist dollar!
Snacking on the kueh desserts and drinking sugar cane juice I thoroughly enjoyed my diversion into Beringharjo Market with its dried fish, assorted chillies, prawn crackers and every imaginable fruit and vegetable.