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Yogyakarta— despite the official spelling, the name is usually pronounced and not uncommonly written Jogjakarta or just Jogja (JOG-jah) — is a major tourism destination in Indonesia. It is the capital of Yogyakarta Special Region to the south of Central Java province. Understand Jogja is a great base for visiting Borobudur, the world’s largest Buddhist […]

Wolfgang Holzem

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Yogyakarta— despite the official spelling, the name is usually pronounced and not uncommonly written Jogjakarta or just Jogja (JOG-jah) — is a major tourism destination in Indonesia. It is the capital of Yogyakarta Special Region to the south of Central Java province.

Understand

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Jogja is a great base for visiting Borobudur, the world’s largest Buddhist structure

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Prambanan, the masterpiece of Javanese Hinduism

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Bank Indonesia Building

Yogyakarta is a bustling town of some 500,000 people and the most popular tourism destination on Java, largely thanks to its proximity to the temples of Borobudur and Prambanan. The city is a centre of art and education, offers some good shopping and has a wide range of tourist facilities.

The city (kota) of Yogyakarta is one of five districts in the semi-autonomous province of Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta (DIY), the “Yogyakarta Special Region”. The other districts are the regencies of:

  • Sleman on the slopes of fiery Mount Merapi to the north
  • Bantul all the way to the sea to the south
  • The hills of Gunungkidul to the east
  • The lowlands of Kulon Progo to the West

This special status is thanks to the Sultanate of Hamengkubuwono, which has ruled the area since 1749 and steered the state through difficult times of occupation and revolution. During the Indonesian war of independence, Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX offered the fledgeling Indonesian government his enclave as a capital city. Yogyakarta became the revolutionary capital of the republic from 1946 to 1949 when Jakarta was still occupied by the Dutch. As a result, the newly-independent Indonesia appointed the Sultan as the governor of the province of DIY — the only one in Indonesia that is not elected directly by the people. The Indonesian central government has tried to weaken the sultan’s power by calling for direct elections for the governor. The present sultan, Hamengkubuwono X, was chosen by an overwhelming majority.

Yogyakarta lies in one of the most seismically active parts of Java and has been repeatedly struck by earthquakes and volcano eruptions. The worst in recent times was the earthquake of 27 May 2006, which killed over 6,000 people and flattened over 300,000 houses. The epicentre was 25 km (16 mi) south of the city, which avoided the worst of the quake. A surprisingly effective disaster recovery effort repaired most of the physical damage quickly.

Yogyakarta is full of domestic tourists during school holidays, with tourist buses on the visitor hotspots of shopping street Jl Malioboro and the northern palace square, or alun-alun, trapped in heavy traffic. Vehicles, parking and vendors contribute to the traffic jams.

Tourist information

There are three information offices, one at the airport, one at the main railway station, and this main one:

  • -7.79527110.365741 Tourist information office, Jl Malioboro No.16 (Next to Hotel Mutiara). M–Th 07:30–20:00, F–Sa 07:30–19:30. Has maps in English and can give useful information. (updated Nov 2017)

Get in

By plane

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Adisucipto International Airport

  • x-7.788056110.4316671 Adisucipto International Airport, Jl Solo (8 km (5.0 mi) east of the city). A small but busy, mostly domestic hub. Near-hourly connections to Jakarta (50 minutes) and Denpasar, while other domestic airlines service major cities in Java, Sumatra, Kalimantan and Sulawesi. For international flights, Air Asia goes to both Kuala Lumpur and Singapore and SilkAir connects to Singapore. There is a tourist information desk and ATMs in the arrival hall. Lua error in Module:Wikibase at line 96: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value). (Q1430731) on Wikidata Adisucipto International Airport on Wikipedia 

Getting into the city

By bus
  • TransJogja bus 1A goes to the main Tugu train station and Jl Malioboro for Rp3,500. Buy the ticket at the bus stop.
By taxi

Airport taxis cost around Rp50,000 depending on destination. Pay at the desk in the arrival terminal and head for the rank. Give the receipt to your driver, there is no need for any additional payment. It is about half the price to use a taxi dropping passengers off at the departure terminal – insist on using the meter. Expect to pay the Rp2,000 airport entrance fee, even though this has already been paid by the previous passenger on the way in.

By rail

Take the Prambanan Ekspres train that runs between Palur (just east of Solo) and Kutoarjo, west of Jogja, from Maguwo station, a few minutes walk from airport arrivals. In Yogyakarta the train calls at the main Tugu station, just off Jl Malioboro. In Solo it calls at Balapan station.

Ride-hailing services

You can use ride-hailing apps to get picked up but you will be picked up outside the airport in front of the Class I Immigration Office on Jl Solo, an eight-minute walk from the terminal.

By bus

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Giwangan bus station in Jogja

  • -7.83486110.392362 Giwangan Bus Station (Terminal Giwangan), Jl Imogiri Timur, Giwangan (4 km southeast of the centre), fax: +62 274 748 3333. Regular services from across Java and beyond, including Jakarta (9 hours), Bandung (6 hours), and Surabaya (8 hours). In Jakarta, there are many bus stations like Lebak Bulus in the south, Pulo Gebang in the East and Kalideres in the west. Passengers can choose an operator departing to Yogyakarta like Safari Dharma Raya, Handoyo, and Ramayana. From Surabaya, buses for Jogja leave from Purabaya Bus Station. Operators include Sugeng Rahayu and Eka. There is also some scheduled travel available. Buses to Jogja from Bandung leave from Cicaheum terminal, travelling either directly or via Purwokerto (6–7 hours, Rp45,000), from where there are regular buses to Yogyakarta (4–5 hours, Rp30,000). (updated Mar 2019)
  • -7.748110.3623 Jombor Bus Station (Terminal Jombor), Jl Magelang, Sinduadi, Mlati, Sleman (Just above the northern ringroad, where the Magelang road hits it.). For travel from the north of the city, from Borobudur or Semarang, for example. The going rate for westerners to Borobudur is Rp15,000–25,000 (locals Rp7,000). (updated Nov 2017)

Small shuttle buses called travel ply the routes from Semarang and Solo. One such service is Joglosemar (Jogja-Solo-Semarang), Rp45,000 from Semarang, and Rp25,000 from Solo.

  • Joglosemar (Joglosemar), Jl Magelang Km 5.5. Rp25,000–45,000. 
  • Day Trans, Purawisata, Jl Brigjen Katamso. Rp50,000 (Semarang). 

By train

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Tugu, the main railway station in Jogja

  • -7.7892359110.36344734 Tugu Railway Station (Stasiun Tugu), Jl Mangkubumi No.1. The main central station, serving cities such as Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya and Solo. To check schedules and buy tickets enter from Jl Pasar Kembang (i.e., from the east end) and get a queue number from the stand facing the ticket windows. Then go to the opposite side of the room and fill out a ticket request slip, consulting the timetables on the wall to your left. You will be called to the appropriate ticket window, the announcement will be called (in Indonesian only) and displayed on the electronic sign on the wall. To check schedules and buy tickets online use tiket.com. 
    • Yogyakarta and Solo are connected by the Prambanan Ekspres service. Despite the name, the train does not stop at Prambanan station, and even if it did make an unscheduled stop, the station is rather far from the temple complex. The Prambanan Ekspres does stop at Maguwo station for Yogyakarta airport.
    • Trains from Jakarta take at least seven hours. The Argo-class trains (Argo Lawu and Argo Dwipangga) are the fastest and most comfortable, Rp375,000 (~8 hr, including mineral water and snacks). Taksaka is almost as good at Rp350,000. The line between Kroya and Prupuk is scenic, where the line crosses the main backbone mountains of Java. Business (Eksekutif) class trains from Jakarta (514 km (319 mi) 8 hr) now cost from Rp260,000 and from Surabaya from Rp110,000. A ticket on a 3rd class train from Jakarta to Yogyakarta costs from Rp85,000 and from Surabaya Rp50,000.
    • Passengers from Bandung should take the Argo Wilis or Lodaya expresses which cross a scenic part of Java during daylight. Lodaya departures at 7:20 AM and it takes 7 hours to Jogja, the fare starts from Rp 215,000. There is also an overnight Lodaya and the Turangga from Surabaya also travels overnight. The fare is from Rp180,000 including mineral water and snacks.
    • Passengers from Surabaya are served by the twice-daily Sancaka service departing in the morning and afternoon.
  • -7.7901110.37535 Lempuyangan train station (Stasiun Lempuyangan), Jl Lempuyangan. Serves economy class trains and commuter trains. 

Get around

Yogyakarta is a relatively small city, so travelling around town should not be too expensive. If you are travelling on foot, a street sign facing you at a corner indicates the name of the street you are entering, not the cross street.

By bus

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TransJogja Bus Stop

Medium and small buses are the main public transport in Yogyakarta.

The TransJogja rapid transit system operates from 05:30 to 21:30 and stops only at designated shelters. They are air-conditioned and generally safe. Tickets can be bought at the kiosks, and the cost for single trip is Rp3,600. You can buy regular trip cards which cut the per trip cost to Rp3,000, and allows transit to other shelters. Get a free route map for the TransJogja buses at the Tourist Information Centre on Jl Malioboro.

Buses other than TransJogja normally operate 06:00 to 17:00, or 21:00 for some long routes. The cost for a single trip is Rp3,000 regardless of distance (within the city). Usually on a bus there will be a driver and a helper who will hang from the side of the bus and handle money and try to get passengers. The helper will usually tap you on the shoulder to indicate you should pay him. If there is no helper you can pay the driver directly. When you are ready to get off a bus, tell the driver or helper “kiri” (KIH-ree) which means left.

By car or motorbike

There are several car and motorbike rental agencies just outside Tugu Station, on the street that runs east-west just south of the station. A car or motorbike delivery and pick-up at the airport remain the best way to rent them.

Driving a car in Indonesia is never a rewarding experience. But for those that would like to, a Toyota Avanza or Daihatsu Xenia (6 passengers) can be rented for around Rp250,000-Rp300,000 for 24 hours, or Rp175,000-Rp225,000 for 12 hours. A new green car, Toyota Agya or Daihatsu Ayla, can be rented for Rp150,000 for 24 hours. Most of the companies will ask you for the driving licence and ID cards for security reasons.

Renting a car with driver is a more relaxing proposition. A driver will cost an additional Rp50,000-200,000 a day. The cost of a car with a driver may vary depending on whether fuel is included for a set distance or for the whole itinerary. Prices are always subject to negotiation and may increase or decrease due to local demand, type and age of vehicle and your individual requirements at the time. The normal rates (not the high season/peak season) will be around Rp450,000-500,000 per 12 hours service.

A near new semi-automatic (clutchless) motorbike can be rented for Rp60,000 per 24 hours; older bikes may come for less, and fully automatic bikes such as a Honda Vario or Yamaha Mio may sometimes cost Rp5,000-10,000 more. Many roads outside Yogyakarta are unpaved, especially around Mount Merapi area, so many motorcycle rentals offer a semi-offroad automatic bike with daily fee around Rp75,000.

By taxi

Yogyakarta’s taxis are metered and most drivers are trustworthy. All taxis have a flagfall of Rp7,000 for the first kilometre and then Rp4,250 for every subsequent kilometre. Most trips around the centre should not cost more than Rp20,000. If you find a driver you feel comfortable with, ask for their mobile number so next time you need to travel you can call him directly. Most drivers are more than happy to do this.

By ojek

Motorcycle taxis are widespread. They usually gather at designated spots (pangkalan), where you will haggle your way to a ride. Not comfortable or convenient for carrying luggage, but quicker if the traffic jammed.

Nowadays, organized ojek are strong competitors to taxis and ojek pangkalan. Pickup is free and you pay according to the printout from the meter. No haggling. Try:

  • O’jack motorbike taxi, Jl Dr Sardjito 11, Jogja; Rumah Makan Ny Suharti, Jl Solo 208 (Janti flyover). Rp2 per meter or Rp2,000 per kilometer. 

Disability ojek are also available in Yogyakarta. The system is run by disabled persons, including the drivers. Using motorcycles with sidecars, the can carry a person with a wheelchair. Spacious enough, so two slim non-disabled people can also use it. Try:

  • Difa City Tour and Transport. Instagram: @difacitytour Twitter: @difact Facebook: difa ct Rp20,000 for the first 5 km and Rp2,500 for each subsequent kilometer.. (updated Nov 2017)

By ride-hailing

Ride-hailing apps such as Grab and Gojek are ubiquitous in Yogyakarta and can be used to request car or motorbike rides. They are typically cheaper than taxis, have short waiting times in the central area, and are mostly straightforward to use, expect a very little English from most drivers. When you request a car or motorbike using one of these apps, it’s handy to have an Indonesian speaker to help you communicate with the driver, or learn some of the keywords and phrases used in this situation. See the Indonesian phrasebook.

By becak

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Muscle-powered transport: becak

Three-wheeled pedal-powered trishaws or pedicabs, known as becak (BAY-cha’), can be found in most parts of Yogyakarta, for shortish journeys (remember there is some poor guy pedalling away behind you). Bargaining furiously before getting in. Be sure to determine whether the price is for a one-way or return (pulang) trip and if you want the driver to wait while you conduct your shopping or business. The journey from within the city to the Malioboro shopping precinct should not cost more than Rp 10,000.

By dokar

The two-wheeled horse-drawn carriage is still found in Jogja. While happy to do a tourist jaunt, they are mostly used by the Jogjanese for shortish trips around their neighbourhoods, to and from the market, for example.

On foot

As in the rest of Indonesia, walking in Jogja is probably one of the least convenient and least popular ways of transport, with two remarkable exceptions:

  • Jalan Malioboro, with its vibrant street life, colourful shop facades, large walkways and street artists;
  • The charming Kampung Taman Sari neighborhood containing the remains of the Taman Sari Water Castle.

See

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The bird market

Being one of the oldest cities in Indonesia, Yogyakarta has many heritage buildings and monuments.

The number one must-see attraction is Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono’s palace, better known as Kraton Ngayogyakarta. Near the palace are a number of other heritage buildings : the BNI ’46 building, the Central Post Office and Bank Indonesia.

Other notable landmarks and attractions are:

  • -7.8003110.36651 Benteng Vredeburg (Vredeburg Fort), Jl Jenderal Ahmad Yani No.6. A Dutch fort in front of Gedung Agung (the President’s Palace). A great example of Dutch colonial architecture. A few military items are presented, including a twin cannon. 
  • -7.9263110.31932 Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Gereja Ganjuran), Jalan Ganjuran, Sumbermulyo, Bambanglipuro, Jogodayoh, Sumbermulyo, Bambang Lipuro, Bantul, DIY 55764 (11 miles south of the city centre). This Catholic church is remarkable for its Javanese styling. The main building is in the form of a traditional joglo, and there is a chapel in the form of a Hindu temple. Mary, Jesus and the angels are represented as Javanese. (updated Jul 2018)
  • -7.9205110.39573 Imogiri royal graves. Graveyard of the Sultan Agung and his descendants, the Yogyakarta and Surakarta royal families. It was damaged during an earthquake in 2006 but has been reopened. 
  • Kotabaru. The Dutch officials’ residential area has some heritage homes, a colonial style church, monastery (Gereja Kotabaru), and a stadium (Stadion Kridosono). (updated Nov 2017)
  • -7.8283110.39984 Kotagede. The capital of the ancient Islamic Mataram kingdom. The tomb of its first king, Panembahan Senopati, is here in the royal graveyard. Before independence, Kotagede was Jogja’s economic centre, as it had the largest market and was home to many wealthy batik merchants. Some of the older buildings have been modernised or replaced with newer buildings, but Kotagede remains a prime example of Javanese architecture and city structure. Check out the local silver handicrafts. 
  • -7.7829031110.3669685 Tugu Monument. A downtown landmark. Built by Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono VI, the spire was originally a sphere representing the universe. During the colonial era, the spire was replaced with a golden cylinder. 

The Kraton

The Sultan’s palace or Kraton encompasses the main palace, the sultan’s residential buildings, two alun-alun (palace squares), and a large residential area where the sultan’s servants used to live.

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At night, the ‘alun-alun’ is ablaze with the lights of decorated chariots

  • -7.804153110.3643666 Northern alun-alun (Alun-alun utara). Built for training the Sultan’s army, it was opened to the public during the reign of Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX. Now used for the quarterly Garebeg parade held in the months of Maulud, Besar and Sawal, according to the Javanese calendar. In the parade, the Sultan’s servants carry huge cone-shaped offerings to the alun-alun. After the parade, attendees scramble to get a scrap of the offering as it is believed to bring good luck. Prior to the month of Maulud, a popular public fair is held here for 30 days, offers many kinds of goods from traditional handicrafts to Chinese ceramics. A snack associated with the fair is the doughnut-like galundeng. On weekend or holiday nights, pedal cars decorated with lights (gowes) can be hired to make a circuit of the square. 
  • -7.80577110.3641127 Kraton Yogyakarta. Sa-Th 08:00–13:00, F 08:00–11:00. A calm and elegant example of Javanese heritage with two separate entrances; the Main Court (Pagilaran and Siti Hinggil) and the Residence. The Main Court showcases the grandeur of the Sultan’s monarchy, while the Residence is more homely, showcasing the royal family’s luxurious lifestyle. There are regular free performances of music and dance. Check out the times when you arrive in Yogajakarta. (Every Sunday at 11:00 as of May 2020). There are three gamelans in the palace, and the pavilion nearest the entrance houses one of them. If it is being played, feel free to take a seat and enjoy it for a while. The Residence: Rp12,500 (non-Indonesian resident) or Rp5,000 (Indonesian resident), Rp1,000 extra for a photo. The main court: half the price of the residence. A guide is part of the entrance fee, but they would appreciate a modest tip. You might be offered a trip to the ‘sultan’s servants’ batik workshop’. This is a scam that will only bring you to a regular batik shop with inflated prices.. 
  • -7.8054778110.36267868 Carriage Museum (Museum Kereta). Houses the Sultan’s horse-drawn carriages, including two beautiful carriages imported from the Netherlands and known as Golden Carriages (kereta kencana). 
  • -7.8100328110.35907229 Water Castle (Taman Sari), Jl Taman, Kraton. daily 09:00–15:00. This is a partly-ruined complex built as a pleasure garden by the first Sultan in 1765. One of the bathing pools was dedicated to the sultan’s harem, and he had a tower overlooking the area so he could take his pick. Towards the back is the original entrance to the pools, a small dock connected to a long-since-vanished river; a bit of snooping beyond this entrance will get you to a back street, where one can visit a fascinating network of tunnels and rooms, including an Escher-like series of interlacing staircases over what looks like a disused well. Rp7,000 for entrance, Rp1,000 for a photo permit. Entrance fee does not cover the guide, who will expect tips.. 

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Wayang kulit (shadow puppet show)

  • Siti Hinggil Selatan. This somehow-muted palace is rarely used for formal occasion. You can catch a shadow puppet performance during weekend mornings and nights. There is no admission charge for the show and you can come and go as you please, which you may well want to do as the show is long and somewhat difficult to follow if you do not speak bahasa Indonesian.

Also worth seeing is the prince’s palace to the SE of the main palace.

  • -7.8039110.362510 Masjid Gede Kauman. One of the oldest and largest mosque in Yogyakarta. Located on the west of Alun-alun Utara, this mosque was where the Sultan performs his religious rites and ceremonies. (updated Nov 2017)

Yogyakarta was designed so that the main elements of the city form an imaginary line. This straight line starts from Parangtritis on the coast, through the Kraton and Tugu Monument, and finally to Mount Merapi. This represents the Sultan’s strong relationship with the guardian spirits of Mount Merapi and the ocean at Parangtritis.

Museums

  • -7.78344110.4232511 Affandi Museum, Jl Laksda Adisucipto No.167 (at the beginning of the road out to the airport), ✉ affandimuseum@yahoo.com. Delightful museum built around the former home of the late Affandi, one of Indonesia’s best-known painters. Several galleries, including one with 30 of Affandi’s paintings from his early, impressionist and expressionist periods, and another with paintings by some of his 11 children. The artist designed some of the buildings (the central complex was originally his home and offices) himself, and the grounds themselves are worth the admission price. Helpful staff to show you around. Rp20,000 including a drink. 
  • -7.789110.41666712 Aircraft Museum (Museum Dirgantara), Jl Lettu TPA Supardal (behind Adi Sucipito Airport inside the Air Force base. You will need to deposit your passport (a paper copy might be sufficient) while you are inside.). M-Th 08:00-13:00, Sa 08:00-12:00. Holds several antique aircraft from World War II, a Badger bomber, MIG-15 to MIG-21, P-51 Mustang, Catalina flying boat, Auster MkII, Lavochkin LA-11, F-86 Sabre, T-33 Bird and an A6M5 Zero. There is also a P-51 airplane simulator but it was broken (May 2020). Children on school trips will see you as a big attraction if you look western so smile and prepare to pose for many pictures. Rp5,000. 
  • -7.8154110.41313 Kekayon Museum, Jl Laksamana Adi Sucipto, Demangan, Gondokusuman, Baturetno, Banguntapan, ✉ museumkekayon@usa.net. Monday to Friday 08:30-14:00, Sa 09:00-12:00. A wayang (puppet) museum with a lush Javanese style garden. Divided into ten sections, where each holds a vast number of puppets from various places in Indonesia. Rp5,000. 
  • -7.802427110.36385114 Sonobudoyo Museum (Museum Sonobudoyo), Jl Trikora No.6 (by the northern alun-alun), fax: +62 274 385664. Many Javanese artefacts like wayang puppets, masks, statues, textiles, weapons, and a full set of gamelan instruments. Worth a visit if you have some extra time in Yogya, or you are interested in Javanese culture study. Wayang kulit performances are given every night 20:00-22:00, accompanied by gamelan. Rp20,000. Rp3,000. 

Candi (ancient temples)

Candi (CHAN-dee) are ancient structures mainly built during the 7th-9th centuries. They are built from river stones or blocks of volcanic stone . The walls are often carved with reliefs depicting stories from either Buddhism or Hinduism, and a stone statue usually sits at the center. There are many candi in and around Yogyakarta, some have been restored and made accessible.

The two most famous candi are both easily reached from Jogja. Buddhist Borobudur is a couple of hours to the northwest. The Hindu temple complex Prambanan is just to the east.

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Candi Kalasan

  • -7.766944110.47277815 Candi Kalasan (Kalasan Temple) (Around 2 km to the west of Prambanan, or 14 km to the east of Yogyakarta. To the south side of the main Prambanan-Yogyakarta road.). The oldest Buddhist candi in Yogyakarta. Built in 778 AD by Rakai Panangkaran of the Sanjaya dynasty. He was a Hindu but he built this Buddhist temple, reflecting the harmonious religious life during that time. The walls are covered with ancient white cement called bajralepa. It was built in honour of the goddess, Dewi Tara. A bronze statue of a Boddhisatva found in the candi has been removed. (updated Nov 2017)

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Candi Sambisari, buried for centuries under metres of volcanic ash

  • -7.7625110.446916 Candi Sambisari (Sambisari Temple) (Close to Adisucipto airport.). Consists of one main candi and three supporting candis (perwara). You can see lingga and yoni, symbols of male and female sex, inside the main candi. There are three statues in the wall of the main candi, Agastya on the south side, Ganesha on the east, and Dewi Durga on the north. From the lingga, yoni, and the statues, it has been concluded that Sambisari was built to worship Siva. There is no definitive agreement about when and who built the candi. But from the Wanua III inscriptions, Candi Sambisari is considered to have been constructed between 812 and 838 AD). (updated Nov 2017)
  • -7.761525110.47416717 Candi Sari (Sari Temple) (600 m to the northeast of Candi Kalasan). Built as the dormitory for a Buddhist monastery. There are two floors with three rooms on each. The reliefs are similar to those at Candi Kalasan and the walls are also covered with bajralepa. There are Boddhisatvas and Dewi Tara carved beside the windows indicating the link between Candi Kalasan and Candi Sari. The roof consists of 9 stupas in a grid formation. The holes in the construction show how timbers were used as part of the building process. This candi is considered to have been built in the same era as Candi Kalasan. (updated Nov 2017)

Art galleries

  • -7.78582110.3746518 Bentara Budaya, Jl Suroto No.2, Kota Baru, ✉ bby@bentarabudaya.com. A cultural institute set up by the Kompas Gramedia publishing and media group. Branches in Jogja, Jakarta, Solo and Bali. Art exhibitions, movies, book discussions. 
  • -7.8176110.362519 Cemeti Art House, Jl DI Panjaitan No. 41, ✉ cemetiah@indosat.net.id. Fine art and modern art exhibitions, book discussions and performances. 
  • -7.78081110.3773420 French/Indonesian Cultural Center (LIP), Jl Sagan No.3. Art exhibitions, movies, book discussions, performances, library. 
  • -7.8028110.365521 Jogja Gallery, Jl Pekapalan No.7 (near the northern alun-alun), ✉ jogjagallery@yahoo.co.id. Tu–Su 09:00–21:00. Modern art gallery exhibiting avant garde artworks. 
  • -7.8181110.362822 Kedai Kebun (Kedai Kebun Forum), Jl Tirtodipuran No.3, ✉ forumkedaikebun@gmail.com. W–M 11:00–23:00. Art space managed by artists including gallery, performance space, bookstore and restaurant. .Art exhibitions, performances, book discussions. Has accommodation for rent. 

Do

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Ray of Light (from Heaven)

  • Backstreet Academy, Jl Kartini No.7, Sagan, ✉ info@backstreetacademy.com. 06:00-22:00. The locals offer authentic activities such as fishing in the South Sea, traditional Javanese archery, cooking classes, classical Javanese dance and even tours to Boroburur and Mount Merapi. A social enterprise providing opportunities for underprivileged people. (updated Jul 2016)
  • Caving — Yogyakarta has many caves, one of the best in Goa Jomblang in Wonosari, Gunung Kidul Regency.
  • Golf — at Merapi Golf, 18 holes designed by Thomson, Wolveridge & Perrett. On the slopes of Mount Merapi, where you can enjoy the scenic view of the mountains while playing. The course was partially damaged during the 2010 eruptions but has been restored. There is also a smaller course in the grounds of the Hyatt Regency Hotel.
  • Horse-drawn carriage rides — traditional horse-drawn carriages, the four-wheeled andhong and the two-wheeled horsecart call dokar, wait for tourists outside hotspots like the train station, the Kraton and Mal Malioboro. Bargaining furiously. The traditional route is from Jl Malioboro to the Kraton. Andhong often want to take you to shop for fake Dagadu t-shirts at hefty prices in Ngasem. The cost for a round trip is about Rp20,000. They usually ask for Rp30,000 but may settle for less. While andhong primarily serve the tourist market, dokar are used more generally by the Jogjanese but are still happy to give you a tourist jaunt. Andhong can hold up to five adults, while a dokar will take about two only.
  • Masangin (masuk antara dua beringin, passing between the two banyan trees) — you can play this simple, fun game on the southern alun-alun. Participants are blindfolded and must walk straight between the two ancient banyan trees. It sounds easy but most participants usually fail.

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Progo rafting with Kisik River Camp, Yogyakarta

  • Rafting — a splashy ride on Elo or Progo rivers. There are a number of operators, including Kisik River Camp.
  • Reflexology — achieve soothing experience by having a short reflexology massage. One of the hippest among Jogjanese.
  • Street chess— when it’s quiet, particularly around the end of Jalan Malioboro near the Kraton, the becak drivers will play chess on the street with large wooden sets. You are welcome to challenge them and it’s fun. This is how they pass the time between fares, so some play for several hours each day – you’ll be up against some stiff competition. Don’t offer or accept any bets on the outcome – it takes the fun out of a good way to interact with the locals and pass the time.
  • Sunday morning on the university boulevard — every Sunday, the main boulevard in the Gadjah Mada university campus is thronged with students joggers and martial arts enthusiasts. Get there between 07:00-09:00 for a bit of exercise. After that, replace the calories you lost by sampling the foods from the many stalls. The choice includes opor ayam’ (chicken curry with rice cake), bubur ayam (rice porridge with chicken), ‘siomay (fish dumplings) and sate ambal (chicken satay with tempeh sauce). Don’t forget to check the flea market nearby.
  • Yoga & meditation — widely available including daily classes at Balance Mind-Body-Soul, Jalan Cendrawasih 36, Demangan Baru, +62 274 742 7925, +62 274 566717 (fax: +62 274 566717).

Learn

Jogja is a city of education as well as culture. It is home to at least four universities. Besides the pre-eminent Gadjah Mada University, it also hosts Yogyakarta State University (Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta), the Islamic University of Indonesia (Universitas Islam Indonesia) and the Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University (Universitas Islam Negeri Sunan Kalijaga).

Indonesia’s largest art school, the Indonesian Institute of Art (Institut Seni Indonesia) is also in the city, offering undergradate and postgraduate degrees related to traditional arts such as Javanese dance, wayang performance and gamelan music, and to modern and contemporary arts like theatre, broadcast, and graphic design.

It may be possible for non-Indonesians to study at these universities through the Indonesian-government Dharmasiswa scheme. Studies in Indonesian performing arts are a particular focus for recipients of this support.

Jogja is well-known for its language schools. There are many to choose from, including:

  • -7.7713110.39092 Wisma Bahasa, Jl Affandi, Gang Bromo No.15A, Mrican, fax: +62 274 561627, +62 274 520341, ✉ info@wisma-bahasa.com. The oldest Indonesian language course in Yogyakarta, since 1982. Provides Indonesian, Javanese, Tetum, and English courses. Branches in Jakarta and Bali. Offers e-learning. (updated Nov 2017)
  • Alam Bahasa – Bahasa indonesia course An Indonesian language course with combination of Bahasa Indonesia classes, cultural and travel activities. New classes start anytime.
  • Sanggar Seni Kinanti Sekar, JL. Brigjend Katamso, Prawirodirjan GM II/1226 Gondomanan (in the same place with Kelas Pagi Yogyakarta). 15.00-21.00. A place where you could learn both Javanese and Modern dance, Macapat and Javanese language (both speaking and writing) (updated Mar 2019)

Buy

Jogja is the home of batik, traditional wayang puppets, sculpture, ceramics and silverware. Handicrafts from outside Jogja can also be found. Alternatively, as a modern city, there are stylish malls offer interesting goods and services at a reasonable cost.

Image of Destination Guide

Jalan Malioboro, lined with batik, handicraft and fashion stores

  • -7.793359110.3657131 Jalan Malioboro. Well-known shopping street very popular with domestic and international tourists alike. Stretching from Tugu train station in the north to the alun-alun in the south, it is 2 km long and home to hundreds of shops and street-stalls offering all kinds of handicrafts. The street is partly pedestrianised and no motorbike parking is allowed. Motorbikes can be parked in the Abu Bakar Ali area from where there are two free shuttle buses to Malioboro. 

Handicrafts

  • -7.831712110.39989262 Monggo Chocolate, Jl Dalem KG III/978, Purbayan, Kotagede,. daily 08:00-17-00. The Monggo chocolate factory! 
  • -7.7829110.43693 Saptohoedojo Art Gallery, Jl Raya Solo, Maguwoharjo, Depok, Sleman. daily 07:00-22:00. This sprawling complex houses an utterly eclectic collection of Indonesian art, ranging from abstract modern paintings and batik shirts through gamelan instruments and stuffed tigers to Papuan tribal totems complete with the skulls of vanquished enemies. Everything is for sale and previous customers, pictures of whom are proudly pasted on the walls, include Pope John Paul II and the Dalai Lama. While the adjoining restaurant looks quite attractive, the food served is rather disappointing. 
  • -7.8344058110.37045284 Tabubu Ethnic Music Shop, Jl Saman, Block 2, no. 167, Rt. 06, Bangunharjo (off Jl Imogiri Barat, a bit hard to find). They make and sell traditional musical instruments (flutes, drums, stringed instruments, etc.) from various parts of Indonesia. The shop is in the owner’s house, and he is very friendly – just drop by and you can see and try the instruments he has on display. If you want to buy, however, you will have to make a custom order, as the instruments on display are not for sale. The prices are pretty good, starting at tens of thousands of rupiah for the cheaper flutes to hundreds of thousands for stringed instruments. (updated Jul 2015)
  • Tjokrosuharto, Jl. Panembahan Angkurat 58. This handicraft shop opens its door for business in 1954 and still operating today. It offers a large selection of Javanese handicrafts such as wayang kulit (leather puppet), wayang golek (wooden puppet), batik, keris, silverware, sculptures, and traditional outfits. 
  • Dagadu (lower ground floor Malioboro Mall). Offers funny contemporary t-shirts and souvenirs that revolves around Yogyakarta people’s culture.
  • Ciamis Art Shop, Jl Malioboro No.153. Shadow puppets, masks, carvings, and more at fixed prices that are lower than in the market. Open 09:00–13:00 and 18:00–20:00.
  • Nadzar, Jl Malioboro No.187. Huge souvenir shop specializing in batik, art, jewellery, and more. Has every souvenir you could imagine at fixed prices.

Batik

There are some excellent batik galleries selling hand-made paintings on cotton and silk. The cloth folds up easily for transport and can be ironed later. There are also several scams which you should avoid. Authentic batik should look vivid on both sides of the cloth; whereas stamped batik will only look vivid on one side. To get the best price, visit a gallery where they grade the quality of the pieces, usually using a scale from A-Z. Prices range from Rp50,000 for A (small student paintings), to Rp1,000,000 for Z paintings (usually large pieces done by master artists). You may be able to haggle an extra 25% off the marked price. Beware shops which buy and resell the paintings, marking up the prices for Z-level artwork to Rp8,000,000 – this is massively overpriced.

  • -7.7990985110.36491695 Hamzah Batik (Mirota Batik), Jl Ahmad Yani No.9 (opposite Beringharjo market). The large family-owned store offers plenty of handicrafts, not only from Yogyakarta but also from all part of Indonesia. 
  • -7.8718110.35366 Leksa Ganesha Batik Gallery, Jl Parangtritis 8.5 km, Tembi, Timbulharjo, Sewon, Bantul. daily 07:00–21:00. This gallery just outside Yogyakarta offers something a little different to batik collectors: a chance to visit the studios of renowned batik artists and villagers and meet them as they work. Social entrepreneur Tatang Wibowo started this project in 2011 as a way to continue supporting local artists in an innovative tourism model. It’s a rare opportunity to make a connection with the people who make batik. 

Ori Art Gallery is a reputable batik painting shop with a large selection and fair prices, and you can usually watch an artist there demonstrating the fascinating and meticulous technique.

Traditional markets

  • -7.7987674110.36562987 Pasar Beringharjo (Beringharjo Market), Jl Pabringan No.1 (north of Vredeburg Fort). The largest traditional market in town. The vendors sell many kind of goods, ranging from basic household items (vegetables, fruit, meat) to many kind of handicrafts. Bargaining furiously. 
  • Pasar Ngasem (Ngasem market), Jl. Polowijan No.11, Patehan, Kraton (next to Taman Sari Yogyakarta). 05:00-16:00. It used to be a market that sold fowls. in 2010, it was relocated to Pasar Satwa dan Tanaman Hias Yogyakarta (PASTHY) Dongkelan, and now Ngasem market sells daily goods, traditional snacks and souvenirs. Free. (updated Mar 2019)

Shopping malls & supermarkets

  • -7.79326110.366028 Malioboro Mall, Jl Malioboro No.52-58, fax: +62 274 588242. Yogyakarta’s premier shopping mall for shopping in hassle-free, air-con comfort. Features a large Matahari department store, a Hero supermarket (B1F), a Periplus book store with a good English selection (B1F), and all the usual suspects of Western and Indonesian fast food (McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, KFC, EsTeler 77, etc.) Home to the largest Dagadu outlet. 
  • -7.78262110.379019 Galleria Mall, Jl Jendral Sudirman 99-101, fax: +62 274 583711. A compact mall anchored by Matahari department store. The food court at the basement is popular among the youths. Features many interesting restaurant including KFC, McDonald’s Express, Thai Express, Bakso Gress (Chinese meatballs served with noodles), Mie Nusantara, Bee’s (Japanese Bento), Es Teler 77, Cheers Cup (assortments of fresh drinks). 
  • -7.78218110.4011710 Plaza Ambarrukmo (Amplaz), Jl Laksda Adisucipto, fax: +62 274 4331001. Located next to the historical Ambarrukmo Hotel, the huge 5-floor shopping complex features a Centro Department Store, Carrefour Hypermarket, Gramedia Bookstore, Timezone, 21 Cineplex, Bread Talk, Starbucks Coffee, Dagadu, etc. The food court is on the 3rd floor. ATM center is on the lower ground floor. 
  • -7.79544110.3653411 Ramai Mall and Ramai Supermarket, Jl Jendral Ahmad Yani No.73. 09:00–20:00. Big department store. The least expensive A/C supermarket in Jogja. low prices. 
  • -7.78024110.372812 Mirota kampus dept store and supermaket, Jl Simanjuntak No.70. 09:00-20:00. low prices.. 
  • -7.79812110.3687113 Progo -Mall & Progo Supermarket. (Toko Progo), Jl Mayor Suryotomo No.29, ✉ tokoprogo@yahoo.com. daily08:30–21:00. Has operated since 1968. low prices. (updated Jul 2016)
  • -7.7522110.36214 Jogja City Mall (JCM), Jl Magelang KM. 6 No. 18, Sinduadi, Mlati, Sleman. daily 10:00–20:00. Integrated with the Sahid Rich Jogja Hotel. (updated Jul 2016)
  • -7.7584110.39915 Hartono Lifestyle Mall, Jl Kaliwaru Raya No.17, Condongcatur, Depok, Sleman. daily 10:00–21:00. (updated Jul 2016)
  • -7.75062110.3624216 Indogrosir, Jl Raya Magelang Km. 6. 09:00–21:00. (updated Jul 2016)
  • Giant Supermarket, Jl Urip Sumoharjo and Jl Godean. daily 08:00–20:00. There are now three Giant supermarkets in Jogja. (updated Feb 2017)

Eat

Yogyakarta food used to be known for its sweetness. However, as more and more people move to Jogja, the city starts seeing more diversity in flavor. Now you can find many kinds of interesting dishes, from sweet, spicy, to fiery. Sometimes a fusion from other cuisines such as Chinese or Western can be found. Restaurants in the center often close quite early by Western standards, with admission often refused after 21:00.

If you want to eat the traditional way, head to Malioboro for a lesehan dinner in front of the closed shophouses, similar to the Japanese eating style on a tatami, but you sit on a mat and eat with your hands (you can ask for cutlery though). The food is ready to serve, — vegetables, fried and grilled meat (satay, seafood) are the most common, served with white rice. You can also order traditional gudeg. While this is a favorite among locals for the mingle for hours, do not expect very cheap prices.

Local delicacies

The following dishes are recommended:

  • Gudeg, a curry of jackfruit, chicken and egg served with rice, and is the most famous local dish. Goopy slop in various shades of brown, the stuff does not look particularly appetizing, but it can be tasty if done right. There are many gudeg restaurants, but the most popular are: Gudeg Wijilan, Gudeg Juminten, Gudeg Bu Tjitro, Gudeg Tugu, Gudeg Bu Ahmad. If you can wake up early in the morning, you may find small stalls serving Gudeg just at the corner of the street, or close to traditional markets. If you can’t sleep at night, you can go to Jalan Janturan and enjoy the Gudeg Pawon (enjoying gudeg inside the old style kitchen) that open in late night. Due to the heavy fiber content of young jackfruit and the thick coconut milk, those who have weak stomach may have trouble with gudeg.
  • Ayam goreng Mbok Berek, (Mbok Berek’s fried chicken). Fried free range chicken with mild garlic and coriander flavour served with crunchy crackers.
  • Nasi langgi, locally known as sego langgi (langgi rice). Warm rice served with various side dishes. Can be found in small stall in Gandekan St.
  • Kipo, bite-size snacks made of green tapioca dough filled with sweetened grated coconut. Can be found in Kotagede.
  • Bakpia, another bite-size snack made from sweetened green bean paste wrapped with thin dough pastry. The most popular bakpia is known as Bakpia Patuk, which not surprisingly, are sold in Pathuk street, also known as Jl. Aip K.S. Tubun.
  • Jadah tempe, sandwich of rice cake and sweet beancake. Can be found in Kaliurang.
  • Es rujak or rujak es krim, a fruit salad made from mangos, papayas, apples, pineapples, cucumbers etc., mixed with palm sugar, lime juice, salt, chillies and (of course) ice cream (es krim). All flavours (sweet, sour, bitter, spicy, salty) in one plate. In case you are at UGM campus, have a look along Jalan Kaliurang. Small foodstalls sell es rujak there (only very late morning to early afternoon). If you are not close to UGM, keep your eyes open.

Budget

Yogyakarta is a heaven of inexpensive foods, and some tasty and filling dishes can cost as little as Rp3,000. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of hawker stalls offering inexpensive foods.

  • -7.7889162110.36571331 Angkringan Tugu (Angkringan Lik Man), Jl Wongso Dirjan (to the north of Tugu station.). 18:00–04:00. Famous for its small rice packets (sego kucing). Drink kopi joss, strong Javanese coffee heated by dropping a piece of glowing charcoal into it. Rp1,000–6,000. (updated Nov 2017)
  • -7.8198449110.36811232 Bakmi Jawa Harjo Geno (just off Prawirotaman II street). Be prepared to wait up to two hours! Tip: if you think that fried noodles go well with beer, you can grab a Bintang at the nearby Tante Lies restaurant. (updated Jul 2015)
  • -7.775569110.4089783 Warung Vegetarian Somayoga, ✉ somayoga2007@yahoo.co.id. Vegetarian/vegan organic food. Typical Indonesian food. Very tasty. Rp10,000–20,000. (updated Oct 2015)
  • Gudeg Tugu, Jl. Diponegoro, close to Kranggan marketplace, 19:00-01:00. Popular Gudeg stall. A complete dish consists of: warm rice, shredded chicken, brown hard-boiled egg, gudeg, areh sauce, and the hot & spicy sambal goreng krecek. Rp7,000-10,000.
  • Kamikoti Cafe, Ngadisuryan No 4, Alun-alun Selatan. Serving good quality milk, coffee & tea at affordable prices, near Masangin and the Taman Sari complex. From Rp 5,000.
  • -7.765172110.3964134 Kindai. This breakfast place serves delicious soto Banjar (a chicken soup from Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan) with a choice of chicken wing and/or egg. They also have nasi kuning (yellow rice) and sate ayam (chicken satay). (updated Jul 2015)
  • -7.822212110.36854515 Milas Vegetarian Restaurant, Jl Prawirotaman IV/127B, ✉ milas_jogja@yahoo.co.id. Tu-Su. Excellent vegetarian restaurant with an organic vegetable garden, multilingual library, and handicraft shop. They train local youth in organic farming, cooking and running a restaurant. Eat in small, open bamboo huts placed around a small enclosed garden. Delicious fruit shakes. 
  • -7.79708110.363496 Rame Rame Vegetarian, Jl Beskalan (Go south on Malioboro from Tugu station until you reach an intersection with a large Ramayana store, then turn right (west) onto Beskalan, continue for about 200 m. The restaurant is on the right (south) side of the street. There is a faded red banner advertising vegetarian food.). A very small restaurant with meat and vegetarian options and owned by a very friendly woman. Has a delicious soup, noodles, mushrooms, vegetables, meatballs and cilantro for Rp9,000. 
  • Rumah Makan Es Ceria Jl. Gandekan Lor No. 42. (close to sraswijyan, just go west from hotels and turn left). Great, cheap food including a smorgasbord where you choose what you like and then the cashier estimates a price. Tasty and cheap. Also ice deserts and fruit shakes.
  • Sagan Super Sambal, Jl Sagan I no. 5 and Jl Timoho no. 111 (go east from Tugu Jogja, to Jl. Jendral Sudirman. At the first crossroad (with Gramedia in the corner), turn left (north) to Jl. Cik Ditiro. After 350 m turn right and go straight on until the end of the road with a T-junction; you will see the restaurant in the right corner of the T-junction). 09:00-17:00. Specialising in sambal, the Indonesian delicacy of spicy, hot chilli infused sauce. Also, Indonesian-style beef ribs Rp 5,000-30,000. .
  • Soto Pak Soleh. Tegalrejo, near Diponegoro Museum. This well-known restaurant is Pak Soleh’s family business and is now operated by his son. They only serve Yogyakarta-style beef soup as their main menu, which has a spicy taste from ginger. Rp 5,000.
  • Waroeng Jepara, Jl. Wolter Monginsidi 49, Jogjakarta. Fame for their traditional Jepara flavours (only warung in Jogjakarta that serves Jepara food), this modern-furnished warung is run by friendly locals. Speciality includes “pecil pari” (spicy stingray), “bothok tahu” (tofu in papaya leaf) and “sayur lodeh” (jackfruit soup). Rp 5,000-30,000.
  • Xtra Hot, Jl Main, Kaliurang, (next to BCA Bank). A local tent (tenda) restaurant specialising in grilled food, with a good variety of sambals (chili) to choose from, yet with good prices. From Rp 4,500.
  • Soto Sawah Pak Slamet. A local chicken soup outlet 5 km (3.1 mi) west of Jogja, open morning-afternoon. Rp5,000
  • -7.7984747110.40327067 Soto Pak Marto (opposite of Jogja Expo Center – JEC). A local delicacy – usually eaten for breakfast – of beef based soup served with rice (mixed in or separate). Offal are include in unless specifically asked for beef only. Fried offal, to be eaten with kecap manis, is delicious. (updated Jul 2015)
  • Pempek Ulu Bundar Located strategically near to Mirota crossroad, serves delicious pempek and kakap meat ball soup. Most expensive menu is Rp 5,000.
  • The House of Raminten, Jl. Faridan Muridan Noto 7, (next to Mirota Bakery, can be reached using Trans Jogja bus). Javanese restaurant with traditional food like jamu godhog (Indonesia’s herbal recipe). From Rp5,000.
  • Dapur Solo, Jl Demangan Baru No. 1. Special Yogyakarta and Jawa Tengah delicacies. Famous here are nasi timlo and nasi liwet.
  • -7.800532110.3464198 Soto Kadipiro (Soto Kadipiro Pusat), Jl Wates No.31, Gang Darussalam, Ngestiharjo, Kasihan, Bantul. (updated Jul 2016)

Mid-range

  • -7.75878110.398859 Alhambra Spa & Bistro, 2nd floor, Hartono Mall, ✉ alhambrajogja@gmail.com. 10:00-22:00. Mediterranean-themed restaurant with modern and Indonesian-inspired dishes and drinks. Alhambra features views of the city and a spa with good massages. (updated Jul 2017)
  • -7.8191744110.371592410 AgliOö!. Used to be the best pizza in town. Now it moved a couple of blocks away from the original location, and probably changed the chef too – the quality has definitely gone down. 
  • FoodFezt, Jl. Kaliurang km 5.5. Many kinds of local Indonesian foods: Nasi kebuli, nasi merah, soto betawi, sate buntel, mushroom satay and also dessert like pancakes, and ice creams. It has a garden with lots of bamboo tree and other plants. The waiters use wireless gadgets to serve their customers in order to maintain a ‘paperless’ order system. 
  • Ayam Goreng Suharti, Jl. Laksda Adisucipto 208. A very popular mbok berek (fried chicken) restaurant, the recipe still remains a secret. 
  • Bakmi Kadin, Jl. Bintaran Kulon 3. Javanese style soft-fried noodles. Don’t miss the popular wedang bajigur, a local beverages made from warm coconut milk with subtle ginger flavour and garnished with diced coconut and kolang-kaling. Local kroncong street quartet often performs in the area. Rp 18,000-20,000.
  • Dixie Easy Dining (Dixie), Jl. Gejayan 40b (south Selokan Mataram), +62 274 560745. Offers western and Asian dishes in a modern Asian style. Nice modern-ethnic interior. Rp 8,000-50,000.
  • -7.819167110.36965911 EasyGoIn’ Restaurant & Bar, Jl. Prawirotaman No. 12, ✉ info@easygoingresto.com. 10:30-00:15. A modern & colourful restaurant & bar serving delicious Indonesian, Western and Mexican dishes in a comfortable and warm atmosphere. Also a great place for a Happy-hour drink (14:00-19:00) at the bar while meeting locals and travellers. Fridays acoustic live music band from 20:30. Pool table & Wifi are free of charge. Mains: Rp 30,000–140,000. 
  • Empek-Empek Kamto, Jl. Beskalan 3 (opp to Ramai Shopping Mall’s south entrance). Originating from Palembang, deep-fried fish cake and served with sour soy sauce. There are many varieties of empek-empek: kapal selam (means submarine) comes with boiled eggs inside, adaaan/bulat has a garlic taste, while lenggang is an empek-empek omelette. 
  • Gudeg Sagan, An eating place in Jalan Sagan (In front of Toko Sagan Baru) offering rice, seasoned porridge, gudeg, areh sauce, sambal goreng krecek, complete with chicken and brown hard-boiled egg.
  • -7.80349110.3666912 Gudeg Wijilan Yu Djum, Jl. Wijilan 31, Kraton & Jalan Kaliurang km 4.5, Karangasem CT III/22. A more lavish variety of Gudeg, served with thicker sauce, and more expensive as well. 
  • -7.7930961110.378055613 Kedai Rakjat Djelata (as you exit Lempuyangan station walk left, cross the main street (under the bridge) and go right. Total walking time 5 minutes). Javanese cuisine with a modern twist. Tasty food in a nice setting, yet not expensive. (updated Jul 2015)
  • Kedai Tiga Nyonya, Jl. Jendral Sudirman 16.. 10:00-22:00. Peranakan food restaurant, a fusion of Indonesian, Chinese and Dutch cuisine. Their speciality is grilled fish, sour ribs soup and candlenut chicken. Rp 20,000-Rp 50,000. 
  • -7.82034110.366814 Kesuma Restaurant, Gang Sartono 858 / MJ 3 (cross street Jalan Surami). Mo-Sa Lunch (11:00-14:30), Dinner (18:00-22:00); both only available for reservations. Local home cooking. There is a small terrace and guests can settle in a gazebo. Rp 80,000 – 150,000. (updated Mar 2018)
  • -7.7985767110.362229615 Mie Bandung. Despite the name, this is not a noodle restaurant, but rather a Chinese restaurant. Don’t expect authentic Chinese food, but rather Indonesian-Chinese. The wonton is really good though, and they also serve beer! If you find yourself craving Chinese food in Jogja, this is one of the few places you can go to. (updated Jul 2015)
  • Pecel Solo, Jl. Palagan Tentara Pelajar 52, Sleman (adj Hyatt Regency). Offers a large selection of Solo style foods like Pecel Solo (vegetables with peanut sauce), Sego Liwet (steamed rice with sweet curry sauce), Nasi Kebuli (pungent rice with roasted lamb), and Bebek Goreng (fried duck Solo style). Rp 10,000-30,000. 
  • Pesona Rasa, Jalan Aip. II K. S. Tubun no. 15. A nice Chinese food family restaurant. Serves delicious and fresh Chinese dishes as: fried rice, fried noodle, tofu, fresh capjay and vegetables. In Pathuk area, 5 minutes from Malioboro. With friendly service and wallet-friendly price. 
  • Quali Resto, Plaza Ambarrukmo, 3rd floor, near the foodcourt. Serves various kind of Chinese dishes, but their specialty is kwetiaw (wide noodles). Rp 15,000.
  • Sate Karang, Lapangan Karang, Kotagede. 17:00-22:30. Grilled beef satay served with lontongs (rice cake), peanut sauce and thin curry soup. Rp 15,000.
  • Sapi Bali, Jl. Umbul Permai, Mudal, Sariharjo, Ngaglik, Sleman, Yogyakarta, +62 274 7858938. Serves Balinese style ribs, although a little too hot and spicy for some foreigner. If you do not like hot and spicy food, opt for the Soy Sauce Ribs. Rp 25,000.
  • Sendang K Pitoe. A famous shrimp and sea food restaurant located on the outskirts of the city specifically Jamur, Minggir, Sleman. Very delicious fried shrimp served fresh from the ponds in the still relatively untouched village. Should not be confused by the nearby Mang Engking, also a shrimp restaurant with an ill-earned reputation for dirty food. 
  • -7.78304110.3849716 Taj Indian Kitchen, Jl. Urip Sumoharjo 103H (200 m west of the Empire XXI Cinema), ✉ tajloungejogja@gmail.com. 11:30-00:00. Serves authentic traditional Indian food. Open for lunch and dinner. Modern interior, and there is a lounge above the restaurant which serves cocktails and hard liquor. US$4-7. (updated Mar 2016)
  • -7.7783457110.364386517 Takigawa. Japanese restaurant that also serves shabu-shabu (Japanese hot pot). (updated Jul 2015)
  • Via Via, Jl. Prawirotaman, An excellent traveller’s cafe, there are clocks on the wall showing the time in other Via Via cafes around the world and a mix of travellers and Indonesian locals. Offers a range of western dishes (good French onion soup) and specialty Indonesian dishes at a good price. Caters very well to vegetarians (tofu and tempe). Cane chairs and lots of space and games. Rp 20,000-40,000.
  • -7.9258110.409918 Warung Bumi, Jl Imogiri Mangunan Km. 3, Desa Giriloyo, Wukirsari (On the top of the hill next to the Imogiri royal graves), ✉ mail@bumilangit.org. Tu-Su 09:00-16:00. Part of the Bumi Langit Institute, a charitable community-based permaculture foundation. The café is part of their outreach, offering mostly local dishes made with locally-grown and organic produce. In a beautiful open joglo building perched high on an escarpment overlooking Jogja in the distance. Farms tours available. Some local produce – jams and syrups – available to buy. From around Rp60,000 for a plate of nasi campur and a fruit juice. (updated Nov 2017)

Splurge

Jogja has many ‘high-end’ restaurants serving western to Asian to Asian-fusion cuisines.

  • Royal Garden Restaurant, Jl. Pekapalan 7, Alun-Alun Utara. Chinese-Indonesian dishes with kraton style atmosphere. Rp 40,000-80,000. 
  • Gajah Wong, Jl. Gejayan. Serves French, Italian, Indian, Chinese and Indonesian. Divided into 3 zones: Country, Javanese and Colonial, each is lavishly decorated and themed with live music. In the Javanese zone, you can hear Javanese gamelan music, while the Colonial zone has a live jazz band. 
  • Androwino Bistro, Jl Laksda Adisucipto Km 8.7.. The all-day dining restaurant offering Continental and Asian cuisine in a relaxed modern Javanese setting. On the top floor of Sheraton Mustika Yogyakarta Resort & Spa where at the entrance of the restaurant guests will be welcomed with a big painting of grandfather from the hotel’s owner named Sampean Dalem Ingkang Sinuhun Kandjeng Susuhunan Pakoe Boewono X, 1896 – 1939 (King of Solo) and guests will see the beautiful landscaping of Tamansari water castle swimming pool and breathtaking mount Merapi. 
  • Sasanti Restaurant, Jl Palagan Tentara Pelajar (just south of the Hyatt Hotel). Western and Indonesian dishes with lush garden decoration. 

Drink

Caution: Traditional alcoholic drinks are common in Yogyakarta, although they’re illegal. Some of them are not distilled well, therefore they may contain methyl alcohol (methanol) instead of ethyl alcohol (ethanol) only. Methyl alcohol will likely make you blind and might even kill you. Sometimes vendors also mix the alcohol drinks with much cheaper industrial methyl alcohol. In two days only in February 2016, more than 40 people died in 2 regencies of Yogyakarta due to consumption of such. Don’t try it. Beer in a can or bottle is safe, but avoid mixture alcohol drinks from unreliable cafes.

Clubs

  • Republic. Hotel INNA Garuda, Jl. Malioboro 60. DJs and live music. 
  • Boshe VVIP Club, Jl. Magelang. Highly packed every night. Free entry for girls. Live Music and DJs.
  • Liquid, Jl. Magelang (Near to Boshe VVIP Club). Packed every night and free entry for ladies. Unclear If the drinks are fake or genuine, but they are cheap. Live Music and DJs.
  • Embassy. In Sheraton Hotel complex area (there’s a tunnel connecting the club). Entrance fee around Rp35,000-100,000, depends on the event. Full set DJs. Music range from trance, house, to dubstep. The drinks are genuine, but are pretty pricey. Have a weekly discount night called Monday Madness 50% off. Usually they have free drinks from 22:00-02:00 on the last Thursday of every month with fee Rp 100,000/person. 

Usually all clubs willing to give free entry before midnight if you call and ask for a guestlist, unless on an important event night.

Lounges

Lounges/cafes are an evergrowing phenomenon throughout Indonesia’s trendy inner city environments

  • Oxen Free Bar & Kitchen, Jl. Sosrowijayan No.2. Offers local and international dishes, coffee, and a range of beers and mixed drinks. 

Where to stay in Yogyakarta

There are hundreds of hotels in Jogja. All the major international and national chains are represented — Accor, Sheraton, Hyatt, Melia — but there is much of local interest at all budget levels.

Budget under Rp250,000

Most of the budget accommodation is on Jl Sosrowijayan (adjacent to Jl Malioboro) and in the Jl Prawirotaman area, about 3 km (1.9 mi) to the south of the centre.

Malioboro and Sosrowijayan

Many backpackers find places to stay on the alleys around Gang Sosrowijayan, close to the Tugu train station and Jl Malioboro. Gang-3 is a red light area. The ‘losmen’ tariff is from Rp100,000 a day in low season and up to Rp250,000 a day for a losmen with facilities: aircon, en-suite bathroom and TV. The gangs are 10-15 minutes walk from the train station. If you follow one of the touts advertising cheap accommodation your stay might be more expensive as they will get a commission for bringing you there.

  • -7.7905110.3641 Andrea Hotel, Sosrowijayan Wetan GT I/140, Gang 2, ✉ andreahoteljogja@gmail.com. Across the street from Setia Kawans alley, clean, friendly European owner, bar facilities, A/C rooms and fan rooms. Each room has private bathroom with shower, western toilet and sink. Credit cards accepted. 140,000 to–285,000 including breakfast. 
  • -7.79165110.363922 Bladok Losmen & Restaurant, Jl Sosrowijayan No.76. A small hotel with clean and comfortable rooms, traditionally designed. All rooms have a private bathroom attached. Rooms with a balcony are available. Double room with fan & hot shower Rp140,000. A basic room is about Rp100,000.. 
  • Bunk Bed And Breakfast, Jl Wahid Hasyim No.23, Nagampilan. Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 11:00. Air-con 4/8 bed dorms with own/outside bathroom. Free WiFi and breakfast. from Rp75,000 per person. (updated Apr 2017)
  • Edotel, Jl Kenari No.4. Neat hotel run by students of the vocational high school next door so all the income benefits the school. The beds are big and cozy, and its in a great part of town, near the center but quiet. The student staff are wonderful and there are hot showers and WiFi in all rooms. In a fairly conservative Muslim part of town – couples will not be able to share a room unless they are married, even same sex friends sharing a room can be problematic. 
  • -7.79157110.363493 La Javanaise Homestay, Sosrowijayan Wetan Gt 1/187. Very friendly and welcoming place to stay near Jl Malioboro. Includes breakfast. Rp150,000. 
  • -7.78988110.364144 Losmen Candi, Jl Pasar Kembang No. 5 (very close to Tugu Station). Clean and tidy with various options to suit the budget traveller including 4-person rooms. from Rp100,000. 
  • Losmen Nuri, Jl Sosrowijayan Wetan GT I/77. Very clean rooms, nicely decorated and a good atmosphere, rooms with shared or own bathroom. From Rp100,000 (negotiable). 
  • -7.7912110.35975 Lotus Losmen, Sosrowijayan Wetan GT I/167 (From Sosrowijayan take the alley past Monica hotel, take a right, a left into ever smaller alleys.). Quiet place deep in the back alleys of Sosrowijayan. Friendly owner will make you a nice breakfast. Small but cozy roof terrace. Rooms are clean with attached bathroom. Good WiFi. Rp100,000 (fan), Rp140,000 (A/C). 
  • Monica Hotel, Jl Sosrowijayan GT1/192. Renovated, clean place. Make sure to insist on getting a receipt and keeping it for the duration of your stay in the city. Rp60,000 standard room with fan and attached hot water bathroom, includes breakfast, toast and coffee/tea. Rp100,000 for 4 occupants room with fan and attached hot water bathroom.. 
  • The Munajat Backpacker, Jl Malioboro 26 (5 min walk from Tugu train station), ✉ themunajatbackpacker​@gmail.com. 5 rooms with fan and attached bathroom, 4 rooms with fan separate bathroom. Free WiFi. dorm bed Rp75,000. 
  • Setia Kawan, Sosrowijayan Wetan GT.1/27. Artistic hotel down one of the two main alleyways close to the train station. Clean, comfortable, and imaginatively decorated rooms without windows (think Dali meets Indonesia). Down the street is the owner’s restaurant, offering a variety of Indonesian and vegetarian meals for cheap. If you sit at the rooftop be quiet, otherwise you may be kicked out without warning. Often full. From Rp110,000, including breakfast. 
  • -7.7386110.37626 Simply Homy Guest House, Jl Palagan, Tentara Pelajar No. 21D, Sleman, ✉ sh_guesthouse@yahoo.com. 
  • -7.79653110.362817 Yogyakarta BnB, Jl Sastrodipuran No.19, ✉ yogyakartabnb@gmail.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Not really a hotel, feels like home. Basic but managed by Indonesian travellers knowledgeable about the needs of other travellers. Serves awesome local breakfast. They change the breakfast menu daily. In the quiet part of the city center. Free breakfast, Wi-Fi, drinking water, tea and coffee. Dorm from Rp80,000, private room from Rp190,000. (updated Jan 2017)
  • Hotel Oryza, Jl. Sosrowijayan, right across from the Bladok. A lovely traditional Javanese house with internal courtyards. Clean rooms, laid back atmosphere, free coffee and tea. Basic rooms Rp140,000 with shared bathroom. Standard room with internal bathroom and A/C Rp190,000.

Prawirotaman

  • Delta Homestay, Jl Prawirotaman XI/597a. Fan single and double rooms with common bathrooms. Rp130,000. 
  • Kampoeng Djawa, Jl Prawirotaman I/40. Clean rooms with fan or A/C arranged around a garden filled with the sounds of birdsong and running water. TV, pleasant, attentive and helpful staff. Free WiFi, water, tea and coffee. Rp110,000 (fan). 
  • Parakesit Guesthouse, Jl Prawirotaman I/24b. Has fan and A/C single/double rooms all with own bathrooms and TV. (All prices are negotiable). The family run Parakesit GH has the lowest cost rooms in Jl Prawirotaman 1. from Rp95,000. 
  • -7.819335110.3697538 Prambanan Guesthouse, Jl Prawirotaman I/14, ✉ prambanangh@hotmail.com. Check-out: 12:00. Fan and A/C rooms with own bathrooms. Credit cards accepted. Rp170,000–480,000 including breakfast. 
  • Rumah Eyang, Jl Parangtritis, Gang Sartono 823. Tranquil with a serene touch, beautiful garden and art gallery space away from the hustle of Jl Malioboro. Twelve rooms with bathroom facilities, air conditioning/fan, and breakfast. Rp125,000–175,000. (updated Jan 2012)
  • Sartika Hotel, Jl Prawirotaman 1. Fan double rooms with own bathrooms. From Rp100,000. 
  • -7.8041110.364249 ViaVia Guesthouse, Jl Prawirotaman Mg 3/514A. Some rooms have A/C and/or ensuite bathroom; every room is different, but all are clean and comfortable. WiFi is available. Breakfast is served at the guesthouse. Restaurant and tour agency nearby. Rp150,000–200,000. 
  • Wisma Gajah, Jl Prawirotaman 4. Doubles and singles with swimming pool and terraces. Rp100,000–140,000. 

Mid-range

  • Joglo Plawang Boutique Villa, Jl Pakem-Turi km 5, Turi, Sleman, ✉ plawang@jogjajogloplawang.com. 
  • Venezia Homestay, Jl Tirtodipuran 27 (Prawirotaman area), ✉ booking@veneizia-homestay.com. 
  • Indraloka Homestay, Jl Cik Di Tiro 18 (on the main road to Gadjah Mada University).  
  • -7.77248110.3776310 Wisma Gadjah Mada (follow Jl Cik Di Tiro all the way to the UGM campus. The otel is on the east side of the road, just south of the main UGM “auditorium” building – you cannot miss the gigantic building looming in the background if you are coming to UGM from the south.), ✉ university_club@gamamulti.com. 
  • Ministry of Coffee, Jl Prawirotaman I/15A. Prawirotaman’s most modern establishment, clean white sheets, fluffy doonas and AC. Each room has a unique decor and colour scheme. Also has a coffee house, a library, and restaurant. 
  • Jogja Village Inn, Jl Menukan 5, Karangkajen (south of Prawirotaman), fax: +62 274 382202. Balinese-style garden courtyard and swimming pool, good clean rooms. 
  • -7.79035110.3663811 Inna Garuda, Jl Malioboro 60. Established in 1908. 240 rooms are furnished in classic but modern elegance & face Jl Malioboro. 
  • Puri Artha Hotel, Jl Cendrawasih 36, Demangan Baru, fax: +62 274 562765. A blend of traditional Javanese and Balinese style with western facilities. 
  • Yogya Moon Hotel, Jl Kemetiran 21, fax: +62 274 582084. Near to Jl Malioboro.Cozy, affordable, close to 3-star class. From Rp200,000. 

Splurge

  • -7.8718110.353312 d’Omah, Jl Parangtritis Km 8,5, Tembi, Timbulharjo, Sewon, Bantul (Head south out of the city on the road to Parangtritis. As you enter Tembi, look for signs off to the east side of the road. d’Omah is signed from the main road. If on public transport, get down in Tembi and walk in around 100 m), ✉ bookings@domahyogya.com. A resort integrated into a traditional Javanese village, on the outer southern suburbs. Traditional village houses have been fitted out with rooms to a high standard, clustered around swimming pools. Spa. Around Rp1,000,000 double room per night including breakfast for 2. (updated Oct 2017)
  • -7.726389110.58199313 Villa Ditya, Gang Sido Rejo, RT 02 RW 05, Trunuh, ✉ info@villaditya.com. Private holiday villa with swimming pool and staff near Yogyakarta. 3 bedrooms with air conditioning, 1 bedroom with fan, 2 bathrooms, a large L-shaped living room and a spacious kitchen. 
  • -7.78268110.3684914 The Phoenix Hotel (Accor group-an ex Mercure hotel), fax: +62 274 566856, ✉ info@thephoenixyogya.com. 144 rooms and suites, each with a balcony. A fusion of Asian and European decor. Restaurant, wine bar and terrace bar overlooking an open courtyard. Swimming pool, day spa and modern conferencing facilities. From Rp570,000. 
  • Grand Quality Hotel Yogyakarta, Jl Adisucipto No.48.  
  • Hotel Saphir Yogyakarta, Jl Laksda Adisucipto No. 38. Four-star hotel. 
  • Pondok Terra Villa Accommodation Yogyakarta, Two luxurious villas in the centre of the town, just south of the Kraton area. Both are of a traditional Javanese style with private swimming pools an a 200-m² garden.
  • -7.871110.355115 Yabbiekayu, Tembi Village, Jl. Parangtritis Km 8.5, (In the village of Tembi, about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) south of the city centre), ✉ info@yabbiekayu.com. Five bungalows and further guestrooms set in a garden designed as an edible landscape that supplies the kitchen. Built and managed to high environmental and social principles. The wholefood restaurant is open to non-residents. (updated Jul 2018)

Stay safe in Yogyakarta

Jogja has its share of petty crime like pickpocketing, especially in city buses and along Jalan Malioboro when crowded.

Watch out for gallery scams and street sellers trying to get a commission for batik. These tend to occur around the Kraton and Malioboro areas. Scammers will approach tourists and tell them about a government art centre and will hire cheap transport to the ‘genuine’ gallery. If you’re interested in buying batik, this isn’t necessarily bad, but you are, in essence, being manipulated.

Be cautious when walking in the city. Traffic is brutal! You might have difficulty crossing roads and streets, especially in crowded places. Pavements, even where they exist, are in poor condition, and signs over the pavement hang lower than head height for many foreigners, so watch your feet and your head. At night, street lighting will usually be poor, making it even harder.

Mount Merapi volcano looms over the city. The last eruption was in May 2018, spewing ashes about 6km high. Although it wasn’t as big and destructive as in 2010.

Try to travel in groups if going to or from Parangtritis beach. The long stretch between Jogja and the beach can be dangerous at night. You may get stopped by someone riding a motorcycle trying to rob you. There are few police stations along the road, and often unoccupied.

Never swim at Parangtritis beach due to strong rip currents.

Telecommunications in Yogyakarta

Telephone

The area code for Yogyakarta is 0274.

Internet

There are many internet cafes in Yogyakarta which offer speedy access. Some hotels provide free wifi in the lobby. The Taman Sari foodcourt at Ambarrukmo Plaza, locally known as Amplas, offers free Wifi.

The 24-hour Indomaret on Jalan Malioboro offers free Wifi and wall sockets, but can be a little noisy.

  • B@yonet, Jl. Jendral Sudirman 75. ☎ +62 274 550553.
  • Gama Student Internet Center, UPT Perpustakaan Unit 2 Universitas Gadjah Mada, Jl. C. Simanjuntak.
  • Ibis, Ibis Maliboro Hotel lobby (near to the ‘Link Cafe’ at Malioboro Mall).
  • DOJO hotspot centre, Pogung Kidul Sleman.
  • Shooternet, Jl. Ampel 10 Papringan.
  • Indraloka Home Stay, Jl. Cik Di Tiro 18, (on the main road to Universitas Gadjah Mada),☎ +62 274 544428.
  • -7.78257110.366953 Fox Net, Jalan A.M. Sangaji No. 3 Yogyakarta. Internet café (warung internet), streaming, burn CD, print, scan. (updated Jul 2016)

Cope

Emergency

  • Ambulance: ☎ 118
  • Police: ☎ 110.
  • Yogyakarta Police headquarters:, Jl. Ringroad Utara. ☎ +62 274 563494
  • Yogyakarta Police station, Jl. Reksobayan 1. ☎ +62 274 512511, +62 274 512940.

List of hospitals with 24 hours emergency room (ER), (UGD):

  • RSUP Dr. Sardjito, Jl. Kesehatan 1. ☎ +62 274 274 587333, +62 274 547783. A JCI-accredited international hospital.
  • RSUD Kota Jogyakarta, Jl. Wirosaban 1. ☎ +62 274 371195.
  • RS Bethesda, Jl. Jendral Sudirman 70. ☎ +62 274 586688, +62 274 562246.
  • RS Panti Rapih, Jl. Cik Ditiro 30. ☎ +62 274 563333.
  • RSUD Panembahan Senopati, Jalan Doktor Wahidin Sudiro Husodo, Bantul. ☎ (0274) 367381.

Consulates

  • France Consular Agency in Jogjakarta, Institute Franco-Indonesien Jl. Sagan 3 No. 1, Yogyakarta 55223.  

Libraries

  • -7.7840525128232110.374338626861 Perpustakaan Kota Yogyakarta (Yogyakarta City Library), Jl. Suroto No.9. M 08:00-15:30;Tu-F 08:00-17:00; Sa 08:00-15:00; Su 09:00-14:00. free. (updated Mar 2013)
  • Badan Perpustakaan Dan Arsip Daerah, Unit Badran I, Jl. Tentara Rakyat Mataram No.4.  
  • Badan Perpustakaan Dan Arsip Daerah, Unit Badran II, Jl. Tentara Rakyat Mataram No.29. (updated Jun 2015)
  • Badan Perpustakaan Dan Arsip Daerah, Unit malioboro, Jl. Malioboro No. 175. (updated Jun 2015)
  • -7.784752110.3707322 Perpustakaan Balai Bahasa, Jl. I Dewa Nyoman Oka 34, fax: +62 274 580667, ✉ info@balaibahasa.org. Monday to Friday 09:00-15:00. Free. (updated Jun 2015)
  • -7.7747618108521110.377004742623 Perpustakaan Pusat Studi Pedesaaan dan Kawasan UGM, Bulaksumur G/7 PO. Box. 2 UGM, Sayap Selatan, fax: +62 274 564463. M-Th 08:00-12:00, 13:00-15:30; F 08:00-11:00, 13:30-14:30. Unlike most of the other university libraries in the city, this one is open to the general public. The collection is mostly about the social sciences. Free. (updated Jun 2015)
  • -7.812561137752110.362365245824 Perpustakaan Iboekoe, Jl. Patehan Wetan No. 3. free. (updated Jun 2015)
  • Perpustakaan Kunci, Jl. Ngadinegaran MJ III/100, ✉ editor@kunci.or.id. Monday – Saturday 10:00-18:00. free. (updated Jun 2015)

Go next

North

  • The massive Buddhist temple of Borobudur, the largest Buddhist monument in the world, is 40 minutes away by car and one of the main drawcards for visitors to Yogyakarta. Many tour buses (minivans) leave Yogyakarta at 05:00 for an early visit to Borobudur. This is a convenient way to skip the crowds which arrive mid morning, although a little more expensive between Rp 45,000-50,000 (including a simple breakfast). However, the extra cost could save you money if tour participants chip in for a tour guide.
  • Kaliurang is the closest settlement on the southern slope of Mount Merapi. One reason to visit this town is the Ullen Sentalu Museum, an exotic museum dedicated to the culture and life of Javanese royalty. The museum is built into the surrounding landscape, with gardens, sculptures and an overall tranquil and natural environment. There is also a colonial-themed restaurant in the grounds called Beukenhof.
  • Ketep, a pass located in the slope between Mount Merapi and Mount Merbabu offers a great vantage point for a spectacular view of both mountains. This site has a small cinema which regularly shows an interesting documentary of Mount Merapi. East of Borobudur, 40 minutes from Yogyakarta by car.
  • Salatiga, about 2½ hours from Yogyakarta, is closer to Semarang (1 hour) than Yogyakarta. Salatiga is a mountain resort city with several good resort-style spa hotels mainly aimed at people looking for a tranquil and relaxing escape from the city life. Activities in Salatiga include trying the famous “ronde” drink and Havana horses.

East

  • The Hindu temples of Prambanan, 20 minutes away, are a close second to Borobudur. The smaller temples of Kalasan and others are on the way to Prambanan. The entrance to Borobundur or Prambanan Temple costs 362.500 Rupiah each.
  • The city of Solo AKA Solo, a 45-min drive (also accessible with the Prambanan Ekspres train or the Joglosemar bus – see the Get In section) to the east is Yogya’s royal twin and home to two royal kingdoms that are ancestrally related to Yogyakarta’s Kingdom. The city’s royal past is indicated through the two major keraton or palaces that are able to visited: the sprawling Keraton Kasunanan Surakarta, where the Pakubuwono kings live and the smaller but equally grand Pura Mangkunegaran palace, seat of Prince Mangkunegara. It is also a thriving arts and cultural center, home to the biggest batik manufacturers in Indonesia and the Danar Hadi Batik Museum, which has the most diverse batik collection in Indonesia. Last but not least Solo offers a wealth of culinary experience such as timlo (meat soup), its own soto or the fabled serabi (Javanese pancakes).
  • Ratu Boko palace, 2 km south of Prambanan. An ancient royal palace complex, similar in architectural layout with other Kratons or palaces in Java. Magnificently located on top of a hill, Ratu Boko has been recently restored.

South

  • Parangtritis on the south coast is one of the better known black sand beaches. Local folklore suggests that this beach is the palace of the legendary Nyai Loro Kidul or ‘Queen of the South’. It is common knowledge among locals not to wear anything green in color, or the Queen will entice the wearer into the ocean to drown. Warning: Never swim at Parangtritis beach. Its wild waves are known to be extremely deadly (rip currents): many people have died who ignored these precautions. There are also other beaches with white sands, but you have to arrange with travel agent to rent a car with the driver as their locations are quite remote (2 hours from the city centre) in the hilly Gunung Kidul region. These beaches are pristine and sometimes off-the-beaten-path, such as Kukup beach, Krakal beach, Drini, Sundak beach and Baron but the swimming warning still applies.
  • Yogyakarta is in Gunung Kidul region, 50 km from Yogyakarta. This is a pure beach with a number of marine attractions to explore. When the tide is low in the morning the visitors can join the local fishermen to collect seaweed or go fishing for stranded fish between the reefs at the beach. Some believe that somewhere in the beach lie the remains of King Brawijaya’s fort and his men “Sabdo Palon Ngoyogenggong”. This beach includes a cave, which leads its explorers to a striking underground stream. If you go to Ngrenehan Beach for the grilled fish just drop by Ngobaran Beach, it has a high cliff and is around 2 km from Ngrenehan Beach. Many sea animal species are present in the coral reef and inter-tidal zones, ranging from sea urchin, starfish, to various types of cockleshells.
  • Ngrenehan Beach, Kanigoro Village, Saptosari. (about 30 km south of Wonosari). A small bay surrounded by rocky hills that has fascinating panorama and swirling waves hitting white sandy beach and rocky edge of the hills. The local fishermen can prepare fresh or grilled fish for visitors.

West

Jakarta – The Argo Lawu train makes the 7-hr train ride.

 

Former founder of Asiarooms.com and now reporting mainly on the Asia Pacific region and the global Coronavirus crises in countries such as Thailand, Germany & Switzerland. Born near Cologne but lived in Berlin during my early teenage years. A longterm resident of Bangkok, Udon Thani, Sakon Nakhon and Phuket. A great fan of Bali, Rhodes & Corfu. Now based on Mallorca, Spain.

Indonesia

Tomohon | Covid-19 Travel Restrictions | Lockdown | Coronavirus Outbreak

Tomohon is a city in Northern Sulawesi. It is the fourth-largest city in the province of North Sulawesi after Manado, Bitung, and Kotamobagu. Tomohon is south of Manado. Tomohon Districts Eruption of the Lokon-Empung volcano (2020) photographed from Tomohon North – Tinoor, Kinilow, Kakaskasen, Wailan, and Kayawu. The first region to be discovered in Tomohon […]

Wolfgang Holzem

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Tomohon is a city in Northern Sulawesi. It is the fourth-largest city in the province of North Sulawesi after Manado, Bitung, and Kotamobagu. Tomohon is south of Manado.

Tomohon Districts

  • Image of Destination Guide

    Eruption of the Lokon-Empung volcano (2020) photographed from Tomohon

    North – Tinoor, Kinilow, Kakaskasen, Wailan, and Kayawu. The first region to be discovered in Tomohon from Manado. There is mat production, fruit and flowers vendors in several parts such as in Tinoor for fruits and Kakaskasen for flowers.

  • Central – Talete, Kamasi, Kolongan, and Matani. Downtown of Tomohon, center of public activities, hospitals, and Mayor office and city hall.
  • West – Woloan and Tara-Tara. Traditional House (knockdown type) production, Woloan Ancient Park where Waruga, the ancient tombs are collected in one area, in the same area are 9 springs.
  • East – Paslaten, Rurukan, Kumelembuai. Vegetable Farms on the slope of Mt. Mahawu and Mt. Masarang, and the famous Tomohon Traditional Market.
  • South – Walian, Sarongsong, Pinaras, Lahendong. Hotspring areas, the outstanding Lake Linow is located in Lahendong.

Understand

Tomohon is an important town in Northern Sulawesi. It is young but holds an important role in tourism of the province. The panorama and nature of Tomohon are attractions for those who travel this far. It lies between two volcanoes, Mt. Mahawu and Mt. Lokon. The town is shaped like a starfish, with long tentacles visible from higher ground. Because of its position on the highland, Tomohon has a very mild climate, for which it is famous. The friendliness of its people is also well known in the region.

Most people in Tomohon are Christian. Christianity plays an important role in all aspects of life. The Christians are diligent churchgoers. Mostly are Calvinist Protestants, members of Gereja Masehi Injili di Minahasa (abbreviated as GMIM). Instead, the synod of the churches that spread over the Minahasa region is in Tomohon. Christianity has been developing in the area ever since the time of Dutch colonization. Every village in Tomohon has a church from this denomination. The oldest one is GMIM Pniel Kakaskasen 2.

Besides the Calvinists, there is also a Catholic congregation, which is the second biggest in Tomohon. Several parishes exist in Tomohon. The big ones are St. Fransiskus Xaverius in Kakaskasen and St. Joseph. In Kakaskasen, there is a Monastery called Biara Bukit Karmel or Karmel Monastery. There are also other congregations from other denominations such as Pentecostal, Adventist, and several minor denominations. Every village from north to south and east to west has luxurious churches (or at least luxe for its congregation). And also, one village would normally have more than one building according to the number of the denominations. That is one reason you will see a church every several hundred meters.

Holidays

  • Christian

During holiday times, the people will decorate their houses, the lanes, the streets and so on with special themes. For example, during Christmas and New Year Christmas ornaments can be easily found anywhere in town. In several corners and intersections or in front of the church, a big white candle would stand up illuminating the lightless surrounding or a big decorated Christmas tree. Christmas musics starts playing as soon as September. They normally say “the months end in ‘-ber’ are Christmas.” During 1st – 24th December, the smell of Christmas cookies usually fill the air. The standard Christmas cookies in Tomohon such as nastar, kastengels, rambutan, biji-biji, sultana, snow white, kacang koek, corn flakes, and so on. The names of Christmas cookies are varied too. Christmas season would normally end with together with New Year on January 31st. During December, there would always be celebration they called it pre-christmas. In one month, a person could attend more than 10 pre-Christmas celebrations, for example pre-Christmas of the office, of the church, of the neighborhood, the school, the relative, family, youth organization, woman organization, from NGO, Sunday schools and so on. All the celebrations will end in a certain day called “kuncikan”, literally means closing day.

  • Chinese’s Holiday

The Chinese in Tomohon also still maintain their tradition of celebrating Chinese New Year and the biggest festival is on the 15th day after New Year, called Cap Go Meh. There will be a procession of calling the spirits of the Chinese Gods or Goddesses to possess mortal human bodies and they will be carried on sedan chairs from the temple around downtown to bestow their blessings on its believers. In this procession, the possessed mortal will perform magical things such as piercing his own cheek with some solid and sharp stick without from one to the other side without any bleeding out, a sword carrier will hit his own back with a very sharp sword without injuring himself, the other will cut his own tongue without injuring himself as well. This procession usually attracts attention of the whole town.

  • Islamic Holiday

Islam believers, although, a few, but they still have number in Tomohon. There is a special community in Southern Tomohon, they lived in a village called Kampung Jawa, literally means Javanese Village. Idul Fitri and the Month of Ramadhan are also celebrated here. However, there is not special procession for the holidays like at the other cities in Indonesia but praying in the open field on the day of Idul Fitri.

Culture

Tomohon is one of Minahasa Tribe region. Therefore, the Tomohoners are Minahasans. However, Minahasa Tribe is divided into several sub tribes, Tomohon belongs to a sub tribe called Tombulu. Pakasaan Tombulu spreads from Tombuluan in the east of Pineleng and Tombariri in the west and from Tomohon in the south to Manado in the north. Pakasaan Tombulu speaks Tombulu Language, Manado Malay, and Bahasa Indonesia. It is believed that Tomohon is the center of Pakasaan Tombulu. Pakasaan Tombulu in Tomohon, especially those who live in the region of Kakaskasen have special customs that are still maintained up until today.

  • Bakerah Tradition

This is a tradition of steam bath to a woman in several weeks after giving birth to a child. This is a traditional body cleansing process. The process of bakerah will be started by a special woman who has ability to arrange the process. She will boil a pail of water and while in the process, she will also put several special herbs such as leaves of agati tree (sesbania grandiflora) or leaves of hummingbird tree, lemon grass (cymbopogon nardus), kajuputih oil, and several other herbs into the boiling water. After the water boils, she will prepare a bucket or pail and pour the water and the herbs inside the container. The new mother will be asked to sit on a special chair that the bucket is placed under. She will be sitting and having a steam bath for around one hour. She will repeat the process for 7 days in a row.

  • Mapalus

This is a tradition of working together on the farm. A long time ago when modern technology for cultivation was still a dream, people in the highlands of Minahasa, especially in Tomohon, created a system of working the land together, called mapalus. Mapalus is a group of male and female farmers who are associated in a system, bound on their own or by village regulations to cultivate their farm lands. The farmers usually were divided into a timer and the workers. The timer’s function is to watch the time while working, carry the drum and hit the drum or another instrument called a tetengkoren. The process starts at dawn, around 04:30, with the sound of the drum. As the timer hits the drums in a special pattern, the other members of the group come at the appointed time to a house of one member, the intersection, street corner or any other place where they are meeting. Then, guided by the drum carrier, they go to one member’s farm. They work as the sun rises. While working, the workers usually sing songs, either together or responsorily.

  • Kumawus

This is a first or second Sunday of mourn after funeral. Kumawus derives from kawus means finish. I kawus ola, means just finish it, which means the mourn shall be finished. Kumawus means an activity to finish the mourning and all things or issues regarding to the late person. The other point also is that the left family will not have any more customs debt of those who have gone. Also with kumawus, the family was relieved, comforted and strengthened through meetings, fellowship with even more devotions.

The name of this activity at first was ‘muntep remdem’ or ‘Maso Itang’ the meaning ‘enter in black’. The point is the family by wearing black clothing entered the worship in the church at 09.00. Another custom in Kumawus is the people will eat on the table covered with banana leaves by hands.

Get in

By plane

Tomohon is reachable from any place in Indonesia. The nearest airport is in Manado about 33 km and can be reach in 1 hour via Ring road or 1,5 hour via Manado. There are many airlines destination in this airport are from Jakarta, Makassar, Bali, Gorontalo, Tahuna, Ternate, Sorong, Singapore, Balikpapan and several other minor cities. The airlines with route to Sam Ratulangi airport are Garuda Indonesia, Silk Air, Lion Air, Batavia Air, Sriwijawa Air, Merpati Air, Wings Air, and several chartered air lines.

Travel by ship/cruise to Tomohon

Tomohon is also reachable by ship and the nearest harbor is Manado harbor for provincial area, and Bitung Harbor national and international service. There are several ship route by PELNI harboring at Bitung Harbor.

SHIP ROUTE

1. KM. DOBONSOLO

MAKASSAR (South Sulawesi) – BAUBAU (South East Sulawesi) – BITUNG (North Sulawesi) – SORONG (Irian Jaya) – MANOKWARI (PAPUA) – JAYAPURA (PAPUA)

2. KM. LAMBELU

MAKASSAR (South Sulawesi) – BAUBAU (Buton Island, S.E Sulawesi) – AMBON (Maluku) – NAMLEA (Maluku) – TERNATE N.Maluku) – BITUNG (North Sulawesi)

3. KM. DOROLONDA

BALIKPAPAN (East Kalimantan) – PANTOLAN (Central Sulawesi) – BITUNG (North Sulawesi) – TERNATE (North Maluku) – SORONG (Irian Jaya) – MONOKOWARI (West Papua) – NABIRE (West Papua) – SERUI (West Papua) – JAYAPURA (West Papua)

4. KM. TILONGKABILA

BENOA (Bali) – LEMBAR (Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara) – BIMA (West Nusa Tenggara) – LABUAN BAJO (Flores, East Nusa Tenggara – MAKASSAR (South Sulawesi) – BAUBAU (Buton Island, S.E Sulawesi) – RAHA (Muna Island, S.E Sulawesi) – BITUNG (North Sulawesi)

By car

  • Bus

Tomohon is reachable also by BUS or Car from cities in Sulawesi or Celebes Island such as Makassar, Pare-Pare, Tana Toraja, Poso, Tentena, Palu, Toli-Toli, Ampana, Gorontalo, Bitung, Kotamobagu, Manado and other minor cities.

Bus Terminals to Tomohon is from Tondano, Kawangkoan, and Manado and destined to Terminal Beriman, Tomohon.

  • Rental Car

Get a rental car direct from the airport on arrival. Cost around Rp. 500,000 per day Included Driver, or Self Drive approximately Rp.300,000.- per day, can be used for around minahasa. For Central Information tel +62 852-4022-0620 or +62 431-892-979

  • Bluebird Taxi (Bluebird) (Manado to Tomohon, Airport to Tomohon and other areas). Rp.100.000. 
  • Mikrolet Tomohon Tondano (AB), Terminal Tondano (Tondano-Tomohon-Tondano). 06.00-20.00. Rp. 4.000,-. 
  • Mikrolet Tomohon Sonder (AC), Terminal Sonder (Sonder-Tomohon-Sonder). 07.00-19.00. Rp. 3.500,-. 
  • Mikrolet Tomohon Tanawangko (AF), Terminal Tanawangko (Tanawangko-Tomohon-Tanawangko). 07.00-15.00. Rp.6.000,-. 
  • Bus Tomohon Manado, Terminal Karombasan, Manado – Terminal Beriman Tomohon (Manado-Tomohon-Manado). 05.00-20.00. Rp. 6.000. 

Get around

In Town

  • By mikrolet

There are several ways to get around Tomohon area. The first one is by Mikrolet. Mikrolet is the light blue Mitsubishi Colts and can be found everywhere with various destinations. They operate on set routes with established fares but also can be chartered when it is empty. The passenger seats in a Mikrolet face forward with maximum 9 passengers. Some mikrolets are fully furnished with a small LCD TV, CD Player or music player, comfortable seats and so on. All regular routes begin and end in the main terminal called Terminal Beriman.

  • By cart

Bendi is a local name for horse cart and can be a second option to go around Tomohon. Just like Mikrolet, Bendi also operates on set limited routes. Only from downtown to Areas such as Matani, Walian, Kamasi, and Kolongan. This bendi is the old transportation along with cow cart called Roda Sapi. While bendi served for public transportation in town, roda sapi served the route to the farm or rice fields. Nowadays, the fare for a trip by Bendi is Rp. 5.000 per person (as of Oct 2018) and can be chartered up into 4 hours to go around downtown Tomohon.

  • By ojek

Ojek is an Indonesian term for Public Motorbike. The fares are various depend on the distance of a particular destination but it usually starts from Rp. 3.000 until Rp. 20.000. This Ojek can also be chartered daily. The chartered fare is around Rp. 50.000 / per day without Fuel. By ojek, we can reach the places unreachable by Mikrolet or Bendi, even by Rental cars.

  • By taxi

Daily in front of Bethesda Hospital, at downtown, you can find many cars lining up. They are called black taxi or Rental Cars. The cars can be hired daily, weekly, monthly and even annually. The rate is various between Rp. 250.000,- up to Rp. 500.000/day. The service can be include driver and fuel or without them as well.

Out of Town

You also can reach other destination in Main Land of North Sulawesi from Tomohon.

  • To Tangkoko National Park, in Bitung (Via Tondano or Manado), ✉ info@flowerslane.com. Starts from 8AM. Tangkoko National Park is reachable from Tomohon also. It is two hours driving by rental car. You can ask the service from hotel but also from the address mentioned in the listing. €35 – €40/day (max 8 hours). 
  • Lake Tondano, Rental Car Service | Kakaskasen – Tomohon Utara (Via Kawangkoan and Langowan). Lake Tondano is more or less 15 km from Tomohon. To reach the lake, someone can hire a motorbike starting from Rp. 50.000 – Rp. 75.000 a day, or chartered a Mikrolet about Rp. 125.000 – Rp. 150.000 a day, or if preferred extra privacy and comfortable someone can rent a car for Rp. Rp. 250.000 – Rp.350.000 a day. You can call the phone number above or send text message for more information. 
  • Mt. Soputan (Gunung Soputan), Tombatu (Via Langowan), ✉ info@flowerslane.com. Start from 8AM. Mt. Soputan is also reachable from Tomohon, it is about 2 hours of driving to the southern area of Minahasa. If you are interested to go to Mt. Soputan you have to plan the trip very carefully. It is better to hire a guide who know the area very well. Mt. Soputan is one of the most active volcano in the region, even in Indonesia. € 50 per pax. 
  • Bentenan Beach. 
  • Nimanga River. 
  • Bukit Kasih (Hill of Love), in Kawangkoan. 
  • Batu Pinabetengan. 

See

As a cool highland, Tomohon has some very pleasant hiking and walking.

  • Lake Linow (Danau Linow)
  • Mt. Mahawu (Gunung Mahawu)
  • Mt. Lokon
  • Mt. Masarang
  • Tomohon Market (Pasar Beriman): Comprises of the Traditional Market, Fresh Market Extreme Market (this is where they sell various exotic meat such as dogs, bats, snakes). It is called “extreme” for a reason. If customer buys an animal alive, it will get slaughtered on the spot. Not for the faint-hearted. Come in the morning before 8am if you want to see the Extreme Market. It gets quiet after 10am.
  • Tintingon Hill
  • Tumimperas Waterfall
  • Wawo Hill
  • Knockdown House Industry
  • Ancient Site and Amphitheater Woloan
  • Tinoor View Point and Tinoor Waterfall
  • Inspiration Hill (Bukit Inspirasi)
  • Temboan Hill, Rurukan
  • Geothermal Lahendong
  • Palm Sugar Industry
  • Pagoda and Buddhayana Temple
  • Sony Art Gallery (Painting Gallery)

Do

  • Bukit Doa Mahawu (Jalan Salib Mahawu), Jl. Lingkar Timur, Kakaskasen Dua. A quiet area made for Christian pilgrim. It has ‘Via Dolorosa’ at Mahawu (Jalan Salib Mahawu) to remember the sacrifice of Jesus until He died on the cross. . Inside the area is a Chapel of Virgin Mary, amphitheater Mahawu and man made grotto. All welcome Rp.2500 per person. (updated Oct 2018)
  • Buddhayana Monastery, Sunge, Kakaskasen tiga. a Buddhist religious and meditation complex. Chinese culture preserved in architecture of statues, Kwan Im goddess palace and pagoda. Religious service every Sunday 15.30. Free. 
  • 1.339082124.8351231 Sightseeing Around Tomohon, Flowers Lane Vacation | Jl. Kel. Tangkawarow No. 2 Kakaskasen. 08.00. When you stays in one of the resorts in Tomohon, having nothing to do, one of the option is go around Tomohon. FLV can arrange your sightseeing trip. starts from USD 30 / per pax. 
  • 1.339082124.8351232 Bird Watching, Flowers Lane Vacation (Jl. Kel. Tangkawarow. No. 2 Kakakaskasen). 05.00 – finish. There are several and special as well as incredible birds can be found in Mt. Mahawu and Mt. Lokon in Tomohon as well as the other part of North Sulawesi such as Rufus Bellied Eagle; Brown Cuckoo Dove; Mountain White Eye; Dark Fronted White Eye; Scarlet Honey-eater; Crimson Crowned Flowerpecker; Sulawesi Spotted Goshawk; Sulawesi Serpent Eagle; Bay Coucal; Yellow Bellied Malkoha; Superb Fruit Dove; Citrine Flycatcher; Streaky Headed White Eye; Grey Sided Flowerpecker; Island Verditer; Sulawesi Dwarf Woodpecker; Mountain Tailorbird; White Browed Crake; Cinnamon Bittern; Scaly Breasted Munia; Cinnamon Munia; Little Egret; Wandering Whistling Duck; Ziting Cisticola; Lesser Coucal; Glamorous Reed Warbler; Javan Pond Heron; Black Kite; Bhraminy Kite; Blue Breasted Quail. Start from USD 30 / person. 
  • 1.339082124.8351233 Horse Riding, Flowers Lane Vacation (Jl. Kel. Tangkawarow. No. 2 Kakakaskasen). 9AM – 2PM. There is a very interesting activity can be done in Tomohon, Horse Riding. The 4 hours trip is to Wawo hill. Start from US$40. 

Buy

  • 1.325153124.8378011 Grand Central Supermarket, Jl. Raya Tomohon. 9 AM – 9 PM. The first supermarket in Tomohon, very close to Bethesda Hospital. Selling many kinds of daily needs as well as fashion, computer, multimedia and so on. (updated Mar 2018)
  • Cool Supermarket, Jl. Raya Tomohon, Walian – Tomohon Selatan. 9AM – 9PM. Very nice Supermarket in Southern Tomohon. Selling many kinds of daily needs such as vegetables, herbs, fruits and the other stuffs as well as fashion, books, mechanical tools. 
  • Century Supermarket, Jl. Raya Tomohon. 
  • 1.315055124.8385042 Multi Mart Tomohon. a popular supermarket chain with restaurants and arcade on the upper floor. (updated Oct 2018)
  • 1.326618124.8455013 Pasar Beriman Tomohon (Tomohon Market), Pasar Tomohon (besides the Bus Station). 05.00 AM – 02.00 PM. Sell various kinds of vegetables, meat, spices, herbs, fish, meats, fruits, flowers, clothes. Comprises of the Fresh Market, Traditional Market, and Extreme Market (where they sell various exotic meat such as dogs, bats, snakes) (updated Mar 2018)
  • Gecko Art, Jl. Raya Tomohon, Kinilow (near by the intersection to Onong Palace and Highland Resort). 09.00 AM – 05.00 PM. This is one of the souvenir shops in Tomohon. Various kinds of souvenirs are displayed in this small shops. Travelers can choose according to their preferences. Rp. 20.000 + / Items. 
  • BLPT Kaaten, Jl. Raya Tomohon Tondano, Kaaten (Beside the road to Tondano). 9AM – 3PM. Locates in Kaaten, Matani 1 – Central Tomohon, BLPT is a coconut wood and arenga palm production. They make various kinds of furniture such as tables, chairs, desk, cupboards, beds and small items like toys, and also knockdown houses from coconut wood. Rp. 20.000 – Rp. 500 million / Item. 

Eat

Tomohon is very famous for Minahasan cuisine. Minahasan food or Manadonese food is usually very spicy. Among Indonesian Cuisine, Minahasan Cuisine is one of the spiciest cuisines. Traveler must pay attention to what they are asking in the restaurant. If you are not accustomed to spicy food, you will have to communicate with the waiter or waitress.

Check out the Tomohon Culinary Center (Pusat Kuliner Tomohon) at Jalan Nusantara, about 12 minutes’ walk away from the Tomohon Market.

Cuisine

Appetizer

  • Sup Ubi / Bete – is a very tasty home-cooking for appetizer. It’s made by Xanthosoma root with edible hibiscus leaves and or Water Spinach leaves.
  • Braunebonen – literally red bean soup. Cooked either with cow bones or pig legs with herbs such as clove, nutmeg, white pepper. The minahasan likes to eat this together with rice.
  • Sup Kacang Ijo – literally green bean soup. The preparation is very similar with braunebonen.
  • Kua Asam / Kua trang – Sour soup or Clear Soup. The local people has a riddle about this food. “Salt from the sea and Sour from the Mountains meets together in a pan, what is that?” – and the answer is Sour Soup, because it’s made by several herbs such as spring onion, lemon leaves, lemon basil, tomatoes, a little bit chilli, red ginger and fish with little bit salt and lime. Very tasty.
  • Sup kentangPotato Soup cooked in Pasta such as macaroni or rice vermicelli.

Main Course

  • Tinorangsak, pork cooked with herbs such as spring onion, lemon leaves, lemon grass, chilli, and other kinds of herbs; it is cooked in bamboo. Several prepare it using frying pan.
  • RW /err weh/, dog meat cooked with chilli, lemon grass, lemon leaves, spring onion and other kinds of herbs. “RW” stands for “Rintek Wu’uk” in the Minahasan dialect, which translates to “fine hair”, a euphemism for dog meat.
  • Paniki, bat cooked in coconut milk with spicy herbs.
  • Paku Popaya Bulu, Vegetables of Edible Fern and Papaya leaves (sometimes with flowers too), cooked in bamboo with spices and herbs. Some people likes to add the salty pork fat.
  • Ayam Bulu, Chicken cooked in bamboo.
  • Ayam Bumbu RW, Chicken cooked with spices for RW.
  • Bebek Bumbu RW, Duck cooked with spices for RW.
  • Ragey, a chunky pork satay marinated with spices.
  • Bebek Bulu, Duck cooked in bamboo.
  • Ayam Garo, literally means scratching chicken, because the preparation is a fast mixing of the herbs and spices on the frying pan similar to scratching it. This food is categorized to spicy food because of the amount of chilli.
  • Babi Garo, literally means scratching pork, the process is similar to Ayam Garo.
  • Babi Tore, literally means crisp pork.
  • Kapala Babi, literally means Pig Head. It is pig head boiled in spiced soup.
  • Acar, made of young bamboo, carrots, cucumber, peanut, herbs and other spices such as turmeric and onion.
  • Ikan Woku Blanga, any fish cooked in Main Minahasan Spices: chilli, turmeric, ginger, lemon grass, lemon leaves, lime, candle nut, lemon basil, turmeric leaf. It’s called blanga because it’s prepared by using frying pan.
  • Ikan Woku Daong, any fish cooked in Main Minahasan Spices: chilli, turmeric, ginger, lemon grass, lemon leaves, lime, candle nut, lemon basil, turmeric leaf. It’s called daong because it’s prepared by using palm leaves called woka.
  • Ikan Woku Kring, any fish cooked in Main Minahasan Spices: chilli, turmeric, ginger, lemon grass, lemon leaves, lime, candle nut, lemon basil, turmeric leaf. It’s called kring because it’s prepared with less of water and when it’s cooked, we can barely see any soup in it.
  • Rica Rodo, made of corn, aubergine (egg plant), long bean with spicy herbs, chilli, and smoked fish.
  • Sayor Pusu’ made of fluorescent or banana heart, cooked with entrails of animals, normally chicken or pork, such as intestine, heart, and liver.

and so on.

Dessert

  • Buah segar – literally fresh fruit, it is prepared from various kind of fruits but mainly papaya, apple, avocado, pudding or gel, young coconut, rambutan, longan, and soursop in syrupy and milky water.
  • es braunebon – red bean ice, prepared from red bean cooked in traditional made of palm sugar and then later mixed with blended ice and sweetened condensed milk.
  • Es Kacang Susu – Milk and Peanut Ice, prepared from peanut and served like red bean ice.
  • Gohu – prepared from chopping papaya with spicy syrup containing red ginger, chilli, vinegar (palm vinegar is better), sugar (brown sugar is better), onion. The local likes to add more chilli.
  • Klapertaart – literally coconut tart, prepared from young coconut mixed with milk, eggs, maize flavor, sugar and raisin and frozen in the fridge.

Minahasan Cookies

  • Kukis Kalapa, literally means Coconut Cookie, made of unripe coconut, rice flavor and brown sugar.
  • Binyolos, made of sweet potato and brown sugar.
  • Onde-Onde, made of rice flavor and brown sugar, after cooked it is rolled on grated coconut. It is good to have it while it’s still warm but be careful not to eat it while it’s still fresh from the boiling pan. It can be very tricky that the outside could be cool while the inside is killing hot. The other variant is Onde-Onde Pulo, the difference between this two are the type of the rice. Onde-onde Pulo is made by sticky rice flavor.
  • Cucur, made of rice flavor and brown sugar, some people put anise or aniseed.

Curut, Apang, Apang Coe, Apang Polote, Nasi Jaha, Dodol, Bobengka, Ongol-Ongol, Geto’, Gabin Fla, Biapong, etc.

Restaurants

  • 1.317759124.8382821 Gloria. The best pig ribs in town. A full meal of white rice, 3 pig ribs (costellata), braunebonen (red beans) soup and vegetable only cost Rp 15.000 (US$ 1.5) 
  • 1.304904124.8325212 Kobong Cafe, Jl. Raya Tomohon. 
  • 1.325047124.8384483 Kit Sang Restaurant, Jl. Raya Tomohon. 
  • 1.330249124.8391084 Restaurant Sineleyan, Jl. Raya Tomohon. 
  • Risoma Restaruant (Restoran Risoma), Jl. Raya Tomohon – Manado, Tinoor (On the way to Manado). 11AM – 9PM. The best Minahasan Cuisine. It locates out of town and unfortunately the restaurant is hard to achieve just by microlet service. The menu includes Pangi, Acar, Tinorangsak (pork cooked in Bambu), RW (dogmeat), Paniki (Fruit Bat meat), Braunebonen (Red bean soup), Sayor pait (bitter vegetable) and many more. Rp. 20.000 / Person. 
  • 1.38573124.8337815 Heng Mien Restaurant (Restoran Heng Mien), Jl. Raya Tomohon Manado, Tinoor (On the way to Manado). 10AM – 10PM. The famous Minahasan Cuisine Restaurant in town. Unfortunaley, this restaurant also locates out of town on the road to Manado. The menu are almost all the famous of the Minahasan cuisine such as RW, Paniki, Pangi, Sayor Pait, Acar, and so on. To get here, you can charter a mikrolet the fare starts from Rp. 75.000 per trip, or ask the hotel to arrange the Dinner here. Rp. 20.000 / Person. (updated Mar 2018)

Drink

Cap Tikus and Saguer are two kinds of famous drink in Tomohon. Cap Tikus is distilled beverage from Zap. While Saguer is the Zap harvested from palm tree. Saguer has several tastes that are sweet, sour, bitter, sweet and sour, sweet and bitter, bitter and sour, all the tastes comes out depend on the technique of the farmers harvesting the zap.

There is also a certain kind of drink called Sukur, made of red ginger cooked with traditionally made of brown sugar in a clay pot. This drink is very good for health. Often time used when somebody get cold or cough.

Where to stay in Tomohon

  • Gardenia Country Inn Tomohon. About 30 minutes from downtown Manado, this countryside inn has bungalows, chalets, and standard rooms. Rates start at $88 for a single bed in the chalet, including free breakfast, welcome drink, a fruit basket, mineral water, tea and coffee in your room, afternoon tea and coffee with traditional snacks, and free Wi-Fi. It has a garden with fishponds, tropical flowers and plants, along with unique birds and butterflies give it the feel of an environmental sanctuary. In another part of the garden, you will find different organic crops like lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, carrot, tropical exotic fruits, and local herbs like basil, chilies, lemongrass, ginger, turmeric and so on which is used by the kitchen there. 
  • 1.368756124.8335321 Highland Resort Tomohon (Highland Resort and Spa), Kinilow Jaga VI, ✉ mail@highlandresort.info. Check-in: 12.00, check-out: 14.00. Right outside of town and a 400-meter walk from the main road. There are five types of rooms: Standard, Superior, Deluxe, Highland Suite and Highland Grand Suite. All have private bathrooms with hot and cold water showers. Other amenities that are provided for your comfort in all our rooms are satellite TVs and large, comfortable beds. Free Internet. Tour arrangement from highland tour to volcano trekking and whitewater rafting. From IDR 340,000. 
  • Mountain View Homestay, Jl. Raya Tomohon, Walian Tomohon Selatan (In front of Cool Supermarket). It locates fifteen minutes ride on a public Microlet from Terminal Beriman Tomohon, and in front of Cool Supermarket. The homestay or inn have hot and cold shower. Mobile contact +62 81340363553 Rp.100.000 – Rp.175.000. 
  • Onong Palace, Kinilow. A ten minute walk from the Highland Resort. The bungalows are spaced further apart from each other than the Highland Resort and are also quite new. 250,000 Rp. per night (updated Mar 2018)
  • Volcano Resort. Five minute ride on a public mikrolet from the Terminal, and a 5 minute walk off the main street. Or you can charter a mikrolet for about 15,000 Rp. Wooden bungalows with attached cold showers cost 200,000 Rp per night. Economy double rooms are 100,000Rp. Includes breakfast. 100,000-200,000. 
  • 1.3699124.83432 Mountain View Resort & Spa (Mountain View Resort & Resto), Jalan Kali-Kinilow, Lingkungan VI, Tomohon Utara 95362 (from Manado 30 minutes by car), ✉ resortmountainview@yahoo.com. Check-in: 13.00, check-out: 12.00. This mountain resort features 12 traditional bungalows: double and twin bed, bathroom with western toilet, hot water shower and terrace. Flat screen television, free WiFi and mineral water. Own Spa with several wellness treatments. The restaurant serves specialties from the Minahasa Highland as well as Indonesian, Chinese and western dishes. Try the home made Mountain View Grog. They offer an early bird breakfast if you have a morning flight to your next destination. The resort is run by German management and offers a wide range of tours into the area as well as rafting and kayaking trips, caving, volcano trekking, waterfall tours, horseback riding, mountain biking, birding, cooking classes. .. From Rp. 375.000. (updated Mar 2015)

Go next

There are daily flight from Manado to several cities in Indonesia, and several days a week of Silk Air from Singapore. And Tomohon is only 33 km from the Sam Ratulangi International Airport, if you need a flight 1.5 hour from the check in time is the best time to go.

  • Manado
  • Terminal Malalayang to go to Gorontalo, Palu, Poso, Makassar. Manado harbor to Bunaken, Siladen, Sangihe, Talaud.
  • Sam Ratulangi International Airport to Jakarta, Bali, Makassar, Singapore, Balikpapan, Raja Ampat, Ternate
  • Bitung Via Tondano or Manado and to Bitung Harbor and Lembeh Island
  • Bitung Harbo for travel by ship to Eastern Indonesia such as Maluku and Papua, also to Central Sulawesi and South East Sulawesi
  • Tangkoko National Park
  • Pulisan

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Indonesia

Pontianak | Covid-19 Travel Restrictions | Lockdown | Coronavirus Outbreak

Pontianak is the capital of the Indonesian province of West Kalimantan, on the island of Borneo, and bisected by the Equator. The city is mostly populated by ethnic Chinese, Dayaks and Malays, as well as significant numbers of minorities such as Bugis and Javanese. Understand History of Pontianak The word pontianak — probably from bunting […]

Wolfgang Holzem

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Pontianak is the capital of the Indonesian province of West Kalimantan, on the island of Borneo, and bisected by the Equator. The city is mostly populated by ethnic Chinese, Dayaks and Malays, as well as significant numbers of minorities such as Bugis and Javanese.

Understand

History of Pontianak

The word pontianak — probably from bunting anak, “pregnant with child” — means the undead vampire of a woman who died while during childbirth. Disguised as a beautiful woman, the pontianak goes around murdering unwary men, harming pregnant woman and eating babies, but they can be controlled by plunging a nail into a hole in the back of their neck.

According to legend, when Abdurrahman Alqadrie’s group arrived in the uninhabited area of Pontianak, it was haunted by pontianaks/kuntilanaks, which deterred many of his companions by their scary voices at night. To sweep these ghosts away, Alqadrie ordered his men to fire their cannons to the forest which was believed to be their base. Afterwards, no more pontianak’s voice was ever heard.

In 1771, Abdurrahman Alqadrie cut down the forest which was at the crossing between Kapuas and Landak river, then settled there. He was awarded the title Sultan. Under his leadership, he succeeded in attracting many traders, most of them ethnic Malays, and some Dayaks from the upstream parts of the Kapuas River.

Following the civil war and widespread poverty in China at the end of the 19th century, many Chinese migrated to Indonesia, and some settled in Pontianak due to its strategic location for trading. This later added Chinese culture to the history of Pontianak. Chinese in Pontianak are mainly of Teochew, Hakka, and Cantonese descent.

In the early part of the 19th century, the Dutch occupied Pontianak and the rest of West Kalimantan’s cities as part of its colonial campaign. Pontianak was occupied to become a trading post in order to gain rich natural resources, mainly rubber and wood, from upstream Kapuas River. Resistance by both ethnic Malays and Dayaks continued sporadically and this forced the Dutch colonial armed forces to frequently request reinforcements from Batavia/Jakarta.

Dutch occupation ended in 1941 during World War II when Japanese Imperial forces overran Dutch bases from the north. These bases were not able to deploy sufficient numbers of soldiers in order to defend the strategic island of Java. During the Japanese occupation, tens of thousands of civilians and intellectuals were massacred, mainly those who refused to recognise the emperor of Japan.

When the Japanese retreated, the Dutch under the Allied Forces umbrella re-entered West Kalimantan. Their colonial government over Pontianak ended a few years later after a series of diplomatic missions and local resistance which also freed the other Indonesian territories at the same time.

People

You may find that Pontianakians of each ethnicity tend to live homogeneously. For example, areas along Jalan Gajahmada are overwhelmingly Chinese whereas Sungai Jawi in the suburb are settled mostly by ethnic Malays. Intermarriage is not common, especially between ethnic Chinese and the indigenous people (Dayaks, Malays, Javanese, Madurese, etc.) But that’s not to say these people like to fight against each other. Visit a restaurant somewhere in the middle of Pontianak and you might find both Chinese and Dayaks chatting hilariously with each other.

The locals of Pontianakians are mostly easygoing, at least compared to those of other metropolitan cities such as Jakarta and Surabaya. Their tone of speaking may not as soft as the Jogjanese, but if you try to blend yourself with them you will almost definitely be reciprocated.

Get in

By bus

Bus trip to Pontianak can be arranged from Kuching in neighboring Malaysia. A trip from Kuching to Pontianak or vice versa will last at least 8 hours which will pass the border area of Entikong. Some of the bus providers serving this route are Damri, SJS and Biaramas Express (www.mybus.com.my). The fares for the trip ranges from RM45 to RM75. Click Pontianak to Kuching for travel itinerary on this route. A bus trip to Brunei is also available. There is also a bus available from Pangkalan Bun. It takes around 14 hours and costs ~450,000 (2018/01).

By plane

  • x-0.150556109.4038891 Supadio Airport. There are very frequent flights from Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport operated by all major Indonesian airlines. In addition, there are flights from many other major Indonesian cities, including Bandung, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, Medan, and Batam, and the larger cities of Kalimantan such as Balikpapan and Banjarmasin. XpressAir operates international flights to Kuching, and AirAsia to Kuala Lumpur.

To get to or from the airport, DAMRI runs hourly bus service to the city centre for IDR35,000. The easiest spot to catch the bus in the city is at the DAMRI office at Jl. Pahlawan 232, Pontianak (phone +62 561 744859). For taxis, coupons at a fixed price of Rp70,000 are sold.

There are Damri Bus from Supadio Airport to Singkawang and Sambas for Rp 100,000/person.

By boat

While being the cheapest inter-island transportation mean, it is recommended only for travellers to board on a ship to Pontianak. Tourists would do better to fly instead. The tide in Java Sea is unstable, which may make you feel sick on board, if you are not used to high tide. A trip will spend 12-18 hours to/from Jakarta. Contact nearest travel agent to conduct your trip.

By car

Pontianak can be reached by car from Kuching in 6-8 hours, although the road is not in very good shape. See Pontianak to Kuching for a detailed itinerary.

Get around

The most convenient way to explore Pontianak is either by taxi or rented car. The entire Pontianak is integrated by road link, parts of which are not well maintained. There are also plenty of cheap (Rp2,000) public buses but sometimes it can be kind of adventure to use them since the buses are not well marked, drivers and most of the locals do not speak English and the orientation is difficult. Also there are boats crossing the river and this is in general the most convenient and the cheapest (Rp1,000) way to get in to the other side.

See

  • Kebun Binatang Pontianak (Pontianak Zoo), Jl. Adi Sucipto, a reconditioned zoo with a reasonable variety of animals from the jungles of Borneo and from some parts of Indonesia. Some of the collection, including some orangutans, were said to had been freed from illegal ownership by an Italian lumber mill owner.
  • Tugu Khatulistiwa (Equatorial Obelisk), built directly under the 0 degrees equator line. It is 11 km from the city centre and is comparably easily and quickly reachable by public buses (Rp2,000). There you can learn lots of interesting facts about the equator and to see how unique is Pontianak, one of the few cities in the world situated exactly on the equator line. There are friendly English-speaking staff and a sоuvenir shop, actually maybe the only one in Pontianak.

Do

  • Sungai Kapuas (Kapuas River) divides Pontianak into two different sides. Get a boat ride along the river about five or six o’clock local time and you will see amazing views along this river. The locals who live along this river taking a bath in this river during these hours throughout the year. A unique tradition that should not be missed.
  • During the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, there is a Meriam Karbit festival that is well worth visiting.

Buy

Equatorial souvenirs from the Equatorial Obelisk sоuvenir shop, as well as, cheap textile and many craftwork items as everywhere in Indonesia.

Eat

Pontianak is quite popular among domestic tourists due to its wide range of food with strong cultural touch, most notably the Chinese. There are plenty of eating options for the culinary adventurers, from street hawker food to local restaurant culinary to internationally franchised fast food.

  • Street hawker food, where you can taste the local delicacy such as Beef Rice Noodle & Beehoon (fried, with soup, dried), Seafood Noodle (with soup & dried), Nasi Goreng (fried rice with chicken, beef), Nasi Uduk, Kwe Kia Theng (Teochew phrase, rice noodle in soya sauce soup with pork and intestines (optional), Bakso (fish or beef ball soup), Sate (chicken or beef satay), Kari Peng (Teochew phrase meaning curry rice), Koi Peng (Teochew phrase literary “chicken rice”, but content also include pork, cucumber, etc. also known as “Nasi Campur” or mixed rice), Martabak, Kue Terang Bulan, Otak-otak, Pempek, Tui Jiu He (Teochew phrase literary “beaten cuttlefish”, dried cuttlefish are beaten until tender and flossy, woodfired until cooked, then served with belacan sauce, best to have it with friends and beer), Sio Bi (also known as Siomay, made of pork served in soya sauce with the options of chilli and mustard), Siomay Bandung (fish cake, beancurd, potato, vegetable, egg served in peanut sauce, with the option of chilli and tomato), He Mue/Bubur Ikan (fish porridge), and many more. These street hawkers are usually found from dusk until 10PM – midnight, depending or business, but some operated from dawn to dusk or midnight. They are usually clustered around busy commercial streets such as the CBD: Jalan (Jl.) Gajahmada, Jl. Hijas, Jl. Setia Budi, Jl. Agus Salim, Jl. Diponegoro, Jl. Patimura, Jl. Nusa Indah 1, Jl. Tanjung Pura, Jl Siam or around the suburban such as Jawi (Jl. Merdeka, Jl. Hassanudin, Jl. Wahid Hasyim), Kotabaru (Jl. St. Abdurrahman), Purnama, Siantan, Sungai Raya Dalam and Sungai Raya. Price per meal ranging from Rp5000 to about Rp25,000.
  • Satria Wangi Dining, Jl. Nusa Indah II No. 62. They have great local menu at very affordable price and average-English-speaking staff. The restaurant is centrally located. Its signature dishes such Ikan Gurame Terbang, Gulai Kepala Ikan, Ikan Jelawat Kukus, and have been featured and reviewed by many national TVs cooking show. 
  • Restoran Star, Jl. GajahMada. Pontianak cuisine 
  • Restoran Gajahmada, Jl. Gajahmada. Pontianak cuisine 
  • Restoran Hawaii, Jl. Nusa Indah 3. Pontianak cuisine 
  • Dangau, Jl. Arteri Supadio. Malay cuisine 
  • Italian Steak House, Jl. Nusa Indah 3. 
  • Sari Bento at Museum, Jl. Ahmad Yani. Japanese food 
  • Papyrus Restaurant at Gardenia Resort and Spa, Jl. A Yani (5 minutes from the airport). offers all-day dining with a selection of Asian, Western, and authentic Indonesian favourites. At open deck area, you can enjoy the views of the landscaped gardens while enjoying the chef’s specialities. 

Talk

Nearly all Pontians, regardless of their ethnicities, speak Bahasa Indonesia, albeit it is slightly mixed with Malay accent close to that of neighbouring Malaysia. Most ethnic Chinese people at the southern bank of Kapuas river speak Teochew, and those at the northern bank speak mostly Hakka (called Khek by locals). Mandarin is spoken mostly by those aged 30 years old or above, but don’t be surprised if they mix it with Hakka or Teochew dialect as it is not very commonly spoken in town. English is mostly spoken by also the young locals, but is usually not mastered beyond some basic knowledge despite many English courses, so it would be wise to know some phrases of Bahasa Indonesia. Hiring an English-speaking guide could smooth your travel a lot.

Stay safe in Pontianak

Pickpockets and motorcycle thefts are quite common in town. Exercise necessary caution even when being in a shopping mall. Be careful when travelling in a public bus (called oplet) as somebody could threaten you with a knife to hand over your valuables. (This safety note is from March 2009 and might be outdated)

Drink

Where to stay in Pontianak

If you arrive by Pelni ferry late at night then it’s better option to sleep aboard until morning as there is usually a long layover at Pontianak.

Budget

  • Hotel Wisma Patri, Pontianak. No air, no fan, no window and fairly mosquito-ridden with no insect spray available. Rp70,000. 
  • -0.0359109.334191 Ateng Guest House, Jl. Gajah Mada No. 201, Pontianak. Located in the centre of the city. All rooms are air conditioned and fairly clean. Breakfast included. Published rate is Rp130,000 single but compare price with Agoda. Travel agent is at the same location. Rp120,000 single. (updated Oct 2016)

Mid-range

  • Hotel Sentral, Jl H.O.S. Cokroaminoto no 232 (Ten minutes walk from drop off point for most Kuching buses, turn right at traffic light.). Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. Faded rooms. Staff friendly enough. All have AC and attached bathrooms. On a busy junction between two streets so window rooms will be slightly noisy, (but non window rooms are a bit musty). Travellers have reported overpricing and demands for security deposit from the staff here From Rp160,000. 

Splurge

  • Gardenia Resort and Spa, Jl. A Yani II. 
  • Hotel Sentral, Jl. H.O.S. Cokroaminoto 232. Commercial Hotel 
  • Hotel Gajahmada, Jl. Gajahmada. 
  • Hotel Grand Mahkota. 
  • Hotel Peony, Jl. Gajahmada. 
  • Hotel Kapuas Palace, Jl. Imam Bonjol. 
  • Hotel Kini, Jl. Nusa Indah 3. Double from Rp400,000. 
  • Hotel Mercure, Jl. A. Yani. 
  • Hotel Orchardz, Jl. Gajahmada. 
  • Hotel Santika, Jl. Diponegoro. National Chain Hotel 
  • Star Hotel, Jl. Gajah Mada 189. 

Telecommunications in Pontianak

Phone call

Most national GSM and CDMA operators have their signal towers spread throughout the entirety of Pontianak, meaning that there should not be too many problems communicating around the town and the tariffs are also reasonable, at least for tourists coming from the West. Shops selling SIM cards and their top-ups are also in abundance, even in the outskirts of town, just like in other cities in Indonesia. Fixed line phones are also available everywhere. There are also few phone stalls (Warung Telkom) offering you phone call with a reasonable fare.

Internet access

Internet cafe businesses are flourishing, but you’ll only find a few without distracting gamers like you might find in typical East Asian internet cafes. Don’t worry about the billing (that’s how the locals say). An hour of internet access will cost you Rp3,000-6,000. But don’t expect a speed-of-light one out of it, though. Many locals have internet access varying from snaily dial-up to ISDN (most notably Telkom Speedy) installed in their houses. GPRS and 3G access from your cellphone exists, but you will not necessarily find GPRS signal everywhere even in the middle of the city.

Consulates in Pontianak

  • Malaysia Malaysia Consulate, Jl. Sutan Syahrir No. 21.  

Go next

Pontianak is the gateway for travellers wishing to travel deeper inland. Singkawang, another one of the most Chinese-influenced town is reachable by taxi. Kuching, which lies in the Malaysian part of the island, offers some modernity you wouldn’t find in the Indonesian part.

If you want to explore the rest of Kalimantan there is a bus heading East to Pangkalan Bun which leaves the Interstate Bus Station at 07:00, costing around 450,000 Rupiah as of 2018/01. It is however a long journey, expect arrival in the late evening in Pangkalan Bun.

 

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Tentena | Covid-19 Travel Restrictions | Lockdown | Coronavirus Outbreak

Tentena is a town in Central Sulawesi. Understand Beach at Lake Poso, near Tentena. Tentena sits on the road between Ampana and Rantepao, on the northern shore of Lake Poso. The town itself could be easily overlooked if it were not for the number of guides and locals recommending it as a better option than […]

Wolfgang Holzem

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Tentena is a town in Central Sulawesi.

Understand

Image of Destination Guide

Beach at Lake Poso, near Tentena.

Tentena sits on the road between Ampana and Rantepao, on the northern shore of Lake Poso. The town itself could be easily overlooked if it were not for the number of guides and locals recommending it as a better option than Poso for an overnight stop. The main street might be a little underwhelming, however the various warungs and homes build over the clear lake waters, and the surrounding rice fields give this charming little town a surpsising appeal. The community exists on two sides of the lake, connected by a busy concrete traffic bridge and a quieter, wooden foot bridge. The main side of the lake is the more commercial area, while the opposite site has a noticeably quieter and more homely feel.

Tentena is in North Pamona district in the regency of Poso, about 50 km south of regency capital Poso. The headquarters of the Central Sulawesi Christian Church are in Tentena.

Get in

The arrival point is the Bus Terminal – a simple drop-off point on the side of the road. From here its a 4km walk into the main areas of guesthouses and shops. A better option is to flag down a local Ojek (motorbike taxi) to take you and your luggage in for IDR 5,000.

If you are arriving from Rantepao, ‘tourist guides’ will be on hand to suggest accommodation options. They are likely to charge you double the normal rate for an ojek (motorbike taxi) ride; however the late arrival of the bus from Rantepao (anywhere between 8pm and 11pm depending on road conditions) IDR 15,000 – IDR 20,000 (as of Sep 2018).

Get around

  • Ojeks (motorbikes) can take you to most local spots for around IDR 5,000
  • Bemos (a minivan, Kijang [old model Toyota SUV], or minibus] can bring you around.

See

  • Poso Lake: The major tourist attraction within Tentena, which has beautiful clear water, adjacent warungs (and some home-stays under construction) and a peaceful vibe. 2 parallel bridges exist to bring you back and forth. Its worth exploring the opposite side of the lake for guesthouses, homestays, and warungs (kiosk / eatery).
  • Pamona Cave: Near the city center, on the West side, near the new bridge, off to a small road. You would need to squat down and crawl through. Remember to bring mosquito repellent.
  • Saluopa Waterfall: By all accounts the Saluopa Waterfall -while a little tough to reach, about 12km- is one of the best available; notable for the lack of other tourists and businesses. There are approximately 10 drops, each of which you can bathe in. A nice relief from the heat of Sulawesi, and worth if considering if you have time.
  • Lore Lindu National Park: Easier to be accessed from Poso, but it is possible to arranged a trip from Victory Hotel for IDR 2,000,000 (as of Sep 2018)

Eat

Try ‘Sigoli’, a freshwater eel from Lake Poso.

Where to stay in Tentena

  • Victory Hotel a bit old, but has good, clean rooms in both budget (IDR 150,000 per person) and Deluxe (IDR 250,000 with TV and hot shower). All prices include breakfast. A good option for a single night. The hotel is excellent at booking trips and transportation for you (Email: victorytentena@yahoo.com).
  • Tropicana
  • Online Rock Cafe (under construction)

If you’re in town for a few nights, the opposite side (West side) is worth exploring for the peaceful atmosphere (away from the traffic and ‘bussle’) superior views of the lake and nearby farmlands, and good range of warungs (kiosk / eatery).

Telecommunications in Tentena

Go next

All connections in Tentena are made from the Bus Terminal, 4km out of town. Ojeks (motorbike taxi) are easily chartered to take you and your luggage to the Terminal for Rp 5,000.

To Rantepao: Bus connection (10-12 hours, Rp 170,000) (as of Sep 2018).

To Ampana: You need to take Ojeks (motorbike taxi) or Bemos to Tentena Bus Terminal to Poso (2 hours, IDR 40,000), and then transfer to Bus to Ampana (a further 4 hours from Poso, IDR 70,000) or another Bemos (IDR 80,000 – IDR 100,000) (as of Sep 2018). Taxis and private vehicles will hover by the Poso Bus station trying to convince you that the Bus is not available. Predictably, once it is apparent you intend to wait for the bus, the price of Taxis and Private vehicles will become more competitive (sometimes the same price as a bus seat). Private care can be arranged for IDR 800,000 – IDR 1,200,000 (as of Sep 2018).

 

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