Yogjakarta

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Article contribution by Saleduck

Once you’ve had your fill of the beaches in Bali and the dynamic, booming nature of Jakarta, the next pitstop on your map should definitely be Yogjakarta. Also commonly referred to as Yogja or Jogja, it is considered by many to be the soul of Indonesia and here is where the rich customs, heritage and arts of Java truly thrives.

Yogja is where past and present collide which means that next to its beautifully preserved historical sites and tradition, you’ll also see a thriving, urban city complete with upscale cafes, shopping malls and (bearable) traffic jams.

Journeying to this city is pretty easy as you’ll be able to find plenty of budget airlines that fly directly into Yogja, lock down on accommodations for every budget and to make things even better, you can go ahead and find additional deals on your flight and lodging with Saleduck – an online deals site that aggregates vouchers and deals from a variety of popular online platforms across multiple shopping categories. So for travelers who love stumbling across a bargain, this is a pretty great place to start.

And once all of that has been taken care of, Yogja is where your adventure begins so to ease you into the discovery process, here are four things about this soulful city to look forward to:

The Locals

Despite being a relatively bustling area, Yogja’s locals have a wonderfully laid back demeanor and always seem to be up for a chat. Open-hearted and friendly, Yogja’s people are storytellers by nature and you’ll find that many of them will be more than happy to engage in a conversation with you or share tips on where to go and what to do.

The Contemporary Arts Scene

Now Yogja is perhaps most renowned for its traditional art forms but it is also a thriving hub for the contemporary arts and you’ll come to find quite a number of alternative art spaces and galleries cropping up, especially around the vicinity of Jalan Prawirotaman, Jalan Tirtodipuran and Jalan Panjaitan – all of which are within walking distance. From photography to interactive installations, the overall vibe is distinctly free of pretense and is refreshingly tongue-in-cheek.

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Gudeg

You know how they say that there is a lot of joy to be found in the simplest things in life? That statement pretty much defines Gudeg. A traditional and very popular Javanese dish that is often had for breakfast (or anytime of the day really). Gudeg consists of boiling the flesh of young, unripe jackfruits in a concoction of coconut milk, palm sugar and spices until it becomes tender. The sweet/savoury dish is typically accompanied by steamed white rice, tempeh and beancurd and despite sounding like the most fuss-free dish on the planet, it’s also really flavourful and comforting.

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The Nature

Beaches, waterfalls, sand dunes, caves, national parks and the list goes on. Yogja doesn’t fall short when it comes to natural wonders and there’s plenty of activities you can partake in amidst these backdrops. Explore the trails of Kalibiru National Park that’ll take you to the top of a mountain where stunning views await, head to Gua Pindul for a bout of relaxed underground cave tubing where the air is cool and the water, clear and for the adrenaline junkie, Timang Beach’s ‘cable cart’ ride lets you journey across the crashing waves in a wooden card originally used by fishermen as a form of transportation.

Article contribution by Saleduck