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Almost every Indonesian I know loves visiting Jogja (short for Jogjakarta. Also known as Yogyakarta or Yogya.) There’s something romantic about this folksy, laid back town that holds such rich history of Java. As a cultural center of Indonesia’s most populated island, Jogja continues to preserve its tradition and uphold its cultural heritage. Tranquility and hospitality, some characteristics identical to the delightful Javanese way of life demonstrate themselves clearly in this town. They seem to send calm vibration to the town’s active streets and people. The people of Jogja are known for being patient and pleasant—traits that might easily separate them from local tourists or newcomers. A fascinating juxtaposition to observe. It’s comforting to feel the strong pulse of Javanese cultural identity in the midst of Indonesia’s growth and changes.
I remembered coming to Jogja with my family a few times when I was little and then in another occasion with my junior high classmates on a school field trip. The last time I visited Jogja was 14 years ago. I came with my childhood best friend in Surabaya. Along with her family, we helped her move to attend college in Jogja. So I wasn’t sure what the town would look like when Jeff and I planned to stop by for a weekend in December. What a relief it was to see the town’s familiar scenes. Other than the traffic jam, not much has changed. It still felt like that old romantic Jogja I had remembered from a long time ago.
One thing to note: It might be more enjoyable to visit Jogja during the off-season when it is less crowded. I was told by family and friends that tourists fill up the town during big national holidays like Christmas/New Year and Eid. We were included in that group of people who overcrowded Jogja during the New Year’s Eve long weekend! 🙂
Hoped you enjoyed the read!
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Photos property of The Traveling Chili Pepper