Monday, March 15, 2010

Permata Theatre

In around 1940s, a movie theatre named Permata was built in Yogyakarta. As the name implies, the theatre rally became the diamond for Jogja community, especially young people. Permata theatre did not only function as a place to see the movie, but it also function as a place for hanging around and doing various romantic things of the youth. The existence of the movie theatre could even change the name of the area from Jalan Sultan Agung to Permata area. The phenomenal Permata theatre by that time, especially the era of 60s to 70s, attracted all young people in Yogyakarta to have to come.

This movie theatre was a symbol of prestige for young people as café and mall are at present time. It was in this theatre as well that phenomenal Indonesian films such as Badai Pasti Berlalu of 70s version and Gita Cinta di SMA were on.
Nonetheless, time goes by, as the morning that will always turn to evening. It happens to Permata movie theatre of which triumph is decreasing, moving to the twilight of its business. The number of the employees was tens but only few left now. The branches located until Wonosobo city are ruining. Permata theatre is not famous for its good films anymore; instead, it is known as a movie theatre showing low-quality films.

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Mataram Ditch

During Japanese colonization, many Indonesian people were sent to different regions to be employed as forced workers or romusha. They were forced to build various infrastructures to support the Japanese military to fight the Alliance. The people who served as romusha suffered so much; they did not get enough food and they were treated so severely that many of them died. This made Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono IX - the former king of Yogyakarta - felt a pity and tried to put the romusha away from Yogyakarta people.

He ordered the people to build an irrigation ditch as long as 30 kilometers from the Progo River to the Opak River, and objected to let his people to join the romusha by claiming that they still had to finish the project. The ditch was named Yoshiro Canal and up to now, it functions to irrigate teen-thousands hectares of rice field.
Going along the bank of this historical irrigation ditch on a motorcycle or a mountain bike promises a pleasant experience when it is done in October - May since from June to September this ditch is dried to cut off the contamination cycle.

The perfect start would be from the crossroad near the building of Magister Management of Gadjah Mada University on Kaliurang Road. There are two choices of routes from this point. We may choose to go westwards to meet the upper stream of Progo River in Ancol village of Magelang Regency. Otherwise, we may go along the Mataram ditch to the east direction that will end in Opak River in Kalasan.

Taru Martani Cigar Factory, the Legend of Cigar van Java

For tobacco lovers, it will be exciting to visit Taru Martani, the factory that has been producing cigars since 1918. You will feel like visiting your soul mate. If you don't like tobacco, at least you can learn the long history of this factory that supports many people. Taru Martani was initially built in Bulu area, at the side of Magelang Street, under the name of N.V. Negresco. Three years later, in 1921, the factory moved to the current location, Baciro, to the west of Mandala Krida Stadium in Yogyakarta. During the Japanese colonization, the name of the factory was changed to Java Tobacco Kojo. The factory was triumphant that time since it was supported by machineries to make light cigarettes that were brought in from B.A.T Cirebon. It's an easy procedure to complete before you are able to visit the factory. You only have to make an appointment with the factory management. When they give you permit, you can explore the 2-hectares factory guided by one of the employees. You can see directly and ask questions related to the cigar production. You don't have to incur expenses for this tour. The visit hours, however, are limited only on working hours, from Monday to Friday at 08:00a.m. to 02:00p.m. Entering this factory, you can enjoy the beauty of European architecture. Each parts of the building, both production and administration rooms are preserved as the original ones to that the nuance of European architecture is seen clearly until now. Even though the building has been tens years old, there is no frightening or dull impression; it even give dynamic impression. The production of cigar in this factory goes through some stages. At preparation stage, the dried tobacco leaves that were obtained from Besuki, Jember, East Java are taken out from the warehouse for dampening process for one night. The purpose is to make the tobacco leaves damp and do not crush when processed. The tobacco leaves are then sorted by its physical quality. Some of them are used as cigar filler, binder and wrapper.

The sorted tobacco is then prepared to make cigar cocoon in the next step. In this stage, the cigar is first wrapped with binder or dekblad and then with wrapper or dekblad. The uniqueness of the cigar making lies in this stage where skillful workers are able to produce relatively the same size of cigars by their hands. After this stage is completed, the rolled cigars are cut and sorted.
At the final stage of the production, the cigars go through fumigation, cooling, drying and fermentation processes in order to kill the tobacco germs. This stage is so important since the storage time of free-germs cigars will be longer and the taste lasts longer as well. After completion of this stage, cigars are labeled, wrapped and packed to be distributed to consumers. Taru Martani produces 14 brands of cigars, namely Cigarillos, Extra Cigarillos, Senioritas, Panatella, Half Corona, Corona, Super Corona/Grand Corona, Boheme, Royal Perfecto, Rothschild, and Churchill. For its variations, Taru Martani produces three kinds of cigars, namely nature cigar or pure tobacco, flavor cigars or tobacco added with flavors (mint, vanilla, rhum, hazelnut) and mild cigar.

Some legendary cigar brands are worth buying and tasting when you come. You should try Senator and Mundi Victor that have been produced since the foundation of this factory even though they were only labeled by those names in 1952. Other cigars you should try are Adipati, Ramayana and Borobudur that have been produced since 1970s. If you like minced tobacco, you can buy Van Nelle, Drum, and Countryman. Visiting Taru Martani and trying its products make you part of the international community of good quality cigar lovers. The reason is that the cigars produced by Taru Martani that are well known as Cigar van Java have been favored by people from all the world: Asia, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Czechoslovakia, America and Europe.

Friday, February 12, 2010


The Imogiri complex is separated into three parts, named Giriloyo, Banyusumurup and Imogiri. Traditionally it is accepted that Giriloyo was the earliest of the three graveyards. In some local folklore, Sultan Agung had commenced work on his own graveyard at Giriloyo - but because his uncle Juminah died at the graveyard, Agung was guided by various portents to choose his graveyard on a hill some three kilometres to the southwest, at Imogiri.[1] A later ruler, needing to bury outcasts in a graveyard separate from Giriloyo and Imogiri, chose Banyusumurup as an appropriate site. However it is possible to find rivals and enemies within Javanese royal families buried within metres of each other inside the walls of Imogiri.

Gondolayu Bridge

I think its a quite known bridge in Yogyakarta From this bridge you can see the beauty of Code River valley at night.. And it is close to the Tugu monument And there is a good culinary spot Where you can eat toasted bread and hot milk, while enjoying the night wind and seeing the valley with the little 'stars' from the houses below

Bintaran, Indische City of Yogyakarta

Similar to Kotabaru, Bintaran was an alternative dwelling place for Dutch people who lived in Indonesia. It grew when Loji Kecil area could not accommodate the inhabitants anymore. Physically, the area that you can reach by walking eastwards from Gondomanan crossroad did not grow as fast as Kotabaru. One of the factors was the location that is still close to Loji Kecil so that various facilities could be accessed easily.

Before becoming an Indische dwelling place, Bintaran was known as the place where Ndalem Mandara Giri functioning as the house of Prince Haryo Bintoro, one of Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Kingdom descendants. The growth of Bintaran as an Indische dwelling place was predicted to begin in 1930s signed with construction of house, facilities such as church and even prison. Generally, Dutch people who lived in Bintaran were those working as officers and workers at sugar factory.

Bintaran was decorated with buildings in characteristic European-style architecture. Nonetheless, the characteristic of the buildings in Bintaran area is different from the characteristic of the buildings in Loji Kecil or Kotabaru. The yard of the house in Bintaran area is wider, while the verandah is smaller with many pillars; exterior window shutter is in the form of blind and the interior window leaf is decorated with glasses.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010


Beringharjo market becomes part of Malioboro that is worth visiting. This market has been center of economy activity since years ago and its existence has philosophical meaning. The market that had been renovated several times symbolizes stages of human life that is busily engaged in its economy fulfillment. Furthermore, Beringharjo is also one of the 'four in one' poles (consisting of South Square, Sultan Palace, North Square, and Beringharjo market) symbolizing economy functions. The area where current Beringharjo market lies used to be forest of banyan trees. Soon after the foundation of Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Kingdom, i.e. in 1758, the area was used as a place for economy transaction by the people of Yogayarkta and its vicinities. Only hundreds years later, namely in 1925, the transaction place had a permanent building. The name 'Beringharjo' was given by Hamengku Buwono IX, meaning that the place where banyan tree (bering) used to grow is expected to bring welfare (harjo). Now, tourists define this place as an enjoyable shopping place.

The front part and the western part of the market are the right places to find delicious traditional snacks. At the north side of the front part, you will find round brem (a kind of snack made from the extract of fermented tubers) that is softer than that of Madiun city and krasikan (sweet cake made from glutinous rice and palm sugar). In the south part, you will find bakpia cake filled with mung bean that is sold warm and wet snacks such as hung kwe and nagasari. Meanwhile, at the back part, usually they sell durable snacks such as ting-ting made of caramel mixed with peanut. If you want to buy batik, Beringharjo is the best place because of its complete collections; ranging from batik cloth to batik clothes made of both cotton and silk materials, with the prices ranging from tens thousands to a million. Collection of batik cloth is available in west and north parts of the market, while batik clothes collection is available almost everywhere in the west part of this market. In addition to batik clothes, the west part of the market also offers traditional clothes: surjan, blangkon, and sarong both woven and batik printed ones. Sandals and bags sold at reasonable prices are available around the escalator of the west part of the market. Stepping upstairs to the second floor, you will smell the aroma of Javanese herbs. Herbs such as turmeric that is usually blended with tamarind to produce special drink and temulawak to make bitter drink for medication purpose are sold here. Spices such as ginger (to make ronde drink or merely to be baked, boiled and mixed with crystal sugar) and cinnamon (to enrich the flavors of such drinks as ginger drink, coffee, tea and sometimes to substitute chocolate in cappuccino).

This is also the right market to hunt antiques. The center of antique goods is in east part of the third floor. There, you can get old typewriter, helmet made in 1960s with the front part of which is mica as high as one's nose and some other items. On the same floor, you can get used items of good quality if you want. Various kinds of good quality used imported goods such as shoes, bag, and even clothes are sold at much cheaper prices compared to the original prices. Of course, carefulness in choosing is needed. After completing your going around in the market, it is time for you to explore the area around the market with not less interesting offers. The area at the north of the market that used to be popular as Chinese Kampong is the most popular place. You can find oldies cassettes of musicians in 1950s that are rarely found in other places at the most expensive price of 50,000 Rupiah. Besides, there are Buddha effigies in different poses costing 250,000 Rupiah. For collectors of old money, they can get the ones from various countries, even the ones utilized in 1930s.To quench your thirst, special cold drink of Yogyakarta, namely cendol ice, is the right choice. This cold drink from Yogyakarta has richer flavor than the ones from Banjarnegara and Bandung. The contents are not only cendol (jelly-like substance made from glutinous rice but also cam cau (jelly-like substance made from cam cau leaves). Other drinks you can try are young coconut ice with palm sugar and the drink made from turmeric-tamarind and rice-great galingale mixtures. The price of the drink is cheap, namely 1,000 to 2,000 Rupiah.

Even though the market is closed at 05:00p.m, the dynamics of the merchants does not stop by that time. In front of the market, there are still many food sellers offering many kinds of special food. Martabak with various fillers, the sweet terang bulan mixed with chocolate and peanut, and the delicious klepon filled with palm sugar are sold every evening. At around 06:00p.m. until late at night, there is usually gudeg seller who also offers special cuisines of cow skin and variant of stir-fried vegetables with chili. While having your meals, you can listen to Javanese traditional music or have a talk with the seller who will address you friendly. It is just complete!

Krakal Beach

Krakal beach is one of 15 beaches located in the tourist area of Gunung Kidul coastal reaches 70 kilometers in length
. Krakal beach the longest beach of the junction is located Ngestirejo village, Tanjungsari sub district,Gunung Kidul, Jogja. about 3 km away in the east of Baron-Kukup-Sepanjang-Drini beach junction, has scratching white hill with blue slopes gently to the sea. The beauty of green lime-scratching hill with blue seawater offers a perfect harmony, which is very natural and ideal for sun bathing.

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Kukup Beach

Kukup beach is one of 15 beaches located in the tourist area of Gunung Kidul, Jogja. Kukup beach is a white sandy beach lies in Kemadang Village, Tanjungsari sub district about 1 km away in the east of Baron Beach.This beach is rich in sea life and also famous of its various kinds of beautiful fish in sea aquarium or various kinds of beautiful fish sold by the merchants along the beach.

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Sundak Beach

Sundak beach can be attached in the list of tour to jogja. The beautifully magnificent scenery of Sundak Beach is not a debatable anymore. All people who have ever visited the beach argue that the beach`s white sand scattering over the seaside is one of the distinctive features. Furthermore, its turquoise water is awesome. Having some activities above the white sand and shallow water around the coast will be an unforgettable moment for everyone visiting Sundak Beach. Sundak Beach is administratively located at Sidoharjo Village, Tepus Sub-district, in the district of Gunungkidul, Yogyakarta Province.

There was unique, natural phenomenon of the activity that finally served as starting point of naming this beach. When rainy season came, there was much water from the land flowing to the sea. Consequently, the land on east side of the beach split to make a river-look form. The flowing water looked like splitting the sand. When dry season came, the crevice disappeared since the sea water came ashore and drag away the sand. The name Wedibelah (the split sand) originated from this natural phenomenon.

Tens of years later the name changed. In 1976, there was an interesting occurrence. In an afternoon, there was a dog running about the seaside and entered the cave where it met a sea urchin. Being starving, the dog tried to prey on the sea urchin but the sea urchin avoided. Then, the fight happened and finally the dog succeeded in eating half of the sea urchin body and the dog got out of the cave proudly. The owner of the dog, Arjasangku, saw half of the sea urchin body was still in the dog's mouth. Since then, the name Wedibedah was changed into Sundak as an abbreviation of asu (Javanese language for dog) and landak (Javanese language for sea urchin).

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Saturday, February 6, 2010

Ngobaran Beach

Going to Ngrenehan Beach and enjoying the grilled fish will be complete if you drop by Ngobaran Beach that is located adjacent to it. The location of the beach with high cliff is around two kilometers from Ngrenehan Beach. It is not far, isn't it? Local people of Ngrenehan Beach even talk and visit Ngobaran Beach, why don't you?

Ngobaran is such an exotic beach. When sea water falls, you can see spread of both green and brown seaweed. Being looked from the top, the spread of the algae growing in between coral reef looks like spread of rice field in a densely populated area. Tens of sea animal species also present in between the coral reef, ranging from sea urchin, starfish, to various types of cockle shells.

What you will not find in other beaches is the cultural enchantment, ranging from the building to the local food. One interesting place is four praying places that stand side by side. Is it form of multiculturalism? Who knows.

The most prominent one is a building that looks like a temple with ornaments of god statues in white color. The building was built in 2003 to commemorate the arrival of Brawijaya V, one of Majapahit's king, in Ngobaran. The people who use the place are of Kejawan belief. The name 'Kejawan' originates from the nickname of Brawijaya V's son, namely Bondhan Kejawan. The person who built the building acknowledge to be the descendant of Brawijaya V and appointed one person in the community to keep this place.

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Parangkusumo Beach

Upon entering the gate of Parangkusumo Beach, you will immediately feel the sacred nuance of the beach that is located around 30 kilometers south of Yogyakarta city and it is believed to be the entrance gate to the south ocean. You will soon smell the fragrance of flowers and incense as the materials of an offering; the nuance you will find nowhere but in this beach.The sacredness of the place feels more distinct when you look at the scattered flowers and sets of offerings on the Love Stone that is located in Puri Cepuri complex where Panembahan Senopati and Queen of the South met and made an agreement. At that time, Senopati was meditating on the bigger stone in the north when Queen of the South approached him and sat on the smaller stone in the south.

The meeting between the two authorities had influence on the relationship between Yogyakarta Kingdom and Bale Sokodhomas Kingdom. It began when Senopati was perfecting his supernatural powers by doing the ritual of tapa ngeli or carrying himself away in the river. Arriving at a certain phase of his meditation, suddenly there was storm on the beach, trees were yanked out by its roots, the seawater was boiling and fish were thrown to the land.

The occurrence compelled the Queen of the South to show up on the surface of the ocean to see Senopati. Senopati expressed his ideal to govern Mataram and asked the Queen of South for her help. The Queen promised him the help with the conditions that Senopati and his descendants would be willing to become her husbands. Senopati took the conditions with the request that the marriage should not bear children.
The agreement made Yogyakarta Kingdom as one of Mataram frictions to have close relationship with the Kingdom of the South Ocean. The proof of such a relationship is the labuhan alit (giving an offering by throwing out certain things to the sea) that is done annually. One part of the labuhan ceremony is planting parts of Sultan's nails, hair and clothes in the area of Puri Cepuri.The meditation of Senopati that bore useful fruits caused many people to believe that any requests will be answered if they are said by the Love Stone. It is not surprising, therefore, hundreds of people from different classes and religions come to the place on certain days they consider sacred. Going in pilgrimage to the Love Stone is also believed to help someone to release heavy burdens from him and to give new life spirit.

In addition to the Love Stone and the labuhan procession, you can also enjoy the beauty of the beach and the breeze of the seashore on a horse-cart. You only have to pay IDR 20,000 for the pleasant ride.There are many warongs where you can buy meals and drinks. Quite big numbers of visitors makes this area crowded every day, even until late at night. Some of them even spend the night in this beach to say their prayer. If you want to share the spiritual experience in Parangkusumo Beach, you can join the pilgrims praying.

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Friday, February 5, 2010

Blandongan Coffee (Warung Kopi Blandongan)

At the south of Plaza Ambarukmo there is also quite comfortable place to meet, namely Warung Kopi Blandongan. It used to have the slogan of saving the nation from cafein shortage; this coffee warong provides special coffee that is processed by the seller himself.The taste of the coffee proves the truth of the slogan. Blandongan coffee has right thickness and bitterness that is served in the right small cups. The thickness of the coffee can even be seen from the coffee deposit in the cup after you finish it.

The atmosphere of this warong is just suitable for people to gather. Many visitors sit crosslegged. Under yellowish light and bamboo walls seem to bring you to a village atmosphere. When you are hungry, you can try light meals such as fried peanut or other fries.

To the south of Warung Kopi Blandongan there is another coffee warong named Kopi Grek. The warong offers coffee with bigger portion but less thickness. Even though it also serves coffee as the main menu, kedai Kopi Grek has different atmosphere, for example the sitting arrangement in an open space to make it comfortable to enjoy the night air. Kedai Kopi Grek also servers rice as its menu, unlike Blandongan that serves light meals only.

The prices both at Kopi Grek and Kopi Blandongan are similar; they are just cheap! A cup of coffee at Warung Kopi Blandongan sells at IDR 2,000 while at Kopi Grek it costs IDR 2,500. Sometimes, Warung Kopi Blandongan also packs its coffee and sells the coffee powder at IDR 10,000 for 250 grams package.