Yogyakarta, the center of the powerful Mataram Kingdom in the 16th and 17th century, is home to many historical remnants and natural beauty. Its endless appeal has earned it the slogan of “Jogja, The Never-Ending Asia”. There are many popular places in Yogyakarta that are frequently visited by both local and international tourists, but some spots are considered special because of their otherworldly landscapes and sceneries. The Wonderful Indonesia team asked people if they knew where these places were, but all of them guessed incorrectly. Well, where are these places? Let’s find out:
1 | Parangkusumo Sand Dunes
There are only three countries in Southeast Asia where coastal sand dunes can be found: the Philippines (La Paz Sand Dunes), Vietnam (Mui Ne Sand Dunes), and Indonesia. In Indonesia, there are several coastal sand dunes that stretch along the southern coast of Java Island and Parangkusumo Sand Dunes is one of them. It is extraordinary to find a crescent-shaped barchan dune in a country like Indonesia that has a wet tropical climate because barchan dunes are commonly found in areas with dry and mid-dry climate. Here, the visitors can enjoy sandboarding with a guide, which costs around IDR 70,000. The person we interviewed thought that it was the Sahara Desert. You can see the video here.
2 | Taman Sari Water Castle
Taman Sari Yogyakarta is a popular tourist destination and one of the many buildings belonging to the Yogyakarta Sultanate. However, it is still sometimes used as a ritual place by the royal family. Established in 1785, during the reign of Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono I, the Taman Sari Yogyakarta building still stands firm although it has experienced some renovation after an earthquake hit Yogyakarta on May 27, 2006. According to different sources, various cultures have been integrated into the magnificent architecture of the Taman Sari complex. It was Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono I’s personal preference because he was an avid art fan who was eager to create monumental architecture at that time. It is said that Taman Sari also functioned as a water palace and was used to bathe the empress and the king's daughters. This video shows how our guest mistakenly thought that this was an ancient Aztec site.
3 | Waduk Sermo
Located in Kulon Progo Regency, Waduk Sermo (Sermo Reservoir) has a lake with clear water, beautiful scenery, and a cool atmosphere. Visitors can build a campsite facing the Menoreh Hills, enjoy the breeze, have a picnic, and even do some fishing here. You might get the chance to catch a rare fish called “Ikan Setan Merah” (The Red Devil Fish), which can only be found in Waduk Sermo and Amazon Rainforest. We interviewed a couple and they think this place looks like somewhere in New Zealand. See the video here.
4 | Goa Jomblang
Eager to visit a site that looks out of this world? Come to Goa Jomblang (Jomblang Cave), an enormous vertical cave located in Jetis Wetan Village, Yogyakarta. The first 15 meters of this 80-meter deep cave can be traversed on foot as you descend into the cave through its mouth. Beginners will be given directions by a cave guide. Inside, the Jomblang Cave is beautified by karst formations and plants, including stalagmites, stalactites, crystal stones, and ferns. There is also a swift-flowing river here. Furthermore, there is a spectacular light coming in from the crevices and mouth of the cave that will surely sweep you off your feet. In this video, you can see how our guests thought this place is not real and is a movie set.
Have you planned your future post-pandemic trip to Yogyakarta? While we wait for travel to resume, let us keep our travel dreams alive by cherishing our past travel memories and planning ahead for our next trip.
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