Yogyakarta: The Culture of Shopping Local Markets
On the island of Java, the city of Yogyakarta (Jogja for short) is known for being an important cultural destination in Indonesia. Nearby is Borobudur, the largest Buddhist temple in the world, as well as Prambanan, the largest Hindu temple in central Java. Jogja, the location of many universities, is also the country’s center for education. The fine arts such as music, ballet, as well as the globally recognized batik fabric all thrive in Yogyakarta.
The most popular place to shop, and certainly most crowded, is Malioboro Street. Along both sides of this mile-long strip of road you will find shops and stalls selling an array of clothes, plants, leather goods, ornaments, and other handicrafts. While the prices are quite reasonable, your guests should be prepared to bargain as is the custom and they will be rewarded with a discount. Travelers should also bring their appetite since this market street has many warungs, or traditional eateries where locals and visitors alike can enjoy a snack or small meal starting at less then a dollar each.
Located about one kilometer from the north end of Malioboro Street is Beringharjo Market. This market, located inside a large building, is the epicenter of activity on the street as it is one of the biggest traditional markets in the city. There are hundreds of shops offering fruits and vegetables, plants, spices and herbs, various clothing and of course batik. Batik is a method of producing various colored designs on a cotton cloth using dye and wax. Indonesia’s batik, originating in Java, has been given special status by UNESCO. This artistic and colorful cloth makes a great souvenir so we say travelers should feel free to stock up on it at great prices!
At night, Malioboro Street is still quite busy with vendors continuing to hustle selling food, drinks and goods. Also, many young people come to hang out at a warung, or go drinking at a local bar or club. Your travelers may also see a group of drummers playing some traditional local beats that will keep the atmosphere lively. After visiting these market areas, it will be easy to see why it is the busiest area in the Jogja.
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