When we talk about Javanese culture there are three things cross my mind, temples, batik and wayang (leather puppet)!! This is the place where you can find the centre of buddha’s and hindu’s kingdom heritage, centre of the writing batik (batik tulis), which is 100% handmade, and you must not forget about leather puppet or more known as wayang kulit.
In part of Java island, trace of buddha’s and hindu’s kingdom can be found in form of many temples scatter around Yogyakarta and Central Java. Both kingdom have gave so many influence in Javanese culture. One of the influence can be found on the story in the shadow puppet show (wayang kulit show).
Batik is like an identity for Indonesian people. Althought batik is a tradisional cloth of Javenese people, but other region of Indonesia has adapt the batik pattern to their own culture. Batik can be distinguished by its patterns, each of patterns has their own meaning and it could be spiritual meaning.
Solo and Yogyakarta are the centre of Javanese culture, since in this both lies two Sultanates, Pakubuwono and Hamengkubuwono. Every year there are four main ritual tradition being held by local government, such as Kirab Pusaka (a ritual of cleaning up traditional sacred weapons), Maleman Sriwedari (A welcome celebration of fasting month), Grebeg Maulud, and Sekatenan.
City of Solo also called as the city that never sleeps. Night in Solo is the time when people enjoy tradisional food and drink, such as Liwet rice, Timlo, nasi kucing with a glass of ginger milk or tea.
Under this are 10 top places to visit and do in Yogyakarta and Solo:
- Pakubuwono Palace (keraton Pakubuwono) and Mangkunagaran Palace (Istana mangkunagaran),
- The biggest Batik market in Indonesia, Pasar Klewer. Pasar in Indonesia means market. A place where you can find many kind of batik, traditional to mondern style of batik (you have to have a good bargaining skill to get a really good price J),
- Archeological Museum at Sangiran, more than half of ancient human's fossil found at this site (one of the world heritage)
- Keris Market (Pasar Keris) at North City Square,
- Culinary Tour (liwet rice, Soto Ngading, Tengkleng, Fried Duck Pak Slamet, Bunthel Satay, Roti Kecik, Timlo, Fried Curry and many othes)
- Hamengkubuwono Palace (Keraton Hamengkubuwono),
- Ulen Sentalu Museum, Kaliurang,
- Prambanan Temple is the biggest hindu’s temple and you can watch Ramayana Show,
- Imogiri (Royal graveyard) & Fruit garden of Mangunan
- Malioboro Street, where you can ride tricle ride (becak) or horse cart, buy some souvernir or even enjoy Yogyakarta tradisional food (gudeg).