Saturday, May 12, 2012

Yogyakarta Shopping, Food, and Accomodation

Our third day in Yogyakarta- shopping and roaming around the city were our main programs. Our first 2 days itinerary is listed in our first day of our trip. We spent the whole morning roaming around Malioboro Road- starting from Malioboro Mall to Yogyakarta Post Office and BNI Bank. In the afternoon, we took a short tour back to Taman Sari Water Castle to visit the sections that we missed a day before, with a tour guide hired. Then, we went to Ambarrukmo Mall and spent the rest of the afternoon there.

Malioboro Road is the centre of Yogya. It is the most happening area in the city. From small food stalls beside the road to giant fast food chains, from exquisite batik boutiques and cheap souvenirs shops to supermarkets, you name it, you get it. The road is a historical site as well, with many of the buildings along the road were built during the Dutch era.

Shops and stalls with clothes and souvenirs. We can get a Yogya-made cotton t-shirt with RP 30,000 or less. Many of the souvenirs were sold with the price as low as RP 20,000 per piece. From what we could see, there were very less fake (replica) items or pirated products sold in Yogya.

Mirota Batik is the souvenir shop that had been strongly recommended by our friends from Yogya. It is a double-storey air-conditioned store with extravagant numbers of local products. The store is located at far south of Malioboro Road. The store was well decorated (upper left). Lower row showed the bicycle models with RP 65,000 and some of the local spices and traditional medicines.

These photos show the scenes at Malioboro Road. Malioboro Mall is shown on the lower left.

We strolled around Malioboro Road every night during our stay at Yogya. The street transforms into a giant belt of night market after the sunset. There, we experienced what so called an ocean of people in first two nights, on Saturday and Sunday. However, there was a significant reduction of crowd on  Monday night. To our surprise, the locals outnumbered the tourists.
There were people playing traditional music and dancing along the street (upper left). Although Malioboro is an one way street, crossing the road is not easy. Endless traffic flows from north to south of the road (upper right). Pasar Sore located at the southern end of the night market (lower left). Andong and becak services can be found along the street. We can always request for a lift back to our hotel.

Tugu Yogyakarta has many names. On some traveller's guide, it is given the name of  De Witt Paal or Tugu Pal Putih, or even Yogya Monument. However, when we mentioned all these names, one by one to our becak driver, he couldn't understand any of the name. No choice, we described how the monument looks like. Suddenly, he understood, and shouted, "Oh, Monument Tugu!" Then, we knew that the monument has another name. The monument had served as the mark for the direction of Mount Merapi from Kraton Palace since 300 years ago. It is located on the other side of the Tugu Train Station, 500 meters away from Malioboro Road.

Ambarrukmo Mall is the largest shopping complex in vicinity. KFC, Bread Story, Pizza Hut, Starbuck, JCo Doughnut, were some of the familiar names that we found in the mall. By taxi, the mall is around 15 minutes away from Malioboro.  From both the outside and the inside, the mall is nothing but another shopping complex (we have numerous in our country). The only different is, that one is located in Yogya. So, we decided to take a walk around. We spent about one hour and a half in the mall. We tried KFC set meal and JCo doughnut there as well. The KFC tasted a bit different than what we have in Malaysia. JCo doughnut on the other hand, more or less the same.

This is the scene what we saw inside Ambarrukmo Mall.

This arch marks the border of the City of Yogyakarta.

Shopping in Malioboro was a good experience for us. Firstly, nobody would approach us and wish to close a sale in the hard way. Secondly, most of the stall owners were nice and polite, and allowed us to touch and examine the goods without buying them. Thirdly, the price for most of the items were fixed, all across the road. For example, no matter how hard we tried, we couldn't get any discount on our t-shirts (unlike many places, where the price will always drop to half when we turned around and pretended to leave). Fourth, the food at the road side was safe for the tourists like us. Last but not least, the street was really safe. Everyone who wish to visit Yogya should put Malioboro Road in the itinerary, especially the night market.

We had the opportunity to try many traditional Yogya food which were recommended by Anggit, our friend who knew Yogyakarta very well. Gudeg, pecel lele, and soto ayam are on the top of our list. Gudeg is the special traditional gravy made by jackfruit and Jawa sugar, which serves with egg, chicken, tofu, and tempeh. Pecel lele is the fried catfish with ulam (fresh vegetable). Soto ayam is the spicy yellow chicken soup.

We could buy gudeg (upper left) and pecel lele (lower left) at almost every food stall in Malioboro. The gudeg with egg and tofu was sold with RP 9,000, while lele was sold with RP 3,000 per fish. Pecel lele is was the dish that closest to ours Malaysian taste. The soto was a bit more spicy than what we have in Malaysia, while gudeg was really something new to us. The food stalls around Malioboro serve many other types of food.

Bak pia is another food that we tried in Yogya (upper left). It is a popular delicacy around Malioboro. Onde-onde and other delicacies tasted good as well (upper right). Another popular soup at Malioboro is ronde- ginger soup with different dessert (lower left). We didn't try ronde as we somehow couldn't accept the way they mix the dessert with ginger soup. In Malioboro, we can see many people sit along the road side to enjoy their food.

Our lunch at All Season Hotel in Yogya. Kampung fried rice (upper left), kampung fried noodle (lower left), soto ayam (upper right) and gudeg with chicken were on our order list. All the food served in that hotel taste good.

Our hotel is one of the tallest buildings in Yogyakarta. The top floor of the hotel is a good location for dinner with beautuful night scenery. The food, excellent.

Night scenery of Yogyakarta from the top floor of our hotel.

We stayed in All Season Hotel Yogya. The hotel is located at Dagen Road, about 400 meters away from Malioboro Road. The hotel surprised us with its outstanding and refreshing design. Many of the furniture are designed with curves and painted in bright colours. In addition to that, helpful staff, quiet environment, delighting food, and comfortable room make the hotel a perfect place for us to rest.

The reception counter of the hotel is different from any design that we had ever seen before (upper left). The pool (upper right) and the garden (lower left) on the top floor of the hotel is a good place to enjoy the night scenery of Yogya. The bedroom and the bathroom is partitioned with glass. The amenities- LCD flat screen, coffee making facilities, free wifi, safe etc.

Can you believe that these are in fact the chairs in the lobby?

Find a place to stay in Yogya won't be a difficult task. There are more than 20 hotels and rest houses along Dagen Road itself. So, please make sure that you get somewhere to stay close to Malioboro Road so that you can access to the heart of Yogya easily. Yogya is a good place for a short vacation. As it is the most developed city in vicinity of both Prambanan and Borobudur, it is definately a strategic city to stay for archaeology lovers. Please go to the first day of our trip for our itinarary of Yogyakarta trip.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our friend Anggit again for her invaluable information, which had helped us to make a few critical decisions. Besides, we found some useful information at and Wiki travel on Borobudur as well.

To know more about other attractions in Indonesia, please visit our blog about Our Bali Trip on 2009.Or follow us to All Our Destination here.

[Yogyakarta-Food, Shopping, and Accomodation] [All Our Destinations]


  1. excellent post! You helped me a lot with my travel to Yogyakarta. Thank you so much! :D - A Malaysian Sabahan.

    1. You are welcome. Wish you a wonderful trip. :)

  2. Thank you for such a informative and well organized series of posts ! Helps me too.

  3. Thank yoy! Am going in nov! ♡

  4. My city !! thank u for coming guys :)

  5. Hi! I'm preparing for a trip to Yogya and read all your posts about your trips there which I find to be incredibly helpful especially because you detailed all the important points and tips such as entry prices and tour guide costs. It's amazing how many blogs do not provide such details! Your write ups are very comprehensive so thank you once again!

  6. wow , your blog very helpful and detail . good job. thank you

  7. Learnt a lot from your post. I was just wondering, what are your thoughts on staying at Kota Baru? I know it's not as happening as Malioboro but can we get to Malioboro to Kota Baru easily?

  8. I'm going there early next year for a week of holiday. very informative postings. thank you

  9. hi do you have any contact for local driver or tour guide?

  10. Find your posting very informative n illustrative. Very helpful for my pending trip in March 2015. Thks for sharing. Keep it up!

    1. Thank you and glad you found our article helpful :)

  11. Yupp, agreed! Very informative and superb writing!

    1. Thank you Zie Noorzail. We always try our best to squeeze in as much information as possible in our blog, as a reference to others, and as memory for ourselves.

  12. If you want to visit jogja, I can accompany you. I dont need your money. I just wanna improve my English. I know jogja very well. I am a student of Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta. My bbm pin 7CA26F53 for more info

  13. if you visit mallioboro, you can rest at kulliner in pasar beringharjo,,, many place at all floor on this traditional market make a kulliner, our display marchendise at beside of kuliner METRO beringharjo,, our brand is ALMAISOUVENIR , we have web with addres
    you can rest, lunch and then you can find local marchendise for souvenir at my place with special price... :-)

    1. Thank you Siti. Will definitely stopby your shop on our next visit!

  14. Hi ,

    This is a very informative details , i am planning for a 4D3N trip as well... my question are,

    1) would it be advisable to stay near to the temples e.g Manohara hotel.. etc... or stay in the city as you had planned ?

    2) how did you manage to find the van to hire? prebook or find when arrive in Yogyakarta?


    1. Dear Sui Inn,

      For question 1, it's depend on the purpose of your trip. For us, staying at Jogya means we can go shopping, eating, visiting other interesting places, after a half-day Borobudur tour. But if you wish to take a very detail look on the temple (maybe will take few days), then staying somewhere near the temple is more convenient. For us, Borobudur is a great place, but a half day tour is just nice.

      For question 2, we found the van through the travel agent in our hotel. We decided to take the package after we compared the package with several other local companies, after we arrived in Jogya. For us, we always look for the local tour package after we reached at the destination.

  15. It's a very helpful and comprehensive article. Helped me to plan out jogya trip well... thanks Alot..

    1. No problem. Glad you find the article helpful :)

    2. Can't be more agree that this blog is helpful. I have read several posts about malaysia too.

  16. Hi Betty and Ling Shing!

    Thank you for sharing your travel to Yogya back in 2012.
    It IS a very welcoming city, even for us, local tourist.
    Oh, I'm from Bandung, West Java, by the way? Any wish to
    come to my city?

    Anyway, after reading this post and out of curiosity, which
    is better in your opinion, KFC in Malaysia or in Indonesia?

    Haha, I know, it is silly question. But somehow, as KFC really
    close to most Asian hearts, it is definitely worth pondering.
    Let me know. ;)

    Warm regards,


    1. Dear Ales, Bandung is always a place that we want to visit- it is a very beautiful city with rich culture, architecture, universities, volcanoes, plantations, and cooling weather.

      Regarding KFC, the taste somehow was quite similar but not the same- a bit more spicy in Jogya compared to Malaysia, and the texture of the meat was a bit different. Which one is better? Both are acceptable.

      Have you been to Malaysia Ales?

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  18. That looks an awesome place. I'm gonna try to visit it. I'm pretty sure me and my friends are going to love it. Check out the Shops in Circuit Makati, you'll love it too. Anyway, Thanks for sharing!