A student and a servant to stories along with mildly interesting, yet debatably useful, tidbits
Jl. Malioboro is the heart of Yogyakarta. (Shutterstock/Jon Chica)
Malioboro has come a long way as a product of the passage of time.
The road is an essential tourist destination in Yogyakarta, offering folksy yet somewhat modern traditional markets, now polished to cater to tourists and travelers.
The pavement of Malioboro has been revamped, with metal posts including local symbols of wayang (shadow puppet) and kayon, a wayang used for the changing of scenes and the opening and closing of a wayang show.
The busy, crowded road might be a tad overwhelming for first timers. But here are some highlights of Malioboro:
One of the core of the tourist attracting road is Beringharjo Market, a long-famed batik market that has become a multiple floor shopping complex, not quite outdone by Malioboro Mall nearby.
Due to its vast collection, one can find any type of batik at Beringharjo Market, from the traditional hand drawn batik tulis to mass-produced, colorful print batik. Aside from selling the fabric itself, batik products such as clothes and bags are also available.
Malioboro Mall is a rather modern spot in the street; a house for many vendors including international brands – just like every other shopping mall in Indonesia.
The mall is a contrast to traditional traders along Malioboro street and might seem like an odd recommendation for travelers. However, it is home to Unit Gawat Dagadu (a play on words of the phrase Unit Gawat Darurat or emergency unit), an iconic local brand of humorous merchandise.
Mirota Batik is one of the many business arms of the Mirota conglomerate venture. The store does not only sell batik fabric and clothing, but also holds a demonstration of batik’s drawing process on the first floor. It offers various souvenirs on the second floor and a traditional Yogyakarta restaurant on the third.
The fixed-price center of batik, in contrast with the bargaining nature of trade in Beringharjo Market, has recently changed its name from Mirota to Hamzah Batik, after its owner. Other fixed-price batik vendors include Batik Danar Hadi and a branch of Batik Keris.
Traditional culinary feast
The culinary experience around Malioboro itself is varied. In the morning, one can enjoy nasi pecel (rice with nut-based sauce accompanied by vegetables, like spinach and bean sprouts) with tempe bacem (sweetened fermented soybean dish). At night, street food vendors thrive.
Yogyakarta’s signature dish is the gudeg, a slow-cooked sweetened jackfruit dish usually accompanied by rice, krecek (spicy boiled cow skin) and sides ranging from tempe bacem to chicken. Major local vendor Yu Djum sells its gudeg in near Jl. Malioboro. The night vendors also include gudeg in their menu.
A particularly historic food seller is the gudeg vendor Mbah Lindu. It has reportedly been active since the final years of the Dutch colonial regime. The eatery’s fame, aided by its historic value, has encouraged many travelers and locals to sup on Setya Utomo’s gudeg. Her place of business is in a security post on Jl. Sosrowijayan near Malioboro.
Jl. Malioboro is home to the Grand Inna Malioboro, formerly the Inna Garuda, which opened in 1908. Other hotels include the Mutiara Malioboro and the budget hotel Ibis near Malioboro Mall. (dev/kes)
Dananjaya Rijaluzaman is a student drawn to uncovering human-interest stories, along with mildly interesting, yet debatably useful, tidbits.
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