The second of Java’s main cities, Yogyakarta is by far the more serene of the two. Where Jakarta buzzes around finance, industry and business, Yogyakarta is artistic and proud of its cultural heritage, where traditional life still revolves around the 18th century palace. Yet this is also a modern, fast-paced city, one that has achieved an elusive balance between the old and the new.
Days in Yogyakarta can be spent exploring this convergence of tradition and modernity, strolling from cosmopolitan cafe to handicraft shop, spending one evening with the elegant dancers of the Ramayana ballet and the next in a trendy bar. Alongside these city sights, it is an ideal base from which to explore Borobudur and Prambanan.