Yogyakarta Halal Travel Guide
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The city (kota) of Yogyakarta is one of five districts in the semi-autonomous province of Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta (DIY), the “Yogyakarta Special Region”. The other districts are the regencies of:
- Sleman on the slopes of fiery Mount Merapi to the north
- Bantul all the way to the sea to the south
- The hills of Gunungkidul to the east
- The lowlands of Kulon Progo to the West
This special status is thanks to the Sultanate of Hamengkubuwono, which has ruled the area since 1749 and steered the state through difficult times of occupation and revolution. During the Indonesian war of independence, Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX offered the fledgeling Indonesian government his enclave as a capital city. Yogyakarta became the revolutionary capital of the republic from 1946 to 1949 when Jakarta was still occupied by the Dutch. As a result, the newly-independent Indonesia appointed the Sultan as the governor of the province of DIY — the only one in Indonesia that is not elected directly by the people. The Indonesian central government has tried to weaken the sultan’s power by calling for direct elections for the governor. The present sultan, Hamengkubuwono X, was chosen by an overwhelming majority.
Yogyakarta lies in one of the most seismically active parts of Java and has been repeatedly struck by earthquakes and volcano eruptions. The worst in recent times was the earthquake of 27 May 2006, which killed over 6,000 people and flattened over 300,000 houses. The epicentre was 25 km (16 mi) south of the city, which avoided the worst of the quake. A surprisingly effective disaster recovery effort repaired most of the physical damage quickly.
Yogyakarta is full of domestic tourists during school holidays, with tourist buses on the visitor hotspots of shopping street Jl Malioboro and the northern palace square, or alun-alun, trapped in heavy traffic. Vehicles, parking and vendors contribute to the traffic jams.
There are three information offices, one at the airport, one at the main railway station, and this main one:
- Tourist information office, Jl Malioboro No.16 (Next to Hotel Mutiara). M–Th 07:30–20:00, F–Sa 07:30–19:30. Has maps in English and can give useful information.