BANTUL
Amazing Artistry to the South of the Gudeg City

Situated in the southern far edge of Yogyakarta, the Gudeg City, Bantul is the capital of art. The creativity of its people gives birth to unique works of art such as beautiful souvenirs, as well as distinctive tourist attractions and food.

Updated on 9 October 2018

Situated in the southern far edge of Yogyakarta, the Gudeg City, Bantul is the capital of art. The creativity of its people gives birth to unique works of art such as beautiful souvenirs, as well as distinctive tourist attractions and food you can hardly find in other places.

Located along the southern coastal line of Yogyakarta, Bantul is the Gudeg City's heart of creativity and craftmanship in this Gudeg City. One can almost think that creativity flows through the veins of every single inhabitant of this 508 square kilometer big district. They are full with enthusiasm to create new innovations, making people wonder what they would come up with next. Such creativity is observable not only in numerous works of art such as paintings or stone statues, but also in various aspects of life such as lifestyle, food, and various crafts offered by this district. This is Bantul, home to the creative thinkers of the southern region of Yogyakarta.

Should you desire to explore Bantul District, you can start your adventure from dawn, right before the golden sun rises. Firstly, get to Mangunan Fruit Garden as fast as you can to enjoy the warmth of the morning sun rising between the limestone hills stretching towards the south. Enjoy the refreshing morning there until the sun is a little higher in the sky before continuing your journey to mangunan pine forest, where many instagrammable spots have been waiting for you.

Somewhere before afternoon, you can go down and visit some creative industries within the area of Bantul. If you are into pottery, you can visit Kasongan, a place renowned as southern Yogyakarta's finest pottery industry, and then taste the legendary Baywatch Pecel-pecel is a kind of salad consisting of boiled vegetables with peanut sauce topping. If you are more of a leather craft person, you can try visiting Manding Tourism Village. Here, you can freely explore various showrooms to hunt for bags, belts, and other leather crafts.

In the evening, get yourself ready to revel in the beauty of sunset in some of Bantul's best spots. One of these spots is Parangkusumo Beach, where you can find Gardu Action hidden in one of its corners. Here you can once again witness the creativity of the locals. They turn garbage into unique and photogenic decorations. Lovely plastic bottle lamps adorn the lush pine trees growing in this area. To top it all off, there is also a giant butterfly wing, the main icon of Gardu Action.

Want to see the sunset at heights? puncak Becici is the place you are looking for. During dusk, you can gaze upon a spectacular view of the city lights, twinkling like thousands of stars scattered in front of you. The golden sky seen during the dusk at Becici Peak will surely give you the time of your life when combined with a simple wooden platform and the pine trees-the main icon of this place.

In Bantul, even the night cannot stop your adventure. When the moonlight is obscured by the clouds, proceed to Parangtritis Beach where you can indulge your eyes in its dazzling milky way view. During the day the beach is crowded by tourists playing with the waves, but at night it is quiet and tranquil. In the absence of the hustle and bustle of a tourist attraction, you can freely capture thousands of twinkling stars on the other side of the galaxy forming the famous milky way.

In addition to the places mentioned above, Bantul offers you many other attractions. Bantul has Kampung Edukasi Watu Lumbung famous for a delightful combo of a nice view and a creative educational concept. Furthermore, you can also visit Gabusan Art Market, an art market located to the south of ISI Yogyakarta, housing 444 artisans coming from all over Yogyakarta. Into history? Don't miss out the charm of Imogiri Cemetery, a royal cemetery complex serving as the final resting place of the kings of Yogyakarta that is still properly maintained until now.

WHERE TO EAT

The creativity of Bantul's inhabitants does not stop only at unique souvenirs and tourist attractions, but also at various food found within the region. One of the places you can visit is Rumah Makan Legokan Ngancar, a restaurant sitting at the bank of Ngancar confluence. This restaurant serves a wide range of rare fresh-water-fish-dishes. Here you can taste the delicious gabus fish (Channa striata) cooked in spicy coconut milk, or mangut. This particular dish is perfect to be enjoyed in the afternoon together with lompong soup (lompong is the local name for Colocasia esculenta L.)

If you are traveling to Kasongan, do visit Baywatch Pecel, a tasty dish cooked prepared by Mbah Warno "Anderson". Turi flower (Sesbania grandiflora) pecel is very well known and closely associated with Kasongan, making it one of the most sought-after dishes. The sweet and savory taste of the peanut sauce, fused with the texture of papaya leaf, spinach, and the slightly bitter turi flower, is a true culinary wonder best enjoyed after an exhausting souvenir hunt in Kasongan.

Want something more spicy? Satisfy your hunger at Sambel Welut Pak Sabar with spicy dishes from the northern region of Bantul. Here you can enjoy the unique taste of eel fillet ground together with spicy sambal-hot enough to make you sweat a lot and burn your tongue. Alternatively, you can challenge yourself at Sate Petir Pak Nano renowned for its spiciness levels that you can choose at your own leisure. This is the kind of restaurant where you can taste the unforgettable sensation of satay and tongseng (meat based dish served in a curry-like soup) cooked along with dozens of super spicy bird's eye chili.

Aside from the dishes mentioned above, you can satisfy your hunger at other eateries Bantul has to offer. One of them is the hidden Mbah Cemplung Fried Chicken, a restaurant renowned for its delicacy of soft fried free range chicken. Bantul's other culinary gem is Shibishu Noodles, a place many says capable of making you speechless, as you would be too busy enjoying this thick and spice-rich noodle. Awesome, right?

See also: 10 Culinary Hidden Gems in Jogja

WHERE TO STAY

In addition to good food, Bantul also has a number of comfortable and beautifully creative lodgings. They offer you the chance to take in the pleasant view of green villages you can still find in most parts of Bantul. Finding it hard to believe? See it for your self in Pak Dhe Homestay, Staying at Pak Dhe Homestay, the memories of Jogja will surface-its humbleness, and the peaceful life in a village. In the morning, you can walk around or riding bicycle around the neighborhood, enjoying the morning air while savoring the view of rice fields on your left and right.

The main building has 4 large bedrooms with exposed brick wall and Kunci tiles. Each room comes with AC, LCD TV, private bathroom with hot shower, and comfy wooden chairs to relax. The front part is a multi-purpose common room with large table and chairs where you can dine in or gather around.

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WHAT TO RIDE

Except for small buses waltzing to and from Parangtritis region, Bantul does not have much to offer in terms of public transportation. Most of the locals prefer to use private vehicles to travel. Therefore, you may want to rent a car to help you travel from one spot to another spot in this district.

If you want to drive the car yourself, renting a self-drive car is the perfect choice. You can find many car rentals providing this kind of service. One of them is Abah Transport. They will even give you a power bank and a car charger. This way, you can still post updates on your social media or do whatever you want with your gadgets all day long.

If you are more accustomed with automatic transmission car (matic/AT), Annisa Transport is the one you are looking for. This car rental boasts 11 automatic transmission cars you can drive to every corner of Yogyakarta. You won't have to bother yourselves with the pedals when you are stuck in traffic jams at difficult places or when maneuvering between big trucks in the small streets of Yogyakarta.

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