Historical Trading Area in Yogyakarta

Chinese Area in Yogyakarta is one of historical Chinese dwelling places in Indonesia. This kampong is the place where the success of Chinese merchants began with shops and services kiosks of tens years old.

Updated on 7 August 2018

See 12 photos of Pecinan (chinatown)

Many people pass by this area when they walk southwards of Malioboro Street. Its enchantment, however, is sometimes neglected when people are absorbed in shopping. This kampong is named Pecinan or Chinese Kampong of which street name is now changed to Jalan Ahmad Yani. Passing through this street, you will see many shops and kiosks of tens years old.

Your journey can start from the side of the kampong, on the road beside Batik Terang Bulan shop to be exact. Arriving at the first alley, you may turn left to find legendary Chinese medication shop. There used to be a healer in the shop who could cure broken bones only with powder mixed from medication plants that was stuck to the skin surface of part of the body of which bones were broken.

Walking eastwards of the alley, you will find kiosks selling goods and services most of which are painted white. One of them is a Chinese traditional teeth kiosk offering teeth whitening service, teeth accessories installation in order to beautify them and other services to make them more interesting. The kiosk is painted light yellow with picture of teeth on its big front window.

In addition to the teeth kiosk, there are other kiosks selling Chinese cuisine such as noodle, cap cay, kwe tiau and so on. Other kiosks sell cakes materials, clothes materials, accessories and daily needs.

From Terang Bulan shop, if you walk westwards, passing through Jalan Pajeksan, you will find similar kiosks. What special is that at the end of the street, there is a place where members of Fu Ching Organization gather. The members of the organization are Chinese Indonesians who live and trade in the area. At certain occasions, for example on Chinese New Year, the members hold Chinese traditional events.

After walking around the area, you can walk southwards from Batik Terang Bulan shop. You will find a bakery named 'Djoen'. Since almost a hundred years ago, the shop of which complete name is 'Perusahaan Roti dan Kuwe Djoen' has been pride of Yogyakarta citizens. The age of the shop can be seen clearly if you stand across the street while looking at the name of the shop that is on its wall as the characteristic of the shops in the area in the past. Now, the products adapt market taste yet preserving some special cakes such as pillow cake, namely flat, oval unsweetened bread with sesames spread over.

Arriving at the Lor Pasar area or the north side of Beringharjo market, you will find traditional kiosks selling various needs, from electronics, sewing instruments and clothes accessories, cooking utensils to gold accessories. This place is famous with Yogyakarta citizens as the place to get goods at cheap prices. Some of the kiosks sell antique things.

A Chinese area located across Beringharjo market, there is an old medicine store called "Toko Obat Bah Gemuk". Various traditional Chinese medicines with famous efficacy are sold there.

Even though the image of this Chinese area fades a little bit, the presence of some old kiosks make this area still interesting to visit.

Text: Yunanto Wiji Utomo
Photo: Sigit Nugroho
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