Things To Do In Yogyakarta – Here are the top things to do in Yogyakarta at night. You will not be confused about what to do in Yogyakarta at hight. There are many objects and places alternative night tour in this city. Here are some of the night tours that you should enjoy. Read our list of the top things to do in Yogyakarta at night.
1. Hang out at the Southern City Square (Alun-Alun Selatan/Alkid)
The first, top things to do in Yogyakarta at night is hang out at the Southern City Square. At night, the Southern City Square located behind the King’s Palace-is always full of people looking for affordable amusement. The flickering lamps of odong-odong driven around the square adds to the merry. There are many things we can do in the Southern city square. Formerly used by the kingdom’s army to work out, the place has now transformed into a public space flocked by visitors; people of all communities and ages are gathering here.
In the evening, started at about 5 pm, parents take their children to play around, running all the way chasing the flying bubbles from liquid soap blown by the sellers, or shouting loudly as if calling out the various kites above the sky. Quite at the pavement, numerous sellers are getting ready and spreading out their mats. Later at night, the atmosphere starts to change; the young children have gone home, and it’s time for the teenagers to spend their night over at the city square.
The darker the night, the higher the crowd. Tandem bicycles and lighted odong-odong become the favorite objects. We can drive around the city square on tandem bicycle for Rp 15,000, or by renting odong-odong for Rp 30,000 which can accommodate up to six persons. While doing sport by riding on the bicycle or odong-odong, we can also feel another sensation while riding on it cross the crowded street.
Tired of playing, we can then take a break and sit relaxed on the mats while ordering snacks. We suggest you order roasted corns in various flavor options along with wedang ronde which offers the taste of warm ginger. Need more? Just order toasted bread and wedang bajigur. Wedang ronde and bajigur, popular beverages in Yogyakarta, are just perfect to enjoy around the area which formerly had been the heart of Mataram Kingdom.
2. Enjoying Rainbow in The Night at Taman Pelangi
Here, you can see rainbows, even in the night. Lampions in various shapes and colors will enchant your eyes. Numerous amusements are also available for you to try. People said rainbow is only visible after the rain, and it will be clear to the eyes only during the day. However, in Taman Pelangi, you wouldn’t have to wait for the rain to fall or the sun to shine, as the rainbows are visible every day even until the sun sets. Yup, they are not just ordinary rainbows; they were made of lampions.
Taman Pelangi (literally translated as “The Garden of Rainbows”) is the name given to the amusement park, which is located within the yard of Monumen Jogja Kembali. Designed to surround the park, numerous lampions in various shapes and colors are installed to decorate the yard. The park has two entrance gates-the west and the east gate. YogYES suggests you to go through the east gate, as you will directly be welcomed by a huge lampion in the shape of a rainbow, which also serves as the gate to the kingdom of lampions.
Entering the park, we will go through a route of passages filled by various colorful lampions-shaped in floras, faunas, Japanese and Disney cartoon characters, to the faces of Indonesian’s leaders. The lampions are presented in varied installation manners-some seem to be planted into the ground, some are fixed to the wall, some hanging in the air, while some others are installed in lines like a drill of soldiers.
While watching the colorful night scene, we can also give a try on the various amusements-from trampoline, mini pedicab, rowboat, water balls, speedboat, bom-bom car, and many others. Seen from the aerial view, the complex of Monumen Jogja Kembali appears like a theater with huge pool divided in 4 parts surrounding it.
These parts of the pool also offer water amusements you can try. Interested in trying something of higher challenge? We suggest you try exploring the Puri Hantu (the Ghost House). We have, honestly, no idea what you might find inside, as we haven’t had the guts to try entering the house. If you prefer not to explore the are on foot, you can ride on a safari cart to explore the whole route in the area. Visit Taman Pelangi is one of the best things to do in Yogyakarta at night.
3. Watch Ramayana Ballet at Prambanan Temple
Watch Ramayana Ballet at Prambanan Temple is one of the top things to do in Yogyakarta at night. This dance-drama is a marvelous visualization of legendary epos in Javanese culture, Ramayana. Performed in an open stage, Ramayana ballet invites you to enjoy the story in a set of typical Javanese dance accompanied by gamelan music.
Ramayana ballet is an art performance that is so beautiful, admiring and it is difficult to compare. This performance is able to unite various Javanese arts such as dance, drama and music on one stage and one momentum to present the Ramayana story, a legendary epos written by Walmiki in Sanskrit language.
Ramayana story presented in this performance is similar to that engraved on Prambanan temple. As people tell, Ramayana story that is engraved on the most beautiful Hindu temple is similar to the story in oral tradition in India. The long and straining story is summarized in four scenes, namely the kidnapping of Shinta, Anoman’s mission to Alengka, the death of Kumbakarna or Rahwana, and the meeting of Rama-Shinta.
The entire story is presented in a series of dance movements done by beautiful dancers accompanied by gamelan music. You are invited to really plunge into the story and observe each movement of the dancers to know the coarse of the story. There is no dialog among the dancers. The only storyteller is the sinden or the female singer who describes the coarse of the story through Javanes songs with her typical voice.
The story begins when Prabu Janaka held a contest to determine the would-be husband for Shinta, his daughter that finally was won by Rama Wijaya. The scene is continued with the adventure of Rama, Shinta and Rama’s younger brother named Laksamana in Dandaka forest. There, they met Rawana that was eager to posses Shinta since she was considered the reincarnation of goddess Widowati, a woman that he had been seeking for long.
In order to attract Shinta’s attention, Rahwana changed one of his followers named Marica into a deer. The effort was successful when Shinta was attracted and asked Rama to chase the deer. When Rama did not show up after a while, Laksmana went to find Rama and left Shinta herself by protecting her with a magic circle around her in order that nobody would be able to kidnap her, including Rahwana. The protection failed to keep Shinta in the place since Rahwana succeeded in kidnapping her by changing himself into Durna character.
At the end of the story, Hanoman, the white, powerful monkey succeeded in taking Shinta from Rahwana. When she returned, however, Rama did not trust her anymore. He considered Shinta disgraced. In order to prove her virginity and holiness, Shinta was asked to burn herself. Shinta proved her holiness when she was not burned at all even she became more beautiful. Finally, Rama accepted her as his wife.
You will not be disappointed to see this excellent performance. They do not only prepare the dance and music, but also the lighting that is set in such a way to be able to describe certain events in that story. The make up of the dancers does not only make them beautiful but it is capable of describing the characters they perform so that spectators easily know the characters even though there is no dialog.
You will see not only the dance but also interesting acts such as fireball game and acrobat. The fireball game is presented when Hanoman that initially would be fired alive turned to be successful in burning Alengkadiraja Kingdom owned by Rahwana. The acrobat is seen when Hanoman fights against Rahwana’s followers. The fireball when Shinta would be burned is also interesting to see.
4. Take Part in Night Market Sekaten
The fourth, top things to do in Yogyakarta at night is take part in Night Market Sekaten. Originated from Arabic word: Syahadatain) is a week long Javanese traditional ceremony, festival, fair and pasar malam (night market) commemorating Mawlid (the birthday of prophet Muhammad), celebrated annually started on 5th day through the 12th day of (Javanese Calendar) Mulud month (corresponding to Rabi’ al-awwal in Islamic Calendar).
The festivities usually took place in northern alun-alun (square) in Yogyakarta, and simultaneously also celebrated in northern alun-alun of Surakarta. This ceremony originally were initiated by Sultan Hamengkubuwana I, the founder of Yogyakarta Sultanate to promote the Islamic faith. The most attractive among these is the Art Festival that enables you to witness the cultural richness of Yogya.