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Cheap food? To Yogyakarta! LIPPO CIKARANG - Since I lived in Yogyakarta for some two years - yes I do see this as a privilege because most people are not able to do it, thus missing a lot of the real atmosphere of the city, I didn't always keep in mind the fact that Yogyakarta is in fact fairly cheap in several areas of business.

I don't want to talk about the prices in the tourist areas of the city, they are indeed much cheaper than Bali for example. This is a fact and will never change I suppose. No, I mean the difference in price between an average restaurant in the capital Jakarta compared to the average prices that are being asked in Yogyakarta.

Where you pay a lot for a drink in Jakarta - everything from teh tawar to Cola Cola and es jeruk, in Yogyakarta this is still a lot cheaper. I always think this is merely a demand-driven price difference. For the largest part this indeed is the case, but the fact that you need les money to live in Yogyakarta is the most important factor here.

It is a lot easies to travel around in Yogyakarta. If you take a motorcycle on credit, you can travel around in the city within half an hour if it is not too crowded on the road. This is a completely different story in the area that is officially known as Greater Jakarta, or Jabodetabek, which means Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi. Traveling here needs much more time, and time is money here as well.

The larger distances cause travel costs to rize as well. Everything is more expensive because transport for products like cucumber, industrial machines and everything in between is more expensive. Food is also more expensive because of this. On top of this is a market of some 15 million people - living in Jakarta legally or not - that need to eat, so there will always be demand, also against higher prices.

So what does the average Jakarta with car that has a weekend to spare? Indeed, they hit the road with the entire family and drive themselves to Yogyakarta in their black Toyota Innova after loading a full tank of fuel at the gas station around the corner. Via the toll road and the city of Bandung they head for Yogyakarta to spend their precious two days in the 'cheapest' city on the island.

However domestic tourism has always been around, recent years have shown tremendous growth in this sector. More passengers for airlines and more crowded conditions on the roads in all kinds of directions. Where it used to be a rare sight to see a car from Jakarta, it now seems that they represent a mayority during weekends, not to mention holiday periods.

But this enables large number of domestic tourists to gain access to cheap food during the weekend and they can even leave their pembantu because the dirty dishes are simply left in the restaurant of course. After the extensive lunch they will head for Malioboro or Ambarukmo Plaza for their shopping spree. That's also cheap in Yogya.

So when visiting Yogyakarta people will have cheap food, cheap shopping and cheap souvenirs, but they have to endure a 12-hour car trip for it, twice. Fuel stops have to be made a few times as well, as traffic on the non-tollroads is generally clogged up, which uses more fuel. Fortunately for many people, fuel is still heavily subsidised, so food in Yogyakarta is still affordable.

Cheap food is widely available in Yogyakarta, whether you should take the car from Jakarta is another question. ©

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Related blog entries (category 'Tourism') Tags: Yogyakarta, cheap, food, tourism

Posted in Tourism @ 01 February 2011 12:17 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink

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