This Indonesian destination is expected to become the new Bali
ASK anyone what the most popular holiday destination in the Indonesian archipelago is and you would likely hear, “Bali.”
The paradise island is such a hit with tourists that it makes up for most of the tourist numbers to Indonesia.
But one other Indonesian destination may be getting a slice of that Bali fame soon.
Located in the southeast part of Yogyakarta on the island of Java, the Gunungkidul Regency is known for its natural beauty. Like a hidden gem, Gunungkidul (which means south hills in Javanese) is rough and wild.
And it is slowly gaining popularity.
Its southern coast is dotted with several beautiful white-sand beaches: Baron, Kukup, Krakal, Drini, Sepanjang, Sundak, Siung Beach, Wediombo, and Sadeng. The most notable being Baron beach.
Locals love Gunungkidul’s beaches for its fresh sea products. On Baron beach, for example, there is no shortage of seafood restaurants serving up dishes so fresh, you can still taste the sea.
Aside from its beaches, its karst mountain range, geoparks, long and windy cave systems, and rocky routes make for the perfect adventure spots and backdrops for Instagram addicts.
Its rainy season brings beautiful lush green views of teakwood forests while the dry season offers exotic, art-like views of leafless teakwood trees.
Gunungkidul is also a great place to immerse in Javanese culture through its well preserved traditional performances and rituals which are still being practiced today. There is also a score of beautiful temples and sacred sites.
“Guningkidul is extraordinary,” The Jakarta Post quoted economic observer Cyrillus Harinowo Hadiwerdoyo as saying. Harinowo had visited the regency recently.
Harinowo added that Gunungkidul has been transforming itself from previously one of the poorest regions in the country into a favorite tourist destination and that in five to 10 years, it will become the new Bali.
Meanwhile, Gunungkidul Tourism Agency planning sub-division head Supriyanta revealed the regency had enjoyed a steady increase in tourist numbers by up to 400,000 a year for the last few years.
Last year, 3.2 million tourists had visited Gunungkidul. And of that number, 21,600 were foreign tourists.
Additionally, Java island’s Southern Route (JLS) that will directly connect Gunungkidul’s coastal area with the New Yogyakarta International Airport (NYIA) is also expected to boost tourism to the regency.