It was worth the journey. Two and a half hours drive—one way—from Yogyakarta seems a decent day trip idea. In fact, in slightly less than two hours, we arrived at Pasar Papringan Ngadiprono (Ngadiprono Papringan Market).
We left Yogyakarta at 5:15 in the morning and arrived there around 7:10. After passing through Magelang (check here for things to do in and around Magelang), the journey to Papringan Market was accompanied by views of Mount Sindoro and Mount Sumbing. It was then that I thought the setting for the market must be beautiful.
Papringan Market (Pasar Papringan) is held every Sunday Wage, and Pon (as written on their Instagram: Saben Minggu Wage lan Pon) from 6 am-12 noon. Wage and Pon are the names of the days in the Pancawara (pasaran) system of the Javanese calendar. One week of the Javanese calendar is five days.
Besides Wage and Pon, there are also Paing, Kliwon, and Legi. Don’t worry if you don’t understand the Javanese Calendar, they always update their Instagram and provide the exact dates. Usually, Papringan Market is held two times a month.
Pasar means market, and Papringan (Javanese language) means a bamboo garden. So from the name, it is clear that Pasar Papringan is a market in a bamboo garden/field (pasar hutan bambu).
Perhaps because of its unique concept, this market in Temanggung is crowded with tourists from outside the city. Like me, many other people came from Yogyakarta. Some also came from Magelang, and Semarang.
When we arrived, we noticed a group of cyclists—judging from their attire—who came for the market. My friend said, the initiator of Pasar Papringan, Singgih S. Kartono likes to cycle.
Papringan Market is developed and managed by SpedagiMovement together with Mata Air Ngadiprono community (local community). Spedagi Movement is a creative movement created by Singgih Kartono. They aim to help build the economy of the village and make it a sustainable and independent community.
One thing that is very interesting about this market is the money we use here. You can’t use regular money (Rupiah). We had to use ‘Pring’. 1 Pring was worth Rp2,000. You exchange your money from Pring when you enter the market. You can’t exchange the Pring back into money.
You can use it again to shop at this market another time. I still have some Prings to spend, which is a good reason to come back to Pasar Papringan another time.
You can find various things in the market. The market sells traditional food and drinks. You could also buy traditional toys made from bamboo, bamboo baskets, and some agricultural products such as pumpkin, cassava, chilies, and many more. Besides that, there was a:
- kids area with swings, see-saws, and you guess it right, all made from bamboo.
- The ‘livestock’ or Ternak section where you could feed the goat, and rabbits (or was it guinea pigs? or hamsters?).
- The massage area
- Several smoking areas
- Praying area
- Breastfeeding areas. Very well-thought-through, right?
I managed to try several dishes for breakfast. I had Sego Gono, Sate Jamur, Gablok Pecel, Gudheg, Rujak Lotis, some traditional desserts (Klepon, oh the rest I couldn’t remember the name), and Wedang Telang.
The food and drinks sold there were well-curated. Each stall sold different food. Well, slightly different. For example, one stall might use coconut milk in the broth while the other doesn’t.
Do you know another happy discovery I made at this market? I did not find plastic there! As the name implies, they strive always to use bamboo and other environmentally friendly materials. For example, at the sink, they use natural soap.
Traditional food and snacks are generally tasty and also have good hygiene and health standards. The only thing that was a bit (it’s like a tiny bit) off was some of the sellers are not as friendly as the other sellers, but that was fine. They were not friendly, but they were not rude.
Close to the Wedang Telang and Wedang Pring stall, there was a small information board. There I read one sentence that I thought was very important, but maybe many people forgot. “Desa tidak harus berubah menjadi seperti kota untuk menjadi desa yang maju“. Villages don’t have to change like cities to become developed villages.
SpedagiMovement has four programs. Pasar Papringan is one of them. The other three are International Conference on Village Revitalization (ICVR), Sepeda Bambu Spedagi (Spedagi Bamboo Bicycle), and Spedagi Homestay. They exhibited the bamboo bicycle just in front of the board. People could take a picture with it.
Having been in the tourism industry for five years (plus loving to travel since 2009), the visit to this market brought new perspectives for me. The Indonesian tourism industry is diverse. It’s not always about selfies backgrounds, props, or platforms.
We left the market at 9:15 am. Not only is my stomach full because of the good food I munched at the market, but my heart was also full because of the new perspectives, spirits, and ideas. I’m looking forward to the next ICVR and would love to join if I have the opportunity to learn more about village revitalization.
Firsta, I don’t fancy a day trip from Yogyakarta. Even more, I don’t want to depart early morning for this market. Can I stay nearby?
Yes, I get it. The nearest hotels are mostly in Magelang. It is around 1 hour from Magelang to Pasar Papringan. Alternatively, you can stay in Temanggung. There are several homestays, such as Omah Yudhi and/or Omah Kelingan (I guess they are the same place? or maybe not?). You can reserve through Whatsapp: +6285328934781 or check this Instagram page for more details. And I guess there will be Homestay Tambujatra soon! I read it here and their contact is the same as above.
Have you ever been to Pasar Papringan? How was your experience? What dish/es and drinks did you try there?