Yogyakarta, China? Shanghai tourism Instagram account claims Indonesian Chinatown as theirs, gets mocked by netizens

Nope, it’s not in Shanghai, China — Kampung Ketandan is a Chinatown in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Screenshot from  Instagram/@shanghai.explore & @bagaswisnuaji
Nope, it’s not in Shanghai, China — Kampung Ketandan is a Chinatown in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Screenshot from Instagram/@shanghai.explore & @bagaswisnuaji

Yogyakarta may be the land of a thousand temples and gudeg (jackfruit stew), but it’s definitely located in Indonesia, not China, as one viral post may have lead some to believe.

Four days ago, @shanghai.explore, an Instagram account that promotes tourism in the Chinese megacity (unofficially), posted the below photo with the caption, “Peaceful days in Shanghai” and credited the shot to an Indonesian user named Bagas Wisnu Aji.

Screenshot from Instagram/@shanghai.explore & @bagaswisnuaji
Screenshot from Instagram/@shanghai.explore & @bagaswisnuaji

At first glance, one might assume that the photo of a Chinese traditional gate, with dragons wrapped around its poles, was taken in China. But, upon closer inspection, there are plenty of clues that the photo was actually taken in Indonesia, namely “Kampoeng Ketandan” written on the gate’s signage, as well as numerous other signs in Bahasa Indonesia.

Those familiar with Yogyakarta will immediately recognize that the shot was taken in Kampung Ketandan, a Chinatown located in the city’s Malioboro tourism district. Despite many pointing this mistake in the comments, the post remains up as of the time of writing and has become the subject of much ridicule from Indonesian netizens.

“So, Shanghai have [sic] ‘discount Lebaran 80% (80% Eid discount)’?” wrote one user.

“Shanghai Explore account that seems [to] never explored Shanghai. It’s in Yogyakarta, Indonesia!” wrote another.

The official account of Ramayana Department Store, whose signage is featured in the photo (the one with the “diskon Lebaran 80%”), also left a cheeky comment:

Speaking to Kompas, the Yogyakarta Tourism Department head Singgih Raharjo said they plan to contact the people behind @shanghai.explore over the photo.

“I will try to clarify to them about their actual intention [behind the post], so that we understand,” Singgih told Kompas yesterday.

Singgih noted that there is an existing cooperation between Yogyakarta and Shanghai that allows the Chinese city to promote its culture and tourism in Yogyakarta. One way they did that was by building a Shanghai cultural house in, you guess it, Kampung Ketandan. While we haven’t read the deal, we’re quite certain it does not allow for the misappropriation of the city’s Chinatown for the purpose of selling tourism packages to Shanghai.

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