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Saturday 13 May
Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Second day in Yogyakarta

Kraton tour in the morning and afternoon. This is an area still occupied by the ruling Sultan of Yogyakarta (who is separate to the ruling elite of Indonesia itself it has to be noted). Until the Dutch brought everyone together to be governed from Jakarta, most of Indonesia was made up on small Sultanates. Most of them were defeated by the Dutch, except for the sultan of Yogyakarta who managed to secure himself in a walled off city-within-a-city called the Kraton, which is essentially a palace, and held off the Dutch invaders. Eventually Yogyakarta was given a special status in Java and allowed to rule itself up to the present day.

The Kraton is a great place to start a cultural tour of Indonesia as you get a sample of all things Indonesian such as puppet-theatre (Wayang) and Gamelan musical performances with their Tibet-esque cymbals sound and eerie singing.

There were several museums in the palace which tended to focus on adoration of the Sultan and his family and grew tiresome eventually, but there were other nearb sights around the Kraton that were fascinating to visit such as Taman Sari palace with it's fascinating Sumur Gumuling underground cave staircase system.

One thing I found exhausting though were the crowds. It was nigh-on impossible to take a photo without someone standing in your way taking a selfie. Oh God selfies, they will be the death of photography (unless of course the selfie taker has managed to off themselves in the first place by taking ever more dangerous steps to take the "ultimate selfie", we can but pray).

Went to the backpacker area in the evening and rented a motorbike for a few days! Pretty much essential to get around and the only way to stop the incessant hollers from the rickshaw drivers demanding "Hey boss, where you go?!?"

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Malaysia and Indonesia

Travel blog by peterforan

 


This is my first trip to Malaysia and Indonesia. I'm going to see if I can write the entire blog by using Google voice recognition.

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