Kraton; a real anti climax

Yogyakarta Travel Blog

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Taking a ride down the main road towards Kraton

People i met here, who contributed to and improved my trip: Juliana (Russia)

After a heavy Saturday night, we didn't arise from our slumber until the middle of the afternoon and thus the chance of going to Kraton - the Sultans Palace - had already alluded us. We therefore caught up with some internet, got an energy filled KFC and headed back to the Bintang Bar! We weren't really in the mood for drinking, but a game of Ludo helped to pass the time. Following some Dinner there, and to my surprise, they had the Charity Shield Final on, so we stayed to watch Manchester United defeat Chelsea on penalties, before calling it a night.

The following day was an earlier start and we decided to hire ourselves a guy to ride us on his bicycle to Kraton. One of the charms of Yogya is to take a journey like this, where you are getting not only a ride but an invitation into the drivers house - many are so poor that they sleep in their carriages.

Used for transporting the sultan
A visit to Kraton had been the main goal throughout our stay in the city, but sadly i wasn't too impressed with what we had hung around to see. The images of grandeur in a Sultans Palace weren't really lived up to and some of the decorated rooms (white tiling) wouldn't have looked out of place in a toilet. Another problem lay in the fact that there were no English signs, thus we had very little idea of what we were looking at. We toyed with the idea of going back to hire a guide, but time was against us and we didn't want to shell out any more money.

After grabbing some lunch, we walked to the train station to catch our train to Surabaya. The ride took around 10 hours and wasn't helped by the fact that halfway through the journey, some guy stole Julia's seat when she went to the toilet.

A painted face in Kraton
There were other spare seats but she'd had 2 to herself so as we weren't crushed with all our bags. Seemingly the local guy who had no luggage needed this extra space.

Once in Surabaya we pulled out our untrustworthy Lousy Planet and set off walking to the hotel, which of course was much further than written. It was necessary to keep asking the locals where we were going, although most of them had never heard of it and one woman was adamant that she was going to show us to an ATM! Eventually we found a young guy on a motorbike who knew where it was and him and his friend very kindly gave us a free lift there (walking distance - yeah right!). To our frustration the hotel was full and the only other budget option was miles away.

Exhausted both mentally and physically, we decided it was fate and caught a taxi back to the train station, as we knew a train was shortly leaving to the town of Probolinggo.

Kraton - the sultans palace
Although it added another 2 hours to our journey, at least it put us another step closer to our eventual destination of Gunung Bromo. As the train left the city, it was again evident that the ir was a huge amount of homeless people. Java has a real problem with people coming to the larger citys in search of a better life and ending up with even less than what they arrived with. The train eventually arrived a little after 2am.

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Taking a ride down the main road t…
Taking a ride down the main road …
Used for transporting the sultan
Used for transporting the sultan
A painted face in Kraton
A painted face in Kraton
Kraton - the sultans palace
Kraton - the sultans palace
A chandelier in Kraton
A chandelier in Kraton
Legolas Dad?
Legolas' Dad?
Protectors of Kraton - the sign be…
Protectors of Kraton - the sign b…
Yogyakarta
photo by: siscalustiawati