Making a Scene at Kraton

July 01, 2014 ASEAN Backpacking

Kraton is a Javanese word for Royal Palace.  The primary kraton of the Yogyakarta Sultanate is the Kraton Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat, which is also a popular tourist destination.  On any given day, Kraton is teeming with tourists.  

Like the day we decided to play dress up using traditional Indonesian costumes. Flocks of tourists and busloads of students were there to watch us parade inside Kraton.

Backpacking Tradition

This is the third year of our annual backpacking trip.  In 2012, on our Mekong Trip, we posed with girls donning traditional costumes at Angkor Wat.  In 2013, our Indochine Escapade, we decided to kick it up a notch higher by renting costumes at Wat Arun.

This year, in keeping with our tradition, we searched for a place in Yogyakarta that rents out traditional Indonesian costumes, spent hours finding and fitting costumes then finally brought the costumes to Kraton for our pictorial.

Costume Fitting

We arrived in Yogyakarta in the late afternoon.  We took a train from Jakarta then checked-in Edu Hostel.  After a little freshening up, we searched for Anna Salon.  Since I was not fit for long walks, I rented a becak and arrived at Anna Salon first.  

The negotiations were difficult because of the language barrier but it was pleasant.  I appreciated the owners' patience with our very merry group.  We spent hours deciding on our costumes.  I ended up choosing a pink one, which is my favorite color.  

After agreeing on the rates, we went back to our hotel to get some rest and decided to come back early the following day to get the costumes.

Well, early didn't happen.  We thought we would just drop by Anna Salon, get our costumes, then find a place near the Kraton to wear it.  Turns out, we needed more time as we were all assisted, one by one, in dressing up.  

Creating a Stir

I didn't expect Kraton to be that crowded.  I am not the kind of person who enjoys getting too much attention from people I do not know.  So, I tried to walk as inconspicuously as possible but that didn't happen.  As soon as we entered Kraton, tourists started taking our photos.  Some of my friends even gamely posed for them.

We tried looking for a quiet spot where we can have our individual and group photos taken but we were attracting too much attention.

Kraton has several low-lying buildings such as audience halls, museums, and the residences of the sultan and the queen. 

We ended up having our pictorials in these spots.

More pictorials at the Water Castle
We did spend a lot on our costume rental and we were really enjoying our photo sessions so we decided to go to Water Castle for more photos (which caused too much delay on our itinerary but that is another story).  
We had great photos.

Success! A tradition lives.

Well, we enjoyed it so much that none of us bothered to check the time, causing us to miss Prambanan, but it was ok.  We have a reason to visit Yogyakarta again.

I am actually looking forward to our 2015 backpacking trip and already wishing for another pink costume.

Other Good Travels