This is a becak, or pedicab, in Yogyakarta. It was taken while out and about in the Indonesian city last January.
The kraton, or palace, of Yogyakarta is an interesting site as it hearkens to both pre-colonial and Dutch colonial Indonesia. The center of the Yogyakarta Sultanate, it has been a center of regional power since 1755 with the current building having existed since 1790. Today, the Special Region of Yogyakarta, a sort of autonmous territory which includes the city, is ruled by the Sultan, Hamengkubuwono X.
During our tour, which cost 15,000 rupiah (about 1 USD) with an English-speaking tour guide, we were guided through the palace grounds and given chances to take photos.
Above: the official seal of the monarchy.
Whenever I travel, I try to get an idea of the more mundane aspects of life in the place I’m visiting. Getting away from “touristy” areas (though this is hard sometimes), eating local food, and just observing and interacting with people is sometimes more fun for me as a photographer.
These are from Yogyakarta in central Java.
Above: a Catholic school lets out in a district near the Kraton, or Sultan’s palace.
Above: What seems to be a bulk snack food store in Kotagede, an older section of Yogyakarta.
Above: The “Jogja” (Yogyakarta) skyline in a residential area. Locals told me you can see Mt. Merapi on a clearer day.
Above: Residential neighborhood, Yogyakarta.
Above left: Neighborhood mosque, Yogyakarta. Right: Neighborhood, Yogyakarta.
Above: A busy market near Kotagede, Yogyakarta.
Above: A vendor in Yogyakarta.
Above: A pedicab, or becak in Yogyakarta.
Above left: Maliboro, the main shopping district in Yogyakarta fills at night. Right: Tugu Monument, which sits at a main intersection in Yogyakarta.
Above left: A girl leaves a nearby Islamic school in Kotagede. Right: A sign for what I think is an Islamic school in Kotagede.
Above: Kotagede near the river. Notice the mosque and speakers for prayer on the left. This also shows off the Javanese architecture which can also be seen in structures of other religions.
Not far from Borobudur is Prambanan, a similarly dated temple complex. Originally, it consisted of 240 temple structures, of which only a few remain. The largest and most important of these is devoted to the Hindu god Shiva, and roughly translates as the “Realm of Shiva.”
Architecturally, I was struck by how similar it is to Angkor Wat, which makes sense as both are Hindu temples. Like Borobudur, it also includes many bas reliefs of significant lore. Most important is probably the Ramayana, a great Hindu epic telling of a king’s daughter who is captured and rescued.