History

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The Royal Palace of Yogyakarta

A pavilionOne of the pavilions in the Palace of Yogyakarta

The Palace(Kraton in Javanese) of Yogyakarta, serves as the official seat of the reigning Sultan of Yogyakarta. The palace holds official meetings, political functions and also serves as the royal residence. Built along the north-south axis, the Kraton Palace faces Merapi, the Sacred Mountain, and backs the Indian ocean, home of the mystical Indonesian Sea Queen.

The Palace of Yogyakarta
The Palace of Yogyakarta

Inside the Royal Palace of Yogyakarta

There is a cultural link between the palace compound and the people who live within it. The intricate designs in the pavilions, courtyards and placement of trees show the integration of the multiple faiths. Those that have had an influence over these parts of Indonesia. The central part of the palace boasts of Buddhist, Islamic and Hindu elements. The fine little details and treasures of the royal family, make it a must visit during your Yogyakarta tour.

The Palace of Yogyakarta stands guarded with the Kraton guards, dressed in the traditional attire. The custodians and their families have lived in the palace compound for generations as the inheritance of the job continues. Once a guard is too old to serve he is not asked to leave his service. Instead, the royal house continues to pay for his services until his last breath. This shows how deep the connection between the Kraton and its people goes!

Elderly men at the Kraton
Elderly men at the Kraton

The Palace remains closed to visitors in the evening so do talk to your local guide from Locaguide before a visit. Make a visit during the day to appreciate the history and architecture of the palace. Meanwhile, you may even get a chance to sample the royal cuisine at a couple of the restaurants that it.

The local taxi drivers often try to scam the tourists by making them take the wrong entrance leading to an unimpressive display. Make sure to ask your travel guide to accompany you to get the best of experience of the royal palace. Might as well ask the guide to translate the performances or shows you may ge to attend at the Royal Palace of Yogyakarata.

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Climb up Penang Hill on a Funicular Train

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Located at Air Itam, Penang Hill or Bukit Bendera is a mountain retreat and one of the most popular places to visit in Penang. Covered in lush green tropical forest, the surroundings of Penang Hill will truly bring you some peace of mind. The hill qualifies for a perfect getaway with family or friends.

How to get to the Penang Hill?

The most fascinating way to go up and down the hill is to take the funicular train. A fairly fast mode of transport, the rail track cuts through the forest taking just 5 to 10 minutes to reach. For adventure, try grabbing the seats at the bottom-most and topmost cabins while going uphill and downhill. Witness the city emerge before you as you go uphill and experience a roller coaster-like ride while going downhill.

Funicular Train taking you uphill
Funicular Train taking you uphill

Board the train at the base station of Air Itam and take in the views of the surrounding valleys as you go up. Once at the top, breathe in crisp cold air and immerse into the beautiful setting of the hill. You can also sip on some fresh juice or grab a bite at the restaurants on top of the hill. With a Skywalk and a few walking trails, the Penang Hill forms a good photographic location. Take a leisurely stroll to visit the temples and gardens or use the toy train service to go around.

Other attractions at the hill include a love padlock area, a viewing deck and a Curtis Crest, a walkway.

Vie from Penang Hill
A view from Penang Hill

Create a personalised Penang itinerary with Locaguide and talk to your designated travel guide on including a trip to Penang Hill. During your Penang city tour, do make it to the top of the hill with the funicular train ride. Make this your much-awaited place to visit because the journey seems as beautiful and exciting as the destination!

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CultureLocale

Immerse in the history of Pinang Peranakan Mansion

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If you are a history buff then on your tour to Penang, a visit to Pinang Peranakan Mansion is a must. While here, you can uncover the mysterious past of the Peranakans — descendants of Chinese immigrants. Over the years, the mansion gained popularity because of a drama series called “The Little Nyonya”.

About the Pinang Peranakan Mansion

A UNESCO heritage site, the Pinang Peranakan Mansion forms a living cultural museum. It came about from the marriage of the local Malay and the Chinese immigrants. But mainly restored and maintained to remind the world of the rich Peranakan heritage of Penang. The exterior and interiors of the mansion highlight the various cultures that influenced its architecture. The Pinang Peranakan Mansion still remains a masterpiece. It features the British tilework, Scottish iron weldings, European furniture and Chinese carved wood panels.

The Pinang Peranakan mansion
The Peranakan Mansion

Restored to showcase the living of the Chinese merchants of the 1890s, the mansion holds numerous stories to tell. A walk through the mansion is enough to lose yourself into a century-old lifestyle. The awe-worthy interiors will make you realise how elaborate and opulent the past lifestyle and traditions were. Inside the mansion, you can view everything; from jewellery to wedding attires to items of daily use.

Interiors of the Pinang Peranakan Mansion
How to visitA peek inside the mansion

How to visit?

The Pinang Peranakan Mansion conducts guided tours twice every day. So, we highly recommend you to take your own local tour guide along. Connect with a local travel expert on Locaguide and ask him to show you around the mansion. Without a helping hand, it is almost impossible to cover it entirely. He will show you the pieces that were used by the Peranakan families and explain the history behind them. Given the vastness of the mansion, visit the place early before the crowd starts pouring in. Thus, making yourself some time to indulge and soak in the glamour and grandeur of the mansion.

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A peek into local culture at Baba-Nyonya Museum

Baba-Nyonya Museum

Baba is the term used to refer to a Straits-born gentleman, while Nyonya is used to address a Straits-born lady. The Baba-Nyonya Museum in Malacca showcases the lives of the affluent families of the past. Built on restoring three townhouses, the museum shows the rich culture of the Peranakan homes before the World War.

About Baba-Nyonya Museum

Located on Millionaire’s street, the later generations of the original family maintained and restored the Baba-Nyonya Museum. As you walk in, you can spot the red lanterns on either side of the elaborate columns. One of the lanterns bears the household name while the other invites good luck into the house. Large intricately carved teakwood doors lead you inside the museum. Extensively covered in hand-painted tiles the house tells about the beliefs and traditions of the past.

Baba Chan Cheng Siew, a second generation Strait’s born Chinese established the house in the year 1985. Before turning the house into a museum, four generations of the Chan family lived here.

 Inside the Baba-Nyonga Museum
Baba-Nyonga Museum

The Victorian lamps and chandeliers show the extent to which the families flaunted their wealth. You can’t help but notice the detailed dark wooden furniture in the interior. The floral designed wrought iron castings outside the windows add to the extravaganza of the place. The museum holds numerous stories and the antiques show how well the immigrants adopted the traditions.

This heritage museum takes you back in time and makes up for one of the best attractions in Malacca. If the place eagers you then consider creating a customised itinerary with Locaguide. The local tour expert will walk you around and give the details of the museum. He may also help you interact with the family that lives there, and give you the chance to hear stories from them about their ancestors.

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A’Famosa Fort – A slice of Colonial History in Malacca

FortA'Fomosa Fort, Malacca

The Rich History of A’Famosa Fort

Built more than 500 years ago, the name A’Famosa Fort actually translates to The Famous Fort. Constructed by the Portuguese at the foot of St Paul’s Hill only a tiny part of the fort is still left standing. It is in the form of a small Gate House named Porta de Santiago making it a must visit attraction.

Canons, markings and graves show that the fort lived as a part of all the three colonies that ruled Malaysia. With every colonial rule, the Fort remained altered as per their likings to leave proof of the respective reigns. Also, changing the purpose of the fort. Built at the foot of St. Paul’s hill, the fort is located between the city of Malacca and the sea. Meanwhile, the neighbourhood has a village vibe and the fort extends the grandeur and royalty of the Portuguese era.

A Photography retreat

The fort is a perfect spot for photography and the ruins of the fort lend an almost tragic stricken feeling. Take your time to explore and learn about the fort on your walk around capturing history in your photos. Moreover, it goes without saying that the A’Famosa Fort has a lot of history associated with it. This comes to light if you have the patience to dig deep. 

Ruins of A'Famosa Fort
Ruins of A’Famosa Fort

With so much to see and learn here, make sure to include the A’Famosa Fort in your itinerary. Build a personalised itinerary with Locaguide and plan a trip to this historic site. Upon exploring the fort you can take a leisurely walk around the neighbourhood. Shop for souvenirs or savour at the food stalls set up across the street. As the sunset nears trek uphill for a view of the mesmerizing city of Malacca. Thus, the visuals of the sun setting over the sea brings a perfect end to the tour.

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The Malay-style Melaka Sultanate Palace

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The Sultanate Palace built at the base of St Paul’s Hill in Malacca forms an identical replica of the original 15th-century palace. It is a cultural museum, home to the Malay side of Malacca’s history and a prominent cultural icon in this part of Malaysia.

Exploring the Sultanate Palace

As you walk in, the sultanate palace requires you to remove your footwear outside and enter the building bare feet. Moreover, the palace gives you a glimpse into the rich past of the region. Relive the curiosity the locals felt upon seeing the immigrants and traders in their costumes. Along your way, you will the mannequins dressed as traders from across the seas.

The sultanate palace
The sultanate palace

The museum also displays the local tools used for daily activities and recreational purposes. As you walk through the palace note if you can spot any nails used for building the palace. You won’t find because the whole place employs the traditional method of ingeniously carved wood that fits together! Furthermore, you can check out the grand throne room and learn about the life of the Malay heroes. Once outside the palace building, you can cherish the gorgeous gardens built around it. Known as the “forbidden garden”, the Sultan built the museum for his harem.

A Guided Experience

Not sure how to make sense of all this history? Opt for a guided tour with a local travel guide from Locaguide. He/She will share the tales associated with the kings, royals and the palace. Moreover, the artefacts and architecture on display at the palace allow you to sense the grand lives of the royals. Also, shows how they spent their time all those years back.

At the end of this tour find yourself witnessing and reliving all the grandeur and royalty of Malacca Sultanate Palace. Unwind and shop for souvenirs or gorge on some local food at the end of your city tour.

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The Iconic St. Paul’s Church of Malacca

St. Paul's Church 2

St. Paul’s Church makes up for one of the most interesting attractions because of its ruins. So, make sure that you do not miss it on your tour to Malacca. Built some 500 years ago it sits peacefully on top of the St. Paul’s Hill. The St. Paul’s Church church ranks as one of the first churches built in Malaysia because its past remains deeply rooted in history.

Ruins of St. Paul's church
Ruins of the St. Paul’s church

Discovering the St. Paul’s Church

With locals setting up food and souvenir stalls on the way uphill may seem a bit crowded. The St. Paul’s Church’s sight forms a popular spot for photography, gorging on some mouth-watering street food and buying souvenirs. Walk past the crowd so that you can relish the grandeur of the church and learn more about its history.

St. Paul's Church in the back and St Francis Xavier Statue in the front
St. Paul’s Church in the back and St Francis Xavier Statue in the front

Take your time to explore and absorb the vibe of the spiritual antiquity of the place. Despite being in ruins, the St. Paul’s Church still holds the majestic vibe of the Dutch era. Discover the Church’s history right from the Dutch to the British period to the Sultanate’s gain and loss of power. Walk around the church and look for signs which give you the proof of stories from the past. The sight of St Francis Xavier statue and it’s lost arm adds to the ancient history of the place. Not only does the stained glass enhance the mystic appeal of the church but also shows the recent additions to the place.

Given the rich and extensive history of the church, hiring a local travel guide would seem a good idea. Build a customised itinerary and find a local guide from Locaguide to show you around the St. Paul’s Church. While the church takes you back in time, the view from St. Paul’s Hill shows the modern beauty of the city. So, your extra walk uphill does not go in vain because the view that it offers is worth it!

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Explore Royal History at The Taman Sari Water Palace

Taman Sari Water Palace

The Taman Sari Water Palace is the site of the royal garden of the Sultanate of Yogyakarta. It dates back to the mid 18th century. Once used as a place to rest, work, meditate, hide and defend the Sultanate and his family from the yesteryears. Most of the buildings now serve as accommodation or commercial space for the local residents. Visit this royal palace during your trip to Yogyakarta to discover tales of the past from the locals. Tales as old as the days when Taman Sari belonged to the royalties of Yogyakarta.

How to get to The Taman Sari Water Palace

Undoubtedly one of the most popular places, you can reach the Taman Sari by cab or a short walk. Opt for a local travel guide from the Locaguide portal. Your guide will help you on the short walk to the palace from Kraton. Upon reaching walk around to explore the grounds and your guide will take you through the historical journey of the palace.

Taman Sari Water Castle

Taman Sari Water Castle

The water castle shows a unique infusion of eastern and western concepts of architecture. The unique garden of the Royals holds a mosque, a fort, a meditation space, and a man-made lake. A series of underground tunnels connect the structures on the islands in the lake. Each feature of the Taman Sari Water Palace comprehended a particular ritual and its use during the Sultanates rule. Learn the local names of each area, their use and stories surrounding them from the guide.

If history and architecture excite you, then make sure to soak in Indonesia’s royal past at the Taman Sari Royal Palace. Include a day-long trip to the perfumed gardens of the palace during your Yogyakarta tour for an exciting exploration. The place is also a spectacle for all the photography enthusiasts.

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