Exploration by Becak gives a new perspective of the wonderful Yogyakarta. The historical and cultural highlights are visited in half a day while your driver seamlessly navigates through traffic and to the city’s famed sights.
What is more Yogyakarta than a Becak? The local name of a rickshaw is a very familiar means of transportation in this city and one will soon see many local residents being driven around to get from point A to B. The Becak offers space for two persons, although tight, and are ideal pedalled-powered - and environmental friendly - vehicles that offer unobstructed views above the clear blue sky. For this morning tour through and around Kota Gede, we hop on one and see the marvels of days gone by.Our tour commences at Kota Gede, one of the more upmarket areas of the city. It has been the beating heart of the sliver industry since the 1930-ies and still bears landmarks that refer to its former days as the capital of the Mataram Kingdom. The founding father of Kota Gede - Panembahan Senopati – places the first stone in 1582 and still has the feeling of a stand-alone community within greater Yogyakarta. One of the interesting sights we will pass by the oldest mosque in the region, and the Bumen Village and Kembang Waru, where traditional techniques are used for baking bread. A stop at the Pasar Gede (or Pasar Legi) local market cannot be skipped. The street is lined up with silver shops and ateliers, showcasing the craftsmanship of local artisans.From here, we head down to the Royal Cemetery (closed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays). There are a few places that are considered sacred and one of these places is where the remains of the first King of Mataram and his family are laid to rest. Proper, Javanese dress code is compulsory but we will make sure that you will be dressed appropriately to enter this place of serenity, pilgrimage and where locals tend to find a moment of peace. The history behind the cemetery is rather interesting that has made an impact on the development of Yogyakarta nowadays so we would not like to skip this part.Finally, our Becak driver for the morning makes a stop at a Joglo - a traditional, vernacular house that is a common design among Javanese families and still represents Javanese culture and its way of living. The word comes from the shape of the roof which represented in the older days the economic and social status of a family. Our day regretfully comes to an end and we drive you back to your downtown Yogyakarta hotel.