Christ Church, Melaka, Malaysia. Image courtesy of Mike Aquino.
A 6-day, 5-night exploration of Southeast Asia's most venerable sultanates and their respective histories, from Yogyakarta in Indonesia to Melaka in Malaysia
From Yogyakarta's central "Tugu" monument, you'll find much of Java, Indonesia's ancient Javanese empires and their descendants in their well-preserved glory: from the majestic Buddhist mandala of Borobudur, with impassive Buddha statues staring out at the four cardinal directions; to the jigsaw-puzzle Hindu Prambanan Temple, with towering spires dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma.
In the present day, the Sultan of Yogyakarta still rules this "special region", and his presence can be felt at his home, the Keraton royal palace. Not far from the latter you'll find the remnants of a former Sultan's sybaritic getaway, the Taman Sari water palace.
From Yogyakarta, you'll jet out to Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, whose city center features a wealth of architectural marvels, including the Malaysian National Monument & ASEAN Garden Sculpture; the iconic Petronas Twin Towers; and historic buildings aplenty: the Mughal-inspired original Kuala Lumpur railway station building; the Islamic Arts Centre; and the buildings around Independence Square, including Masjid Jamek (Mosque).
After shopping for souvenirs at the Jadi Batek Handicrafts Centre, you'll proceed south to Melaka, the former seat of the Melaka Sultanate and a battleground for colonial rule. Melaka's rich history manifests in its venerable old buildings: St. Paul’s Church ruins, the Dutch-built Stadthuys and Christ Church; the Queen Victoria Fountain; and Cheng Hoon Teng Temple along Melaka's "Street of Harmony".
Finish the experience with a leisurely stroll down Jonker Street and an authentic Peranakan meal, in the very city where the Peranakan culture was born.
ASEAN Sculpture Park, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Image courtesy of Tourism Malaysia.
Borobudur, Magelang, Indonesia. Image courtesy of Mike Aquino.
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