The old train station of Ambarawa was built in 1873 and was named “Willem I”. The station was mainly used for military transport and the transport of export goods to the port of Semarang. After the construction of the first track on Java in 1867, the railway network was continuously expanded by the Nederlandsch Indische Spoorweg Maatschappij (NISM). The station building was renovated in 1907 and a lot of wood and bamboo was replaced by bricks. The station served until 1976 and then continued as a museum. It is now Southeast Asia’s largest railway museum. At the old colonial-style station, about 25 old trains (steam trains, diesel locomotives and carriages) can be admired.
On weekends and holidays it is possible to take a special vintage train ride between Ambarawa and Tuntang. By travelling in this antique locomotive you imagine yourself back in time. This train journey is very popular. Tickets can be bought at the counter from 8:00 am and usually all tickets are sold out within 2 hours.
For real train enthusiasts or larger groups, it is even possible to rent an entire train for a nostalgic train journey.
Rubber and Coffee Plantation
There are several rubber and coffee plantations near Ambarawa. Here you can take a tour and get an explanation about the production process. In some places time seems to have stood still. Much is still happening in exactly the same way as 80 years ago. It is possible to spend the night at the plantation. A wonderfully relaxed stay. The products that are made on the plantation are for sale so that you can also enjoy them at home.
Excursion World War II
For many Dutch people, memories of the Second World War are linked to Ambarawa and Banyubiru (Banjoebiroe). Thousands of mainly women and children stayed here in Japanese captivity in internment camps.
The Japanese camps 6,7, 8 and 9 and the camp Soemowono were located in Ambarawa, the women’s camps 10 and 11 in Banyubiru.
There is a growing interest among the children and grandchildren of the victims to visit the places they have heard or read about. An expert guide will take you to the past.
Unfortunately we cannot visit all locations up close, but in some places we still find memories from the past. For example, we visit a memorial, in memory of the nuns who died in the war, at the cemetery near the ecclesiastical center.
In Banyubiru you can still find the old KNIL complex that was used by the Japanese as an internment camp during the Second World War (camp 10) and the buildings that were later built here (camp 11).
It is possible to adapt the itinerary this day to your personal family history or interests. Please let us know in advance which places are linked to your family history so that the tour can be adapted accordingly.
An adventurous tourist attraction was created a few years ago in the village of Sepakung near Banyubiru. A spectacular walkway (Ondo Langit) with fantastic views has been built along the mountain at a height of 45 meters. There is also the possibility to swing above the valley. Secured, of course, but a little courage is required.
Gedong Songo temples
These temples are among the oldest Hindu temples built in Java. They are older than the Prambanan and Borobudur and built around the year 750 in honor of Shiva.
Gedong Songo means “nine buildings”. Of the 9 temples, only 5 are left. The temples are located 100 to 200 meters apart on six hills on the slope of Mount Gunung Ungaran. The highest point of the temple complex is at 1308 meters. At the complex you will also find a hot water spring with sulfur. You can bathe here if you want.
The view is beautiful. In the afternoon it is often foggy, which makes the temple complex mysterious. The complex is best visited in the morning and for those who can get up early, the sunrise is really worthwhile. Due to the high location the atmosphere is cool and fresh.
At the complex you can rent a horse and visit the temples and the hot spring on horseback for 1 or 2 hours with a guide. The horses are not very big, but they are well cared for and listen well.
This place is not very touristy yet, with more local tourists only on weekends.
Goa Rong viewpoint
Enjoy a beautiful sunrise at Goa Rong. Fresh in the cool mountain air, the view becomes more and more breathtaking as it gets lighter.