Solo (Surakarta)

Solo or Surakarta

Surakarta (also called Solo) is located on the eastern slope of the Merapi volcano near the Bengawan Solo river. The city has about 580,000 inhabitants and is densely populated.

Together with Yogyakarta, Surakarta is considered the heart of Javanese culture, full of rituals, traditions and art.

After the division of the Mataram Empire in 1755, two principalities arose: one in Surakarta and one in Yogyakarta. The name of the city of Solo was then changed to Surakarta.

Surakarta tour
Surakarta Royal palace

At Indonesia’s independence, the Sunan of Surakarta, unlike the Sultan of Yogyakarta, sided with the Dutch, causing the Sunan of Surakarta to lose its political power.

The Sultanate in Surakarta mainly focuses on Javanese art such as batik art, Javanese dance and wayang kulit (shadow puppetry).

Within Surakarta there are two royal houses: The Kraton of Susuhunan Paku Buwono (Kraton Hadiningrat built in 1745) and the Kraton of Sultan Mangkunegaran (built in 1787).

Sunan Palace; Kraton Hadiningrat

The Susuhunan Paku Buwono craton is a bit like the Yogyakarta craton built ten years earlier. Here too the kraton is “a city within a city”. The courtyard has sand from the southern beach of Java and symbolizes the union between the kraton and the queen of the South Sea (Ratu Loro Kidul). The rest of the palace is also full of symbolism. The buildings, shapes and colors everything has a symbolic meaning. This makes a guided tour very special.

Mangkunegaran Palace

chauffeur Java Solo
Driver in Solo

Mangkunagara’s kraton is built entirely of teak without using a nail. The museum in the hall of the kraton houses the private collection of Mangkunegara IV: antiques, jewelry, coins, wayang dolls and beautiful kerises. Mangkunagaran Palace has been well preserved.

The kraton comes to life with a guide who can explain the background of all objects with beautiful stories.

Gladak

The Gladak district is home to Surakarta’s most important colonial buildings. There is an old fort (Vastenburg) barracks, churches, old European houses and hotels.

Antique Market

Pasar Triwindhu, is a well-known antiques and flea market. The market has been around since 1939 and was established in honor of the inauguration of the new Susoehoenan (Sultan) of Solo.

Anything older than 50 years is considered antiques, but many products are expertly counterfeit replicas that can hardly be distinguished from real antiques; sought after by visitors because of the lower price. The replicas are beautifully made. Ideal as original souvenirs. It is wonderful to roam around here. Practice smiling and haggling.

Sometimes cultural events are organized at the market.

Pasar Gede

Pasar Gede Hardjonagoro is a commodity market located in the old Chinese quarter. Pasar Gede means “big market”. The market is located in an Art Deco complex with Javanese influences and was designed in 1923 by Dutch architect Karsten. The building has been designed to stay cool and can accommodate more than 1000 merchants. It has already been rebuilt twice after a fire and each time restored to its original state. Here you will find vegetables, fruits, herbs and also local traditional delicacies.

China Town

The Chinese Quarter in Solo has been around since 1745. Today, about 4000 people live in this district, half of whom are of Chinese origin. The Chinese holidays, for example Chinese New Year, are celebrated here extensively. There are parades and the streets are decorated with thousands of lanterns. Tien Kak Sie temple is Surakarta’s oldest Chinese temple and is dedicated to Kwam-Im, goddess of mercy.

Grand Mosque

The great mosque (Masjid Agung) was built between 1763 and 1768 and is attached to the kraton. The mosque was built entirely according to regulations from the old Javanese architecture.

Historical excursion through old Solo

Make it easy for yourself and take a tour of old Solo with a guide who can tell you all about the historic buildings designed by architect Karsten, the palaces of the local monarchs, the antiques market and main market, the mosque and China Town. With a guide, the past comes to life and the background stories allow you to see the city with different eyes.

Hidden culture tour

Surakarta, together with Yogyakarta, is the center of Javanese culture. The culture is still vividly present in the daily life of the residents of the city. Join a guide through the city and let yourself be surprised. Visit the workshops of, for example, a keris maker, see how a gamelan (musical instrument) is made, see how the leather puppets of the puppetry come to life, and how batik is made. Visit a dance and music school and the place where gemstones (each with their own symbolic meaning) are traded.

Cycling through the villages

A very nice tour to get acquainted with the local culture is this bike tour through the surroundings from Surakarta. You will cycle through the rice fields, stopping along the way at small family businesses that make traditional products such as tofu, tempe, gamelan, roof tiles, and arak (spirits).

On the way, the Bengawan Solo River (the longest river in Java and sung by many singers) is crossed by ferry. After the excursion you will be offered a lunch with local dishes. Obviously made by the locals.

Steam train

In the old steam train with wooden wagons you imagine yourself 100 years back in time. The Jaladara steam train rides through the city every morning. The tour starts at Purwosari train station and ends at Sangkrah station. You will receive an explanation of what to see along the way in English.

Museums

Radya Pustaka Museum

This museum is the second oldest museum in Indonesia and founded in 1890. Here you will find literature in Old Javanese but also in Dutch, antique objects such as gamelan, krissen, and wayang puppets. The museum is small and simple, but full of interesting objects.

The National Press Museum

This museum provides an insight into the history of Indonesian media from colonial times to the present day. It is located in a colonial building from 1918.

Danar Hadi Batik Museum

Housed in a beautiful traditional Javanese building, you can learn all about batik in this museum. The museum has an impressive collection of antique textiles. And the museum pieces come not only from Indonesia, but also from other parts of Asia. It shows exactly how batik is made.

Keris Museum

The museum has 350 antique cherries from different parts of Indonesia. In the museum you can also admire spears (tombak), swords (pedang) and knives (badik). The oldest keris in the collection dates from the 7th century. The museum was opened in 2017 by President Joko Widido, after the Keris was recognized by the United Nations (UNESCO) as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Sangiran Museum of Early Man

Sangiran has been inhabited for a million and a half years. Excavations in Sangiran between 1936 and 1941 led to the discovery of the first hominin fossil. Since then, 50 more fossils have been found here. This is half of all known hominin fossils in the world. These finds are very important to understand the history of evolution. In 1996 Sangiran was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site

Surabaya

chauffeur surabaya

Surabaya

Surabaya

Surabaya is the second largest city in Indonesia after Jakarta and has 3.5 million inhabitants.

The story goes that the name of the city was taken from a fight between a shark (sura) and a crocodile (baya), but it is more likely that the name comes from the phrase “sura ing bhaya” which means “the courage to face danger”.
The city is not very popular with tourists, but it certainly has some interesting places to visit. Many Dutch people have their roots in Surabaya, which makes it interesting to look for history.

High Tea at the Majapahit hotel

Hotel Majapahit

The Majapahit hotel is more than a hotel. It is a well-known meeting place with an interesting history. The hotel is located in a beautiful colonial building. Construction started in 1910 and the hotel opened in 1936. The Belgian Crown Prince and Charlie Chaplin were present.
This used to be the well-known Orange hotel and until 1969 this hotel was owned by the Armenian Lucas Sarkies.
The hotel is mentioned in all the history books in Indonesian schools. During the Japanese occupation, the hotel became the headquarters of the Japanese troops and after the capitulation the Dutch flag was raised here again. In September 1945, the blue strip of the Dutch flag was removed and the Dutch flag changed to the Indonesian flag.

In the hotel you can eat delicious food and look around and of course also spend the night in style.Santa Maria Church

Catholic Church of the Santa Maria

This church was built in 1899 in Dutch style. Since 1998, the building has been designated as a cultural heritage site. The church has beautiful stained glass windows.

Kembang Kuning Cemetery

Ereveld Surabaya

More than 5000 war victims are buried on Kembang Kuning (literally “yellow flower”) cemetery, including the civilian victims of the camps in East Java, as well as soldiers. The Java Sea Battle memorial is in the middle of the cemetery. In February 1942, 915 naval men lost their lives in the Java Sea in an attempt to stop the Japanese. Only a few victims of this battle are buried here. Most of them were given sailors’ graves. Their names are inscribed on a bronze plate at the back of the monument.

Sampoerna Museum

A cigarette museum is not the first thing you think of when you go on holiday, but the Sampoerna museum is a special museum, interesting, and with an intersting story.

Sampoerna’s house was built in 1862 as an orphanage. Later it was converted into a theater and cinema where Charlie Chaplin was also a guest.
In 1932, the building was purchased by the founder of the Sampoerna cigarette factory. Since 2003 it is possible to visit the building and see how the  cigarettes (including kretek) are made. There is also a museum and a shop and a good restaurant. The museum is well managed and well maintained.

What makes it special is that it is possible a  to take a look at the factory hall from a balcony, where the workers manually roll cigarettes at an enormous speed. The fastest employees roll 4000 cigarettes a day.

Bank Indonesia Museum

The Museum Bank Indonesia is a museum in the old building of the Javansche bank in Surabaya. The Javansche bank was founded in Surabaya in 1829. A new building was built in 1903 by the architects Cuypers and Marius J. Hulswit in a beautiful neo-Renaissance style. Until 1973, the building served as a bank. It was restored in 2012 and is now a museum.

It is a modest museum in a beautiful building. One of the highlights, for example, is the old vault with a safe from Dordrecht.
(like most museums it is closed on Mondays).

Bank Mandiri Museum (Escompto)

city tour Surabaya

Not far from the Javansche bank used to be the Escompto bank (now the Bank Mandiri). The building was built in 1928. Like the Javansche bank, this building was also designed by the Dutch architect Marius J. Hulswit.

The Escompto bank was founded on August 22, 1857.  The Indonesian government took over this bank in 1960 and changed its name to Bank Dagang Negara, after which Bank Dagang Negara was merged into Bank Mandiri on October 9, 1998.

Although a lot has changed on the outside of the building, the inside is still old style.

Zangrandi ice cream shop

Zangrandi ijssalon Surabaya
Zangrandi Ice Cream Surabaya

Roberto Zangrandi ran a successful ice cream shop in Surabaya between 1930 and 1960. In Dijkermanstraat (now Jl. Yos Sudarso) he and his wife delighted visitors with the famous Tutti Frutti ice cream, Banana Split and other classics.

The low table and the red and beige chairs are still the same and the recipe remains the same. When the Zangrandi couple decided to return to their home country in 1960, they sold the ice cream shop. Old recipes remain and new flavors have been added. A lovely place to enjoy ice cream.

Majid Al Akbar

Al Akbar Surabaya

The Al Akbar Mosque was built between 1995 and 2000. It is the second largest mosque in Indonesia. It is a beautiful building, majestic and impressive with beautiful details. The minaret beside the mosque is 99 meters high, is a poem to the 99 names of Allah and can be climbed. From the tower you have a beautiful view of the city. There is a lift available, so even if you have trouble walking this shouldn’t be a hindrance. There are no official tours.

Mpu Tantular Museum

The Mpu Tantular Museum was founded by Godfried Hariowald von Faber in 1933 as “Stedelijk Historisch Museum Soerabaia”. The current name refers to the Javanese poet and thinker Mpu Tantular who lived in the 14th century. The museum is located in a beautiful building and shows a lot of the history of Surabaya. There are often interesting exhibitions and meetings.

City tour

Chinatown Surabaya Surbaya is even more fun with a guide. Discover the diversity of the city. For example, in Surabaya there is an old European quarter, an Arab quarter and a Chinese quarter with a rich history and culture.

The inhabitants are welcoming and friendly. You can eat well at the many stalls along the way.

Malang

Malang private driver

City tour Malang

Malang

About 1 million people live in Malang. The city is relatively cool because the city is located a few hundred meters above sea level. The city is spacious with wide avenues and lots of green. Many old buildings in Art deco style have been preserved, which gives the city a great atmosphere. Architect Karsten was closely involved in the design of the city. He was an architect who cares about the environment and ​​human values.  He had a great love for Javanese culture.

There are several markets and great shops to visit. In the center is a square (alun-alun) with a Mosque, Catholic and Protestant church. In the neighborhood around the square there are still many houses from the colonial era. The oldest house that can still be found in this area was built in 1870. On theplates with the names of the streets, you will also find the old Dutch name in addition to the Indonesian name.

Sacred Heart Church

The Sacred Heart Church (Hati Kudus Yesus) is also known as the Kayutangan Church.

Kayutangan literally means “wooden hand” after the old name of the neighborhood where the church is located. The story goes that the name of the district is based on an old wooden sign that once stood here in the shape of a hand.

The church was built in 1905 by the Dutch architect Hulswit.

Emmanuel Church

On the other side of the square is Immanuel Church, a Protestant church with a tower built in 1861. The church itself was rebuilt in 1912. Two old bibles from 1618 are preserved in this church.

Malang cycling tour Mosque Agung Jami’

Next to the Immanuel church is a mosque. This mosque was built in 1890 in Javanese style. Later, the front was rebuilt in Arabic style. On Friday around one o’clock it is very busy because of the Friday prayers; sometimes people even pray outside.

And Ang Kiong temple

This beautiful Chinese temple was built in 1825 for the Chinese community in Malang. the name of the temple literally means: “The palace of redemption in God’s eternity”. For centuries people with a Chinese background have lived on Java.

Until the early 20th century they were obliged to live in separate neighborhoods. This temple is beautifully decorated. Red and yellow predominate because these colors bring good luck. Followers of Buddhism, Confusionism and Taoism use this temple.

kampung pelangi Kampung Pelangi

Kampung Pelangi (rainbow village) is located right on the banks of the river Brantas. In 2016, students came up with the idea to paint the kampung in different colors to not only renovate the kampung but also to attract tourists so that the mostly poor residents of this neighbourhood had more opportunities to earn some extra money. Partly due to Instagram, it became a great success. An adjacent kampung has painted a number of three-dimensional paintings on the walls of the houses. The two kampungs are connected by a glass suspension bridge over the Brantas River. These neighbourhoods are well worth a visit.


-Tip-

Bicycle tour through the old center

By cycling through quiet streets and alleys in the “kampungs” and parks in Malang you will get to know the city in a completely different way. Meet friendly people and visit the bird and flower markets. You will cycle along the river and through the old Dutch quarter. This tour can be done with an English speaking guide.
It is also fun to explore Malang on foot or by becak.


Back in history

Toko Oen

toko oen malang
city tour malang

Toko Oen in Malang was opened in 1934 and at that time this was a favorite meeting place where people could enjoy delicious Dutch food. Toko Oen in Malang is currently no longer run by the descendants of the Oen family.

The menu still features dishes from the Dutch era. However, many people only come to enjoy the atmosphere and a cup of coffee.

Ingill restaurant

In this restaurant you can eat delicious Javanese food while enjoying the interior, with many historical photos and attributes. It almost looks like a small museum.

Hotel Tugu

In the heart of Malang you find this special 5-star Tugu Hotel. This hotel is more than a hotel. This hotel is very stylish and is beautifully decorated with art treasures. The hotel is located in an old colonial villa. The owner is one of Indonesia’s most famous art collectors. In the hotel you can admire a beautiful collection of Javanese, Chinese and Dutch antiques.

Panji Museum

This museum has been open since 2012 and was first located in the center of the city. A local history lover has established an interesting private museum with many ancient objects. Wayang dolls, some of which are more than 100 years old, objects of the Javanese nobility in Malang and photographs from colonial times are part of the collection. After a visit to the museum you can cool off in the swimming pool in the museum gardens, in a beautiful atmosphere or take a walk through a sculpture garden along the river.

D’Topeng Museum in Batu

Topeng means “mask” in the Indonesian language. The museum’s collection has much more than just masks. Here you can find many artifacts that are centuries old. The objects mainly come from Java, but also from other parts of Indonesia. It is a well-maintained museum. A guide is available for larger groups. Individual groups can follow a self-guided tour via an app on your phone (bring your own earphones).

Close to Malang

Coban Pelangi

Coban Pelangi Malang
malang tour

The waterfall “Coban Pelangi” is located in a beautiful piece of jungle. After a walk of 700 meters you will see the 30 meter high water. A beautiful sight. Especially around noon because at this time you have a good chance of seeing a rainbow above the cliff. The name of the waterfall literally means “rainbow waterfall” for a reason. The waterfall is located about 1400 meters above sea level, so the wheather is often nice and fresh. You can paddle in the water, in nature between the bird sounds.

Waterfall Tumpak Sewu

Tumpak Sewu means “a thousand together” and that is exactly what you will see: in a semicircle water falls from about 100 meters high everywhere: a thousand waterfalls next to each other.

tumpak Sewu
tumpak sewu waterfall

It is a brisk one hour walk from the parking lot to the waterfall Tumpak Sewu. The waterfall is very impressive and located in the middle of nature. It is not without reason that it can be busy here on the weekends.
At the waterfall it is possible to climb all the way down via many steep stairs and ladders to admire the waterfall from below. There it is possible to walk along the water to Goa Tetes in about 45 minutes. Goa Tetes is another waterfall that flows down a rocky slope. You will also find caves with stalagmites and stalactites. From Goa Tetes you can climb up via a less steep staircase. You can of course also choose to start the tour at Goa Tetes. Consult with your driver what is the most convenient.

It is cool here because of the altitude. In the morning there may still be some fog. Good shoes and a rain poncho or towel are not a luxury.

Pangandaran

Pangandaran

Pangandaran is located on a peninsula on the South coast of Java. The village is traditionally a fishing village and you can enjoy fresh fish in one of the fish restaurants. Pangandaran is located directly on the beach where almost every day you can see a beautiful sunset. Just before sunset flying dogs (big bats) fly over to look for a place to sleep in the jungle.

Close to this friendly village you can enjoy many activities in the beautiful nature. In the national park on the peninsula you can find century old jungle with many different animal species.

Green Canyon

Green Canyon (Cukang Taneuh)

The Green Canyon is magic.  You sail in a traditional boat on the turquoise water between the beautiful green jungle and rocks. The rocks are getting narrower and you feel one with nature. The beautiful green surroundings at the edges of the gorge, waterfalls and many different birds and animals will keep on surprising you. At the end of the canyon there is the opportunity to swim in the cave and climb the rocks. A trip you will remember for the rest of your life.

Green Valley (Citumang)

In the Green Valley you can body raft through a cave, jump from rocks and take a shower under a waterfall. Let yourself be carried away by the current in a life jacket. In the meantime, enjoy tropical atmosphere and experience the beauty of the rainforest in a unique way.

Santirah river tubing

The Santirah river is a great place for body rafting as well. This place is more upstream and located deeper in the jungle than the Green Valley and therefore a good alternative if the water level in the Green Valley is too high.

Float quietly through the jungle in a life jacket and enjoy the sounds of the jungle.

Pananjung National Park
Pangandaran Tour

National Park

In the national park you can take a hike through the forest and can spot many different animals like macaques, monkeys, deer, iguanas, toucans. There are even caves with porcupines and bats. You will also find various plants you might know because you keep them  yourself indoor, or are used to make your furniture such as rattan, ficcus, hibiscus, teak trees, etc.

In the forest there are still some traces of history.  Dont be surprised if you find an old Japanese bunker from the Second World War or a temple from an old Sundanese kingdom. The forest ends in a beautiful white beach.


-Tip-

Go with a guide through the national park and take a real jungle tour. Be surprised by the many different plants and animals that still live and grow here in peace.


 

Batu Karas (Surfing)

Batu Karas is about 30 km from Pangandaran and is a wonderful place to learn how to surf. Batu Karas isn’t as touristic as Bali yet. Here you can enjoy delicious food at the local eateries, chat with the fishermen and get taste the old authentic atmosphere.
Surfboards are available for rent.

Ijen

ijen mountain tour

The Ijen volcano is 2250 meters high and has a crater lake with a very high sulfur content, which makes the water turn turquoise. With a diameter of 1 kilometer and a depth of 200 meters, it is the largest acidic crater lake in the world.

At night, a blue fire can sometimes be seen in the crater of the volcano. It is the largest blue fire area on Earth. The flames can reach a height of five meters and reach a temperature of 600 degrees Celsius. The blue fire arises because sulfuric acid escaping from the soil ignites after it comes into contact with the oxygen in the air.

The government requires touristsIjen blue fire tour to drive a jeep to the beginning of the park. It is a 2-hour walk from the park entrance to the crater lake. For tourists it is mandatory to do this under the supervision of a guide. The climb to the top is quite tough. Due to the height it can get cold (be sure to bring a jacket). You can rent a gas mask for the sulfur fumes.

Sulfur has been extracted at the edge of the lake since 1968. The solidified sulfur is chopped up and carried down by about 300 carriers in baskets. The carriers carry between 75kg and 90kg first up from the crater and then 3km down. They make the trip twice a day.

On the westside of the crater lake a dam was built around 1920 to prevent the toxic water from the lake from flowing over the lower farmland. This dam itself is difficult to reach.

Since National Geographic, the BBC and Al Jazeera broadcast documentaries about the extraordinary blue fire, tourism to the volcano has increased. It can be busy in the high season, especially on weekends.

Bogor

bogor botanical garden

Bogor

Bogor is a big city (around one million inhabitants) located close to Jakarta. Bogor is on the route from Jakarta to Bandung and is best known for its botanical gardens. Due to its location, 300 meters above sea level, Bogor is on average cooler than for example, Jakarta.

Botanical gardens

Background

Bogor station

In 1744, Governor General Baron van Imhoff had his country house built in Bogor (then called Buitenzorg). At the beginning of the 19th century, Governor Thomas Stanford Raffles, who briefly controlled the Dutch Indies on behalf of the English government, designed and planted an English-style botanical garden behind this country house. The wife of Raffles died in Bogor in 1814 and in her memory a monument was erected in the gardens. The botanical garden was opened in 1817. The old country retreat is now one of the five presidential palaces and is called Istana Bogor.
Deer in the gardens surrounding the palace descend from six deer that were transferred from Europe 200 years ago. More than 15,000 plant species can be found in the botanical gardens of Bogor. The gardens are visited by many local tourists, especially in the weekend.


-Tip-

Local guide

The gardens are large and the signes to show you the way are not always clear. Hiring a local guide is therefore advisable. Also to ensure you do not miss the stories that make the gardens interesting.


botanische tuin Bogor

 Myths

There are too many beautiful and special places to discover.

Two large trees, both planted in 1866, are called “happy couple trees”. They have been standing side by side for over 150 years, their roots connected to each other. This created the myth that when two lovers sit under these trees, their love will last forever.
Not all myths have such a happy end: If you come to the Botanical Gardens with your partner, make sure that you do not cross the most Southern bridge together. This bridge is called “the broken heart bridge”. According to the myth, relationships do not survive if you walk this bridge together.

At the bamboo gardens you will find an old Dutch cemetery, with the oldest grave originating from 1784. The orchid garden is beautiful, various orchid species from all over Indonesia are brought together. The pond with the enormous water lilies is also impressive. The floating leaves of the water lily can get a diameter of up to 3 meters and the flowers can reach a height of 40 cm. The first day the lilies bloom, they are white, the next day pink.

Gamelang Foundry

If you have the time, this gamelan workshop is definitely worth a short stop. Here you see real craftsmen at work. The family you visit have been a gong and gamelan makers for six generations (more than 370 years). In the heat the metal (iron, brass and copper) is processed into beautiful gongs and gamelans. There is no obligation or pressure to buy anything, they are proud to show you their craftsmanship. A voluntary tip will be appreciated.

Wayang workshop

If you like Wayang dolls and beautiful stories, this workshop is highly recommended. The current owner learned the trade from his grandfather and since 1976 he has also been making the most beautiful Wayang dolls himself. His son learned the craft an  now is also an experienced Wayang maker. In Indonesia there are different types of Wayang dolls. The typical West Javanese dolls are made in this workshop (in the shape of real dolls). Father and son are working on one doll for a few days. The doll is cut out of light white wood by hand. The dolls’ clothing is in beautiful traditional style. Father and son can tell fascinating stories about their work. The workshop is located in a residential area, which makes the visit extra special.

Puncak Pass

When you leave Bogor and head for Bandung, the road climbes in the mountains to the Puncak pass at an altitude of around 1500 meters. Especially on the weekends it is very busy with local tourists looking for fresh air in the mountains, which can lead to traffic jams. At the highest point you have a beautiful view, although this is more and more hindered by the construction of new shops and eateries along the road.

Oeroeg

From the Puncak pass you can take a short walk to the volcanic lake Telaga Warna. This lake is known because of the book “Oeroeg” by Hella S. Haasse. In the book this little lake is called “Telaga Hideung”.  The father of Oeroeg drowns in this lake when he gets entangled in the water plants. In reality, according to many, the real lake is less impressive than the way Hella Haase describes it in her book.

Bogor gardenGardens of Cibodas

After the Puncak, the road descends again. There are many tea fields in this area. You will pass another botanical garden. The garden of Cibodas. These gardens are less known and are even higher up hill than the gardens of Bogor and are therefore even cooler (on average 18-20 degrees). These gardens were established in 1852 as an annex to the gardens in Bogor. You can also enjoy hiking here. Along the way with a little luck you will see some monkeys

Bandung

bandung city tour

Bandung

Paris on Java

Bandung used to be known as “Paris on Java” because of the beautiful lanes, the art-deco architecture and many shops and galleries.

Jalan Braga BandungBandung is also a big city. It is the third city in Indonesia with around 2.5 million inhabitants. The city, which is surrounded by tea plantations and mountains, originates from the begin of the 19th century when Gouvernor Daendels built the “Groote Postweg” (Great PostRoad). After the construction of the railroad in 1880, the city was truly developed. There were even plans to make Bandung the nation’s capital. For this reason, many buildings were built around 1920in the typical art-deco style.. Many of these colonial buildings have been preserved (although sometimes a little searching must be done among all new buildings).The climate is cooler than in other Java because the city is located at an altitude of 750 meters.

This makes Bandung a popular city to visit.

Bandung’s environment is also beautiful. In the mountains there are many viewpoints, vulcano’s and hiking opportunities.

Art-deco architecture

Homann hotel BandungJalan Braga (formerly called Bragaweg also called Karreweg and Pedatiweg) was a side street of the Grote Postweg and in the colonial period was a luxury shopping street where the elite, who became rich because of their tea plantations, liked to shop. Many old buildings can still be found on this street. There are still many who shop here. People especially come for cheap designer clothes.
Hotel Grand Hotel Preanger and Savoy Homann are two colonial buildings built in the art-deco style. They are in the old Postweg (now Asia-Africa Road). Hotel Preanger has a small museum. In 1929, Sukarno, then an architecture student, helped renovate the hotel.
These hotels are also very suitable for lunch in a colonial atmosphere.

Bandung Bank IndonesiaThe Savoy Homann hotel is famous since 1871 and was especially known for the delicious rice table Mrs. Homann liked to make. People came from afar to eat and spend the night here. In 1939 the hotel was completely replaced by a (for that time) very modern building, designed by architect Albert Aalbers. The outside of the building has not changed since 1939 and the authentic elements (Art Deco floor tiles and stained glass windows) are also still present at  the inside of the hotel.
Several famous people have slept in the hotel: Charlie Chaplin, Soekarno, Ho Chi Minh, and Willem-Alexander. The writer F. Springer wrote his book Bandoeng-Bandung here.

Back in the days Gedung Merdeka used to be the building of the colonial society “Concordia”. In 1955 the famous international “Bandung Conference” between Asian and African countries took place. Now it is a museum, dedicated to this conference.

The building “Gedung saté” was built in 1920 and housed the local colonial government. Now it is the office of the governor of West Java. It is called “Satay” building because the center piece is said to resemble a satay skewer. The building also houses a museum that tells more about the history of the city. Before “gedung saté” was built on this place,  Andries de Wilde’s coffee warehouse could be found here, a large landowner who had a close relationship with Governor Raffles.

Next to “Gedung Satay” is the post office. A museum about the history of the post is housed in this building.

Sukarno

soekarno voor de landraad Sukarno studied as a student in Bandung and in this time he already spoke out for an independent Indonesia. Because of these ideas, he was jailed in 1927. The prison where he was imprisoned was called “Banceuy Prison”. The prison is no longer present. A shopping center was built on this place in the early 1980s. During the construction of the shopping center, the cell where Sukarno lived and the watchtower have been preserved and moved. A statue of Soekarno scan be found at the current location.

The courthouse where Sukarno had to defend himself against accusations has also been preserved. This building is called “Gedung Menggugat Landraad”. The original courtroom can still be visited as well as a small exhibition with photos and articles.


-Tip-

City tour with local guide

Discovering the city by yourself is fun, but a tour with a local guides will be even better. Through stories and explanations the past will be revived.


Music school

Saung Angklung Udjo Cultural Center was founded in 1966 by Udjo Nalagena and his wife. Their goal is to maintain the Sundanese culture. They make musical instruments and teach children how to play Angklung, a traditional bamboo musical instrument.

Music school students give performances every day. This program is filled with short performances in the form of traditional dances and music. You will enjoy the show and you will get a good introduction to Sundanese culture. You are more than welcome.

Volcanoes and hot springs

Near Bandung you can visit volcanoes:

  • South of the city the mountain Patuha with the crater lake “Kawah Putih” (also with hot springs) and
  • North of the city you will find Tangkuban Perahu (with hot springs)

South of the city:

Kawih Putih

South of Bandung is the “Kawah Putih”, which literally means “White Crater”. Compared to the Tangkuban Perahu and the Ciater hot springs North of Bandung, the Kawah Putih volcano and the hot springs of Kawah Rengganis are less visited by tourists. Kawah Putih is a sulfur lake in one of the two craters of the Patuha volcano. Patuha stands for “pak tua” which means “old man”. In the villages around the Patuha the people believed that Patuha is the oldest mountain and that the spirits of the ancestors gather here.

The colors of the landscape are unreal: the water is azure/turquoise and the sand is yellow. Because the lake is located at a high altitude, the atmosphere is cool. You can walk into the lake on the wooden platform.

Because of the high content sulphurous in the air, you cannot stay close to the lake for too long. The water contains so much sulfur that it is poisonous. Sulfur used to be mined here. Remains of the factory can still be found.
It is possible to climb the crater to get a great view over the lake and surroundings. If you don’t feel like walking,  it is (often) possible to get a ride on the back of a motorbike (for a small fee). You can also make beautiful walks in the mountains.

Rengganis Crater hot springs

Near Kawah Putih are the Kawah Rengganis hot springs, in which you can swim. You can also swim in the river, complete with waterfalls. The hot springs are half an hour walking away from the main road, hidden in the forest. If you don’t like to walk you (often) can get a ride on the back of a motorcycle (for a small fee).

There are also artificial baths, with different temperatures. Some baths have bamboo pipes for bathing. You can also take a mud bath as a treatment, which will be good for your skin. You usually don’t see many tourists here. Unlike the Ciater spring, there no tourist park is built around the baths. This place is managed by the people from the surrounding villages. The view is beautiful.

Lake Situ Patengan

(or Situ Patenggang)

Situ Patengan is a fairly large lake located between forests and tea plantations. It is beautiful to take a boat trip here.
In the middle of the lake is a small island: Batu Cinta (Love stone). The name of the lake “Patenggang” is derived from the Sundanese word “Pateang-teangan”, which means: “keep looking to find it”.

Situ Patenggang lake

Once upon a time there was a prince (Ki Santang) who fell in love with a simple village girl (Dewi Rengganis). Because of their descent, they were forbidden to marry and they couldnt be together. War broke out and they lost contact. Out of their deep love for each other, they kept looking for each other. After a long time they met again at a rock.
Here Dewi asked Ki Santang to make a lake for her so that they could sail together.
To this day, in the lake made by Ki Santang, you can still see the rock where they met again… the proof of a real… but impossible love.

Whoever now sails together around the rock will love each other forever.

So remember: you have to keep looking to find it!

Tea plantation

theeplantage Java IndonesieAround Bandung are beautiful tea and strawberry fields. Here you can visit (or even stay overnight) at a tea plantation or tea factory.

The Tea Lords 

The Malabar Tea Estate is at a two-hour drive South of Bandung. Here you can walk through the tea terraces and enjoy the beautiful scenery. The book “The Tea Lords” of Hella Haasse is based on this tea plantation.
This tea plantation was established by the Bosscha family. Ru Boscha is buried here and his grave can still be visited, just like the old tea plantation and the old plantation house. It is possible to spend the night on this tea plantation in a chalet at the plantation. Breakfast is served in the planter’s house.
You can also have lunch here.

Bosscha came from a family of scientists. After studying in Delft he left for the Dutch Indies. From 1896 until his death in 1928 he was in charge of the Malabar plantation South of Bandung. He was also co-founder of the Bosscha Observatory in Lembang  North of Bandung. (The observatory can only be visited on Saturdays for individual visitors). Bosscha spoke Malay, Javanese and Sundanese. He founded a school (for free) for the children of his employees, which was very special at that time. A small museum is located in the part of this school, that still exists today.


North of Bandung

Tangkuban Perahu “The Capsized Boat”

This volcano is about 2000 meters high. The name of the Tangkuban Perahu volcano in Sundanese means “capsized boat”.

The story goes that a long time ago the beautiful Dayang Sumbi lived here. She sent her son Sangkuriang away because he was not obedient. The gods took pity on her and gave her eternal youth.

After many years, her son decided to return. He met his mother, but did not recognize her (because of her youthful appearance). They fell in love and even started to make wedding plans. Then Dayang Sumbi recognizes her son by a scar. She tried to end the marriage and therefore asked her son, who still didn’t not know that Dayang was his mother, to complete what she considered an impossible task. She asked him to pick her up on the wedding day at her house, in a boat.
Since her house is on a hill, Sangkuriang had to build a dam in the river to make the water to rise from the river to Dayang’s house. He also had to build a big boat before the sun was rising.

Sangkuriang was so eager to get married that he begged for mythical powers to help him. He cut down a large tree and made a beautiful wedding boat. (The stump of this tree can still be seen. This is Mount Bukit Tunggul). His hard work progressed quickly and Dayang Sumbi, fearful that her son would succeed in fulfilling his mission, aid a red carpet in the East, giving the impression that the sun had risen. Her son, who indeed thought that the sun had already risen and that he had failed, kicked the dam away out of frustration and a major flood left the boat upside down.

The boat can still be seen: the boat is upside down, on top of the volcano. And if you look down over the rim of the crater, you can still see the wedding fire glowing.

Tangkuban Parahu The volcano has three different craters. Kawah Ratu is easy to reach. You can drive to the top by car.

Domas Crater is further down, after about an hour of walking you will reach this crater. You can do this walk (until 2 pm) with a local guide. This crater has a sulfur smell. With this guide you can approach the crater and even boil eggs in hot water.

Upas Crater is the oldest crater. Toxic gas comes from this crater and can therefore not be visited.

The Tangkuban Perahu volcano is popular and can be visited between 7 am and 5 pm. In the morning the view is best and it is still relatively quiet. You’ll also find many salesmen and self-proclaimed “guides” walking along unsolicited. It is good to know this in advance, so you can calmly ignore it..

Ciater hot springs

(near Tangkuban Perahu, “Upside down boat”)

Sari Ater Hot Spring Resort is located on the slopes of the Tangkuban Perahu, in the middle of the tea plantations. At this local tourist spot with restaurants, playgrounds and pools you can swim and bathe in the healing waters from the springs. You can also get a massage near the water. The temperature of the water from the springs can reach 42 degrees. You can walk here with a guide from the Tangkuban Perahu or drive there by car.

Lembang floating market

Don’t expect the floating market to be authentic traditional. This is a beautiful park that was created a few years ago on a lake, which primarily aims for local tourists. You can eat delicious Indonesian snacks and buy nice souvenirs here. You can also get on the water by boat or paddle boat, and there is a kind of zoo and flower garden.

 

Jakarta

jakarta prive chauffeur

Jakarta, things to do

Jakarta is a metropolis with many contrasts. It is the capital of Indonesia and also the most densely populated city in Indonesia. About 40% of the city is below sea level and these areas are frequently flooded during the rainy season. The traffic is busy and Jakarta is known for traffic jams. Public transportation is not a good alternative.
For many tourists Jakarta is not a city they like to stay for a long time. It is not the best place for a first introduction to Indonesia.  Often visiters choose to start their round trip on Java an Bali  in Bogor, Bandung or Yogyakarta and skip Jakarta.

Yet Jakarta also has a number of beautiful places that are definitely worth a visit and that you should not miss:

The old city and old port

Sometimes it takes a while, but remains of old Batavia can certainly still be found in Jakarta. Old canals and drawbridges can still clearly be recognized in the old town.
Visit the old harbor for a short cruise and stroll around the old town square and imagine yourself back in old Batavia. The museums are interesting to visit and to breathe the old atmosphere.

Most museums are closed on Mondays.

Sunda Kelapa, the old harbour

The Old Port is located in the north of Jakarta. The old harbor is called “Sunda Kelapa” and is the name of the original village from which Jayakarta, Batavia and later Jakarta originated.

The wooden Pinisi schooners (traditional sailing boats) from ancient times can still be found in the harbor and are still in use. In this part of the harbor it seems as if time stood still. The sailing ships are handmade in Sulawesi. Also loading and unloading is still done by hand.

Near the harbor are the remains of an old fortress built by Jan Pieterszoon in 1617. The maritime museum (Bahari museum) is now located in the old warehouses of the VOC. Next to this museum you will find a last piece of the old city wall of Batavia.

In the morning there is a fish market in the old port.

Jakarta oude havenOld observation tower

The old watchtower “de Uytkijk” was built in 1839 and still overlooks the harbor. This tower used to be the tallest building in Batavia and was used to monitor all ships entering and leaving.

After climbing the 77 steps, you can enjoy the view over the harbour and imagine life a 150 years ago. Prisoners were locked up in the basement of the tower. An old tunnel connects the tower with the old city (to the historical museum on Fatahillah Square) and it is said that this tunnel even continues all the way to the former Fort Frederik Hendrik (the site of the current Istiqlal mosque). Unfortunately, the tunnel is no longer safe and therefore closed.

Walking towards the old town, we pass an old drawbridge from 1628.


-Tip-

Visit the old town with a guide. Don’t waste time searching for the right directions. With a local guide you won’t  miss anything. You will hear the most beautiful stories and you will easily get to know the real Jakarta.


Kota tua, the old town

kota tua jakarta

Near the old harbor the old town (Kota Tua) is located. (about 15 minutes to walk). The old town used to be completely surrounded by walls. The center of the old town is the Fatahillah square. Around the Fatahillah square are many monumental buildings which were built in the Dutch era. Some buildings, such as the post office, are still in use.
Several museums can be found in the old monumental buildings on this square.

Museum Sejarah (in the old town hall of Batavia)

The Museum Sejarah (the historical museum) of Jakarta is located in the old city hall. In the basement are still the dungeons in which Prince Diponegoro (the leader of the revolt against the Dutch around 1825) was imprisoned.

An old Portuguese cannon stands in front of the old town hall. According to an old story women who sit on the canon will get pregnant soon. Whether this is true remains a mystery; it is no longer allowed to sit on the cannon.

Wayang museum

The Wayang museum is located on the site of an old church. Here you can admire old wayang puppets. The commemorative plaque of the grave of Jan Pieterszoon Coen is also located in this museum.

Art and Ceramics Museum (in the old courthouse)

The former courthouse now houses an art and ceramics museum (Balai Seni Rupa).

Museum Bank (in the old Javanese bank)

Just next to Fatahillah Square is the “Museum Bank”. The bank museum is located in the building of the old Javanese bank. Here you can see the history of trade, money and finance. Because it is an old bank building, you can also take a look at the old safe where the rich of the city used to keep their valuables.

In café Batavia, also on Fatahillahplein, you can take a break and drink a cup of coffee in colonial atmospheres.

Monas monument

The Monumen Nasional (Monas for short) was built as the symbol of Indonesia’s independence. The monument is located in the middle of the city on the square Medan Merdeka and is 137 meters high. At the top of the monument is a bronze flame covered with 35 kg of gold. When Indonesia celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1995, more gold was added (to 50 kg). The monument stands for a mortar and pestle and for Yoni and Lingga (concepts for masculine and feminine energy from the Kamasutra) as symbols of balance, fertility and eternal life.

From the monument you have a great view (if the weather and the smog are not causing nuisance). The construction took almost 14 years (from 1961 to 1975). In the monument a museum will provide you with information about the struggle for independence. The monument can be visited every day and also in the evenings. It can be busy and sometimes you have to wait in line to take the elevator to the top of the monument.

great mosque Istiqlal jakartaIstiqlal Mosque and the Catholic Cathedral

The Istiqlal mosque is impressively large. Everyone can enter with appropriate clothing.

It is the largest mosque in Southeast Asia and was built between 1961 and 1978. The mosque faces the Catholic cathedral. This cathedral was built between 1891 and 1901 and is also definitely worth a visit.

Glodok – the Chinese quarter

Glodok is the Chinese quarter of Jakarta. In November 1740, the VOC (Dutch East Indies Company) designated Glodok as a residence for the Chinese inhabitants of Jakarta. The inhabitants of Jakarta have their origin in many continents. This background can be recognised in the local language of Jakarta, Betawi (Batavian). Words from Portuguese, Dutch, Arabic and Chinese can be found in this local language.

The word Glodok probably originates from the Sundanese word “Golodog” which means entrance. It is also said that Glodok is the sound of the water as it comes out of the water fountain in front of the Old Town Hall (“grojok, grojok”). In the Chinese quarter you will find a traditional market and of course good food. You can visit a Chinese Buddhist temple.

National Archives Museum

jakarta nationaal museum

This museum is located in the restored residence of the 18th-century Governor General Reinier de Klerk, built in 1760. The national archive can no longer be found here. The archive has moved to more modern premises elsewhere in Jakarta.

Reinier de Klerk was married to a wealthy woman and had his residence built himself. He had more than 100 slaves. In 1997 the building was completely renovated with money raised as a gift for the 50th anniversary of Indonesia’s independence, from Dutch companies.

National Museum

The National Museum is located near the Monument Nasional and gives a good impression of the rich history and culture of Indonesia. It excists since 1778. The building is also called “Elephant Building”, after the statue of an elephant that stands in front of the building and was once donated by the King of Siam.

Children

Taman mini Indonesia

If you stay a little longer in Jakarta and have children, the “Taman mini Indonesia” is also a great place to visit. The culture and traditions of the many different ethnic groups in Indonesia can be found in this large park. Here you will find architecture, clothing, dance and other traditions from all provinces of Indonesia. The different parts of Indonesia are presented at different pavilions.

The traditional buildings from the 33 provinces are built around a lake in the shape of the Indonesian archipelago. There is also a cinema and play facilities for children.

Ancol Dreamland

Ancol Dreamland is a huge amusement park on the north side of Jakarta. The park has a large number of attractions, including an IMAX cinema. Ancol Seaworld with a large saltwater aquarium is nearby. One day is not enough to visit all the attractions.

Street food or local markets

Jakarta is a melting pot of many cultures and has many different cuisines. Food you can eat with your hands and many more different flavors. To find the best food, discover the best spots only the locals will know with a local guide. This is the best and most relaxed way to get to know Jakarta’s best street food. This food tour is suitable for everyone (children, vegetarians) and is ideal at the end of the day and the beginning of the evening. Contact us and we will arrange the best guide for you.

Do you always like to visit your local market at home? Then you will certainly enjoy a visit to the different markets that Jakarta has to offer. Watch your eyes out, taste what you want and buy nice gifts for those left behind. With a guide you will see much more and discover the best markets without stress. We can arrange a tour for you along the different markets, with an experienced guide. Send us a message and we’ll arrange it for you.

Tips and advice for your stay in Jakarta

Jakarta is a nice place to stay, but be prepared for a busy metropolis. Jakarta is sometimes compared to a durian; a strong-smelling fruit that you either love or hate, but that is certainly special and that you will not soon forget.


-Tip-

Plan your visit to Jakarta in advance. If you are only in Jakarta for a short time, it is wise to plan your visit in advance to avoid disappointement. Let us know what you like and we will help you with your planning. Because we receive direct feedback from our guests on a daily base, we are very well informed.
We know the best local guides, restaurants and places to visit and are happy to assist you.


Contact us without any obligation for advice about all the possibilities.

Dieng Plateau

Dieng Plateau day trip driver

Dieng  is a plateau between volcanoes at an altitude of 2300 meters. The landscape is very special. The geysers and sulfur springs and sometimes mist make the landscape almost supernatural. The climate is cool due to the altitude. In July and August there may even be night frost. Dieng means “house of the gods”.

Sikidang

Sikidang Vulcanic Crater
Sikidang crater Dieng

Sikidang is a volcanic crater with bubbling mud, steam and geysers and the smell of sulfur. You can get a homemade snack or buy a souvenir from the many stalls you find overhere. There are also “selfie spots” where you can take nice pictures.

The story goes that the name “Sikidang” is derived from the word “kidang” a type of deer. The crater behaves the same as a deer: it jumps from one end to the other and constantly moves.

Another story explains the name in a different way. Shinta Dewi lived in the area centuries ago and many men proposed to her. However, she demanded such a high dowry that no one was successful. When finally Prince Kidang Garungan was able to pay the price, Shinta accepted his proposal. When she found out that he had a deer’s head, she was shocked and regretted accepting his offer. Shinta Dewi then (to avoid marrying him) asked him to dig a lake for her in one night. When Shinta found out that he would succeed, she had him buried alive. The earth still moves where he got buried.

The Arjuna Temples

Arjuna Temple
Arjuna Temple complex at Dieng Plateau

The Arjuna complex consists of 5 temples that are dedicated to Shiva and are indicated by five of the Wayang doll game characters: Arjuna, Puntadewa, Srikandi, Sembadra and Semar. They are the oldest Hindu temples in Java and date from the 7th or 8th century. In the past, this temple complex consisted of more than 400 temples.

In 1814 the temples were rediscovered by an English soldier. The temples were partially covered by the water of a lake. In 1856 the lake was drained to admire the temples again.

Telega Warna

Dieng day trip from Yogya
Telaga Warna Dieng plateau

Telega Warna is a sulfur lake surrounded by hiking trails where you can walk with or without a guide. Due to the sulfur, the water has a special color. Depending on the light and the concentration of the sulfur, the water is turquoise, green and yellow. In some places it bubbles. Its high sulfur content makes it more toxic. It looks beautiful, but swimming or even paddling is impossible.
In the forest on the edge of the lake you can take a nice walk with beautiful views over the lake. Here you will also find caves. In one of these caves, Australian Prime Minister Whitlam held talks with Suharto about the future of Timor in 1974. The Suharto-Whitlam House can also be found in Dieng, as a reminder of the meeting of these leaders in 1974.

Ambarawa

ambarawa sawah

Railway Museum

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 rubberAmbarawa plantage 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

kerkje bij vrouwenkamp 9 Ambarawa
church at 9 Ambarawa women’s camp

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).

vrouwenkamp ambarawa bezoeken
visit ambarawa women’s camp

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.

Sepakung

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.

Goa Rong view Ambarawa
Goa Rong Ambarawa view point