Roots in Indonesia | Heritage or ancestral travel

Roots in Indonesia | Searching for your roots

1. Discover your family history >>
2. Colonial architecture >>
3. Second world war >>
4. Reviews

Discover your family history

yogyakarta java archive

Many people have roots in Indonesia. They are born in Indonesia or Dutch East Indies, or know the stories from their family. Sometimes they wish to visit the land of their youth again, others have become curious about their roots and would like to get to know the country of their ancestors.

Over the years many people from different backgrounds have arrived in the Netherlands from the former Dutch East Indies or Indonesia:
After the independence of Indonesia approximately 340,000 Dutch people left for the Netherlands.
About 50 years earlier, at the begin of the last century, around 33,000 Javanese were brought to Suriname to work as a contract worker. Many of them obtained the Dutch nationality and now live in the Netherlands.
Furthermore about 3000 children from Indonesia were adopted by Dutch parents around 1980.

The Netherlands and Indonesia are therefore permanently connected to each other. Many Dutch people, with their roots in Indonesia or the Dutch East Indies are looking  to gain more insight into their background.
Follow your ancestral footsteps and give your holiday an extra dimension.

Visit the places of your ancestors

An individual tour with your own private driver is the ideal way to get in touch with your past (again). Ancestral travel (heritage tours) will give you an insight in your background.
Tjihapit kampVisit the town, the area or even the hospital you or your ancestors were born, visit the same church or mosque they visited, find the plantation, the office or school they used to work, walk the same roads your ancestors walked so long ago and create a connection between yourself and the generations before you.
Of course many things have changed over the years, and you won’t find the images from the old pictures of the past, but on a deeper level there is almost always a sense of recognition.

Visiting family roots can easily be combined with a round trip on Java and Bali. A heritage tour is always special; the (renewed) acquaintance with your roots will create an experience for life.

Dadang Supardi is specialized in organizing heritage tours. He offers you the opportunity to create your own family heritage tour. A unique itinerary where every part of the trip is fully tailored to your wishes.
He can advise you about the best places to visit, tours to book and the most beautiful nostalgic hotels to spend the night.

How does it work? –>

Research on the spot

Ereveld Pandu Bandung

Sometimes it is difficult to find (back) the right place. Street names have changed, lots of new buildings have been built. Whether it concerns lost family, an orphanage, plantations, houses or family graves, Dadang Supardi will do everything within his power to find (back) the places or people you are looking for. With patience and tact he is able to help– on the basis of your leads (old addresses, names) –to find the right people to obtain information.

He is involved, understands the culture and knows, with attention for sensitivities, how to gather information without offending people or scare them off. Dadang Supardi has a large network that he can call upon. He respects your privacy and has a lot of experience with heritage tours. Sometimes it turns out to be impossible to find back certain places or persons. It is important to prepare yourself for this possibility as well.

Dadang Supardi will make every effort to make your search into a success, although the result of course will also depend on the clues you have and sometimes a share of luck. Many previous roots-travellers have been able to deepen and broaden their life after rediscovering their roots.

Ask about the possibilities, without any obligation –>

Special (private) day tours with an expert guide

Historical city walks

semarang oude stad heritage tourTake an historic walk in the old city of Semarang, Bandung, Jogjakarta, Surakarta or Jakarta

It is not only possible to book a multiple day trip on Java or Bali, you can also book great day tours.

Old photo albums contain old photos from the past. The cities in Indonesia have of course changed enormously in the last 80 years and have grown. Nevertheless, the past can still be found hidden in the city centres. Specialized local guides take you on a 2 to 3-hour walking tour and will tell the stories of the past based on the old buildings and streets that you encounter. This way you see the cities with a different perspective which will bring the past to life.

Here too you can indicate any special wishes or family anecdotes in advance, so that they can be included in the tour.

Second World War

ambarawa kapelVisit a Japanese women’s prison camp, a war cemetry and transit camps.

Memories of the past are often beautiful, but unfortunately sometimes painful. During the Second World War, around 100,000 civilians and 42,000 soldiers stayed in Japanese prison camps. After the war, many victims didn’t talk about this difficult period. They focused on their new future abroad. Fortunately, more and more has been written over the years about what people experienced during the war.

The children and grandchildren of the victims of war often have the wish to visit the places they have heard and read about in Indonesia and which, due to the war, are regrettable connected to their family history. Not all of these places can be visited in Indonesia anymore, but sometimes it is still possible to find traces of the past.

In Central Java it is possible to take a (private) day tour in which former transit camps, women’s prison camps and a field of honor (cemetary) can be visited under the guidance of an expert guide in Semarang and Ambarawa. In this way we get more insights into what our ancestors have experienced.

This tour can be adapted to your personal family history (because it is a private excursion). Ask about the possibilities.

Get in contact –>

Examples of interesting tours and excursions:

Visit the women camp in Ambarawa and Banjoebiroe
Semarang Second World War tour
City walking tour Semarang
City walking tour in Bandung
Historical and Heritage tour Yogyakarta


The heritage travel arrangements of Dadang Supardi are highly appreciated:

Searched and found my father’s roots

My daughter and I visited Indonesia (Jakarta) to see where her grandfather was born and where he lived, and contacted Mr. Pardi to start searching with a guide/driver. We spent 4 days with Mr. Penny who speaks good Dutch/English, who found almost everything we wanted to see and explained what it is/was. Thank you again Mr Penny for your service. Afterwards we had Mr. Steve for 2 days (turned out to be Mr. Penny’s cousin) who took us to Downtown Jakarta. Steve is also definitely worth hiring, he knows a lot about Jakarta.

Both drivers are very friendly and helpful and are highly recommended. If we come back again, we would like to have these 2 gentlemen as guide/driver.
Thank you Dadang Supardi Tours for arranging and taking care of this trip.

René from the Netherlands (July 2024) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Cemetery Pandu in Bandung 

“If you want good and friendly drivers in Java and Bali book them trough Indonesia Tours. We liked our trip very much. Drivers were always in time, very friendly and good services. Our Visit to the military cemetery Pandu in Bandung was the highlight of our trip. Terima kasih banyak!”

Jan from the Netherlands (May 2024) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Great service

“During our heritage tour to discover the places where my mother in law has lived many years ago in Java, our driver Amri has helped us gaining access to places we would never got to see otherwise. He got us into the school (inside a catholic monestry) where my mother in law has gone to school. He got us into the very house where she lived. We found the place where she would eat an icecream. Thanks to Amri we have brought many beautiful memories home.

We cannot thank him enough for all he (and of course your organisation) has done for us.”

Matthijs en Monique from the Netherlands (April 2024) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Pardi gave us excellent advice

Following the good outcome of our DNA tests, we wanted to visit our family in Indonesia. We got the advice to use the travel agency of Pardi and Dwi (Indonesiatour) for this visit. Prior to the trip we were able to make good arrangements and received a global, but clear planning. When we arrived at Juanda Airport Surabaya, Pardi and Kamto were already waiting for us.

From day 1 we had a great trip. Because we ended up staying a little longer than originally planned, the planning was adjusted here and there. This went well and in good consultation. For questions on how to deal with the family and adjustments in the schedule, Pardi gave us excellent advice!
The balance between family visits and ‘own’ time in Indonesia was perfect.
We had a great time on both Java (with the family) and Bali!

Pardi gives good advice, for example about the cultural differences between the Netherlands and Indonesia, so that we could handle various situations well. Kamto meanwhile drives you safely to any desired destination.

Overall we wholeheartedly recommend Indonesiatour. Thanks to you we now have good contacts with our family!!
Thank you very much for this fantastic trip and see you next time. This next time will probably take place soon.”

Ariana en Evert Jan from the Netherlands (April 2023) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Our round trip around Java; very well arranged

Yuli our driver in Indonesia“At home we already contacted Pardi to plan a special trip with not only the highlights of Java, but also the special places where my mother-in-law was in the Japanese prison camps and lived with her parents. Our wish was very well understood by Pardi and we had two separate guides in addition to our driver because of this family history.

Yuli was our driver and drove us around every day. He lived up to all our agreements and nothing was too much for him. He is an excellent driver and you always feel safe driving with him. Yuli is calm and his English is not perfect yet, but practice makes perfect and it will definitely improve. Nothing was too much for him and he was also very caring.
We are very enthusiastic about Pardi and Yuli and we definitely recommend them. Very sorry Pardi that there was no time to get to know you personally in Yogya to thank you!”

Yvonne from the Netherlands (August 2019) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

nostalgische tour over Java

Nostalgic tour on Java

“We enjoyed the many stories Pardi told very much. In a short time he has shown us everything we wanted to see. We spent many hours on the bus, but nothing was too much. Always so friendly and helpful. Especially for my parents.
Pardi and Yuli get a perfect 10 from me. In one word: It was great!”

Janssen family from the Netherlands (April 2019) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

A very good and reliable organization

“We spent a week on Java, mainly to visit the addresses where my parents were born. Unggul was our driver and he was excellent. Very considerate, an excellent driver, proper, always on time, thought along with alternatives to visit, very relaxed and always smiling.

The week in Java with Unggul is very nice to look back on. Thank you again Unggul! And also Pardi, with whom we had email contact, arranged everything well.
A very good and reliable organization that certainly can drive you through Indonesia.”

Brenda from the Netherlands (April 2019) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Pardi, a great guy!!

Our son and daughter-in-law did a trip with Pardi before and were very pleased about it. It turned out the same for us. My wife and I visited the biological mother and brother of our daughter-in-law in Central Java. Thanks to Pardi, this was a great experience.

The family lives in a very simple house, they have hardly any income, so the circumstances are rather disturbing. Pardi advised us to bring some groceries, basic necessities such as rice, oil, detergent, soap, toothpaste and brush. After arriving Pardi organised and took care of the communication, since we do speak the language. With Pardi as a translator, we had good contact. Mother and son turned out to sleep on shelves, so we went with Pardi to a bed store and bought a mattrass. The farewell was emotional, we hope to be able to return to them soon.

The other day we drove from Yogyakarta to the North of Central Java. Pardi drove calm and in full control through the traffic, on a bad road. In the meantime, telling us interesting facts about the area, and stopped if necessary; like at a livestock market with lots of cows. Very nice to experience. After a ride of about 7 hours we said goodbye to a great guy, good driver and a good man. Next time Pardi will be our driver!”

Peter from the Netherlands/Spain (April 2018) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Fantastic good driver, guide and also a very sympathetic man

“Pardi travelled with us on Java for more than two weeks and this was a great success in all areas. We were looking for very specific places from our family history. Thanks to Pardi’s expertise and his search talent, we were able to find all these locations. Next to this, he was very sensitive to our wishes in terms of restaurants and interests. Pardi is a very sympathetic man, with a wide range of interests, a good conversation and above all, he is an excellent and safe driver. We encourage everyone to use Dadang Supardi’s services!”

Familie Schneider from the Netherlands (December 2017) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐