Visiting Solo, Central Java Indonesia

Traditional dance performance http://www.bali-paradise.com/
Traditional dance performance http://www.bali-paradise.com/

Solo

There is no place like your own hometown. Solo will always be my favorite destination for holiday. You will always come back to your hometown, visiting families, relatives, hanging out with old buddies, visiting local tourism spots and enjoying your favorite meals or dishes.

Solo or Surakarta lies in Central Java, Indonesia. The weather is quite hot, the average temperature is 25 to 33 Celsius. Most of the people used to talk in Javanese. Solo is a modern city, not so big or crowded compared to Jakarta, Surabaya, or Bandung, but Solo also still has many traditional spots like The Mangkunegaran Palace and The Kasunanan Palace.

There are also many traditional art performances like traditional Javanese dance, traditional ethnic musical performances, wayang kulit or leather puppet performances, and many more. Oh, and you will find many kind of Batik producers and stores here. A mixture between old and modern city. You may enjoy traveling around the city by taking "becak" a traditional transportation tricycle. Like taxi only without machine, but it uses human machine :) the becak driver.

Here are some of Solo Attractions :

1. Nature Tourism Spots
2. Solo Palaces
3. Antique Market
4. Batik
5. Traditional Performances
6. Traditional Food

1. Nature Tourism Spots

Grojogan Sewu Waterfall

Only 35 km from Solo, one hour and a half by car, there is a nice waterfall, Grojogan Sewu Waterfall. Located in Tawangmangu a recreation resort. 1000 meter from sea level. Enjoy the fresh water and cool weather, an escape from Solo heat. The highest waterfall at Grojogan Sewu is 81 metres and there is also a monkey forest near this area. Yes, there are many monkeys living in that forest.

Existing facility here are animal garden, swimming pool, shelter, food booths, and fruit stalls.


Candi Sukuh or Sukuh Temple

Not far from Grojogan Sewu waterfall, there is an ancient Java temple. Well, I have to say an erotic ancient temple. Why? there is a headless statue that exposes male sex organ. It has a distinctive reliefs and different with other temples in Indonesia. The main theme is about life before birth and sexual education.

Located in Lawu Mountain slope, 6 ft high. Built in 15th century, Sukuh temple has a similarity with Chichen Itza pyramid, an ancient pyramid by Yucatec Maya tribe in Yucatan, Mexico.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Grojogan sewu Waterfall wikipedia.comMonkey forest near Grojogan Sewu waterfallSukuh Temple carving
Grojogan sewu Waterfall wikipedia.com
Grojogan sewu Waterfall wikipedia.com
Monkey forest near Grojogan Sewu waterfall
Monkey forest near Grojogan Sewu waterfall
Sukuh Temple carving
Sukuh Temple carving

Mangkunegaran Palace

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Mangkunegaran PalaceThe Serimpi dancers, nine virgin ladies are dancing the special dance for special occasion in the Palace. http://www.strangerinparadise.com/
Mangkunegaran Palace
Mangkunegaran Palace
The Serimpi dancers, nine virgin ladies are dancing the special dance for special occasion in the Palace. http://www.strangerinparadise.com/
The Serimpi dancers, nine virgin ladies are dancing the special dance for special occasion in the Palace. http://www.strangerinparadise.com/

2. Solo Palaces

There are two Palaces in Solo, Mangkunegaran Palace and Kasunanan Palace.

Mangkunegaran Palace

This Palace was built by Raden Mas Said in 1757. It was built right after the Salatiga Agreement and Raden Mas Said was then crowned as the Pangeran Mangkunegoro 1 or 1st Mangkunegoro Prince.

Mangkunegaran Palace is divided into two main buildings, the first one is Pendopo and the other is called Dalem. Pendopo is the Main Hall of the Palace, where they receive guests while Dalem is the residence of the King family.

The eastern part called Bale Peni is the Prince's residence
The western part called Bale Warni is the Princess' residence.

Mangkunegaran Palace is near my parent house, it lies among Ronggo Warsito street, Kartini Street, Siswa street and Teuku Umar street. Those streets are circling the palace. There are many priceless treasures and beautiful collection in Mangkunegaran Palace. Like the classical mask dance, wayang orang or traditional performance, leather puppets, wooden puppets, jewelries, antiques, most of them from Majapahit and Mataram era around year 1293 to 1755.

There is also Reksopustoko Museum inside the Palace, where ancient manuscripts about philosophy and religion are kept. Most of the manuscripts are written in Javanese alphabet.

Kasunanan Palace
This palace was built in 1744 by Susuhunan Pakubuwono II or King Pakubuwono II. The last Mataram Palace in Sala or Solo village. Now that village become Surakarta or Solo, one of the big city in Central Java. Kasunanan Palace is lies in Alun-alun Utara or North Plaza.

You may visit the Palace Museum, open daily Monday to Thursday at 09.00 to 14.00, Weekend days at 09.00 to 13.00. Close in Friday. The entrance fee is cheap about $ 0.50.

The Museum has historical treasures collection like the war weapons and arts. Every guest has to be dressed properly, at least wear courteous clothes and shoes.  

Kasunanan Palace

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Kasunanan PalaceKasunanan Palace http://www.flickr.com/photos/44100297@N07/The Palace Maid Lady http://www.flickr.com/photos/44100297@N07/Statue from The Dutch Queen
Kasunanan Palace
Kasunanan Palace
Kasunanan Palace http://www.flickr.com/photos/44100297@N07/
Kasunanan Palace http://www.flickr.com/photos/44100297@N07/
The Palace Maid Lady http://www.flickr.com/photos/44100297@N07/
The Palace Maid Lady http://www.flickr.com/photos/44100297@N07/
Statue from The Dutch Queen
Statue from The Dutch Queen

Triwindu Antique Market

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Triwindu Antique Market main entrance tripadvisor.com  Old bike miniatures tripadvisor.comWooden puppets in Triwindu Market Dakon   Traditional Javanese toy
Triwindu Antique Market main entrance tripadvisor.com
Triwindu Antique Market main entrance tripadvisor.com
Old bike miniatures tripadvisor.com
Old bike miniatures tripadvisor.com
Wooden puppets in Triwindu Market
Wooden puppets in Triwindu Market
Dakon   Traditional Javanese toy
Dakon Traditional Javanese toy

3. Antique Market

If you love antiques and have plenty of time, just visit Triwindu Antique market, where you may find antique treasures in a really cheap price and still open for bargaining. If you're lucky, you may find really wonderful gemstone here.

There are also Solo traditional antique things like, ancient toys, masks, wooden puppets, miniatures, many kind of old European, Chinese, and Javanese furniture, paintings, coins, statues made from bronze or stone. Even old musical instruments.

Located near Mangkunegaran Palace.

Inside Kauman Batik Museum
Inside Kauman Batik Museum

4. Batik

There are two big Batik center in Solo, Laweyan and Kauman. Laweyan is at South West of Solo. You may stay in one of the houses there and learn how to make a Batik cloth. There is a learning center here called Laweyan Batik Training Center.

Kauman Batik Center is in Pasar Kliwon area, near Slamet Riyadi Street. Almost similar with Laweyan area, in Kauman area, you may learn how to make your own Batik cloth. There are many local people who open their houses for homestay with low rate. There is also Batik Museum in Kauman.

Laweyan Batik Center

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Laweyan Batik CenterHow to make  BatikBatik dealer
Laweyan Batik Center
Laweyan Batik Center
How to make  Batik
How to make Batik
Batik dealer
Batik dealer

Wayang Kulit

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Wayang Kulit or Leather Puppet performance http://www.flickr.com/photos/mekin/Bima or Werkudara character My favorite character among the Pandawa brothers
Wayang Kulit or Leather Puppet performance http://www.flickr.com/photos/mekin/
Wayang Kulit or Leather Puppet performance http://www.flickr.com/photos/mekin/
Bima or Werkudara character My favorite character among the Pandawa brothers
Bima or Werkudara character My favorite character among the Pandawa brothers

5. Traditional Performances

Well, there are so many traditional performances in Solo throughout the year like :

Wayang Kulit or Leather Puppet performances :
Every Rebo Legi (Javanese Calendar, Rebo means Wednesday and Legi means sweet) night in Pondok Timasan Makam Haji, Pajang.
Every Jumat Kliwon (Kliwon-Friday) night in Pendapa Ageng Taman Budaya, Solo

Wayang Orang or Javanese stage show :
Every night from Monday to Saturday in GWO Sriwedari Park, Solo
Every 2nd week of the month in RRI Surakarta (Indonesian Radio, Surakarta)

Cultural Performance
Every 26th day of the month in SMKI/SMKN 8 Surakarta.

Ramayana Dance Performance and Ketoprak (Javanese traditional theater)
Every full moon in Balekambang Park. The audiences can enjoy music and traditional performances.

If you visit Solo in this month (July, 2010) there are at least two big International events,
1. Solo International Contemporary Ethnic Music festival 2010
7-11 July 2010 every 20.00 to 23.00 in R Maladi Stadium, Sriwedari.

There are many ethnic music performance from Indonesia and other country like Singapore, Dubai, Taiwan, Zimbabwe.

2. Keraton Art Festival or Palace Art Festival
09-10 July 2010 in Kasunanan Palace

You may enjoy all the heritage of the Palace, like traditional dances, ceremonies, traditional palace outfits, traditional weapons, and many more.

Wayang Orang or Javanese Stage Show

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Main characters in Ramayana Prince Rama and Lady Shinta http://www.indonesianembassy-china.org/Gatotkaca character, I like him so much. He is very strong and he can fly, he's a Javanese Superman :) Giants characterThe joker characters, Left is Bagong and right is Semar.
Main characters in Ramayana Prince Rama and Lady Shinta http://www.indonesianembassy-china.org/
Main characters in Ramayana Prince Rama and Lady Shinta http://www.indonesianembassy-china.org/
Gatotkaca character, I like him so much. He is very strong and he can fly, he's a Javanese Superman :)
Gatotkaca character, I like him so much. He is very strong and he can fly, he's a Javanese Superman :)
Giants character
Giants character
The joker characters, Left is Bagong and right is Semar.
The joker characters, Left is Bagong and right is Semar.
Nasi Liwet paxdhe-holic.blogspot.com
Nasi Liwet paxdhe-holic.blogspot.com

6. Traditional Food

1. Nasi Liwet or Rice cooked with chicken stock. Serve with spicy chayote soup, boiled egg, chicken and thick coconut milk.
Nasi Liwet seller : Nasi Liwet Wongso Lemu, Keprabon, open from 18.00
 
2. Tengkleng or Lamb curry
Well, actually it's similar with Lamb curry, without coconut milk. The content of tengkleng are lamb bones, brain, eyes, feet, and many more. Sound scary huh?
Tengkleng seller : Ibu Ediyem, near Klewer Market, open daily.

3. Sate Buntel or Lamb Barbecue
This one is really delicious. Just lamb barbeque with spices, serve with soy sauce, tomatoes, chili, and onion.
The seller : Sate Kambing or Lamb barbeque in Tambak Segaran or 39 Sutan Syahrir Street. Open daily from 09.00

Snacks
1. Orion store in Urip Sumohardjo Street, you may buy many kind of traditional to modern snacks here.
2. Serabi Notosuman, a typical sweet pancake, in Notosuman Street. It has many variety of flavors.

Dishes from Lamb

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Tengkleng http://alonrider.files.wordpress.com/Sate Buntel or Lamb Barbeque http://arrohman.blogspot.com/Sate Buntel
Tengkleng http://alonrider.files.wordpress.com/
Tengkleng http://alonrider.files.wordpress.com/
Sate Buntel or Lamb Barbeque http://arrohman.blogspot.com/
Sate Buntel or Lamb Barbeque http://arrohman.blogspot.com/
Sate Buntel
Sate Buntel

Snacks

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Inside Orion Store http://cyberwoman.cbn.net.id/Serabi NotosumanSerabi maker http://langsungenak.com/
Inside Orion Store http://cyberwoman.cbn.net.id/
Inside Orion Store http://cyberwoman.cbn.net.id/
Serabi Notosuman
Serabi Notosuman
Serabi maker http://langsungenak.com/
Serabi maker http://langsungenak.com/

Solo, Central Java, indonesia

A markerSurakarta, central Java, Indonesia -
Slamet Riyadi Street, Surakarta, Indonesia
[get directions]

More by this Author


Comments 18 comments

Corin profile image

Corin 6 years ago

It's beautiful. It looks like Solo will be my next vacation destination!


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

I could envy you. Such a beautiful place to live in. Well written hub.


febriedethan profile image

febriedethan 6 years ago from Indonesia Author

Hi Corin, yes, Solo is worth trying :)

Hello, hello, thank you so much. I hope you may visiting Solo someday.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

Very, very nice! Beautiful! Thank you!


heart4theword profile image

heart4theword 6 years ago from hub

It's always interesting to learn more about other customs, and tradditions! Interesting Hub!


febriedethan profile image

febriedethan 6 years ago from Indonesia Author

Mickey Dee, you're welcome :) please visit Solo someday.

Heart4theworld, thank you for visiting!


mathewvictor 6 years ago from USA

Wow it's really nice place to visit...


Bbudoyono profile image

Bbudoyono 6 years ago

wonderful hub about wonderful city. I used to be a tourist guide & I visited Solo for thousands of times. I would recommend Mangkunegaran Palace & Sukuh Temple. As for meals try Javanese fried chicken.


febriedethan profile image

febriedethan 6 years ago from Indonesia Author

@Mathewvictor, it is :)

@Mr. Bbudoyono, nice to see you here Sir:)

Candi Sukuh is really amazing right? it's so similar with the Chichen Itza pyramid, kind of strange.

Thank you for visiting, my hubber friends...


wawies profile image

wawies 6 years ago from Indonesia

wow, nice hub about my lovely hometown. maybe it would be better if you put some city map on it. it would be more informative.


febriedethan profile image

febriedethan 6 years ago from Indonesia Author

@Wawies, Welcome to Hubpages, nice to meet a friend from my hometown too, city map is absolutely a brilliant idea and hubmap is ready to help. Thank you for visiting!


deniborin profile image

deniborin 6 years ago from Indonesia

tempat yang indah


ERWIN 5 years ago

i still remember all of that,always showing the deepest of Javanese culture,giving SMILE to everyone who come there,i miss that place,always keep your SPIRIT of the JAVA.


febriedethan profile image

febriedethan 5 years ago from Indonesia Author

@deniborin, absolutely right, my friend.

@Erwin, you should visit this place again then:)


Bali Temples 5 years ago

nice hub! your hub is very usefull for me :)


IndoVillas 5 years ago

Nice hub! Very informative, backpackers should see this article.


travellvr profile image

travellvr 5 years ago from Ngledok, Mantingan, Indonesia

nice share jeng.....:)

kapan2 kulo nggih badhe tindhak solo....


John Rangga 3 years ago

My favorite heroes from Indonesia is Teuku Umar

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working