Sala, Surakarta, Solo – the ancient Mataram kingdom may have many names, but one charming personality. Just 65 kilometres away from the more popular Yogyakarta, this Central Java city is the epitome of authentic Indonesian experience.
From the great outdoors to its charming temples and its tantalizing local cuisine, the unique Batik-land of many wonders has much to offer to the unassuming explorer.
Top Must Do’s
Untouched by urban progress, the natural beauty of this dormant volcano will take your breath away. For those who are willing to trek through Tawangmangu a little, you’ll be rewarded by seeing the gorgeous Grojogan waterfall. The forest area is famous for its beautiful scenery and the Sukuh Temple nearby is worth exploring as well.
Karaton Kasunanan Surakarta
Built in 1744 by Sunon Paku Buwono II, this old Karaton Kasunanan Surakarta mansion is where the royal family of Surakarta used to live. It is now one of the must-visit tourist attractions of Solo, where visitors can not only appreciate Javanese and colonial style architecture, but also a gallery which displays ancient stuff including weapons, puppetries, clothes, as well as the royal cart.
A pantomime by live actors, Wayang Wong is also known as Wayang Orang. This mesmerizing performance usually adapts the story of Ramayana and Mahabrata from Hinduism, or the story of Raden Panji and Chandra from Javanese. You can catch Wayang Wong performances at the many theatres around the city.
Galeri Batik Danar Hadi
One of Solo’s big cultural offerings is the traditional cloth called batik. Adorned with old photos and ancient batik-making tools, you can learn all about batik’s rich history at this very specialized gallery. There is even a demonstration area where you can watch these delicate cloths being made right before your eyes.
Pasar Triwindu (Pasar Windujenar)
As one of the centres for culture and heritage in Java, Solo is a great place to look for antiques. One place to go is Pasar Triwindu, where it is known as ‘Antique heaven’ among locals and antique hunters. Along the rows of shops of this market, you can find old currencies and coins, vintage batik cloths and puppetries, bicycles from the 1930s, and even various things claimed to be prehistoric fossils from Sangiran.
Quick facts about Solo
|To city center||Duration||Fare|
|Taxi||30 minutes||From Rp50,000|
|Bus (Batik Solo Trans)||1 hour +||From Rp7,000|
|Currency||Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)|
|Language||Bahasa Indonesia, English|
|Time zone||UTC +7|
|Telephone code||+62 261|
APR – SEP
Dry season – Sunny and humid
22°C – 31°C, Bring your sunglasses
OCT – MAR
Rainy season – Lots of showers
18°C – 28°C, Prepare an umbrella just in case
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