All posts filed under: Central Java

Agrotourism in the Foot of Slamet Mountain (Exploring Central Java, part 4)

Traveling is not only about how you enjoy the sandy beach or greeny mountain. Agrotourism has long become one of alternative way to spend a non mainstream holiday.Through this trip, the visitor can experience what is like to be a real farmer by planting the seeds or harvesting the crops. Based on Ecotour directory, the concept of agrotourism is a direct expansion of ecotourism, which encourages visitors to experience agricultural life at first hand. Purbalingga, one of city I passed through is one of ideal site to have the agrotourism experience.Located at the foot of the mountain Slamet, this site is endowed with a mild climate that is suitable for farming activities. Along the way, I met a wide yard with vegetable plantations of diverse varieties. Not only that, many houses prefer to grow tomatoes, leaks, cauliflower and other fruits or vegetables at their yards. If you’re already accustomed to enjoy the sun or the Tulip flower gardens, carrot garden could also show its beauty with her pale blooming green flowers. Hanging chilies and tomato …

Trace Back General Sudirman’s Birthplace in Purbalingga (Exploring Central Java, part 3)

Who does not know General Sudirman, one of the Indonesian war strategist who contributed to Indonesian independence. What is so special about this national hero, he remained persistent to set guerrilla attacks against allied forces when in  Indonesian pre-and post-independence, although he had to be stretchered anywhere because of his tuberculosis disease. Soedirman was stretchered during his struggle. Picture taken from http://www.kesaintblanc.co.id/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/jendral-sudirman-ditandu.jpg In the second Dutch military aggression 1948, Yogyakarta which became the capital of the Indonesian state was occupied by Dutch. Soedirman who was weak and ill forced himself to participate in the war against the allied forces. Stretchered from one to other mountains and forests for approximately seven months, he led the attacks and supported Indonesian army to fight. Although President Soekarno asked him to go back home and have rest, he refused and kept struggling til the last breath. My next stop was Purbalingga. Passing through Jendral Sudirman statue, I was tickled to pay a visit to his birthplace in Bodaskarangjati village, around one hour riding a bike from the city. Monumen …

Kota Lama, the Little Netherland van Java (Exploring Central Java, part 2)

Welcome to Kota Lama (Old City), one of district in Semarang, Central Java’s capital which still preserves its Dutch colonialism heritage. From some sources I read, the history of Kota Lama began in 1678 when Amangkurat II, the ruling king of Mataram surrendered Semarang as a reward of VOC support to stop Trunojoyo rebellion. VOC then built a pentagonal fortress called Vijfhoek Fort which was said to be bigger than the fort in Batavia (François Valentijn on his book Oud en Nieuw Oost-Indiën/ Old and New East-India). Kota Lama and Berok bridge in colonialism era. Photo taken from http://fariable.blogspot.com/2011/01/elemen-perancangan-kota-hamid-shirvani.html One picture of old Kota Lama. Photo taken from http://wisatalternatif.blogspot.com/2012/05/kawasan-kota-lama-semarang.html This fort was built as military centre and Dutch settlement (called De Europeesche Buurt) with one entrance gate at the north side and five watchtowers. Some canals were built at Semarang river and the urban development inside the fort was built in Netherlands architecture typical. Therefore this district is well known as Outstadt “Little Netherland”. After the Dutch settlement expansion, Kota Lama grew more crowded  and Vijfhoek …

Culinary Hunting in Central Java (Exploring Central Java, part 1)

Couple days ago, I got an opportunity to explore some cities in Central Java, started from Semarang, its capital, heading to Pekalongan, Pemalang, Purbalingga and ended up at Purwokerto. Riding a bike with my friend, we traveled the cities, enjoyed the scenery and dropped by a while to spend the quality time. Through this blog, I would like to share you some experience I had during the time traveling to the cities. This premier part would talk about some local cuisine at some city. A unique blend of taste that can be found variously from one city to another. They might offer the same menu, for example Soto (traditional soup) or Sate. But if you taste it, you can find different ingredient in each city. In Pekalongan, Soto Tauto (or they call it Coto Tauto) is served with fermented soybeans (called tauco) and buffalo meat. Meanwhile in Purbalingga, Soto Bancar is served with sweet yet hot peanut sauce to add its authentic flavor. Ladies and Gentlement, Please enjoy… Durian ice soup, served with coconut milk …

Jajan-Jajan di Pasar Semawis, Semarang

Pasar Semawis adalah pusat jalan-jalan kuliner di kawasan pecinan di Semarang. Pasar ini hanya digelar setiap weekend alias jumat-minggu saja. Sesuai namanya, pasar malam ini menyajikan berbagai jajanan, mulai dari jajanan khas setempat hingga penganan unik yang menarik perhatian siapa saja yang kebetulan melewati kiosnya. Menurut cerita dari tukang becak yang saya tumpangi, pasar ini baru didirikan pada tahun 2004, tepat ketika Imlek secara resmi dijadikan hari libur nasional oleh pemerintahan Alm. Gusdur. Saya sendiri kebetulan berkesempatan mengunjungi pasar tersebut pada hari Sabtu. Bersama keluarga, saya menyewa dua buah becak dari hotel tempat kami menginap di dekat mal Paragon. Kurang lebih setengah delapan malam, kami sudah tiba di depan gerbang pasar Semawis dan terlihat sudah ramai berderet mobil-mobil dan becak terparkir. Bersama rombongan lainnya, kami berjalan memasuki pasar Semawis yang lebih berupa deretan warung-warung tenda di depan pertokoan. Setiap melewati sebuah warung, saya menghentikan langkah kaki sejenak, sekedar mencari tahu apa dijual. Terkadang saya ikutan mengantri untuk membeli karena baru kali itu melihat penampakan kuliner yang disajikan.

Tur Deg-Deg Serr ala Lawang Sewu

Oktober lalu, ketika sedang berkunjung sebentar ke Semarang, saya menyempatkan diri untuk mampir ke sebuah bangunan yang memang sudah lama sekali masuk dalam list travel agenda saya, Lawang Sewu, atau dalam bahasa Indonesia artinya seribu pintu (dinamakan demikian oleh masyarakat setempat karena banyaknya jumlah jendela yang menyerupai pintu di tiap gedung). Menurut yang saya baca, bangunan yang selesai dibangun tahun 1907 ini pada mulanya dijadikan sebagai kantor pusat perusahaan swasta kereta api. Hingga akhirnya pada jaman pendudukan Jepang, fungsinya sempat beralih menjadi penjara tempat penyiksaan tahanan yang memberontak pada otoritas. Hanya perlu berjalan kaki sekitar 10 menit dari mal Paragon (penasaran pengen ngeliat mal terbesar di Semarang itu)  untuk mencapai Lawang Sewu yang letaknya tepat di seberang Tugu Pemuda. Sesampainya di gerbang, salah seorang wanita yang ternyata adalah guide lokal menanyakan apakan saya ingin berkunjung masuk ke dalam. Begitu saya menganggukan kepala, ia meminta saya untuk mengikutinya ke dalam untuk membayar tiket masuk beserta dengan jasa guidenya. Lawang Sewu memiliki dua buah gedung. Yang pertama adalah gedung yang saya temui di balik gerbang masuk tadi, …