Solo When the Past Still PresentArchipelago Diaries
Often shadowed by its close neighbour Yogyakarta, Solo possesses the humble charm of indigenous Java since the early Hindu period.
Only an hour away from Jogja, Solo has a complete package for those looking for historical and cultural excitements. In the city center, you can find Keraton Surakarta to learn about the sultanate family and its royal architecture. Still in walking distance, you can find Museum Batik Danarhadi that stores over 10,000 batik cloths and even has its own batik workshop so you can see yourself how the gorgeous batik is made.
Stroll around the nearby Kampung Batik Kauman to buy affordable yet high-quality batik. Its labyrinth-like streets provide beautiful photo backgrounds that are sure to get you a few likes on your Instagram account. Keep your feet moving to Pasar Antik Windujenar in Ngarsopuro, a heaven for antiques hunters as the two-storey market sells items only existed decades ago and beyond. At night, you can taste the authentic Javanese cuisine sold by the street vendors on Jalan Ngarsopuro.
For die-hard music fans, Museum Lokananta will be their holy grail as this is the country’s very first music studio where various Indonesian musicians from different generations recorded their masterpieces. In the museum, you can also find the one and only James Bullough Lansing speaker that helps the artists make top-quality records, which is touted to be as good as the London’s Abbey Road.
A visit to Sukuh and Cetho temples on the foot of Lawu Mountain is a must as many researchers suggest that these two sites have great resemblance to the famous Mexico’s Mayan temples. Located on 910 meters above the sea level with a blanket of mist covering the trees, Sukuh and Cetho’s mystical aura is so profound, and therefore attracted hundreds of visitors every week.
Last but not least, stepping into Museum Purbakala Sangiran to learn about prehistoric age as the museum is a home for thousands of fossils of Homo erectus, Homo wajakensis and many more. Recognized by UNESCO as one of the most important excavation sites to study on our ancestors, the majestic museum explains in great detail yet fun way about how the earth was created along with its first forms of lives.