In front of Batik museum just few meters to the end of the road,
you will find a small monument on your right side that look like
a mail post with a sign ‘Mylpaal’.
It is a mark of the central axis of Java island.
Mylpaal means ‘0 Km’, it was built as the start of Daendels road,
which is pantura track 1.100 km length initiated by H.W. Daendels
in 1808. [Pantura = Pantai Utara = North coast]
This time we went to Pekalongan to see the city of batik. We’re driving from Jakarta on a beautiful sunny day.
We stopped for lunch at Cirebon at a small humble food stand to try Nasi Jamblang bu Kesi. Jamblang rice is a typical food of Cirebon, West Java. ‘Jamblang’ comes from the name of a region in Cirebon, home of the food vendors. Characteristic of nasi jamblang is serves on a teak leave before the plate. The dishes is serve like a buffet. After having a delicious lunch, we continued the journey.
Arrived in Pekalongan, we went directly to the hotel, so we could had some rest. If you love antique buildings then you will love traveling in Java, where you could find a colonial houses or building easily. And Pekalongan is one of them.
We chose The Sidji hotel, just because it is an antique house that got restored and turned into a very lovely hotel.
We drove around to alun-alun just to see where to have dinner, we saw this huge signage about lamb rice, a middle-eastern food. We follow the address and led us to the Arab quarter not far from alun-alun. The restaurant is also an antique house that serves delicious food.
Pekalongan is one city that produce batik beside Yogyakarta, Surakarta and other places in Indonesia. Because of its colorful and motifs, batik from Pekalongan is very recognizable. In Dec 1st, 2014, city of Pekalongan was inscribed as a UNESCO World’s Creative City for craft and folk art category. You can find batik workshop or shops in several areas such as: Kampung batik Kauman, Kampung batik Pesindon, Pasar Sentono, and you will find batik clothes in more fine design in boutiques in Arab quarter.
I just love this particular boutique in Arab quarter, just because they preserves the origin architecture.
Near alun-alun there is Batik museum that gives so much information about batik and the philosophy behind every motif. The museum is a Dutch heritage building which has stood since 1906. This Art Deco building was changing function from time to time, from an administration office of a sugar factory until city hall, and finally at present time as Batik Museum.
Divided into 3 display rooms, the first room explain batik motifs and its philosophy in the life cycle of human, from birth to death.
Here are some batik motifs in our life cycle with philosophy behind it :
In one of two other display rooms, you can find batik of Eliza van Zuylen. A Dutch, and one of batik maestro who lived in 1863 – 1947. Her design mostly were flower bouquet or well known as buketan (how Indonesian pronounce it).
Here are some pictures of peaceful and serene Pekalongan..
There is an old lemonade soda drink factory by the name ‘Oriental Cap Nyonya’ near alun-alun that was started in 1910-ish and still operating until this day. Even they weren’t as popular as in 1970s, but you can see that they still producing.
The factory is just located behind the Pekalongan jail that also still got the original architecture in one angle.
I must say, Pekalongan is a very nice, laid-back city, where you can enjoy the slow pace and the colonial architecture. Especially a place that has character in their culture, adds its own charm. -SK-
We just celebrate our cultural heritage at the biggest annual handicraft exhibition, INACRAFT 2016, where the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) sell their local product from traditional until the most innovative one. The exhibition was held at Jakarta Convention Center from April 20th until 24th. INACRAFT is an annual event that much awaited by people who loves our local product, foreigners who simply just looking for some souvenirs or to do direct business with the SME. Because it is an opportunity where you got to see products from all over Indonesia. And every year they have a theme of one province that get to be the star and got the center stage to promote their culture. This year, they promoted the Minangkabau ethnic of West Sumatera. So they put the big pointy roof traditional house of Minangkabau in the main lobby facing the entrance to welcoming the visitors. Everyday they had traditional dance or performance scheduled, in order to introduce our culture to the visitors.
Below are some pictures of local product from Sumatera, and the famous kain songket. The golden and silver thread that is intricately woven justify Sumatera as the Golden Island or we may know as Swarnabhumi or Swarnadwipa. A heritage from the kingdom of Sriwijaya shows from the splendor of Songket.
Pandai Sikek is an area in West Sumatera where it is well-known as the place of the weaver. And has been appreciated by the government in the picture of our five thousand rupiah bill. A woven songket of Pandai Sikek is a work of art and has unique character and subtlety in its motifs. Gold thread made of metal is the main material in forming the motifs on the fabric.
Songket in Sumatra is generally associated as one of the cultural heritage from the golden age of Sriwijaya kingdom. Therefore, in the past songket was associated as a symbol of luxury, social status, and the wearer’s dignity. According to historical records, weaving songket in the past was using real gold thread. This makes songket is not only high value in terms of aesthetics, but also in intrinsic value.
And other beautiful things from other provinces all over Indonesia...
Check out this special craft...
It is always fun to shop in an event like this. You can find a lot of unique product with fine quality from all over Indonesia plus you are helping the local SME and their village. I must say, I'm quite happy with Inacraft this year, they made a lot of progress than last year. Most of the booths were equipped with credit card machine and the SMEs were already put attention for quality on their product. So, I found a lot of high quality goods. Makes me even more proud to wear our local product. -SK-
Visiting Jogja always gave me a pleasant experience. I’ve been several times to Jogja and in each visit always mesmerizes me. A delightful feeling when you see all those heritage, architectural and cultural. I never get tired to see all the palaces in Kraton, the candi (temple), the culture: art, food, and the people, the nature that is so beautiful. Jogja have a lot of sites to see and I can never covered it all in one time visit. So there is always new places to see every time you come to Jogja even though I don’t mind to come to the same place several times.
We went to Jogja by car and took the pantura road. Pantura is short for pantai utara (north coast). The track was so awful because of the traffic. A side there was an accident of truck crashed, there were also lots of stopping because of roadwork, bridge repairing and asphalting. They are preparing for the mudik tradition on Eid feast day. Mudik is when people travel from big city like Jakarta back to their kampung to visit family just like family gathering on Christmas day.
All those soreness and weariness from the heavy traffic, suddenly gone when we arrived in Jogja. Excited can’t wait for morning to come and start to explore this lovely city.
First day, I visited a batik workshop “Batik Winotosastro” that is owned by a family of my friend for generations. As I enter the building, they have a batik shop on the front area and I was greeted by the shop manager or the front officer. I told her directly that I was interested to have a tour to their workshop. She led me to the back of the building and transformed in to a tour guide. She explained everything very well. They produces batik in 3 types: batik tulis (hand write batik), cap (stamp), and the combination of those two.
First step for batik tulis, to draw a motive on a material (cotton or silk) by tracing a model underneath the cloth. And draw the second time with wax using canting. And for batik cap, the first step is directly use the stamp with wax to the material. Using the stamp might be faster, but the trick is you need to be careful and make sure the motive on the stamp didn’t go overlapping or discontinue. It has to be precise from the last end meet the first motive of the stamp.
Then the material got their coloring. They using a cold water in this step with natural colors. Natural colors are from plants leaves and woods. Afterwards, the materials are hung to dry.
The motive that got waxed will be the white color or the color of the original material. The wax protect the material when it get dyed with colors. So after the coloring process, dried up, the material will be soak in to a hot water to remove the wax, also to see if there are any color that wear off and to test the quality of the material. So, when the end result batik cloth are going to be sew to be a dress or shirt, it will not get wrinkled. To have another color on the same material, it will repeat the coloring step until maximum 3 times. Because we don’t want to ruin the material when it has to be soaked in a hot water more than 3 times. If you still want to add color after those three times coloring, you can use brush. For the colorful batik that we see a lot in many batik vendor, they are using a printer directly to the material.
The wax that got off from the material in a hot water will be reuse. The waste of the workshop will be checked and will be processed until it reaches pH 7 then it is safe for disposal.
For batik tulis and cap, combination of two technics, after the stamp batik got colored, by using canting with an ink they adding motives. Usually the ink is gold for prada motive.
Many companies from overseas and local order their batik with their own design from Batik Winotosastro. The company will bring their drawing of motives, and batik Winotosastro will make the stamp model and produce the batik.
A walking distance cafe from the hotel where I’m staying, owned by a Belgian, called Viavia cafe and restaurant serves good food and coffee. I spent an afternoon there for a good conversation with an old friend of my husband’s family that coincidentally staying at the same hotel as ours. We also sightseeing the Food Festival on that same street where the Viavia cafe is on. Bought an ice cream from a cute shop, and turned out the ice cream was quite good!
When the night falls, we were getting ready for gudeg hunt. Gudeg is the local food of Jogja. And we heard this place sells a very good one. The thing is.. this place is not a restaurant, but.. a kitchen. The places’ name is ‘Gudeg Pawon’. Pawon means kitchen, hence the name. Yup, it is a small house in a small street, a lady cooks gudeg in her kitchen and people just queuing outside her kitchen to buy this Javanese cuisine. The kitchen opens at 10 pm and closes at 11.30 pm. The gudeg always sold out at closing time. She don’t even sells drinks, well.. her neighbor does. Because of this ‘quirky’ factors, I become more intrigued to come and try one. And believe me, it was worth it. It was worth queuing a long line, worth to visited late at night eventhough we didn’t know where the place was and had to found it through google map.
Next day, after breakfast we’re off to visit Ullen Sentalu museum. It’s in Kaliurang, Sleman area, north side from the city Jogja. After over an hour we arrived at the museum. It is a big area, I can see the owner (private owned) have a dedication in preserving the history of Java royal family. It is very detail and very personal collection they have. All those private letters and the exquisite paintings of the royal family member. I love the paintings! Amazing!
We had lunch at “Jejamuran” restaurant. The place is unique because they serves mushroom in all types, but for those who doesn’t like mushroom.. don’t worry, they have other menu such as fried or grilled chicken. Good food, but the service was a bit disappointing.
Next stop was Kotagede to do some silver shopping. Kotagede is famous for its silver crafting. But if we go further back, like 16th century, Kotagede is the first capital of Mataram Sultanate. That’s why I saw the remains of the royal cemetery while we’re passing by the streets in Kotagede. Such a pity I didn’t get pictures of the old part of Kotagede. But I found something old just in front of this silver shop I visited. It was an old colonial house that turn into a restaurant. The place is called “Omah Dhuwur”. The house was a textile factory back in colonial time. Take a look at the pictures, isn’t she lovely..?!
We visited a chocolate factory in Kotagede, called “Coklat Monggo”. It is a local product with a Belgian as the owner. They use a cacao from Sumatera and Sulawesi. Such a pity there’s no one there as a guide to explain the process, eventhough they already have big windows for visitor to see the activity in the workshop.
Kraton is a place that you never get tired of for sightseeing. We stopped by at “Puro Pakualaman” it is the castle of Pakualam. We were greeted by a gatekeeper, and explained to us which area that we can and cannot stepped in. It is a lovely house. Enjoy the pictures.. :)
Continuing the Kraton sightseeing, we dropped by at one of the house owned by prince Joyokusumo where the front area got turn into a restaurant called “Gadri Resto”. They even permit the guest to walk around the house to see.
We headed to see underground mosque next to Taman Sari Water Castle. But such a pity it was closed. The local people, one of the Kraton officer I guess, try to show a back door to enter the mosque through residences that surrounding the Water Castle but we didn’t have the luck. It closed also. Well.. there’s always an excuse for next visit to Jogja.
We end the day by doing some shopping at Mirota in jalan Malioboro. I make some time to visit the colonial buildings in jalan Senopati that are now become office buildings of banks and post office.
Last day in Jogja, we’re off by taking not the pantura but the middle road. Surprisingly, the view is amazingly breathtaking. -SK-
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