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Introduction

Jepara is famous for two reasons. First, Jepara is the birthplace of R.A. Kartini, the Indonesian icon for women's rights; a Kartini pilgrimage would take you here and to Rembang where she died. Second, Jepara produces wooden furniture with fine carvings. For tourists Jepara is also the closest approach to the Karimunjawa Islands in the Java Sea. The "Bahari Express" boat takes you there in two hours, the ferry "Siginjai" in five hours with your car. About 300 expats live in Jepara, many of them involved in the furniture industry. A few shops and restaurants cater to their tastes. There is a white sandy beach close by, and there are good swimming pools in town.

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Sights and Activities

Manual loom in Troso

Manual loom in Troso

© theo1006

  • Troso village (on the west side of the road to Semarang, about 12 km (7.5 mi) south). Known for its loom weaving: jacquard and copies of East Nusa Tenggara styles. There are showrooms along the main street, some of which have workshops. There are also small workshops in some of the houses. Some batiking is also done.
  • Museum RA Kartini (Kartini Museum), Jl Alun-Alun No.1, Panggang (Right by the Tourist Information Centre), ☎ +62 852 2584-1999. Daily 08:00–16:00. Jepara is the birthplace of national hero Raden Adjeng Kartini, a pioneer in the area of education for girls and women's rights. Tells the story of her life, and shows the artefacts.
  • Mount Muria (Gunung Muria). Mount Muria is at the centre of the cape that juts out into the Java Sea, with Jepara on its western coast. Though not spectacularly high, the mountain is rugged and worth exploring on a motorbike or with a hired car. There are coffee-growing mountain villages and some ancient Hindu temples to be found. One place to start would be the village of Tempur, on the northern slope of the mountain, up a narrow single-track road with views down into the valleys. Head north out of Jepara, following the main road in the direction of Pati. At roughly the most northernmost point, or just after, look out for signs. Almost opposite the turn for Tempur is a turn towards a Portuguese fort on the coast. The road in from the main road was upgraded in mid-2017 so should stay in fair condition for a couple of wet seasons.
Bandengan Beach

Bandengan Beach

© theo1006

  • Bandengan beach, at 8 kilometres from Jepara town, is one of the better beaches on Java's north coast. Most of the time the water is very calm, and one can walk maybe 100 metres off shore. On holidays the public beach is crowded, but a short walk takes one to the beach of two resorts favoured by expats, less crowded yet freely accessible. And if one cares to take the dirt road north before the gate to the public beach, passing Bu Gipah’s fish resto, one reaches a deserted stretch of beach. At the public beach boats are for hire for a 5-kilometre trip to Pulau Panjang, a small tree-grown island good for a picnic.

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Getting There

From Semarang you can take a taxi and bargain a price of around Rp275,000. Even if they use the meter it should not be much more than that.

Small, mostly non air-conditioned, buses leave Semarang's Terboyo bus terminal daily 05:00–17:00 and cost Rp15,000–20,000. Expect to pay twice if you put your backpack on an empty seat (there are no luggage compartments on small buses).

There are more comfortable air-conditioned shuttle vans (known as travel) from Semarang, Yogyakarta, and Solo, mostly departing from the various agencies' offices. From Semarang the journey takes around 2 hours and costs around Rp25,000–35,000. These buses have departures later than the cheap intercity buses.

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Getting Around

Taxis are a bit hard to find. Becaks are fairly easy. Motorbikes can be rented from some of the motorcycle dealers or at the Segoro Hotel.

If you know Indonesian, you can call Raja which is a taxi service using a normal SUV type car. 085 225 111 234 or 081 705 62002.
You can also call Atlas taxi in Semarang. If you don't speak Indonesian try going to Jepara Indah Hotel, or Kencana Hotel.

The Hotel Segoro at the north end of town (near the gas station) has a travel service and can also charter cars.

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Eat

  • Yam Yam Resto, Jl Pantai Karang Kebagusan Km 5 (in the complex called Joglo Putu Inten), ☎ +62 0291 598755. daily 08:00–23:30. Thai and Western. Ocean side, good for sunsets but no beach. Swimming pool. Serves beer. A little hidden away. If you enjoy it, there's a branch in Jogja.
  • Cipto Roso, Jl Doktor Sutomo, ☎ +62 813 2513-8417. Famous for the Jepara speciality called pindang srani, a clear, fresh, spicy fish soup.

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Sleep

  • The Gecho Inn Town, Jl A. R. Hakim No.43, Kauman, ☎ +62 291 595220, e-mail: info@thegechoinn.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Four rooms only. Behind the Gecho Inn, with Western and Indonesian food, and beer. Also has a branch out of town.
  • Segoro Hotel, Jl Ringin Jaya No.2 (500 metres from the bus terminal and around 1.5 kilometres from the ferry terminal.). Cheaper rooms have no shower in the bathroom, bucket only. Starts at Rp140,000 for double/twin room with a fan and Rp170.000 for a room with AC including simple breakfast buffet.
  • Palm Beach Resort, Jalan Tirta Samudera 191, Bandengan, Jepara 59432, ☎ +62.291.59446. The most upmarket on Bandengan Beach.
  • Sunset Beach Resort, adjacent to Palm Beach Resort, medium-priced.

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet is becoming more widely used in Indonesia, and warung Internet (warnet) - Internet cafés - are emerging everywhere. A lot of restaurants and cafés in big cities normally have wireless internet available for free. Internet connection speed in Indonesia varies between ISP and location. Prices vary considerably, and as usual you tend to get what you pay for, but you'll usually be looking at around Rp3,000 to Rp5,000 per hour with faster access than from your own mobile phone. In large cities, there are free WiFi hotspots in many shopping malls, McDonald restaurants, Starbucks cafes, 7 Eleven convenience stores, and in some restaurants and bars. Some hotels provide free hotspots in the lobby and/or in their restaurants and even in your rooms.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

You can use 112 as an emergency number through mobile phones. Other numbers include 110 (police), 113 (fire) and 118 (ambulance).
The international phone code is 62.

If you have GSM cellular phone, ask your local provider about "roaming agreement/facility" with local GSM operators in Indonesia (i.e.: PT Indosat, PT Telkomsel, PT XL Axiata). The cheapest way is buying a local SIM card, which would be much cheaper to call and especially use internet compared to your own cell phone's sim card.

The Indonesian mobile phone market is heavily competitive and prices are low: you can pick up a prepaid SIM card for less than Rp 10,000 and calls may cost as little as Rp 300 a minute to some other countries using certain carriers (subject to the usual host of restrictions). SMS (text message) service is generally very cheap, with local SMS as low as Rp129-165, and international SMS for Rp400-600. Indonesia is also the world's largest market for used phones, and basic models start from Rp 150,000, with used ones being even cheaper.

Post

Pos Indonesia provides the postal service in Indonesia. Pos Indonesia is government-owned and offers services ranging from sending letters and packages to money transfers (usually to remote areas which have no bank branch/ATM nearby) and selling postcards and stamps. Sending a postcards, letter or parcel is relatively expensive, but fairly reliable. It takes several days at least to send it within Indonesia, at least a week internationally. It is recommended to send letters from a Pos Indonesia branch, not by putting it inside orange mailbox (called Bis Surat) in the roadside, because some of the mailboxes are in very bad condition and aren't checked regularly by Pos Indonesia. Opening times of post offices usually tend to follow general business hours: Monday to Friday from 8:00am to 4:00pm (sometimes shorter hours on Fridays), Saturdays from 8:00am to 1:00pm, closed on Sundays. Bigger cities, tourist areas and central post offices tend to keep longer hours, into the evenings.

Private postal services based in Indonesia include CV Titipan Kilat (CV TIKI), Jalur Nugraha Ekaputra (JNE), Caraka, and RPX. There are also foreign postal services that have branches in Indonesia, including DHL, TNT, UPS, and FedEx.

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This is version 7. Last edited at 8:07 on Jun 4, 18 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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