Purwokerto

Travel Guide Asia Indonesia Java Central Java Purwokerto

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Introduction

Purwokerto is a medium-sized town in Central Java, with just over 300,000 inhabitants. Due to its location it is a railway hub, half way between Jakarta and Yogyakarta, and also connected with Cirebon, Cilacap, Surakarta, Semarang and Jember. The town itself is sprawling and hot, devoid of touristic interest. But at a short distance north of Purwokerto lies Central Java’s highest volcano, Mount Slamet. The popular resort village Baturraden, on the southern slope of Mount Slamet, used to be a stopover for bus tours of nostalgic Dutch doing Java overland. Nowadays the Baturraden attractions tend to be crowded with domestic tourists on weekends and holidays. A must see for foreign visitors are the hot-water springs Pancuran Tujuh. On the forested slopes of Mount Slamet one can go hiking and seek out various waterfalls. The best approach for climbing to the summit is from the east.

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Sights and Activities

Mount Slamet

Hike to the Summit - Mount Slamet or Gunung Slamet (3,432 metres) is the highest volcano in Central Java province and the second highest of Java after Mount Semeru. It is an active volcano, its last eruptions took place in 2009 and 2014. At the summit within a diameter of about 500 metres there are four craters, which frequently emit toxic gases. Three routes lead to the summit, the oldest and fastest is from the east setting out from Bambangan hamlet, Kutabawa village, at an altitude of 1,480 metres. Trained hikers need seven hours to reach the summit from Bambangan and can descend in three hours. The trek from Baturraden takes much longer as one sets out from an altitude of 800 metres. A new route starts at Guci village north-west of Mount Slamet at an altitude of 1,200 metres. Guci has hot water baths and swimming pool, where on your return you can soothe your weary limbs.

  • Lawa Cave

Baturraden and around

The name Baturraden is often misspelled as Baturaden or Batu Raden, because it is perhaps the only instance in the Indonesian language of a word with double r. However, the double r is correct because the name is compounded of batur and raden. These words refer to a legendary story of love between a batur (servant) and a raden (princess). As the princess’ father would not allow them to marry, they ran away and raised their family at Baturraden.

  • Lokawisata Baturraden -The main attraction for domestic family outings is the recreation park Lokawisata Baturraden. It is spaciously laid out in and around the valley of Gumawang river. The park is famous for its cool air and, when the weather is clear, view to the coast at Cilacap. Walk over the concrete bridge for the best views. The bridge replaces a hanging one which collapsed in 2006 due to overloading and lack of maintenance, killing eight! The area is good for some hiking, to the Pancuran Tujuh hot springs (2,5 kilometres) and to Curug Gede waterfall (3 kilometres). Swimming pool, zoo, water bikes etc. are available.
Pancuran 7 Hot Spring

Pancuran 7 Hot Spring

© theo1006

  • Pancuran Tujuh hot springs - These springs are the sight Baturraden is most famous for. Not to be confused with Pancuran Tiga springs inside the Lokawisata area. The name Pancuran Tujuh means Seven Fountains, as the 70 to 90 °C water flows from seven pipes in the side of Slamet volcano at about 700 m above sea level. The water then flows 50 m down over bare rocks, which have taken on various colours because of the sulphur content of the water. Take the stairs downhill and you can take a shower at a small cave, called Goa Sarabadak. It is possible to reach Pancuran Tujuh from inside the Lokawisata area, a walk of about 2.5 kilometres. By car or motorcycle one makes a detour of five kilometres, starting at the campsite and Botanical Garden gate east of Baturraden village. Either way one has to walk a stair of 290 steps downhill.
  • Small World - A recent addition, since September 2016) to Baturraden’s attractions is Small World (Taman Miniatur Dunia). In a garden setting on can admire famous buildings of the world in miniature, like the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower, the Sidney Opera House, a Dutch windmill and many more. Also Indonesian traditional houses, the National Monument Monas, and so on. Address: Jalan Raya Baturraden Barat #270, Ketenger (2.5 kilometres south of Baturraden centre)., Phone: 082233000081, 085602001008, Hours: 7am to 5pm, Price: Weekdays: adults IDR 20k, children IDR 10k. Weekends and holidays: adults IDR 25k, children IDR 15k
  • Telaga Sunyi lake and waterfall - A small waterfall with a deep pool within the pine forest. Telaga Sunyi means Quiet Lake. Indeed an idyllic spot, unfortunately swimming in the pool is discouraged. The lake lies east of Baturraden, about 1 kilometre past Queen Garden Hotel.
Curug Ceheng

Curug Ceheng

© theo1006

  • Curug Ceheng - A small but idyllic waterfall suitable for a romantic picnic: clean and green, with a pool and little meadow beneath the fall. Access is from below, via a flight of stairs, of approximately 250 steps. When you had your fill relaxing below, try hiking one kilometre upstream along the irrigation ditch running near the start of the stairs above. You may find another waterfall, Curug Lawa. The location is nine kilometres past Queen Garden Hotel, follow the signs from Baturraden.
  • Curug Gomblang - As the crow flies this waterfall lies four kilometres west of Lokawiasata Baturraden, but along the road it is more like 15 kilometres, the last kilometre you have to walk along the river over slippery rocks. But then you are in Mount Slamet’s protected forest. A 2006 survey counted 65 individuals of the endangered Gray Langur (presbytis comata) around Gomblang waterfall.
  • Curug Bayan - Curug Bayan is a more developed waterfall attraction, at only four kilometres from Baturraden. Accommodation is available.
  • Curug Telu - A short distance south of Queen Garden Hotel. On your walk there, you pass Grojogan Ratu waterfall, Sendang Bidadari pool and four metres deep Kedung Pete pool. From the latter pool it’s 180 steps down to the triple waterfall.

Larger Purwokerto area

  • Curug Cipendok - For 92 metres high Cipendok waterfall one has to set out from Purwokerto. It’s about 10 kilometres west and then 10 kilometres north. It is said that the endangered Javanese Hawk-eagle, better known as the national Garuda bird, can be heard and spotted here. And a survey in 2005 encountered 80 individuals of the endangered Gray Langur (presbytis comata) around Cipendok waterfall.
Cikakak Monkeys

Cikakak Monkeys

© theo1006

  • Cikakak Monkey Hill - The monkeys at Ubud’s Monkey Forest are thoroughly spoiled by too much human attention. They are aggressive, rob your bag to see what food is in it and even take your spectacles as ransom. Not so the monkeys at Taman Kera Masjid Saka Tunggal. At this out-of-the-way place they graciously accept one peanut from your hand and when they have finished it come back for another. There is a small kiosk at the parking where they sell peanuts. But if you want the monkeys really happy, bring some fresh fruit. If by chance you don’t see them when you arrive, a caretaker will call them from the hill where they are foraging. Cikakak village lies about 15 kilometres from Purwokerto. Head west to Ajibarang, then south direction Cilacap. At the Cikakak mosque turn west for 1.5 kilometres.

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Sleep

Budget

Every other house in Baturraden proper offers losmen style accommodation. Backpackers are advised to shop around for the cleanest and avoid those letting rooms by the hour.

Mid-range

  • Queen Garden Hotel - This 3-star hotel used to host groups of Dutch tourists doing Java overland. It’s a miracle that it survives now that this stream of tourists has virtually dried out. Although struggling to keep up its standards, the hotel is still Baturraden’s best option. Adress: Jalan Perhutani #38, Dusun II, Karangsalam, two kilometres east of Baturraden centre.

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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 26. Last edited at 21:48 on Sep 16, 19 by theo1006. 2 articles link to this page.

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