Travel Guide Asia Indonesia Java Central Java Salatiga

edit

Introduction

Mount Merbabu view from town square

Mount Merbabu view from town square

© All Rights Reserved theo1006

Salatiga is a small town in Central Java, situated halfway between the cities Semarang and Surakarta (Solo) and two hours’ drive from Yogyakarta. With an average altitude of 600 metres above sea-level the town is less hot than those cities. Although small, counting 183,000 inhabitants in 2015, Salatiga has a variety of restaurants and accommodation, and is therefore a good base for those who want to explore Central Java. Travel time by car from Salatiga to the Gedong Songo Temples is less than an hour, to the Ambarawa Railway Museum half an hour. For those who want to climb Merapi volcano, travel time from Salatiga to the base camp in Selo is about the same as from yogyakarta; and to Kopeng from where one ascends Mount Merbabu it is only half an hour. The distance to Dieng Plateau is about the same as from Yogyakarta.

Salatiga is best known for its university, Universitas Kristen Satya Wacana, founded in 1956 and now having an enrollment of around 15,000. The university offers intensive Indonesian language courses for foreigners; its Department of Performing Arts brings several free music performances every year. There are several other educational institutions, among which an International School, so that Salatiga is seen as an ‘education town’. Many of its inhabitants make a living out of letting rooms to students. Salatiga is also called a ‘retirement town’, a good place to retire to from active life in Jakarta or another big city. But Salatiga has also entered the industrial era. The town counts two textile factories, Damatex and Timatex. And since 2005 a modern foodstuff processing plant, allied to the Dutch brand Frisian Flag, has been operational on the site of a former diary factory.

Top

edit

History

In 1995 it was decided to canonize July 24th, AD 750, as the date Salatiga was founded. This is based on an inscription in stone, Prasasti Plumpungan, declaring the local inhabitants perdikan, i.e. exempt from taxes to the king. When the Dutch arrived in Central Java, they soon discovered the strategic value of Salatiga, half way between Semarang harbour and the Solo sultanate. The VOC (United East Indian Company) built a fort and garrisoned a detachment at Salatiga. In the 19th century Salatiga became a center of coffee and rubber plantations. Because of that the number of Europeans living in Salatiga rose to over 2000 in 1905. In 1917 the colonial government gave Salatiga the status of an independent town. More and more Dutch came to live here and Salatiga was then considered ‘the most beautiful town of Central Java’. Salatiga has lost some of its beauty due to its grown population. In 1992 it was decided that Salatiga was too small to be viable with its only 18 km2 mostly built-up area, therefore in 1992 the town was allowed to annex several villages from the surrounding regencies, tripling its area.

Top

edit

Sights and Activities

  • Ambarawa Railway Museum - The railway museum of Ambarawa is now officially named Indonesian Railway Museum (IRM) and the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia. Its heritage rolling stock comprises 26 steam locomotives, 4 diesel locomotives and 6 wagons. Some of these are maintained in serviceable condition and used for recreational rides.
  • Gedong Songo Temples - The Gedong Songo Hindu temples are located in an Archaeological Park on the forested southern slope of Ungaran mountain. These small temples are among the most ancient in Java, contemporary to those of Dieng plateau. A round walk along the five sites may take a couple of hours.
  • Havana Horses - If you want to discover Central Java’s countryside on horseback, this is the place to go. Havana Horses also offers lessons in grooming and natural horsemanship. Their horses walk unshod and are ridden without bit or spurs.
Kali Pancur fall

Kali Pancur fall

© All Rights Reserved theo1006

  • Kali Pancur waterfall - The pool of this waterfall in a deep valley of Telomoyo mountain is relatively unspoilt, probably because not many sightseers endeavour to walk down a stairway of 850 plus steps, and up again! Yet the locals do this daily with a load of fodder for their livestock! It is best to visit the waterfall in the rainy season, early after sunrise. Then (when it is not cloudy), the sun shines full on the cliff with the fall. There is not enough of a pool to swim, but one may take a bath. And when one feels hot again from climbing the stairs, one may take a second bath at the sacred facility halfway up. Location: Nogosaren village, about 14 kilometres from Salatiga. Drive or take a minibus 11 kilometres up the Salatiga-Kopeng road. Past Wates village find a sign Wisata Kali Pancur indicating a turnoff to the right. From here drive, walk or ride ojek another 3 kilometres.
  • Klenteng (Chinese temple)
  • Merapi Volcano - Travel time to New Selo base camp from Salatiga is about the same as from Yogyakarta. Take a bus to Boyolali, then a minibus to Selo village. From the main road it is then a 1.5-kilometre hike or ojek ride to New Selo.
  • Mount Merbabu - The most rewarding route to the summit of mount Merbabu (3,142 metres) is from the mountain resort Kopeng, at a half hour’s drive from Salatiga. There are two base camps to set out from, Tekelan at 1,550 metres and Cuntel at 1,650 metres. Both can now be reached by car, which considerably shortens the hike. Still a trained climber should count on five hours, because only the last of several peaks on the route is the summit. If one has no reason to return to Kopeng, one can make the traverse descending on the south side of Merbabu towards Selo, and after the needed rest attack Merapi Volcano.
  • Ngempon temple and hot spring - Three nicely restored little temples like those of Gedong Songo in a valley at the confluence of two rivers. Cross the river by a steel bridge to a hot spring where locals come to bathe in the afternoon. Location: Ngempon village. Take the turnoff to the east at Karangjati halfway on the main road between Ungaran and Salatiga.
  • Plumpungan monolith - The oldest written record of people living in the Salatiga area. According to the inscription on a rock, on the 31st day of the 4th month of year Saka 672 King Bhanu designated the village Hampran to be perdikan, i.e. exempt from taxes, for their service to the goddess Trisala. That name in later years became Salatri and eventually Salatiga. On the road to Bringin, just before the viaduct of the tollroad turn to the right.
  • Rong Hill lookout - Located within the confines of Tlogo Plantation, the lookout with restaurant offers great views over Rawa Pening lake towards nearby Telomoyo, Ungaran and Merbabu mountains as well as Sumbing and Sindoro volcanoes in the distance. Free for guests of the resort, a small fee for visitors. Tlogo Agro Resort (see 'Sleep') lies at 12 kilometres from Salatiga, on the road east from Tuntang Station. The walk uphill to the lookout may take 30 minutes, unless you rather drive all the way.
  • Salatiga’s White House - Perhaps the best preserved colonial house of Salatiga is the Gedung Putih (White House). It used to be the residence of the Javanese governor. The Dutch allowed the Javanese a measure of self-governance, but a Dutch “assistent resident” looked over the governor’s shoulder and had exclusive jurisdiction regarding the matters of Europeans. After Indonesia’s independence the White House became the seat of the town government, it is now mainly used for ceremonial purposes. Located on the south-eastern corner of Lapangan Pancasila, the town square.
  • Karesidenan - Another fine colonial house is the Karesidenan, the former official residence of the Dutch “assistent resident”. It is now the official residence of Salatiga’s mayor. Located on a corner near the clock tower, facing Ramayana Mall.

Top

edit

Getting There

By Plane

The airport nearest to Salatiga is Ahmad Yani International Airport (SRG). At the counter in the exit hall you can get a taxi ride to Salatiga at a fixed price. If you want to take the faster toll road, the toll is extra.

By Car

Salatiga is located at the main road that connects Semarang and Solo. If you come from Semarang through the Semarang-Solo Toll Road, take the Bawen exit as the Tingkir exit is too far south from the town centre

By Bus

There are frequent buses from Yogyakarta, Solo and Semarang as well as the "travel" services, mini-buses that will pick you up and drop you off. Cipaganti shuttle bus connects to the more important towns of Java via Solo or Semarang. They do not pick you up, you have to get on the bus at their agent: Toko RIa, Jalan Sudirman 40.

It takes around an hour from Solo or Semarang, and around three hours from Yogyakarta. Bus operators that serve the Semarang to Solo route include Rajawali, Safari, Taruna, and Ismo. The bus station is the Tingkir Terminal in the southern part of the town. Two companies with office at the terminal provide an overnight service to Bali: (1) Gunung Harta leaves around noon, ETA Denpasar by 8:00am; (2) Pahala Kencana leaves around 3:00pm, ETA Denpasar day by 11:00am.

Top

edit

Getting Around

By Car

There are several car rentals in town, where you can get a car with driver. However, most drivers do not speak English. Salatiga also has its own taxi operator, named Galaksi Taksi. Their stand is in front of Grand Hotel Wahid, and one can call them up at 0298 326762 / 7182777.

By Public Transport

There are some angkota (mini-van) public transport lines which are numbered. The minibus number 5 will take you from the southern town border to the Plaza Taman Sari. Unfortunately, no public transport is allowed to go through the main "market" road (i.e. Jalan Jenderal Sudirman) because it is so crowded, however the market and shops along this street are within a walking distance from the minibus routes. A single ride costs Rp3,000 for adults and Rp2,000 for students.

Top

edit

Eat and Drink

Eateries are spread out around the town. Those around the university tend to be cheap. Mie Bandung (Jalan Pemotongan) serves good chicken noodles (though salty) and "nasi tim" (soft steamed rice with chicken and soy sauce topping). In 2009 they cost below Rp10,000. Tuntang (one of Salatiga's neighbouring districts) is close to the Rawa Pening lake, where you can find a group of lesehan grilled fish traditional restaurants. These restaurants have small gazebos where you can eat sitting on the floor. Lesehan means "sitting cross-legged on the floor.

Non-alcoholic drinks are served in most small eating places and medium to large restaurants. They tend to be sweet. The "es campur" (literally "mixed ice") consists of tape (sweet fermented cassava), pearl balls, black "cincau" cubes, agar-agar, sometimes with mung beans, served with syrup, crushed ice and sweetened condensed milk.

  • Bakmi Progo - Eat for a dollar at this streat-side foodstall close to the market. Open 6:00pm to 10:00pm. Address: Jalan Progo 13B.
  • Bale Raos - Javanese cuisine in traditional Javanese ambience, located on the ring-road. Address: Jalan Lingkar Selatan, Pulutan.
  • Cafe Ole - Gorgeous garden in-town. Unfortunately the food - Western, Indonesian, Chinese - not of the same standard. Address: Jalan Tentara Pelajar 61.
  • Kampoeng Kopi Banaran - Restaurant of a road-side recreational area run by a coffee plantation. Try their Javanese coffee blend. Address: Jalan Raya Semarang Solo km 35, Bawen.
  • Lotus Coffee and Resto - Garden restaurant on a hillside on the road to Kopeng. Access not suitable for disabled people. Address: Jalan Hasanudin 132.
  • Manna Resto - Specializes in home-made pizza, don’t order the pasta. Open until 9:00pm. Address: Jalan Patimura 30.
  • M J Food Center - Great variety, well prepared. Close to Laras Asri Hotel. Address: Jalan Jendral Sudirman 258.
  • Mina Kencana - The name means ‘goldfish’, but there is no goldfish on the menu. Instead other species of fish fresh from their own ponds and deliciously prepared. Address: Jalan Salatiga-Bringin km 2.
  • Nyonya King’s - Chinese restaurant belonging to Le Beringin Hotel. Address: Jalan Jendral Sudirman 160.
  • The Bizztro - Expat-run restaurant located near the International School. Special coffees and good western dishes. Address: Jalan Bima III/8, Grogol, Sidomukti.
  • Warung Joglo “Bu Rini” - Popular among locals, tasty Javanese cuisine with modest prices and modest portions. Within town yet with paddy field view. Open daily from 8:00am to 8:00pm. Address: Jalan Mawar, a dead end branching off from Jalan Imam Bonjol.

Top

edit

Sleep

Up-scale

  • Kayu Arum Resort - Only a limited number of rooms in this luxury resort, hidden in a residential area yet completely private. The owner made his fortune exporting furniture, the elite of Salatiga parties here. Address: Jalan Magersari, Ringinawe, Tegalrejo, 50733 Salatiga.
  • Griya Tetirah - A boutique hotel located half way between the town square and the main shopping street, accessed through a narrow drive. Address: Jalan Letjend. Sukowati 47D, 50724 Salatiga.
  • Oase van Java - The Dutch and Indonesian owners renovated and expanded a traditional dwelling in a typical Javanese hamlet on the lower slopes of Mount Merbabu. Lush garden with lots of cosy gazebo’s. From the pool a view over Rawa Pening towards Ungaran mountain. Address: Located10 kilometres from Salatiga centre at Dusun Karang Padang RT.01/RW.05, Desa Gedong. Kecmatan Banyubiru, 50664 Salatiga. Look it up on Google maps, Booking.com gives a wrong location.
  • Paradijs van Java - Comparable to Oase van Java, but of modern architecture and located at just 200 metres from the main road from Salatiga to Semarang. Rong Hill lookout is at 2 kilometres distance. Address: Located 8 kilometres from Salatiga centre at Jalan Fatmawati Dusun Lopait RT.01/RW.1, 50773 Salatiga.

Mid-range

  • Laras Asri Resort and Spa - A resort situated on 2.4 ha of land with a brook (Kali Ngaglik) running through it, at 1.5 kilometres from the market. Beautifully designed in Javanese style by a local architect, in a tropical garden setting, it has everything you can think of: spa, sauna, steam bath, whirlpool, swimming pools, tennis court, fitness center, etc. Javanese, Chinese and colonial antiques make up a large part of the furniture. Starting in 2005 as up-scale accommodation, a high-rise with mid-range prices was later added. - Address: Jalan Jendral Sudirman 335, 50732 Salatiga.
  • Grand Hotel Wahid - A high-rise city hotel located near Ramayana mall and the post office. With outdoor pool. Taxi stand in front. Address: Jalan Jendral Sudirman 2, 50711 Salatiga.
  • Le Beringin Hotel - Long the foremost hotel in Salatiga, then simply named Hotel Beringin, it had colonial-style rooms with veranda and parking in front. To keep up with the competition a high-rise was added with pool and restaurant on the fourth floor and the name changed to Le Beringin. A wide range of reasonable prices, the old rooms being cheapest. Address: Jalan Jendral Sudirman 160, 50711 Salatiga.
  • Salib Putih Hotel - A commercial spin-off of the White Cross Foundation that runs a home for orphans and destitute elderly across the road. At its opening in 2007 announced as a youth hostel annex camp ground, Pondok Remaja Salib Putih. But a very luxurious youth hostel, that soon became popular among adults, especially for meetings. So now it has been renamed d’Emmerick Salib Putih Hotel, after the Dutch founder of the Witte Kruis Kolonie for the relocation of villagers left destitute after the 1901 eruption of Kelud volcano. Whose surname was written ‘van Emmerik’ as can be verified on his tomb in the estate. Located on the slope of Mount Merbabu, with a pool like a runway from which to take off into the sky. Address: Jalan Hasanudin km 4; so four kilometres from town.
  • Tlogo Agro Resort - A resort in a 415-ha coffee plantation. The house of the former Dutch owner is now the restaurant. It offers bungalows among coffee shrubs as well as rooms in a two-storey block. Room rates include a tour of the plantation and the coffee-processing plant. Before booking, inquire whether there are activities scheduled for youth groups. In that case you’ll not enjoy the quietude you hoped for. Located at 11 kilometres from Salatiga, on the road east from Tuntang station. Address: Jl. Raya Tuntang Beringin Km 2, Desa Delik, Kecamatan Tuntang, 50773 Ambarawa.

Budget

  • Hotel Kalimang - Built with Javanese style features, adjacent to a rice field. With a rustic cafe serving drinks and snacks. From a gazebo on the roof view of Merbabu mountain. On walking distance from the university. Address: Jalan Kalimangkak 19, at 100 metres from the main road.
  • Hotel Mutiara - This hotel was built in the yard of a former Dutch cinema building, but does not utilize the building itself. Located right behind Hotel Wahid, near banks, the post office and the market. Address: Jalan Langensuko 31.
  • Hotel Surya Indah - After its renovation an excellent budget hotel on the main road to Semarang at 1.5 kilometres from the university. Address: Jalan Diponegoro 110A.
  • Wisma Tamu UKSW - The university’s guesthouse, which also receives guests not connected to the university. Formerly the main house was the dwelling of a Javanese aristocrate. The university had blocks of rooms built around it, which makes the once spacious yard feel cramped. Centrally located between the town square and the main shopping street. Address: Jalan Adi Sucipto 20.

Top

edit

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.

Top

Salatiga Travel Helpers

This is version 63. Last edited at 20:40 on Mar 22, 18 by theo1006. 4 articles link to this page.

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content of this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License