I manage to grab very cheap flight ticket to Solo for our family holiday on early Feb 2011 during Airasia promotion. It cost me only rm108 for 7pax return flight and the timing also was very good, during the Chinese New Year holiday. We spent 1 night in Solo and 3 nights in Yogyakarta. Solo and Yogyakarta is full with ancient temples, and of course batik.
We reached at the Solo Airport airport around 2pm. The arrival hall was quite small with few immigration counter, so the queue was quite long. We manage to settle quite fast because we did not have any check-in baggage. We took the taxi just in front of the departure hall and straight to Ibis Solo Hotel.The hotel located just 10 minutes ride at the main road of Jalan Gajah Mada. The check-in process was very smooth and within minutes, we already in our rooms for refreshing.
At 3.30pm, we ready to explore city. The receptionist was very helpful in showing us places to visit in Solo and even give us a nice map with useful information. The conceige help us to get a cab to our first destination, Pasar Klewer, just 10minutes rides, and cost us only rp20k. Pasar Klewer is a traditional market that sell mostly batik, located just off the west gate of Keraton’s North Square. Smell of batik clothes was very strong once we enter the this place. Without aircond and proper ventilation, within 10minutes we all were gasping for fresh air. Daddy decided to went out of the market and wait at Masjid Agung Solo just in front of the market. The market was full with seller selling everything from batik. At 5pm, the market started to close and we went out with empty hand. We did not buy anything because the quality of batik sold here seems questionable. We took the same taxi and ask him to bring us to Kampung Batik. He bring us to a Batik Shop which have nice design and good quality batik. I bought a nice batik blouse for just rp60k or rm20.
It began to dark when we proceed back to the hotel. On our way back, we stop for dinner at a small cafe. I ordered nasi liwet, a local dish here, which taste very delicious. I manage to finish the whole plate myself. hehehe.. It was already 8pm when we reached the hotel and spend the rest of the night in the room.
Early morning at 7.30am, Pak Rudy from Borobudur Travel and Tours already at the hotel lobby to bring us for Solo city tour. I had booked transportation services from Wiedy at Borobudur travel and tours for a good bargain. We already had our breakfast in the room, so we proceed to visit the sightseeing. Pak Rudy bring us to Pura Mangkunegaran, a living palace that opened to the public, but it only opened at 9am, so we went to Pasar Triwindu, an antique market located just opposite the palace. It is still early morning, so, only a few shops at the market is opened. The stalls here are selling antiques and used goods, anything from timber to metal. I’m quite interested to buy a used batik chop that can be used as decoration, however it is quite heavy because it is made from heavy metal.
The Puro Mangkunegaran already open went we went back to our van. We were told that we must use a guide in order to enter the place because to avoid breaking the palace protocol as the rulers in still staying in this palace. After paying the entrance fee, a guide bring us into the palace and give some explanation of the place, the rulers and its history. The whole palace consist of few 1 storey buildings with gardens surrounding it. We are allowed to enter the main palace hall and a few other buildings that had been converted into a small museum. We were surprised to see they also sell traditional herbs that used by the queen in one of the hall. The traditional musical instrument show just started went we exit from palace at 11am.
We went back to the hotel to check-out and proceed to Yogyakarta. Yogyakarta is 2hour journey from Solo through a main road and few smaller town. Before reached the town, we stopped at Prambanan Temple, located just off the main road. This ancient Hindu monument is one of the ‘must see’ places in Yogyakarta. The temple complex is huge, still under reconstruction especially after suffering from earthquakes years before and the recently Merapi volcano eruption. I feel like Indiana Jones while exploring the temple, due to the pieces of stones was still everywhere that need to be placed. We are able to climb and enter some of the temple, while some of them are prohibited to enter due to badly ruin condition. We also visited the museum within the temple complex. We spent about 2hours exploring the whole temple compound before exiting the temple compound. The exits of the temple complex is full with souvenirs stall that sells quite cheap souvenirs for visitors. I bought some souvenirs here.
After that, we continue our journey to Yogyakarta, which only half and our journey from Prambanan Temple. Its already 3.30pm when we reached the town of Yogyakarta, and we decided to stop for lunch as everybody already feels exhauted and hungry. Pak Rudy bring us to a nice local restaurant which serve very delicious food. I ate their famous bebek meal and it taste very good.Just beside the restaurant, there is a silver shop that sell cheap silver accessories. Mama and my sisters bought silver neck less and bangles with cheap price here compared to those sold in Malaysia.
It almost 7pm when we reached to our hotel, Ibis Malioboro which located at the heart of Malioboro shopping street. We are quite happy to see that the hotel is actually attached to a shopping mall. After check-in, we refresh and have a break for a while before went out to the shopping street just in front of the hotel. The street is full with batik and clothes shop, and there is also street vendors fill up the whole sidewalk. We bought our dinner from the KFC in front of the hotel and ate it in the hotel room. Its already 11pm when we went back to our room and rest.
Pak Rudy fetch us at the hotel early at 8am. We plan to visit Kraton, the Sultan’s Palace, but it only open after 9am. So, we decided to go for shopping first, as some of the batik shop already open by 8am as told by Pak Rudy. We also went to a batik painting shop and bought a nice batik painting to add to our painting collection at home.
It almost 10am when we went to visit the Kraton which located just nearby. Same like Puro Mangkunegaran in Solo, we need to hire their guide in order to enter the palace to avoid trespassing as some of the royal family still stayed inside the palace. The guide show us around the palace compound and told us the brief history and information of the palace. There is also few museums inside the compound. We also manage to watch the gamelan performance before leaving the Kraton at 11am.
We proceed our journey to Borobudur, which take us almost an hour and half to reach there. Along the way, we could see the leftover effect of the volcano eruption of Merapi. Thick duct still covering the trees and the river is full with volcano ashes.
On the way back to the town, we stopped by a riverside to witness closer view of the effect of the recent volcano eruption.
Its our free and easy day. We spent most of the time for shopping at Malioboro Street.
Its time to go home. We check-out from the hotel and decided to stop for a while at the downtown area to witness the effect of the volcano eruption to the town area.
- Airasia return flight KL – Solo = rm295 for 7pax