Solo, also known as Surakarta is a city in Central Java, Indonesia. It is a very beautiful city, and here is 10 reasons why you have to come and visit Solo if you’re on your vacation in Indonesia.
1. Performing Arts
There are traditional performing arts you can see every weekends in many places in the city. Dance, shadow puppets and also many more in every corner of the city. If you enjoy traditional and ethnic music, you must be familiar with SIEM (Solo International Ethnic Music) festival held every year in this city. You can get the calendar of cultural events in Solo’s official website.
So you’re a food traveler and love experience a culinary adventure? Well, Solo is the food heaven. There are restaurants, cafe, and hawker center where you can try international to traditional food. Even they have Culinary Festival every year you must come to see.
Batik is one most delicate traditional art of cloth painting. Although there are many kind of batik in Indonesia, Solo is considered as the center of Batik. Not only you can buy the original Batik Solo, you can also see the Batik Museum and see how Batik was made. Even, if you like it, you can take a short course on how to make a batik on your own. How fun!
4. Ancient Steam Loco
This is unique! You can enjoy a short city tour by train. Not just a train, this is an old steam loco that the government has bought for the tourist so they can enjoy the city like the old times. The railway was there since the colonials ruled the land, but it’s activated again for the tourism. Not everyone could enjoy the train, so when you come to Solo, make sure you try this too.
5. The Palaces
Of course! Solo was once a kingdom before the republic has arisen. But here’s the thing. There’s not only ONE palace, but you can enjoy TWO palaces in this city. Those palaces have their own histories, and you have to come and see the difference.
Hunt the antiques from furnitures to artworks. If you like, you can go to the Antiques Marketplace in Windu Djenar. There are lots of artisans working on antiques, and you can buy cheap antiques (of course if you compare them with US currency) with many options.
7. Historical and Prehistorical Sites
I’m not kidding. Not only you can go to historical sites in Solo like Benteng Vastenberg and lots of museums here, you can also go to a prehistorical site named Sangiran. Sangiran is the site where the archaeologist found the fossil of prehistoric man, Homo Soloensis. I’m serious.
You can’t believe how kind people in Solo is. They’re very friendly and they’re kind to newcomers. You can go to a food stall, and eat whatever you can find on the table without the owner have to count how much you have eaten. All you need to do is report what you have eaten when you’re finished, they would believe whatever you’ve said.
9. Slow Paced Life
Now, if you’re tired with city life, taking a holiday in Solo is a great choice. The slow paced life here in this city would bring you a tranquility. I am not exaggerating but this is true. The people are never in rush, it seems that they’re enjoying every moment of their lives, and it actually affects the people who came there too. You won’t see factories in the city, or malls like big cities, or traffic jam which would stressed you out.
10. Cheap! Cheap! Cheap!
Yes! Everything in Solo is cheap. You can eat until you’re bloated with less than USD 5, you can buy cheap clothes, cheap antiques… You can get a cheap transportation and even cheap homestay or motel if you want. Enjoying holiday in this place means you don’t have to be worry of how much you must spend on vacation.