When travelling in Indonesia’s most populous island, sometimes it can be hard to escape the crowds. After being mobbed by student groups for photo ops in Borobudor and Prambanan, and fighting our way down the street of Malioboro, we were craving a bit more solitude.
Ok well solitude is pretty hard to come by when travelling in Indonesia, but you can experience a life a little less crowded in the mountainous regions of Solo.
It was going to be a big day, so our driver picked us up early. We were doing another tour today, a much easier option than trying to tackle the crazy Indonesian roads on our own. Our itinerary today would take us around the mountainous region of Solo – to a palace, an ancient temple, and a grand waterfall.
The Kraton in Solo is a shadow of it’s former self. Much of the Kraton was destroyed by fire in 1985, and half of the palace is off limits as the royal family still lives there. But there is still a fair amount of space that you can wander through.
A guide is included in your entry fee, and in fact, you are required to be shown around by a guide. It was absolutely invaluable to have a guide, as there is virtually no signage in the buildings or the museum. As we wandered through the buildings are guide told us stories of the royal family, showed us traditional Javanese weaponry and jewellery in the small museum, and helped us set up some family photo ops.
This little Hindu temple seems to sit on top of the world. As you wind your way up the mountain you will feel like you have left the crowds and chaos of Jogya a million miles away.
Candi Sukuh is unique in several ways. The first is the shape. The pyramid like shape might make you think that you are somewhere lost in central America. The other unique aspect of this temple is the carvings. Candi Sukuh is a fertility temple and the carvings…uhhh…. are all about making babies.
As you wind along mountain roads, passing villages and rice terraces you will feel like you are heading into the middle of nowhere until….. you end up at a resort? Well not really a resort, but more a giant recreational playground.
When you enter the park you will walk down a foreboding amount of stairs. At the bottom there are restaurants, a water park, and lots and lots of monkeys. But the star attraction is the 100 metre high waterfall.
Clear cool pools at the base of the waterfall are great for swimming, just make sure you secure your belongings as the monkeys will 100% try to steal from you.