The exclusive and spectacular Grand Tour Java combines the gems of Dutch colonial architecture with the wonders of Javanese culture and the world renowned excellence of Indonesian hospitality.
Itinerary Heritage Tour Java - 18 days
During the tour we will use a private bus with air conditioning. On 3 tracks you will travel by train, first class. Locally we use varied alternative modes of transport such as the horse cart (andong), mini buses (mikrolet) and the bike taxi (becak).
The tour from Jakarta to Surabaya takes 18 days. Below you can read the short itinerary and when you click on one of the days' descriptions, you can read the extensive travelling-plan.
Arrival in Jakarta
Arrival in Jakarta
On your first day in Indonesia, you will be welcomed by Pauline van Roosmalen and your Indonesian guide. During a dinner you will have the opportunity to meet your fellow travelers and to get to know each other a little bit.
Hotel Ibis Tamarin - the hotel is strategically situated in between the national monument Monas, the railway station Gambir and the culinairy street Sabang. WiFi is available, you can relax in the outdoor pool and have some exercise in the fitness center.
Visit the VOC Distract - Kota Tua, Jakarta
A fine dive into old Jakarta is scheduled for today. The VOC District is now called Kota Tua. Some of the heritage buildings you will visit: VOC Warehouse, Raad van Justitie, Javasche Bank and Escompto.
Hotel Ibis Tamarin
The residential districts Weltevreden, Menteng & Kebayoran Baru
The residential districts
Among many others, you will visit the next buildings: Betaafsche Petroleum Maatschappij (now Pertamina), Nederlandsch-Indische Gas Maatschappij (now Perusahan Listrik Negara) and Bouwploeg Building (now a mosque).
Hotel Ibis Tamarin
By train to Bandung - visit the alun-alun & Braga area
To Bandung by train and visit Braga street
Your train departs at 08.30 in the morning. The route is next to scenic also relaxing. In general trains in Java don't speed. You have plenty of time to look out of your window and drive the same route as many did since 1873. In 3,5 hours you will reach Bandung.
Today you will visit the business and commercial district around the town square (alun-alun) and Braga street.
Prama Grand Preanger - you are only half a km away from Braga street, this hotel is centrally located... Its facilities are too many to even start to describe... but you will find a swimming pool - Booking.com Award of Excellence 2015
Listed: the Militiray, Administrative & Scientific districts and Villa Isola.
Bandung and Lembang
Today you will visit the Military, Administrative and Scientific Districts and in Lembang the famous Villa Isola.
Prama Grand Preanger
Malabar tea plantation and Lamajan hydro-electric power station
Malabar tea plantation is located 45 km south of Bandung. The scenery is beautiful; endless hills with green coffee and small tracks for the tea pickers. This estate's first manager was K.A.R. Bosscha, who managed the plantation successfully till he died in 1928.
The Lamajan hydro-electric power station is also listed for today. The Lamajan hydro-electric power station is near the tea plantation. This station provided the electricity to transmit radio signals. On 5 May 1923 Radio Malabar went on air with - by that time - the most powerful transmitter in the world; up to 1,800 kW. A telecommunication link with Holland had been established.
Prama Grand Preanger
Travel to Cirebon - a Java Pasisiran culture
Travel from Bandung to Cirebon
The drive to Cirebon takes about 4,5 hours, but on good days that will be faster. Cirebon is a port city in northern West Java. Cirebon culture was described as Java Pasisiran culture - a coastal culture - and similar to the cultures of Banten, Pekalongan, and Semarang, with notable mixtures of Sundanese, Chinese, Arabic-Islamic, and European influences.
You will visit among others: the British American Tobacco Factory, the Javasche Bank, the Post Office, and the Bethel Church.
Hotel Santika Cirebon - the swimming pool and spa are inviting you after a long beautiful day. Hotel Santika Cirebon provides a place of leisure with a combination of classic Javanese design and modern amenities. Located on a quiet street, yet having easy access to the city center.
Travel to Semarang - via Tegal & Pekalongan
Travel from Cirebon to Semarang via Tegal & Pekalongan
You depart by private bus at 07.30. Your first stop is Tegal to visit the Semarang-Cheribon Stoomtram Maatschappij. This was one of the Dutch colonial-era companies that in 1897-1914 built a 373 km railway line connecting Semarang with Cirebon. Then you will continue to Pekalongan - if time is sufficient, you will visit the Batik Museum - where you will get on the train to Semarang. It will about 3 o'clock in the afternoon when you reach Semarang, where you will go around the Chinese District (Pecinan).
City walk through Semarang
City walk through Semarang
Your city walk starts after breakfast: through the VOC and the 20th century Business District (Kota Lama). You will also visit the Residential Districts New Candi, Mlaten, and Simpang Lima.
Semarang - travel to Magelang via Ambarawa
Semarang and Ambarawa
Before you will depart to Magelang, some residencies, the Van Deventerschool and the Jatinggaleh market will be visited. On your way to Magelang, you will also stop in Ambarawa to have a look at the Railway Station and museum, and the church. You will spend the night in Magelang.
Saraswati Borobudur Hotel - The Borobudur temple is only a 5 minutes walk from your hotel. The landscape surrounding the hotel might invite you for a walk. Otherwise, take a dive in the with palm trees surrounded swimming pool.
The great Borobudur
Early morning visit to the Borobudur, a temple which shouldn't need any further introduction.
When back at the bus, you will be driven to your hotel in Yogyakarta. After lunch, you have a day without a program. "A guidebook" for Yogyakarta that will be handed out is full of practicalities to find your way easily and without losing time searching for time schedules, addresses etc.
The Phoenix Hotel Yogyakarta - You will be immersed in a unique heritage boutique hotel. A good choice to discover the charm of Yogya. The restaurant is located near the swimming pool in an open-air courtyard and in the evening you can lounge at the 1918s terrace bar.
More of Yogyakarta and the Prambanan - travel to Solo
More of Yogyakarta and the Prambanan temple
Half a day left for your explorations in Yogyakarta as at 14.00 you will visit the Prambanan. Achingly beautiful and mystical, the temples of Prambanan are the best remaining examples of Java’s extended period of Hindu culture.
Afterwards your travel continues to Solo where you will spend the night.
Roemahkoe Heritage Hotel - built in 1938 in the quiet city of Solo by a wealthy batik merchant as a private family residence and in 2003 renovated into a heritage hotel. As you walk through the breezy public areas perfectly designed for tropical living one can notice the singular art-deco style architecture.
City walk Solo
Arguably the epicenter of Javanese identity and tradition, Solo is one of the least Westernized cities on the island. Solo often plays second fiddle to its more conspicuous neighbour Yogyakarta.
Your route travels via Kraton Mangkunegaran, Kraton Kesuhunan, the Javasche Bank, Pasar Gede and Batik Museum Danar Hadi.
Roemahkoe Heritage Hotel
Travel to Malang - first class train
Travel from Solo to Malang - by train
As your train departs a few minutes before 9 o'clock, it is early morning. Just before 8 o'clock the bus will pick you up and bring you to the train station, to meet again in Malang. The is almost setting when your train stops at its final destination. The railway station of Malang was built in 1941 by a design of J. van Eb. Later he became the architect of the first Van Brienenoordbrug in Rotterdam. As your hotel is about 500 m from the train station, a becak will bring you to the hotel. You will pass the Town Hall which is as your hotel situated on the alun-alun Tugu, formerly J.P. Coenplein.
Hotel Tugu - the Indonesian Tugu Hotels are privately owned and born out of one man’s love and passion for Indonesia’s history. Tugu Hotels’ founder Anhar Setjadibrata is the owner of the biggest collection of fine Indonesian art and cultural antiquities in Indonesia. He designed the Tugu Hotels to house his antiques and to share the romantic stories and legends of ancient kingdoms of Indonesia.
Malang city tour
Explore Malang, the city with a village-like atmosphere
With a breezy climate and some leavy boulevards, Malang moves at an easygoing pace. Malang's central area is not too large and quite walkable. Malang earned its first fortunes from coffee, which flourished on the surrounding hillsides. Although today the city’s colonial elegance is quickly disappearing behind the homogeneous facades of ruko's with iron sliding doors, for now there is still much too admire. On your list are at least Ijen and Dempo Boulevard, the Theresia church, Palace hotel and the alun-alun. Modern architecture is exposed in Jodipan, a recently colored kampung just outside the city center.
Surabaya harbour and commercial district Jembatan Merah
You will reach Surabaya in about 3 hours by your private and comfortable bus. The dimensions of the colonial buildings in Surabaya can't be compared with those in Malang, though the grandeur in each its specific environment can.
As Surabaya is an older city and the capital of East Java, the heritage seeker has a lot to discover. For locals, Surabaya is closely linked to the birth of the Indonesian nation, as it was here that the battle for independence began.
Hotel Majapahit - Hotel Majapahit is a classic landmark and a source of national pride. The hotel was built in 1910 by the famous Sarkies brothers. Its graceful colonial architecture combined with modern facilities is a treat for your last 2 nights in Java.
The last few years Surabaya's appearance improved greatly under the golden instructions of its female mayor Tri Rismaharini. As a former polluted, congested, business-driven city, Surabaya wasn't ideal for visitors. Nowadays Surabaya's corners of interest are more of a delight to explore. Its historic Arab quarter is fascinating, it's Chinatown is one of the biggest in Indonesia and it offers a roster of impressive Dutch buildings.
Today your explorations through Surabaya continue: Simpang, Darmo and Tunjungan. And to mention some buildings of interest: town hall, governor's residence, Simpang pharmacy and RC Hospital.
ABOUT PAULINE VAN ROOSMALEN - YOUR EXPERT AND EXPERIENCED TOUR LEADER